ODDS ‘N’ BODS
RICK JAMES on UK 12in turns out to be only the short 7in version, which is crazy, will lose Motown a smash and must place a premium on the rare US 12in promo remixes . . . Sugarhill’s legal mixer ‘The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel‘ is ruined by ghastly awful jerky stops and starts that are meant to be clever and precisely timed but will immediately throw dancers who’ve just settled into a groove . . . Groove’s forthcoming Latin-jazz material by Cayenne is – mmm! – tasty . . . Champagne has now picked up Proton Plus ‘Pay-Up’ . . . Jermaine Jackson is due on commercial 12in with remixed flip . . . EMI next month compile recent disco/soul hits like William DeVaughn, Cecil Parker, KID, on a ‘Don’t Stop’ LP . . . MCA have serviced radio with a 7in promo of Atmosfear ‘Creators Dream‘, which if they’re thinking of as a single release happens to be the coldest cut on the album . . . Odyssey in case you were worrying is 106bpm (not 181!), Krokus’s hit number is 125-127c, and Coati Mundi on UK 12in seems to be 111bpm . . . Magnet’s roving Tilly Rutherford tantalizingly says “Watch out for the 12in ‘Wade In The Water — Ramsey Lewis / Marlene Shaw”! . . . Reading’s Bank Holiday Monday all-dayer was the last all-dayer/niter the mafia intend to do, returning instead to build back the underground scene’s strength where it all started — in the clubs . . . Hambro Housley Legal Protection Ltd now supplies automatic free legal fees insurance to all members of the Disc Jockeys Federation which entitles jocks to pursue claims against third parties for injury sustained whilst at work with no worry about the cost of the proceedings (people tend to settle out of court once they know you’ve got the strength of an insurance company around you), details from the DJF (GB)’s Bill Forrester, 196 Stapleton Hall Road, London, N4 4QL (01 341 2785) silly not to? . . . Phil Blizzard’s recently printed phone number should have been 0782-263874 . . . London’s Lyceum starts a weekly roller disco on Monday (1) with Steve Walsh and Roger Kent and then for 36 hours over 16/17th June will have a marathon discothon (jocked for all 36 hours by manager Roger Rushton!) in aid of Year Of The Disabled — sponsors please call 01-636 3715 . . . Tricky Dicky’s gay Dicks Inn discos celebrate their 10th anniversary on Friday (29) with the Marvelettes live at Camden Town Hall in Euston Road, 8:30-midnight, but Dicky emphasizes the event is for mainly gay people and their friends . . . John Grant’s Friday mixture at Manchester’s Rufus in Fennel Street is UK releases, imports, reggae, slow soul and even some of the best EDM, while the specialist jazz-funk imports Wednesday night there has probably just started too by now . . . Paul Clark & Mick Fuller now jazz-funk Brighton Busby’s on Sundays with guest jocks planned every three weeks (they’re already there Thursdays too) . . . Nikki Peck’s Sunday re-opening of Gillingham’s Central Hotel venue has now been followed by Dave Flemming funking Fridays there too — he was one of the original jocks some six years ago when it was known as the R&B Club . . . Sheffield’s Jimmy Mack has moved to Derby Romeo’s & Juliet’s on Mondays . . . Russ Burcham, cheeky chappy (actually quite enterprising), offered his disco for The Wedding and got a charming letter back from the Master of the Household at Buckingham Palace, Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Ashmore KCB. KCVO. DSC, saying unfortunately arrangements are already well under way . . . However, those less well organized can book Russ on Billericay 22939 . . . Gary Woodford (01-866 9686), with or without his Mega Sound system, is looking for residencies on Mon/Wed/Thursdays . . . Keith Black (Warwick) returned from his Kenya holiday with “a really good conga-type party record sung in Swahili but going down a bomb at jolly gigs, Them Mushrooms Band ‘Kenya Kakuna Matata‘ (Kenyan Polydor), in fact flip of the ‘Funky Nassau’-type ‘Mombasa‘ . . . Frankie Smith ‘Double Dutch Bus’, better late than never, has just hit the US Hot 100 after slowly rising on the soul chart – nearly a year after it was hot here! . . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms — where Radio Luxembourg recently recorded a live Disco Top 20 Show for broadcast on 22nd June, (when it’ll be really up to date) says, “With so many spine tingling soul ballads about, why doesn’t someone make a disco mix medley of love music all segued together, edited down and guaranteed to cause havoc on the dancefloor”, or even more at home, in private? . . . Hazel O’Connor’s superb sax is played by Wesley Magoogan, whose own ‘This Guy’s In Love With You’ was completely ignored a few months back . . . Lee Taylor (Mayfair Tokyo Joe) wonders how I calculate the BPMs, using a half minute sweep stopwatch and a hand tally counter on which to click off the beats so that my mind can be left free, I get a good idea after 10, 15, 20 and obviously 30 seconds what the full minute’s BPM should be (you multiply respectively by 6, 4, 3 and 2), so that if the BPM has speeded or slowed I then have to go back and do each bit of the record section by section to chart the fluctuation — this happens to take a hell of a long time, which explains why depending on the time available to me you sometimes get a varying number of reviews . . . Rush Release continue in their aim to control the entire disco business — they’ve just starting plugging for RCA too (if only they, or someone, would do it for WEA!) . . . Whispers chart-topper is massively down on support but still there’s nothing else in the rather stagnant upper chart reaches looking like a contender . . . DJs, last week’s request for charts should have asked for at least a Top 20 floor response listing, as often as possible . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillan’s) reports one of the Gnomes, Phil Ford, accidentally played a white label of Soft Machine ‘Over ‘N’ Above‘ off the ‘Land Of Cockayne’ LP at 45rpm and discovered a rather good speed-spin . . . Chris Ellis of Staines Fusion Few was touched to get a nice letter and a quid for drinks from the Liverpool Gnomes when they couldn’t make his 21st party at Jacksons in Staines — however, the Groovin’ Gropers, Soulful Strollers, Party Jerks. Tony Jenkins (that well known tribe) and more did make it . . . In the words of Minnie The Moocher — HI DE HI DE HI DE HI!
THE WHISPERS: ‘I Can Make It Better’ (Solar SOT 19).
Annoyingly pointless doodling intro needs skipping before the busily burbling bass-backed 0-120-121bpm 12in smacker hits its stride and then it’s whack whack whack all the way, with few surprises but lots of simple power and slick finesse.
LINX: ‘Throw Away The Key’ (Chrysalis CHS 12-2519).
Change ‘Searching’-style rolling fast tumbling and tapping 125-126bpm chugger with weird tone intro and frighteningly abrupt demented drum thuds, already voted Capital Radio’s Peoples Choice, remixed on 3-track 12in with the not particularly compulsive laid back 115bpm ‘The Ice Is Melting‘ seguing into a sparsely remixed 118bpm ‘Together We Can Shine‘, which you’ll remember originally as flip to ‘Intuition’.
ESTHER WILLIAMS: ‘I’ll Be Your Pleasure’ (RCA RCAT 78).
Larry Levan-remixed lovely hauntingly nagging Sharon Redd-ish sinuous soulfully wailed 110bpm 12in jittery burbling clapper goes into an abrupt great break with superb jazzy guitar suddenly emerging out of it, and gets stronger the longer it’s on — it’s certainly worth playing right to the end. Continue reading “May 30, 1981: Whispers, Linx, Esther Williams, War, Future Flight”