March 15, 1980: Bobby Thurston, Players Association, Donald Byrd, Chico Hamilton, GQ

Pye Records rather misguidedly change names next month to Precision Records and Tapes, making black product plugger Morgan Khan “the brat from PRAT”! Anyway, as previously mentioned, Morgan has copied the US DJ-bootlegged mixer medley idea by creating the first ever officially released UK version, out next month (CABP 1) as ‘Calibre Cuts’ and containing 32 cleverly juxtaposed snippets from 24 different tracks. Running for 6:47 and building from 93bpm to a flutter echo 132bpm finish, the rhythmically flowing cut-up includes moments from Lowrell, Chanson, Sugarhill Gang, Positive Force, ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, Players Assn ‘I Like It’, ‘We Are Family’, Tony Rallo, ‘Bad Girls’, Two Man Sound, Black Ivory ‘Big Apple Rock’, L.A.X., Osibisa, Jupiter Beyond, Seventh Avenue ‘Miami Heatwave’, Real Thing, ‘HAPPY Radio’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’, El Coco, Players Assn ‘Everybody Dance’, ‘We Got The Groove’, Aquarian Dream ‘Phoenix’, ‘East 6th Street’ and Norman Connors ‘Captain Connors’ – some of them contributing just one beat! Mailed to DJ’s in increasing waves, at the moment there are only eighteen copies of the white label 12in in circulation (and Morgan’s numbered them so he knows who the jock is who’s already sold his!), although advance orders from shops already total more than 8,000. Incidentally, starting with ‘Calibre Cuts’, all future PRAT 12in promos will be at 33 1/3 rpm with just the commercial copies at 45rpm. Pity about the PRAT initials (it’ll actually be printed PRT), as Pye are currently anything but that!

Los Angeles differs drastically from New York in that the buzz of hearing brand new releases is totally lacking on radio (and in the clubs) . . . making radio less than compulsive listening. The only newies to be heard last month were some slowies on the mellow soul KJLH and some jazz-funk on KACE. Considering there are 31 FM and 31 AM stations servicing the area (along with 11 TV stations), this was disappointing to say the least. The first thing I actually recorded on air was a breakfast show playing – it seemed appropriate for LA – the Beach Boys ‘Fun Fun Fun’, which the DJ unbelievably came out of paraphrasing “drugs drugs drugs, until her daddy took the teaspoon away”! This was the Kenny Everett-ish Fraser Smith on KLOS, a rock FM station paired with the AM all-talk KABC and sharing the same building – as I discovered when accompanying Robbie Vincent, Radio London’s morning phone-in and interview man – and funnily enough it’s an expatriate BBC veteran who grabs over a million listeners daily with the same format in LA, Michael Jackson (no, not that one). A South African residency having added a Paddy Byrne-like tinge to his voice, Michael left the Beeb in 1959 and now only puts on his exaggeratedly British accent when reading hamburger commercials and the like! Sitting in a tiny studio in the extremely compact glass-walled jigsaw puzzle of on-air facilities, he interviewed TV chat show host Phil Donahue (himself on the Johnny Carson TV show only the night before) and Joan Baez while we were there, as well as answering several carefully vetted telephone calls . . . the switchboard though was decidedly unlit-up in comparison with my experience of Capital Radio. As well as talk, soul, jazz and rock, LA radio covers the usual spectrum from Spanish to classical, country to gospel (lots and lots of gospel!), the main ‘‘disco’’ stations seemingly being devoted still to David Naughton’s ‘Makin’ It’. The best thing I managed to record was, luckily while delayed at the airport on the way home, the legendary Dr Demento on KMET, his Sunday evening show featuring a strongly idiosyncratic 1920s/30s flavour even when the material is new . . . in his way the Charlie Gillett of Los Angeles.


Odds ‘N Bods

Fern Kinney (originally on US 7in in 1977) and Detroit Spinners are due on belated 12in, while Donna Summer and Niteflyte are now on 12in, with Kleeer ‘Close To You’ and a 4-track Randy Brown 12in to follow . . . 1968’s classic ‘This Is Soul’ sampler LP (as it was then) is out again on Atlantic . . . PRAT could be picking up which famous Philadelphia-based label? . . . Caroline Roadshow need two heavy metal DJs, apply in writing with full details and photo to them at BCM, Box 1962, London WC1 . . . Havering DJ Assn and potential members meet at Harold Hill Community Centre on Monday (17) at 7:45pm . . . Chris Britton (High Wycombe Tuesdays) actually said “yes” to a leap year proposal on Feb 29th – congrats! . . . Michael Jackson on TV recently came out of the closet, locked the door behind him and threw away the key – did anyone catch it? . . . USofA’s Reggie, David & Chris are all Viola Wills’s kids . . . Brian Sinclair, probably paranoid about Steve Walsh’s Wednesday publicity, confirms that he himself spins the very best in soul at Catford J. Arthur’s on Thurs/Fri/Saturdays . . . Dennis Brynner is delighted that conditions are funkier again at Southampton Barbarellas . . . London DJ Ian Brolin wants to know where to find Johnny Hammond’s old ‘Shifting Gears’ LP – Hill, what have you started?! . . . Paul Macey, at Kingston-On-Thames South Western Tavern on Fri/Sundays, followed up my mention of Erik Jack’s Life Entertainment Services and landed a summer season at Ladbrokes Nodes Point holiday camp . . . Bristol mafiosi Martin Starr & Dennis Richards (Just 4U/Turntable/Manhattans) are now attracting funksters from London, a crowd of 20 or so spending a week in Bristol going to all their venues . . . Alan Hughes reports that pubs in the Worcester area are cutting right back on discos – what, even the Wally ones? . . . Martin Sanders (Blackburn) may care to note that I paid with my own money to go to LA for a holiday, and not specifically for the forum which past experience had shown would be exactly as it indeed was . . . CBS & Polydor are mailing some strange material to DJ’s these days . . . Capital Radio must be helping London’s discotheques by making them the only place you can be sure of hearing so many established hits . . . Liquid Gold presumably fill a void for many people somewhere, so maybe “disco” isn’t dead at all? . . . US disco chart placings however have been largely discredited now it’s known they relate merely to those records that bring down drugged gays the least . . . Chris Jones (Cardiff) says “Disco isn’t dead, it’s just had a shot in the arm – a little variety does you good, as punters at large South Wales gigs prove by loving 2-Tone/Pretenders/Ska and booing the Nolans, the overriding aim surely being everybody has a good time” – hmm, it may be danceable but is it disco? . . . MAKE IT FUNKY!


New Spins

BOBBY THURSTON: ‘Check Out The Groove’ (Epic EPC 13-8348) (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
Import LP smash now on UK 12in, this happily jumping Brass Construction-ish chugger built around a series of 16 bar progressions goes through 121-119-121-120-122-120(instr)-122-123 bpm to reach a 125-126 bpm rhythm break and outro. ‘Shakit’ chops perfectly out of the first half.

PLAYERS ASSOCIATION: ‘The Get-Down Mellow Sound’ (Vanguard VSL 5017) (BNDA debut 3/22/80)
Still temporarily printed as ‘Mellow Mellow’ (PRAT were confused by Lowrell) this is indeed the correct US title, and the steadily thumping and bumping brassy jogger is now on 115 bpm 12in which should mix even better with the Whispers.

DONALD BYRD: ‘Dominoes’ (Blue Note 12-UP 622)
Attractive atmospheric lazily jiggling 106-104-105-104-103-102 bpm 12in jazz swayer from 1976 with tootling trumpet and chanting chaps is sadly not the even hotter ‘Live At The Roxy’ version

PRESSURE: ‘Can You Feel It’ (MCA MCAT 574)
Slow starting attractive lightweight jiggly 107-108 bpm jogger with producer Ronnie Laws’s sax breaking between squeaky vocals, presumably due on 12in.

DELEGATION: ‘You And I’ (Ariola AROD 214)
Shamelessly blatant but powerful 113 bpm 12in ‘Good Times’ clone.

SOUTHROAD CONNECTION: ‘Take Me Back For More’ (UA 12-UP 623)
Untidy but enthusiastically chanted burbling fast 128-129-130 bpm 12in rattler.

DAVID JOHANSEN: ‘Swaheto Woman’ (Blue Sky SKY 12-8125)
Slightly GQ-influenced smooth 135-136 bpm 12in pop pounder may have Scottish appeal.

UB40: ‘King’ / ‘Food For Thought’ (Graduate GRAD 6)
Gorgeous 68 bpm 7in reggae swayer and 65 bpm message flip.

BILLY PRESTON & SYREETA: ‘It Will Come In Time’ (Motown TMG 1175)
Catchily jaunty 96-95 bpm 7in MoR jogger, big on radio.

ROSE ROYCE: ‘Ooh Boy’ (Whitfield K 17575T)
Complex old slowie lurches about between 50-53/107 bpm, flipped on 12in by the slow starting 107-110 bpm ‘What You Waitin’ For’ heavy funker.


Imports

CHICO HAMILTON: ‘Strut’ (from LP ‘Nomad’, US Elektra 6E-257)
Wayne Henderson-produced veteran jazz drummer’s mind-blowingly pretty unusual rhumba-flavoured 94-95-96 bpm delicate instrumental guitar shuffler has a lazily bouncy lilt and simple melody, the lightly samba-ish 89 bpm ‘Mysterious Maiden’ vocal being equally nice and ‘Magic Fingers’ a more mundane (in comparison) bass-bumped 103-104 bpm Joe Sample-type jogger.

GQ: ‘GQ Down’ (from LP ‘GQ Two’, US Arista AL 9511) (‘Standing Ovation’ BNDA debut 3/1/80)
More bubbling canterers, mostly distinguished by their old scratching guitar and slick synthesizer sound although the 124-125 bpm ‘Is It Cool’ echoes the “diddle do-da” beat of the included ‘Standing Ovation’. It’ll be interesting to see which become big, this at 122-123 bpm being closest to the “rock” tempo while ‘Lies’ at 120(bass)-125-126(break)-127 bpm and ‘Someday (In Your Life)’ at 127-128 bpm are contenders, ‘It’s Like That’ being a 132 bpm flier with freaky break and ‘Sitting In The Park’ another slow 46 bpm Billy Stewart revival.

DAYTON: ‘Eyes On You’ (from LP ‘Dayton’, US UA LT-1025)
Otherwise rather funk-orientated group get a GQ-type rhythm on this jazzily progressing 120-118-121-122bpm thumper which builds through sax breaks and strings-backed guys ‘n gal vocals, the equally good more stolidly thudding 118-119 bpm ‘Livin’ For Today’ having vocoder and bumping bass.

SHALAMAR: ‘Right In The Socket’ (US Solar YD-11930) (BNDA debut 3/22/80)
Remixed 123 bpm 12in version starts so strongly with added rhythm and electronic effects (and without the irritating slow intro) that the vocals come as an almost unwelcome intrusion, while the percussion break now explodes with exciting synthesizer noises!

FINAL EDITION: ‘No Limit’ (US VAP VAR 19795)
Beautifully produced (and packaged) brassily blasting bouncy EWF-like 116-114 bpm 12in spiky clopper sounds so good if a bit derivative it deserves to do well, the bumpily starting then emphasis-shifting repetitive jiggly 118-119-120 bpm ‘I Can Do It (Anyway You Want)’ B-side being just as classy.

ALTON MCCLAIN & DESTINY: ‘You Bring Me To My Morning Light’ (from LP ‘More of You’, US Polydor PD-1-6268) (other 3 new tracks BNDA debut 4/19/80)
Great beefily chugging 104 bpm wailing bouncy jogger is my own fave, but others prefer the Emotions-type 113-114-116-117 bpm ‘I Don’t Want To Be With Nobody Else’ strutter which builds excitement through a percussion break, the pleasantly cooed jogging 113-114 bpm ‘Love Waves’ swayer with bass-bumped break, and the rhythmic 101 bpm title track jogger. ‘99½’ at 137 bpm will keep drugged gays awake, and her Johnny Bristol duet is also included (though not the instrumental version).


UK Disco Top 90 – March 15, 1980

01 01 Whispers – And The Beat Goes On – Solar 12″
02 03 Brothers Johnson – Stomp! – A&M 12″
03 02 Michael Jackson – Rock With You – Epic 12″
04 06 Tony Rallo & The Midnite Band – Holdin’ On / Burnin’ Alive – Calibre 12″
05 08 Narada Michael Walden – Tonight I’m Alright – Atlantic 12″
06 04 Phyllis Hyman – You Know How To Love Me – Arista 12″
07 07 Jocko – Rhythm Talk – Philadelphia Int’l 12″
08 11 Brass Construction – Shakit / Music Makes You Feel Like Dancing – UA 12″
09 27 Leon Haywood – Don’t Push It Don’t Force It – 20th Century 12″
10 16 GQ – Standing Ovation – Arista 12″
11 13 Roy Ayers – Don’t Stop The Feeling – Polydor 12″
12 05 Positive Force – We Got The Funk – Sugarhill 12″
13 14 Patrice Rushen – Haven’t You Heard – Elektra 12″
14 15 Players Association – We Got The Groove – Vanguard 12″
15 24 Shalamar – Right In The Socket – Solar 12″
16 25 Bobby Thurston – Check Out The Groove / You Got What It Takes – US Prelude LP
17 26 Gibson Brothers – Cuba / Better Do It Salsa – Island 12″
18 09 Kool & The Gang – Too Hot / Tonight’s The Night – Mercury 12″
19 23 Slave – Just A Touch Of Love – Atlantic 12″
20 10 Azymuth – Jazz Carnival – Milestone 12″
21 47 Fern Kinney – Together We Are Beautiful – WEA 7″
22 20 Trussel – Love Injection – Elektra 12″
23 17 Narada Michael Walden – I Shoulda Loved Ya – Atlantic LP
24 34 Ronnie Laws – Young Child – UA 12″
25 12 Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover – Warner Bros. 12″
26 32 Light Of The World – The Boys In Blue / This Is This – Ensign 12″
27 29 Ronnie Laws – O.T.B.A. Law (Outta Be A Law) / Every Generation – UA LP
28 21 War – The World Is A Ghetto – MCA 12″
29 31 Donna Summer – On The Radio – Casablanca 12″
30 44 Earth, Wind & Fire – In The Stone / Biyo / Africano – CBS 12″
31 19 Michael Jackson – Off The Wall / Working Day And Night – Epic 7″
32 38 Players Association – The Get Down Mellow Mellow Sound – Vanguard 12″
33 22 Billy Ocean – Are You Ready – GTO 12″
34 59 Atmosfear – Motivation / Extract – Elite 12″
35 33 Nolans – I’m In The Mood For Dancing – Epic 7″
36 28 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Prayin’ – Source 12″
37 45 Spyro Gyra – Catching The Sun / Percolator / Lovin’ You – MCA 12″/LP
38 60 Wilbert Longmire – Hawkeye – US Tappan Zee LP
39 43 Kleeer – Winners (all cuts) – US Atlantic LP
40 40 Chuck Cissel – Cisselin’ Hot – Arista 12″
41 50 La Pregunta – Chameleon – US GNP Crescendo 12″
42 71 Liquid Gold – Dance Yourself Dizzy – Polo 12″
43 18 Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight – Sugarhill 12″
44 51 Gordon’s War – Got To Fan The Flame / The Rock Is Gonna Get You – US Stan-Jay 12″
45 48 Sharon Paige – Tonight’s The Night – US Source 12″
46 46 Stop – I Can Feel It – Calibre 12″
47 67 Detroit Spinners – Working My Way Back To You – Atlantic 7″/LP
48 83 Mystic Merlin – Just Can’t Give You Up – US Capitol LP
49 42 Fat Larry’s Band – Here Comes The Sun – Fantasy 12″
50 55 Bonnie Pointer – I Can’t Help Myself – Motown 7″/LP
51 39 Gibson Brothers – Que Sera Mi Vida – Island 12″
52 61 Gap Band – I Don’t Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance / Steppin’ Out / The Boys Are Back In Town – Mercury 12″
53 74 Guardian Angel – Self Service Love / Jim Screechie – MR 12″
54 30 Sheila & B. Devotion – Spacer – Carrere 12″
55 58 Eddie Cheba – Lookin’ Good – US Tree Line 12″
56 53 Chain Reaction – Dance Freak – US Sound Of New York 12″
57 41 Sister Sledge – Got To Love Somebody – Atlantic 12″
58 56 Jan Akkerman – She’s So Divine – Atlantic 7″/LP
59 54 Booker T & The MGs – Green Onions – Atlantic 7″
60 63 Brothers Johnson – This Had To Be / Light Up The Night / Celebrations / Treasure / Smilin’ On Ya – A&M LP
61 79 Eugene Record – Fan The Fire / Your Love (Ain’t Nothin’ Like It) – Warner Bros. LP
62 37 George Duke – I Want You For Myself – Epic 7″/LP/US 12″ promo
63 NE Crown Heights Affair – Use Your Body And Soul / You Gave Me Love / I See The Light – US De-Lite 12″ promo/LP
64 52 Shalamar – The Second Time Around – Solar 12″
65 36 Dan Hartman – Vertigo / Relight My Fire – Blue Sky 12″
66 68 Rick James – Love Gun – Motown 7″/LP
67 72 Grey & Hanks – Now I’m Fine / Single Girls – US RCA 12″/LP
68 76 L.A. Boppers – Watching Life / Is This The Best / Funk It Out / Life Is What You Make It / You Did It Good – US Mercury LP
69 NE Grover Washington Jr. – I Can’t Help It / Open Up Your Mind (Wide) / Snake Eyes / Easy Loving You – US Motown LP
70 84 Bunny Mack – Love You Forever – Rokel 12″
71 77 Destination – Move On Up/Up, Up, Up – Butterfly 12″
72 85 Don Armando’s 2nd Avenue Rhumba Band – Deputy Of Love / I’m An Indian Too – ZE 12″
73 RE Modern Sound Corporation – Safari – Epic 12″
74 69 Merry Clayton – Emotion / When The World Turns Blue – US MCA LP
75 78 Osibisa – Pata Pata – Pye 12″
76 70 Fat Larry’s Band – Center City / Last Chance To Dance – Fantasy 12″ promo/LP
77 89 Givens Family – The Year Of The Child – US Venture 12″
78 90 Eargasm – This Is Lovers Rock – Venture 12″
79 62 Funkadelic – (Not Just) Knee Deep – Warner Bros. 12″
80 RE Alton & Johnny – Hang On In There Baby – Polydor 7″
81 NE Rodney Franklin – The Groove – US Columbia LP
82 NE B.T. Express – Give Up The Funk – US Columbia 7″
83 NE Al Johnson & Jean Carn – I’m Back For More – US Columbia 7″
84 NE Leo’s Sunshipp – Give Me The Sunshine / I’m Back For More – US Lyon’s LP
85 NE Stone City Band – Little Runaway / Strut Your Stuff – US Gordy LP
86 RE Invisible Man’s Band – All Night Thing – US Mango 12″
87 NE Chicago – Street Player – US Columbia 12″
88 NE Midnight Star – Make It Last – US Solar 12″
89 NE Mandrill – Dance Of Love / Feeling Good / When You Shake / Lo Siento Mucho / My Kind Of Girl – US Arista LP
90 NE Brenda Russell – In The Thick Of It – A&M LP
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry


Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (BNDA debut 1/12/80) / #2 (BNDA debut 2/23/80) / #3 (BNDA debut 8/18/79)
#4 (BNDA debut 1/5/80) / #5 (BNDA debut 12/22/79) / #6 (BNDA debut 11/10/79)
#8 (BNDA debut 5/31/80) / #9 (BNDA debut 2/23/80) / #10 (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
#11 (BNDA debut 12/22/79) / #12 (BNDA debut 1/12/80) / #13 (BNDA debut 12/15/79)
#14 (BNDA debut 3/22/80) / #15 (BNDA debut 3/22/80) / #16 (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
#17 (BNDA debut 4/7/79 & 9/8/79) / #18 (BNDA debut 9/8/79) / #19 (BNDA debut 1/12/80)
#22 (BNDA debut 12/8/79) / #23 (BNDA debut 12/22/79) / #25 (BNDA debut 11/10/79)
#29 (BNDA debut 11/17/79) / #32 (BNDA debut 3/22/80) / #33 (BNDA debut 12/13/80)
#39 (BNDA debut 4/5/80) / #40 (BNDA debut 1/12/80) / #42 (BNDA debut 11/17/79)
#43 (BNDA debut 10/13/79) / #45 (BNDA debut 2/16/80) / #47 (BNDA debut 10/20/79)
#49 (BNDA debut 2/9/80) / #50 (BNDA debut 1/5/80) / #51 (BNDA debut 7/12/80)
#52 (BNDA debut 3/8/80) / #54 (BNDA debut 5/10/80) / #57 (BNDA debut 1/26/80)
#62 (BNDA debut 12/15/79) / #63 (BNDA debut 3/22/80) / #64 (BNDA debut 3/22/80)
#65 (BNDA debut 11/10/79) / #66 (BNDA debut 11/24/79) / #67 (BNDA debut 3/8/80)
#71 (BNDA debut 8/25/79) / #72 (BNDA debut 9/22/79) / #79 (BNDA debut 10/13/79)
#81 (BNDA debut 5/17/80) / #82 (BNDA debut 4/19/80) / #86 (BNDA debut 1/26/80)
#89 (BNDA debut 4/19/80)


Bubbling under the UK Disco Top 90 are:

ISLEY BROTHERS: ‘Winner Takes All’ (Epic 7”)
RANDY BROWN: ‘The Next Best Thing To Being There’ / ‘We Ought To Be Doin’ It’ (US Chocolate City LP)
SKYY: ‘High’ / ‘Skyyzoo’ (US Salsoul LP) (BNDA debut 3/8/80 & 5/31/80)
ONE WAY FEAT. AL HUDSON: ‘Now That I Found You’ (MCA 12”)
BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘Movin’’ (UA 12”)
TEENA MARIE: ‘Behind The Groove’ (US Gordy LP) (BNDA debut 3/29/80)
SMOKEY ROBINSON: ‘Cruisin’’ (Motown 7”)
STARGARD: ‘Runnin’ From The Law’ (Warner Bros. LP)
DAVID SANBORN: ‘Anything You Want’ (US Warner Bros. LP)
KALYAN: ‘Hot Tea’ (US RCA LP)
NITEFLYTE: ‘If You Want It’ (Ariola 12”)
TOOTS & THE MAYTALS: ‘Chatty, Chatty’ (Island 12”)
DAYTON: ‘Eyes On You’ / ‘Livin’ For Today’ (US UA LP)
JAMES BROWN: ‘Don’t Stop The Funk’ / ‘Regrets’ (US Polydor LP)
BEN E. KING: ‘Music Trance’ (Atlantic 7”) (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
JORGE SANTANA: ‘Feeling Good’ (US Tomato LP)
CEDAR WALTON: ‘Latin America’ / ‘Naturally’ (US Columbia LP)
JIMMY MESSINA: ‘Do You Want To Dance’ / ‘Love Is Here’ (US Columbia LP)


DORC (Dance Orientated Rock Chart):

1 (3) Blondie, 2 (1) Specials, 3 (4) Styx, 4 (17) Police, 5 (2) Pretenders, 6 (9) Tourists, 7 (-) The Beat, 8 (11) New Musik, 9 (-) Zaine Griff, 10 (6) Joe Jackson, 11 (15) Pat Benatar ‘We Live For Love’, 12 (12) Jon & Vangelis, 13 (8) Madness, 14 (20) Rainbow, 15 (-) Ramones, 16 (16) Selecter, 17 (-) M ‘That’s The Way The Money Goes’, 18 (18) Dexy’s Midnight Runners, 19 (10) Keith Mitchell, 20 (7) Pink Floyd (Blondie would have been at 48 and Specials at 56 if included in the Disco 90).

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