January 26, 1980: The Whispers, Brass Construction, Roy Ayers, Merry Clayton, La Pregunta

Odds ‘N Bods

Atmosfear’s newie, ‘Motivation’ / ‘Extracts’, will be on Elite 12in and not MCA in three weeks’ time . . . Light Of The World is due in a fortnight, the 128-129bpm ‘The Boys In Blue’ seguing halfway on 12in into the more jazzily flowing 124bpm ‘This Is This’ instrumental (which most acetate-serviced mafiosi prefer) . . . Real Thing’s jogging 109-108bpm ‘Saint Or Sinner?’ is due then too . . . France Joli is now on 3-track 12in containing both long and short ‘Come To Me’ plus ‘Let Go’ (Ariola/Dreyfus AROD 204) . . . Funkadelic is now set for 12in, to be followed later in February by UK 12in release of Modern Sound Corporation ‘Safari’, Jocko ‘Rhythm Talk’ . . . The Mexicano’s next will be a very different totally electronic Telex-type treatment of ‘The Israelites’, while the gorgeous ‘Lady’ is already set as the Whispers’ follow-up . . . EMI’s LRD division is being disbanded, disco labels like Motown, Source and Fantasy (they’ve just lost Salsoul, incidentally) moving into the UA/Liberty offices in Mortimer Street, with most of the pop labels going to EMI in Manchester Square . . . Positive Force and Shalamar were fleeting visitors last week for club PA’s around London . . . RCA’s “Rowdy” Yeats hopes to arrange a UK tour for the Solar Roadshow, starring Whispers, Shalamar, Dynasty & Lakeside . . . Mr Q’s real name probably is not Dave Crawford, as of course the latter wrote Jackie Moore’s ‘Time’ on which, together with ‘Second Time Around’, Mr Q based his ‘Love & Time’ import . . . DJF stalwart and Polydor plugger Theo Loyla reportedly survived a car smash (though the car didn’t) . . . Cliff Wilding still has some useful year planner wall charts for the cost of an SAE to his disco shop, Early Riser, 50 Beulah Road, Walthamstow, London E17 9LE . . . Honey Bee Benson has now joined such as DLT, Simon Bates & Mike Read for agency and management representation by MPC (01-434 1861) . . . Emperor Rosko, writing from Van Nuys in California says “Hi” and “Remember the Alamo and 208” – see you in LA next month, Rosko! . . . Chris Hill returns on both Fridays and Saturdays to his original funking ground, Canvey Island’s Goldmine, starting this week . . . Steve Martell jazz-funks Preston Clouds every Friday/Saturday, Chris Golland joins Paul Clark on Fridays at Brighton Papillon and solos there Saturdays, Martin Starr jazz-funks Jasper’s Jazz Club in Bristol’s Park Street every Wednesday, and busy Chris Dinnis expands his horizons from South and East to West Devon and even further afield . . . Tom Myles of Wirral’s City Discos (051-677 7500) would like to hear again from the Manchester (or Preston?) DJF jock who rang recently, and also confirms the Wirral/Merseyside lack of import shops . . . Soho’s Groove Records shop have extended their Latin-American/Salsa section . . . New Year over, the disco chart has finally fleshed out again, the bottom end getting much stronger support and many titles increasing support but dropping places – and by the way, despite prophets of gloom and New Mod activity, hasn’t disco done well in the sales chart recently?!

UK Newies

THE WHISPERS: ‘And The Beat Goes On’ (Solar SO12-11) (BNDA debut 1/12/80)
In this exceptional week for strong UK releases all the first seven reviews deserve to lead off the list! This happens to be the hottest due to its amazing chart performance after just a few days of release, the smacking and thwhacking 115-116bpm “rock” whacker being hot off the presses and into the chart almost before the import version had hit our decks. Try it with Prince if you haven’t already!

Terrific bumping and jumping 121-122-123-120-124-120-124-120-124-123bpm ‘Moving’-type driver with catchy counting and butch chanting, now on 12in but strangely as flip to the good though less immediate 116-117bpm ‘Music Makes You Feel Like Dancing’ “rock” churner with gimmicky synthesizer effects. Their best in years, the parent LP (reviewed in depth on import) is also out (UAG 30285), but these are the best two tracks back-to-back.

ROY AYERS: ‘Don’t Stop The Feeling’ (Polydor STEPX 9) (BNDA debut 12/22/79)
Maddeningly nagging insistent repetitive simple chant over a great funkily thudding basic beat, the 7in being 113-114bpm, LP version 114-115bpm and US promo 12in 115-116bpm – so who knows what the overdue UK 12in will be?! The two bar wailing intro goes nicely out of Edgar Winter’s outro, or can be skipped for a chop out of Slave.  Continue reading “January 26, 1980: The Whispers, Brass Construction, Roy Ayers, Merry Clayton, La Pregunta”

January 19, 1980: Phyllis Hyman, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Herb Alpert, Jocko, Alton & Johnny

Odds ‘N Bods

Three Degrees and Earth, Wind & Fire appear to be on commercial UK 12in (obviously CBS can’t sell the latter!) . . . Hi Power and Stop are both group names and both are in circulation on white label promos, Hi Power’s long instrumental version of Brothers Johnson’s ‘Get The Funk Out Ma Face’ being an extremely exclusive acetate due next month on Hithouse, Stop ‘I Can Feel It’ being due on Elite next week but circulated on white label 12in to enough shops around Christmas for it to hit our disco chart this week . . . Stop are NOT Atmosfear in disguise, incidentally (though who ARE Atmosfear in fact?!) . . . Light Of The World’s forthcoming ‘The Boys In Blue / This Is This’ 11:50 12in is also circulating to Mafiosi on acetate . . . Parliament ‘Theme From The Black Hole’ will be a rush-released UK follow-up to their brand new ‘Party People’ / ‘Flashlight’ / ‘Tear The Roof Off The Sucker’ 12in EP . . . Roy Ayers ‘Don’t Stop The Feeling’ is due on UK 12in this week, while next week sees Brass Construction’s LP and a hot 12in coupling of ‘Shakit’ / ‘Music Makes You Feel Like Dancing’! . . . Gibson Brothers ‘Cuba’ will be re-released early February on 12in back-to-back with ‘Better Do It Salsa’, and Slave ‘Just A Touch Of Love’ is planned for UK 12in too . . . Kev Hill reports the recent Chelmsford all-dayer went so well that another is set for February 14th, and Paul Clark infos that the Funk Mafia return to Brighton at Easter . . . Chris Britton, the Chris Browne that was, is further protecting his reputation by taking on as manager Rockerfella Discotheques’ Gavin Breck (01-609 2657) . . . Ian Titchener, plugger at Bocu Music and with brother Nick a long-time chart contributor via their Wallington-based Rock Street mobile, is now heading Roger St. Pierre’s Funk Funktion disco promotion service (01-858 8892) . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillan’s) used Henry Hall’s ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ over Christmas and his crowd went so wild that it and many more “sillies” are becoming a regular feature . . . Mark Clark (Wokingham King Of Clubs) advises jazz-funk fans that Ronnie Scott’s quartet is currently featuring a terrific 132-134bpm version of Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Little Sunflower’ in their live spots at Ronnie’s jazz club . . . Groove Records’ Chris Palmer was actually responsible for last week’s “pulled a mussel” joke, telling it to Mike Allen just before he went on air . . . Roger Guidery, who with partner Andrew Shurrock runs the Radnage (High Wycombe)-based Diamond Dog Mobile, also plays organ in church on Sundays! . . . Gary Oldis, as recently mentioned was running a North-Eastern roadshow with dancers Bad Girls Plus, but skidded on black ice just after Christmas, wrote off his car, and smashed a lot of recent oldies: current stuff he’s OK for, but can anyone offer him (name your price) stuff like ‘Contact’, ‘Mighty Real’, ‘Got My Mind Made Up’, ‘Shake Your Groove Thing’, either at his home (14 Neville Parade, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham) or the nearby Gretna Green disco?

UK Newies

PHYLLIS HYMAN: ‘You Know How To Love Me’ (Arista ARIST 12323) (BNDA debut 11/10/79)
Big on import LP and now out here on 12in, this superb creamily whapping clapping 116-117bpm soul strutter is right in the ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ and ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ groove.

HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES: ‘Prayin’’ (Source 12SRC 102)
McFadden & Whitehead-penned steadily clapping smooth 124-127bpm 12in soul romper rawly emoted in gospel style has its almost angelic instrumental intro replaced for the 7in version by a shimmering dead slow deep soul vocal preamble.

HERB ALPERT: ‘Rotation’ (A&M AMSP 7500) (BNDA debut 12/22/79)
Tapping and synthetically booming intro with a ‘Topsy’-type voice intoning the title starts this sombre strange 105bpm 12in jazz-funk instrumental jiggler, which works well with careful programming, and is evidently packaged in US-style die-cut sleeve and see-thru vinyl.  Continue reading “January 19, 1980: Phyllis Hyman, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Herb Alpert, Jocko, Alton & Johnny”

January 12, 1980: Prince, George Duke, Dance People, The Whispers, Eddie Cheba

Odds ‘N Bods

Hot newies due on UK 12in in about a fortnight include War ‘The World Is A Ghetto’, Narada Michael Walden ‘Tonight I’m Alright’, Patrice Rushen ‘Haven’t You Heard’, while Martha & The Vandellas ‘Heatwave’ / ‘Dancing In The Street’ will be on Mod-aimed 7in and Trojan launch a six volume ‘Creation Rockers’ LP set of reggae oldies . . . Atmosfear are rumoured to be hiding behind the name Hi Power on a white label 12in titled ‘Stop’ currently circulating . . . WEA’s Fred Dove says that the LV 12in series was a success and sold extremely well, it’s just that the format was used for a more selective choice of repertoire as the year wore on . . . South Eastern Discotheque Association (SEDA) hold their annual equipment exhibition on Sunday, 23rd March, at the Great Danes Hotel just off the M20 near Maidstone . . . Clyde Coast DJ Assn member DJ’s are the exclusive agents for tickets to the George McCrae show at Irvine Magnum Leisure Centre on Wednesday, 23rd January . . . Reggie Bosanquet was a guest at my New Year’s Eve gig, and says his next record will be (I quote) “top of the pops”! . . . Pink Floyd chopped out of the bass break ¡n Kurtis Blow was the surprise best mix of my Christmas gigs – try it LOUD! . . . Paul Anthony (Birmingham Rum Runner/Holy City Zoo etc) sent me a luxury Willy warmer for Christmas – Willy says thanks, but suggests it would be even warmer with the fur side inside! . . . Teesvalley Roadshow (Redcar 475854) now promote themselves with printed ballpoint pens as well as keyrings . . . I’ve been reviving a few oldies during the seasonal lack of new vinyl, and the BPMs might be of use to some of you: BT Express ‘Express’ (Pye) 111(intro)-110-108-110bpm, Candi Staton ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ (Warner Bros 12in) 116-117-118bpm, Crown Heights Affair ‘Dreaming A Dream’ (Polydor LP) 118-119bpm, Eddie Drennon ‘Lets Do The Latin Hustle’ (US Friends & Co LP) 112-119-118-119bpm, Fatback Band ‘Spanish Hustle’ (US Event LP) (19 beat intro) 121-123-125-123bpm / ‘(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop’ 108-111 bpm, Isaac Hayes ‘Disco Connection’ (ABC 12in) c 131bpm – this last being similar to and in range of Isleys ‘It’s A Disco Night’ . . . New Year holidays have held up the mail it seems, so there have been only a few charts and no disco dates since before Christmas.

UK Newies

PRINCE: ‘Sexy Dancer’ (from LP ‘Prince’, Warner Bros. K 56772) (BNDA debut 11/10/79)
Totally self-performed multi-tracked set, this terrifically powerful 122bpm backbeat whapping panting breath-sucking strutter being a great chop mixer (especially out of ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’) and even more exciting than the included 118-116bpm ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’, while ‘Still Waiting’ is a perfectly lovely yearning 39/78bpm slow squeaky swayer.

GEORGE DUKE: ‘I Want You For Myself’ (Epic EPC 8137) (BNDA debut 12/15/79)
Also good out of Michael Jackson, this easily chugging attractive current jazz-funk biggie with squeaky Lynn Davis and pretty piano riding the oogie oogie rhythm is now on edited 120bpm 7in only.

DANCE PEOPLE: ‘Funk Attack’ (from LP ‘Fly Away’, Satril SATL 4013)
Although here mixed rather too inextricably out of the preceding zingy title track, this surprisingly authentic electric bass-led 131½bpm instrumental jazz-funk flier goes beautifully out of ‘Space Bass’ and (regardless of that) is picking up some specialist jocks ‘cos it’s darned good.  Continue reading “January 12, 1980: Prince, George Duke, Dance People, The Whispers, Eddie Cheba”

January 5, 1980: Kool & The Gang, Dan Hartman, Dennis Brown, The Destiny Orchestra, Love De-Luxe

Odds ‘N Bods

Greg Davies’s Disco Forum ’80 at Stevenage Bo Jangles on Tuesday February 19th seems angled at DJ’s disgruntled with record company mailing list policies, the panel including John Waller (Phonogram), Theo Loyla (Polydor), Fred Dove (WEA), Roger St Pierre (Funk Funktion) – £2 tickets (cheques to “Bo Jangles Club”) and full details of the 8pm-2am event from Greg at Bo Jangles, 58 Oueensway, Stevenage, Herts (04626-76432 or 0234-741462) . . . Soho’s Groove Records shop held a private party at Mayfair Gullivers before Christmas for some of their regular customers – there can’t be many other shops to have done likewise, but as they said, “you all paid for it”! . . . Chris Brown, who actually offered his own cigarettes around at the Groove party, is currently compiling a lavish photo book about the UK jazz-funk scene, to be called ‘I Was There – The “Family” Album’ . . . Big Tom Holland the bun eater is going freelance as his Ilford Lacy Lady residency is closing the disco room . . . Gary Oldis has been promoted out of Aycliffe’s Gretna Green to tour the North-East’s FLD-owned disco chain with a sexy five gal one guy dancing troupe called Bad Girls Plus, while the chain’s latest link is the Harts Horn Disco in Knaresborough’s Market Place . . . Redcar’s Coatham Hotel, the Cleveland area’s biggest ballroom, is due to reopen as a disco . . . Paul Clark (Brighton Papillon) wonders if anyone’s got that old multi-coloured Eastside Connection 12in for sale as his has been nicked . . . Sally Ormsby, Steve Wiggins (Barry Rugby Club) awaits your reply to his fifteen letters! . . . New Mods asking for Madness ‘One Step Beyond’ at funk discos seem to be the current equivalent of the old Status Quo brigade – any other jocks reaching the same conclusion?! . . . Edwin Starr ‘Contact’ synchs perfectly out of Slick ‘Space Bass’, as I discovered during my mixing “duel” with Froggy in Erith!

UK Newies

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Too Hot’ (Mercury KOOL 812) (BNDA debut 9/8/79)
Lovely slinky sleazy 106bpm 12in swayer with George Benson-ish guitar and other lush jazzy elements, very briefly the original B-side to ‘Ladies’ Night’ and now flipped by the ‘Whistle Bump’-like introed 122bpm repetitive ‘Tonight’s The Night’ “rock” chanter.

DAN HARTMAN: ‘Relight My Fire’ (Blue Sky SKY 13-8104) (BNDA debut 11/10/79)
Michael Jackson-ish 122-121-120bpm 12in romper still sounds recognisably like his oldies with wailing chick joining in before an atmospheric “wind” break, the flip featuring the full sound effects, synthesizer and vibes 122bpm ‘Vertigo’-introed version.

DENNIS BROWN: ‘Slave Driver’ (Laser LAS 20T)
Bob Marley-penned powerful smoothly driving 65/130bpm 12in reggae throbber has Curtis Mayfield-type touches and strong “catch a fire” chorus, going into a toasting dub last part.  Continue reading “January 5, 1980: Kool & The Gang, Dan Hartman, Dennis Brown, The Destiny Orchestra, Love De-Luxe”