ODDS ‘N’ BODS
RECORD DEALERS can start tearing their hair out now — ‘Street Sounds Edition 5‘ will contain current hits by Freeez, Funk Masters, Oliver Cheatham, La Famille, Aretha Franklin, Terri Wells, Wickett, plus Brass Construction ‘Brassy Version’, MCB ‘I’m The One You’re The One’ (both unissued here) and a remix of Kenny Lynch ‘Half The Day’s Gone’ . . . ‘Wired For Clubs Volume II‘ retaliates with Booker Newberry III, Steve Harvey, Leon Haywood, Tania Maria ‘Come With Me’, Ingram ‘Mi Sabrina Tequana’, Cameo ‘You’re A Winner’, Kool ‘Ladies Night ’83 Mix’, Central Line ‘Surprise Surprise (Remix)’ — which is certainly hotter than the first of Phonogram’s series . . . UK gospel group Paradise are currently impressing everyone on white label (prior to release on Priority PK1) with ‘One Mind Two Hearts‘, an exceptionally good lightly pitched ultra-soulful 107bpm summer tempo jogger which really puts amateurish British funk production in the shade, prompting Graham Hawton (Harrow) to call it “The first good reason for being on Rush Release’s mailing list” (tee hee!) . . . Gonzalez are also on white label (prior to release on PRT 12P 283) with the good chunky sparse thudding 113½bpm ‘Closer To You‘ which however is overshadowed by the flip’s excellent even nicer cool summer tempo jazzy instrumental 110-109bpm, and new group Keywi featuring Jane Bullen are similarly promoed (Virgin VS 62312) on the Joe Williams-prod/penned ‘Let’s Get It Right‘ a plaintively sung 0-115-119bpm loping swayer with flurrying syndrums and a better beefier more spacious instrumental flip featuring some David Bendeth guitar and a Froggy mix . . . Larry Levan’s US remix of Gwen Guthrie ‘Hopscotch’ (Island 12ISX 106, parallel number to last week’s alternative mix) at 112-113-114½bpm has some echo repetition and an accelerating 111-115bpm instrumental flip — incidentally, Paul Major in the Mecca house mag Polly Promotions, whose record reviews usually award 9 if not 10 out of 10, only gave 4 out of 10 to this “very plain funk number”! . . . Pinnacle some time back and with no publicity slipped out here the excellent Lavias ‘Do You Wanna Dance‘ (Golden Pyramid GP-1208), the Joe Thomas-saxed/Mike T-rapped 123bpm instrumental flip of which was hot on import . . . Midas Records free promo ‘In Store Music’ cassettes are proving sadly to be inconsistent contents-wise, only ‘Week 2’ being a good much repeatable programme, there being too much Boys Town and down-right dross on others (to be expected I suppose when it’s pay-for-play) despite their quota of quality cuts — and why on earth lumber us on ‘Week 4’ with the full instrumental of Gary Byrd (even the vocal, which quickly pulls, would have been better)! . . . Midas’s Granville Williams should consider keeping the pop/gay tempo material apart from the soul material and compiling separate types of ‘In Store Music’ programme, which should be easy enough to do considering its weekly release . . . Soul On Sand (sic!) in reporting 18,000 fortnightly sales are surprisingly not in the album top ten — this and other evidence suggesting that the ever exaggerating Toby Perkins thinks in multiples of ten (and if he’d come clean about this I’d have understood how maybe he couldn’t afford more bread) . . . Capital’s naughty John Sachs played without crediting either the Disco Mix Club or Alan Coulthard their Michael Jackson megamix, instead bragging how he’d be featuring it at his live gigs, and then after evident phone calls from his fans wanting it he still failed to say any more than that it was unavailable — oh and not that this is ‘Knock Sachs Week’ (his fill-in for Mike Allen was punchy listening), does he reckon he’s being a help by playing oldies off the 12in B-sides of the Isley Brothers and Manhattans instead of the current new plug-sides, which could really have benefitted from lunchtime play? . . . Ron ‘Spider’ Baker (Bermondsey Dun Cow) has furthered his video involvement by becoming consultant to Project Films Ltd, whose monthly ‘Dance On Video’ compilations now at his instigation include a disco as well as pop tape — first month’s rental £48.50, full details from Projection Films Ltd, Freepost, 45 Grove Lane, London SE5 7BR . . . Morgan Khan’s latest label The Sound Of London will eventually at my instigation become the far more obvious Sound Of Urban London — in fact, it’s amazing nobody else came up with those initials before . . . Sho-Pro’s twelfth Caister weekender has become so over-subscribed following gushing plugs by Peter Powell on Radio One that it’s been split in two again, the original as planned over October 14-16 and then Part 2 on October 28-30 — so if you’re 15 and into Shalamar why not join the throng? . . . no, really, a new generation of soul fans has to come from somewhere . . . Showstoppers foreign jaunt next year will not be to the South Of France this time, but closer to home at a self-contained holiday site in Jersey from May 5-12 (all Sho-Pro enquiries to the Pink Elephant on 01-586 6741) . . . Robbie Vincent returns to the Sho-Pro fold, and is currently chatting to record companies about his proteges Second Image . . . Barry Malgedy & Frenchie have just started up-front funky soul/hard jazz Thursdays at the plush spacious Peppers in Leigh, membership forms from the club or Barry at 53 Bentley Street, Sutton, St Helens, Merseyside . . . Santrax play live at Soho Ronnie Scott’s Maze this Fri/Sat (29/30) . . . Kev Ashman funks a pyjama party this Saturday (30) at Charing King Arthur’s Court . . . Brazelia was evidently the misprint it always looked like and has now been rectified on repressings (still only 7in) as Brazilia and the band, naughtily billed by their earlier name of Galaxy, headline at Leeds Tiffanys alldayer this Sunday (31) with Colin Curtis etc . . . Pete Stringfellow’s beneficiaries from the gala £25-a-head third anniversary this Sunday (31) of his celebrated Stringfellow’s club will be Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Transglobe Expedition . . . Heatwave spend next week from Monday (1) at Watford Baileys . . . Sean Brett, jazz-funking Bury Peelers every Monday (only 50p) has started every fourth weekend at Nethertown’s Village Inn in the Lake District (if you’re counting, the next should be Aug 19/20) . . . Steve Day, the Dover one, funks Fridays at Sheerness Woody’s . . . Edinburgh pop venue Mad Hatters (as opposed to neighbouring Mad Hatters Speakeasy) has re-opened with a 3am licence, a refit, and jocks Ray West, Steve Martin, Steve South . . . Norman Scott at Haringey Bolts strips down this Saturday (30) for a shorts and whistle party . . . Carl Richardson, still boogieing with the boys the second Saturday of every month at Hull’s Bali Hai, has also just started (and you’ve just missed) the last Wednesday of every month at Fagin’s under Hull Station Hotel, with lotsa Hot Tracks and Disconet remixes promised . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool Concert Street) and now even Tricky Dicky Scanes (London Dicks venues) both concur that the use of expensive Hot Tracks/Disconet remixes does help freshen up the sound and lengthen the life of the Boys Town hits, which tend to stay for a long time anyway (thus giving our Boys Town chart a stagnant look on occasion) . . . Boys Town Gang ‘I Just Can’t Help Believing‘, already falling fast with no help from him, is described by Ian Levine (London Heaven/Gardens) as “what deserves to be called disco dross” . . . Marvin Howell’s “new Norma Lewis” is Linda Lawrence, of past Motown involvement, currently recording Stateside for ERC . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse) has been slowing things down for the boys in the hot weather, featuring Mary Jane Girls and other summer tempos . . . Dave Rawlings (Basingstoke Martines) promises us some photos of last Friday’s Miss Wet T-Shirt competition — yes please, hurry, hurry! . . . Theo Loyla is now promoting the Original Peppermint Hula Hoop, a striped hula hoop which pongs of peppermint when spun, this the 25th anniversary of the old craze evidently seeing its revival in the States and, especially, Western Europe (where two million hoops have been sold this year already) . . . Club House fans who find a synch between the real ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Do It Again’ a bit tricky should note that Steely Dan is 123-126bpm . . . Big Phil Etgart, following up last week’s mention, will now pay anything for the Disconet remix of Willie Bobo ‘Always There’ (01-864 3271) . . . Roger Dynamite (Lowestoft) says Victor Tavares has exploded for him purely from play off the ‘In Store Music’ cassette . . . US Dance/Disco chart-toppers have recently been Human League ‘Fascination’ and now Freeez . . . Jeffrey Osborne’s new album is a disappointment, best cut being his single . . . Bohannon went into a kamikaze nosedive, Disco chartwise, this week — phew, what happened? . . . Roy Ayers needn’t have bothered appearing in London, to judge from several eye witness reports . . . George ‘Zorba’ Alexander wonders who this “G Alexandra” is who was billed to support Lonnie Liston Smith at the Middlesex & Herts Country Club earlier in the week — keep taking the hormone pills, George! . . . “Street star” struck the shock-horror headlines — but at least it ain’t THE Street (Hill that is?) . . . if you go swimmin’ with bow legged women, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
SURFACE — WHOSE ‘Falling In Love‘ is one of the day’s catchiest disco hits — turns out to be David ‘Pig’ Conley (29) and Karen Copeland (28), both from New Jersey. David played with Mandrill for a couple of years during the late ’70s, then sessioned for Slave and Aurra before setting up his own small 4-track studio (bass/synth/sax/percussion/flute are his instruments), while tiny 4′ 11” Karen is a primary school teacher who, until David found her, also sang with local group Nightbird.
HERBIE HANCOCK: ‘Rockit’ (CBS TA 3577)
Restoring our faith in how good electrophonic phunk can be, a fantastically powerful 111bpm heavy instrumental judderer brilliantly scratched by Grand Mixer D.S.T., here on 3-track 12in with Herbie’s older jazz-funk hits from his vocoder era, the 116-117bpm ‘You Bet Your Love‘ and 116-112-114-116-114-28-116-115-114-0bpm ‘I Thought It Was You‘.
THE O’JAYS: ‘Put Our Heads Together’ (Philadelphia International TA 3642)
Proving we were just waiting for the right strong song before speeding ’em back to the heights, this immediately massive friskily striding 120bpm soul bounder is now on 3-track 12in with the lovely subtle slinky slow 0-38bpm ‘A Letter To My Friends‘ and a slightly fluctuating c.125bpm instrumentally padded remix of ‘Love Train’.
JULIE ROBERTS: ‘Fool For You’ (Bluebird BRT 3, via PRT)
Already hit-bound on white label, the Funk Mistress’s John Rocca-prod/Steve Jerome-penned rhythm box bumped 109bpm 12in tapper is an attractively chiming catchily phrased tuneful summer swayer, flipped by a superb authentically sung 62bpm deep soul revival of the Elgins ‘It’s Been A Long Long Time’. Amen! Continue reading “July 30, 1983: Herbie Hancock, The O’Jays, Julie Roberts, S.O.S. Band, Manhattans”