August 29, 1981: Trevor Walters, Shirley James & Danny Ray, Level 42, Arthur Adams, Mike “T”


THEO LOYLA, DJ Federation big cheese, has been made redundant by Polydor in his capacity as disco and regional radio plugger, but, while the future of Polydor’s DJ mailing service seems uncertain, Theo is confident he’ll have a new gig in no time – meanwhile, don’t pester Polydor but wait for their official word . . . Karen Spreadbury and other EMI Motown staffers, understandably emotional about their uncertain position following Motown’s move to RCA, are open to other work offers just in case . . . Morgan Khan’s next monster on R&B Records will be Savanna ‘I Can’t Turn Away‘, currently in privileged limited circulation on acetate, a sensationally strong distinctively voiced guy-sung Luther Vandross-style mellow 57/114-115-116(incl. vibes)-117-116bpm smacking swayer which sneaks up on you so subtly that the next time you hear it, it seems like a long established old fave (and ain’t that what hits are made of?!) . . . Imagination and Linx are now both out on commercial release . . . Motown in the States have finally released the much-sought extended promo version of Rick James ‘Give It To Me Baby’ on commercial 12in (M35001V1), 121bpm with an even longer instrumental flip, in a move which sees them doing an about turn on their policy of not issuing 12in releases, Teena Marie ‘Square Biz’ (the UK 12in version) also being available there now – however, Rick James will not be issued here in this form (not by EMI at any rate) . . . Debbie Harry ‘Backfired’ is now available as an extended 111-112bpm 33 1/3 rpm 12in on French-pressed Chrysalis (CHS 12-2526) . . . Aretha Franklin’s new import LP, reviewed in haste last week, also features a strong jittery jolting 0-114bpm smacking revival of the Rolling Stones ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want‘, along with many quality slowies and some less appropriate fast ‘uns . . . Stikki Stuff ‘The Wiggle‘ has been picked up from Floppy Discs for Carrere 12in (CAR 206T) . . . Tony Jenkins & Adrian John this Saturday between 1-3pm start a Froggy / Peter Powell-style weekly soul import show over the in-store radio at Peter Robinson Top Shop in the West One branch near Bond Street on London’s Oxford Street . . . Linx’s ubiquitous David Grant was recently spotted dining with Chic’s Nile Rogers & Bernard Edwards, lending credence to the rumour that they could soon be produced by Chic – but is this really necessary, and wouldn’t the reverse be more to the point? . . . RCA Motown could well be readying a Diana Ross greatest hits album to counteract her brand new Capitol-released set in October, while the Diana Ross / Lionel Richie duet 7in is reportedly being “sold-in” to record shops by both EMI and RCA sales forces . . . Julian Wood (Oxford Belfry Hotel) again sends in the local paper’s ad for Botley Blades, this time presenting “The Fantastic Grey Edwards” – if Capital Radio’s Graham Dene got a gig there then maybe he really would be billed as “Grey Rene”! . . . Greg Wilson, packing ’em in at Wigan Pier’s Tuesday jazz-funk nights, has started a series of Wednesday appearances at Manchester Legend featuring up-front stuff . . . London Greek Street’s Le Beat Route is extending its amazing Wednesday’s-only cheap booze, any drink 25p all night, by opening at 5.30pm and charging £1 admission before 9pm, after which it’s £3.50 (or £2.50 if you’re carrying a copy of Record Mirror) – this only on Wednesday, mind . . . I must emphasize (as people still seem to think I’m there) that I only did three nights at Le Beat Route and am as always at Mayfair’s Gullivers in Down Street most Fridays and Saturdays with Graham (another name check?) Gold, this and the next two Fridays finding me alone downstairs and Graham upstairs (to make things more complicated, this Saturday I’ll probably be in North Wales!) . . . Pete Tong is hinting that his Monday haunt at West Kingsdown’s Hilltop near Brands Hatch is where Spandau Ballet hang out on their nights off . . . Paul & Robin Wheeler’s eponymously surnamed elegant new Henley-on-Thames club doesn’t now open until Monday 21st September . . . John Diamond now jocks Tues-thru-Sat at Brighton’s Deacons Night Club in Dyke Road . . . Soho’s Groove Records closes early at 7pm for the next fortnight due to staff hols, so my import reviewing time will be seriously reduced (I don’t usually get there till 8.30!) . . . Ralph Tee of Groove Fortnightly, (as it will be for the time being) has become press officer for Groove Production, the label . . . Chris Ellis (8 Park Road, Wallington, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey) needs more paid ads (£30 full / £20 half page) for the Staines Fusion Few’s freely distributed Caister magazine . . . Anthony Bernards (Sutton Wallabys) sobs “au revoir” to ultra-wow Kathryn Peatfield, jetting off to Vancouver for a year . . . Pointer Sisters ‘Slow Hand’ is a killer chop mix out of the slow pause near the end of ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ for MoR jox . . . Funkapolitan’s 122-123bpm B-side rap synchs sensationally instead of the Modern Romance rap bit . . . Alan Taylor (North Wales Poppeys Country Club) says People’s Choice ‘Jam Jam‘ oldie has become enormous again . . . Martin Platts (Blackburn) was due to run in the local marathon, hopefully earning lotsa sponsored money for the East Lancashire Hospice Fund following a gruelling training period in which he lost 1½ stones over 2000 practice miles (retrospective sponsors call T. Emery on 0254–813460) . . . Devon was actually where I spent most time during the recent heatwave, having clotted cream with everything (except the Salcombe lobster!), and catching Swansea Sound’s mid-morning jock following every record with “That’s the sound of (XYZ) for you there”, or Plymouth Sound (which always had a reputation for playlisting odd material) following its interminable shopping price list with Ivor Biggun’s ‘Bras On 45’! . . . KEEP IT COOL!

LINDA TAYLOR, who came to fame singing with Gonzalez but now is even better known for her contributions to current Morrissey-Mullen and Cayenne releases, makes her Chris Palmer-produced solo debut next week with ‘(You’re) In The Pocket‘ on Groove production 12in . . . however, white label copies could well be about right now.


TREVOR WALTERS: ‘Love Me Tonight’ (Ital ITD 004, via Ital, 01-249 5445).
Absolutely gorgeous dynamite jazzily lilting atmosphere-filled 0-47/93-95bpm 12in lovers rock slowie with scatting gentle background voices behind sweetly wailing soulful Trevor, while guitar doodles through the relaxed rhythm. This is world-class music, on a par with Stevie Wonder, George Benson and all the superstars. Find it, hear it, love it!

SHIRLEY JAMES & DANNY RAY: ‘Right Time Of The Night’ (Black Jack BJ12 012, via Jet Star, 01-961 4422).
Jennifer Warnes oldie makes another instantly familiar sounding attractively catchy 0-77bpm 12in lovers rock killer for the winsome duetists, and already it’s ‘People’s Choice’ on Capital Radio. Danny’s sexy slurring makes it, and he’s solo on the slow sweet 34/68bpm ‘Got To Be True’ flip. They only just missed the national chart last time and sound just as strong a hit team now, so do give ’em a shot.

LEVEL 42: ’43’ (LP ‘Level 42’ Polydor POLS 1036).
Although the whole LP is good it’s not that dance orientated apart from the last two singles and this totally dominating killer, a sensational jazzy instrumental ramble that starts with maddeningly familiar beefily snapping bass before sloping off through 118-119-120-124-126-0-125-124-122bpm to scale some percussive Latin peaks. ‘Turn It On‘ here comes out at 115bpm – the 12in being 117bpm and 7in 119bpm, take your pick! – while the 138bpm ‘Heathrow‘ has that Change ‘Searching’ beat.  Continue reading “August 29, 1981: Trevor Walters, Shirley James & Danny Ray, Level 42, Arthur Adams, Mike “T””

August 22, 1981: Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields, Linx, Chris Rainbow, Keni Burke, Aretha Franklin


RCA RECORDS may have lost Solar despite all the hits they gave it (even more than in the States), but to compensate they’ve gone and got the UK rights as of October 1st to – are you ready for a shock? – MOTOWN! . . . Beggar & Co are also signed now direct to RCA and, with Spandau Ballet returning support, soon release ‘Mule (Chant No.2)‘ – it sounds strong and mixes superbly out of Rick James . . . Arista start a major autumn jazz-funk-soul campaign next week with a 3 track 12in (ARIST 12430) featuring Spaces ‘Song For Jeremy’ / Dave Valentin ‘Pied Piper’ / Harvey Mason ‘Spell’, while due this week on 12in are One Way ‘Push’, Bill Summers ‘Summer Fun’, Robert Winters ‘Magic Man’ . . . Keith Diamond Band ‘The Dip‘ isn’t dueted by Chaka Khan but by soundalike Toni Smith, who also sang on ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica’ . . . Donald Byrd’s newie was produced by Isaac Hayes . . . Herb Alpert’s typical slow 48/96-0bpm ‘This One’s For Me’ from his new album has been circulated on promo 12in, packaged like his concurrent official release in clear polythene . . . US dollars are doing so well in the exchange rates that imports are now costing record shops almost as much as they’ve previously been selling them for, an untenable situation which means prices are sadly shooting up – however, despite stories elsewhere of £6.25 albums, Soho’s Groove by stopping their discount and making the minimum per sale are still managing to do LPs at £5.50, 12in £3.25 . . . Barry Brown of Barry’s Disco Centre, 56/58 Barton Street, Gloucester (0452-421126), runs another equipment exhibition on Sunday 18th October, Discomart ’81 at Gloucester Leisure Centre’s Cambridge Suite with much more stand space (at reasonable rates) and the promise of punters from the Mid West, Welsh Borders and South Midlands . . . BADEM’s Discotek ’81 on September 13-16 at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel still has some space available on the exhibition “fringe”, details Derek Power on Caterham 48471 . . . Tony Jenkins, now doing London’s Playboy Club on Sun/Mon/Wednesdays and Denham Country Club on Tuesdays (Sats too till end Aug), has formed a new Main Event company (including a record label) which promotes one-off jazz-funk specials at luxury venues, all featuring dance groups and star appearances as well as the best in black music, and in typical style his next event at a secret location on 5th September has already sold out with no advertising other than word of mouth – the aim being to keep out wallys . . . Stuart Hamilton at Liverpool’s Coconut Grove (“Merseyside’s most exclusive disco”) this Monday starts a ‘Fantasy Island Fun Night’ based on the TV series, at which he intends arriving by horse! . . . Whitehaven’s Whitehouse, a cool oasis in the farthest reaches of Cumbria, has installed a big video system (including cameras) and could now do with promo material – pluggers contact Phil Haslehurst on Whitehaven 2215 . . . Terry Hooper’s Reflections club in Stratford (East London) has indeed now finally opened . . . Wallaby’s should soon be moving from Sutton to Staines, according to resident jock Anthony Barnacle’s brother Chris . . . Clive Clarke won Watford Bailey’s Trust House Forte/Honda-sponsored freestyle disco dancing final . . . Botley’s Blades near Oxford is advertised as playing Jazz Junk on Tuesdays – maybe that’s why Tony Hodges quit the gig! . . . Julian Wood (Oxford Belfry Hotel) sent in the newspaper clipping . . . Frenchie (Blackpool JR’s) raves about the Fania All-Stars ‘Going Back To My Roots‘ while Kev Hill (Basildon Sweeneys) says the similarly Latin/Salsa-style Mongo Santamaria ‘The Promised Land‘ is worth finding – the B-side of 1975’s Lady Marmalade’ on US Vaya . . . Salsa unfortunately seems to be becoming the latest fad for jaded sensation seeking posers, the sure kiss of death . . . Funkapolitan, as it’s difficult not to notice, also appear to be the posing set’s latest flavour of the month . . . Mayfair Gullivers Graham Gold looks so athletic in singlet and shorts that he only need grow a moustache to be mistaken for one of the Boys Town Gang! . . . I eavesdropped from over the road in my favourite watering hole, L’Escargot, on the loudspeaker outside Soho’s Le Beat Route to young Alan Coulthard’s slick mixing, and it must be said the kid is good – Rudi G had better look to his laurels! . . . phew, wot a scorcher: last week was certainly well timed for me to grab three sun drenched days in Somerset and Dorset . . . KEEP IT COOL!

JOE COCKER: Sheffield’s own, poses with Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper of the Crusaders, for it is indeed he who sings on the jazz group’s latest 7in slowie, ‘I’m Standing Here Today‘. The Crusaders appear along with BB King and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival for five nights early next month. With friends like these, who needs a little help?


PAUL MAJOR, resident jock at Great Yarmouth’s Tiffany’s, while musing in an English Churchyard suddenly beheld a sea of gold nightingales and felt inspired to commit his feelings on being a disc-jockey to verse . . . blank verse, at that, appropriately. Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair! Paul’s ode is entitled ‘DJ’.

Something different.
Something similar, but not the same.
Many moods.
Many faces.
Different times, different places.
Fashionable, but anti-fashion.
Free, but not free.
Tied in bondage.
By music and passion.
Love of plastic.
Vinyl worship.
Longs for attention.
Another member of the league.
No distraction, no rejection.
Happy, perhaps mad.
Depressed, perhaps sad.
Always different.
A mood to match a face.
No member of the rat race.
A forever search.
Maybe found.
A dream, a memory, a face in the crowd.
I am what I am.
Remember me this way.
I am your DJ.

Hmm, personally, I’ve got different ways on different days and different sights on different nights.
The real beat, my feet under the seat, and I’m smelling sweet!
Paul narrowly misses winning a subscription to the Poetry Circle’s Yearbook. Further poems are not invited.


RICHARD ‘DIMPLES’ FIELDS: ‘I Like Your Loving’ (Epic EPC A1554).
Simply sensational smash-sound lazily jogging 100bpm swayer, sadly only on 7in (so far), sweetly scattered with an ultra-catchy “oooh, shu du du bup ba ba” hookline that’s been packing dancefloors for ages on import. If the summer weather holds there should now be no stopping it.

LINX: ‘So This Is Romance’ (Chrysalis CHS 12-2546).
Now about on white label, this unhurriedly bounding gradually building jaunty 117bpm 12in loper has neat lyrics and nice noises, the latter being brought out more on the instrumental flip (subtitled ‘The Rio Mix’), all of it with the now recognisable stamp of Linx’s usual quality.

CHRIS RAINBOW: ‘Body Music’ (EMI 12EMI 5215).
Forget that Chris has previously been associated with ultrabrite pure pop, this gorgeous lushly atmospheric 103/51-0bpm 12in sleazy slinker has superb muted trumpet and quietly doodling sax (surely digitally recorded to be so delicately clear?), vari-mixing like a dream out of ‘Rise’ before the ever so slightly Bee Gee-ish vocals begin (for which he can be forgiven). Hear it!

I was late again this week, so you can’t have all the UK Newies until next week. Sorry.  Continue reading “August 22, 1981: Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields, Linx, Chris Rainbow, Keni Burke, Aretha Franklin”

August 15, 1981: Donald Byrd, Cameo, Bunny Mack, The Time, Herbie Hancock


DAVID GRANT of Linx celebrated his birthday last Friday (21 again!) at Mayfair’s Gullivers, unveiling the group’s up-coming ‘So This Is Romance‘ 12in which, by reverting to their earlier easily recognizable sound, is an excellent slickly bounding 118bpm jaunty loper with neat lyrics and nice noises erupting into a great musically exciting instrumental outro with squealing sax, while the instrumental flip (subtitled ‘The Rio Mix‘) brings out all the lovely twiddly bits behind the smoothly booming beat . . . Star Sound’s next at the end of the month will be (yawn) a Supremes medley – but in this case there’s actually a real one out ahead of it . . . Portsmouth Symphonia (remember they’re the ones what can’t play proper) are attempting a discordant send-up of ‘Hooked On Classics’! . . . Quincy Jones is rumoured to be producing Donna Summer’s next album in the hopes of giving her a hit as Giorgio Moroder’s recently delivered new efforts got nixxed by her label . . . Chrysalis held a lavish bash for Debbie Harry (Greenie rather than Blondie on the night) at Covent Garden’s normally ladies-only Sanctuary – all plants, pools of water, dangerous drops and steam heat – with Kurtis Blow plus spinning pals Russell Simmons and David Reeves jetted in from New York to handle the jocking alongside our own Fatman Graham Canter and Alan Jewell, while Chic’s Bernard and Nile also put in an appearance (boy, was this a gig that Froggy shoulda been at!), the main point being that despite all this not a single Debbie Harry track got played all night! . . . Alan Jewell actually gave himself a fright discovering how perfectly bits of the Human League instrumental B-side mix backwards and forwards in and out of Cerrone ‘Supernature’ . . . Landscape’s Spandau-producing Richard James Burgess tells me he’s just finished work on Hot Gossip’s new album with unbelievably Harvey Mason, David Sanborn, Airto, Neil Studenhaus, and even on one cut veteran Gil Evans! . . . Motown have now (maybe because it didn’t as anticipated leap to the top) put Stevie Wonder on commercial extended 12in in the new disco mix with instrumental flip, and Eddy Grant is also now on 12in too . . . Lobo on 12in appears to be 125bpm, Stephanie Mills 116bpm, Winston Groovy 89bpm . . . Dr York ‘Shake-n-Skate’ has been picked up by Groove Production . . . Was (Not Was) ‘Wheel Me Out’ will finally be on 12in here, as flip to their next release . . . Nick Straker ‘A Little Bit Of Jazz’ is the latest UK oldie to do well in the States hard on the heels of Billy Ocean ‘Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)’, which later in a new remix with added instrumentation will be out here again in September . . . Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields ‘I Like Your Lovin’, also now moving Stateside, is due here this week while Strikers ‘Inch By Inch’ should be out soon . . . Billboard’s UK Disco chart has been reduced to a Top 80 . . . 40 of last week’s UK Top 75 pop hits were issued on 12in . . . TK Records in the States are in debt to the tune of more than four million dollars but reckon that one hit record would put them back in profit – first, ya gotta get a hit . . . Phonogram’s John Waller finally got married off last weekend (how long before someone’s daddy points a shotgun at Orin Cozier?!) . . . Jeff ‘Boy Wonder’ Young sits in for Robbie Vincent on Radio London for the next three Saturdays (11.30am-2.00pm), with guests this week David Grant, then successively Patti Austin, Donald Byrd . . . Tricky Dicky’s record shop opposite Mile End tube station, Disco Music at 391c Mile End Road, London E3 (01-981 4531), is only open Thurs/Fri/Saturdays but gives good DJ discounts (US 12in £3, UK 12in £1.90) and stocks all the old 12in classics . . . Lee Taylor, jock at Mayfair’s swank Tokyo Joe’s, gives us the hot gossip that HRH Prince Andrew was dancing to Rah Band ‘Rock Me Down To Rio‘ when Lee chopped into ‘In The Navy’ – “V. funny” was the royal comment! . . . ‘Rio’ is in fact definitely the hot side of the Rah Band, despite being the same BPM as all their others . . . Robin & Paul Wheeler, of Frenchies and now Jacksons fame, are opening another up-market new club on the first Monday in September at Henley-on-Thames, appropriately called Wheeler’s – jocks will include Sean French, Chris Brown, Dave Collins, Mike Sefton . . . Terry Hooper’s new Reflections club in Stratford did not in fact open as planned but should do so soon, and his replacement at Ilford Room At The Top is now John Osbourne . . . John Tracy’s futurist ‘Hollywood’ Wednesdays at Sheffield Penny’s are doing so well that he and Paul St James open up on Mondays too for a ‘Tropical Heatwave’, while meanwhile at Manchester Legend the ‘Dancematic’ Thursdays are chock-a-block for Ralph Randell & Paul Rae . . . Wigan Casino’s 8th anniversary Northern all-niter has had to be brought forward to Saturday 29th August to beat the end of their lease – jocks will be Russ Winstanley, Richard Searling, Dave Evison, Keith Minshull, Gary Rushbrook, Brian Rae, Pat Brady . . . Mad Marx hopefully didn’t lose his pants when with Uncle Merv he jazz-funked Southend Rascals this Wednesday (12), as he certainly did in publicity pix! . . . Anthony Bernards is organizing a coach from Sutton Wallabys for the Dimlo’s reunion at Well Pond Green Candles, where DJ Wally promises such Jap-jazz greats as Kanu Sukalagwun . . . Teesvalley Roadshow’s Graham Bond (Middlesbrough 325112) has offshore radio recordings to swap . . . Alan Coulthard, until recently a relatively unknown wine bar DJ in South Wales, is now writing regularly for Record Mirror and has just taken over as warm-up jock at Soho’s Le Beat Route – all because he sent very intelligent letters with all his chart returns (being able to spell and about to start university in London helped as well, but he could have been YOU) . . . I can’t help people I don’t hear from, so think about it . . . OINK!

JEANIE TRACY, sounding less coy than she looks, does most of the singing on Sylvester’s great ‘Give It Up (Don’t Make Me Wait)‘ and is his duetting partner on the ‘Here Is My Love‘ official A-side. From a gospel family background, Jeanie also appears on the imminent new Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard sets (the latter like Sylvester on Fantasy).


DONALD BYRD: ‘Love Has Come Around’ (Elektra K 12559T).
Although not even slightly jazzy this hypnotically rolling 0-113bpm 12in slinky smacker sets up a Sylvester-style groove with a nice jangly piano figure, harmonious ethereal chanting, and soulful chick ‘n’ chap emerging to swap a few lines, the whole being beautifully produced and a brilliant mix with Central Line amongst others (thanx Gareth!), while for extra value the flip is his old chix-cooed jogging 109bpm ‘Loving You‘ – virtually the A-side’s 1978 forerunner in format if not in sound.

CAMEO: ‘Freaky Dancin’ (Casablanca CANXX 1004).
Although only added as a single-sided extra to make the 12in issue a twin-pack, this staccato powerful 121bpm brittle funk snapper is the one everyone’s been dancing to for some time and it’s still strong now (try mixing out of Commodores or Rick James), the other 3-tracker’s official plug side being the sparsely smacking 114bpm ‘Don’t Be So Cool‘ with a conversationally bragging rap by Nona Hendryx, flipped by the jazzy 133bpm ‘The Sound Table‘ and last year’s “whoa-oh” filled 115bpm ‘On The One‘.

BUNNY MACK: ‘Supafrico’ (white label MACK-12-3).
Literally on white label with no name or affiliation decided yet. Akie Dean’s latest Afro-disco production is a happily skipping 125-126bpm 12in bubbler that has ‘D.I.S.C.O.’- type tinges and Gibsons-style crossover appeal, but in fact the mainly instrumental 127-128bpm B-side version is much stronger (once again) for the hard core disco crowd, with extra percussion and some great dub-like rhythm gaps making it the one to use. Naturally it’s already monstrous for us at Gullivers!  Continue reading “August 15, 1981: Donald Byrd, Cameo, Bunny Mack, The Time, Herbie Hancock”

August 8, 1981: Rafael Cameron, Imagination, Nina DeCosta, Sylvester, Impressions


Jay Hoggard makes an exclusive UK appearance next Saturday (15) at Jaffa’s in London’s Tottenham Court Road Horseshoe, while the double-billed Crusaders and BB King for five nights from September 9th at the Royal Festival Hall sounds like another not to miss, too . . . Diana Ross & The Supremes ‘Supremes Medley’ (Tamla Motown 12TMG 1180) has been reissued to capitalize on the current medleymania (surely 1981’s equivalent of Boney M? – now there’s an idea for a medley!), the next in the pipeline to follow the easy hit formula unbelievably being ‘Stars on ’78’ – really! – made up of Glen Miller-type big band nostalgia classics . . . Donald Byrd has an un-jazzy acetate of new material in very limited circulation, the bland 114bpm ‘Love Has Come Around’ being set as his next single although the much beefier 120bpm ‘Love For Sale’ mixes nicely out of Commodores ‘Lady’ . . . Margo Michaels Atco-distributed US LP was released before producers Holland-Dozier-Holland had approved the mix and indeed it has been withdrawn in the States for an imminent remixed relaunch, but too late to prevent naff copies hitting these shores . . . Linda Taylor got credited with being the artiste instead of Cayenne in my review of ‘Roberto Who..?’ thanks to the confusing label design and my haste in typing . . . Chris Palmer confesses to being so upset at the Beeb only having an 8-track studio mixer when he recorded Cayenne for the Peter Powell/Froggy soul show that with his mind on other things he accidentally smashed a drumkit case through a glass front door at BBC’s Langham House . . . Soho’s Groove Records gets glimpsed in the street scene background of Spandau’s great Le Beat Route video . . . Robert and L.A. – once the main attraction in Shock, turned up on Top Of The Pops as Tight Fit . . . Debbie Harry has really blown it, her harsh voice being totally at odds with the Chic-produced material on her new LP, all of it sounding incredibly ugly . . . Excaliber’s hurriedly botched Wish ‘Nice And Soft’ remix has caused the ludicrous spectacle of people queuing for copies of the original US 12in, muttering that they don’t want the remix even if it is copied with both US versions! . . . EMI’s David Rose has re-opened his DJ mailing list and will send application forms on receipt of an SAE (David Rose, EMI Records (UK), 20 Manchester Square, London W1A 1ES) – he’s especially interested in clubs with video facilities – plus Stiff’s Sonnie Rae is attempting to compile a list for obviously more rock-orientated product, so send full DJ work details to her at Stiff Records, 9-11 Woodfield Road, London, W9 . . . Anthony Bernach, jock at Sutton Wallaby’s, says this “hideaway club for secret people” is putting out 500 copies of a silly 7in recorded live at the club. ‘I’m A Marsupial’ on (surprise, surprise!) the Pouch label, sung (if that’s not an exaggeration) by all the regulars . . . Flash Gordon (Bristol Sinatra’s) adds that Talisman’s recently mentioned reggae single is on Recreation (SPORT 14), produced in France by Bristol’s Revolver record shop . . . Graham Gold (01-908 2224) is looking for a good experienced MoR mobile to do a friend’s wedding party in Richmond on Friday 4th September . . . Southend and Bognor Regis are both seaside towns but maybe Sean French needs a road map to tell them apart? . . . Southampton Barbarella’s is getting good and funky again following the arrival of a new manager who’s actually into jazz-funk . . . Bristol based Superfly moans that the scene in the West is dead – but maybe Ray Edwards can help rejuvenate things when he joins Dave Cash at the up-coming Radio West? . . . David Rodigan adds so many “oink” and other great effects off cartridge to the records on his Capital reggae show that shops complain they can’t sell the unadorned originals! . . . Marshal King (Sunderland Mayfair) finds the digital mix on SOS Band ‘Do It Now’ too shrill to be subdued by the normal treble controls at the venues he works . . . Frenchie (Blackpool) says Prince ‘Sexy Dancer’ synchs sensationally over Modern Romance . . . Soft Cell turns out to be a duo led by Marc Almond, who in the early ’70s had an eponymously named group playing rather nice jazzy rock in the Steely Dan style . . . ITV won the battle of The Wedding, but then anything that didn’t have Angela Rippon looking pleased with herself had to be better . . . Barry Dean (0733-43931), currently at Peterborough’s La Scala most nights with Kris Stevens (I went to the opening of that place), has a complete mobile disco and one ton trailer to sell . . . Gerry Cullen (Glasgow French Quarter), reckons his area’s punters will be straining at the leash when they hear that the Flirtations 1975 ‘Mr Universe‘ will be reissued in November on RCA Golden Grooves . . . Alan Costa (Brighton Kings Club/Kings II) reckons UA could reissue the Marvels ‘Sh-Boom‘ judging from current reaction to it . . . Donna Summer’s old ‘I Remember Yesterday’ was inspired by Kid Creole’s earlier brainchild Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band-remember?! . . . Funktion’s current London club venues are Clowns (Mon), Heaven (Tues), Bennett (Wed/Thurs), Barracuda (Fri/Sat), Embassy (Sun), but I can’t vouch for the music actually played on those nights (details 01-946 2433) . . . Fatman Graham Canter (Soho Le Beat Route) wonders whether you heard the one about the Irish rock ‘n’ roll band – Shillelagh & His Comets?! . . . Polydor’s Theo Loyla has been spreading scandal recently alleging that amongst his fellow disco pluggers Loraine Trent wears falsies, Morgan Kahn strangles moles, Orin Cozier is a pervert, David Rose is deaf, Ian Titchener is an illegal immigrant, David Yeats won’t give records to girls, and Noreen Allen has athletes foot . . . Morgan who? . . . OINK!

STUNNING SOULSTRESS Phyllis Hyman has her recently reviewed ‘Can’t We Fall In Love Again’ album out here now (Arista SPART 1154), plus a 3-track 12in. Philadelphia born but Pittsburgh raised, she had a cameo role in the film ‘Lenny’ before Norman Connors spotted her in New York and featured her on his ‘You Are My Starship’ LP. Her subsequent solo sets are equally renowned, but possibly less well known here is her award-winning appearance on Broadway in the smash musical ‘Sophisticated Ladies’ (based on Duke Ellington’s music). Lovely to look at, Phyllis has also done extensive promotion work for such cosmetic lines as Revlon, Clairol and Fashion Fair. How long before we too can see her in the flesh?


WEA’S MAILING list jocks responded in different ways to my recent comment that they don’t keep the records they receive in their charts for very long. Mark Clark (Bracknell) said he gets so many new records a week, bought and sent, that he can’t list them all in the Top 15 he sends us. Dennis Brynner (Southampton) hit the nail on the head with “We’re in the business of keeping our dance floors full and our charts strictly reflect this” – he sends a Top 30 plus slowies, pop and futurist Top 10’s. However, this still doesn’t resolve the problem of why certain records only appear in some DJs listings on the week of receipt. If they don’t work then at a floor level why list them, or if they do, why not keep playing them and chart them properly for as long as they last? Stargard’s album is a case in point, steaming into the chart at number 40, a position which would normally denote a monster in the making, only to drop dramatically during the following five weeks until now it’s good and gone. Neither a stinker nor a monster, but a good workable set, it deserved neither that inflatedly high debut, nor rapid descent. DJs, don’t chart stuff just because it’s been sent to you in the mail (no matter how tyrannical certain disco pluggers may sometimes seem!). It doesn’t help anyone in the long run as the reason for the chart is to reflect actual dancefloor popularity. Early indication of this, if founded on fantasy rather than fact, could lead to a record company wasting money in further promotion of something that doesn’t actually warrant it. Be hip, wise up! I’d still rather hear from jocks who buy their own material, as with a financial commitment involved, those are obviously the records they really believe in. Thanks to all though for the effort and expense of sending in charts of any type, they’re widely appreciated as I’m sure you’re aware.


RAFAEL CAMERON: ‘Funtown U.S.A.’ (Salsoul SALT 10).
Sensationally strong bass thundered synth spiked ultra happy catchy 0-118-120-121-0bpm 12in jittery funk explosion should now at last realise the full potential of the smash status its enjoyed with all who’ve used it on import, even though here it’s officially flip to the radio-aimed blander but pleasantly Shalamar-ish 0-119bpm ‘All That’s Good To Me‘, which has nice soulful ingredients strung together by a steadily tripping beat.

IMAGINATION: ‘In And Out Of Love’ (R&B RBL 202).
Widely circulated on white label although not fully available for a fortnight, this 83-84bpm 12in hypnotic swayer sounds at first to be merely lots more just like before, but then soon sounds so nice ya gotta play it twice! With the exact same structure (and BPM!), it has even prettier piano, tinkling vibes, Stylistics-style wailing, and adds up to more of a gorgeous ethereal atmosphere than an actual song.

NINA DECOSTA: ‘Don’t Want To Lose You’ (Rokel ROK 16).
Akie Dean-produced simply superb infectious little 0-76bpm 12in lovers rock swayer with lovely soulful singing, a great “biya” scatting and jazzy guitar central section, pretty construction and usefully distinctive intro – in other words as you’ve probably guessed, I rate it highly! Do check this one out, and listen right through to the tensely pent-up finish.  Continue reading “August 8, 1981: Rafael Cameron, Imagination, Nina DeCosta, Sylvester, Impressions”

August 1, 1981: Teena Marie, Raydio, Real Thing, Roy Ayers, Jean Carn


THE SAGA OF MSO continues: This salsa orchestra turn out to be a combination from members of Cayenne, Breakfast Band and Gonzalez, assembled last year without the knowledge of Roberto Campoverde after his brain had been picked by producers Ray Singer and Arthur Louis — however, their Mainstreet label seems unable to decide whether the hot track is called ‘In The Jungle’ or ‘Colombia’ depending on the record size. It’s on the B-side anyway, shops can’t get the 12in, and until I did some sleuthing nobody knew how to order it (or indeed that it existed) — so, do they want a hit or not?! . . . Capitol plan a 3-track Maze 12in with the live ‘Joy And Pain’ / ‘Happy Feelin’s’, plus the earlier ‘Golden Time Of Day’ . . . Level 42’s album is likely to be launched during August at Mayfair’s Gullivers club in Down Street, where every night this week Mirage are playing live . . . Paul Murphy’s Jaffa’s live jazz venue inside London Tottenham Court Road’s Horseshoe is planning to follow the wildly successful Heath Brothers gigs with future appearances by Inversions, Cayenne, Roland Vasquez & Urban Ensemble, Ray Carless & Tarantula, Morrissey Mullen and, hopefully, Dave Valentin (wot, no Shakatak?!) . . . Quincy Jones could well be bringing a star-studded orchestra over here soon, following release of his Patti Austin album on Qwest . . . BADEM’s Discotek 81 at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel on September 13/14/15/16th will be open all four days to DJs this year (from 11am daily) with overseas manufacturers exhibiting for the first time too, plus fringe events like a series of seminars for DJs, record company participation, and a DJF awards night . . . France’s even more massive exhibition, Discom 81 will be at Paris’s Parc Des Expositions on October 26/27/28/29th, aimed at all leisure facility users of sound and lighting equipment (UK rep: Jack Kessler, 01-499 2317) . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn are having a DJs riverboat shuffle sailing from Kingston-upon-Thames on Sunday 16th August, £5 tickets including buffet (cheques payable TVDJA) from PO Box 39, Staines, Middlesex — sounds like a nice idea . . . I had great fun last week playing nothing but ‘food” and “drink” hits (like ‘Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me’, ‘Special Brew’) at a party to launch the latest Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles by Messrs Rice, Gambaccini & Read, the guest stars including everyone from Cliff ‘n’ the Shads to Shakin’ Stevens — Mud’s Les Gray in particular got going to Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Have A Drink On Me’ and ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bed Post Overnight)’! . . . New York’s black-orientated (ie: soul/disco) WBLS radio has again come out way on top of the latest ratings, actually increasing its audience share since the winter (and they still say disco is dead) . . . Sandy Martin at Swindon Brunel Rooms got an exercise bike from the local sports shop and gets people doing speed trials in time to the records, pedalling and pulling the rowing-action handlebars, ‘Brazilian Dawn’ being hard to beat . . . Greg Davies (Bedford) gets his punters to put their requests “on tape” via a small Philips tape memo pad, which obviates scrawled scraps of paper and the danger of mispronouncing names — but presumably he has to chain the recorder to something? . . . John Mayoh (Bolton 55516) needs firm offers of work before raising a loan to buy a Philips 80-inch screen and Chromascope for video projection, so anyone interested within 50 miles of Bolton let him know.

CENTRAL LINE, formed a a sextet in ’78 from the same pool of East End funk musicians that also coughed up Light Of The World and Imagination, has shrunk down to the current foursome of Henry Defoe, Camelle Hinds, Lipson Francis, Linton Beckles, their sizzling hot ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ newie being co-written by the last two with Heatwave’s Roy Carter, who produced it (for Mercury Records & Tapes).


IN RESPONSE to continuous mail asking about the American DJ-only subscription service which issued remixes of amongst others Abba ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’, Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’, Grace Jones ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’, I have no alternative but to give their address. This back-catalogue material will no longer be available from them, so please don’t go pestering them for it. General public fans of the artists concerned, don’t waste your time, as the service is strictly for DJs who are very carefully vetted before being added to the list (this is for copyright reasons as most releases are combinations of material from many different labels). Before you start, be aware that this is a Book Of The Month Club type of operation, where for a very sizeable subscription you have to receive what they send you at regular intervals (with options to purchase special extras), and that the material they send out is aimed mainly at gay orientated US disco DJs. In other words, if you think you’re going to get lots of great remixes that will be really useful here, this could be a massive waste of money which does not justify the odd UK-slanted goodie that slips through the net. Ah-hah, yes — the service is called Disconet, operated by Sugarscoop Inc, 698 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA (telephone 0101-212-687 2313). Timewasters, please do not apply. On the other hand, you could try London’s Record Shack, who have been known to get a limited number of each issue which they sell at £25 each (an indication of the cost you’ll be letting yourself in for).


TEENA MARIE: ‘Square Biz’ (Motown 12TMG 1236).
Jerkily juddering shrill 113-114bpm 12in squawker with some mumbling male help reaches a rap section. Bobby Broom ‘Saturday Night’ being a welcome mix out of it.

RAYDIO: ‘Still In The Groove’ (Arista ARIST 12392).
Bass synth punched catchy 119bpm heavy funk instrumental gets monotonous after a while but works brilliantly as a mixer for short stretches, the budget priced 3-track 12in also including his previous US smash 7in coupling of the buoyantly jogging 46/92bpm ‘A Woman Needs Love’ and slow 21bpm ‘So Into You’.

REAL THING: ‘I Believe In You’ (Calibre CABL 109).
Well produced (by themselves) bass synth bumped jogging semi-slow 108bpm 12in swayer with typical vocal sound and enough hook to catch if it’s played.  Continue reading “August 1, 1981: Teena Marie, Raydio, Real Thing, Roy Ayers, Jean Carn”