January 2, 1982: Hammy’s Awards for 1981, End Of Year Disco Chart 1981

HAMMY’S AWARDS

DOC SEVERINSON strikes up the band, Ed McMahon steps mikeside, there’s a swirl of the candy-striped curtains, and . . . “H-E-E-E-RE’S HAMMY!” After some rapturously greeted, cracks about the audience tonight (WHOA!), It’s time for the matter of the moment — the Hammy Awards for 1981:

HIT OF THE YEAR: Whispers – ‘It’s A Love Thing’ (Solar), a socking nine weeks as number one – and, as half anticipated, there is indeed a new Whispers album due on UK release next week and probably about on import now.

RECORD COMPANY OF THE YEAR: RCA (including RCA, Solar, 20th Century-Fox).

RUNNERS-UP (scored by number and stature of hits): (2) CBS (CBS / Epic / TSOP / GTO / Tappan Zee), (3) Phonogram (Mercury / De-Lite / Ensign / Casablanca), (4) WEA (Elektra / Atlantic / Warner Bros / WEA / Whitfield / Mirage / Cotillion / Carrere), (5) Chrysalis (Chrysalis / Reformation), (6) R&B / Excaliber, (7) Motown, (8) Beggars Banquet, (9) A&M, (10) London / Decca.

LABEL OF THE YEAR: Prelude, the US disco label most consistently worth checking.

IMPORT OF THE YEAR: Bohannon – ‘Let’s Start II Dance Again’ (US Phase II 12in).

12in OF THE YEAR: Abba – Lay All Your Love On Me’ (Epic), more as an historical fact than in recognition of the music. 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Roger – ‘The Many Facets Of Roger’ (Warner Bros).

LP CUT OF THE YEAR: Boys Town Gang – ‘Cruisin’ The Streets’ (Moby Dick).

REMIXES OF THE YEAR: Sharon Redd – ‘Can You Handle It‘ (US Prelude 12in), Grace Jones – ‘Pull Up To The Bumper‘ (US Disconet LP), Light Of The World – ‘Time‘ (Mercury 12in).

OLDIE OF THE YEAR: Maze – ‘Joy And Pain’ (Capitol LP / 12in), whether live or the original.

THE SMASH THAT NEVER WAS: Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields – ‘I Like Your Lovin’ (Epic), which could have happened had it been on 12in flipped with ‘She’s Got Papers On Me‘ (the full length, and not edited, version of which is now in fact on 7in).

ONES THAT GOT AWAY: Jumbo – ‘Take It Light‘ (US Atlantic 12in), Chi-Lites – ‘Try My Side (Of Love)‘ (US 20th Century-Fox / Chi-Sound LP), Carol Jiani – ‘The Woman In Me‘ (Canadian Matra LP – now on 12in).

SURE FIRE FLOOR FILLERS (more so than a lot that got higher): Evelyn King – ‘I’m In Love‘ (RCA 12in), Carl Carlton – ‘She’s A Bad Mama Jama‘ (20th Century-Fox 12in), James Brown ‘Rapp Payback‘ (RCA 12in).

BEST BOOTLEG MIXER: Nostalcia – ‘Break Down’ (US Alto 12in).

HOTTEST PROMO 12in: Rick James – ‘Give It To Me Baby’ (US Motown).

UNAVOIDABLE TREND: Medley Mania.

MARKETING PLOY: Bugatti & Musker disguising themselves as The Dukes and getting Chris Hill to wind up DJs with white label promos of ‘Mystery Girl’.

PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: Morgan Khan, frustratingly unreliable at times but forgivably so, as his persistence, enthusiasm and idiosyncratic way of doing things really paid off, with the R&B label scoring four hits out of four releases before he formed his own Streetwave label.

PLUGGERS OF THE YEAR: Ian and Nick Titchener plus their team of Rush Release, who sent out so much product to so many DJs (both living and dead) that they possibly took away any incentive that their DJs might have had to buy material not serviced to them by other labels’ pluggers – which may have suited their purposes but personally I consider NOT A GOOD THING; however, it was Rush Release’s concentration on the new white dance music (mainly because it was available to them, as at first no-one else was interested) that must have contributed greatly to its ultimate acceptance in, and domination of, pop-orientated discos.

RUNNERS-UP: Orin Cozier (mainly for his work with Phonogram, but not continuing the tradition at Arista), David ‘Rowdy’ Yeats (whose move from marketing to the press office at RCA didn’t stop him being still the most effective unofficial disco plugger in the business), Fred Dove (whose small select WEA mailing list is still the one to be on – well, would you rather get sent tons of stuff that everyone else has got, or every week a selection of hot US import LPs and exclusive 12in promos?).

DJ OF THE YEAR: I know if I say it’s Chris Hill again there will be howls of rage from some quarters, but honestly I’ve yet to encounter anyone who can match the man.

HAIRY MONSTER — DELETE — CLEAN-SHAVEN MONSTER FROM DOWN THE M2: Nicky Peck.

GOLD WATCH, SOU’-WESTER AND SEAT BOOTS: John Grant.

THE LONG GOODBYE: Wigan Casino.

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR: Earth Wind & Fire (but does one swallow make a summer?).

SONGSMITH TO THE STARS: Rod Temperton.

DE-LUXE CAMP BED (so he need never leave the studio): Nigel Wright.

ORDER OF THE BUZZARD: Modern Romance.

BLACK BOYS FROM HACKNEY CAN HAVE AN IMAGE TOO: Linx.

MIRIAM MAKEBA MOUTH MUSIC AWARD: Rusty Egan.

ROBERT DE NIRO ‘TAXI DRIVER’ CHALLENGE CUP: Greg Edwards.

A ‘TISWAS’ FLAN FOR COMPULSIVE LISTENING: Peter Young’s Capital Countdown (Saturday mornings 9am-midday, 194MW / 95.8 VHF).

FOUR ROSETTES AND THREE CROSSED KNIVES AND FORKS: Sharrow Bay Hotel, Ullswater.

POLKA DOT WIG AND A QUARTER-CUP BRA: The Backstage Bitch.

HE NOZE YOU KNOW: Pete Tong.

A POCKET OXFORD DICTIONARY: Ralph Tee.

JOHNNY CYMBAL’S ‘MR BASEMAN’: RM’s type compositor.

WHO IS ROWDY YEATS, AND WHY IS HE SAYING THOSE HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT ME?: Steve Walsh.

CHANT OF THE YEAR: “HI DE HI!”


1981 ENDS as it began with Kool & The Gang safely sitting at the top of the disco chart, but any impression this may give that there has been no change in the disco world would be entirely misleading. For a while at the start of the year it looked as if black/disco-orientated music was about to enjoy an unprecedented boom, because, far from the much ballyhooed futurist/new romantic material dominating the pop chart, in the lull before the storm there was one incredible week when more black records were in the national chart than at any other time before. However, as predicted, it wasn’t long before white kids (who actually are in the majority!) discovered the new white dance groups were made up of kids like themselves with whom it was more interesting to identify, and by the time that these groups put their emphasis on fairly funky rhythms rather than futurism for futurism’s sake, the big split was inevitable. As the disco scene contracted it also fragmented, with clubs (either themselves or by letting in outside promoters) putting on specific types of faddish music on certain nights of the week. Doo-wop, ’60s psychedelia and other styles enjoyed a brief limited vogue, but all too often it seemed that all the clubs in a town followed each other in doing the same thing on the same night. The latest way of filling an otherwise empty club and at least making a small profit is to charge admission and then sell drinks at a break-even 25p.

Possibly the most important event though, was the growth of Britain’s own home-grown dance music, whether black or white. Whereas last year only two UK acts topped the disco chart, Linx and Surface Noise, this year there were five British-based chart-toppers — Eddy Grant, Freeez, Spandau Ballet, Modem Romance and Central Line.

Far more musical experimentation is going on here than in the States.


End Of Year Disco Chart 1981

THIS YEAR, chart co-compiler Alan Jones (who does the gruelling ground work for the disco chart every week) has reverted to the well tried and tested inverse points ratio method of scoring the disco hits for 1981, using positions reached in the Top 30 over the past 12 months. This method works best as it smooths out any inconsistencies encountered, were we to use the original “chart points” – because the number of chart contributing DJs varies from week to week. These then were the top disco hits of the year just gone . . .

01. IT’S A LOVE THING – Whispers – Solar 12”
02. YOU GOT THE FLOOR – Arthur Adams – RCA 12”
03. WALKING INTO SUNSHINE – Central Line – Mercury 12”
04. LOVE HAS COME AROUND – Donald Byrd – Elektra 12”
05. SOUTHERN FREEEZ – Freeez – Beggars Banquet 12”
06. CAN YOU FEEL IT – Jacksons – Epic 12”
07. IF YOU FEEL IT – Thelma Houston – RCA 12”
08. GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS – Odyssey – RCA 12”
09. EVERYBODY SALSA – Modern Romance – WEA 12”
10. DON’T STOP THE MUSIC – Yarbrough & Peoples – Mercury 12”

11. GIVE IT TO ME BABY – Rick James – Motown 12”
12. CAN YOU HANDLE IT – Sharon Redd – Epic 12”
13. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW – Hi-Gloss – Epic 12”
14. R.R. EXPRESS – Rose Royce – Whitfield 12”/LP
15. CHANT No.1 – Spandau Ballet – Reformation 12”
16. BURN RUBBER ON ME – Gap Band – Mercury 12”
17. RAZZAMATAZZ – Quincy Jones – A&M 12”
18. LET’S GROOVE – Earth, Wind & Fire – CBS 12”
19. I’M IN LOVE – Evelyn King – RCA 12”
20. INTUITION – Linx – Chrysalis 12”

21. GET TOUGH – Kleeer – Atlantic 12”
22. MAKE THAT MOVE – Shalamar – Solar 12”
23. I CAN MAKE IT BETTER – Whispers – Solar 12”
24. SO THIS IS ROMANCE – Linx – Chrysalis 12”
25. SHE’S A BAD MAMA JAMA – Carl Carlton – 20th Century-Fox 12”
26. BODY TALK – Imagination – R&B 12”
27. MYSTERIES OF THE WORLD – MFSB – TSOP 12”
28. (SOMEBODY) HELP ME OUT – Beggar & Co. – Ensign 12”
29. DANCING ON THE FLOOR – Third World – CBS 12”
30. AS THE TIME GOES BY – Funkapolitan – London 12”

31. TIME – Light Of The World – Mercury 12”
32. BODY MUSIC – Strikers – Epic 12”
33. TRY IT OUT – Gino Soccio – Atlantic 12”
34. MYSTERY GIRL – Dukes – WEA 12”
35. STEPPIN’ OUT – Kool & The Gang – De-Lite 12”
36. RAPP PAYBACK – James Brown – RCA 12”
37. WIKKA WRAP – Evasions – Groove Production 12”
38. GET DOWN ON IT – Kool & The Gang – De-Lite 12”
39. STARS ON 45 – Starsound – CBS 12”
40. GANGSTERS OF THE GROOVE – Heatwave – GTO 12”

41. DO IT ANY WAY YOU WANNA – Mike ‘T’ – Blue Inc 12”
42. HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Stevie Wonder – Motown 12”
43. AI NO CORRIDA – Quincy Jones – A&M 12”
44. FLYING HIGH – Freeez – Beggars Banquet 12”
45. HARD TIMES/LOVE ACTION – Human League – Virgin 12”
46. HIT ‘N’ RUN LOVER – Carol Jiani – Champagne 12”
47. CELEBRATION – Kool & The Gang – De-Lite 12”
48. QUE PASA – ME NO POP I – Coati Mundi – Ze 12”
49. DO YOU FEEL MY LOVE – Eddy Grant – Ensign 12”
50. I SHOT THE SHERIFF – Light Of The World – Ensign 12”

51. IN AND OUT OF LOVE – Imagination – R&B 12”
52. WHEN SHE WAS MY GIRL – Four Tops – Casablanca 12”
53. GOOD THING GOING – Sugar Minott – RCA 12”
54. ALL MY LOVE – L.A.X. – Epic 12”
55. ON THE BEAT – B. B. & Q. Band – Capitol 12”
56. TURN YOUR LOVE AROUND – George Benson – Warner Bros 12”
57. YOU’RE TOO LATE – Fantasy – Epic 12”
58. CAN’T KEEP HOLDING ON – Second Image – Polydor 12”
59. BEING WITH YOU – Smokey Robinson – Motown/12” promo
60. BON BON VIE – T. S. Monk – Mirage 12”

61. I’M GLAD THAT YOU’RE HERE – Alphonse Mouzon – London 12”
62. I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE / A CHUNK OF SUGAR – Roger – Warner Bros 12”
63. SLIDE – Rah band – DJM 12”
64. SIGN OF THE TIMES – Bob James – Tappan Zee 12”
65. BY ALL MEANS – Alphonse Mouzon –Excaliber 12”
66. AY AY AY AY MOOSEY – Modern Romance – WEA 12”
67. RAPTURE – Blondie – Chrysalis 12”
68. INCH BY INCH – Strikers – Epic 12”
69. AIN’T NO STOPPING (DISCO MIX ‘81) – Enigma – Creole 12”
70. LOVE GAMES – Level 42 – Polydor 12”

71. IF YOU WANT MY LOVIN’ – Evelyn King – RCA 12”
72. I CAN’T TURN AWAY – Savanna – R&B 12”
73. WAIT FOR ME / SNAP SHOT / PARTY LITES / STEAL YOUR HEART / SMOKIN’ / FUNKEN TOWN – Slave – Cotillion LP
74. JITTERBUGGIN’ – Heatwave – GTO 12”
75. BACK TO THE 60’s – Tight Fit – Jive 12”
76. NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP – Patrice Rushen – Elektra 12”
77. WALK RIGHT NOW – Jacksons – Epic 12”
78. TAINTED LOVE – Soft Cell – Some Bizarre 12”
79. FLASHBACK / BURNIN’ UP – Imagination – R&B 12”
80. I LIKE (WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO ME) – Young & Company – Excaliber 12”

81. ALL AMERICAN GIRLS – Sister Sledge – Atlantic 12”
82. LOVE (IS GONNA BE ON YOUR SIDE) – Firefly – Excaliber 12”
83. HUMPIN’ – Gap Band – Mercury 12”
84. ZULU (REMIX) – The Quick – Epic 12”
85. STARS ON 45 VOLUME 2 – Star Sound – CBS 12”
86. HANDS UP (GIVE ME YOUR HEART) – Ottawan – Carrere 12”
87. LET SOMEBODY LOVE YOU – Keni Burke – RCA 12”
88. TAKE IT TO THE TOP / CELEBREMOS – Kool & The Gang – De-Lite 12”
89. TURN IT ON – Level 42 – Polydor 12”
90. PULL UP TO THE BUMPER – Grace Jones – Island 12”

91. HOW ‘BOUT US – Champaign – CBS 12”
92. DON’T STOP – K.I.D. – Groove Productions 12”
93. EASY – Al Jarreau – Warner Bros 12”
94. THE BOTTLE – Gil Scott-Heron / Brian Jackson – Champagne 12”
95. STRETCH / DO IT (TILL YOU’RE SATISFIED) – BT Express – Excaliber 12”
96. SHAKE IT UP TONIGHT – Cheryl Lynn – CBS 12”
97. HERE’S TO YOU – New York Skyy – Excaliber 12”
98. WORDY RAPPINGHOOD – Tom Tom Club – Island 12”
99. UNDERWATER – Harry Thumann – Decca 12”
100. LET’S START II DANCE AGAIN – Bohannon – US Phase II 12”


DISCO CHART TOPPERS 1981

NEW YEAR’S EVE traditionally finds many DJs reviewing the past year. So here for those who might find it useful is a listing of the number one disco hits of 1981.

Nov 22 – CELEBRATION – Kool & The Gang (2 wks)
Jan 10 – DO YOU FEEL MY LOVE – Eddy Grant (2 wks)
Jan 24 – DON’T STOP THE MUSIC – Yarbrough & Peoples (5 wks)
Feb 28 – SOUTHERN FREEEZ – Freeez (5 wks)
Apr 04 – IT’S A LOVE THING – Whispers (9 wks)
Jun 06 – GIVE IT TO ME BABY – Rick James (2 wks)
Jun 20 – IF YOU FEEL IT – Thelma Houston (1 wk)
Jun 27 – GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS – Odyssey (6 wks)
Aug 08 – I’M IN LOVE – Evelyn King (1 wk)
Aug 15 – CHANT No.1 – Spandau Ballet (5 wks)
Sep 19 – EVERYBODY SALSA – Modern Romance (1 wk)
Sep 26 – WALKING INTO SUNSHINE – Central Line (1 wk)
Oct 03 – LOVE HAS COME AROUND – Donald Byrd (3 wks)
Oct 31 – R.R. EXPRESS – Rose Royce (1 wk)
Nov 07 – YOU GOT THE FLOOR – Arthur Adams (3 wks)
Nov 28 – LET’S GROOVE – Earth, Wind & Fire (4 wks)
Dec 26 – GET DOWN ON IT – Kool & The Gang (1 wk)

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