September 26, 1981: Mike “T”, Savanna, Bob James, Geraldine Hunt, Candy Bowman


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”

September 19, 1981: “Should we run two separate disco charts, one for black music and one for white?”


DISCOTEK ’81 looked much as usual – great if you’re into speaker stacks and flashing lights – although BADEM’s Jim St Pier said displays were slanted more towards club installations than mobile units this year . . . Froggy and Kelly won DJ awards at the Busby’s bash, Nicky Price and Norman Scott were cock-a-hoop at Lazers/Bolts winning the London club award, Steve Dennis and Alan Gibson got the regional club award for Edgbaston Faces (these awards decided by disco pluggers opinions), Fatman was as over-exhuberantly noisy as ever, and Busby’s jocks Greg Buccheri and Cino Berigliano played almost nothing but oldies all night . . . Style X ‘No Secret Affair‘ – about on white label, is a well conceived cheerfully bounding brassy fast 137-139bpm jazz instrumental with a raggedly sung vocal flip, similarly Buzzz ‘Tonight’s Alright’ sounds as if some futura-funkers heard ‘Masterblaster’ and came up with their own 133bpm reggae fusion . . . Modern Romance will be reissued soon here as an extended Disconet remix with much longer rap . . . Ronnie Laws could possibly visit the UK for PAs in the very near future – clubs with imaginative ideas should contact Capitol’s Debbie Bennett (01-488 4488) – and Maze may be here in November . . . Ernie Priestman, no longer with Whitehaven’s Whitehouse, plans opening a new de-luxe club in Allonby near Carlisle early next year and needs a DJ/manager with a feel for the disco business to handle day-to-day problems (call Lorton 280) . . . Soho’s Le Beat Route now has 25p booze all night on Tuesdays (a ’60s soul night from this week) as well as Wednesdays, and also between 6.30-9pm (when admission is only £1 every night Mon-Friday – hic! . . . CJ Carlos leaves Soho’s Hombres after this weekend to start next week confusingly on Tuesdays at Bracknell’s Wednesdays, and on Thurs/Fri/Saturdays at High Wycombe’s Tuesdays – hic hic! . . . Larry Foster now jocks most Wed/Thursdays at Terry Hooper’s Reflections Club in Bridge Road, Stratford (E15), where £35 membership of this sophisticated soul nitespot can be discussed on 01-519 2524 . . . Chorley Hospital Radio on 21st October start a sponsored attempt to break the Guinness record 208¼ hours non-stop broadcast by a DJ, money pledges for charity being welcomed by John Clarke, 65 Wilkinson Avenue, Little Lever, Bolton, Lancs (Farnworth 792459) . . . Derek Pierce (Bath Moles Club), offered Mondays to run ‘Moderne Music’ nights with live bands (amplification provided), wants to hear from the likes of Soft Cell, Funkapolitan, Blue Rondo A La Turk – or any similar! – on Bath 26277 . . . Mike Tobin invites futurist-slanted resident club jocks to write in for mailing list application forms from Magnum Associate Promotions, Vivian House, 2 Market Hill, Southam, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV33 OAJ . . . Alan Jewell jets off today to Oslo’s Leopard (which he thinks means “kiss” in Norwegian), where he’ll be mixing until 4 every morning for the next four months – what will Morgan Khan do without a chauffeur? . . . Rob Harknett was playing current hits at a club near the airport in Stansted when he was asked to play some “new” records – like ‘Rappers Delight’, ‘Shame’ etc: he says not even the Danes and Czech kids are that far behind! . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Oscars) reports from Juan-Les-Pins that Al Jarreau is kinda big sur la Cote d’Azur . . . John Murray of the Freeway Stereo Disco at Kirkcaldy Ice Rink says the official roller disco crowds for the summer season was 19,014 – what, all at once? . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) mixes Sylvester ‘Give It Up’ through the break bit of George Benson’s oldie so that the two locked together go “give me the night – BOOM – give me the night -BOOM”, the booms being Sylvester’s intro drum . . . Alan Gaskell (St Helen’s West Park Rugby Club on Sundays) finds the start of Carl Carlton runs together for ages over the first break in Gino Soccio ‘Try It Out’ . . . CBS’s Loraine Trent seems upset that despite DJ reactions to her, the Quick ‘Sharks Are Cool’ has even dropped out of our breakers (and she doesn’t know it yet but the Big Dipper’s slipping too) – maybe they’re spinning you a line, love? . . . Nolans ‘Chemistry‘ is actually rather good, and Abba’s latest sounds nice – hang on, that’s not Abba, it’s Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark! . . . Patti Austin’s album, dripping with class though it is, ain’t actually packed with another ‘Upside Down’ or ‘My Old Piano’ material-wise, so maybe Diana Ross wouldn’t have done so well produced by Quincy Jones . . . I walked into Mayfair’s Rockerfellas late nite eaterie on Saturday to be told “That other DJ is in at the back, you know, Big Ginger” – ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Big Ginger, Steve Walsh! . . . Mark Clark (Bracknell) suggests running a poll amongst disco jocks to see who they consider the most pleasant to work with nationally known radio DJ – Mark’s vote is Simon Bates . . . I’m not saying who, but one well known London radio DJ was asked to do the closing session of a lavish private party last Saturday between 3 and 6 in the morning, and not exactly wanting the gig he quoted £500 an hour – “alright” they said, and so he copped £1,500 (which was worth staying up for)! . . . zzzz . . . STAY AWAKE!

Dire, Straits

THIS WEEK you’ll have to hock your furniture to afford all the hot newies now flooding disco record stores – in fact there’s dangerously too much product to choose from and much I fear will get lost undeservedly. (Also, there’s so much I had to spend a marathon eleven hours on Saturday just BPM-ing, and now my beat-counting thumb has seized up!). The danger is increased by the way in which many new imports are unlikely to spread outside the London area. Import retailer/wholesaler, Groove of Soho’s Tim Palmer theorizes that the recent drastic price hikes have discouraged provincial shops from stocking the imports that once they might have carried, and in fact the importers themselves have cut down on their own initial orders with the result that there are fewer records to go around even in London. Tony Monson’s Disc Empire in Chelsea is actually closing down, ending one imaginative source of import material (especially from Japan). Paul Anthony in Walsall had to close his disco record shop for reasons that might not be quite so keenly felt in London but which must mirror much of the country. At BADEM’s open forum, Paul explained that local unemployment is so high amongst the black kids who are really into their music that they obviously no longer not only don’t buy records but also don’t get out to clubs as much, meaning that clubs have closed, thus in turn putting the black DJs out of their gigs, meaning that they too no longer buy records. DJ custom at Paul’s shop dropped from sixty or so a week to less than twenty, and he closed. (Incidentally, attempts by the council to provide disco entertainment facilities have been wrecked by vandalism, so with some people you can’t win). More and more it becomes apparent from the DJ charts we get that provincial jocks are relying on the records they get sent for free, so unless material is mailed out promotionally by a UK company it’ll never break out of London, where imports still figure strongly. Now of course we’re experiencing the “white backlash” from people who go to discos but don’t like disco music – black disco music, that is. As forecast at the start of the, then largely misunderstood, futurist boom, the new white bands have caught on as they’re white kids making white disco music with an image which other white kids for the first time (since the Stones at any rate) find exciting to identify with . . . and oddly enough the population of Britain is largely white. Now that the bands have dropped futurism for funk there looks like no stopping ’em. This week for instance, had Soft Cell been included at number 5, the disco chart’s top five would have been completely white orientated – despite Central Line being easily the biggest request at black orientated clubs. Where does this leave the traditional disco fan, for whom in Britain the disco scene has always been synonymous with soul music, and its main outlet? Should we run two separate disco charts, one for black music (which still needs all the help it can get) and one for white? Let me know, and meanwhile keep struggling to keep the faith.

Hello, Betty?

‘DIMPLES’ FIELDS US hit ‘She’s Got Papers On Me‘ which ends with Betty Wright impassionedly nagging as his divorced wife, has sparked off what looks like being the biggest answer version craze since Shirley Brown’s ‘Woman To Woman’ – and like that “telephone call” record, the best of the new bunch starts with phone tones and a bit of rap before Jean Knight & Premium wail the great 20/40 bpm ‘You Got The Papers (But I Got The Man)‘ (US Cotillion 46020), on 7in. Now on 12in, Barbara Mason’s equally nice 31½-33½bpm ‘She Got The Papers (I Got The Man)‘ (US WMOT 4W9 62237) has been joined by Betty Wright herself and the Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields-penned/produced 38-39 bpm ‘Goodbye You Hello Him‘ (US Epic 4902521), which mentions “papers” before slightly leaving the theme of the others. Deep soul freaks will want them all, and more.


No UK Reviews this week.


ROSE ROYCE: ‘R.R. Express’ (LP ‘Jump Street’ US Whitfield WHK 3620).
Oh boy, but they’re back with a bang! Borrowing from BT Express, this Norman Whitfield-produced marathon 116bpm powerhouse chugger starts out with shunting locomotive-type effects over the rhythm before Rose Royce return to a mid-’60s sound to take the long 12 minute track on home. Nothing else on the album can compare, but who cares as this is a monster!

ROGER: ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ (LP ‘The Many Facets Of Roger’ US Warner Bros BSK 3594).
In one of the most successful fusions of funk and jazz to date (although by no means “jazz-funk”) this unreservedly recommended set is that real rarity, an album that’s thoroughly funky yet so full of satisfying variety you listen to it with delight all the way through. With all vocals via vocoder, Roger Troutman of Zapp fame has made an easily flowing 0-118bpm funk tour-de-force out of the Gladys Knight/Marvin Gaye classic, the 111bpm ‘So Ruff So Tuff‘ being closest he gets to straight P’funk, while delightful jazzy guitar on the 118bpm ‘A Chunk Of Sugar‘ scatting instrumental and chunkily lolloping 0-27-108bpm ‘Do It Roger‘, and superb synth on the bubbly 0-112bpm ‘Maxx Axe‘ make a fabulously fresh fusion, leaving the amusingly introduced ‘Blue (A Tribute To The Blues)‘ as exactly that, an homage to the guitarists called King. Buy this album.

STANLEY TURRENTINE: ‘Hermanos’ (LP ‘Tender Togetherness’ US Elektra 5E-534).
Due here (K 52313), this excellent consistent set by the saxist is initially getting reaction for the accessible good-time 114-115bpm funk of ‘Havin’ Fun With Mr T‘, but I’m sure jazz-funk jocks will soon switch to this lovely pulsating 0-117-120-121bpm instrumental loper, while ‘I’ll Give You My Love‘ is a breathy chick-cooed then beefily blown fast 129bpm romper, ‘Tamarac‘ a brassy 114bpm bumper, ‘After The Love Is Gone’ a tender 0-15-30-65bpm smooching ‘Cherubim’ a lyrically played jogging 0-109/55bpm specialist swayer, and ‘World Chimes’ a throwaway 121bpm tootler.  Continue reading “September 19, 1981: “Should we run two separate disco charts, one for black music and one for white?””

September 12, 1981: DISCOTEK ’81 – “A look to the future”


BADEM’S DISCOTEK ’81 equipment exhibition is at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel (near Russell Square tube) for four days starting this Sunday (13), the first two being public days for the likes of us (£1 admission) from 11am-6pm (7pm Monday) — and during these two days the DJF is running a series of 12 DJ seminars in the hotel’s Wren Room from noon to 6pm, with many guest speakers covering all sorts of topics, the seminars costing £1 each, £4 for one day’s six, or £7.50 for all twelve (I appear to be involved in Sunday’s concluding open forum) . . . Sunday evening there is then a British Disco Awards ’81 presentation at Busby’s in Charing Cross Road (near Tottenham Road tube), compered by Radio 1’s Adrian Love, the £2 tickets being available earlier in the day at the BADEM show’s DJ Registration desk . . . Roger Squire’s Disco Centres, with a stand at Discotek ’81, will also be mounting a supplementary Discorama ’81 exhibition on all four days at the Bonnington Hotel, just down the road from Russell Square in Southampton Row, cannily opening an hour earlier and closing at 8pm (8.30pm Tues/Wed) . . . Donald Byrd’s ‘Love Byrd’ LP (reviewed last week) is now on UK release as Elektra K 52301 . . . Funkapolitan’s white label instrumental version of ‘As The Time Goes By’ turns out to be promotional only . . . Bunny Mack Supafrico’ has been picked up by RCA, while Akie Dean’s newest production due on Rokel is Jimmy Haynes (Senyah backwards — or is that vice-versa!) ‘Funk On The Rocks’, which goes great between Carl Carlton and Mike “T” . . . Chris Hill has been doing some white label promotion on The Dukes ‘Mystery Girl‘, an Arif Mardin-produced tightly played (Greg Phillinganes on keyboards amongst others) jogging 0-106-107-108bpm swayer with lush vocalese by the Incognito singers — suffice to say that they’re a famous hit-writing duo, and (to put you further off the scent) it’ll be out via WEA . . . CBS’s September LP releases should include Bob James, Herbie Hancock, Sadao Watanabe, Gladys Knight, Teddy Pendergrass, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stars On 45, Stylistics, Hi-Gloss, Cheryl Lynn . . . Showstopper Promotions are still taking bookings for their West Country Weekender at Perron Sands in Cornwall over October 2/3/4 (starring Froggy, Chris Brown, Sean French, Tom Holland, Jeff Young, Brother Louie, Martin Collins, Chris Dinnis) — the cost is £25 each, but to book you must send £10 deposit and two passport-sized photos per person, plus your names, addresses, number of reservations covered by deposit, and an SAE, to The Royalty Nitespot, Winchmore Hill Road, Southgate, London N14 . . . Tony ‘Tycoon’ Jenkins has joined up with Anthony Bernard’s brother Chris Ellis in a plan actually to open a club in Harrow called Wallaby’s, due to demand created by the on-going “wind-up” situation, motto obviously being ‘Jump to the beat at Wallaby’s’ and resident DJ Ken Gerou (think about it!) . . . ta for the coconut slice, Chris! . . . Jerry James, standing in for Phil Leppard at East Grinstead Martine’s until next Saturday (19), advises non-members of his Thurs/Friday residency at Brighton’s Bonsoir to get to the Bonsoir by 10.15pm if they want to get in, it gets that full . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny/Reading Cavershams), horror of horrors, suggests a Eurovision Winners medley . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow), reminding us of how Czechoslovakian DJs have to take exams before they’re allowed to spin a record, reports that of thirty-four would-be DJs recently examined, only TWO passed (now there’s a way to get rid of cowboys!) . . . Elra Dee, wife of John Dee who is running a charity disco for Stuart Henry’s MS appeal at Merthyr Tydfil Tiffany’s on Monday 28th September, bets that DJs’ wives and girlfriends are the most underpaid personal secretaries in the business! . . . Barbara Mason has answered Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields on US WMOT 7in with ‘She’s Got The Papers, I Got The Man’ — while a dynamite mix out of ‘I Like Your Lovin’ (despite being faster at 110-111-113bpm) is the O’Jays ‘Use Ta Be My Girl’, which then sets the scene for ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ and a nice mellow oldies set . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) suggests mixing Mass Production ‘Shante’ over Modern Romance ‘Salsa Dub’, and Kev Hill (Southend Rascals Tues/Wed) extends Donald Byrd ‘Love Has Come Around’ using two copies and chopping after the chick’s long wail towards the end into the first piano-led instrumental bit about 30 seconds from the start . . . US imports have been flooding in over the past two sun-drenched weeks, but I’m afraid I’ve been more interested in getting fresh air for a change, staying with my pals Sparrow, Nivea and Harriet out in the country for as long as possible . . . Soft Cell is obviously an extremely popular record for which a case could be argued to cross it over into the Disco 90, where in fact it would be number 18 —but then Aneka would be number 22 in this current pop dominated era, and do we really need such stuff in the specialist chart? . . . I’m only crossing over such pop/futurist material as is getting a buzz from mixing-style DJs, who obviously find anything over 135bpm to be incompatible . . . Corfu nothing, why the hell isn’t ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ at number one here, yet? . . . KEEP IT COOL!

SAVANNA, whose ‘I Can’t Turn Away‘ has exploded on white label prior to official release next week on R&B Records (RBL 203), turn out to be four North Londoners led vocally and on guitar by Leroy Osbourne — the other guys being Orphy Robinson, Jeffrey Durrant and Raymond ‘Sammy’ Graham-Jacobs. Without musically putting a foot wrong, they’re heading in the steps of label-mates Imagination to score a smash on their first outing.

DISCOTEK ’81 A look to the future

DJ of London’s Le Beat Route, ALAN COULTHARD, surveys the opening of ‘DISCOTEK ’81’ and looks at the future for discos and DJs.

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13 sees the opening of the National Discotheque Trade Show at the Bloomsbury Centre Hotel, Coram Street, London WC1. Judging by the rush for stall space, it looks like being the most successful exhibition yet with almost 60 stands.

But though trade is flourishing for disco manufacturers, the same cannot be said for the club scene. New Romantic boom or not, club attendances have been experiencing a bit of a lull. Some say this always happens in the summer holidays, but the real reason can be attributed to the return of the ‘all-dayer’ which seems to go hand in glove with funk and soul: we all know that the current ‘in’ craze is a funk revival. But although all-dayers are exceedingly popular, the recent glut has led to stagnation in the clubs, which has resulted in the drop in numbers.

What makes us go to clubs and discos? SEX, DRINK, MUSIC and FASHION, though not necessarily in that order! We go to be entertained, and a disco is the only place which offers all four ingredients. But we also want variety, and while technicalities can improve turntables, speakers and lighting, to the average punter it doesn’t mean that much. However, the introduction of video into our discos will bring us into a new age.

My own club, Le Beat Route, along with several others up and down the country has not been slow to recognise the potential of video equipment. Most DJs intersperse their set with a video track, but this is only scratching the surface. While the DJ has control over the dance floor every time he plays a record, when he puts on a video he has the attention of the entire club.

As soon as the video disc and videogram have been officially put on the market, there will be specialised clubs dealing exclusively in visual music. With two videograms for playing videodiscs instead of having two normal turntables, the DJ of the future will be able to progress from one video disc to the next with the minimum of difficulty.

Already in America clubs are investing in wall to wall screens for this purpose, and some bands are specifically making videos to go with their 12-inch singles. Duran Duran, for example, did this with the extended format of their ‘Girls On Film’ single and while it will never be shown in this country it is guaranteed a success in the New York clubs.

Where does this leave the mobile DJ, whose pocket cannot stretch as far as a VCR? They are very costly at present, but once the equipment becomes easier to produce, prices will drop. Certainly, a mobile DJ with video facilities could charge a higher rate for his services.

I’m not suggesting that the day of the record spinning DJ is numbered, but today’s jock should be aware of any new innovations which might affect his trade.

Visitors to Discotek ’81 will soon become aware that this is rapidly becoming big business, which suggests a promising future for the disco DJ. My only worry is that the thriving supply side of the industry will not find an equal demand for their products in clubs and dance halls that seem to be stagnant at present.

Let’s hope I’m wrong. Certainly, there’s plenty of hope for the future as long as we are to accept the changes which are destined to come.


THIS year BADEM (British Association of Discotheque Equipment Manufacturers) are welcoming all disc-jockeys to the exhibition on the first two days, labelled ‘Public Days’, with the 15th and 16th being set aside for trade only. RECORD MIRROR will, of course, be present in force and to help you find your way around, here’s a guide to the various stands which will be set up for exhibits.

1. Video Disco Supplies, 2. Akwii Electronics, 3. H&C Electronics, 4. CEL Electronics, 5. Perception Electronics, 6. Mill Hill Switchgear, 7. RK Lighting, 8. Moflash, 9. Multiform Electronics, 10. Le Maitre, 11. SIS, 12. Northern Lights, 13. RCF/Covemain, 14. Sound Electronics, 15. RSC, 16. IC Electrics, 17. Disco International, 18. Zero 88, 19. Optikinetics/Mode, 20. Galaxy 7 Policies, 21. & 22. McCormack Electronics, 23. Pulsar, 24. Citronic/CCM, 25. JW Parker, 26. Mico Lighting, 27. CDC, 28. Avitec Electronics, 29. Cloud Electronics, 30. Wilmex, 31. Project Electronics, 32. Rainbow Cases/Mega, 33. FAL, 34. Aston Engineering, 35. RECORD MIRROR, 36. Cerebrum/Powerdrive, 37. Manhattan Sound & Light, 38. (to be filled), 39. DSN Marketing, 40. Roger Squire’s, 41. Soundout Labs, 42. East Anglian Productions, 43. Shure Electronics, 44. Adda, 45. Astral, 46. M-Jay Electronics, 47. Lightomation, 48. Malham, 49. Palm Garden, 50. (to be filled), 51. Canstrut, 52. Disco CS, 53. Powerhouse Enterprises, 54. Park Light and Sound, 55. Martin Audio, 56. Disco Sales and Hire, 57. Northern Light.


EVELYN KING: ‘If You Want My Lovin’ (RCA RCAT 131).
Virtually ‘I’m In Love – Part 2’ and a doddle to mix with it, this bubblingly snapping 116bpm 12in smacker nevertheless has plenty of appeal of its own and seems set to be equally as big.

STAR SOUND: ‘Stars On 45 Volume 3′ (CBS A13-1521).
Not as it turns out a Supremes medley after all (negative reaction must have got through to them), the latest 124bpm 12in instalment is a hotch potch collection of ’19 Favourite Instrumental Intros’ seemingly chosen at random, with a bias to rock and pop hits of the ’70s this time.

ARETHA FRANKLIN: ‘Hold On I’m Comin’ (Arista ARIST 12428).
The disjointedly dramatic intro winds up and then the regular brassy beat explodes into a fiery roaring and storming, wailing and soaring 122bpm 12in revival of Sam & Dave’s soul classic, while the sinuously smoochy 31½-32½bpm ‘Love All The Hurt Away‘ plugside finds her duetting with George Benson in radio-aimed style. The latter is also title track of her LP (SPART 1170), on which the joyfully strutting 0-114bpm revival of the Rolling Stones ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want‘ and dead slow ‘It’s My Turn’ are also getting attention.  Continue reading “September 12, 1981: DISCOTEK ’81 – “A look to the future””

September 5, 1981: Keni Burke, Beggar & Co, Quincy Jones, Bob James, Donald Byrd


POLYDOR’S DJ mail-outs look like continuing under Theo Loyla’s ex-secretary Jill Merrett, who confesses to not knowing much about disco music but somehow I expect Greg Lynn will be giving her a hand (why? you ask — a-ha!) . . . Savanna is now about on white label . . . Level 42’s album (with sleeve design by Theo’s good friend Joy Barling) is being promoted by a 4-track 12in sampler, which does not have “43” on it . . . Mike “T” has been picked up by Blue Inc for imminent UK release with a new instrumental mix as flip, and The Joneses is evidently due soon too from DJM . . . Strikers ‘Inch By Inch’ will be on 12in next week in an exclusive UK-only new remlx (done in the States but not available there) . . . Al Jarreau ‘Easy’ and the Whispers US newie, both reviewed last week, turn out to be on 12in too . . . Love Unlimited Orchestra ‘Welcome Aboard’ (US Unlimited Gold FZ 37425), Emotions ‘Turn It Out’ (US ARC 44-02477) and Cerrone ‘Hooked On You’ (Canadian Black Sun BS-2) have surfaced on import 12in, Cerrone you remember being a killer synch with Odyssey ‘Roots’ . . . Aretha Franklin ‘Hold On I’m Comin’ is only flip to the 12in version of her George Benson-duetted new UK slowie . . . Nicky Peck, previously hirsute Medway area main man, has chopped his locks for a sorta Freddie Mercury new look and —more importantly — has moved his much praised Central Sunday Soul Club to Gillingham’s King Charles Hotel, next to the Black Lion Sports Complex on the A231 Brompton Road (very close to Gillingham Station and High Street), with Chris Hill’s free appearance there this Sunday (6) kicking the new venue off . . . Theo Loyla celebrated his Polydor redundancy last Wednesday at Soho’s Le Beat Route (no fool — it was 25p drinks night!), where the stars turned out to wish him well: Froggy was there (checking Alan Coulthard’s mixing), along with Mick Clark, Martin Collins, Steve Walsh, Graham Canter, Rudi G, Owen Washington, Liverpool’s Mike Davidson, Level 42’s Mark King, Shakatak’s Nigel Wright, George Chandler, and such pluggers as Les Spaine, Rowdy Yeats, Morgan Khan, John Waller, Greg Lynn, Jill Merrett . . . Mike Davidson (Liverpool Hollywood) then came out with some of us for a snackette and wolfed two hamburgers, but couldn’t finish the second salad! . . . Soho’s Groove Records is in fact open as usual until 10 pm, Tim Palmer being prepared to put in extra time during staff hols to keep the tills ringing . . . K.I.D.’s hot SAM import will be available to all when it arrives, and is scheduled as follow-up by Record Shack . . . Birmingham Faces’ DJ Convention 1981, originally scheduled for October 4th, will now in somewhat expanded form be taking place on Sunday 1st November — note the date in your diary, as this one should be good . . . Confunktion Promotions (281 Main Road, Broomfield, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 5AU) would like to hear from any pop or funk/fusion groups who’d like to be included in a register of bands available to play a wide range of gigs in Central Essex — send demo tapes and details . . . psst, Renzo’s on Kingsway is the place this Saturday (but you won’t get in) . . . Jon Sheldrake (Swindon), a Superfly fan who reckons the West will liven up again when soul returns to Bristol radio, has been getting his funky airwave fix by tuning to Radio Leicester’s Herbie White soul & reggae show on Saturdays 6-7 pm, which since frequency changes to 358m/837kHz MW can be heard all over the Midlands (plus it’s relayed by Radio’s Derby & Nottingham) . . . Jon also tunes his dial on Saturdays 2-3 pm to 444m/675kHz MW for a Dutch disco show, and Sundays 2.30-5pm to 1271m/236kHz LW for RTL’s French ‘Hit Parade Des Clubs’, based on wally DJ charts . . . Frankie Smith ‘Double Dutch Bus’ has sold over 500,000 on 12in 800,000 on 7in and 200,000 on LP in the States yet (amongst many other “uptempo black singles”) just can’t win wide play on US pop radio stations who are still frightened of the “disco” stigma – and the record’s resultant poor position in the purportedly national charts just goes to show how biased towards radio play rather than sales those are . . . Quila (Ipswich Cinderella’s), who mixes ‘Chant No.1’ with Brass Construction ‘Movin’, gives good advice not only to DJs — “Dedication and determination will get anyone anywhere they want to go, if they’re good enough — and if they’re not, self confidence helps a lot” . . . Alan Donald (Rothesay Paddleboat) finds Barry White ‘Sha La La La’ (20th Century) fits well with the Latin thing, as even the less upfront punters can recognise the fat man’s voice . . . Tony St Michael (Finsbury Park) on a Peterborough visit to see Steve Allen in action found at the WH Smith’s there an album called ‘Motown Instrumentals’ with a cut by the Crusaders in amongst the San Remo Strings stuff, for only £1.99 — mind you, with a name like his, it’s surprising he wasn’t in Marks & Sparks! . . . Steve Dennis, sunning in Corfu along with a horde of fellow Brits, says Central Line ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ has become their anthem . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow) reckons Max Bygraves invented the medley mixer concept! . . . Frank Barber Orchestra ‘Glen Miller Today’ (PRT) is the big band medley I recently mentioned (but I’ve yet to hear it) . . . Roy Gould (Mitcham) asks, what swings from tree to tree and sounds like Abba? Tarzan 45! . . . John Waller says any announcement about Phonogram being likely to do Donna Summer and Village People medleys would be entirely premature . . . Geoffrey Lovell (Crawley) and all you other busy working DJs who want to send in charts, the procedure is simple — just send ’em in! . . . Davy King (Ballymena) wonders if we heard the one about the Irishman who though Slim Panatella was a country and western singer — no? . . . Dial lunacy 25 hours a day and do it the Curlyman way, on 01-736 6411 . . . MURDERATION . . . SHON . . . SHON . . . shon . . . shon . . . shon (with acknowledgements to David Rodigan), OINK!

ST TRINIANS fun and games gave everyone a good time recently at Swindon’s Brunel Rooms, where whacky “headmaster” Sandy Martin handed out the bubbly as first prize for a space-hopper race. Sandy says “Get more bounce to the ounce at the Brunel Rooms”. Thank you, for that short commercial message!


KENI BURKE: ‘You’re The Best’ (RCA RCAT 126).
Dominated by an excitingly throbbing resonant synthesizer figure and great jangly keyboard effects, this unusual 124-123bpm 12in pent-up juddering skipper really is the ideal fusion between futurist and soul, and as such should be a smash across the board. The flip is not the US pressing’s ‘Night Riders’ remix, but a substitute slowie.

BEGGAR & CO: ‘Mule (Chant No.2)’ (RCA RCAT 130).
With a moodily tricky intro leading into sword and sorcery lyrics about a “new romantic warrior” (and a couple of Spandau’s woah-woahing in the background), this smoothly rolling 122-121bpm 12in bounder might pose identity problems for some people, but even so after the second of two dramatic pauses there’s some nice furry flute followed by more solos in an instrumental fade, plus the ‘Go Forth’ flip’s a straightforward instrumental version with lots more brass amidst the fuzz-tone guitar (if that’s what it is?). On closer examination though, it ain’t another ‘Chant No.1’.

QUINCY JONES: ‘Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me’ (A&M AMSX 8157).
Stevie Wonder-penned/synthed slightly subtle Patti Austin-sung low key steadily smacking 28(intro)-111bpm swayer, good with ‘Back Together Again’, on 3-track 12in with ‘Somethin’ Special’ and the older ‘Superstition’.  Continue reading “September 5, 1981: Keni Burke, Beggar & Co, Quincy Jones, Bob James, Donald Byrd”