October 31, 1981: Caister report, Earth Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, George Benson, Gayle Adams, Melba Moore


THIS SUNDAY’S big DJ Convention at Birmingham’s Faces in Edgbaston, by the Five Ways roundabout at 34 Auchinleck Square, promises fun and games as well as serious discussion and, if it’s like last year’s (and if you can stop Fatman getting too excitable!), should be well worth attending that afternoon (2–6.30pm) . . . I am unlikely to be there as I’ve a big gig the previous night . . . Bristol’s Radio West goes on air this week (96.3 FM/238 MW) with Raymondo hosting a weeknight show which from 10pm to midnight goes softly soulful with reggae on Thurs/Fridays, plus at the tail end of his Saturday afternoon show from 5 to 6pm Ray’ll play new disco before switching for an hour of ’60’s soul oldies in a progressive examination of that era called ‘The Soulful Years’, put together for him by myself . . . Dunstable’s Radio Chiltern (97.5 FM/362 MW) has Martin Collins doing an imports slot for the last half-hour of Paul Cook’s 3-6pm Sunday soul show . . . George Benson actually recorded a new album which didn’t meet his label’s requirements, so instead next month there’s a double set of oldies with just three new tunes, one being his current single and another a monster at Caister . . . London has picked up Alphonse Mouzon for remixed 12in soon . . . Second Image not surprisingly sound like Linx – David Grant wrote it (and ‘Walking Into Sunshine’s’ Roy Carter produced it – these fax not discernible on white label!) . . . Junior ‘Mama Used To Say’ has had yet another 110bpm “special new mix” on promo-only 12in, flipped by the Linx-ish stop-start 115bpm ‘Fame’ (a new song) . . . Pete Gage has produced a newly recorded recreation of the notorious Disconet version of ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ – NOT in this case performed by Abba, but by The Bank – which on the Hot Spinner label is being touted as a “legal bootleg” (repeat: this is NOT by Abba, it’s a soundalike) . . . Rose Royce’s full length ‘R.R. Express’ is on Dutch 12in . . . Slave ‘Snap Shot’ / ‘Funken Town’ and edited versions of Yellowjackets ‘Matinee Idol’ / ‘Sittin’ In It’ / ‘Rush Hour’ have been sent out by Fred Dove on US promo-only 12in . . . Chris Hill heads a special return of jazz-funk to Southgate’s Royalty on New Year’s Day with a Caister Veterans party, tickets on sale in advance to Caister identity “passport” holders only . . . Pete Tong now jocks for Funktion on Fri/Saturdays at London’s Barracuda in Baker Street . . . ITV’s World Freestyle Dancin’ Championship 1981 last week could have been better presented but at least the music was quite convincing – until the soundalike musicians got faster and faster as the show progressed (still, the Londoners won!) . . . Marshal King (Sunderland Mayfair Suite) wonders if any companies have a current touring Boogie Bus-style promotion which could entertain 1500 teenage consumers? . . . John Mayoh (Bolton Rockerfellas) has been having fun on Saturday nights running look-alike competitions – Blondie, Manilow, Sting – John himself doing a good Manilow-nosed Debbie Harry! . . . Southampton’s Dennis Brynner (Barbarellas – soul) and Dave Van Seiger (Turpins/Floaters – Pop/Futurist) now have two shows on the local university’s Radio Glen, Wednesdays 6-8pm being futuristic and old soul, Sunday same time being a disco newies report . . . Paul Clark (Brighton Busby – Sunday) reports that his Savanna venue was short-lived due to poor response and complaints about the sound system! . . . Chris Dinnis switches his jazz-funk nights at Exeter Boxes to Wednesday as from 11th Nov . . . Gary Allan’s gay Wednesdays and Sundays are now Liverpool McMillans’ busiest nights . . . Tricky Dicky says although the gay disco scene has got larger (he magnanimously recommends Lazers), fewer people are interested in the music – appearances by ’60s girl singers being the latest gay club fad, people like Helen Shapiro, Susan Maughan, even Diana Dors (he himself presents Kathy Kirby at Tottenham Eltons next Wednesday 4th) . . . Dicky also reckons that the lowest record prices are at Groove, apart that is from his own prices at Disco Music, 391c Mile End Road, London E3 – open 2-7pm Thurs; 1-6pm Fri/Sat only – with a large stock of old and new goodies at ultra-keen prices . . . Flash Gordon, keeping it funky at Bristol’s Mistys Nite Club, says (and I must agree) that the only local import stockists, Virgin, are so expensive he rings Alan at Flashback Records in Swindon, who gives a ten per cent DJ discount – US LP £5.99/12in £3.99 and actually delivers right to the club! . . . K. Henderson (Birkenhead) wants a separate import chart – but they’re all in the same order they would be in the main chart already . . . Jim Kershaw hopefully raised lotsa money for Sheffield’s very first Over-60s Pop-In Centre by running in last Sunday’s New York marathon . . . John Waller’s highly prized secretary Karin has been pinched from Phonogram by Orin Cozier at Arista! . . . PLAY A NEWIE!


SHOWSTOPPER PROMOTIONS eighth jazz-funk and soul weekender at Caister was evidently the most trouble-free of them all, and in other respects a great success too. However, some elements seemed to be missing: audience participation events and new records. The lack of the latter was much commented on by those concerned with the current sad state of the scene. The first two Caister weekenders in 1979 created several hits by playing lots of new material, but since then the DJs, by taking the easy option, have encouraged the crowd to expect a diet of oldies which already have proven chant-along appeal. October 1981 will be remembered for Kool & The Gang’s ‘Get Down On It’ thanks to Chris Hill (the other biggies were Alphonse Mouzon and – not really a newie – Bohannon), and in fact it really was only Chris, in some superb sets which embraced excellent mixing, crowd control, walking on water, and blues harmonica over ‘R.R. Express’, who really took a chance to play new material. Otherwise, the closed circuit Radio Caister was more upfront than the live jocks. It was on the round-the-clock radio that you heard Gayle Adams, Melba Moore and the like. Martin Collins once again proved himself to have the best radio style (for my money he would walk into a late night slot now), while Tom Holland and Bob Jones played some really interesting selections during the dawn-watch hours when the rowdies had left the radio venue, Brother Louie and Mick Clark were the other featured radio jocks (along with some help from facility supplying Radio Invicta), while a slot was found for all the rest of the live DJs too – Froggy, Robbie Vincent, Sean French, Chris Brown, Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Nicky Peck. During an on-air agony auntie session, Chris Hill was moved to remark about a young man wearing a mini-skirt “that he obviously hasn’t got a sexual problem” – not realizing that unseen by him the guy was lifting up the front of his skirt to show off his masculine characteristics! This sort of silliness used to be on a mass organized scale at previous Caisters, most notably through fancy dress or talent competitions, but this time in place of punter-created inspired lunacy there was a sad boxing kangaroo and other assorted animal acts in a truly appalling circus, run by professionals, which fell very flat. (The racing camels had been banned – evidently the locals weren’t keen on the idea of camel shit on their beach!). However, sweaty fun and mass hysteria reached their usual levels once everyone was crammed together swaying, chanting, call-and-answering, the new chant for some obscure Vincent-originated reason being “Bobby Moore!” (minus his Rhythm Aces), while Al Jarreau’s ‘Roof Garden’ formed the basis for a lewd and lascivious singalong. There was nearly an ugly situation at the end of Sunday’s final finale when it was revealed that (in a deliberate policy move) none of the jocks had brought a copy of ‘Shout’ to the gig, but Cab Galloway’s “hi-de-hi” filled ‘Minnie The Moocher’ was eventually played as a substitute. Amongst the tribes, the Medway Rain Forest Missionaries freely distributed ‘Woah Cry’ fanzine (great title!) had a slightly higher chuckle content than the Staines Fusion Few’s pussy mag (sorry Chris!), and Welwyn Toxicated had to be the best tribe name. Perran Sands camp photographer, nicknamed Rolf following his antics at the earlier weekender, was adopted as Showstoppers official Caister cameraman, Fred Dove showed his WEA videos to huge audiences, Arista’s Orin Cozier broke down on the way home (thanks for the lift anyway, Orin!), Nicky Peck sported a pinstriped bomber jacket and baggy pegged pants custom tailored for him by Image of Chatham, Chris Brown bought a round (and a cheroot for himself!). Despite my own and other veteran Caister-goers’ misgivings about the lack of new material being broken, first-timers like the four funkiest people in Frieth (yeah – you find it on the map!) had a fabarootie time and doubtless will be back for Caister 9 on March 26/27/28, 1982 – earlier in the year than usual so as not to clash with Showstoppers trip to St Tropez in May. Anyway, another first-timer at Caister, RM’s Alan Coulthard will be revealing his impressions in Record Mirror next week.

LIGHT OF THE WORLD having fragmented into the horny Beggar & Co and jazzy Incognito, just Gee Bello and Nat Augustin are left under the original group name, and they now sound like Linx. Gee (vocals/percussion) and Nat (guitar/bass/vocals) have the same talents as David and Sketch, but even so the similarity on their EMI debut ‘Ride The Love Train’ is ridiculous!


EARTH, WIND & FIRE: ‘Let’s Groove’ (CBS A13-1679).
Vocoder introed typically lurching 124(start)-125bpm jittery strutter with lots of staccato squeaky vocal clucking, now at last on impatiently awaited full length 12in with instrumental flip. Their ‘Raise!’ LP (CBS 11-85272), available if you’re lucky on picture disc, is pretty typical too, my own fave cut being the lovely buoyantly slinky 0-84bpm ‘Wanna Be With You‘ which has a jazzy undertow, while ‘I’ve Had Enough‘ is a squeaky 117bpm smacker, ‘Lady Sun‘ a snappy brittle brassy 126bpm smacker, ‘Evolution Orange‘ a similar but more excitable 126-128bpm smacker, ‘Kalimba Tree/You Are A Winner‘ an oddly introed clapping 105(intro)-103-106bpm heavy judderer, ‘My Love’ a ticking 47bpm slowie, and ‘The Changing Times’ an overly frantic 133-134-135bpm jolter.

DIANA ROSS: ‘Mirror Mirror’ (LP ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ Capitol EST 26733).
Self-produced debut set from her new label, dominated for discos by this chunkily jolting 103bpm steady plodder with yowling guitar and Randy Brecker brass, and by the snaredrum-introed catchily counting 110bpm ‘Work That Body‘ – which really seems to be a limbering-up exercise set to music! Other cuts are all pleasant but tend to be either too fast or slow, the attractively jogging 101bpm ‘Two Can Make It‘ hitting a happy medium.

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Turn Your Love Around’ (Warner Bros K 17877).
Lovely chunkily tripping 103bpm 7in jogging jittery throbber with brassy pent-up climaxes and nice background piano, great with Dukes, Dimples, Four Tops, etc.  Continue reading “October 31, 1981: Caister report, Earth Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, George Benson, Gayle Adams, Melba Moore”

October 24, 1981: Roger, The Quick, Rose Royce, Second Image, Earl Klugh


SHOWSTOPPER PROMOTIONS’ eighth soul weekender at Caister gets underway this Friday — remember to take plenty of dry clothes, towels, loo paper, soap, matches, food and an FM radio . . . Tom Holland says he’ll be ringing the Anglian Lodge to make sure it stays open late on Friday night, but in case he doesn’t for goodness sake someone please call ’em on Gt Yarmouth 3985 — tell ’em the Mafia are coming! . . . Chris Ellis’s Staines Fusion Few fanzine for Caister is indeed strongly orientated towards pussy — of the furry feline kind! . . . Diana Ross’s ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ 7in won’t be of much interest to disco fans but don’t despair as her new Capitol LP, due this weekend, contains a disco killer and potential smash in ‘Mirror Mirror‘, a great sultry slow chunky lurcher with yowling guitar solos . . . George Benson, whose overdue album has been delayed reportedly until after Xmas, has, however, a new import 7in with just the A-side being new material . . . Linda Taylor’s ‘In The Pocket’, getting rave New York radio reaction, is being rushed out there by SAM in a new mix which will also be reissued here by Groove before too long . . . Billy Fury, now recording again for Polydor, these days looks remarkably like the aforementioned Linda Taylor — and oddly enough, Linda Taylor is the name given to a female singing star character in TV’s ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’! . . . Weapon Of Peace ‘Jah Love’, reviewed last week, is now on 3-track 12in (Safari SAFE L 39), while the three versions on Ann-Margret’s import 12in actually break down as 0-110bpm short ‘Pt.1’ A-side, 111bpm long ‘Pt.2’, 0-111bpm instrumental . . . GQ’s brand new single ‘Shake‘, due here next weekend, replaces their old distinctive style with a more Michael Jackson-ish sound on a Rod Temperton-type strings and vocal group-backed chugging slick 110-111-112bpm smacker . . . UK Players ‘Girl’ on 7in crazily cuts off just before that terrific long tape-loop vocal note, the whole hook of the 12in! . . . Arista, unless they change their mind, were about to release Phyllis Hyman ‘Tonight You and Me’ on 12in this week, evidently forgetting it was one of the cuts on her last 12in! . . . Rush Release have circulated an 8-track 12in of rock ‘n’ roll classics (all except ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ the original recordings) introduced just at the start of each side by Kenny Everett and a 7-Up jingle, plus some of the titles are on flexi-disc singles . . . France’s disco equipment and entertainment exhibition Discom ’81 is next week from Monday (26) for four days at the Parc Des Expositions, Porte De Versailles, Paris (UK enquiries 01-499 2317) . . . Roger Tovell hosts ‘The Friday Funkshun’ 7-10pm Fridays, amongst other slots on the station, on Gloucester’s Severn Sound (368m/774khz MW, 95FM) . . . Wallabys opening at North Harrows Headstone in the Imperial Hotel has been put back to Tuesday November 10 . . . Le Kilt’s Jean Pierre has opened his own Disco 49 in Soho’s Greek Street right opposite Le Beat Route and almost next to Groove (on the site of ’60s folkies haunt Les Cousins), DJ being Terry Prince, while of real interest to London’s late nite apres-gig eaters will be the ground floor restaurant opening next month which will run from 2am as the ‘Breakfast Club’ until 6am seven nights a week . . . Fatman won’t have far to go! . . . Carrere now need specialist heavy metal rock jocks for a new mailing list — if any read this page, send your full work details to Geoff Scourfield, Carrere UK, 20-22 Queen Street, London W1X 7PJ . . . Sharon Davis — oops, sorry — Karen Spreadbury, ex-Motown press gal, has set up her own Eyes & Ears PR firm with her initial clients being Stax and Le Beat Route (which means she can combine business with pleasure every night!) . . . Mayfair’s Gullivers has added to its big screen video system a remote controlled camera which now relays the action as it actually happens so dancers can watch themselves dancing on TV — but why does it spend so much time pointing at Colin the barman? . . . Steve Day (Chingford) takes the Kent Walton route away from straight disco work — he’s been asked to MC at professional wrestling venues . . . Steve Jerome was actually a child star on TV in Los Angeles, singing on a kids show every morning for four years . . . Kool’s genial manager Buzz Willis explains that the Gang’s pic appears instead of girls on their new LP sleeve to give them a more visible identity following their worldwide mega-smash with ‘Celebration’ — which was of course the biggest selling single in the States over the last couple of years . . . Isley Brothers new import LP is what you might call dull . . . Luther Vandross in the US sings on commercials for Juicy Fruit Gum, Miller Beer, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, Gino’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and even the US Army . . . Pete Haigh (Blackpool Man Fridays – Mondays) reminds me that Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields was recording in the early ’70s, including for his own Dat Richfield Kat label on the ‘Spoiled Rotten’ LP a version of ‘Moody’s Mood For Love’ . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) observes that pop and comedy cabarets always give him awkward hard-to-please customers, while soul show punters are better dressed, better behaved, more sophisticated, and easier to entertain — well I never! . . . New York Soul Connection’s recent controversial event at the Harrow Leisure Centre really did deliver less than it promised, as Cayenne (the only billed live act actually to appear) discovered after agreeing to help the promoter by being paid with a cheque . . . WEA’s Fred Dove has so many relatives entering dance competitions these days it’s a wonder he doesn’t take to the floor more often himself! . . . Kev Hill (Basildon Sweeneys) reports from Nassau that not only are Bahamian discos heavily into hard funk, soul and jazz (Roger’s LP being huge) but so too are all the shops, hotels and even taxis, while Cramond Perry (Edinburgh) reports from Barbados that the music is either calypso-ish or very George Benson-ish, Al Jarreau being huge on radio although the discos only play funk . . . London’s Rockafella’s late nite eaterie off Regent Street was playing a track off the Emotions new album on Sunday morning which gave us hysterics — they sounded just like chickens! . . . Rusty Egan relays the following exchange: Spandau Ballet “What do you think, we’ve gone funk?” — Ultravox’s Midge Ure “We’ve gone platinum” . . . RCA’s Rowdy Yeats was responsible for last week’s most widely circulated joke: “What’s the difference between (a certain well known London DJ) and the Pope? — The Pope’s getting better!” . . . Capital Radio’s Mike Allen was given a car window sticker reading “Happiness is Slough in my rear view window” . . . West Acton could be headed for a tropical Streetwave . . . MAKE IT FUNKY!


ROGER: ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ (Warner Bros K 17865T).
The two hottest monsters from Mr Troutman’s nevertheless still essential album here back-to-back on 12in, this sensational vocoder-sung bubbling 118bpm funk smacker and the superb jazzier instrumental 118bpm ‘A Chunk Of Sugar‘ with lovely Benson-ish guitar.

THE QUICK: ‘Zulu’ (Epic EPC A13-1739).
How it missed the national chart before is one of the year’s big mysteries, but now in a new John Luongo remix and following US smash disco success here comes the great coolly thudding atmosphere laden 118bpm 12in bounder again, with a long empty instrumental build up and completely instrumental 117bpm flip. My one reservation is that it may now lack the original’s well-proven MoR appeal.

ROSE ROYCE: ‘R.R. Express’ (Whitfield K 17875T).
Dynamite 116bpm chugger here edited for 12in to “make it easier for Wallys to programme”. Reckon us non-Wallys will stick with the full album version. Flip is 1979’s rhythmically similar but somewhat more bounding 113-114-115bpm ‘Lock It Down‘.  Continue reading “October 24, 1981: Roger, The Quick, Rose Royce, Second Image, Earl Klugh”

October 17, 1981: Arthur Adams, Kool & The Gang, The Frontline Orchestra, Bohannon, Jerry Carr


MORGAN KHAN, who single-handedly built Excaliber and now more significantly R&B (three hits with first three releases!) has had a difference of opinion with the labels backers Red Bus, but could soon be announcing an even more exciting new affiliation — meanwhile, Morgan and his staff are working from PRT, 132 Western Road, Mitcham, Surrey (01 648 7000) . . . Barry’s Disco Centre run their Discomart ’81 equipment exhibition this Sunday (18) in the Cambridge Suite at Gloucester Leisure Centre from noon to 5.30pm . . . Trevor Walters ‘Love Me Tonight’ is now on Magnet 12in (12MAG 198), the world class gorgeous 0-93/47-95bpm lovers rock smash having justified our initial faith in it by winning Capital Radio’s ‘People’s Choice’ vote this week . . . Arthur Adams ‘You Got The Floor’ has surfaced on import in some configurations with a dynamite instrumental “D-side”, so check which pressing you buy (unfortunately this is not the British RCA flip) . . . Spandau Ballet’s ‘Paint Me Down’, again with Beggar & Co backing, will reportedly be even more disco than their last one . . . The Quick’s US hit remix of ‘Zulu’ is due here imminently again . . . Dynasty ‘Love In The Fast Lane’ will indeed be their 12in . . . Linx’s new ‘Go Ahead’ album is due next week . . . Diana Ross debuts on US RCA 7in (Capitol here) with a revival of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers’ Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ — not at all what one might have expected, huh? — the title track of her new album, due here in less than a fortnight, which also contains a revival of Brenda Lee’s ‘Sweet Nothin’s’ and a re-recording just by herself of ‘Endless Love’ . . . Roger ‘Grapevine’ (Warner Bros) and Lime ‘You’re My Magician (Remix)’ (Rams Horn) are now about on Dutch 12in . . . Malaco’s Motown/Stax oldies medley reviewed last week, Power ‘Play It Again Sam’, is due here imminently via Pinnacle and will doubtless show up in our chart as Rush Release will be servicing it to jocks . . . Stevie Wonder is readying a greatest hits album of ’70s/’80s material, including two as yet unheard new tunes — presumably for release as future singles . . . Rusty Egan climbs back into the news with the formation of his own Metropolis label for distribution via Island . . . Groove Weekly’s Debbie Gopie is now plugging disco product at DJM . . . Rose Royce have reportedly signed to CBS, but whether with or without Norman Whitfield as producer is not known . . . Alphonse Mouzon’s new set is being criticised by some jocks for having too much vocal . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow) reveals that his day job is with Schreiber Furniture, and a record of the firm’s radio TV jingle may be available to bona fide DJs who write to Mr Schreiber at Schreiber Furniture Centre, 9 Baker Street, London W1 . . . Paul Anthony (Walsall) kicks off our recommended import stockists listing by reporting that Ruby Red Records, Cleveland Street, Wolverhampton, have so far kept their prices down (LP £5.49, 12in £2.99 when he wrote) and Steve Fay (Darwen) recommends the renowned Spinn Inn, Cross Street, Manchester — keep ’em coming (unless imports really are dead outside London) . . . US import albums on WEA’s labels you may have noticed now feature a nasty little sticker covered with an encircled W logo stuck on the top right hand back side of the sleeve — this turns out to be an anti-counterfeit measure, the sticker revealing an additional white version of the logo when viewed by indirect torchlight (what next, watermarked vinyl?!) . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny / Reading Cavershams) reckons some jocks drop lots of good soul/funk singles as soon as they chart nationally because it’s unhip to play them — shame! — and yet if these jocks are going to support a particular record they should plug it all the way to the top . . . Davy King reports from Copenhagen that the disco scene there is flourishing, most clubs (he recommends Daddys) full to capacity every night . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillan’s) has a couple of killer mixes: Jacksons ‘Walk Right Now’ (especially end drum breaks) into Evelyn Champagne King ‘Shame’ and Jimmy Ross ‘First True Love Affair’ into Change ‘Glow Of Love’ . . . John Dene (Dunstable Tiffany’s Mon/Wed/Sat) says MoR jocks could find a good evening kick-off segue is Detroit Spinners ‘Working My Way Back To You’, Bee Gees ‘You Should Be Dancing’ (to break), Detroit Spinners ‘Yesterday Once More’ (to break), Village People ‘YMCA’ (US remix version) . . . DJ and especially disco plugger reaction to our chart split has been very encouraging, but we still need more of the funk/soul/jazz/disco type of jock to send in regular Top 20/30 (40?) floor-filler listings, so support your music and send ’em to reach us by Wednesday as often as possible, addressed to James Hamilton, Disco Chart, Record Mirror, 40 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JT . . . MAKE IT FUNKY!

WHEELERS NIGHTCLUB opened a few weeks ago amidst much elegantly dressed revelry in Henley-on-Thames, where resident and guest DJs including Andy Gill, Sean French, Nigel Owen, Johnnie Walker, Marc Carter, Chris Brown were in attendance. Situated on Remenham Hill, the club has a jazzy policy as befits any venture run by Frenchies and Jacksons-founding Paul and Robin Wheeler.


ARTHUR ADAMS: ‘You Got The Floor’ (RCA RCAT 146).
The biggest import smash in ages, this Bernie (Capt. Dobey) Hamilton-produced slickly pulsating 113(intro)-116-117bpm 12in beauty has great Luther-like mellow vocal before sensational sax drives it on home with a backbeat smacking kick. Similar to Alphonse Mouzon ‘By All Means’, it mixes on into Linx, Change ‘Glow Of Love’, and — well, you probably already know.

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Steppin’ Out’ (De-Lite DEX 4).
Like an emotionally detached retread of ‘Celebration’ but without any similar catchiness, this squeakily sung bass bumbled bland 0-119bpm 12in jiggly chugger is as you’re by now probably used to reading — not a patch on their US 7in-issued ‘Take My Heart‘ album track … which won’t prevent this reaching a certain level of acceptance here for a while.

Excellent jazzily loping 123-124-125bpm 12in instrumental skipper with good understated solos ending up with Latin piano behind tapping percussion, officially the flip to the jittery smacking 118-117bpm ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On Me‘ which despite other reasonable ingredients is ruined by a squawking lead vocal that grates on my ears at least.  Continue reading “October 17, 1981: Arthur Adams, Kool & The Gang, The Frontline Orchestra, Bohannon, Jerry Carr”

October 10, 1981: Lloyd Charmers, Four Tops, Rose Royce, Kool & The Gang, Conquest


TONY MONSON clarifies that although his Disc Empire shop is indeed currently winding down by selling stock cheap until it does actually close, his main business has transferred to his other Flyover Records shop which remains open at 15 Queen Caroline Street in Hammersmith W6, while his flourishing wholesale business is still servicing retailers as before . . . Rose Royce ‘RR Express’ is rumoured to be on Dutch Rams Horn 12in already . . . The Dukes as you’ve probably discovered are in fact Bugatti & Musker . . . Heatwave are in London to record their next album . . . Rod Temperton, Keith Wilder and Greg Phillinganes were at Mayfair Gullivers last Friday for Ronnie Laws PA, along with Radio West’s Ray Edwards, Phonogram’s expatriate Johnny Stainze, John Waller, Fred Dove, Les Spaine, Jane Evans . . . Les Spaine, once Liverpool’s Godfather DJ, has stayed at EMI as head of promotion for Capitol, Liberty UK and EMI America, rather than moving to RCA with Motown for whom he previously plugged . . . Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniel and Stephanie Mills, only recently married, have sadly broken up . . . Phil Haslehurst at Whitehaven’s Whitehouse is looking for another knowledgeable DJ, with good voice and record collection, who won’t mind calling over very occasionally (he says!) – call Whitehaven 2215 or 3502 . . . Paul & Robin Wheeler’s eponymous Wheelers Nightclub in Henley on Thames (A423, Remenham Hill) has got off to a good start, attractions including Dave Collins & Nigel Owen jazz-funking Thursdays, John Phillips funking Fridays, Sean French & Andy Gill jazz-fusioning Saturdays, plus live jazz at Sunday lunchtime . . . Camberley Frenchies in the Cambridge Hotel, refurbished to include new bars and food service, reopens on Sunday 1st November, with Chris Brown & Johnnie Walker once again resident jocks . . . Wallabys opens (really!) on Tuesday 3rd November at North Harrow’s Headstone in the Imperial Hotel, to provide jazz and silliness only on the first Tuesday of every month with DJs Ken Gerou & Anthony Bernards (coaches from Dimlos are welcome) . . . Marshal King (Sunderland) is cut up ‘cos the Tyne & Wear Fire Department have cancelled roller disco sessions in the North-East as a fire hazard, even though at Marshal’s three venues he held evacuation drills each week and proved to the firemen he could get over 500 people out in a minute and a half, with skates removed . . . Sheffield DJ Jim Kershaw and musician chum Ben Wragg have invented an Audio Score Monitor which automatically transforms the sound signal from any record into a video screen readout as sheet music, but British backing has been unforthcoming and they’ve had to flog the idea to Japan – marvellous, innit? . . . Paul Rae & Ralph Randell are packing Manchester’s Legend every Thursday with futurist fans to such an extent it really has become something of a legend, and they’d welcome some PA visits by London-based bands to join the many Mancunian groups who regularly drop in . . . Soft Cell’s Marc Almond actually used to be Mike Wiand’s cloakroom attendant at Leeds Warehouse! . . . Duran Duran’s shutter-clicking camera intro sounds like it was nicked from Delores Hall ‘Snapshot’ (Capitol 12in) . . . Dave Evans has replaced Steve Allen as resident jock every Sunday at Peterborough’s Slickers in its new venue within the Cresset Centre . . . Ian Shaw jazz-funks Kingston-on-Thames Jesters every Wednesday, plus Saturdays when with the newly installed video gear he tends to film the dancers for screening the following week . . . John Mayoh is moving back to Bolton Rockerfellas from Rochdale Tiffanys . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry Freddie’s Bar), back from sunny Spain, says “hi” to Louie The Lip and Disco Danny at Palma’s Alexandra’s nitespot, and raves about the monstrous holiday hit Pino D’Angio ‘Ma Quelle Idea‘ (on RCA – Rowdy please note) . . . Alan Jewell’s reportedly being kept busy in one way or another at his Oslo Leopard residency, where the Scandinavian girls just love his mixing and give him a big clap . . . Owen Washington fills in for Alan Coulthard at Soho’s Le Beat Route now that university has started, but Alan still has enough energy to report Jermaine Jackson sings the word “girl” a total of 63 times during the course of his new LP – fascinating . . . Le Beat Route’s ’60s soul night on Tuesdays is worth visiting, Tony (ex-Cheapo Cheapo) spinning good sounds even if there are too many Northern speeders . . . Tony Cochrane, now back in Dundee organising another Scottish funk all-dayer on Sunday 25th October at Stonehaven’s Commodore Hotel, did the summer season at Douglas (Isle Of Man) Summerland, where the winners of a competition, Joanne Malton & Colin McGuiness, won a weekend in London – so, amongst other excitements, Tony brought ’em down to Mayfair Gullivers . . . Glenn J Simpson has evidently turned up plugging for Leamington Spa-based Magnum Associate Promotions, for whom Theo Loyla is now reportedly doing a little local radio promotion too . . . Martin Platts (Blackburn) joins a field of 7,000 in West Germany later this month to run in the Bliefeld marathon, provided he first hasn’t done himself an injury eight days earlier running to aid the blind in the Manchester marathon – phew! . . . Gary Andrews (Bawtry), re Massara’s ‘Margarita’, says Boney M do a faster and better version called ‘Felicidad (Margherita)‘ with a 10:20 version as part of the ‘Boney M For Dancing’ 12in twinpack on German Hansa (301.500.565) . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) is offering his very good condition 1976 Audi 100GL automatic for £1,400 – call 0494-451797 . . . Alan Costa (Brighton Kings / Kings II reports from Venezuela that petrol there is 5p a litre – can he really mean it? . . . Martin Starr (Bristol Scamps) finds it cheaper to travel to London and shop at Groove than buy imports locally, where LPs cost £7.99 and 12in £4.99 – remember, we want to hear from you about your area’s recommended import stockists . . . psst, forget the fifth of November, remember ‘The Limp’! . . . Disco 90 and POD points combined would still have put Donald Byrd at number one . . . only a few months ago there were more soul hits than ever before in the national Top 75, so let’s turn this mother out, keep the faith one more time and MAKE IT FUNKY!

JOHN SACHS, Capital Radio’s nightcap jock, club-crawling man about town and son of dago Spanish waiter, obviously didn’t win a silver disc for ‘Going Back To My Roots’ but that wasn’t enough to stop him posing with Odyssey, who did. Amazingly, ‘Roots’ has failed to hit in the States, where it’s merely floundering around at the very bottom of the charts.


LLOYD CHARMERS: ‘If Leaving Me Is Easy’ (Radioactive RAD 3(12)).
Sensationally beautiful ultra soulful 0-67/33-68/34bpm 12in reggae treatment of the Phil Collins slowie ends up as a haunting emptily thudding dub with resonant noises washing between the beats, and deserves to be a smash.

FOUR TOPS: ‘When She Was My Girl’ (Casablanca CANS 1005).
Already hot on radio and heading for hitsville, this lovely lazily jogging 101-100bpm 12in swayer has Levi Stubbs right on old form, a twiddling melodica and some neat bass vocal “‘bum ba dum bums” all making it an aural delight.

ROSE ROYCE: ‘R.R. Express’ (LP ‘Jump Street’ Whitfield K 56958).
The UK 12in version will indeed be edited although here in its full 12 minute form this incredibly exciting 116bpm locomoting and shunting chugger is hardly too long, so get the album if you can afford it. A revamp of ‘Nytro Express‘, it is as you must by now know pure dynamite.  Continue reading “October 10, 1981: Lloyd Charmers, Four Tops, Rose Royce, Kool & The Gang, Conquest”

October 3, 1981: “Chart Changes” (DORC becomes POD), The Strikers, Jerome, Candy Bowman, Slave, Northend ft Michelle Wallace


No Odds ‘N’ Bods section this week, but the below listed was squeezed in at the bottom of the page and appears to be an abbreviated, untitled Odds ‘N’ Bods:

SHOWSTOPPER PROMOTIONS latest offer is ten days in St Tropez at the end of May with jazz-funk nightly in the 1,000 capacity Stella Artois tent, accommodation in caravans and large communal sleeping tents, travelling by bus from Southgate Royalty. Catering provided on site, though not included. Everything otherwise all included for just £109! . . . Caister in three weeks time meanwhile is likely to see racing camels on the sands and a boxing kangaroo! . . . I sadly won’t be able to make Perran Sands this week or the Birmingham Faces convention on November 1st as I’ve got mobile gigs to do then — drat (but the money’s good) . . . Light Of The World, minus Beggar & Co, is alive and well and signed to EMI . . . John Luongo is responsible for two hot American disco hit remixes, Jacksons ‘Walk Right Now’ (US Epic 12in) with added sirens and an extra earlier break, and the Quick ‘Zulu’ (US Pavillion 12in) which is now much tighter . . . Disconet will soon have a UK outlet here . . . Ze’s previously promo-only boxed set of the ‘Mutant Disco’ LP tracks coupled as three 12in double-siders is now available commercially for just £3.99, early buyers getting a T-Shirt too . . .


THE STRIKERS: ‘Inch By Inch’ (Epic EPC A13-1628).
Luckily last week’s review didn’t get printed as back then I thought the teasingly whispered new intro of this UK-only 12in remix totally dissipated the impact of this sparsely chugging 121bpm percussive bumper. I’m still unsure of the intro, but the actual mix is dynamite as gubbins me discovered when using it in conjunction with the Prelude LP version. Everyone else obviously agrees too, to judge from its chart leap. The slow starting instrumental flip is a bit lacklustre, though. I’m not sure how either side compares with a currently imported Rams Horn 12in from Holland.

JEROME: ‘You’re Supposed To Be My Friend’ (DJM DJR 10976).
Ladies man Steve Jerome looks set to score good and proper this time with his superb Pete Wingfield-produced mellow wailing comes and goes 108bpm 12in jittery swayer, which combines a Benson / Wonder feel with strong lyrics and as is already apparent lotsa radio appeal. Try it out of Freddie Hubbard and beware the cold end.

CANDY BOWMAN: ‘I Wanna Feel Your Love’ (RCA RCAT 148).
Chunkily jittering little 115(intro)-118-119bpm 12in Teena / Stacy-style smacker with repetitively wailed title line, rushed out here surprisingly fast.  Continue reading “October 3, 1981: “Chart Changes” (DORC becomes POD), The Strikers, Jerome, Candy Bowman, Slave, Northend ft Michelle Wallace”