May 29, 1982: Funkapolitan, Keni Burke, Mikey Dread, Rick James, Jean Carn


THE LUDICROUS situation has arisen that, because a well known black superstar’s US label doesn’t give official sanction for his material to be issued on 12in (not even as a promo), it now cannot be publicised or mentioned in any way that his long awaited new 114bpm marathon ever changing groove is in that format for the UK only (as well as on 7in) — hence all chart reference will remain as if for the full length LP version . . . Old Grey Whistle Test’s clip from the New Orleans concert has prompted a possible 50 minute TV special on Maze in August, while the Hammersmith ‘Joy And Pain’ will definitely be the flip at least of Maze’s next 12in . . . WEA’s Fred Dove is promoting Larry Graham in a novel way, sending a 12in white label of just the instrumental version of ‘Sooner Or Later’ to clubs four weeks ahead of UK release — it’s a swaying 116bpm synth smacker with vocodered title line repeated to occasionally answering chix . . . London Lyceum DJ Steve Walsh has become promotions head at Red Bus/Excaliber/R&B (handy as he only lives just over the road!), and info’s that the Jesse Green remix will soon come on Excaliber (Paul Major stop fretting!) . . . Theo Loyla’s now promoting Super-Vision’s range of exciting visual but silent videos for use in clubs to go with their own appropriate music, all legal and cleared for public showing, so beat the impending purge on clubs showing TV tapes and movies (strictly illegal) and call Theo on 01-548 2911 for a demonstration . . . Sinnamon, Fonda Rae are coming via PRT . . . A Taste Of Honey and Dramatics LPs are due 10th June, the Dramatics 12in here however being ‘I Can’t Stand It’ . . . Jeremy Thomas’s new Battersea label belatedly picked up Aurra and Instant Funk for 3-track 12in imminently . . . Sharon Brown evidently has a vocal remix flip on later copies — swizz! . . . Temptations featuring Rick James (on a raised podium behind them) have a good video of the edited single . . . Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney duet on Michael’s currently in-production (by Quincy Jones) next LP . . . Linx’s David Grant sits in for Robbie Vincent on Radio London this Saturday lunchtime . . . Peter Powell’s soul show somehow sounds rather dreary — can’t they choose more tuneful music from the abundance of strong stuff now out? — but at least Froggy’s mix was up to scratch last week, Narada ‘You Ought To Love Me’ into a combination of Sinnamon versions . . . Mike Shaft’s Piccadilly Radio soul show on Monday evenings is featuring a ‘Greg Wilson mix’ every fortnight or so . . . ABC were looking very Billy Fury on TOTP, and I see that the ‘Fame’ movie’s spin-off TV series starts on BBC 1 soon . . . Three Degrees choreography was breathtakingly tight on the 1982 British Beauty Championships . . . Neil Bogart, legendary label boss of Buddah, Casablanca and then Boardwalk, died of cancer aged 39 on 8th May — the musical tribute at his funeral featured a choir including organizer Carole Bayer Sager, her husband Burt Bacharach, Donna Summer, Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields, Gladys Knight & The Pips, the Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Neil Diamond, Marvin Hamlisch, members of Kiss and more . . . Streetwave’s Morgan Khan says “You were right” — but the backing track’s still great — all Patrick Boothe needs now is a song . . . Alton Edwards ‘I Just Wanna’ now joins his mate Richard Jon Smith in the US Soul chart . . . Cameo are surprisingly high in the US LP chart, while the Thompson Twins ‘In The Name Of Love‘ is now number 1 Disco (but Patrice is 2) . . . ‘That Girl‘ was Stevie Wonder’s biggest ever US soul hit, yet bombed badly here — wouldn’t it have done better if available on 12in? . . . ‘Keep On’ is ‘D’ Train’s single in the States . . . George Chandler is taking delight in confusing people, having shaved off his beard! . . . Gilles Moehrie, who’ll be broadcasting jazz-funk in South London every Tuesday evening come September, reckons Showstoppers should hold a straight jazz alldayer as, he says, “the recent Caister and Brighton jazz rooms were brilliant” . . . Gilles also info’s that North Cheam’s Blue Rondo Records (708 London Road) sell imports real cheap to regulars . . . Keith Barker-Main, ex-Earls Court Grafitti / Kensington Sombrero / Mayfair Napoleon / Paris Scaramouche, is looking (on 01-352 2301) for a gay/mixed venue to jock at, possibly as a relief or guest DJ rather than full time . . . Alan Gaskell’s packing four hundred plus into St Helens West Park Rugby Club every Sunday — not bad for a rugby club, or a Sunday, huh? . . . Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers) does an undiscernible mix between Electrik Funk and D’Llegance, Brian Brindle (Chelsea Alibi) and Alan Coulthard (Soho Le Beat Route) both say the rhythm ‘n’ rap bit of Sharon Brown goes like a bitch over Stevie Wonder’s cowbells bit, while Alan adds that ABC’s instrumental bass line synchs unbelievably with ‘D’ Train ‘You’re The One For Me’ . . . I’m really in the middle of the heavy record moving in my house switch, giving me less time this week, but that does not explain why so many reviews are late in getting printed — no space — nor why last week’s Imports were cunningly disguised as UK Newies! . . . DISCO IS BACK!

ASHFORD & SIMPSON first started recording as Valerie & Nick on the Glover label in 1964, when I saw them at Harlem’s Apollo (Valerie in tight bright pink spangled sheath!), before writing ‘Let’s Go Get Stoned’ for Ronnie Milsap in the days when he was a soul singer. Ray Charles then covered the song, and their career as songwriters was off and running. Their new ‘Street Opera’ LP (Capitol EST 12207) however is a lethargic down-tempo set on which their current ‘Street Corner‘ 12in cut is the only hard dancer.


FUNKAPOLITAN: ‘Run Run Run’ (LP ‘Funkapolitan’ London SH 8548).
Wherein which the amateurish August Darnell-produced Kid Creole clones run the full gamut from 121bpm to 124bpm, best being this (vocal only) 122bpm US 12in release, 121bpm ‘If Only‘, 122bpm ‘In The Crime Of Life‘, 122bpm ‘As The Time Goes By’, 123-121bpm ‘War’, 124bpm ‘Illusion’, 124bpm ‘There It Is Again’, only the 127bpm ‘Behold The Super Ace’ breaking the pattern. Maybe they’d do well with Rod Temperton, next?

KENI BURKE: ‘Shakin’ (RCA RCAT 223).
Disappointingly old fashioned “disco” chix squawked fast 135-133-135-133-135bpm 12in churner with some Prince influence and probably more gay/white boys than black appeal, from a far, far better album.

MIKEY DREAD: ‘Rocky Road’ (Dread At The Controls DUN IT 21).
Rather appealing nasally croaked 72bpm 12in reggae swayer (with dub second half) keeps lapsing into an adaptation of Brenton Wood’s ‘Gimme Little Sign’. Continue reading “May 29, 1982: Funkapolitan, Keni Burke, Mikey Dread, Rick James, Jean Carn”

May 22, 1982: Blue Feather, Candela, Dennis Brown, Valentine Brothers, Oliver Sain


ATLANTIC STARR’S ‘Circles’ is finally now on 116bpm UK 12in (A&M AMSP 8218) . . . Shakatak’s Crusaders ‘Street Life’-inspired ‘Streetwalkin’ and (on London) Change’s ‘The Very Best In You’ are due here in a fortnight . . . Fat Larry’s ‘Be My Lady’ has cropped up on Canadian 12in . . . Motown need more resident club DJs (especially with video facilities), so even if you’ve already applied, send up-dated details to Club Promotion List, Motown, c/o RCA Records, 1 Bedford Avenue, London WC1 . . . Soho’s celebrated Le Beat Route club has launched its own label and is conducting a national search for new acts to record and feature at its Thursday live nights — demo tapes to Le Beat Route Records, 2 Princes Street, London W1 . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meet for their annual equipment jumble sale at noon this Sunday (23) in Iver’s Tower Arms, Thorney Lane South, and then next Sunday (30) have a riverboat shuffle aboard the Beta from Kingston-upon-Thames between 7.30 – 11.30pm — £5 tickets and further details on Ashford (Mx) 54714 or 42587 (lost CB-ers can home in on Channel 39 AM/FM on the respective days) . . . Chris Cole (Godalming Cobwebs) says that West Surrey & Hants DJA’s ‘Disco’ magazine is promoting the association so effectively by winning respect and interest from dealers and potential new members alike that he wonders why the DJF can’t do something similar for the nation’s “professionals” . . . Peter Powell may be torn up by the syrupy tones of his Radio 1 soul show’s New York contributor Yvonne Mobely, but in the States EVERY female on radio sounds exactly like her, and the accumulated result is cloying in the extreme — I’d rather hear less voice projection and more personality . . . US radio must be in a mess if the likes of Ray Parker Jr and Herbie Hancock have to go rock to get airplay — but then their new singles are getting hammered by UK radio too . . . St Tropez’s French-spoken ‘Femmes Fatales’ has hit the US soul chart — as have Queen’s ‘Body Language’ and the Thompson Twins ‘In The Name Of Love’ . . . Edgbaston’s Faces will be fighting to retain their Discotheque Of The Year award in their heat this Saturday (22) — mucho sweat from Steve Dennis, no doubt! . . . Bournemouth Soul Centre record shop promotes a jazz-funk alldayer on Whit Sunday (30) at Club Enfer with Mr Magic, Jaffa, Keith and more, having started a weekly night at Jensen’s that Thursday (27) — should you be planning a long weekend by the sea . . . Alan Shaler misinformed me: the Thursday jazz-funk gig he does with Invicta’s Andy Jackson is at Shuffles in the Lancaster Gate Hotel, Bayswater . . . John Sachs officially opens his Backstage club in Mayfair’s Green Street next Wednesday (26) . . . Mayfair’s Gullivers in Down Street now has specialist Afro nights on Sundays, and an additional African menu through the week, while Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Oscars) after a recent visit says his fiancee reckons Graham Gold “should be on radio with that incredible voice”! . . . Streetwave’s Morgan Khan was wheeling The Band AKA’s JJ Jarrett around London’s clubs last weekend, and has now put Patrick Boothe in a picture sleeve — what next, a picture disc, or free holidays in the Bahamas for every copy ordered?! . . . Third World’s LP is on picture disc now too . . . Wishy, funking Fridays at Bristol’s Princess Court club, is on no mailing lists and buys all his music from Julie at Soundsville in Bristol’s Gloucester Road, who stock all the latest imports . . . Steve Charles, ex-Port Talbot Troubador, has split for Spain with fellow Welsh DJ Mark Pearce to work respectively in Benidorm’s Beachcomber and Champions disco pubs, where the Dukes are number one, using Swindon’s Flashback Records to send out the newies weekly . . . Phil Blizzard (Stoke North Staffs Poly) reports from a working holiday in Ibiza the biggies there are Human League, Haircut 100 and Depeche Mode . . . Gene Latter is in the middle of recording a potential Eurodisco smash in the Ottawan vein . . . John Murray, doing the roller disco at Kirkcaldy Ice Rink — yes, that’s roller skating at the ice rink — finds the new Friday late night session so popular it’s been extended to 1am . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) has a great roller skating record he picked up in the States for Mark Clark, when Mark gets back from Holland . . . Martin Platts (Blackburn El Khasi) raised £3000 for the blind in the London Marathon, and has totalled over £25,000 in eight months from sponsored runs — some going, huh? . . . Soho’s Record Shack are presumably enjoying the sweet “smell” of success . . . Derek Pierce (Bath Moles), who enjoyed my “Buzzz haven’t” remark, says the group were actually excellent at a recent live appearance . . . Nick Davies warns that a wow at his Watford New Penny futurist Sundays is Wham ‘Wham Rapp’, given to him by the band on white label but possibly due via CBS . . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) — oh, THAT bottle of scotch (I’d have preferred a cardboard pina colada)! . . . Dr Soul writes a personal letter not for publication only to see it appear in print two months later —thanks a lot, guys! . . . I must say moving to a coloured part of town has advantages, like hearing great music playing in all the local shops instead of Claire Rayner talking interminably to Michael Aspel on Capital . . . Vincent and Leroy Thomas arrive early Saturdays to decorate, which means I actually hear Robbie’s show now too . . . Kilburn’s fast food Potato Junction mixes its own fresh ice cream ingredients to order, and while avocado is interesting, the killer combinations are apple/walnut/cinnamon, peanut butter/salted peanuts, and milk chocolate/peppermint/hundreds & thousands — yum yum, bloat bloat! . . . Brother To Brother of Stanmore’s Chevaliers live in Carpenders Park — very ‘Tropic Of Ruislip’? . . . Kandidate found new vocalist Viscount Oliver on the London Underground, working as a guard . . . Roni Griffith could be the next Bananarama, try it between Giorgio’s ‘Chase’ and Sparks ‘Beat The Clock’ . . . Wow, look at Patrice go! . . . DISCO IS BACK!


Note: there was no separate “Imports” section this week, but some imports were reviewed under the “UK Newies” banner.

BLUE FEATHER: ‘Let’s Funk Tonight’ (Canadian Siamese SIA 011).
Originally in the shop I only heard the very un-funky lightweight vocal start of this sinuously weaving 118bpm 12in loper, pleasant enough, but then — THEN! — it suddenly toughens up immeasurably to run through a series of dynamite jazzy instrumental solos with guitar and keyboards doin’ it to it over a terrific percussion underlay. Talk about hot! (DJs note: you don’t have to play the vocal start — that’s what headphones and PFL are for).

CANDELA: ‘Love You Madly’ (US Arista CP 715).
‘Boogie Wonderland’-introed sensationally strong vocal interplay driven lurching 117bpm 12in thudder with wailing chix, soulful guys, and an exciting stereo synth break — all wrapped up to make a compulsive dancer of classic proportions.

DENNIS BROWN: ‘Love Has Found Its Way’ LP (US A&M SP-4886).
At home I just cannot stop playing this truly beautiful reggae set — and normally I never play records just for relaxing — back to the start the stylus goes, every time. All the tracks are great, but total murderation is the simply glorious 98-99-101bpm soulful title track, which deserves UK 12in release and mega-smash success. Hear it, you’ll love it! (Interestingly, Dennis, like Third World, has revived a Chuck Jackson oldie, the 91-90-91bpm ‘Any Day Now‘ in this case). Continue reading “May 22, 1982: Blue Feather, Candela, Dennis Brown, Valentine Brothers, Oliver Sain”

Autobiographical letter written by James Hamilton to Blues & Soul magazine (#356, May 18-31 1982)

Dr. Soul writes…

The more informed of you will be familiar with the great letter writers of our time: Mark Twain, Alistair Cooke, Dr Johnson, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Root, etc. Although not quite in this illustrious company (yet), soul music personality/deejay/writer James Hamilton recently dropped B&S editor Bob Killbourn a letter . . .

You recently expressed doubt at my claim to be ‘Doctor Soul’ in regard to the ’60s soul night I’m currently doing on Tuesdays at Le Beat Route. This was a nickname by which I was widely known back then at the time, and, without meaning to seem too egotistical, it strikes me that you might be interested to know what I was up to in the days before our paths first started to cross.

I began DJing exactly nineteen years ago this month [May 1963] at Esmerelda’s Barn in Knightsbridge (owned by the Kray Twins!), playing early Motown (on Oriole), James Brown (Parlophone), Little Eva and the like. During this period I was rapidly self educating myself with a frighteningly detailed knowledge of soul music, so that when I went to work in New York in 1964 (as a talent scout for the music side of Beatles merchandising agents, Seltaeb Inc). I was able to hold my own in, on reflection, a horribly precocious way with all the soul stars, DJs and music business people I encountered.

In fact a party trick of Seltaeb’s president was to trot me out as soon as we encountered anyone in the record business, snap his fingers, and then let me deliver a short accurate spiel all about whoever it was we were facing. I cringe at the memory! I also wish I had the same passionate interest now as I did then. It was reported back to me that I was evidently the talk of a black DJ convention in Miami that summer (“Hey, who is this white English kid who spends all his time in Harlem and knows more about soul than we do?”!).

During this halcyon era I socialised with the likes of Sam Cooke, James Brown, the Miracles, James Baldwin and so many more, caught all the shows at the Apollo in Harlem and generally hung out around the black life. At the weekends I was DJing out on Long Island at a club called Mitty’s General Store in Water Mill, near Southampton, introducing black American dance music to upper crust white Americans.

The discotheque concept was still brand new in the States at that time (the previous year they’d been playing Andy Williams and Frank Sinatra), and, as probably the first English disco DJ over there, I and the club attracted quite a bit of media attention.

My first involvement with Record Mirror occurred when, backstage at a Murray The K stage show in Brooklyn, I secured the first personal interview by an English paper with Diana Ross. (We actually were merely chatting for a couple of hours, during which she told me “Where Did Our Love Go” had just hit the UK charts, so afterwards I wrote it up and sent it off.) I also, amongst other material, sent a record called “Go Now” by Bessie Banks over to the Seltaeb partners left back home in England, who were managing the newly formed Moody Blues.

It was Moodies co-manager Tony Secunda (of later Move/T. Rex notoriety) who, on my return, nicknamed me ‘Doctor Soul’ — which stuck with me for the rest of the ’60s. Tony got me to DJ at a Monday gig he was promoting in South West London (one of the resident groups was the Cheynes, with Mick Fleetwood and Peter Bardens) early in ’65, before I spent the rest of that year running a publishing company for Animals manager Mike Jeffery.

Jimmy James & The Vagabonds and their late manager Peter Meaden (fresh from letting the High Numbers become The Who) introduced me to The Scene in Ham Yard, Soho, and it was at The Scene that I then did most of the all-nighter sessions every Friday/Saturday, through the summer of 1965 until the club’s closure in early ’66. Jerry Wexler himself used to send me all the Atlantic-distributed promos every week from the States, the club had such a reputation. This was after Guy Stevens had left, but it was still one of the leading Mod venues. On the odd occasion that the police raided the place, the floor would get suddenly crunchy underfoot!

Jimmy & The Vagabonds especially, and many other groups too, used to come to me for material to record or use in their stage acts, and there were numerous other associations and items of nostalgic interest with which I could carry on.

In 1966 I compiled an album for Sue Island which was actually called “Doctor Soul“, and a couple of years later I compiled a gospel album for Island as well, while quite a few liner notes on other labels’ LPs carried my nickname too. Once I’d started writing the ‘America Awakes’ US singles reviews in Record Mirror from January 1969, a little later a separate column of import reviews then carried my pseudonym ‘The Doctor’ in an attempt to fool some of the people into believing this came actually from the States.

Paradoxically, as I became so professionally involved in writing about the music, and inundated with records, I ended up by remembering less. There was just too much vinyl, man!

So, while I make no real claim to being ‘Doctor Soul’ now as regards the modern scene (after all, these days I’m ‘Megamix The Mighty Chopper’!), I hope you can see that way back when, maybe there was something in it. However, I haven’t written all this for publication to boost my ego or anything — just to fill in a few gaps so you know where I’m coming from.

May 15, 1982: Stevie Wonder, Touchdown, ABC, Gap Band, Kandidate


SHOWSTOPPER PROMOTIONS 10th “Golden” Caister weekender will for the first time be over four days instead of three, Thursday 14 – Sunday 17 October, with live acts as well as the usual mafia roster: £30 + VAT ticket details from Sho-Pro at the Royalty Nitespot, Winchmore Hill Road, Southgate, London N14 (book early!) . . . Brighton’s Bank Holiday mafia beach party, in other respects “terrific” I’m told, was marred by the knife-wielding activities of a sniffing black youth in a red hat . . . Gallup next year take over from BMRB the compilation of the record industry’s main chart, using a computer link-up with returning shops to produce a Top 100 combining 7in and 12in sales, and an LP chart including cassette sales (plus break downs for industry use only) — now maybe well see what’s really popular! — Patrice Rushen on her weekend visit could have been singing “My kind of town, London is!” — her album is actually out-selling most of the disco singles there . . . Tania Maria, the Latin-jazz lady and not Teena Marie, appears in London at the Tottenham Court Road YMCA on Monday 14 June — tickets from promoter Paul Murphy at Exmouth Market’s Fusions . . . Rick James has an album due imminently and a 7in already about . . . Gwen Guthrie’s import LP has been banned until UK release by its British publishers . . . John Handy ‘Hard Work’ appears to be due again on MCA 12in . . . John Sachs Green Street Club in Mayfair is now re-named ‘Backstage’ . . . London Organisation of DJs is compiling a London DJ Index and invites all types of jocks to send for free inclusion their details of experience, equipment, past history (brief) and a photo if possible, to LODJ’s Ralph Maloney, 42 Clydesdale, Enfield, EN3 4RJ . . . Dave Daniels (Hammersmith Royal Oak), now you know! . . . Jenni Nicholson, ex-CBS disco gal, has popped up in Wiltshire as marketing & promotion manager for the emergent TW Records label, which as yet lacks any disco acts but Jenni is keen for some hot tips (and she doesn’t mean herbal roll-up stubs!), so contact her at TW, Unit 4, Lysander Road, Bowerhill, Melksham, Wilts (0225-707799) . . . Alan Coulthard enthuses that jocking for Mick Jagger’s press conference / reception at Soho’s Le Beat Route was the most exciting experience of his life so far . . . Glasgow’s Gordon Lyle, a regular chart contributor, has been shot dead in Miami where he was currently working . . . Neil Fincham and Colin Cordrey have switched clubs in Edinburgh to join with Paul Fabian in funking Thurs / Fri / Sat / Sundays at the Royal Mile’s totally new Mad Hatter’s Speakeasy (not to be confused with the neighbouring pop-orientated Mad Hatter’s), leaving Edinburgh’s Uptown to Cramond Perry — who reports after a recent jaunt that the number one in Paris, France, is Mel Brooks ‘It’s Good To Be The King’ . . . Mark Clark, temporarily standing in at Rotterdam’s Charleston ’79, says the Dutch for wig is “cap” — can you imagine Steve Walsh advertising Svenson’s Dutch Caps?! — anyway, Mark adds that the club has a beat meter installed between decks, is on Disconet’s subscription list, and has at number one Eloise Whitaker ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On Love‘ (US Destiny 12in) . . . Brother To Brother now jazz-funk Chevaliers at Stanmore’s swank Limes Country Club in Warren Lane every Thurs / Fri / Saturday, leaving Friday nights at Watford’s Gemmas/New Caprice in the Odeon Film Centre to Chris Green & Tony Simmons . . . Robert, Neil & Derek at South Harrow Bogarts Tuesday futura nights have revived The Champs ‘Limbo Rock‘ . . . Paul Major (Gt Yarmouth Brunswick) is going bananas trying to get Jesse Green’s ‘Nice And Slow’ remix . . . Nick Ratcliffe (Winkfield) says the manager of Thatcham Silks saw the list of Nick’s venues on this page and then that he wanted a mid-week residency, so gave him Wednesday nights on the strength of the fact that if he’s that busy he must be worth the money! . . . Ian Shaw has quit weekends at Ronnie Scott’s, started Wednesdays at Battersea Queens in Wandsworth Road, still jazzes Mondays at Tooting Night Moves with Paul Murphy, and has been re-approached by Richmond Castle’s management . . . Sammy DeHavilland (Halesowen Liberty’s) says — or should that be miaous? — that if military call-up comes back, Birmingham’s DJs will be alright as most are too old to enrol! . . . Phonogram have an excellent Walkman wearer aimed ‘Dura-Dance‘ cassette (TAPE 1) with full-length versions of lots of strong funk material . . . Linda Taylor’s LP is shrink-wrapped in the US import style . . . Madhatters are selling a T-shirt with the (chronologically suspect) logo, ‘Copitall Radio Jazz Festival (1979 Burnt Out, 1980 Washed Out, 1981 Bottled Out, 1982 ?)’ . . . John Douglas (Colchester Embassy / Windmill / Andromeda) mixes Mystic Merlin ‘Mr Magician’ and Jackie McClean ‘Dr Jackyl & Mr Funk’ (RCA 12in) . . . Peech Boys, to judge from our chart returns, busted out of the North-West and now spreads south — could it be that Froggy broke it at the Wigan Pier alldayer? . . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) — WHAT bottle of scotch? . . . Rod Melvin pianist at Soho’s L’Escargot brasserie (your disco columnist’s favourite eaterie) suddenly interpolates amongst the usual cocktail material his treatments of such unlikely oldies as ‘The Loco-Motion’ and ‘Running Bear’! . . . I must say, if you walk into a cinema at 11.30pm you don’t expect to get out at 3am – consequently my set at Gullivers last Saturday was somewhat shorter than usual, just one record (‘Do I Do’), after seeing ‘Reds’! . . . Ashford & Simpson and the extremely affable Ray Parker Jr were recent visitors at Gully’s, where Graham Gold came up with a perfect way of cutting down on boring requests — he’s been charging a quid for them towards Michael Aspel’s leukaemia appeal . . . Liberty / Capitol are currently hot, aren’t they? while in general there’s an amazing amount of strong stuff about — but, whatever happened to Patrick Boothe? . . . Morgan, I warned you . . . FLY THE FLAG!

PAUL ‘TUBBS’ WILLIAMS has rejoined Nat Augustin and Gee Bello in the current slimline version of Light Of The World, whose Nigel Martinez-produced ‘Check Us Out’ is on 12in now. Bassist Tubs was one of the LOTW originators, before Nat and Gee joined, and split to form Incognito at the same time as Beggar & Co splintered away.


STEVIE WONDER: ‘Do I Do’ (LP ‘Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium 1’ Motown TMSP 6012).
The killer of killers from just three new tracks on his double-packed hits of the 70s/80s (all the stuff you’d expect), due for 12in and the best he’s done for years, this dynamite 113bpm slab of Stevie at his most infectiously danceable is a marathon ever changing groove (good out of George Benson) with, as he proudly announces, Dizzy Gillespie on horn and a countdown cold finish that’s useful before Maze. The wait was worth it!

TOUCHDOWN: ‘Ease Your Mind (US Remix)’ (Excaliber EXCL 519).
Record Shack’s rambling Brit-funk burbler tightened up immeasurably by Arthur Baker and Cosmo Wyatt to produce a terrific 124-125-126-125bpm 12in remix with nagging sax, tinkling vibes, cool chanting and stark bass break, plus an alternative 126-127-128-127bpm ‘Ritmo Suave‘ B-side version with Spanish lyrics by Joe Bataan. Unlike the US pressing, it’s only a two-tracker.

ABC: ‘The Look Of Love’ (Neutron NTX 103).
Simply sensational jerkily clopping 0-121bpm pop smash of epic grandeur in four versions on 12in (Part 3 could be most “disco”) combining a great song and much imagination — I especially love the final “hip hip hooray, yippee yippee yi ay.” Continue reading “May 15, 1982: Stevie Wonder, Touchdown, ABC, Gap Band, Kandidate”

May 8, 1982: Jerome, The Band A.K.A., Ransom Mackenzie & Friends, A Taste Of Honey, High Fashion


DISCOSCENE ’82, the Midlands fifth successive annual exhibition of both mobile and club equipment, is this Sunday afternoon (noon-7pm) at St John’s Hotel, Warwick Road, Solihull . . . Rod Temperton was amongst the guests for CBS’s tasty Herbie Hancock album preview at Holborn’s Canteen (ex-Blitz) — It was the food that was tasty, and we all got a ‘Lite Me Up’ cigarette lighter too! . . . Center X was originally scheduled for freezing November until guess which star DJs stamped their feet and said they’ll only do it if it’s in October . . . Phonogram picked up Change and Blue Feathers, and evidently have a Cameo 4-tracker coming . . . Tubbs has rejoined Nat and Gee to make Light Of The World a threesome, their ‘Check Us Out’ 12in being due imminently . . . Finesse’s Mel Gaynor got married on Saturday, so Sketch, Breeze and the boys gave him the bumps last Tuesday in the middle of my ’80s soul set at Le Beat Route! . . . Rudi ‘Rapper’ Gilpin and Lenny Henry were keeping open house in Willesden for a party that was due to continue from last Friday through to Bank Holiday Monday! . . . John Dene (Dunstable Tiffany’s/Leighton Buzzard Unicorn) has mixed together a super ‘Glyph Medley ’82’ of all Earth Wind & Fire’s hits which he plays off cassette, easily as good as the best released medleys . . . US Capitol have used old Warner Bros material for a promo-only Ashford & Simpson sampler LP . . . Oxford DJ Dave Seamer has formed a Board Of Trade licensed entertainments agency specialising in discos, so local jocks can get on his books by calling 0885-40054 or writing to 90 Barracks Lane, Oxford . . . Cleveland Area DJ Assn invite all DJs (they’ll get some CBS freebies!) to their next meet on Sunday 16th May between 7-10pm at Middlesbrough’s Post House, further details from Graham Bond on 0642-325112 . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn have decided not to re-affiliate with the DJ Federation this year . . . Steve Dee (High Wycombe 443508) has the UK agency for Drum Drops, a set of 12in records which represent all drumming and percussion styles for use primarily by musicians needing a background beat when practising or making demos, jingles, etc . . . Gaz Anderson, still at Chelsea’s Main Squeeze on Sundays, starts doing all the other nights at Mayfair’s Fred & Ginger’s in New Burlington Street, next Thursday (13) . . . Eddie Gee has a “pre-exam funktion” for Loughborough University Jazz-Funk Society on Wednesday (12) at Loughborough’s Adam & Eve’s — which he ominously declares could be the town’s last jazz-funk fling unless well supported . . . Nigel Porter says surprisingly the electro domination of Leicester is waning, with soul-funk-jazz nights now cropping up all over — the one that he and some chums do has moved to every Monday at the Airport Club, Humberstone Gate . . . Sammy DeHavilland at Halesowen Liberty’s gets such a crowd on Sundays that it’s now members only, but membership also entities you to half-price entry before 11pm on Fridays . . . Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields ‘If It Ain’t One Thing … It’s Another’ replaced Stevie Wonder at the top of the US Soul chart, while the US Disco topper is Cheri ‘Murphy’s Law‘ (US Venture 12in) which I’ve still yet to hear, although Radio West’s Ray Edwards was raving about it as long ago as the Maze gigs . . . Richard Jon Smith is the latest UK soul hit in the USA . . . US black music retailers, evidently to the industry’s surprise, find that people prefer to buy singles on 12in — so what else is new? . . . Jane Fonda joins in the current US craze for physical jerk records with ‘Jane Fonda’s Workout’ (US Columbia LP) on which she gives exercise instructions between tracks by the Jacksons, Brothers Johnson and more (she also has a chain of health clubs, it seems) . . . Brooklyn’s Clyde Davis, chairman of the OPEC record pool (Organization Of Professional Entertainers of Color), is currently in London scouting for material on behalf of New York labels like Prism, West End . . . Adrian Martin (Rhyl Jollie Nites), who has to go to Manchester for new records, reports that Peter Brown’s ‘Crank It Up (Funktown)‘ and ‘Can’t Be Love‘ have recently made a real comeback on the North Wales coast . . . Peter Halliwell (Rochdale) has to travel each week to Bury to stand any chance of finding new releases and anything on 12in . . . Maybe disco is an urban music form because only shops in cities stock it? . . . Martin Platts (Blackburn and I still can’t mindread where you work!) reckons that Nelson Sands Arndale Centre Jocks Chris Kavanagh and Garry Hanna are the best he’s seen in Lancashire, and he also rather oddly bets Ashford & Simpson get more support from DJs now Fred Dove is not down their necks (eh?) . . . That’ll take some fancy explaining, or else it’ll be bye bye WEA! . . . Weary fears he’s over-exposed on this page . . . Big Al and Dave Munday say “ta” to all who helped make their disabled kids disco at Guildford Cinderella Rockerfella’s so successful . . . Theo Loyla (Kingston upon Thames) recommends Denis Jason’s Disco Centre at Merstham, on the A23 between Croydon and Redhill . . . Alan Taylor (Rhyl) please note, London DJs and shops serviced with white labels by hot sweaty hand obviously get ’em quicker! . . . Soho’s Groove had closed early last Thursday, so I haven’t heard the most recent imports, but as a whole bunch of last week’s reviews weren’t printed (including the two lead Imports) there should be enough to read . . . I am now at a new address, and until I have time to contact them properly, could record companies please check with Record Mirror to discover where my review copies should now be sent? . . . Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ was first played at Leysdown Stage 3 by Chris Hill (wouldn’t you know?), whose latest big thing is mid-’60s jazz along the lines of Lee Morgan ‘Sidewinder’ (Blue Note LP) . . . Paul Major (Gt Yarmouth Brunswick), with reference to Jeff Young’s changeable hairstyle and nobody else, says “Put your hair in the air, and keep it there”! . . . GOOD NIGHT!


JEROME: ‘(I’m Into) Your Love’ (RCA RCAT 225).
Delightfully light and summery with a dead catchy chick breathed “I’m into your love — in such a big way” hook and interesting long lead in to Steve’s carefully controlled emoting, this Phil Swern-produced ebbing and flowing 111-110-111bpm 12in bubbly swayer eventually builds right up before dropping back to the simple repetitive title line (there’s a chix cooed instrumental flip) and is by far the best thing young Mr Jerome has ever done. If there’s any justice it’ll be a smash.

THE BAND A.K.A.: ‘Grace’ (Epic/Streetwave EPC A13-2376).
Morgan Khan may be kinda late with this superb rasping fruity sax dominated easily swaying bass rumbled and now slightly speeded up 116-114-113-114bpm 12in nagging rolling jogger, huskily souled between the main instrumental stretches, but its still so strong that it should now cross over and — a very big plus — he’s also come up with a totally instrumental version as flip!

RANSOM, MACKENZIE & FRIENDS: ‘Orange Grove’ (Smokey Joe SMJD-005).
Bass pattered chick scatted happily romping fast 131-132bpm white label 12in jazz-funk flier reaches a husky bloke before the bass explodes behind sax and piano breaks only to fade rather arbitrarily, the lurching 115-119bpm vocal ‘Keep On Working‘ A-side actually working less well. Continue reading “May 8, 1982: Jerome, The Band A.K.A., Ransom Mackenzie & Friends, A Taste Of Honey, High Fashion”

May 1, 1982: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, I.C.Q., Ritchie Family, Marz


PATRICE RUSHEN is already Top 30 in London’s overall sales chart, spearheading a resurgence of really strong disco material (look how fast the hot ones are climbing) which suddenly makes it great to be a DJ again . . . clubs are getting busier, the strong new material is getting renewed general interest as the futurist / electro-funkers get into a rut of their own — so, has the watershed been reached, is there light at the end of the tunnel? . . . Mike Anthony evidently ran into copyright problems over ‘Why Can’t We Live Together’ and has had to scrap all trace of Timmy Thomas’s tune — what the result sounds like I’ve yet to hear . . . Nina Simone ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ is now on 7in single (Charly 7-CYX201) . . . Touchdown’s remix will be out here on Excaliber . . . Linda Taylor’s 12in bows in a brand new classy circle shaped GPL logo for Groove Productions . . . UK pressings of the Brass Construction 12in have ‘E.T.C.’ as bonus third track . . . CBS were having a lunchtime preview party this Wednesday for Herbie Hancock’s imminent LP — let’s hope it’s better than the single (which, together with the awful Maxine Singleton remix and Patrick Boothe’s lack of actual song, have been big talking points amongst DJs this last week) . . . I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to spot that the Emperor (or should that be Khan?) was parading around with no clothes! . . . Le Beat Route wasn’t the most appropriate of locations for last week’s big awards night — nobody could see anything — but as a gathering of simply everyone in the business (bar a few DJs who were working) it was one hell of an event . . . Chris Hill introduced Northern journalist Frank Elson as “the man who’s done for soul music what the Argentinians have done for the Falklands”! . . . Froggy’s mix from Mike Anthony into Patrice’s ‘Number One’ on the first regular Peter Powell soul show last Monday must have prompted a nation-wide “so what?” — It wasn’t even a good segue! . . . Steve Aggasild corrects the Music Week-culled info about his ‘Sounds Soul’ slot on Aberdeen’s Northsound Radio (290 MW/96.9 FM), which is every Saturday 9-10pm, featuring downtempo soul and jazz-funk until he weans the audience onto faster material . . . Kelly Temple is burning the candle at both ends, doing a midweek midnight show on Radio Hallam, then haring down to London to assemble his weekend kids’ show on Capital, before haring back up to Sheffield (etc, etc) . . . Capital’s Peter Young says he wouldn’t mind having his photograph taken next to a certain London disco DJ because it might make him look thin! . . . I really cannot believe that anything of Steve Walsh’s could ever have been “thin, straggly and lifeless”, to quote from the London DJ’s latest advert for Svenson printed in last Monday’s Standard . . . Weary’s at WEA now . . . CJ Carlos, to judge from reaction at his Streatham Cats Whiskers (Sunday) and Hammersmith Palais (Thursday) gigs, reckons Atmosfear ‘Dancing In Outer Space’ could grab a whole new generation of buyers if re-released . . . Paul Murphy and Ian Shaw are jazzing Night Moves behind Tooting’s Castle Hotel, with a giant video system, every Monday . . . Keith Harris, who was Stevie Wonder’s personal assistant, now manages Junior — which is ironic, as Stevie did successfully keep Junior out of the top spot on the US soul chart . . . King Enri (Catford Saxon Tavern), after a sneak preview, thinks Second Image’s upcoming ‘Star’ should break them pop . . . ‘Country Cousin’ Roger Theobalds (Norwich), as well as vouching for the local Andy’s Records as a source of cheap jazz-funk oldies, wishes the current passion for instrumental B-sides would die down . . . Roger Dynamite (Gt Yarmouth Tiffanys) thinks it’s high time DJs were charged for mailing list promos, which might weed out the time wasters and give bona fide DJs a better deal . . . Martin Kent plays all types of music every Fri/Saturday at Truro’s The Penalty Spot to no more than 200 people (surely a good crowd considering Cornwall’s population?), and wishes small clubs had more recognition when applying to mailing lists . . . Kev Hill (Brentwood 0277 221309) is busy enough in Essex but perhaps misguidedly hopes that an East End gig would enable him to play more up-front material . . . John Malkin’s gig at Rotherham’s Charade has been renamed the Formula One Club following its takeover by a former semi-pro racing driver . . . Nigel Halkes has formed the Bristol Funk Recluses ‘cos he and his chums are too young to go to all the gigs they’d like . . . Thomas Felton (Leysdown Stage 3) has revived Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ — talk about a jazz oldie! . . . Medway megastar Nicky Peck called by to flash his pearlies last weekend at Mayfair Gullivers, where Graham Gold’s best mix was Brass Construction ‘Light’, ‘Thang’, Temptations, Cameo ‘Be Yourself’ . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow) wonders what shops stock such European imports as the Sarragossa Band’s German ‘Za-Za-Zabbadak’ LP, a medley of pop oldies . . . I’m just about to be right in the middle of moving house, so if I have less time for reviews in the next few weeks please bear with me . . . now maybe I’ll learn the hard way exactly how many records I do have! . . . FLY THE FLAG!

FAT LARRY’S BAND are breaking out right up to number three in the disco chart — however, the Philadelphia funksters will have to go some to catch up with Patrice Rushen and Sharon Brown, whose commanding lead is almost double that of these their closest contenders. A symphony in stripes, the guys are now far hotter with ‘Act Like You Know’ than the structurally similar Whatnauts ‘Help Is On The Way’ ever got. Is this justice?


MAZE featuring FRANKIE BEVERLY: ‘Before I Let Go’ (Capitol 12CL 244).
Officially due next Tuesday, this Hammersmith recorded 12in coupling of two songs never issued “live” before is already causing queues at DJ booths as punters ask for details. More a jiggly 0-113-112-114-0bpm rhythm groove than a strong song, the plugside (they’re using the original “dead” LP version on 7in) may not be a crossover smash but climaxes with Frankie’s sensational rhythm riding grunting and will tear up true underground soul fans, while the beautiful 99-100-0bpm ‘Golden Time Of Day’ flip might have better pop chances. Get two copies and run ’em together and make it a hit, y’all!

KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS: ‘I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby’ (Ze 12WIP 6756).
Evidently on 12in though I’ve yet to get one, this subduedly sassy steady slow smacking 103-104bpm jiggler has gently bragging lyrics, conversational chat and great classy production — and has exploded even, if not especially, for the jazz-funk mafiosi as well as on Radio One.

I.C.Q.: ‘Final Approach’ (ICQ 1201, via Greyhound 01-385 8238).
Recorded in one take without overdubs by the well experienced six-strong Ivan Chandler Quintet, this doodling piano started then tightly flying 0-127-129-130(break)-131-129-0bpm frantic Latin jazz leaper is messing up the minds of real jazz fans and may already be sold out on three-track white (actually, green!) label 12in, flipped by the less demanding 105-106-0bpm ‘Loveland’ and Herbie Hancock’s complex ‘One Finger Snap’ straight jazz blower. Continue reading “May 1, 1982: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, I.C.Q., Ritchie Family, Marz”