February 28, 1981: Futurist Top 20, Change, Sister Sledge, Whispers, Nolen & Crossley

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THE WHISPERS ‘It’s A Love Thing!’ is the UK single after all, due next week on 12in as are Shalamar ‘Make That Move’, Dynasty ‘Groove Control’, Heatwave ‘Jitterbuggin’, Marvin Gaye ‘Praise’ / ‘Funk Me’ . . . LOTW ‘Time’ will be on completely remixed 12 minute Mercury 12in Soon . . . Bernard Wright’s 3-track 12in ‘Just Chillin’ Out’ / ‘Spinnin’ / Haboglabotribin’ – Mmmm . . . Jerry Knight’s dynamite ‘Perfect Fit‘ remains only on 7in, no 12in scheduled here or USA . . . Alphonse Mouzon has indeed been in short supply . . . ‘Disco Mix’ pressings (reviewed last week) all jump a groove near the start, and closer inspection of the ‘Let’s Do It’ flip (the same as ‘Bits & Pieces III’) reveals an odd vocal volume drop on two Beatles segments – incidentally Manfred Mann’s ‘Doo Wah Diddy Diddy’ (NOT the limp new Showaddywaddy), chops perfectly out of B&P3, if you want to carry on with your own medley . . . BMRB’s proposed singles charts restrictions have in fact rightly been laughed out of Court . . . Funktion has left Heaven and starts Tuesdays at Mayfair Mortons, with Tony Jenkins jocking . . . Capital Radio’s entire talks department turned up at the Venue last week for the Breakfast Band who, with more jazz than funk, meandered about exploring sound textures and old Meters rhythms before finally blasting out with powerful Latin percussion and steel drums . . . Mr Clean as part of their act at Mayfair Gullivers let off a smoke bomb which was more of a stink bomb and cleared the club in two seconds flat, causing hysterics (not least from guv’nor Phil Tibber) – and the band played on! . . . Shock however were sensational – forget Hot Gossip, and make every effort to see them somewhere . . . Rusty Egan riding in a Rolls – so that’s where “power pop” can eventually get you! . . . Sean French 5½ stone slimmer, succumbed to the lavish spread on Sunday at a Canvey Goldmine private Mafia party given by owners Stan & Jane Barrett, whose pet performing monkey George is ‘evidently’ now what Stan’s right arm is for! . . . ‘TISWAS’ stars have some amazing future plans – say no more . . . ‘Boring’ Bob Jones reports that Record Man of Rayleigh is currently far from fit (get well soon, Colin) . . . Paul Stewart (Belfast) sends collective condolences from north of the border to all grieving relatives in the Dublin fire tragedy, and I’m sure we all join him . . . Richard ‘Lofty’ Lofthouse gives 15 per cent discount to regular DJ shoppers at Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Windows record store, while all Tyneside’s record shops are shifting Eddie Rosemond ‘Funk It‘ by the boxload still . . . Neil Fincham (Dunbar 63606), back at Goldenstones every weekend, is desperate for 12in replacements of Blondie ‘Heart Of Glass’, Eddy Grant ‘Frontline’, Jacksons ‘Destiny’ . . . Paul Clark (Brighton Metro) tips South Coast jazz group Hipnosis . . . Dave ‘Dr Romance’ Rawlings (Reading Rebecca’s) wonders when there’ll be a segued slowies LP to give overworked DJs the chance of a smooch. KEEP IT GOOD!


UK NEWIES

CHANGE: ‘Paradise’ (WEA K 79196T).
Chix-cooed lovely languidly tripping creamy 115 – 116 – 115 – 116bpm loper (due on 12in but reviewed off advance 7in), with slinky slow 103/51bpm Luther Vandross-souled ‘Your Move‘ flip.

SISTER SLEDGE: ‘All American Girls’ LP (Atlantic K 50774). Narada Michael Walden keeps their old sound but adds his own touch (though for once his tempos stay constant), the booming emphatic 121bpm title track being also on 122bpm 12in (K 11656T), while ‘Music Makes Me Feel Good‘ at 116bpm is the set’s ‘I Shoulda Loved Ya’, others being the 121bpm ‘If You Really Want Me‘, 108½bpm, ‘Ooh You Caught My Heart‘, 127 – 128bpm ‘Make A Move‘ 135bpm ‘He’s Just A Runaway‘, 95bpm ‘Happy Feeling‘, 32 – 34bpm ‘Next Time You’ll Know’, 36/73bpm ‘Don’t You Let Me Lose It’, 39/79bpm ‘I Don’t Want To Say Good-bye’.

WHISPERS: ‘Imagination’ LP (Solar SOLO 7).
Smash import finally out here, the bass jiggled 122 – 123bpm title track now being overtaken by the 12in-bound 0 – 117 – 118 – 119bpm ‘It’s A Love Thing‘ smacker, ‘I Can Make It Better‘ being a 120bpm socker, ‘Up On Soul Train‘ a jittery 121bpm swayer, and ‘Continental Shuffle‘ a smooth 112 – 113 – 114bpm lilter. 

RAY CARLESS: ‘Tarantula Walk’ (Ensign ENYT 204).
Excellent bass-bumbled sinuously honking sax instrumental 118 – 119 – 120 – 121bpm 12in jazz jogger, with 121 – 123 – 121bpm ‘New Born Child’ samba flip.

MANU DIBANGO: ‘Goro City’ (Island 12WIP 6672).
Remixed terrific throbbing and tootling 128 – 130 – 129 – 130bpm 12in Afro smash mixes sensationally out of ‘Southern Freeez’ (Graham Gold slips Manu’s ‘Sun Explosion’ between them for even better effect!), the steadily plodding 117 (start) – 116 – 115 (last part) bpm ‘Happy Feeling‘ B-side smacker with “Trad” break being hotter for some.

YOUNG & COMPANY: ‘(Strut Your Stuff) Sexy Lady’ (Excaliber EXCL 505).
Simple catchy 117bpm 12in jiggly clomper now useful to synch Kleeer ‘Get Tough’ out of, for dynamite effect, the double-A 122 – 123 – 124 (incl break) – 125 – 126 – 125 (bass on) bpm ‘Waiting On Your Love‘ being a less distinguished burbler.

EARTH WIND & FIRE: ‘And Love Goes On’ (CBS 13-9521).
Brassily blasting then happily soaring 118 (intro) – 122 – 123 – 125bpm 12in jiggler (1bpm faster than the LP and US 12in promo), with frantically tricky fast jazzy 136 (intro) – 142bpm ‘Faces‘ flip.

JOHNNY BRISTOL: ‘Love No Longer Has A Hold On Me’ (Ariola Hansa AHAD 567).
Jerkily bumping mellow 113bpm 12in loper now at last remixed so it starts (rather abruptly) with the halfway break to make it easier for mixing.

GENE DUNLAP FEATURING THE RIDGEWAYS: ‘It’s Just The Way I Feel’ (Capitol 12CL 16183).
Ultra classy gentle chix-cooed 45/90bpm swayer on 3-track 12in with the jiggling jaunty 117bpm ‘Love Dancin‘ and Spanish-flavoured Earl Klugh -strummed lovely instrumental 0 – 112/56 – 113 – 118bpm ‘Surest Things Can Change‘.

NOT JAMES PLAYER: ‘Friends Again’ (Ultimate 001).
Smoothly building steadily thudding well produced cool 113 – 114 – 115 – 116 (bass) – 117 – 118 – 119bpm 12in white label UK jazz-funk instrumental inspired largely by Herbie Hancock’s ‘Just Around The Corner’.

SHALAMAR: ‘Three For Love’ LP (Solar SOLA 8).
Thin sounding pop-disco now gaining popularity, the 12in-bound 116 – 117bpm ‘Make That Move’ being a typical Solar smacker, ‘Attention To My Baby‘ a cheerful 0 – 111bpm jolter, ‘Pop Along Kid‘ a chunky 114 – 115bpm chugger, ‘Some Things Never Change‘ an empty 118 – 117bpm smacker, ‘Work It Out‘ a rolling 111 – 112 – 113 – 114 – 113 – 114bpm swayer, the bland 118 – 119bpm ‘Full Of Fire‘ having hit on US 12in.

STEVIE WONDER: ‘Lately’ (Motown TMG 1226).
Gorgeous 19/38bpm 7in smoocher.

ME & YOU: ‘La La Means I Love You’ (Castro Brown CB 011).
Delfonics 1968 sweet soul classic nicely reggaefied on 83bpm 12in.

BOB JAMES: ‘All Around The Town’ LP (Tappan Zee/CBS 58509).
Specialist jazz set of old material Re-recorded “live” in December ’79 at three different New York venues (hence LP title). The obvious fave being his 118 – 117 – 114 (halfway) 116 – 118 – 114 – 0bpm ‘Westchester Lady’, others including 132 – 130 – 129 – 130bpm ‘Touchdown’, 0 – 31bpm ‘Angela (Theme From ‘Taxi’)‘, 0 – 129 (intro) – 135 – 136 – 131 – 137 (flute) – 133 – 132 – 129 – 0bpm ‘Farandole‘ and 117 (intro) – 112 – 110 – 111 – 114 (bass) – 112 – 0bpm ‘We’re All Alone‘.

TOM BROWNE: ‘Let’s Dance’ (LP ‘Magic’ ARM. GRP 5503).
Applause introed lethargically smacking 117bpm bumper falls between funk and jazz and doesn’t do a lot.

YOKO ONO: ‘Walking On Thin Ice’ (Geffen K 79202).
Surprisingly strong futurist/disco 121 – 120bpm 7in smash-bound loper.

SHOCK: ‘Angel Face’ (RCA 14).
Computer-played 119½bpm 7in Glitter Band revival now suddenly exploding for the futurist mime team, the Rusty Egan-arranged 119bpm instrumental ‘R.E.R.B.‘ flip vari-synching sensationally with Ronnie Jones’ 120bpm US 12in ‘Video Games’ break. A remixed 12in promo however now running respectively at 120½bpm and 117bpm.

DEPARTMENT S: ‘Is Vic There?’ (Demon D 1003).
Supremely silly 148bpm 7in new wave skipper with “telephone” break and ‘Two Pints Of Lager’ potential.

SIMPLE MINDS: ‘Celebrate’ (Arista ARIST 12394).
Echoing 136bpm 12in futurist clapper, flipped by the Bowie-ish 0 – 115 – 116 – 115bpm ‘Changeling‘ segued into their even stronger recent 128bpm ‘I Travel‘ electronic stormer.

THE QUICK: ‘Young Men Drive Fast’ (Epic EPC 13-9466).
Fast smooth 136bpm 12in electronic disco pounder builds a good bass break.

STONE CITY BAND: ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ (Motown 12TMG 1221).
Futurist slanted 129 – 130 – 129bpm 12in Kinks oldie with more electronic instrumental 130bpm flip.

GRACE JONES: ‘Demolition Man’ (Island 12WIP 5673).
Sting-penned jerky 146/73 – 147bpm 12in jolter flipped by the ponderously heavy 121 – 122 – 123bpm ‘Bull Shit‘.

LENE LOVICH: ‘New Toy’ (Stiff BUY 97).
Powerful churning 143bpm 7in futurist chanter.

ELEVATION: ‘Crazy Ricochet’ (Polydor POSP 220).
Interestingly different Jimmy Miller-produced 133bpm 7in bass/drums-driven pop/futurist chanter. Hello, Gordon Lyle, are you happy?!


IMPORTS

NOLEN & CROSSLEY: ‘Lay It On The Line’ (LP ‘Nolen & Crossley’ US Gordy G8-1000M1).
Ignored by all but Chris Hill, who reckons this somewhat disjointed 59 (intro) – 116 – 117bpm soul lurcher is like Michael Jackson crossed with the Invisible Man’s Band.

Chris is also hot for last year’s similarly missed Arni Egilsson ‘Howduz Disco?’ (US Inner City ‘Bassus Erectus’ LP), a dynamite circa 131bpm electronic bass instrumental worth finding by jazz and even futurist jocks.

Last week’s new import LPs included sets that can wait until there’s more room from Debra Laws, Smokey Robinson, Leon Ware, Billy Preston and Diana Ross, the latter divided between oldies and slowies which rather reinforces rumours that she may be leaving Motown.

COLD FIRE: ‘Daydreamin’ (LP ‘Too Cold’ US Capitol ST-12096).
Slightly untidy funk set with unsympathetic vocals, this jazzy jaunty jittery 118bpm skipper having a catchy “standing at the bus stop” hook. ‘Whispering’ being a lovely 0 – 32bpm smoocher. ‘Ride’ a building bland 113 – 0bpm canterer and ‘H.F.R.S.’ a brassy coval interplay 120 – 119bpm semi P’funk.


THE FUTURE?

FUTURIST JOCKS have really popped out of the woodwork, sending in enough charts to make this new listing quite authoritative (you’ll get name-checks when there’s more room, so keep ’em coming lads!) I for one, contrary to your possible impression, am delighted as I’ve been greatly excited by the New Romanticism vibe for some time, especially as the jocking style of its leading exponents juxtaposes all sorts of music in my own mobile manner. The danger in listing stuff as being ‘Futurist’ is that an immediate pigeon hole is created for a type of music that record companies, never known for originality of thought, will immediately adopt as another formula to flood the market and you may be sure that this will happen. My misgivings a few years back about the growth of punk obliterating disco proved unfounded as it turned out, but this time I really do fear that funk disco will be in for a hiding, as this “new” music by being in reality a fusion of Wally Eurodisco with white rock has a far wider pop appeal for a cross section of Britain’s indigenous population (plus, it’s such fun dressing up!). However, do remember that many of the New Romantics were Soul Boys before, and certainly in London’s leading Futurist venues a wide variety of musical styles are mixed up, unexpected contrast being an important ingredient.

1. The Freeze – Spandau Ballet – Reformation 12in
2. Vienna / Passionate Reply – Ultravox – Chrysalis
3. Fade To Grey – Visage – Polydor 12in
4. Planet Earth / Late Bar – Duran Duran – EMI 12in
5. Tar / Blocks On Blocks / Mind Of A Toy / Moon Over Moscow / Visage / Visa-age – Visage Polydor LP
6. Angel Face / R.E.R.B – Shock – RCA/12in promo
7. Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads – Sire
8. The Model – Kraftwerk – Capitol LP
9. Empire State Human – Human League – Virgin
10. I’m In Love With A German Film Star – Passions – Polydor
11. Einstein A Go Go – Landscape – RCA 12in
12. Fashion – David Bowie – RCA 12in
13. Seconds Too Late – Cabaret Voltaire – Rough Trade
14. All Stood Still – Ultravox – Chrysalis LP
15. A Crow And A Baby – Human League – Virgin LP
16. The Passenger – Iggy Pop – RCA LP
17. She’s Lost Control – Joy Division – Factory 12in
18. Scary Monsters – David Bowie – RCA
19. To Cut A Long Story Short – Spandau Ballet – Reformation 12in
20. 19th Nervous Breakdown – Nash The Slash – DinDisc LP


UK Disco Top 90 – February 28, 1981

01 02 Freeez – Southern Freeez / Version – Beggars Banquet 12”
02 01 Yarbrough & Peoples – Don’t Stop The Music – Mercury 12”
03 03 Gap Band – Burn Rubber On Me – Mercury 12”
04 05 Heatwave – Gangsters Of The Groove – GTO 12”
05 06 Blondie – Rapture – Chrysalis 12”
06 04 MFSB – Mysteries Of The World – TSOP 12”
07 09 Rah Band – Slide – DJM 12”
08 07 James Brown – Rapp Payback – RCA 12”/LP
09 24 Sharon Redd – Can You Handle It – Epic 12”
10 19 Kleeer – Get Tough / De Kleeer Ting / Sippin’ & Kissin’ – US Atlantic LP
11 15 Beggar & Co – (Somebody) Help Me Out / Rising Sun – Ensign 12”
12 08 L.A.X. – All My Love – Epic 12”
13 17 T.S. Monk – Bon Bon Vie – Mirage 12”
14 13 Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson – The Bottle – Vintage Champagne 12”
15 10 Fantasy – You’re Too Late – Epic 12”
16 22 Joe Sample – Burnin’ Up The Carnival – MCA 12”/LP
17 21 It’s A Love Thing – Whispers – US Solar 12”
18 16 Cloud – All Night Long / Take It To The Top – UK Champagne 12”
19 12 Light Of The World – I Shot The Sheriff – Ensign 12”
20 20 Ned Doheny – To Prove My Love – CBS 12”
21 11 Whispers – Imagination / I Can Make It Better / Up On Soul Train / Continental Shuffle – Solar LP
22 14 (New York) Skyy – Here’s To You – Excaliber 12”
23 18 Stevie Wonder – I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It – Motown 12”
24 25 K.I.D. – Don’t Stop – Groove/EMI 12”
25 28 T.S. Monk – Candidate For Love / House Of Music / Can’t Keep My Hands To Myself – Mirage LP
26 29 Millie Jackson – I Had To Say It – Spring 12”
27 23 Kool & The Gang – Celebration – De-Lite 12”
28 26 Eddy Grant – Do You Feel My Love – Ensign 12”
29 37 Billy Ocean – Nights (Feel Like Getting Down) – GTO 12”
30 30 Marvin Gaye – Heavy Love Affair / Praise / Funk Me / Love Party – Motown LP
31 41 Sheila Hylton – The Bed’s Too Big Without You – Island 12”
32 27 Unlimited Touch – I Hear Music In The Streets – Epic 12”
33 39 Various – Bits & Pieces III – Canadian Special Disco Mixer 12”
34 31 Funk Masters – Love Money – Tania Music 12”
35 44 Harry Thumann – Underwater – Decca 12”
36 60 Bernard Wright – Bread Sandwiches / Just Chillin’ Out / Firebolt Hustle / Master Rocker / Spinnin’ – US Arista GRP LP
37 38 Breakfast Band – L.A.14 – Disc Empire 12”
38 36 Odyssey – Hang Together – RCA 12”
39 47 Ozone – Love Zone / Mighty-Mighty / Jump On It / Ozonic Bee Bop / Rock And Roll, Pop And Soul / Come On In – US Motown LP
40 32 Patrice Rushen – Never Gonna Give You Up – Elektra 12”
41 33 Young & Company – I Like (What You’re Doing To Me) – Excaliber 12”
42 NE Sister Sledge – All American Girls – Atlantic 12”
43 63 Lenny White/Twennynine – Fancy Dancer (Remix) – Elektra 12in promo
44 NE Jacksons – Can You Feel It – Epic 12”
45 35 Inversions – Mr Mac / Passport – Groove Production 12”
46 34 Wilton Felder – Insight – MCA 12in
47 42 Central Line – (You Know) You Can Do It / We Chose Love – Mercury 12”
48 66 Firefly – Love (Is Gonna Be On Your Side) – US Emergency 12”
49 70 Second Image – Dance Dance Dance / The Jazzy Dancer – Polydor 12”
50 53 Altitude – Six Nine Shuffle – UK Champagne 12”
51 40 Level 42 – (Flying On The) Wings Of Love (Remix ’81) – Polydor 12”
52 73 George Benson – What’s On Your Mind / Turn Out The Lamplight – Warner Bros 12”
53 56 Hot Cuisine – All Fired Up / Dancin’ Me To Ecstacy – Kaleidoscope 12”
54 43 Spectrum – Taking It To The Top – Smokey 12”
55 48 Gene Dunlap – Love Dancin’ / It’s Just The Way I Feel / Surest Things Can Change – Capitol 12”
56 69 Freda Payne – Band Of Gold – Vintage Champagne 12”
57 58 Mystic Touch – Get Yourself Together / Party People – US Reflection 12”
58 80 Ray Carless – Tarantula Walk / New Born Child – Ensign 12”
59 55 Nick Straker Band – A Little Bit Of Jazz – CBS 12”
60 74 Alphonze Mouzon – By All Means / Do I Have To? – US P.A.U.S.A. LP
61 50 David Bendeth – Goldmine / Love Collect – Ensign 12”
62 71 Shalamar – Make That Move / Attention To My Baby / Work It Out / Some Things Never Change / Pop Along Kid – Solar LP
63 49 Young & Company – Strut Your Stuff (Sexy Lady) / Waiting On Your Love – Excaliber 12”
64 59 Slave – Watching You – Atlantic 12”
65 45 The Reddings – Remote Control / The Awakening – Epic
66 51 Fuse One – Grand Prix / Double Steal – Japanese/German CTI LP
67 72 Kool & The Gang – Jones Vs Jones / Summer Madness – De-Lite 12”
68 86 Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday / Did I Hear You Say You Love Me / Lately – Motown LP
69 54 Sylvia Striplin – Give Me Your Love – US Uno Melodic 12”
70 57 Shalamar – Full Of Fire – US Solar 12”
71 NE Linx – Intuition / Together We Can Shine – Chrysalis 12”
72 75 Diana Ross – It’s My Turn – Motown
73 62 Tom Browne – Midnight Interlude / Magic – Arista GRP 12”
74 83 Heatwave – Jitterbuggin’ / Posin’ ‘Til Closin’ / Turn Around / Goin’ Crazy – GTO LP
75 52 Freeez – Flying High / Caribbean Winter / Mariposa (Butterfly) / Sunset – Beggars Banquet LP
76 46 ConFunkShun – Too Tight – Mercury 12”
77 77 Free Expression – Chill-Out! – US Vanguard 12”
78 61 Blackbyrds – Rock Creek Park / Don’t Know What To Say – Fantasy 12”
79 67 Frank Hooker & Positive People – Ooh Suga Wooga / This Feelin’ (Remix) – US Panorama LP
80 NE Sister Sledge – Music Makes Me Feel Good / If You Really Want Me / Next Time You’ll Know / Don’t You Let Me Lose It – Atlantic LP
81 NE Denise LaSalle & Satisfaction – I’m Trippin’ On You – US MCA LP
82 NE Shakatak – Living In The UK – Polydor 12”
83 68 Grace Kennedy – I’m Starting Again – DJM 12”
84 NE Rose Royce – Golden Touch – Whitfield 12”
85 64 Bar-Kays – Boogie Body Land – Mercury 12”
86 NE Lakeside – Fantastic Voyage – Solar 12”
87 85 Leprechaun – Loc-It-Up – US Citation 12”
88 65 One On One – Body Music – US Bonus 12”
89 82 Wizzdom – Free Bass – US TK 12”
90 NE Powerline – Journey / Double Journey – Elite 12”


BREAKERS

BUBBLING UNDER the UK Disco 90 with increased support are:

Alicia Myers: ‘Spirit Of The Boogie’ (US MCA LP)
Manu Dibango: ‘Goro City’ / ‘Happy Feeling’ (Island 12in)
Sunburst: ‘Sunburst’ (Jap JVC LP)
Delegation: ‘Singing’ (Ariola 12in)
Rudy Grant: ‘Lately’ (Ensign 12in)
Jerry Knight: ‘Perfect Flt’ (US A&M)
Johnny Bristol: ‘Love No Longer Has A Hold On Me (Remix)’ (Ariola Hansa 12in)
Eloise Laws: ‘Almost All The Way To Love’ / ‘I’m Just Warmin’ Up’ / ‘Strength Of A Woman’ / ‘If I Don’t Watch Out’ (US Liberty LP)
Roy Haynes: ‘Vistalite’ (US Galaxy LP)
Tom Browne: ‘Let’s Dance’ (Arista LP)
Cedar Walton: ‘Latin America’ (US Columbia LP)
Sugar Minott: ‘Good Thing Going’ (Hawkeye 12in)
Bob James: ‘Westchester Lady’ (Tappan Zee LP)
Arni Egilsson: ‘Howduz Disco?’ (US Inner City LP)
Brass Construction: ‘Shakit’ )UA 12in)
Me & You: ‘La La Means I Love You’ (Castro Brown 12in)
Willie Mitchell: ‘Sparkle’ / ‘Reachin’ Out’ (US Bearsville LP)
Willie Bobo: ‘Always There’ (US Columbia LP)
Cold Fire: ‘Daydreamin’ / ‘Whispering’ (US Capitol LP)
Tierra: ‘Latin Disco’ / ‘Together’ (US Boardwalk 12in)


DORC (Disco Featured Pop Hits)

1(2) Adam ‘Ant-music’, 2(1) Spandau ‘Freeze’, 3(3) Visage, 4(5) Ultravox, 5(7) Lennon ‘Woman’, 6(4) Fassbinder, 7(10) Barbara Jones, 8(13) Look, 9(9) Phil Collins, 10(-) Dolce, 11(6) Lennon ‘Imagine’, 12(20) Madness, 13(15) Gen X, 14(8) Specials, 15(12) Bad Manners, 16(-) Shock, 17(-) Kelly Marie, 18(-) Rainbow, 19(-) Slade, 20(19) Cliff Richard, 21(-) Coast To Coast, 22(11) Nolans, 23(23) Spandau ‘Story’, 24(17) Police ‘Voices’, 25(-) XTC.


HIT NUMBERS

Beats Per Minute for last weeks pop chart entries on 7in (and 19in!) are:
Motorhead / Girlschool 189 – 0r, Roxy Music 0 – 39/78f, Adam 0 – 168f,Tygers Of Pan Tang 212f, Kiki Dee 62 – 124f, Judas Priest 0 – 64 – 130 – 134r, Kim Wilde 80 – 161f, Kool 94f, Duran Duran ‘Earth’ 132f / ‘Bar’ 131 – 64 – 131c, Harry Thumann 131f, Dolly Parton 50/101 – 105 – 107f.

3 thoughts on “February 28, 1981: Futurist Top 20, Change, Sister Sledge, Whispers, Nolen & Crossley”

  1. Fascinating to see how the New Romantic scene just seemed to explode onto the mainstream over several of James’ columns. As usual Bowie was around doing his usual shapeshifting and exploiting the scene for his own benefit. I don’t remember the term “Futurist” ever being used at the time. It certainly did create quite a buzz- especially in Art College circles at the time. The pretentious visuals- elaborate costume & make up contributed to the increased importance of videos in promoting the artists and specific tracks, did make a major contribution to how music was marketed/consumed. You can really see the dance music scene splintering off into different tribes at this point. Disco is crossing over into its 80s reincarnation.

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  2. I remember futurist being used pretty interchangeably with New Romantic in 1981/82 but over the years the use of the name futurist for the scene as been all but forgotten. I followed it and wore the ‘interesting’ fashions and surprisingly managed to do that in suburban nightclubs without getting beaten up. As James says unlike most other scenes it was nightclub rather than live music based and people like Spandau Ballet had been regulars at funk clubs even mentioing going to the Bournemouth weekenders if I remember correctly.

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  3. I always preferred the term “futurist”, and can remember it being widely used; Nottingham’s Rock City had a very popular Futurist club night on Saturdays from 1981-1982, for instance. “Futurist” implied something artier and edgier, whereas “New Romantic” felt more pop: your Durans, Spandaus and Visages.

    Although it’s good to read of James’s enthusiasm, his bracketing of the music as “white rock meets Wally disco” doesn’t quite cut it for me. I see it more as an amalgam of post-punk, the Bowie/Roxy legacy, and the nascent electronic scene (finally, the impact of “I Feel Love” is starting to become visible), coupled with a soulboy/soulgirl mentality that in some ways also continues the mod tradition: dressing up to look sharp, chasing the newest of the new, but also acknowledging where its roots lie.

    (I can also see why the scene’s eclecticism appeals to James, as I can detect a certain weariness creeping into his reviews; there doesn’t seem to be much development right now in the soul/funk arena. There are fewer new releases, fewer crossover hits, and there’s a continuing interest in excavating older jazz-funk tracks.)

    Some of the people attending Futurist nights would have been jumping ship from the soul/funk scene – I agree that it’s where Spandau came from, and I can recall people I knew at the time making the switch – but what’s also interesting is how futurism in turn came to influence black dance music. We’re less than 18 months away from the beginnings of electro-funk, for starters.

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