January 10, 1981: James Brown, Freeez, Rose Royce, Mammatapee, Dee Dee Sharp Gamble


CBS SOON releases a 17-track jazz-funk compilation LP including (and hopefully this does not preclude 12in issue too) Ned Doheny ‘To Prove My Love’, MFSB ‘Mysteries Of The World, Benny Golson ‘New Killer Joe’, Herbie Hancock ‘Just Around The Corner’ . . . UK 12in releases this month include Wilton Felder ‘Insight’, Crusaders Last Call’ / ‘Honky Tonk Strutting’, ConFunkShun ‘Too Tight’, Bar-Kays ‘Boogie Body Land’, Blondie ‘Rapture’ . . . T.S.Monk’s 12in LV will be ‘Candidate For Love’ / ‘Last Night Of The Wicked Romancer’ / ‘House Of Music’ and amazingly not ‘Bon Bon Vie’ (the US single) which already gets ’em singing along . . . Ensign’s white labels by Beggar & Co and David Bendeth will be out later in the month, preceded by Rudy Grant (The Mexicano) reggaefying Stevie Wonder’s ‘Lately’ and Ray Carless ‘Tarantula Walk’ . . . Groove Prod’s Inversions tracks have been delayed by a bit of re-recording, but look out for the Yarbrough & Peoples-ish K.I.D. ‘Don’t Stop‘ due imminently . . . Funk Masters ‘Love Money’ is evidently being remixed . . . Whispers LP review last week should have read “the least interesting dancer surprisingly being the 12in-issued falsetto choppy smacking 0 – 117 – 118 – 119bpm ‘It’s A Love Thing'” – and indeed let’s hope RCA don’t go with it here, as it’s the LP’s noticeable stiff . . . Funktion’s White Ball at the Embassy was a dazzler (say Tony & Ray), and is followed this Monday (12) by another, but this time you gotta wear blue, while as before the £9 ticket (£8 in advance) gets free food ‘n’ booze – oh, and their New Year’s Eve at the Barracuda packed in 1,300 and turned away about as many (mind you, when they’re turned away, who’s counting?) . . . 1979’s EMI dancerette Julie Brown, is currently starring in a spectacular ‘The Disco Queen’ stage show at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre . . . DJs Marc Roman & Colin Judge are selling a ‘Disc Jockey’s Gig Guide & Diary’ – basically a bound stack of booking forms useful for keeping by the telephone – the 106-page standard version costing £2.95, 210-page bumper £3.95, and customized 210-page de-luxe £6.95 (all inc P&P), cheques/PO’s to Holly House Publications, 2 Holly Road, St-Marys-Bay, Romney Marsh, Kent, TN29 0XB (details 0303-822983) . . . Andrew Macey, Paul West & Kevin Rousset have formed the Thanet-based Soulcializer mobile (0843-32247) specializing in white labels and rappers, but are finding it hard to locate the local soul-scene (which is a bit like putting the cart before the horses, surely?) . . . Steve Dennis’s Birmingham Faces “rowing” championships before Xmas were won by the ‘Famous Five’ team . . . Bernie Lyons reports certain Dublin jazz-funk jocks are mulling over the possibility of a Funktion-type operation there as the scene for them at the moment isn’t exactly flourishing . . . TV star Andy Hunter, spotted on LWT at Brixton’s Solar Records shop where he flogs jazz-funk to discerning tribesmen, says any publicity can’t be bad publicity, even if it is courtesy of Radio Invicta (work that out if you can!) . . . Sheffield’s Radio Hallam seemed to be plugging the Nolans and Patrice Rushen about equally over Xmas and slotted several surprisingly specialist disco sounds into its general programming (in that respect it’s hipper than Capital), while Richard Earling’s New Year’s Eve party edition, was more like ‘At Last The 1966 Show’! . . . Sunday after Xmas did you catch all those US gospel-greats on ITV’s god slot – sensational pure soul! . . . Adam & The Ants appeared to be the seasonal pet hates of parents with pre-teen children, which means the guys have got to be superstars . . . Jermaine Jackson’s LP has turned out to be a total stiff with DJs – maybe a beefier remix might help? . . . I hope the growing habit of certain labels to use only flimsy paper 12in sleeves doesn’t last too long . . . Bernard Penn from Newton Mearns, Glasgow, can’t order Dave Baker ‘Glow Of Love’ and Funk Masters ‘Love Money’ locally without distributor information – which I always give when I know it – but why not get ’em by mail from London? . . . It’s a brand new year so let a man come in and do the funky popcorn-huh! – MAKE IT FUNKY!

SKYY – struttin’ on Cloud 9 – have their ‘Here’s To You‘ import smash released by Excaliber next week (EXCL 505), but here of course they’ll have to be called New York Skyy, for much the same reason as the Spinners are now known as the Liverpool Spinners.


JAMES BROWN: ‘Rapp Payback (Where Is Moses?)’ (RCA RCAT 28).
Shock horror gasp sensation – CBS passed not wanting to get involved with the TK-Polydor wrangle and RCA stepped into the breach . . . and should give JB his first big hit in ages! Speeded up on UK12in to 118bpm, it’s a dynamite typical groove, more a grunter than a rapper and in fact even better on the much longer LP version.

FREEEZ: ‘Southern Freeez’ LP (Pink Rhythm EL PEE 1).
Pushed for time last week, I was sadly unable to appreciate the subtle glory of this superb Latin-influenced beautifully played UK jazz-funk set, from which the chick-sung 124 (intro) – 128bpm title track-rattler with great atmospheric solos is the immediate dancers fave, followed by the jittery 0 – 131 – 133 – 132bpm ‘Flying High‘, ‘Mariposa (Butterfly)‘ being a complex tinkling 0 – 67/134 – 130 – 134 – 130bpm patterer, whilst most straightforward are the leaping 127 (intro) – 134 – 138 – 136 – 138 – 136 – 138 – 132 – 0bpm ‘Caribbean Winter‘ and smacking 126 – 128 – 63 – 126 – 128 – 126bpm ‘Sunset‘. All are lovely listening (and in fact lotsa jox have been asking for the BPM’s!).

ROSE ROYCE: ‘I Wanna Make It With You’ (LP ‘Golden Touch’ Whitfield K 55881).
Great useful squeaky falsetto-sung solid jittery 120bpm funk smacker, probably level pegged with the bass-burbled ‘Car Wash’-style frenetic 112bpm ‘You’re A Winner‘ heavy funk churner as the set’s disco biggie, although the first single will pair the dead slow 17/34bpm title track with the squeaky pent-up old style slow thudding 101 – 102bpm ‘Help Yourself’ jiggler, ‘Funkin’ Around’ being a slow 85½bpm P’funker. 

ROLLER-COASTER: ‘I Wish’ (Calibre CABL 107).
Bassily beefed-up (and slightly speeded-up) searing 0 – 105bpm 12in heavy funk instrumental of Stevie Wonder’s oldie with jazzy solos over the pounding and tumbling beat.

RADIATION: ‘Rocket In The Pocket’ (Simons SIMON 1, via Simons Records, Yateley 371526).
Rather good and heavily thudding but otherwise sparsely backed 119bpm 12in white label smacker with Instant Funk ‘Got My Mind Made Up’-type vocals and Linx ‘ You’re Lying’-type feel building up a nagging simple intensity.

ALTITUDE: ’69 Shuffle’ (UK Champagne FUNKY 2).
Now no longer spelt ‘Six Nine’ (though pronounced that way), this spacious purposefully plodding 104 (intro) – 109 – 113 – 115 (piano) – 114 – 115bpm remix of the UK jazz-funk instrumental has added Mel Collins sax and some session chix, on 3-track 12in with the original version plus the EAJ All Stars ‘Rhythm In Blues’ fuzak doodler.

ODYSSEY: ‘Hang Together’ (RCA RCAT 23).
Purposefully clomping almost conga-kicking hypnotic 12in swayer builds imperceptibly from the 111bpm intro to 115 – 117 (break on) bpm with wailing vocals over the rolling rhythm and plenty of pop appeal.

ENCHANTMENT: ‘Settin’ It Out’ (RCA RCAT 32).
Much more hard-hitting in the brassier Maurice & Verdine White-backed 113bpm 7in version, this loosely structured steadily thudding 115 – 116 (break) – 115bpm 12in treatment (I’ve yet to BPM the UK issue) takes its time to build up power and while best suited to Froggy-type running mixes is eventually strong in its own right. A combination of the best bits of both would be dynamite though!

THE REDDINGS: ‘Remote Control’ (Epic EPC 9360).
Otis Redding’s two sons and a nephew debut on 7in here with this Al Hudson-ish 118 – 117 – 118 – 117bpm US single, which sounds OK on radio but had nearly zero disco response on their killer ‘The Awakening’ import LP, the complex bass-played instrumental title track being flip now.

THE TRAMMPS: ‘Mellow Out’ (LP ‘Slipping Out’ Atlantic K 50769).
Lovely easily tripping gentle 111bpm swayer with jazzy guitar and synth behind their sweet harmonies, nice out of ‘Bring The Family Back’ for instance. ‘Trained Eye‘ being a rapper-rhythm styled 120 – 121 – 120bpm jolting smooth chugger and ‘Looking For You‘ a slickly driving 123 – 124bpm subtly urgent chugger with sirens intro.

DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER: ‘When Love Comes Knockin’ (Elektra K 12493T).
Dead slow strings-introed attractive radio-aimed 0 – 36 – 40bpm 12in smoocher flipped by the oddly rhythmic convoluted 32/64 – 64/129 – 127bpm ‘Gunshots In The Night‘ – both beautifully sung but kinda tricky.

WESLEY MAGOOGAN: ‘This Guy’s In Love With You’ (Mainly Modern / UA STP 5).
Nice instrumental 43bpm 7in sax version of Herb Alpert’s old smoocher, useful MoR if not exactly out-and-out-jazz, the alternative fast 139 – 136 – 139bpm flipside treatment being very zingy.

MISTY IN ROOTS: ‘Zapatta’ (People United PU/S 004).
Rather nice lush instrumental atmospheric piano-played 57bpm 7in reggae smoocher.


MAMMATAPEE: ‘Monster Fun’ (LP ‘On The One’ US Whitfield WHK 3510).
Norman Whitfield co-produced dated soul set with nicely strangulated singing by the three guys but mainly useful for this “monster” roaring and clapping slow building 109bpm chunky funker that ends as a rapper mixing nicely between Demo Cates ‘Funk’ and Millie Jackson ‘I Had To Say It’, while ‘Dance With Me Baby‘ is a bass-bumped spurting 119 – 120bpm judderer, ‘Let The Music Take Your Mind‘ a jerkily progressing 109 – 112bpm jolter. ‘Don’t You Want To Give Me Some‘ a fast 138bpm pulsator, ‘What You Gonna Do‘ an untidy 119 – 120bpm smacker, ‘Got To Stop Wanting It‘ an old-fashioned 126bpm wailer, smoochers being the 36bpm ‘Easier To Say Goodbye’ and lovely 0 – 61bpm ‘Linda’. In any other week, this would not have been lead review.

DEE DEE SHARP GAMBLE: ‘Breaking And Entering’ (LP ‘Dee Dee’ US Phil Int JZ 36378).
Dee Dee, long married to Kenny Gamble, actually dated me a couple of times back in her ‘Mashed Potato Time’ single days (we went to Coney Island!). Anyway, she’s wailing away over this sparsely backed dated clean jolting 121 (intro) – 124 – 125 – 126 – 125 (break) – 126bpm loper in the old ‘Armed And Extremely Dangerous’ style with cooing chix and long siren-featuring break, ‘Everyday Affair’ being a swaying 51bpm duet with co-producer Jerry Butler and ‘See You Later’ a gently trotting lush 111/56bpm jogger.

DAN SIEGAL: ‘Full Moon’ (LP ‘The Hot Shot’ US Inner City IC 1111).
Fast jerky 137bpm but smooth Jeff Homan-blown jazz sax instrumental with lush tone and nice ringing guitar by Garry Hagberg, the best received cut from a typically specialist set.

DISCO MELODY: ‘Get Up And Boogie 1980’ (US K.Y. Records).
A totally different kettle of fish from the brilliant ‘Bits & Pieces III’, this red vinyl 12in “disco mixer” is horrendously messy and uninspired with badly planned mixes swamping each other in rapid succession to create a dull blur of sound. ‘At The Copa’ comes out of the 111bpm intro and it ends at a zingy 140bpm.

Chris Hill, who always championed ‘Wide Receiver’ rates the somewhat similar bass-pushed simple jittery 124bpm title track heavy funk instrumental similarly similar but vocal being the 127 – 129bpm ‘In The Streets‘. Lady Di is NOT on backup vocals!

ROMANA BROOKS: ‘I Don’t Want You Back’ (US Q Records Q2901).
Winsomely squeaked swaying 119bpm 12in juddering thudder with nice bass-backed scatting break, the scatting being lacking from the evidently hotter instrumental flip.


Roger Guidery and Andy Shurrock run their MoR-orientated Diamond Dog Disco,(Radnage 024026-2138) around the Chilterns, mainly appearing in village halls and at sports clubs, plus the usual weddings and birthday parties. Roger, not just a jock but a church organist too, says that as last year was their most successful in the five years they’ve being going, they’re not too worried by the MoR tag! In fact, my musically ultra-aware chum Sparrow recommended them to me after hearing them at a party, so they must be doing something right.

1. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
2. Brown Sugar – Rolling Stones
3. Celebration – Kool & The Gang
4. Hi Ho Silver Lining – Jeff Beck
5. Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets
6. And The Beat Goes On – Whispers
7. Tom Hark – Piranhas
8. Dance Yourself Dizzy – Liquid Gold
9. The Hokey Cokey – Joe Loss
10. That’s The Way (I Like It) – KC & The Sunshine Band


MEGAMIX TIME: Funk Masters, mix Demo Cates ‘Jamin’, chop minus intro Nino Tempo, at halfway “huh” chop into main beat LOTW ‘Sheriff’, vari-mix MFSB, vari-synch through lull or outro Deodato ‘Whistle Bump’, after halfway whistle chop into “everybody take it to the top” Bros Johnson ‘Stomp’ (‘Sheriff’ chops out of ‘Stomp’ too), vari-synch bass Reddings ‘Funkin’ On The One’, chop Blackbyrds ‘Better Days’, synch (sensationally) Parliament ‘Defeet’, synch Prince ‘Head’, chop Skyy ‘Superlove’.

Minimix:Trammps ‘Mellow Out’, mix Slave ‘Watching You’, mix Heatwave ‘Jitterbuggin’, vari-synch Whispers ‘Continental Shuffle’.

Minimix: Zapp, synch Ike Strong ‘Boogie Land’ (the intro is in fact 106bpm), chop minus intro TS Monk ‘ Bon Bon Vie’, synch Wilton Felder ‘Insight’, mix Juanita Goochifrita ‘Go Funk Yourself’ (lost).

Minimix – and nobody comes more mini than Graham Gold, whose these are! – Whispers ‘I Can Make It Better’ in and out of Demo Cates ‘Magic’ or Shakatak ‘Covina’ before MFSB (has anyone else spotted the similarity?).

David Bailey of Finchley Road’s Le Purple Pussycat chops from Billy Ocean into the second break of James Brown 12in (JB’s percussion bass break synchs sensationally out of JR Funk’s ‘Feel Good Party Time’ break).

UK Disco Top 90 – January 10, 1981

01 02 Eddy Grant – Do You Feel My Love – Ensign 12”
02 01 Kool & The Gang – Celebration – De-Lite 12”
03 03 Young & Company – I Like (What You’re Doing To Me) – Excaliber 12”
04 12 Yarbrough & Peoples – Don’t Stop The Music – Mercury 12”
05 05 Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out – Motown 12”
06 06 Patrice Rushen – Never Gonna Give You Up / Don’t Blame Me – Elektra 12”
07 07 BT Express – Stretch / Express / Do It (Till You’re Satisfied) – Excaliber 12”
08 10 Light Of The World – I Shot The Sheriff / Painted Lady – Ensign 12”
09 04 Willie ‘Beaver’ Hale – Groove On – TK 12”
10 08 Stephanie Mills – Never Knew Love Like This Before – 20th Century-Fox 12”
11 09 MFSB – Mysteries Of The World / In The Shadow / Fortune Teller – US TSOP LP
12 36 Gap Band – Burn Rubber On Me – Mercury 12”
13 13 Geraldine Hunt – Can’t Fake The Feeling – Champagne 12”
14 16 Linx – Rise And Shine – Chrysalis 12”
15 11 Glen Adams Affair – Just A Groove – Excaliber 12”
16 17 James Brown – Rapp Payback – RCA 12”
17 15 UK Players – Everybody Get Up / Rivers – A&M 12”
18 22 Seawind – What Cha Doin’ – A&M 12”
19 18 Billy Frazier & Friends – Billy Who? – Champagne 12”
20 23 LaToya Jackson – If You Feel The Funk – Polydor 12”
21 14 Ottawan – You’re OK-D.I.S.C.O. (Segue) / You’re OK – Carrere 12”
22 19 Level 42 – (Flying On The) Wings Of Love – Polydor 12”
23 24 Jacksons – Heartbreak Hotel – Epic
24 32 L.A.X. – All My Love – Epic 12”
25 21 David Bowie – Fashion – RCA 12”
26 26 Narada Michael Walden – I Want You / Get Up! – Atlantic 12”
27 29 Gladys Knight & The Pips – Bourgie Bourgie – CBS 12”
28 25 Light Of The World – Time – Ensign LP
29 37 Grover Washington Jr – Let It Flow / Winelight – Elektra 12”
30 35 Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday / Lately / Did I Hear You Say You Love Me / Do Like You / As If You Read My Mind – Motown LP
31 41 Various – Bits & Pieces III – Canadian Special Disco Mixer 12”
32 28 Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne – Is It In / Spank – TK 12”
33 30 Blackbyrds – Better Days / Love Don’t Strike Twice / Don’t Know What To Say / Dancin’ Dancin’ / What’s On Your Mind / Do It Girl / Without Your Love – US Fantasy LP
34 31 Shakatak – Feels Like The Right Time / Covina – Polydor 12”
35 33 Jerome – If You Walk Out That Door – DJM 12”
36 34 Blondie – The Tide Is High – Chrysalis
37 39 Skyy – Here’s To You / Superlove – US Salsoul LP/12” promo
38 27 Change – The Glow Of Love – WEA 12”
39 40 Wilton Felder – Inherit The Wind – MCA 12”
40 50 Fantasy – You’re Too Late – US Pavillion 12”
41 62 Whispers – Imagination / I Can Make It Better / Continental Shuffle / Up On Soul Train / Say You (Would Love For Me Too) – US Solar LP
42 38 Zapp – More Bounce To The Ounce – Warner Bros 12”
43 45 Black Slate – Boom Boom – Ensign 12”
44 42 Coffee – I Wanna Be With You / Slip And Dip – De-Lite 12”
45 20 Jacksons – Lovely One – Epic/French 12”
46 58 Heatwave – Gangsters Of The Groove – GTO/US Epic 12”
47 46 GQ – Disco Nights (Remix) – Arista 12”
48 48 Nino Tempo & 5th Avenue Sax – (Hooked On) Young Stuff – A&M 12”
49 52 Edit Point – Help Yourself – Magnet 12”
50 61 Cameo – Throw It Down – Casablanca 12”
51 44 Real Thing – She’s A Groovy Freak / It’s The Real Thing – Calibre 12”
52 43 Herbie Hancock – Just Around The Corner – CBS LP
53 79 T.S. Monk – Bon Bon Vie / Candidate For Love – US Mirage LP
54 51 The Reddings – Funkin’ On The One / Doin’ It – US BID LP
55 53 Charles Earland – Coming To You Live / Good Question – US Columbia LP
56 56 Peaches & Herb – Fun Time / One Child Of Love – Polydor 12”
57 78 Young & Company – Strut Your Stuff / Waiting On Your Love / Checking You Out – US Brunswick LP
58 57 Heatwave – Jitterbuggin’ / Posin’ ‘Til Closin’ / Turn Around / Goin’ Crazy / Where Did I Go Wrong / All I Am – US Epic LP
59 72 Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson – The Bottle – Inferno 12”
60 55 Frankie Smith – Double Dutch – WMOT 12”
61 70 Earth Wind & Fire – Back On The Road – CBS
62 80 James Brown – Funky Men / Honky Tonk – US TK LP
63 87 Unlimited Touch – I Hear Music In The Streets – US Prelude 12”
64 67 Kool & The Gang – Love Festival / Take It To The Top / Night People / Jones Vs Jones – De-Lite LP
65 69 Billy Ocean – Nights (Feel Like Getting Down) – Dutch GTO 12”
66 59 L.A.X. – Possessed – US Prelude LP
67 60 Sadao Watanabe – No Problem – CBS 12”
68 66 Harry Mosco – Step On – Samba 12”
69 63 Earth Wind & Fire – And Love Goes On / Faces / Sparkle / Win Or Lose / You – CBS LP
70 65 Aretha Franklin – What A Fool Believes – Arista 12”
71 68 Dee Dee Bridgewater – Lonely Disco Dancer / One In A Million (Guy) – Elektra 12”
72 75 Rodney Franklin –I Like The Music Make It Hot / In The Center / Windy City – CBS LP
73 54 Patrice Rushen – The Funk Won’t Let You Down / Look Up / Time Will Tell – Elektra LP
74 84 Demo Cates – Jamin’ (Sax) / Jamin’ – Canadian Scorpio 12”
75 85 Ernie Watts – Just Holdin’ On – Elektra 12”
76 82 Millie Jackson – I Had To Say It – Spring LP
77 74 Floyd Beck – Party Is The Solution – US Precision 12”
78 NE Peter Jacques Band – Mighty Fine / The Louder – RCA 12”
79 89 Demo-Barry – Funk / City Funk – Canadian Scorpio 12”
80 47 Kurtis Blow – Throughout Your Years / Christmas Rappin’ – Mercury 12”
81 NE Mtume – So You Wanna Be A Star – Epic 12”
82 77 Spargo – You And Me – Champagne 12”
83 RE Ned Doheny – To Prove My Love – Japanese CBS Sony LP
84 NE Fatback – Let’s Do It Again / Chillin’ Out – Spring 12”
85 73 Funk Masters – Love Money – Tania Music 12”
86 NE Sharon Redd – Can You Handle It – US Prelude LP
87 83 Lenny White – Fancy Dancer / Kid Stuff – Elektra 12”
88 64 Surface Noise – Zero One – WEA 12”
89 NE Stevie Wonder – I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It – Motown
90 NE Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson – Back Together Again / Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long – US Atlantic LP


BUBBLING UNDER the UK Disco 90 with increased support are:

Altitude: ‘Six Nine Shuffle’ (Impact 12in)
Ovaltineys: ‘We Are The Ovaltineys’ / ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ / ‘Wish Me Luck (As You Wave Me Goodbye)’ (OVA)
Massara: ‘Margherita’ (Champagne 12in)
Shalamar: ‘Some Things Never Change’ / ‘Make That Move’ / ‘Pop Along Kid’ / ‘Work It Out’ (US Solar LP)
Freeez: ‘ Southern Freeez’ (Pink Rhythm LP)
Fuse One: ‘Grand Prix’ / ‘Double Steal’ (Japanese CTI LP)
Al Foster: ‘She Is The Greatest Dancer’ (Japanese Better Days LP)
Grover Washington Jr: ‘Just The Two Of Us’ / ‘Take Me There’ (Elektra LP)
Trammps: ‘Mellow Out’ / ‘Trained-Eye’ (US Atlantic LP)
Dazz Band: ‘Shake It Up’ (Motown 12in promo)
ConFunkShun: ‘Too Tight’ / ‘Lady’s Wild’ / ‘Kidnapped’ (US Mercury LP)
Linda Clifford: ‘Shoot Your Best Shot’ (RSO 12in)
Bobby & Demo: ‘Do It Right’ (Canadian Scorpio 12in)
Slave: ‘Watching You’ / ‘Dreamin’ (Atlantic 12in promo)
Johnny Bristol: ‘Love No Longer Has A Hold On Me’ (Ariola Hansa 12in)
Linda Clifford: ‘Runaway Love’ (US Warner Bros 12in)
Sweat Band: ‘Freak To Freak’ / ‘Hyper Space’ / ‘Love Munch’ (US Uncle Jam LP)
M’Lady: ‘Baby You Lied’ / ‘Come Into Me’ (US 20th Century-Fox 12in)
Reddings: ‘Remote Control’ (Epic)
Demo Cates/Barry: ‘Magic’ (Canadian Scorpio 12in)
Beggar & Co: ‘Help Me Out’ (Ensign 12in promo)
Desi Roots: ‘One In A Million You’ (Hawkeye 12in)
Sugar Minott: ‘Good Thing Going’ (Hawkeye 12in)
Gregory Isaacs: ‘I Can’t Give You My Love’ (Shashamane 12in)
Dan Siegel: ‘Full Moon’ (US Inner City LP)
Blondie: ‘Rapture’ (Chrysalis LP)
Bar-Kays: ‘Boogie Body Land’ / ‘As One’ / ‘Open Your Heart’ (US Mercury LP)
Jermaine Jackson: ‘Little Girl Don’t You Worry’ (Motown 12in)
Radiation: ‘Rocket In The Pocket’ (Simon’s 12in)
Parliament: ‘Agony Of Defeet’ (US Casablanca LP)
Dee Dee Sharp Gamble: ‘Breaking And Entering’ / ‘See You Later’ / ‘Everyday Affair’ (US Phil Int LP)
Pure Energy: ‘When You’re Dancin’ (US Prism 12in)
Ike Strong: ‘Boogie Land’ (US Willkerr 12in)
David Bendeth: ‘Love Collect’ / ‘Goldmine’ (Ensign 12in promo)
Hot Cuisine: ‘All Fired Up’ / ‘Dancin’ Me To Ecstasy’ (Kaleidoscope 12in promo)

DORC (Disco Featured Pop Hits)

1(4) John Lennon ‘Imagine’, 2(2) Spandau Ballet, 3(3) Police, 4(6) Jona Lewie, 5(1) John & Yoko ‘ Happy Xmas’, 6(7) Abba, 7(5) John Lennon ‘Starting Over’, 8(9) Roxy Music, 9(14) Madness, 10(10) UB40, 11(11) Streisand/Gibb, 12(13) Robert Palmer, 13(8) Boomtown Rats, 14(15) Nolans, 15(12) Orch Manoeuvres, 16(19) John Lennon ‘Mind Games’, 17(16) Nick Straker, 18(17) Siouxsie, 19(20) Devo, 20(-) Chas & Dave.


Beats Per Minute for the last two pop charts worth of new entries on 7in are:
John & Yoko ‘Xmas’ 50/25 – 49/24 – 0f, John Lennon ‘Imagine’ 38/76 – 0r, Gary Numan 103f, Racey 0 – 163 – 169f, Rod Stewart 0 – 35/69f, The Look 87 – 175 – 181 (perpetually repeating runout groove), Yarbrough & Peoples 97 – 99 – 98f, Gap Band 117f, Jim Davidson 0 – 124 – 125 – 0 – 110f, Visage 56½ – 113/56½f, Stevie Wonder 57 – 114 – 57 – 114 – 115f, EWF 156 (intro) – 116 – 119f, Elvis Costello 124/62 – 126r, Sad Cafe 0 – 28 (intro) – 123 – 127 – 128f, Slade ‘Okey Cokey’ 159 – 230 – 0f, Adam & The Ants ‘Young Parisians’ 0 – 56/112r.

2 thoughts on “January 10, 1981: James Brown, Freeez, Rose Royce, Mammatapee, Dee Dee Sharp Gamble”

  1. James last gave a series of poor reviews to future classics in the summer of 1976, and I’m starting to wonder whether a similar bad mood had descended at the start of 1981. Although he’s swift to revise his first impression of “Southern Freeez”, it’s remarkable to read him slamming “It’s A Love Thing” as a stiff. With all due apologies for the spoiler, when Alan Jones comes to compile the Year End Disco Chart for 1981, “It’s A Love Thing” actually tops the chart, and it also spends longer at Number One (nine weeks) than any other record this year. Oh, and the record it replaces at Number One? “Southern Freeez”!

    (That said, “It’s A Love Thing” doesn’t work for my own Friday night dancers at all; I’ve tried it a few times, and it has seriously under-performed.)

    The 17-track jazz-funk compilation mentioned at the start of the column is called Bitter Suite – I’ve linked to its Discogs page – and it comes highly recommended; I bought it a few months ago, mainly for “To Prove My Love” and “Mysteries Of The World”.

    James told me that he once dated Dee Dee Sharp, before she became Mrs Gamble, so it’s interesting to see him go public about it in this week’s column. The other interesting personal reference is to “my musically ultra-aware chum Sparrow” – he and James had been friends since their school days at Shrewsbury, and Sparrow gave the eulogy at his funeral. However, I strongly suspect that “musically ultra-aware” is being used sarcastically here!


    1. It was fascinating to discover that James dated Dee Dee. The negative review for “It’s A Love Thing” did stand out-especially knowing how big it went on to be! James also had some disparaging comments to make about legendary stars he saw performing in NYC during Billboard Conventions- he was particularly underwhelmed by Nile Rogers & CHIC which given his current near god like status is interesting!


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