May 31, 1980: Phyllis Hyman, GQ, Slave, Baby’O, Ben E. King

Jazz-funk finally came of age at Knebworth on Bank Holiday Monday when over 12,000 funk fans crowded in or around a vast circus big top to make the biggest ever audience to date for this type of music. The event was Showstopper Promotions’ National Soul Day, where a Chris Hill-led line-up of DJs linked the live performances of Eddy Grant & The Frontline Symphony, Lonnie Liston Smith & His Cosmic Echoes, Light Of The World and GQ. All the acts were well received, but it was the bill-topping GQ who hcaused most excitement with a superbly slick show which however related to the chanting call-and-answer atmosphere that had been building to a climax all day. Early in their set, with the night drawing on, there was a breathtaking burst of lazer which filled the huge tent as the lights were dimmed. The skilfully organised event was marred towards the end by a gang of black youths evidently hell bent on preserving their stereotype as troublemakers, but otherwise everything went extremely well – meaning that at some time in the future an even bigger big top will be going up to house even more people. Who said that disco was dead?!


Odds ‘N Bods

Surface Noise ‘The Scratch’ is now on WEA 12in (K 18291T) . . . Chaka Khan’s LP, despite advance ballyhoo, has been delayed until June . . . CBS is finally issuing a 3-track 12in by Lonnie Liston Smith, but are doing too little too late and surely only that out of embarrassment for their blatant neglect of a consistently popular import artist . . . King Sounds ‘Patches’ is on overdue 12in (Island 12WIP 6595) . . . Johnny Logan’s chart topper with its modish sax sounds disco to me even though the 0-105-101bpm beat is inconsistent . . . Chelmsford Saracen’s Head live jazz-funk night is now every Friday . . . Brighton Papillon, temporarily closed for soundproofing, reopens around Midsummer . . . Ilford Room At The Top admits members for free before 9:30pm on Fridays now . . . Pete Tong funks Fridays, Tom Holland Saturdays at Isle Of Sheppey Leysdown-On-Sea Island – and doesn’t Tom look good in MY sunglasses! . . . Whitehaven Whitehouse, whose proximity to the harbour prompted Ernie ‘JA’ Priestman to get fully clothed punters wet through collecting seaweed during the hot spell, has lost its late Sunday licence thanks to a teetotal new police chief, thus blowing out several slated Chris Hill visits . . . Dennis Brynner & Dave Van Sieger’s Saturday lunchtime rundown of Southampton Virgin record store’s hot newies is now relayed to the neighbouring Jean Bar shop and probably by now to Huckleberry’s burger joint too, while at Southampton Barbarellas every Fri/Sat Dave does a “dancing in the funkshine” spot with Parliafunkadelicment, James Brown, Instant Funk etc . . . Steve Dee this weekend provides the commentary at Castle Donington’s 1980 International MARCOS/National Kit Car rally; similarly Richard Witcombe & Dave Higgins (Shepton Mallet) and Red Star Disco (Wells) do a Youth Club disco for tour days at the Royal Bath & West Show, using equipment from Frome’s Derek James Disco Centre . . . London LBC Radio’s Steve Allen writes to clarify that he has no connection with Peterborough’s probably better publicized Steve Allen – but where does that leave the Original Mirrors’ Steve Allen, of Paula’s Pages fame?!? . . . Knebworth extras should by now have included PA’s by the Harlem Globetrotters, Mystic Merlin, and Side Effect’s Augie Johnston joining Hill for a ‘Keep That Same Old Feelin’’ rendition . . . Manfredo Fesi ‘Jungle Kitten’ (US Tabu LP) seems to be replacing ‘Dominoes’ in the mafia’s affections . . . ITV’s recent ‘CHiPs’ episodes about roller disco allied with good weather seem to have started a real spread of dancing on roller skates . . . Blackpool’s Pete “Macrobiotic” Haigh & Frenchie recently visited Canvey Goldmine, stayed over chez Hill, and said everything was “brill” . . . Phonogram’s Orin Cozier now says he’s a “man’s man” – hmm, and he seemed such a nice boy . . . David Bendeth has signed with Ensign . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) is now known as Foggy following the addition of a fog machine . . . I, among many others, am no longer mentioning anything connected with a certain London DJ whose “fan” following are liable to wreck wherever he appears, as I don’t want to upset his “manager” by getting any facts wrong . . . Jason West’s favourite venue is not exactly Stevenage Bo Jangles! . . . Chris Hill refers us to ancient Egyptian pyramid carvings which clearly show people doing the Freeze, long before Alvin Cash . . . Bob Jones (Chelmsford) wants to know where to buy Japanese direct-cut/digital LPs like Lee Ritenour ‘In Rio’ (JVC), Yutaka Yokokura ‘Love Light’ (Alpha), Dave Grusin ‘Mountain Dance’ (JVC) – Hill’s got ‘em, so why not ask him? . . . Colin Day, ex-Derby Tiffanys, reports from Barbarellas in Wil, Switzerland, that Swiss clubs favour English or American jocks (many of the former avid RM readers) and that the scene is GREAT, with cheap £3.60 albums enabling him to push tracks by Fatback, Al Johnson, Switch, CHA, Jermaine Jackson despite a Wally preponderance amongst the locals, while a hot breaker is Baby’O ‘In The Forest’ . . . Brian Brindle (Chelsea Alibi) now mixes Mass Prod ‘Shante’ into Isaac Hayes ‘I Ain’t Never’, Ronnie Laws ‘OTBA Law’ into Ozone ‘Walk On’ and Ronnie Laws ‘All For You’ into ‘Young Child’ . . . Denise LaSalle ‘May The Funk Be With You’ runs gospel-111-pause-113bpm . . . Lipps Inc, hot on the heels of Liquid Gold here and huge Stateside too, surely proves that despite wishful-thinking media scaremongers, “disco” isn’t dead (unfortunately!) . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!



UK Newies

PHYLLIS HYMAN: ‘Under Your Spell’ (Arista ARIST 12343)
Attractive creamily thudding 116-115-116bpm backbeat swayer on limited edition 99p 3-track 12in with the jaggedly romping 125bpm ‘Hold On’ and older jogging 93(intro)-94-95bpm version of Exile’s ‘Kiss You All Over’.

GQ: ‘GQ Down’ (Arista ARIST 12353)
Bass bubble jittery 122-123bpm “rock” thudder, far from their best but on 3-track 12in with the untidily fast 132bpm ‘It’s Like That’ and more interesting 119(bass)-124-123-124-125(break)-126bpm ‘Lies’.

SLAVE: ‘Are You Ready For Love?’ (Atlantic K 11482T)
Kalimba-plinking happy 124-123-124-123bpm 12in bouncer with lightly chanting chaps ‘n chix and exotic percussion. 

LENNY WHITE: ‘Peanut Butter’ (Elektra LV 37)
Bass snapped heavy 120bpm funker works well out of the ‘Stomp!’ bass and is on 3-track 12in (which Fred Dove seems to have forgotten) along with the exciting EWF-ish 128-129-131bpm ‘Citi Dancin’’ and older ‘Oh Sylvie’.

CHUCK MANGIONE: ‘Fun & Games’ (A&M AMSP 7522)
Specialist 3-track Jazz 12in indie-cut optikinetic sleeve, this being a convoluted 95-96bpm half-stepper, ‘Give It All You’ve Got’ a more attractive 93-92-94bpm jogger and ‘Feels So Good’ a long disjointed dead slow then 52/104-53/106bpm doodler.

FERN KINNEY: ‘I Want You Back’ (WEA K 79136T)
Walden-ish jolting melodic 116-115-116bpm 12in “rock” smacker, with her classic 109bpm ‘Groove Me’ as flip.

BERNADETTE PETERS: ‘Gee Whiz’ (MCA 590)
Superb smoochy 33/66bpm 7in evocation of Carla Thomas’s naive 1961 classic now by The Jerk’s girl.

ELLA FITZGERALD: ‘Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye’ (Verve 2009017)
Cole Porter-penned romantic 40bpm 7in easy listening classic from yonks ago, lovely for late-night bye byes.

CAPTAIN & TENNILLE: ‘No Love In The Morning’ (Casablanca CANL 191)
Pleasant bouncy 108bpm MoR jogger on 3-track 12in distinguished by a Spanish-sung version of the 45/91 bpm ‘Do That To Me One More Time’.

BARBARA MARKAY: ‘It’s All Rite’ (Fat Chance FC 1)
Jolly little 129-131-129bpm 7in disco calypso with totally offensive lyrics about being “all right to ____ all night”!

JACKIE EDWARDS: ‘Tell The Truth’ (RCA PB 5238)
Menacingly throbbing 53/106bpm 7in chugger, not particularly reggae flavoured.

BABARA DICKSON: ‘In The Night’ (Epic EPC 8593)
Good compatible 126bpm 7in pop.

LIOUID GOLD: ‘Substitute’ (Polo POLO 4)
‘Dizzy’ it must be admitted was horribly catchy, but this messy 124bpm 7in isn’t.

SISTER SLEDGE: ‘Reach Your Peak’ (Atlantic K 11477) (BNDA debut 1/26/80)
Jumbled jittery 94-93bpm 7in swayer and limp 116bpm ‘You Fooled Around’ flip follow the now tired formula.

ELAINE & ELLEN: ‘Fill Me Up’ (Ovation OVS 1205) (BNDA debut 3/15/80)
Slow-seeming brassy 119bpm 7in smacker.

THE PULSATERS: ‘Modern Man’ (Street Beat LAMP 1)
Interesting 125bpm 7in DOR with disco bass beat and somewhat phonetic-like subdued Stones-ish singing by a Kent-based trio.

GALACTIC SYMPOSIUM: ‘YMCA’ (Vague VOG 2)
Hilariously awful disorganised 7in piss-take should clear floors quickly!

DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES: ‘Running From Paradise’ (RCA RUN 12-1) (BNDA debut 12/22/79)
Stolidly thumping long intro eventually becomes a steady 119bpm DOR chugger with tension-builder breaks.

GRACE JONES: ‘A Rolling Stone’ (Island 12WIP 6591) (BNDA debut 6/28/80)
Appropriately rolling long strange 121bpm dub intro on 12in to a sparse lackluster 122bpm jiggly chugger.

THE BROTHERS JONES: ‘Follow Me’ (Ovation OVS 1204)
Pop-slanted big chorus 120bpm 7in chugger.

KANDIDATE: ‘I’m Young’ (Rak RAK 316)
Pop-orientated 139bpm staccato jerker, due on 12in.

COOLNOTES: ‘Sugar Sugar’ (Gem GEMS 32)
Perky pop-reggae 131bpm 7in of the Archies’ oldie.

WILSON PICKETT: ‘Shameless’ (EMI America EA 107)
Distinctive bass-pattered 34bpm 7in deep soul smoocher.

WAR: ‘I’ll Be Around’ (MCA 593)
Jazzy 38bpm 7in vocal smoocher.

TOOTS & THE MAYTALS: ‘Just Like That’ (Island WIP 6593)
Tinkling 43bpm 7in reggae slowie.

TONY TUFF: ‘Sweet Maureen’ (Island 12WIP 6608)
Ethereal 66bpm 12in dubwise reggae.


Imports

BABY’O: ‘In the Forest’ (US Baby’O BO-10003) (BNDA debut 4/26/80)
Exotic rattling 125bpm 12in percussion bounder with whistle blasts, background partying, Latin brass and panting chix is building into a biggie right across the board.

BEN E. KING: ‘Music Trance’ LP (US Atlantic SD 19269) (‘Music Trance’ BNDA debut 3/1/80)
Commercially available at last in its full 108(intro)-106-108-107½bpm form, the great jauntily bubbling heavy funk title track chugger will soon be coupled on UK 12in by the chix-supported blandly swinging 115-116-115bpm ‘You’ve Only Got One Chance To Be Young’, which given a stronger rhythm could have had an almost Walden-like potential as the melody is certainly there.

GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: ‘Taste Of Bitter Love’ (from LP ‘About Love’, US Columbia JC 36387) (BNDA debut 6/14/80)
Languidly smacking 109-110bpm swayer in the Flack/Hathaway mould is a surprisingly hip standout from the increasingly MoR-orientated act but has been bypassed in Britain for the already issued slow thudding 42/85bpm ‘Landlord’ 7in (CBS 8542).

LEON HAYWOOD: ‘If You’re Lookin’ For A Night Of Fun (Look Past Me I’m Not The One)’ (from LP ‘Naturally’, US 20th Century T-813)
Still blatantly modelled on Al Hudson’s ‘You Can Do It’, this jiggly thudding 116bpm smacker is entirely predictable though none the worse for that, while – horror of horrors – the 115bpm ‘Lover’s Rap’ is indeed a rapper.

THE TEMPTATIONS: ‘Power’ LP (US Gordy G8-994M1) (‘Power’ BNDA debut 5/17/80)
The US hit “power pum pum” growling old-style Tempts charger remains the strongest track of a dated selection and clocks in at 125bpm in this full 6:05 version, now evidently on UK 12in (12TMG 1186).

SKIP MAHONEY: ‘Janice (Don’t Be So Blind To Love)’ (US Salsoul SG 328)
Not fitting any current category other than straight vocal group soul, this nostalgic churning 135-134bpm 12in galloper with conversational break has an old Four Tops/O’Jays-like flavour and is evidently getting plugs from Greg Edwards.

SYREETA: ‘He’s Gone’ (from LP ‘Syreeta’, US Tamla T7-372R1)
Likely to be the single and using backings originally intended for Diana Ross, this nostalgic wailing 31½/63bpm revival of the Chantels’ old doo-wop slowie works well with the similar Bernadette Peters ‘Gee Whizz’.



UK Disco Top 90 – May 31, 1980

01 01 Rodney Franklin – The Groove – CBS 12″
02 04 Mystic Merlin – Just Can’t Give You Up – Capitol 12″
03 03 Narada Michael Walden – I Shoulda Loved Ya – Atlantic 12″
04 06 Jermaine Jackson – Let’s Get Serious – Motown 12″
05 02 Bobby Thurston – Check Out The Groove – Epic 12″
06 09 Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – Back Together Again – Atlantic 12″
07 10 Crown Heights Affair – Use Your Body & Soul / You Gave Me Love – De-Lite 12″
08 20 Freeez – Keep In Touch – Pink Rhythm 12″
09 05 Brothers Johnson – Stomp! – A&M 12″
10 11 Teena Marie – Behind The Groove – Motown 12″
11 07 Leon Haywood – Don’t Push It Don’t Force It – 20th Century 12″
12 14 Jermaine Jackson – Burnin’ Hot / You Got To Hurry Girl – Motown LP
13 08 Detroit Spinners – Working My Way Back To You – Atlantic 12″
14 12 Mass Production – Shante – Atlantic 12″
15 15 Raydio – For Those Who Like To Groove / Two Places At The Same Time – Arista 12″
16 42 Stacy Lattisaw – Jump To The Beat / Don’t You Want To Feel It / Dynamite! / You Know I Like It – US Cotillion LP
17 24 Sho Nuff – It’s Alright – Ensign 12″
18 30 B.T. Express – Give Up The Funk / Taking Off / Does It Feel Good / Have Some Fun / Heart Of Fire – US Columbia LP
19 21 Jerry Knight – Overnight Sensation – A&M 7″/US 12″
20 44 Cameo – Cameosis (all cuts) – US Chocolate City LP
21 35 Change – The Glow Of Love (all cuts) – US RFC LP
22 16 Diana Ross & The Supremes – Supremes Medley / Love Hangover – Motown 12″
23 17 Tony Rallo & The Midnite Band – Holdin’ On / Burnin’ Alive – Calibre 12″
24 26 Bunny Mack – Love You Forever / Let Me Love You – Rokel 12″
25 25 Bobby Thurston – You Got What It Takes – Epic 12″
26 43 Average White Band – Let’s Go Round Again – RCA 12″
27 19 Liquid Gold – Dance Yourself Dizzy – Polo 12″
28 22 Shalamar – Right In The Socket (remix) / The Second Time Around – Solar 12″
29 41 Jimmy Ruffin – Hold On To My Love – RSO 7″
30 NE Gary Bartz – Music – Arista 12″
31 65 Aurra – When I Come Home / In The Mood – US Dream 12″
32 34 Blondie – Call Me – Chrysalis 7″/Polydor LP
33 57 Donald Byrd / Ronnie Laws – Dominoes / Always There (live at the Roxy) – US Blue Note LP
34 13 Narada Michael Walden – Tonight I’m Alright – Atlantic 12″
35 71 Detroit Spinners – Body Language – Atlantic 12″
36 83 Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown – Casablanca 12″
37 23 Brenda Russell – In The Thick Of It / So Good So Right – A&M 12″
38 47 El Coco – Let’s Get It Together (remix) – AVI 12″
39 50 Surface Noise – The Scratch – WEA 12″
40 18 Whispers – And The Beat Goes On – Solar 12″
41 29 Chuck Cissel – Cisselin’ Hot – Arista 12″
42 48 Prince – Sexy Dancer – Warner Bros. 12″
43 28 Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Running Away / Can’t You See Me – Polydor 12″
44 NE Randy Crawford – Last Night In Danceland / Tender Falls The Rain – Warner Bros. 12″
45 51 Odyssey – Use It Up And Wear It Out / Don’t Tell Me, Tell Her – US RCA 12″
46 37 V/A – Calibre Cuts – Calibre 12″
47 32 James Last Band – The Seduction (Love Theme) – Polydor 12″
48 81 Frank Hooker & Positive People – This Feelin’ – DJM 12″
49 68 Brothers Johnson – Light Up The Night / Streetwave – A&M 12″
50 NE Eddy Grant – My Turn To Love You – Ice 12″
51 56 Breakwater – Splashdown (all cuts) – US Arista LP
52 38 Chico Hamilton – Strut / Magic Fingers / Mysterious Maiden – US Elektra LP
53 39 Billy Ocean – Stay The Night – GTO 12″
54 NE Baby’O – In The Forest – US Baby’O 12″
55 46 Ben E. King – Music Trance – Atlantic 7″/US 12″ promo/LP
56 63 Jeff Lorber Fusion – Wizard Island (all cuts) – US Arista LP
57 60 Michael Jackson – She’s Out Of My Life – Epic 7″
58 89 Kool & The Gang – Hangin’ Out – US De-Lite 12″
59 59 Community People – Education Wrap – US Delmar Int’l 12″
60 70 Gap Band – I Don’t Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance – Mercury 12″
61 RE GQ – GQ Down / Lies – Arista 12″
62 61 Randy Crawford – Same Old Story / Blue Flame – Warner Bros. LP
63 NE Mark Soskin – Walk Tall / Colossus / That’s What Friends Are For – US Prestige 12″ remix promo/LP
64 NE George Duke – Brazilian Love Affair – US Epic LP
65 66 Isley Brothers – Go All The Way / Pass It On / Don’t Say Goodnight / Say You Will – Epic LP
66 RE Raydio – It’s Time To Party Now / Until The Morning Comes / Tonight’s The Night / Everybody Makes Mistakes – Arista LP
67 27 Gary Bartz – Rockin’ All Night / After The Love Has Gone / Need Your Love / After Glow / Keep Goin’ On – US Arista LP
68 54 Dr. Hook – Sexy Eyes – Capitol 12″
69 49 Ronnie Laws – O.T.B.A. Law (Outta Be A Law) / Every Generation – UA 12″
70 90 John Handy – Hard Work – ABC/Impulse LP
71 53 Kleeer – Close To You – Atlantic 12″
72 RE Invisible Man’s Band – All Night Thing – Island 12″
73 78 Stephanie Mills – Sweet Sensation – 20th Century 12″
74 NE Slave – Are You Ready For Love – Atlantic 12″
75 NE Gayle Adams – Plain Out Of Luck / Stretch’ In Out / Your Love Is A Lifesaver / You Brought It On Yourself – US Prelude LP
76 64 Junior Murvin – Police And Thieves – Island 7″/12″
77 55 Lonnie Liston Smith – Give Peace A Chance / A Song For The Children – CBS 12″
78 85 Avenue B Boogie Band – Bumper To Bumper – Salsoul 12″
79 52 Stephanie Mills – D-A-N-C-I-N’ / Try My Love / I Just Wanna Say – US 20th Century LP
80 62 Heath Brothers – For The Public – US Columbia 12″/LP
81 RE Renzo Fraiese / La Pregunta / Rinder & Lewis / David Benoit – 12 Engle Street / Chameleon / Blue Steel / Los Angeles – Pye 12″ EP
82 88 Festival – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina / Buenos Aires – RSO 12″
83 NE Denise LaSalle – I’m So Hot / May The Funk Be With You / Coma Ta Ya Ha Dance – US MCA LP
84 NE Chaka Khan – Clouds – Warner Bros. 12″
85 NE Ozone – Walk On – US Motown LP
86 NE Yellow Magic Orchestra – Firecracker – A&M 12″
87 NE Rhyze – Just How Sweet Is Your Love / I Found Love In You – US Sam 12″
88 82 Con Funk Shun – Got To Be Enough – Mercury 12″
89 NE Gladys Knight & The Pips – Taste Of Bitter Love / Bourgie Bourgie – US Columbia LP
90 75 Kwick – I Want To Dance With You / We Ought To Be Dancing / Tonight Is The Night – US EMI America LP
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry


Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (BNDA debut 5/17/80) / #3 (BNDA debut 12/22/79) / #4 (BNDA debut 4/5/80)
#5 (BNDA debut 3/1/80) / #6 (BNDA debut 4/5/80) / #7 (BNDA debut 3/22/80)
#9 (BNDA debut 2/23/80) / #10 (BNDA debut 3/29/80) / #11 (BNDA debut 2/23/80)
#12 (BNDA debut 4/5/80) / #13 (BNDA debut 10/20/79) / #15 (BNDA debut 5/17/80)
#16 (BNDA debut 5/17/80) / #18 (BNDA debut 4/19/80) / #19 (BNDA debut 4/19/80)
#20 (BNDA debut 5/24/80) / #21 (BNDA debut 3/29/80) / #23 (BNDA debut 1/5/80)
#25 (BNDA debut 3/1/80) / #26 (BNDA debut 7/12/80) / #27 (BNDA debut 11/17/79)
#28 (BNDA debut 10/20/79) / #31 (BNDA debut 5/17/80) / #32 (BNDA debut 3/8/80)
#34 (BNDA debut 12/22/79) / #36 (BNDA debut 1/26/80) / #40 (BNDA debut 1/12/80)
#41 (BNDA debut 1/12/80) / #42 (BNDA debut 11/10/79) / #43 (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
#45 (BNDA debut 4/5/80) / #48 (BNDA debut 5/17/80) / #51 (BNDA debut 6/14/80)
#53 (BNDA debut 4/11/81) / #54 (BNDA debut 4/26/80) / #55 (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
#58 (BNDA debut 9/8/79) / #60 (BNDA debut 3/8/80) / #65 (BNDA debut 4/26/80)
#66 (BNDA debut 12/6/80) / #72 (BNDA debut 1/26/80) / #73 (BNDA debut 4/12/80)
#75 (BNDA debut 5/24/80) / #82 (BNDA debut 11/17/79) / #83 (BNDA debut 5/31/80)
#84 (BNDA debut 5/3/80) / #87 (BNDA debut 5/10/80) / #89 (BNDA debut 6/14/80)
#90 (BNDA debut 6/14/80)


No Bubbling Under titles this week.


DORC

1 (3) McCartney, 2 (1) Dexy’s, 3 (2) UB 40, 4 (4) Hot Chocolate, 5 (6) Madness, 6 (-) Roxy Music, 7 (5) Bodysnatchers, 8 (9) The Beat ‘Mirror’, 9 (12) David Essex, 10 (7) Nolans, 11 (11) Harry J, 12 (8) Lambrettas, 13 (13) Pretenders, 14 (-) Logan, 15 (re) Selecter, 16 (15) Boney M, 17 (16) B.A. Robertson, 18 (10) Genesis, 19 (-) The Cure, 20 (20) Bucketeers

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