December 31, 1983: The Hammy Awards, Kool & The Gang, Circle City Band, Barbara Mason, Hashim, I.R.T.


MORGAN KHAN’s ambitious ‘The Dance Decade‘ 14 album/9 cassette boxed set actually did reach the shops more than a week before Christmas, while ‘Street Sounds Electro 2‘ turns out to be far stronger than the regular ‘Street Sounds 7’ . . . ‘Street Sounds Boys Town 1‘ starts yet another series (suggested by myself) in January, plus on Streetwave a 5-track 12in EP of The B Boys is imminent . . . PRT picked up Mary Wells ‘My Guy’ for rush release, and — you’ll never guess! — Michael Jackson’s ‘P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)’ will now follow ‘Thriller’ here as the sixth UK single from his LP (which the video has sent right back up the charts both sides of the Atlantic again) . . . Tommy Boy won rights to Malcolm X ‘No Sell Out’ but pay a nominal royalty to Sugarhill, who not surprisingly have severed all connection with producers Keith LeBlanc & Marshall Chess — Tommy Boy’s new pressings evidently include an added gunshot at the end . . . Midas Records have had to stop their ‘In Store Music’ promo cassette service as currently operated due to further objections by the BPI rights committee (refunds are being sent to subscribers) the fact that record companies were charged for the inclusion of their product, rather than the other way around, proved to be the stumbling block this time . . . George Benson ‘Inside Love’ has been white labelled with a new somewhat phased instrumental remix . . . North East Londoners Total Contrast, aping the original Linx approach (see Hot Vinyl), are offering PAs on 01-928 5666 (day)/806 9295/764 4839 (evening) . . . Mickey Lee, now taking a break from Crete until next summer with partner Laura B at Italian ski resort Sauze D’Oulx, temporarily filled in at Nethertown’s Village Inn where snooker champ Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins (the one who isn’t into mixing!) had to pay to get in, muttered to a tipsy regular “This wouldn’t happen to me at Stringfellows”, and got the reply “I’m sorry to hear that, Alex, but tell me how’s the boxing these days?”!! . . . Teesvalley Roadshow’s Graham Murray & Alastair Jones are just off to work in Germany, leaving Cleveland in the grip of Hi-NRG fever (they say the jocks all know about our Boys Town chart and ignore ‘The Tube’!): meanwhile Gary Oldis has left Aycliffe Bee Jays for Victoria’s in sunny Scarborough, where the pop has a definite Hi-NRG bias (biggest requests still being Hazell Dean ‘Searchin’ and Ronni Griffiths ‘Breakin’ Up’) . . . If Hi-NRG does come galloping down from the frozen North and into the pop charts, as many seem to predict, it won’t be anything new — remember Kelly Marie? . . . Record Mirror’s influential Boys Town/Hi-NRG Disco chart has other less regular contributors but wouldn’t exist without the help of Ian Levine (Charing Cross Heaven), Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana), Norman Scott (Haringey/Brighton Bolts) Tricky Dicky Scanes (London Dicks Inns), Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse), Gary Allan (Liverpool Concert Street), Bill Grainger (Edinburgh Fire Island) — the most powerful boys on the beat! . . . Peter Stringfellow’s cavernous new Hippodrome is about to go gay on Mondays . . . Mary Wells ‘My Guy’ remake really is remarkably good out of Barbara Mason’s ‘Another Man’, even down to its story-continuing “no muscle bound man can take the hand of my guy”! — Mary’s ‘The Old, The New And The Best Of Mary Wells’ import LP (US Allegiance AV 444) is a disappointment though, full of interesting but limp remakes of her old Motown material . . . Active Force ‘Give Me Your Love’/Girls Can’t Help It ‘Baby Doll’/Lionel Richie ‘Love Will Find A Way’/Ray Parker Jr ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ make a sensational mellow mix sequence, while I scared myself doing an unbelievably imperceptible much vari-speeded mix from George Clinton ‘Atomic Dog’ into P.Funk All-Stars ‘Copy Cat’ (not easy as the latter’s short odd intro is 7½bpm faster) . . . Big Phill Etgart (Bethnal Green Weavers Nitespot) suggests as Warp 9 ‘Beat Wave’ is so good with Malcolm X, using its dub under Martin Luther King (from Stevie Wonder’s flip) before mixing into Malcolm . . . Mayfair Gulliver’s Danny Daniels has had a haircut making him look like Fats Domino, while Capital’s Disco John Leeech has had his dyed! . . . Capital Radio’s ‘Best Disco’ finished as such at the Lyceum over Christmas but is due to hit the road for live broadcasts from different London area venues starting in February, but probably returning to the Lyceum once a month . . . Capital’s New Year’s Eve ‘Nothin’ But A House Party’ goes out 10.03pm-2.00am, four solid hours of my party mixes yet again . . . Steve Walsh’s New Year’s Eve soul show on County Sound is an extended 6- 10pm review of ’83, while Robbie Vincent starts his Sunday 10pm-midnight Radio One soul show on New Years Day . . . Brian Mason (St. Albans) wishes Radio London soul broadcaster Tony Blackburn would stop hammering the “only available from import shops” and “the only station that plays the best of the Top 40 and the best in jazz funk and soul” — even his jokes are bearable but not that, sez Brian . . . I’m losing count of the records Passion put out without sending me promos — latest is a George Benson soundalike medley by Mirage (inspired by the Disco Mix Club?) . . . Luther Vandross ‘I Wanted Your Love‘ does actually grow on one, mainly through memories of ‘The Glow Of Love’ . . . BT Express ‘Hangin’ Out‘ should be c.113bpm , and improves the longer it’s on . . . Eartha Kitt could have had a bigger hit if her 7in edit hadn’t left out the best “big, big yacht” . . . Wham! ‘Megamix’ is conversely much better and more danceable in its 7in form . . . Theo Loyla makes a point about the late lamented Nightclub chart, with which I totally agree, that it was the pop hits which didn’t get into it that had most significance — if only we didn’t have to wait until they’d stopped selling to find out! . . . Disco/Boys Town/info deadline for contributors returns to normal next week, so beat the post and mail ’em before the weekend . . . 1984 is upon us. Thirty years ago I didn’t realize that the numerical significance was only a rearrangement of ‘1948’, but do remember a doom-laden craze for the “Big Brother is watching you” slogan in 1954 itself, when (at a very young age!) today seemed a lifetime away in the future yesterday . . . I suppose it was, but the frightening thing is it didn’t then take long to get there . . . WOT, NOT COLD TURKEY AGAIN!


KOOL & THE GANG: ‘You Can Do It’ (LP ‘In The Heart’ De-Lite DSR 4)
Fully reviewed weeks ago to amazingly zilch response so far, their self-produced set is comfortably familiar (dated?) with the harmonised jittery thudding 106bpm title track and this brassily thrusting 118bpm chanter being most instantly recognisable.

CIRCLE CITY BAND: ‘Magic’ (US Circle City Records CC-053183)
Most in demand import before Christmas, this fabulous very Slave-like deliberately thudding 110bpm 12in roller sets up one of those monotonously driving momentums that sweep all before it, especially when thundered through huge speakers (inst/edit flip). Not a cross-over, though.

BARBARA MASON: ‘Another Man’ (Streetwave MKHAN 3)
A controversial “succes de scandale”. Barbie laments her man’s going out with another man, wearing her clothes, talking and walking funny — but all so sweetly wailed and rapped with seductive girlie group support to a gently bumping 112bpm swaying beat box that unless you listen it’ll pass you by. The 4-track 12in rap compresses the story to its main meat. Continue reading “December 31, 1983: The Hammy Awards, Kool & The Gang, Circle City Band, Barbara Mason, Hashim, I.R.T.”

December 24, 1983: Jaime Lynn, Lamont Dozier, Sharon Redd, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Two Sisters


THE BEST laid plans of mice and men oft times gang awry (boy, do they ever!): for reasons beyond our control, what you have here is substantially last week’s copy, while last week used some of what was intended for this week along with some out-of-sequence overmatter —still, at least the Hammy Awards will now be next week as usual! (Confused? You should be, for this is Christmas) . . . World Premiere, instead of going to Polydor as a matter of course, has been snapped up by CBS for mid-January release here . . . The Walkers ‘Party Groove‘ 12in now includes a new much tighter more professional 119bpm Jellybean Benitez remix, while Al Jarreau’s current 12in has a special seasonal edition substituting a “greetings”-introed 63/31½bpm ‘The Christmas Song’ on the flip . . . Hi-NRG hits now out here after import action include Le Jete ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ (Dance, via Pinnacle), Bobby “O” ‘Givin’ Up’ / ‘I Cry For You’ and the old Divine ‘Shake It Up’ (both Design Communications) . . . Roger Dynamite’s ’60s/Motown night at Gt. Yarmouth Tiffany’s was so successful (biggest hit Benny Spellman ‘Fortune Teller‘ — ah, memories!) that he’s promoting another this Friday (23), but first urgently needs copies of the LPs ‘Casino Classics — Chapters 1 & 2’ on 0502-60240 . . . Graham Murray (0642-226270), reporting the arrival of Top 40-type Lasar Radio in the North Sea, is looking for the old Reparata & The Delrons ‘Captain Of Your Ship’ . . . Dougall DJ, back from globetrotting but now out of the business and into computers, has set up Worldwide Records which specializes in finding normally unobtainable golden oldies to order, using a computer link-up with sources around the world discovered during his travels: to help spread the word Dougall is looking for DJs to act as agents on commission — contact Worldwide Records, PO Box 90, Luton, Beds LU1 3UJ . . . Norman Scott’s ’60s Stepping Back club on Thursdays at Haringey Bolts had a great start with Helen Shapiro and has now booked Billy J Kramer, The Foundations, Honeycombs, Billie Davies and Mary Wells for the future . . . ’60s figure Curly King’s recently mentioned modular plastic tubing Kingplan system is currently on show in the window of London Haymarket’s Design Centre, no less . . . Hartlepool DJ Paul ‘Datsun’ Gough is working as warm-up man on ITV’s ‘Razzmatazz’ series, advising its producers about hot dance toons too . . . Lance Nuttall selected Simon Grant from Guildford as new DJ at Hickstead’s Dance Factory . . . Dave Brookes electro jazz-funks Derby Smithy’s wine bar Thursdays, Dave See funks Bolton Nags disco pub Tues/Thur/Fri/Sat, Steve ‘Walthamstowe’ Day does St Albans Batchwood Hall country club Saturdays, Pete Richards funks Greenford Barbarella’s Sat/Sun (the latter pub prices party night), Dave Thomas jazz-funks Shrewsbury’s Oak Hotel Sundays (just 50p) . . . London Town Radio 91FM/217MW Sat/Sun is now represented four nights a week Thurs-thru-Sunday by Big Phil Etgart at Bethnal Green’s Weavers Nitespot in Roman Road with a “history of soul’ on Sundays (and a special late night party Xmas Day — info/tickets via John on 01-980 0808) . . . Big Phil also mixes Billy Griffin out of Dayton, Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse) synchs Grace Jones ‘Bumper’ over Lionel Richie ‘All Night Long’, I find Baiser/Elbow Bones/World Premiere a sequence made in heaven, while Shaun James (Leighton Buzzard Unicorn) really appreciates the Aylesbury posse’s calls of “murder charge” after every good mix ‘n scratch! . . . I still seem to be the only jock using Ray Parker Jr ‘N2U2‘ — what’s up, have the mafia ignored even the excellent ‘I Don’t Wanna Know‘? . . . 1983’s year-end charts, printed early instead of this week, were a collaboration of the Joneses, Alan and Keith, the Disco list for the first time using the entire weekly 85 places instead of just the Top 30 as before, which resulted in the continual ticking over of the ‘Thriller’ LP tracks registering strongly for that Jackson chap . . . John Tracy doesn’t specify the night but it might be worth checking with Sheffield’s Raffles to find when his ‘BeBop’ club mixes up an interesting array of funk, jazz, Northern Soul and rockabilly (no electro)! . . . Tony ‘Flanger’ Glass does Tues/Fri/Sunday at Rayleigh’s Palais “fun” wine bar, including the one and only Palais economy light show — I wonder if it’s anything like the clever free Xmas gift sent out by Salford’s Paul King Roadshows, a birthday cake candle complete with imaginative DIY effects which mainly involve waving your hand in front of it! . . . Disco Dave Singleton, the biggest thing on video around Warrington/Eccles, is now booking his giant double video screens in the South through Cambridge’s Jason West Agency (0353-87755), and from home is also selling 500 Northern Soul singles for £50 on Newton-Le-Willows 6018 . . . MTV’s video playlist last month only included Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Richie, Donna Summer, Ashford & Simpson as token black faces, but Billboard’s Hot 100 US pop chart when last seen had 23 “black” hits, an encouragingly high percentage even though most were slow and a far cry from the old energy when Motown was the sound of young America . . . I’m all for a return to the days when the US charts were fun, full of variety — in the ’60s the Hot 100 consistently fielded a 33 per cent of soul crossover hits, and there is now a growing realisation Stateside that it’s not only black people who buy black music (ludicrous thought!), just like in the old days . . . DeBarge ‘Time Will Reveal‘ has topped the US Black singles chart, and the pop-orientated Romantics ‘Talking In Your Sleep‘ (Epic here soon) dislodged Shannon from Dance/Disco . . . Midnight Star are really breaking through in the US now, their LP’s sold over half a million and is still climbing the pop chart . . . Rick James’s lovely ‘Ebony Eyes’ duet with Smokey Robinson (billed as “& Friend”) has finally made it onto US 7in after all — Motown knew it made sense . . . Monyaka back in the ’70s were known as the Soul Supersonics . . . Rock Steady Crew were reviewed by Billboad as “closer to the candy store than to the street” — how true! . . . Jeffrey Daniels’s protege bodypopping vocal group turn out to be spelt Eklypse . . . DJs who can handle soulful smoochers should look out for OC Miller’s 56-54-54½-0bpm ‘How Can I Love Again’ (Orbitone), a real knee-trembler! . . . Essex University discos have been asked in an internal directive from the Women’s Group not to play slow music as it has “sexist connotations” — jocks in Lambeth and other looney Left areas are warned! . . . George Clinton credits as co-composer of several LP tracks a certain “Linn” — due recognition of Mr Linn’s drum machine? . . . Two Sisters quote all their lyrics on their album sleeve: ‘B-Boys B-Dubbed’ consists of “Ahh, ahh! Ahh, ahh! Ahh ahh! Ahh, ahh! (Repeat) Wuff, wuff, wuff! Wuff, wuff, wuff! (Repeat)”! . . . Brian Mason (St Albans) reckons Gerry Trew ‘Deeper’ cops an intro from Lynx ‘You’re Lying’, melody from The Dukes ‘Mystery Girl’ and chorus from Gene Chandler ‘When You’re Number One’ — how about it, Steve Jerome (who wrote it)? . . . Alexander Walker in London’s Standard called ‘Trading Places’ “the best comedy this side of Christmas” — so didja see it yet, huh, huh, didja?! . . . I’m putting together Capital Radio’s four-hour New Year’s Eve ‘Nothin’ But A Houseparty’ continuous dance tape again this year, but for once I’m going to a party myself instead of gigging at one — however it’ll be too far away to hear the tape going out on air (such sweet relief) . . . sorry it’s not the festive issue originally planned: what with last minute changes there wasn’t time to prepare alternative material — however, from the depths of exhaustion I’d like to say thanks for all your cards and HAVE A FESTIVE FUNKY!

STEVIE WONDER having succeeded in getting Martin Luther King’s January 15th birthday declared a national day of remembrance, Motown in the States are marking the occasion with a logical reissue on 12in of ‘Happy Birthday’ (the 116bpm oldie now hinting at a ‘Billie Jean’ beat), flipped by excerpts from four of King’s speeches. To counter import action, it’s also out here again (TMGT 1326) . . . but irritatingly in its original LP form as opposed to the extended remix which came out here flipped by its instrumental, so we’re now back with the version that was first promo-ed exactly three years ago before the remix was available. Happy Xmas!

GEORGE CLINTON is trying to make money two ways for Christmas, with two albums out on import from not only himself but also (and better) THE P. FUNK ALL-STARS: ‘Urban Dancefloor Guerillas’ (US Uncle Jam/CBS Associated Records BFZ 39168). Joined by Bootsy Collins, Junie Morrison, Sly Stone, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Gary Shider and the gang in various combinations on both sets, for the All-Stars he concentrates harder and comes up with the logical answer to ‘Atomic Dog’ in the 114½bpm ‘Copy Cat’ — containing the great hook “Morris wants my pussy cat” (with lots of vari-speed they synch) — other lesser degrees of maniac P’funk being the 109bpm ‘Pumpin’ It Up‘, 106bpm ‘Hydraulic Pump‘, 120bpm ‘Generator Pop‘, 118bpm ‘Acupuncture‘, 112bpm ‘Catch A Keeper‘, 61½bpm ‘One Of Those Summers’. However, the supposedly solo GEORGE CLINTON ‘You Shouldn’t-nuf Bit Fish’ (US Capitol ST-12308) is very flabby and indulgent with only the 112bpm ‘Quickie‘ standing out from the 12in-issued 110½bpm ‘Nubian Nut‘, 112bpm ‘Last Dance‘, 116bpm ‘Stingy‘, 104¾bpm ‘Silly Millameter‘, gutless 0-52½/105bpm title track. The two tracks singled out work well, but cost a lotta cash like this.


JAIME LYNN: ‘You Ain’t Got No Money’ (US Salsoul SG 418)
Selling well, this breathy chick whispered exciting 122-123bpm 12in bounding bass whomper with good disjointedly tense thudding breaks enlivened by hollering chaps for the last third of the longer ‘Club Version’ flip is bright ‘n zippy enough to have wide appeal.

LAMONT DOZIER: ‘Bigger Than Life’ LP (Demon FIEND 12)
Pleasant enough set by the legendary team mate of the brothers Holland, causing a stir entirely because of the annoyingly short but lovely title track, a “doobedoobeda-da” scatting mellow title 101-104bpm jogging chugger (accelerating at the last break before the sax). Surely destined for 12in remix?

SHARON REDD: ‘Somebody Save The Night’ (LP ‘Love How You Feel’ Prelude PRL 25776)
Now out here (with her name printed red rather than the Dutch black), the album’s immediate hits are this 113bpm canterer which vari-synchs imperceptibly well with her title track (for some reason here slowed right down to 112bpm), and the rather zingy 120bpm ‘You’re A Winner‘ which is getting more Hi-NRG play, others being the 0-114bpm ‘Got Ya’ Where I Want‘, (0-)114bpm ‘Activate‘, 92½bpm ‘Sweet Sensation‘, 109bpm ‘Liar On The Wire‘. That said, it’s not her best. Continue reading “December 24, 1983: Jaime Lynn, Lamont Dozier, Sharon Redd, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Two Sisters”

December 17, 1983: end of year charts, Luther Vandross, Kenny Lynch, Kabbala, The Temptations with Four Tops, Ronnie Dyson


DUE TO threatened industrial action by members of the NGA, this issue of RECORD MIRROR has gone to press early and we are unable to bring you James Hamilton’s normal column.

Next week’s paper will now carry all the latest gossip and reviews.


LUTHER VANDROSS: ‘I’ll Let You Slide’ (Epic TA 3978)
A star in the descendant, Luther’s been sliding himself especially following his recent productions for various soul divas and is unlikely to be helped here by this US-tempoed empty fast 132bpm 12in canterer (inst flip). He should stick to just singing, his main talent.

KENNY LYNCH: ‘Shotgun’ (Satril 12SAT 511)
Easily rolling slick 112bpm 12in bumper with yowling guitar and sax but spoilt by overly frothy chix, who really ruin the instrumental 112bpm ‘Mafia-Funk Chin-Mental Mix‘ flipside version.

KABBALA: ‘Yen-Nbo-Ose’ (Red Flame RFB 3712, via Virgin)
Unfortunately over-frantic 139bpm 12in afro instrumental, the 120bpm ‘Yo Yo Dance‘ flip being more danceable if undistinguished. Continue reading “December 17, 1983: end of year charts, Luther Vandross, Kenny Lynch, Kabbala, The Temptations with Four Tops, Ronnie Dyson”

December 10, 1983: Mary Wells, World Premiere, Whatnauts, Lew Kirton, Lenny Welch


LAST FRIDAY was premiere night at video-equipped clubs, all the little chickies screaming and squealing as Michael Jackson kept scaring them silly! . . . ‘Thriller‘, which evidently cost over double its original half-million dollar budget, was shown for a week in a Los Angeles cinema to make it eligible for an Oscar before having its US television debut also last Friday on MTV, who will be showing it four times daily until Christmas — the US-only hour long Vestron video previously mentioned will package ‘Thriller’ with candid coverage of its making, the live Motown 25 version of ‘Billie Jean’ plus excerpts from ‘Beat It’ and the Jacksons ‘Can You Feel It’ . . . MTV, the US 24 hour music video cable TV channel, admits to a rock orientated music policy but still gets criticized by the black record biz, which is why so many black acts (like EWF) now use rock rhythms in an effort to qualify — the channel is so influential in breaking new names that it’s getting exclusives ahead of radio, causing yet more bad feeling . . . Tyne Tees ‘The Tube’ earlier in the evening quoted extensively from our Boys Town/Hi-NRG Disco chart, without any mention of Record Mirror — thanks so much . . . Morgan Khan, unbeknownst to me while making its import lead review last week, has rush released Xena ‘On The Upside‘ on Streetwave 12in (catalogue number MKHAN 2 — such modesty!), the melodic chick sung 119bpm hip hopper being by the same team as Shannon and now sounding even stronger: he’s also picked up the Vintertainment label for Britain, so the B Boys can’t be far behind . . . Malcolm X ‘No Sell Out‘ has been withdrawn by Tommy Boy in the States pending a Sugarhill claim that it was cut in their studios using speeches from an album on Chess, which they control: Marshall Chess (son of the label’s founder and its current manager) did indeed get Sugarhill Gang drummer Keith LeBlanc to lay down the track before then signing it with Tommy Boy instead of Sugarhill, who say they’d assumed it would be theirs and had planned a new LP to include it . . . Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King’s new 12in sadly will be ‘Action‘ / ‘Let’s Get Crazy‘ from her LP, which contains better . . . Luther Vandross is producing Teddy Pendergrass for an all-new album due in February — on Elektra . . . Blackmarketing (262 Holloway Road, London, N7, 01-609 7017) are compiling a Hi-NRG mailing list for jocks who can prove their worth . . . Miquel Brown and her manager while driving through the New Jersey night ran into an unlit parked bus. Miquel suffering a broken collar bone, chipped skull, and dented chest . . . Ian Levine has remixed Norma (Lewis) ‘Life Is The Reason‘ for UK release . . . Norman Scott, getting pally with Wham!, reckons ‘Where Is My Man‘ has been the year’s biggest hit at Haringey Bolts and recently finished the night there with Eartha Kitt’s ‘I’m Just An Old Fashioned Girl‘ (RCA) to packed floors . . . Judy Garland recently returned to Toronto’s Club Mystique, complete with funeral procession, casket and hearse — how sick can you get? (and how long before someone here follows suit?) . . . Barbara Mason ‘Another Man‘ has exploded literally through word of mouth, everyone nudging each other and saying “listen to the words” when it comes on (the rap version gets ’em all in quickest) . . . London’s The Embassy in Old Bond Street has a Laura Pallas Christmas Ball this Thursday (8) and a Record Shack party featuring Laura again (and should have been Miquel Brown) on Tuesday (13) — the large lady is also skiing in the snow this Saturday (10) at the Euston Tavern and Oxford Street Spats . . . Chris Brown debuts at Hemel Hempstead Whip & Collar Thursday (8), when Ernie Priestman & Steve Naylor open revamped Old Hall in radioactive Egremont (just over the hill from Windscale) . . . Friday (9) finds Radio London soul broadcaster Tony Blackburn at Tottenham Eltons, Capital Radio Hi-NRG DJ Greg Edwards at Southend Zero 6, Pete ‘Pedro’ Tong and Jeff Young ‘& Strong’ at the Sheffield Arms (Sheffield Park, Sussex) with their R&B Review . . . Sunday’s Nottingham Rock City alldayer (3pm) stars Colin Curtis, Jonathan, Steve Dennis, Steve Allen, Paul Murphy etc . . . Phill Andrews at Derby’s Chamailles Nightclub jazz-funks Mondays, Fri/Sat being party nites and Thurs/Sun cheap cocktails . . . Dougie Welsh gets good ‘n’ funky Thurs-thru-Sun at Edinburgh High Street’s Claude’s . . . Steve ‘Walthamstow’ Day & Mark Eniver do Walthamstow’s Cats Wine Bar on Fridays now . . . Bob Heather (Romsey) has left Southampton’s Mecca Ice Rink after two and a half years to go back on the road — he must have cold feet (ouch) . . . John Vaughan, body popping DJ who helps at Mayfair Gullivers Mondays, is looking for warm-up gigs on 01-856 0388 . . . Gullivers really cooked last Saturday with Sid Haywoode flashing her legs — she, friend Mulligan from Fashion and CBS’s Steve Ripley were in for a nice long time but sadly missed an impromptu PA by Jimmy Cliff which got the joint jumping — what a night . . . Sid, whose dad is Don Haywoode (not Ron), had never heard his classic doo-wop with the Velours, 1957’s ‘Can I Come Over Tonight‘, until I played it for her on the headphones (Graham Gold chickened out of mixing it into Klique!) . . . ‘Dr Soul’s ’60s Stompers‘ on Disco Mix Club cassette is actually very similar to my old soul nights at Le Beat Route — any clubs want me to mix ’em like that live? (Bolton might even be within reach after Xmas!) . . . Shaun James (0296-20653) is after the instrumental version of T. Ski Valley ‘Catch The Beat’ (US Grand Groove 12in), Gary Allan (051-526 5407) wants the already deleted Amanda Lear ‘Love Your Body’ (German Ariola 12in), Graham Cambridge (0904-790686) needs the DJ Remix of ABC ‘Poison Arrow’ . . . VERY IMPORTANT! I need all your dates ‘n’ info NOW, this instant if not sooner, if you want any namechecks before Christmas — our deadlines are diabolical, so please help at this busy time of year and get charts to us if possible in time for the next two Mondays (12 & 19) and again for the first Wednesday of the New Year . . . Theo Loyla’s Super Jocks have the same top six as last week, “new” entries in their pop chart being Shannon, Major Harris, Curtis Hairston, Assembly, Cuba Gooding, New Order and Madness (I’m not taking the mickey, just stating the sad fact) . . . London’s LODJ association members are very perceptive, they reckon this column covers the club circuit . . . Phonogram’s acts are suffering the mailing list syndrome, jocks getting records in the mail which they chart before realising they’re rubbish, then drop fast . . . John ‘Thriller’ Landis’s new ‘Trading Places’ film is finally opening here, starring Eddie Murphy & Dan Akroyd with Bo Diddley as a pawnbroker and the eye-boggling Jamie Lee Curtis as a tart — fellahs, I implore you, don’t miss it! . . . ‘Street’ shock (the real Street, Hill that is): Michael Conrad, though well enough to start the new series in the States, has just died — he played the fancy talking desk sergeant whose catch phrase was the immortal “hey hey hey Hey! LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!” We’ll miss you.


MARY WELLS: ‘My Guy’ (US Allegiance D-101)
Nearly twenty years later, Mary’s back with a lovely slowed down and stretched out languidly swaying 114-115bpm 12in remake of her all-time classic, produced now by Wayne Henderson (inst flip). Still a floor filler (try it out of Barbara Mason!), it sounds different enough in this treatment to happen all over again — with wide appeal.

WORLD PREMIERE: ‘Share The Night’ (US Easy Street EZS-7506)
A long effects intro leads into throbbing stereo drumbeats as the Jonathan Fearing-mixed sinuously weaving 0-108bpm 12in plodder picks up momentum behind excitingly arranged growling and wailing vocal interaction, the whole thing sounding bright and fresh enough to do very well indeed (inst breakdown/shorter inst flip).

WHATNAUTS: ‘Still I’ll Rise’ (US Pic Hit PH 1001)
A satisfying if low key return, the group-backed soulfully hoarse lead guy getting all het up over a burbling lurching 111bpm 12in shuffle ‘n bump undertow (bass led inst flip), sounding stronger the more you hear it. Continue reading “December 10, 1983: Mary Wells, World Premiere, Whatnauts, Lew Kirton, Lenny Welch”

December 3, 1983: Dayton, Xena, Girls Can’t Help It, Hi Voltage, The B Boys


LIONEL RICHIE’s ‘All Night Long’ instrumental was all set for the flip of his current UK 12in until nixed by Motown’s HQ, typically out of touch in LA — instead of running scared about alternative 12in imports from Britain messing up their US plans (and giving people what they actually want?), why don’t Motown move back to a ghetto, put people out on the street and find out where the energy’s really coming from today? . . . Brian Godson & Pete Funnell funk York’s Windmill in Blossom Street this Friday (2) — with Kelvin Knight they play more general stuff there Saturdays too (50p both nights) . . . Greg Edwards does Dartford Flicks Friday (2), when Dave Rawlings kicks off 4th birthday high jinks at Basingstoke Martines with a Pernod party before being joined on Saturday (3) by fire-eating Darryl Hayden’s video show . . . Miquel Brown flits between Bolts in Haringey this Friday and Brighton on Sunday (4) . . . Tony Prince & Steve Dennis co-host the Martini Screen Test finals at London Piccadilly’s Xenon early evening Friday (2) . . . Saturday lunchtimes are very jazzy indeed at London Oxford Street Spats with Darren Johnson, Ed Stokes & Gilles Peterson, the latter airing latin jazz Friday nights 10pm-midnight on the self-explanatory South London Broadcasting SLB 94.4 FM, sandwiched between Jerry Jones & Stu Wilson with a weekly guest show immediately preceding Gilles . . . Saturdays at Portsmouth Ritzy have taken off so well for him that Nick Ratcliffe will be there Thursdays too from next week (8) with Jeff Powell, getting as funky as they can, while Nick’s also back with John Dene on Fridays at Streatham Cat’s Whiskers and at Guildford Cinderella Rockerfellas next Tuesday (6) has a free admission army/nurse fancydress M*A*S*H night . . . Baz Maleedy & Baz Williams have started a specifically oldies disco/funk/soul/jazz Sunday at Manchester’s Gallery off Deansgate . . . Ernie Priestman, original partner in Whitehaven’s legendary Whitehouse, has returned to radioactive Egremont to transform the ancient Old Hall pub into a hi-tech disco opening next Thursday (8) with himself and Blackpool’s Steve Naylor getting as upfront as the locals will allow . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre has split in two with hardware, design/installation, disco hire etc at the new Middlesex Sound & Lighting just around the corner in Village Way East (01-866 5500), leaving records and video at the original shop (where the DJ elite meet!) . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry) wonders — fourteen weeks, eighty-eight quid and countless calls later — just when the Derek James Disco Centre will get around to supplying his projector bulbs . . . Luton’s recently opened Tropicana Beach (resident jock Mark West) is reaching its 750 capacity at weekends and wants PAs/promotion nights etc — call manager Mick Jordan (0582 458750) . . . Chris Britton at Watford Baileys shows up to twenty videos nightly to around 2,000 people (half of whom are seated) and would welcome any promo videos for guaranteed screening . . . David Grant’s had another haircut and is now practically a skinhead — the similarity of his new single to the Dazz Band’s ‘Let It Whip’, and all the spike-haired punks in its video, lead me to suspect that ‘Rock The Midnight’ is intended as an assault on the American charts rather than for here . . . Whodini’s story-telling video for the lacklustre ‘Rap Machine’ really brings it alive . . . Ebony Brothers turn out to be Pinky & Tony who danced on Top Of The Pops with Kelly Marie, Pinky’s brother Paul Pink being Capital Radio’s biggest engineer! . . . Eartha Kitt didn’t flatter herself on TV-am — she came across remarkably like Yoda from the Star Wars saga . . . Sharon Redd either bought her first record when aged just one, or else started out buying an oldie (see last week’s Profile and call me a cad!) . . . Sid Haywoode turns out to be the daughter of Ron Haywoode from the Fantastics, and before that more significantly the Velours, whose 1957 ‘Can I Come Over Tonight‘ was one of the all-time doo-wop greats . . . ‘I’m Out Of Your Life’ writer/Delegation producer Ken Gold, never out of Mayfair’s Gullivers these days, last week brought down this vaguely familiar looking guy — Paul Johnson, one of London’s DJ legends in the mid-60s (he did Brixton’s Ram Jam), latterly a record exec before leaving the business (I bought a whole pile of ska off him in ’66!) . . . ‘Kennedy’ on telly last week obviously sent all minds that are old enough back to that day twenty years ago — I was staying at an old school friend’s off the King’s Road, on the brink of joining the then incipient Beatles merchandisers Seltaeb Inc. washing up coffee cups when Paul McCartney & John Lennon came to call, and heavily into such sounds as Mary Wells ‘What’s Easy For Two‘, Stevie Wonder ‘Monkey Talk‘, Lloyd Price ‘Misty‘, Sam Cooke ‘Little Red Rooster‘ . . . ‘Dr Soul’s ’60s Stompers — The Girls’ on the next Disco Mix Club is a bit of a compromise I fear, the original medley was intended to end up with a further nine girlie group tracks out of the Bandwagon but they didn’t fit the time available, so for this continuation I built them up to twenty but by playing two verses instead of one I then had to cut back again at the end as only fifteen fitted — and the final three do come as a jolt now — the running order being Crystals ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’/Four Pennies ‘When The Boy’s Happy’/Chiffons ‘He’s So Fine’/Exciters ‘Do-Wah-Diddy’/Velvelettes ‘Really Sayin’ Somethin’/Tami Lynn ‘Gonna Run’/Betty Everett ‘Mighty Crowded’/Supremes ‘Where Did Our Love Go’/’Baby Love’/Martha & The Vandellas ‘Jimmy Mack’/Fascinations ‘Girls Are Out’/Mary Wells ‘What’s Easy For Two’/Chiffons ‘Sweet Talking Guy’/Candy & The Kisses ‘The 81’/Gloria Jones ‘Tainted Love’ (I had to end with that, right?!) . . . Disco Mix Club subscription details are on 06286 67276 . . . Al Jarreau will play Nat ‘King’ Cole in a biopic of the late star, next year . . . Capital’s reggaemeister David Rodigan plays the barman in TV’s current Malibu commercial! . . . Robert ‘Santa’ Bienman is heavily disguised as ‘Billy Jackson’ . . . MCA’s Katie Farmer seems to be taking a personal interest in Second Image! . . . Edgbaston Faces French Club Visage jock Jon Alsop for some strange reason now calls himself Jon David — he’s obviously after a job on hospital radio . . . Graham Hunter (Basingstoke) reckons the best disco in Paris, France is La Scala, in the Rue De Rivoli . . . ‘Street Sounds 7’ being heavily advertised on radio last weekend ahead of stocks being shipped was thoroughly irritating for record dealers, who now talk about “the late Morgan Khan” . . . Arnie’s Love seems to have peaked with the specialist audience, saleswise . . . LET THE MUSIC PLAY!


BRITAIN’S PUBLIC like dancing to what they already know. This was accurately reflected by our pop-orientated Nightclub chart, which unfortunately (from an editorial viewpoint) followed, rather than set the fashion, neither a pointer to the future nor even a useful shopping list. It’s gone. However, DJs who reckon their charts contributed towards it are still encouraged to send them in as Alan Jones will continue compiling them into a guide for the Performing Rights Society, amongst others — and along with the upfront soulful Disco and Boys Town DJs all remain eligible for the weekly £20 record token lucky draw. In fact it’s a hell of a job keeping the Disco and Boys Town charts as upfront as hopefully they are, and regular contributions from some of the jocks we ought to be hearing from yet who may feel it beneath them would be more than welcome. All charts (Top 20 or more, if possible, based on audience rather than DJ reaction) should reach us by Wednesday of the week before publication especially if enclosing any news items, sent to James Hamilton, Record Mirror, 40 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JT. Just in case you don’t know what’s big in Britain’s pop venues at the moment, record plugger Theo Loyla happens to have compiled a chart from all the clubs on his Super Jocks mailing list:

1. LIONEL RICHIE – ‘All Night Long’
2. MICHAEL JACKSON – ‘Thriller’
3. BILLY JOEL – ‘Uptown Girl’
4. McCARTNEY/JACKSON – ‘Say Say Say’
6. SHARON REDD – ‘Love How You Feel’
7. SHALAMAR – ‘Over And Over’
8. CULTURE CLUB – ‘Karma Chameleon’
9. HOWARD JONES – ‘New Song’
10. STEVE HARVEY – ‘Tonight’

Yeah, and ‘Rock Around The Clock’ still gets ’em going, too!


DAYTON: ‘The Sound Of Music’ (Capitol 12CL 318)
Rahni Harris takes the helm for a superb soulfully flowing 54½-112-114-112-114bpm groove with a really nagging repeated hookline, catchy vocoder scatting and sophisticated jazz-funk feel, now on 3-track 12in with the disappointing Zapp dominated 111bpm ‘Love You Anyway‘ and 1980’s good speedily romping 119-120-119-117(sax solo)-121-122bpm ‘Eyes On You‘ (whose tinny strings sounded dated when it was new). Pure class — but unlikely to break outside circles as sadly sophistication and groovability aren’t enough for a general public who basically can’t dance.

XENA: ‘On The Upside’ (US Emergency EMDS 6541)
Very similar to Shannon, an initially offputting “disco” chick (she put me off it for a fortnight!) singing somewhat at odds with the busily 118½bpm 12in hip hop electro framework — except they blend together in naggingly melodic style and are now exploding doubtless because she and Shannon mix so superbly (complex dub flip). How she ever managed to carry the tune through it all is a miracle!

GIRLS CAN’T HELP IT: ‘Baby Doll’ (US Sire 0-29773)
When originally out here ages ago on Virgin this seemed such a blatant pop rip off of something else that I resisted reviewing it — the trouble is, now I can’t remember what it’s copying and have spent hours trying to think! Help, please! Anyway, newly remixed and revived on import — to huge local success following plugs by Robbie Vincent on Radio London — the girlie trio are sorta Bananarama doing the Mary Jane Girls after listening to Meri Wilson’s ‘Telephone Man’, the nagging familiarity of the spoken-sung languidly jiggling 97bpm 12in structure only adding to its compulsive catchiness (inst flip). Its time has certainly come. Continue reading “December 3, 1983: Dayton, Xena, Girls Can’t Help It, Hi Voltage, The B Boys”