December 13, 1980: James Brown, Dramatics, Trammps, Yarbrough & Peoples, Gap Band

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MAURICE WHITE, in London last week, tells me that Earth Wind & Fire’s US newie will be a remixed ‘And Love Goes On’ . . . Tom Browne’s up-coming ‘Magic’ LP title-track will be on UK 12in early January . . . Champagne is evidently picking up Gil Scott-Heron ‘The Bottle’ . . . Mtume and Jermaine Jackson current singles are now on 12in, while the Jacksons ‘Lovely One’ has been selling strongly on French import 12in . . . Change ‘The Glow Of Love’ is not so much a remix as a longer extended 8:15 version . . . LWT’s ‘Twentieth Century Box’ programme about the tribes at Southgate Royalty with Chris Hill will be on ITV this Sunday (14) at 1:30 pm . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn’s Xmas party and surprise “quiz” is at noon on Sunday at Slough Alexandra’s in Bath Road, Cippenham, and later that evening the London Organisation Of DJ’s party at Mayfair Baileys Wine Bar in North Audley Street . . . BBC Radio Norfolk’s Wally Webb Show precedes the networked Top 40 on Sundays from 3 to 5pm with a weekly guest DJ, import and UK newie reviews – Wally being the only local jock with a job on the station . . . Funktion/Playboy Club’s Tony ‘The Perk” Jenkins recommends a killer mixer sent from the States, ‘Manhattan No. 1 Special Disco Mix‘ (US Disco Sample Records Inc 12in) . . . Ray Stevens now jocks for Funktion at Baker Street Barracuda on Saturdays, Fridays at the Penthouse having been dropped, while Funktion’s Embassy Sundays now start with roller disco until 10pm and their Tuesdays at Heaven are the best venue of the lot – superb lighting, cheapo cheapo bar prices, great atmosphere . . . Stringfellows’ lighting is like something from ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’ but otherwise the much-vaunted St Martins Lane Nightspot is like a better decorated provincial Scamps . . . Graham Gold has really cracked it at Mayfair Gullivers, creating a great happy atmosphere with well mixed good music . . . Ian Shaw, funking Southall Georgina’s on Tues/Fridays, no longer has his Richmond Cheekee Pete’s and Brollys funk gigs following the management’s demand that he play pure “disco”, which he did and they still didn’t like it . . . American media people are seemingly so scared of the “disco” connotation that even the theme tune to TV’s ‘CHiPs’ has been de-discofied (and sounds awful now) . . . I must confess to thoroughly enjoying Ottawan ‘D.I.S.C.O.’ (at least the French version) at my mobile gigs – shock horror gasp sensation! – the strange long instrumental break mixing nicely on into Tabou Combo ‘New York City‘ . . . Ralph Tee of the burgeoning ‘Groove Weekly’ fanzine should note that Kanu Sukalagwun doesn’t play a Hammond organ, but a Yamaha (of course!) . . . ConFunkShun’s old ‘Ffun‘ at 111 – 113bpm could be worth trying again . . . Adrian Lauder & John Aitchison of Kilmarnock’s Charisma Discos and LA Lighting & Audio were first in with a Christmas card this year – they obviously got in before the last posting date for England! . . . Britain’s current austerity with punters going out less often will mean that they are likely only to know the radio hits when they do go out this Christmas, so within reason do your best to KEEP IT GOOD!


IMPORTS

JAMES BROWN: ‘Funky Men’ (LP ‘Soul Syndrome’ US TK 615).
Looking great on the sleeve and sounding good in the groove. Mr Brown is back on form with a dynamite long 13:58 version of the 116bpm ‘Rapp Payback‘ hit which now expands more loosely through various bass-backed breaks, the other killer being this typical strung-out 120 – 114 – 119 – 116 (bridge) – 120 – 118 – 119 – 120bpm strutting rampage (is that Bobby Byrd and even the Flames back in there?), while ‘Smokin’ & Drinkin’’ is a coughing-punctuated 110bpm convoluted patterer, ‘Stay With Me‘ a tense slow 102bpm chugger, and the basically instrumental 130bpm ‘Honky Tonk’ and 149bpm ‘Mashed Potatoes’ are re-made oldies.

DRAMATICS: ‘Get It’ (LP ‘The Dramatic Way’ US MCA MCA-5146).
Strange almost ‘Bolero’-like ever-building low-key then tensely exciting hypnotic ebbing and flowing 107 – 108 – 112 – 113 – 110 – 112 – 114 – 111bpm thudder goes through various stages, some with a steady smack added to the perpetually pulsing rhythm or searing sax taking over from the nagging vocal patterns. Out a while but at the time I thought too complex to catch on, it was broken by Chris Hill at Southampton and is now spreading fast.

THE TRAMMPS: ‘Mellow Out’ (LP ‘Slipping Out’ US Atlantic SD 19290).
Mass Production-penned/produced set(surprisingly), this lovely easily tripping gentle 111bpm swayer having jazzy guitar and synth behind the guys sweet harmonies, ‘Looking For You‘ being a slickly driving 123 – 124bpm subtly urgent chugger, ‘Trained Eye‘ a rapper-rhythm 120 – 121 – 120bpm jolting chugger, ‘Breathtaking View‘ a busy 133 – 132bpm churner, ‘Groove All Mighty‘ a jerky 122bpm bumper, while pleasant soothing slowies are the 42bpm ‘Loveland’ and 41 – 42bpm ‘I Don’t Want To Ever Lose Your Love’ (what never?). 

SKYY: ‘Here’s To You’ (US Salsoul SG 339).
Now on beefier 12in although I’m un-sure if commercially available here, this purposefully bumping 123 – 122 – 124bpm smacker with great synth in the second half, catchy chix ‘n’ chaps vocal and simple Young & Co-type appeal vari-mixes nicely out of Fantasy ‘You’re Too Late’ (You can keep the decks ready varied if you’ve just mixed that out of GQ!).

TAVARES: ‘Love Uprising’ LP (US Capitol ST-12117).
Warm for the Playboy’s Perkins, the title track’s a nice lazily jaunty little 112bpm jitterer with rolling undertow and precise percussion behind spiky brass and sweet staccato EWF-ish (or actually Emotions-ish) vocal patterns.

ALFONZO SURRETT: ‘Gimmie Your Love’ (LP ‘Comin’ Out’ US MCA-3264).
Out for months and nothing of note, except the ‘Gimmie’ lush 0 – 52/104 – 105bpm instrumental swayer and this vocal version have been getting North-Western attention recently, ‘Only A Winner’ being a dull 111bpm choppy jitterer.

HARLOW: ‘Mystic Lady’ (LP ‘Taking Off’ US G.R.A.F. G001).
Ultra “disco” chix-sung frenetic 120bpm banal Europop pounder having initial gay impact and potentially eventual Lipps Inc-type pop appeal . . . in other words, a must for Dave McAleer!

SYLVIA STRIPLIN: ‘Give Me Your Love’ (US Uno Melodic UMD 7001).
Roy Ayers produced ponderous 110bpm 12in monotonously thundering chugger with squeaky gimmicks distinguishing an otherwise dull lady.

IMAGE: ‘Feel The Power’ (US Musique MSQ-2003).
Frantically rattling 132bpm 12in percussion-driven sprinter with butchly chanting chaps on the instrumental flip to the horrendously-sung (by Derek David) A-side.


UK NEWIES

YARBROUGH & PEOPLES: ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ (Mercury MERX 53).
Menacing great moodily buzzing and burbling synth introes and dominates this terrific smash-bound mind-naggingly repetitive greasily thudding chap and chick-sung monotonous 97 (intro) – 99 – 98bpm 12in monster, which mixes beautifully between Willie ‘Beaver’ Hale and Roy Ayers ‘(Sometimes) Believe In Yourself’.

GAP BAND: ‘Burn Rubber On Me’ (Mercury MERX 52).
Revving car sound effects (36 beats long) start this powerfully chugging bass burbled 117bpm 12in heavy funk smacker, maddeningly familiar kinda like ‘Knee Deep’ with Stevie Wonder inflections but actually even closer to something else I still can’t quite put my finger on. Help!

BILLY FRAZIER & FRIENDS: ‘Billy Who?’ (Champagne FIZY 5003).
Hamilton Bohannon-ish interesting 112 – 114 – 112bpm 12in progression through throbbing rhythm with different percussion washing in and out while chap and chix mutter on about “Who is that guy?” Blanket serviced to DJs en masse in its import version, it’s not surprisingly high in the disco chart but, though actually very good, it can be a trick to use.

ERNIE WATTS: ‘Just Holdin’ On’ (Elektra K 12489T).
Long overdue great jauntily bounding chix-chanted 115bpm 12in jiggly smacker with gruff male vocal and rhythm intro that can be made to synch sensationally through Roy Ayers ‘Running Away’ (or Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne’s ‘Is It In’ break).

RODNEY FRANKLIN: ‘I Like The Music Make It Hot’ (LP ‘Rodney Franklin’ CBS 84528).
Freddie Hubbard-tootled episodic 113 – 114 – 115 – 117 – 116bpm jittery jazz loper with softly chanting chix and less of Rodney’s piano than on the chunkily clapping party atmosphere 110 – 112bpm ‘In The Center‘ jiggler or the lovely tensely tripping powerful 98 – 103bpm ‘Windy City‘ jogger.

GROVER WASHINGTON JR: ‘Let It Flow (For “Dr. J”)’ (Elektra K 12495T).
Very specialist classy coupling, this gently throbbing 110/55bpm 12in mellow jazz instrumental and the jiggly jogging 99bpm ‘Winelight‘ flip being musically excellent but by no means the obvious floor fillers that their parent LP’s surprisingly high disco chart placing might suggest.

CECIL PARKER: ‘Get On Up’ (LP ‘Chirpin’’ EMI EMC 3353).
Well produced rush released set proving Cecil has an interestingly mobile vocal range, sometimes searingly soaring and others deeply mellow, this being a jittery slow chugging 98 – 99bpm thudder with nice brass, ‘I’ve Been Missing Your Lovin’‘ a synth-introed chix-backed brassy brayer settling into a steady 112 – 113bpm smack, ‘What It Is‘ a smoothly thumping 111½ bpm bouncy smacker, lower impact being the 120bpm ‘Your Love Keeps Me Going’ and 129bpm ‘You Put Some Fun In My Life’, while the ‘Bali Hai’-introed shuffling 0 – 40/81 – 83bpm ‘I Think It’s Time (To Let You In My Life)’ samba and mellow 29bpm ‘Love Is’ smoocher, hint that EMI’s investment may be recouped eventually.


DJ TOP TEN

ROY GOULD runs his Treasures stereo mobile from South-West London (01 769 6037) and has recently been resident every Saturday at the Serpentine Restaurant in Hyde Park . . . where he gets £80 a night for playing what most jocks would call rubbish (MOR) but without the expense of buying all the latest imports. In fact, says Roy, it seems he makes more in one night than most jazz/funk/import jocks do in a week. This is a point that I have been making of late as regards my own mobile gigs, and like me, Roy also tends to play foreign language versions of well known songs where possible, as they can often strike a responsive chord with cosmopolitan audiences. This was his Serpentine chart from a few weeks back.

1. ONE DAY I’LL FLY AWAY, Randy Crawford, Warner Bros 12in
2. NEW YORK NEW YORK, Frank Sinatra, Reprise
3. MAKE IT WITH YOU, Jack Jones, MCA LP
4. DOWNTOWN, Petula Clark, Pye
5. SONG SUNG BLUE, Neil Diamond, MCA LP
6. LOVE X LOVE, George Benson, Warner Bros 12in
7. 9 TO 5, Sheena Easton, EMI
8. A CERTAIN SMILE, Johnny Mathis, CBS
9. D.I.S.C.O., Ottawan, Carrere 12in
10. STREET LIFE, Crusaders, MCA 12in


UK Disco Top 90 – December 13, 1980

01 01 Kool & The Gang – Celebration – De-Lite 12”
02 04 Eddy Grant – Do You Feel My Love / Symphony For Michael Opus 2 – Ensign 12”
03 02 Young & Company – I Like (What You’re Doing To Me) – Excaliber 12”
04 08 Stephanie Mills – Never Knew Love Like This Before – 20th Century-Fox 12”
05 05 Geraldine Hunt – Can’t Fake The Feeling – Champagne 12”
06 10 Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out – Motown 12”
07 07 Jacksons – Lovely One – Epic/French 12”
08 03 Wilton Felder – Inherit The Wind – MCA 12”
09 16 Ottawan – You’re OK / You’re OK-D.I.S.C.O. (Segue) – Carrere 12”
10 09 Coffee – Casanova – De-Lite 12″
11 13 Gladys Knight & The Pips – Bourgie Bourgie – CBS 12”
12 06 Linx – You’re Lying / Remix – Chrysalis 12″
13 15 Willie ‘Beaver’ Hale – Groove On – TK 12”
14 11 George Benson – Love X Love / On Broadway / Off Broadway – Warner Bros 12″
15 12 Rah Band – Falcon – DJM 12”
16 23 Blondie – The Tide Is High – Chrysalis
17 18 David Bowie – Fashion – RCA 12”
18 22 Billy Frazier & Friends – Billy Who? – Champagne 12”
19 19 James Brown – Rapp Payback – US TK 12”
20 20 Glen Adams Affair / Just A Groove / Remix – Excaliber 12”
21 17 Shakatak – Feels Like The Right Time /Covina – Polydor 12”
22 14 Tom Browne – Thighs High – Arista GRP 12”
23 25 Light Of The World – Time / Something For Nothing – Ensign LP
24 42 Light Of The World – I Shot The Sheriff / Painted Lady – Ensign 12”
25 29 LaToya Jackson – If You Feel The Funk – Polydor 12”
26 26 Grover Washington Jr – Let It Flow / Winelight / Just The Two Of Us – US Elektra LP
27 33 UK Players – Everybody Get Up / Rivers – A&M 12”
28 47 MFSB – Mysteries Of The World / In The Shadow / Fortune Teller – US TSOP LP
29 30 Seawind – What Cha Doin’ – A&M 12”
30 28 Patrice Rushen – Never Gonna Give You Up / Don’t Blame Me – Elektra 12”
31 31 Stevie Wonder – Masterblaster (Jammin’) – Motown 12″
32 21 Zapp – More Bounce To The Ounce – Warner Bros 12”
33 24 Ottawan – D.I.S.C.O. – Carrere 12”
34 45 Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne – Is It In / Spank – TK 12”
35 43 Spargo – You And Me – Champagne 12”
36 40 Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday / Do Like You / Did I Hear You Say You Love Me / All I Do / As If You Read My Mind / Lately / I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It – Motown LP
37 50 Level 42 – (Flying On The) Wings Of Love – Polydor 12”
38 44 Charles Earland – Coming To You Live / Good Question / Cornbread / Zee Funkin’ Space – US Columbia LP
39 46 The Reddings – Funkin’ On The One / The Awakening / Doin’ It / Remote Control – US BID LP
40 37 Light Of The World – London Town / Pete’s Crusade – Ensign 12”
41 32 Herbie Hancock – Just Around The Corner – CBS LP
42 62 BT Express – Stretch / Express / Do It (Till You’re Satisfied) – Excaliber 12”
43 27 Teena Marie – I Need Your Lovin’ / Behind The Groove (Remix) – Motown 12″
44 34 Nino Tempo & 5th Avenue Sax – (Hooked On) Young Stuff – A&M 12”
45 39 Barbra Streisand – Woman In Love – CBS
46 38 Deodato – Night Cruiser / Love Magic – Warner Bros 12″
47 41 Earth Wind & Fire – And Love Goes On / Faces / Win Or Lose / Sparkle / Pride / You – CBS LP
48 48 Jerome – If You Walk Out That Door – DJM 12”
49 69 Linx – Rise And Shine – Chrysalis 12”
50 63 L.A.X. – All My Love – US Prelude 12”
51 58 Frankie Smith – Double Dutch / Instrumental – WMOT 12”
52 35 Gap Band – Party Lights – Warner Bros 12”
53 51 Dee Dee Bridgewater – Lonely Disco Dancer / One In A Million (Guy) – Elektra 12”
54 73 Change – The Glow Of Love – WEA 12”/12” Remix
55 52 Fred Wesley – House Party – RSO 12”
56 49 Kool & The Gang – Love Festival / Night People / Take It To The Top / Jones Vs Jones – De-Lite LP
57 28 Patrice Rushen – The Funk Won’t Let You Down / Look Up – US Elektra LP
58 61 GQ – Disco Nights (Remix) – Arista 12”
59 54 Incognito – Parisienne Girl / Summer’s Ended – Ensign 12”
60 67 Edit Point – Help Yourself – Magnet 12”
61 55 Narada Michael Walden – I Want You / Get Up! – Atlantic 12”
62 60 Rodney Franklin –I Like The Music Make It Hot / In The Center / Windy City – US Columbia LP
63 64 Cloud – All Night Long – Flashback 12”
64 75 Cameo – Throw It Down – Casablanca 12”
65 65 Hiroshima – Cruisin’ J-Town / Warriors -US Arista LP/12” promo
66 74 Sadao Watanabe – No Problem / All About Love – CBS 12”
67 53 Azymuth – Dear Limmertz / Papasong – Milestone 12”
68 68 Twennynine/Lenny White – Fancy Dancer / Kid Stuff / Slip Away – US Elektra LP
69 71 Real Thing – She’s A Groovy Freak / It’s The Real Thing – Calibre 12”
70 72 Slave – Feel My Love / Stone Jam – Atlantic 12”
71 79 Yarbrough & Peoples – Don’t Stop The Music – Mercury 12”
72 56 Odyssey – If You’re Looking For A Way Out – RCA 12”
73 RE Coffee – I Wanna Be With You / Slip And Dip – De-Lite 12”
74 RE Heatwave – Gangsters Of The Groove – US Epic 12”
75 87 Blackbyrds – Love Don’t Strike Twice / Better Days / Don’t Know What To Say / What’s On Your Mind / Dancin’ Dancin’ – US Fantasy LP
76 66 Wilton Felder – Insight / L.A. Light – MCA LP
77 77 Randy Crawford – Tender Falls The Rain / I Stand Accused – Warner Bros 12”
78 70 Kurtis Blow – The Breaks – Mercury 12”
79 59 Narada Michael Walden – The Real Thang / Lucky Fella / Alone Without You – Atlantic LP
80 NE Skyy – Here’s To You / Superlove / No Music / I Can’t Get Enough – US Salsoul LP
81 84 Ned Doheney – To Prove My Love – Japanese CBS Sony LP
82 NE Peaches & Herb – Fun Time – Polydor 12”
83 80 Slave – Watching You / Sizzlin’ Hot / Dreamin’ – US Cotillion LP
84 RE Jacksons – Can You Feel It / Give It Up – Epic LP
85 RE Jacksons – Heartbreak Hotel – Epic
86 86 Richie Rome – Remember Me / Busy Body / Deep – Elektra LP
87 89 Various – Bits & Pieces III – Canadian Special Disco Mixer 12”
88 88 Enchantment – Settin’ It Out – US RCA/12”
89 90 Heatwave – Posin’ ‘Til Closin’ / Jitterbuggin’ / Goin’ Crazy / Turn Around / Where Did I Go Wrong – US Epic LP
90 NE L.A.X. – Possessed – US Prelude LP


BREAKERS

BUBBLING UNDER the UK Disco 90 with increased support are:

Black Slate: ‘Boom Boom’ (Ensign 12in)
Ernie Watts: ‘Just Holdin’ On’ (Elektra 12in)
EWF: ‘Back On The Road’ (CBS)
Frankie Smith: ‘Double Dutch Bus’ (US WMOT 12in)
Harry Mosco: ‘Step On’ (Samba 12in)
Gap Band: ‘Burn Rubber On Me’ (Mercury 12in)
Aretha Franklin: ‘What A Fool Believes’ (Arista 12in)
Gil Scott-Heron: ‘The Bottle’ (Inferno 12in)
Delegation: ‘Heartache No. 9’ (Ariola 12in)
Banda Black Trio: ‘Miss Cheryl’ / ‘Melissa’ / ‘Subindo O Morro’ (RCA 12in)
Fantasy: ‘You’re Too Late’ (US Pavillion 12in)
Fuse: ‘Grand Prix’ / ‘Double Steal’ (Japanese CTI LP)
Sweat Band: ‘Freak To Freak’ / ‘Hyper Space’ / ‘Love Munch’ (US Uncle Jam LP)
Clyde Alexander & Sanction: ‘Got To Get Your Love’ (US Heavenly Star 12in)
Ahmed Jamal: ‘Touch Me In The Morning’ / ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ (US Motown LP)
Floyd Beck: ‘Party Is The Solution’ (US Precision 12in)
Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King: ‘Let’s Get Funky Tonight’ (RCA 12in)
Dramatics: ‘Get It’ (US MCA LP)
Surface Noise: ‘Zero One’ (WEA 12in)
Peter Jacques Band: ‘Mighty Fine’ / ‘The Louder’ (US Goody Music LP)
Chas Jankel: ‘Ai No Corrida’ / ‘Lenta Latina’ (A&M 12in)
ConFunkShun: ‘Too Tight’ / ‘Lady’s Wild’ (US Mercury LP)
Katsutoshi Morizono: ‘The Cadillac Kid’ (Japanese Electric Bird LP)
Michael Urbaniak: ‘Joy’ / ‘Nanava’ (Motown 12ín)
Symba: ‘Body Bait’ (US Venture LP)
Michael Wycoff: ‘Feel My Love’ / ‘Come To My World’ (US RCA LP)
Jermaine Jackson: ‘The Pieces Fit’ / ‘First You Laugh Then You Cry’ (US Motown LP)
Billy Ocean: ‘Nights (Feel Like Getting Down’ (GTO / French 12in)
Melody Stewart: ‘Get Down Get Down’ / ‘Action Satisfaction’ (US Roy B 12in)
Ralph & Rennie: ‘Sunday Afternoon’ (RTEE 12in promo)


DORC (Disco Featured Pop Hits)

1(1) Roxy Music, 2(8) Abba, 3(5) Spandau Ballet, 4(2) Kelly Marie, 5(3) Bad Manners ‘Brew’, 6(4) Orch Manoeuvres, 7(7) UB40, 8(6) Liquid Gold, 9(9) Nolans, 10(11) Police ‘Don’t Stand’, 11(18) Robert Palmer, 12(13) Police ‘De Do Do Do’, 13(10) Madness ‘Trousers’, 14(15) Dennis Waterman, 15(-) Jona Lewie, 16(12) Status Quo, 17(19) Rod Stewart, 18(14) Sheena Easton, 19(16) Air Supply, 20(17) Adam & The Ants ‘Dog’, 21(20) John Lennon, 22(13) Police ‘Canary’ / ‘Voices’, 23(-) Madness ‘Embarrassment’, 24(-) Boomtown Rats, 25(-) Nick Straker.


HIT NUMBERS

Beats Per Minute for the last two weeks’ pop chart entries on 7in are:
Madness 0 – 151 – 0 – 154 – 0r, Jona Lewie 0 – 97 – 98 – 0r, AC/ DC 47/94 – 0c, Stray Cats 181c, Queen 109 – 106 – 0 – 106f, Adam & The Ants 163f, Status Quo 166f, Showaddywaddy 131 – 0c, Hall/Oates 121f, Matchbox 0 – 38/76 – 0c, Kate Bush 30 – 31f, Clash 60 – 121/60 – 120f, Siouxsie 108 – 110 – 0r, Chas & Dave 135c, Mike Berry 57/114r, Black Sabbath 0 – 215 – 0 – 211f, Darts ‘Sh-Boom’ 39/79 – 0r / ‘White Xmas’ 0 – 159 – 0c, Skids 0 – 138f, Motorhead 140 – 0r, Bad Manners 162f, Aretha Franklin 126f, Nolans 114f, Elvis Presley 89 – 96 – 0r, Barron Knights 107 – 89 – 28/56 – 108f, Barbra Streisand 38/76f, Saxon 0 – 136 – 0c, Black Slate 67f, Coffee ‘Slip’ 119 – 120f / ‘Wanna’ 123 – 125f, Bow Wow Wow 142c.

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