July 18, 1981: Modern Romance, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bobby Broom, Genji Sawai & Bacon Egg, Spaces

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CLUB ATTENDANCES are slumping yet the pop chart has never been fuller of disco / black material, and with fewer opportunities for DJs to play it there is a frustratingly large amount of strong new product about . . . Erskine T it can now be announced has rejoined his old Arista colleagues who now work at WEA, where as assistant to the head of A&R he will be responsible for WEA’s black product . . . Abba’s 12in, as you’ve probably heard.. is not 7in at all . . . Commodores ‘Lady (You Bring Me Up)’ will eventually be sneaked out on 12in (evidently US Motown don’t approve of 12in versions here as they don’t release them in the States) . . . ‘Square Biz’ will be Teena Marie’s single, imminently . . . Boystown Gang ‘Remember Me/Suite’ will be out here via WEA, but ‘Cruisin’ The Streets’ is considered too hot for British release (at least in unabridged form!) . . . Cayenne have recorded a Spanish version of ‘Roberto Who’ for foreign release . . . Ze’s ‘Mutant Disco’ album in the States is called ‘SeiZE The BEAT’, with Cristina ‘Drive My Car’ (which ran into a copyright ban here) replacing the Kid Creole cut . . . Staple Singers, who played London’s Venue on Sunday, have returned to recording with an album for 20th Century-Fox . . . Evelyn King was due to have made a quick visit here on Tuesday/Wednesday this week . . . Stevie Wonder’s 7in of ‘Happy Birthday’ is a digitally mixed new version specially done while he was here in London . . . Mainstreet, the elusive label for the dynamite MSO ‘In The Jungle’, appears to be distributed by Stage One . . . Froggy can’t tell his Morrissey Who? from Roberto Mullen, and obviously missed ‘Wade In The Water’ when it first came out! . . . ‘Wikka Wrap’ is impossible to avoid on New York’s WBLS radio station, and steamed into the US Disco chart . . . US Club owners who jumped on the ‘Urban Cowboy’ bandwagon are now moaning that the country music disco format isn’t working anymore — meanwhile, UK club owners reeling from the ‘Urban Violence’ bandwagon are moaning that the country isn’t working anymore . . . ‘Bits & Pieces III’ the bootleg original version of ‘Stars On 45’, has finally dropped out of our disco chart after nearly eight months . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow), horror of horrors, wonders when Jonathan King will make a mixer out of his hits (he must be Jo King!) . . .


HINES SIGHT

DOE-EYED dolly with the braided hair, Marcia Hines evidently became the most successful female singing star ever in Australia during the late ’70s. American born, she moved down under from Boston to appear in the local productions of ‘Hair’ and then ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ (yup, she’s one of them) before starting her hit streak in ’75, and now, after a two year recording lay-off, she’s returned with a cantering catchy pop-aimed 121bpm 7in revival of Dusty Springfield’s ‘Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees’ (Logo GO 403). With looks like hers, who needs a voice?


UK NEWIES

MODERN ROMANCE: ‘Everybody Salsa/Salsa Rappsody’ (WEA K 18815T).
Sensational “new dance music” fusion of authentic-type happy Latin salsa and then a rap section in rather futurist style on 124-123-122-124bpm 12in, although in fact the two-part 7in version can be made to flow in reverse order, the rap flip being 123½-124f and then the A-side picks up at 124-123-124c. Like Spandau’s ‘Chant’ this is a crossover smash.

THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: ‘Hooked On Classics’ (RCA RCAT 109).
After Stars On 45, now Classics on 45! All your fave Hundred Best Toons segued together on 0-131bpm 12in and headed straight for the top of the pop charts. In fact the treatment is surprisingly similar to an old 1960 Golden Guinea LP by 101 Strings, called ‘Back Beat Symphony‘, which put a “rock & roll” beat behind much the same material but minus the mixes. 

OTHER RELEASES: Look, OK, I’m sorry — but what with gigs and the rest of the page to put together, I’ve not had time to BPM anything other than the material I’m actually using myself . . . which may or may not be some recommendation in itself. It’s not even as if I get any sleep at the weekend as it is!

Anyway, look out for an upcoming 112bpm killer by Central Line ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ (Mercury MERX 78).

Black Slate’s 65/13(intro)-63½/127-63/126bpm ‘Live A Life’ (Ensign ENYT 215) — boy, was ever a guesstimated title wrong!.

Jennifer ‘Without You’ or rather the superb sax-played 37/73bpm ‘Instrumental Part 1 Dub Cut’! flip (SS Music SSM 002).

Motion’s eponymous reggae-fusion album (Double D DDLP4), on which the cool cuts are the 0-37/75bpm ‘No Man Is An Island’, 98/49-49-49-100-50-52/26-53-0bpm ‘Crazy Beat’, 0-34-68-0bpm ‘Rainbow’ and 47/95-48-0bpm ‘Let Go’.

The 12in remix at 120(start)-123-124bpm of Cayenne’s ‘Roberto Who . . .?‘ with instrumental flip (Groove Production GP 3012).

and Smokey Robinson’s 44-45bpm 7in smoocher ‘You Are Forever‘ (Motown TMG 1237).


IMPORTS

BOBBY BROOM: ‘Saturday Night’ (LP Clean Sweep’ US Arista/GRP 5504).
This week’s prime play sees the 20 year-old guitarist from Tom Browne’s sessions surface as a potential rival to George Benson on his terrific debut solo set, the main 114-116-117-118bpm killer out combining some tense ‘Jamaica’ funk with languid chord plucking, the huskily sung ‘Share My Love‘ being a lively swinging 116-117-119bpm backbeat clapper, while instrumental beauts are the prettily swaying 0-109bpm title track and fluidly spurting 123-124-0bpm ‘Remember When‘ . . . which could refer to the late ’60s sound of Benson and Wes Montgomery, of which it is so reminiscent.

GENJI SAWAI & BACON EGG: ‘What Comes Next?’ (LP ‘Skipjack’ Japanese Electric Bird K28P6072).
Finally in circulation now following an initial hot tip some time back (when many people thought the unlikely name was another wind -up!), this Japanese group’s instrumental set has been hailed by Chris Hill as the “best Jap-jazz album ever” — and certainly it’s strong enough for every specialist jock to lash out on unheard. Recorded with plenty of presence and nagging sax lines, the warmest cut so far appears to be this somewhat Shakatak-ish 117-120-124-123-121-122-120bpm lolloper, ‘Hand And Foot‘ being a fast 132-134-137-135-0bpm Brazilian stormer, the title track a chunkier more accessible 115-117bpm purposeful loper, ‘Ship On The Lip‘ a convoluted 0-114-115-117(bass)-115-117bpm tension builder, and ‘Green Vestige’ a disjointed c. 120bpm patterer. Like I say, it’s specialist but good . . . and expensive.

SPACES: ‘Song For Jeremy’ (LP ‘Spaces’ US Arista AL 9553).
Good young white group’s somewhat sax-dominated tight jazz-funk set produced and played on by percussionist Ralph MacDonald (with an obsession for 119bpm?), this naggingly catchy flowing 119-121-123-126bpm skipper being hottest of the instrumentals, including the bumpily swaying solo-filled 115-114-118bpm ‘Shadow Street’, staccato ticking 118-119-121bpm ‘The Clam’, and slow 46/92bpm ‘Eddie And Carol’, while the smoothly pushing subtly emphatic 119-120bpm ‘Try Some Of This’ is the strongest vocal, over the messily starting but then jazzily breaking 119-121-123-124bpm ‘Life Line’ and rock-ish 126bpm ‘Chemical Man’.

LEE OSKAR: ‘Song For My Son’ (LP ‘My Road Our Road’ US Elektra 5E – 526).
The only cut on the album that’s really strong – and is that STRONG! — this terrific gorgeous happily romping 122(start)-119-121-122(percussion)bpm Latin instrumental harmonica skipper by the War harpist takes a while to get going (chop in at the main beat) but then builds on up to a killer rattling finale — however, a blinding mix into Modern Romance should come before this.

RAHMLEE: ‘Down In Storyville’ (LP ‘Rise Of The Phoenix’ US Headfirst HF – 9703).
Somewhat off-the-wall but powerful set (for listening if not so much for dancing) by a poised and polished trumpeter from I believe the EWF fold, this all too short piano rolled drums bumped 104bpm instrumental jolter being a good crowd-fooling preamble to ‘Roots’, it actually being preceded by the chatter linked clapping-backed 0-91bpm brass tootled ‘Basin Street Brass‘, the unusual haunting long jittery 56½/113-115bpm ‘Think‘ tugger finishing with sizzling synth, ‘Heartbreaker‘ being an Isley’s-ish 129-130-132bpm bounding smacker, ‘Never Give Up On You‘ a lushly vocal strange 79-80bpm jogger, while the twin part title track ‘Rise Of The Phoenix (Birth & Consumption)‘ is an extremely disjointed but satisfying deep jazz ramble (c. 93bpm at times) with ‘II (Rebirth & Immortality) at c. 102bpm.

EDDIE RUSS: ‘Zaius’ (LP ‘See The Light’ US Monument MG7606).
Much sought since it slipped out and into subsequent legend back in ’76, this powerfully leaping and trucking fast jittery solo-filled 128-130-132-129(guitar)-131bpm jazz keyboards instrumental nagger has finally flooded London’s cut-out bins at cheapo-cheapo prices making it a rarity no longer — although sadly not in time for the mass new wave of purchasers to benefit from the way it used to synch sensationally out of ‘Southern Freeez’!

LONNIE YOUNGBLOOD: ‘Feelings/Expressions’ (LP ‘Lonnie Youngblood’ US Radio Records RR 16045).
Surrounded as it is by boring mundane funkers (sadly the work of George Kerr, who produced the O’Jays brilliant 1968 singles), the veteran Philly Soulster’s gorgeous sexy sax-played 41-83-84bpm instrumental of Morris Albert’s smoocher was worth the price of the whole LP and really gets ’em going at Gully’s — with mumbled butch bits and title chanting chix at times. It incidentally synchs on perfectly into ‘Body Talk’.

EVELYN KING: ‘The Other Side Of Love’ (LP ‘I’m In Love’ US RCA AFL 1-3962).
Consistently conceived and executed set, this being a familiar bouncing lovely slinkily rolling 102bpm soulful jogger, ‘What Are You Waiting For‘ a good creamily clumping 114-116bpm swayer. ‘If You Want My Lovin‘ a useful 115-116bpm variation on her 114½bpm title track smash. ‘I Can’t Take It‘ a chunky 115-118bpm chugger, and ‘Spirit Of The Dancer‘ an emptily untidy jittery 124bpm smacker.

CARL CARLTON: ‘Sexy Lady’ (LP ‘Carl Carlton’ US 20th Century-Fox T – 625).
Not terribly inspired Leon Heywood-produced variation on a theme, this Michael McGloiry penned 113-114bpm tripper being a more easily flowing version of the jerkily tugging 114bpm ‘She’s A Bad Mama Jama‘ hit, the 114-113bpm ‘I’ve Got That Boogie Fever‘ being even more similar, and ‘Fighting In The Name Of Love‘ a jiggly 95bpm jogger.

BOBBY CALDWELL: ‘Alfie’ (US Marlin 3349).
Pleasantly loping 123bpm 7in disco treatment of Cilia Black / Dionne Warwick’s film-inspired oldie would have sounded stronger in ’76 but must have gay appeal now, especially (dare I say?) sung by a man.

OTHER IMPORTS include an excellent but very specialist moody jazz set by Stanley Cowell, more jazz from Dave Grusin (live), Crossfire, Paquita D’Rivera, Tom Scott, Justo Almario, Herbie Mann (one reggae cut), soul from Bobby King, and, I am reliably informed, the pits by Midnight Star.


UK Disco Top 90 – July 18, 1981

01 01 Odyssey – Going Back To My Roots – RCA 12”
02 02 Thelma Houston – If You Feel It – RCA 12”
03 03 Evasions – Wikka Rap – Groove Production 12”
04 05 Rick James – Give It To Me Baby / Ghetto Life / Fire And Desire / Super Freak – Motown LP/US 12” promo remix
05 06 Coati Mundi – Que Pasa/Me No Pop I – Ze 12”
06 10 Quincy Jones – Razzamatazz – A&M 12”
07 04 Strikers – Body Music – Epic 12”/Dutch Rams Horn 12” remix
08 16 Evelyn King – I’m In Love – RCA 12”
09 08 Imagination – Body Talk – R&B 12”
10 07 Whispers – I Can Make It Better – Solar 12”
11 14 Keni Burke – Let Somebody Love You – RCA 12”
12 15 Third World – Dancing On The Floor – CBS 12”
13 11 Kool & The Gang – Take It To The Top / Celebremos – De-Lite 12”
14 12 Gino Soccio – Try It Out / Closer – Atlantic 12”
15 13 Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper – Island 12”/US Disconet remix
16 09 Smokey Robinson – Being With You – Motown/12” promo
17 20 BB&Q Band – On The Beat – Capitol 12”
18 17 Enigma – Ain’t No Stopping – Disco Mix 1981 – Creole 12”
19 19 Linx – Throw Away The Key – Chrysalis 12”
20 28 Carl Carlton – She’s A Bad Mama Jama – 20th Century-Fox 12”
21 36 Starsound – Stars On 45 Volume 2 – CBS 12”
22 21 Bobby Thurston – Very Last Drop – Epic 12”
23 34 Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood – Island 12”
24 22 Champaign – How ‘Bout Us – CBS 12”
25 26 Hi-Gloss – You’ll Never Know / I’m Totally Yours – Epic 12”
26 33 Spandau Ballet – Chant No.1 – Reformation 12”
27 18 Starsound – Stars On 45 – CBS 12”/LP
28 23 Michael Jackson – One Day In Your Life – Motown
29 31 Wish – Nice And Soft – US Perspective 12”
30 24 Human League – The Sound Of The Crowd – Virgin 12”
31 25 Barry Biggs – Wide Awake In A Dream – Dynamic 12”
32 45 Cheryl Lynn – Shake It Up Tonight – US Columbia 12”
33 58 Tee Mac – Sound Of the Universe – Ensign 12”
34 51 Teena Marie – It Must Be Magic / Square Biz / Portuguese Love – US Gordy LP
35 30 Material – Bustin’ Out – Ze 12”
36 32 Lamont Dozier – Going Back To My Roots – Warner Bros 12”/LP
37 55 Cameo – Freaky Dancin’ / The Sound Table / Don’t Be So Cool – US Chocolate City LP/12” promo
38 27 Aurra – Nasty Disposition / Are You Single – Salsoul 12”
39 42 Shakatak – Brazilian Dawn – Polydor 12”
40 46 Sharon Redd – Can You Handle It (Remix) – US Prelude 12”
41 75 Abba – Lay All Your Love On Me / On And On And On – Epic 12”
42 29 Esther Williams – I’ll Be Your Pleasure – RCA 12”
43 39 Shalamar – Make That Move – Solar 12”
44 35 Mighty Fire – Love Fantasy / Sweet Fire / Love Attack / Love Fuzz – US Elektra LP
45 70 War – Cinco De Mayo – US LAX 12”
46 44 Heatwave – Posin’ ‘Til Closin’ – GTO 12”
47 89 Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry /Jamming (Live) – Island 12”
48 37 Debra Laws – On My Own – Elektra 12”
49 61 France Joli – Gonna Get Over You – US Prelude 12”
50 41 Tantra – Hills Of Katmandu / Wishbone – Automatic 12”
51 76 Rafael Cameron – Funtown USA – US Salsoul 12”
52 63 Quincy Jones – The Dude / Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me / Just Once – A&M LP
53 NE Jacksons – Walk Right Now – Epic 12”
54 47 Second Image – Pinpoint The Feeling – Polydor 12”
55 77 Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields – I Like Your Lovin’ / She’s Got Papers On Me – US Boardwalk LP
56 68 Chaka Khan – What Cha Gonna Do For Me / I’m Every Woman – Warner Bros 12”
57 59 Proton Plus – Pay-Up – UK Champagne 12”
58 65 Gilberto Gil – Maracatu Atomico / Samba De Los Angeles – Elektra LP
59 52 Stargard – You’re The One / High On The Boogie / Back To The Funk / It’s Your Love That I’m Missin’ / Here Comes Love – US Warner Bros LP
60 72 Cayenne – Roberto Who…? / Little Sunflower / Kensal Sunrise / Fiesta Cubana – Groove Prod 12”/LP
61 NE Commodores – Lady (You Bring Me Up) – Motown/US LP
62 66 Fatback – Kool Whip / High Steppin’ Lady – Spring LP
63 85 Maze/Frankie Beverly – Joy And Pain / Southern Girl / The Look In Your Eyes / Running Away / Changing Times – US Capitol LP
64 78 Randy Crawford – You Might Need Somebody – Warner Bros 12”
65 83 Randy Crawford – Rainy Night In Georgia – Warner Bros LP
66 56 Touchdown – Ease Your Mind – Record Shack 12”
67 43 Incognito – Incognito / Shine On (Live) – Ensign 12”
68 NE Morrissey Mullen – Slipstream / Stay A While – Beggars Banquet LP
69 53 Morrissey Mullen – Dragonfly / Pass The Music On – Beggars Banquet LP
70 60 Eddy Grant – California Style / I Love You Yes I Love You – Ice LP
71 88 Keni Burke – You’re The Best / Night Riders / Love Is The Answer – US RCA LP
72 57 Voggue – Dancin’ The Night Away – Canadian Celsius 12”
73 NE Avonn – Everybody Get Down – US RBL 12”
74 RE Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday – Motown LP/12” promo
75 69 Wanda Walden – Don’t You Want My Lovin’ / It’s Gone Now – Elektra 12”
76 71 Ramsey Lewis – Expansions / Lakeshore Cowboy / Romance Me – CBS LP
77 NE Morrissey Mullen – Do Like You / Badness – Beggars Banquet 12”
78 73 Greg Phillinganes – Do It All For Love / Maxxed Out / I Don’t Want To Be The One / Big Man / Girl Talk – US Planet LP
79 NE Teruo Nakamura – Route 80 – Japanese Agharta LP
80 NE Side Effect – It’s Got To Be Love / Make You Mine Elektra LP
81 NE Boystown Gang – Cruisin’ The Streets / Remember Me/Ain’t No Mountain High Enough Suite – US Moby Dick 12”
82 NE Love Unlimited Orchestra – Lift Your Voice And Say – US Unlimited Gold 12”
83 NE Kid Creole – Going Places / Latin Music / Gina Gina / I Am – Ze LP
84 RE Sylvester – Give it Up / Thinking Right – US Fantasy LP/12” promo
85 NE Carol Jiani – The Woman In Me / Hit ‘N’ Run Lover (Remix) – Canadian Matra LP
86 NE Change – Paradise – WEA 12”
87 90 Impressions – Fan The Fire – US 20th Century-Fox LP
88 80 Jermaine Jackson – You Like Me Don’t You – Motown 12”
89 87 Gino Soccio – Hold Tight / Street Talk – Atlantic LP
90 NE Shalamar – Uptown Festival / Take That To The Bank – Golden Grooves 12”


BREAKERS

BUBBLING UNDER the UK Disco 90 with increased support are:

Heath Bros: ‘Dreamin’ / ‘Use It’ (US Columbia LP)
Fatback: ‘Take It Any Way You Want It’ (Spring 12in)
Bits & Pieces: ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ (Island 12in)
Mona Raye: ‘Do Me’ (US Park Place 12in)
Lime: ‘Your Love’ / ‘Agent 406’ (US Prism LP)
Heaven & Earth: ‘I Really Love You’ / ‘Kick It Out’ (US WMOT 12in/LP)
Manhattan Transfer: ‘(Wanted) Dead Or Alive’ / ‘On The Boulevard’ (Atlantic LP)
Roberta Flack: ‘Qual E Malindrinho’ (US MCA LP)
Rafael Cameron: ‘All That’s Good To Me’ / ‘Boogie’s Gonna Get Ya’ (US Salsoul LP)
Eddie Russ: ‘Zaius’ (US Monument LP)
Scandal / Lee Genesis: ‘Love Either Grows Or Goes’ / ‘I Wanna Do It’ (US SAM 12in)
Spaces: ‘Song For Jeremy’ / ‘Try Some Of This’ / ‘Life Line’ (US Arista LP)
Black Slate: ‘Live A Life’ (Ensign 12in)
Gap Band: ‘Yearning For Your Love’ (Mercury 12in)
Lee Ritenour: ‘Is It You?’ (Elektra 12in)
Candido: ‘Dancin’ & Prancin’ (Excaliber 12in)
Potion: ‘Showstopper’ / ‘Catch The Feelin’ (UK Champagne 12in)
Was (Not Was): ‘Out Come The Freaks’ (Ze 12in)
Modern Romance: ‘Everybody Salsa/Salsa Rappsody’ (WEA 12in)
Lobo: ‘The Caribbean Disco Show’ (Polydor)
Cheryl Lynn: ‘In The Night’ / ‘I’m On Fire’ (US Columbia LP)
Smokey Robinson: ‘Who’s Sad’ / ‘If You Wanna Make Love’ / ‘Can’t Fight Love’ (Motown LP)
T/Ski Valley / Grand Groove Bunch: ‘Catch The Beat’ / ‘Catch The Groove’ (US Grand Groove 12in)
Graingers: ‘Shine Your Light’ (US BC 12in)
Genji Sawai & Bacon Egg: ‘What Comes Next?’ / ‘Hand And Foot’ / ‘Skipjack’ / ‘Ship On The Lip’ (Japanese Electric Bird LP)


DJ TOP TEN

ALAN DONALD resident at Rothesay’s Paddle Boat in the Glenburn Hotel and mobile around Bute on 0700-3696, enjoys doing MoR gigs more and more these days as they are what he finds much more of a challenge and thus more satisfying than playing ‘Stars On 45’ all night. One of his own successful segues which gets all ages going is Billy Jo Spears ‘What I’ve Got In Mind‘, Daniel Boone ‘Beautiful Sunday‘, Tony Christie ‘Is This The Way To Amarillo’, 1910 Fruitgum Co. ‘Simon Says’, leaving ’em ready either for fun and games if that’s how he wants to go or else to slow back down again if the crowd’s too tired. Alan’s current MoR gigs generally include the following …

1. My Way – Frank Sinatra – Reprise
2. Cry Me A River – Julie London – London/Liberty LP
3. Is This The Way To Amarillo – Tony Christie – MCA
4. Ten Guitars – Engelbert Humperdinck – Decca
5. It’s Impossible – Perry Como – RCA
6. Welcome To My World – Jim Reeves – RCA
7. Could I Have This Dance – Ann Murray – Capitol
8. What I’ve Got In Mind – Billy Jo Speirs – UA
9. Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue – Crystal Gayle – UA
10. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor / Billy Jo Spears – Polydor / UA

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