ODDS ‘N’ BODS
ORIN COZIER in a dramatic switch has left Phonogram to plug for Arista starting next week, and (starting mid-October) his place at Phonogram will be taken by — wait for this — Jeff Young! . . . Jeff the Boy Wonder, complete with new pixie haircut, is giving up his day job as a hospital laboratory technician (not a lot of people knew that!), while remaining at Dartford Flicks with Richard James as support jock every Thursday — Robbie Vincent now only doing Flicks once a month on a Friday with Colin Hudd . . . Central Line ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ (finally at number one) has for some reason been reissued (MERX 78) in an extended remix which mucks up the intro and emphasises the synth more starkly, to no great advantage that I can see . . . Kool & The Gang’s forthcoming new Deodato-produced album has been promoed on exclusive acetate by the somewhat bland and hookless 120bpm ‘Steppin’ Out‘ . . . Arthur Adams has been won for UK release by RCA, and Trevor Walters picked up by Magnet (despite a strong bid by DJM) . . . I gigged at a 50th birthday last Saturday in a marquee in gale lashed Hampshire, where before the dinner could even begin the wind ripped open and blew away half the tent — however, despite some hairy moments, my end held up and a great party then got going to the strains of ‘The Day The Rains Came’, ‘Just Walking In The Rain’, ‘Rhythm Of The Rain’, ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’, and — the biggie — Gene Kelly’s ‘Singing In The Rain’! . . . psst, Old Bond Street’s Embassy is the place to be this Monday (28), ask for Tony The Tycoon . . . Checquers Record Shops (Lewisham/Catford/Crystal Palace) promote a live show with Freeez, Morrissey-Mullen, Inversions and Cayenne next Friday (2) at Catford’s Lewisham Concert Hall in Rushey Green, details on 01-761 1109 . . . Paul Clark turns 23 next Wednesday (30) at Brighton Busby’s, hic! . . . Al Taylor (Rhyl) is organising a coach from North Wales to the DJ Convention at Birmingham Faces on Sunday, 1st November, so any jocks in the area needing a lift let him know on 0745-825111 (Ext 37) or 0745-36757 . . . Geoff Scourfield has scrubbed enough names from Carrere’s mailing list to have room for new applicants, so send him your full work details at Carrere UK, 22 Queen Street, London W1X 7PJ . . . Nicky MacKenzie, back downstairs at Gullivers after some spiffing hols, would love more gigs on Sun/Mon/Tuesdays (01-789 9673) . . . Rose Royce’s ‘R.R. Express’, which Mark Summers (Chadwell Heath) points out is merely a retread of Nytro’s 113-114bpm ‘Nytro Express‘, is rumoured to be in danger of having the great shunting intro edited off for UK 12in, so get the album instead if this proves to be true . . . Kev Hill, whose Southend Rascals venue apparently closed without warning, has finally encouraged Record Shack to sign Essex jazz-funkers Elixia, plus he recommends the very useable ‘Heartbeat Rap’ bootleg mixer which incorporates bits of Grace Jones, Gino Soccio, etc . . . Alan Coulthard (Soho Le Beat Route) synchs two copies of Donald Byrd’s 12in, one four beats behind the other to give “dynamite repetition of each line all the way through — even Froggy thought this mix was good” . . . Jim Kershaw (Sheffield) follows Soft Cell with Nashville Teens ‘Tobacco Road‘ (Decca) from ’64 . . . Evasions ‘Wikka Wrap’ has finally reached the US Soul Top 30, and Bits & Pieces ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ (Island 12in here) is now climbing below it . . . Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields on his next album revives King Pleasure’s ‘Moody’s Mood For Love’ and the Moonglows ‘Sincerely’ — I can’t wait! . . . Joe Sample and the Crusaders from being demi-gods a year and a half ago to their present status is quite an amazing fall from grace . . . Michael Jackson’s looking a little tubby these days, a real chubby cheeks . . . Sylvester and Jeanie Tracy are confirmed as the vocalists on Herbie Hancock’s ‘Magic Number’ . . . Chris Palmer’s Mercedes has a new number plate, 5 GPL — GPL becoming the new logo for Groove Productions Limited (there’s flash for you!) . . . The Quick’s albeit lowly disco chart entry shows what a plugger’s reminder can do, whereas the Dukes crash entry confirms the power of mystique created by a white label wind-up and Chris Hill’s peripheral involvement . . . Jeff Young couldn’t contact Kenny McCloud but says he can’t do the gig anyway (OK, Kenny?) . . . Chris Ellis intimates that a free “Gerbil Sleeping Bag” (lubricated) will be given away with the first fifty copies of the Staines Fusion Few’s Caister mag, the said scurrilous publication being slanted strongly towards pussy (what have cats got to do with Caister?) . . . Richard Hart (Wells-Next-To-Sea) leaves us with another of his awful jokes: two cannibals having an eating contest, one was disqualified because he had a head start . . . GOOD NIGHT!
RICHARD JONES, alias Big Dipper, looms large between Jean and Gareth behind the counter at Soho’s Groove Records. Situated at 52 Greek Street, London W1 (01-439 8231), Groove is, as must be obvious, where I do my own import shopping. Where do you do yours? Record Mirror has been getting many requests for info on current import stockists around the country, so in these changing times it would be useful to compile and publish a comprehensive list of good import shops. If you can recommend any in your neighbourhood, do please let me know their addresses.
MIKE “T”: ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ (Blue Inc INCD 13, via 01-723 6561).
A surefire floorfiller for all the funky jocks already on it, this dynamite infectiously bubbling and jiggling compulsive jazzy 118bpm 12in happy groove features Mike Thomas’s mellow good humoured rhythm-riding raps as A-side while the flip, exclusively to the UK pressing, spotlights the sax of Joe Thomas (no relation) — who despite information from the Floaters, obviously didn’t get murdered two years ago. This is worth buying again even if you’ve already got the 117bpm US copy so you can mix ’em both together (either side synchs sensationally between ‘Rapp Payback’ and ‘Running Away’).
SAVANNA: ‘I Can’t Turn Away’ (R&B RBL 203).
So sophisticated it almost seems too carefully contrived, this excellent gently pushing 57/115-116-117(incl vibes)-118-117bpm 12in smacking swayer gradually intensifies behind the distinctively deadpan Luther Vandross-ish vocal of Leroy Osbourne, which is so subtly catchy that on just your second hearing you could swear you’d known it for ages, while the superbly understated backing stands out on the largely instrumental flip. Already a monster on white label, there’ll be no stopping it now.
BOB JAMES: ‘Sign Of The Times’ (Tappan Zee CBS A13-1608).
The inspired teaming of composer Rod Temperton with jazz orchestrator Bob James has produced a sensationally strong sleazily jogging irresistible little steady 0-99-100bpm bouncy slow jiggler full of fantastic effects, piping calliope, scat contrabass and Dr Buzzard-ish harmonies, now on 3-track 12in with the older ‘Westchester Lady’ and ‘Tappan Zee’. Continue reading “September 26, 1981: Mike “T”, Savanna, Bob James, Geraldine Hunt, Candy Bowman”