ODDS ‘N’ BODS
MORGAN KHAN’S latest smash ‘n grab for Streetwave release imminently is nothing less than Ingram, 12in and LP (plus he’s muttering about getting the older ‘Mi Sebrina Tequana’ too)! . . . Steve Harvey has indeed signed a major label deal with London . . . Michael Jackson thankfully follows up with ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ . . . Jeff Young at Phonogram isn’t being “joined” by Mike Sefton — Mike’s taking over as plugger alone because Jeff’s moving over to A&R (for yet more ‘Young & Strong’ strategies?!) . . . Midas Records are updating their DJ and — especially — specialist record shop mailing lists, so send relevant truthful details to 104 Harley House, Upper Harley Street, London NW1 4PR . . . Jive will be packaging the next Richard Jon Smith single with a cassette of his oldies specially remixed by myself (using multi-track master tapes at last!) . . . Soul On Sound 016’s preview mix features Cameo ‘You’re A Winner’/Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’/Chi-Lites ‘Changing for You’/Lenny White ‘Didn’t Know About Love’/Tony McKenzie ‘Ha-Chica’/Hurt ‘Em Bad ‘The Boxing Game’/Gladys Knight ‘Save The Overtime’/Vaughan Mason & Butch Dayo ‘Party On The Corner’/Craig Peyton ‘Be Thankful’/Raymond Harris ‘Under Your Spell (Inst)’/Booker Newberry III ‘Love Town’/Luther Vandross ‘You’re The Sweetest One’/Marcus Miller ‘Suddenly’/David Diggs ‘Gentle Thoughts’/First Light ‘Daybreak’/Maze ‘Right On Time’/Brass Construction ‘We Can Work It Out’/Brass Construction ‘Walkin’ The Line’/Leon Haywood ‘I’m Out To Catch’/Anthony Franklin ‘Hot Number’/Shirley Lites ‘Heat You Up ‘/David Joseph ‘Let’s Live It Up’/Prince Charles ‘Bush Beat’/Ingram ‘Groovin’ On A Groove’ — pretty hot stuff, and a good Mix Master sequence in itself (although today I’d have substituted Dick Smith ‘Sunny’ for Marcus Miller, the latter used after five hours spent trying to get neatly out of Luther Vandross — who, ever so soulfully maybe, sings across virtually every bar progression mix point the bum!) . . . Maze seemed less exciting than last year on their opening night at Hammersmith, and the obviously well primed audience reaction less spontaneous, Frankie Beverly not exactly helping the mood by chopping short the admittedly somewhat forced ‘Joy And Pain’ singalong to then go into the dreadful fast ‘Running Away’ (their own, not Roy Ayers’) amidst total audience apathy, before getting back to the groove with ‘Before I Let Go’ — and I hear he was still doing this at the weekend . . . next! . . . London’s Xenon club literally tore up the guest list for last week’s awards night, which was over-subscribed by exactly twice the number of punters allowed, leaving many invited dignitaries out on the pavement and those lucky (?) ones crammed downstairs struggling for breathing space — which I and several others found in the bar upstairs . . . Eugene Record & the Chi-Lites were excellent at a packed Mayfair Gullivers later that night, but — ooo-er! — hadn’t rehearsed ‘Changing For You’ (don’t worry, I told ’em) . . . Edwin Starr the previous week at Gullys was joined by Ben E King, Bill Fredericks, all the Drifters (except Johnnie Moore), plus the inevitable Clem Curtis, Carl Douglas & Gene Latter, fourteen singers in all on stage — however, at his less packed second appearance there, Edwin did a great soulful set leaving out all his hits and instead making a reggae tempoed slow ‘The Girl Is Smooth (Rude!)’ last half an hour . . . Terry Davis, Ian Clark ‘n more return this Saturday (14) for more ’60s soul at the site of their first successful ‘Function At The Junction’, Lavender Hill’s The Cornet in Lavender Gardens (South London) . . . Greg Wilson, still doin’ the poodle dog at Wigan Pier (Tues) / Manchester Legend (Wed), has left all other residencies to give Manchester a “viable Saturday funk venue” at Berties (formerly Hell) . . . Gary Allan’s gone a hundred percent Boys Town on Fri/Sat at Liverpool’s Concert Street, so he’s now only doing guest spots at The Warehouse there . . . Jon Alsop has made Mondays at Edgbaston Faces French Club Jardine into modern music/modern fashion night (no dress restrictions), featuring local groups live weekly (Katu on Mon 16) . . . Martin John (Bromley Bibas Fri/Sun) does Saturdays at Deptford Cheeks, where he’s also trying to build a Thursday funk night with free admission as some inducement (but no jeans/trainers) . . . Cosmic currently handles the hen night Thursdays at Basildon New Yorker . . . Brian Mason (South Harrow Bobby Magees) has dropped the ‘Bazzer’ from his stage name — though his mates still call him Baz — and now adds Saturdays at St Albans Adelaide Disco Wine Bar (where Chiltern Radio’s Martin Collins props up the bar Wednesdays) . . . Mezzoforte play Boscombe Academy on Monday (13) . . . Gary Oldis’s two Bee Jays residencies at Aycliffe and Darlington have both just had refits, the latter being due to reopen about now . . . Dave Rawlings follows the hula hoop with ‘space hopper’ racing as the new craze at Basingstoke Martines . . . Trevor Hughes hopes the crowd’ll be into imports at Wellington (Telford) Gallys, where he starts this Saturday (14) . . . Paul McGeown, studying in Glasgow, reports that Beacon’s Mike Baker has a rival in Radio Clyde’s Mark Goodier, who also features nothing but 12in dance cuts of all types (plus live concert recordings of bands on tour) on his Tuesday 8-10pm ‘Check It Out (Music Of The ’80s)’ show . . . I actually listened to Mike Baker on Beacon while driving down from North Wales last Wednesday (from somewhere around Knutsford clear to the M1), and was pleased to hear him and rock segment co-presenter Mike Davis refer to the bit in Record Mirror even at that late stage! . . . I looked in on Rhyl jocks Andy Baker and Al Taylor on the Monday, but having arrived too late for the weekend missed anyone else — however, holidaying late, I got the sun! . . . Nick Ratcliffe recommends new dance group Attika (3 black guys/2 white gals), bookable on Crawley 31620 and evidently a wow the other Saturday at Guildford Cinderella Rockerfellas (hi, All) . . . Rob Harknett (Croydon) features a track sent to him by Zambia DJ John Nkonjera, the reggae ‘Sound Of Africa’ album (EMI Zambia) . . . Fatman Graham Canter has quit London’s Xenon, saying “They didn’t give me either the money or the musical freedom I deserve — but watch out for the re-emergence of Le Beat Route!” . . . Greg Edwards, looking great, has lost so much weight he’s having to wear old clothes! . . . DJ/plugger Theo Loyla and LP sleeve designing spouse Joy have returned to Herne Bay (02273 64806) . . . Soul On Sound’s resident wind-up artiste Chris Ellis has done a bunk (he says to Corfu, but if you believe that . . . !), probably because the taxman cometh, and in parting says a sincere thanks to all those in the soul world who have helped him, especially Chris Hill, Ralph Tee, Tony Jenkins, Anthony Bernards (collapse of half London in hysterics) . . . London’s late nite eaterie Rockafella’s (off Regent Street next to Samantha’s) has finally reopened after £30,000 of fire damage, evenings/nights only . . . John ‘Nick’ Osborne (Ilford Room At The Top) warns other jocks that a PA by Set The Tone may not be exactly what you or your punters expect (unless you’ve got gross tastes!) . . . Anthony Franklin of ‘Hot Number’ is, like Jennifer Holliday, from the cast of ‘Dreamgirls’ . . . Gladys Knight & The Pips album credits contradict their 12in, making Rickey Smith producer of ‘Overtime’, and the Sylvers Bros arrangers only . . . Simon Walsh finally reveals why The Webboes ‘Under The Wear‘ was so big at Bradford’s Time & Place club — it coincided with the launch of a new beer, called Webbo! . . . Northern Soul star/black Elvis imitator/Eddy Grant mentor Gene Latter can now also describe himself as a 3 hour marathon runner . . . Burgess Gardner’s ‘Gemstone‘ is painfully awful — I knew there was some reason I didn’t review it . . . Second Image’s LP has of course the 118bpm vocal version of ‘Special Lady’ while other correct BPMs are ‘Life Is What You Make It’ 145-72½bpm, ‘Is it Me?’ 119½bpm . . . RM’s record deck, used for some reviews last week, resulted in some other errors: correct now are Mary Jane Girls ‘Boys’ 122bpm, Chi-Lites ‘Making Love’ 75bpm / ‘I Love’ 72bpm, Earl Klugh ‘Back In Central Park’ 103-104-0bpm, DeBarge ‘I Like It’ 88-87bpm, Dynasty ‘Does That Ring A Bell’ 113bpm / ‘Give Your Love To Me’ 104bpm — oh, and thanks to the decks in Rayners Lane evidently running slow you may need to add up to 3bpm to last week’s “c” (for circa) figures . . . Nick Abdullah, president and chief bottle washer of the University College Of Wales in Aberystwyth’s ‘Steppin Out’ soul society (it’s considered “alternative” music amongst the unsoulful students), wonders about BPM-ing: I use a 30 second sweep stopwatch (giving greater space between seconds for split BPM accuracy) and a hand tally counter to click off the beats in time with the music, the counter — very important this — set to 9999, so that as soon as I hit both watch and counter it reads 0000 (the beat where you start counting is obviously not “1”, but “0”, this mistake probably accounting for most published inaccuracies elsewhere, especially where the error is magnified by multiplying up from a short timed segment) . . . Booker Newberry III, due here on Polydor next week, has done sensationally well to top the Disco chart while still only on import . . . J. Walter Negro/Nicky Tesco is drearily tempoed, not “freakily” . . . Adrian Dunbar (Bournemouth Adams/Southampton Warehouse) reckons I Level needs a harder mix — good lad! . . . Eyes & Ears and Rush Release mailing list jocks please note, we do not — repeat NOT — want two separate charts from you unless you work different nights at totally different music venues — we’ll decide whether your chart is Disco or Nightclub, thank you, and if you’re playing funky soul records at the same gig as pop and rock, that’s fine, just put ’em all together (the longer the chart the better) . . . Island’s Bryan O’Connor has just come through with some hot poop that’ll break many a heart across the country — yup, roving record plugger, Pzazz boss, (old-style) David Grant lookalike and, above all, ladies man Orin Cozier has announced his intention to marry one Sue Stockley of this parish! . . . ‘Hill Street Blues’ fans staying in on Saturday to watch ‘Naked City’ would have spotted a young Michael Conrad last week . . . BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
BREAKFAST MUSIC — those wonderful Warner Brothers have now put Al Jarreau’s cereal commercial, ‘Mornin‘, on 3-track 12in with his older ‘Roof Garden‘ and ‘We’re In This Love Together‘ (U9929T).
DAVID JOSEPH: ‘Let’s Live It Up (Nite People)’ (Island 121S 116)
Happily jumping 120½bpm 12in chanter with electronic (but not “electro”) backing, sensational mixed out of Shirley Lites or Nile Rodgers ‘Get Her Crazy’, a bit repetitive which may limit it to being a dancefloor smash although there’s an infectious sort of updated Gibson Bros-ish pop appeal (interesting instrumental flip).
MTUME: ‘Juicy Fruit’ (Epic TA 3424)
Tawatha sensually wails an electronically backed stately slow 0-96¼bpm 12in slinker with the killer line ‘I’ll be your lollipop, you can lick me everywhere’ — but even sexier is the 7in B-side ‘Reprise Part II‘, which now thankfully also shows up as ‘The After 6 Mix’ on the Reggie (Sunfire) Lucas-partnering James Mtume’s self-named group’s import ‘Juicy Fruit’ LP (US Epic FE 38588), on which best disco dancer is the punchily smacking 114½bpm ‘Green Light‘ although more interesting is the scat, electro and swing melding 94bpm ‘Hip Dip Skippedabeat‘ (very much an updated ‘Jack That Cat Was Clean‘!), while all with the same dry electronic drive are the 121bpm ‘Your Love’s Too Good (To Spread Around)‘, 0-106½bpm ‘Hips‘, 103bpm ‘Would You Like To (Fool Around)‘, 91bpm ‘Ready For Your Love‘.
STATUS IV: ‘You Ain’t Really Down’ (US Radar RDR-12003)
Eric Matthew/Toney Lee-created excellent rumbling and finger snappin’ 118bpm 12in ‘Reach Up’-type episodic jitterer with exceptionally soulful male vocal group work and some soaring trumpet, instrumental/acappella flip, which dancers may need to hear a few times before it’s massive. Continue reading “May 14, 1983: David Joseph, Mtume, Status IV, Nile Rodgers, Gladys Knight & The Pips”