ODDS ‘N’ BODS
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.
EVELYN ‘CHAMPAGNE’ KING: ‘Action’ (RCA RCAT 383)
Sylvers-produced bass synth burped chirpy but routine 119bpm 12in pusher with an exaggerated Alicia Bridges way of pronouncing “akk-shun” which does actually grow on one in a very trite, poppy style — and that’s her direction now (convoluted swaying slow 95bpm ‘Let’s Get Crazy‘ flip). Her recently reviewed album ‘Face To Face’ is also out here (PL 84725).
TWO SISTERS: ‘High Noon (Remix)’ (LP ‘Two Sisters’ US Sugarscoop SS-425)
Now these two girls do look ready for “akk-shun”! Produced by ‘Hip Hop’s Raul Rodriguez in Man Parrish style, their set is solid electro with this 116½bpm remixed hit still most useful, along with the 119bpm ‘Hot, Hot Sound‘, 115bpm ‘Pop Lock This Rock (To The Top)‘, 123bpm ‘Scratch This‘, their 116½bpm ‘B-Boys Beware‘ and 116½bpm ‘B-Boys B-Dubbed‘ single, slow 87bpm ‘Right There‘, Hi-NRG 0-130bpm ‘Destiny‘. Be bop. Don’t stop.
TEDDY PENDERGRASS: ‘You And Me For Right Now’ (LP ‘Heaven Only Knows’ Philadelphia International PIR 25691)
Stirring the soul purists, this obviously 1979-recorded McFadden & Whitehead co-prod/penned 114-116bpm ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ variation is best dancer, the 34/68-69bpm ‘I Want My Baby Back‘ smoothest smoocher.
LUTHER VANDROSS: ‘For The Sweetness Of Your Love’ (LP ‘Busy Body’ US Epic FE 39196)
Luther and his chum Marcus Miller were inspired session men but now that they increasingly take on all the creative roles themselves (as here, in tandem), they stretch their ideas and talent too thin. Recently I’ve found their promise unfulfilled, an opinion reinforced by this set. Although this is a zingily churning 124-123-123½bpm canterer with a good starker break and ‘I Wanted Your Love‘ a pleasant enough 120-121-120bpm re-write of ‘The Glow Of Love’, neither has much depth, and — apart from the meandering slow 94¼bpm title track jogger and his current awful single — they’re the only dancers. Three tortuous dead slowies include his ‘How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye’ duet with Dionne Warwick. Frankly, I took this back and swapped it for George Clinton, which I’m keeping.
VAUGHAN MASON: ‘Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll’ (Dutch Rams Horn RHR 3292)
A new remix by Rutger ‘Rutti’ Kroese of 1980’s sparse sinuous c.111bpm funker, only on single-sided 12in, the original instrumental flip of which by total coincidence I’d resurrected to mix with ‘N2U2’ only the night before.
LENNY WILLIAMS: ‘Love Soldier’ (US Rocshire XR 95515)
The whinnying soulster returns after quite an absence with a beefily throbbing though datedly backed c.119bpm 12in chugger let down by the song (inst flip).
TWILIGHT 22: ‘In The Spirit’ (US Vanguard SPV 70)
Disappointingly dull and rather twee c.114bpm 12in Christmas rapper complete with bloody jinglebells (inst flip).
SPYDER C: ‘Unity In The Place To Be’ (US West End WES 22167)
“All nations and races unite”-type c.100bpm message rapper, fairly dreary, on 4-track 12in with the ‘Hollis Rock’ variation and instrumentals.
THE TWINS PLUS HIM: ‘Turn The Beat Around’ (US Blue Parrot BP 203)
Boys Town-type c.129bpm 12in remake of the Vicki Sue Robinson oldie (dub flip).
DISCO TOP 85 – DECEMBER 24, 1983
No Chart this week.
No Breakers this week.
Beats Per Minute for the Top 75 entries of a fortnight ago on 7in (endings denoted by f/c/r for fade/resonant/cold):
Culture Club 0-31-63-0r, Billy Joel 181-183f, Status Quo 132-131-0r (great MoR!), UB40 88f, Barry Manilow 26½-53-0r, Adam Ant 125f, Kool & The Gang 119½f, Elton John 0-63/31½-64f, Santa Claus & The Christmas Trees 0-208-0c, Rod Stewart 67/134f, Slade ‘Merry Xmas’ 122(intro)-127-129-131-0r, Klaxons 126f (good MoR), Dayton 56-113-114f.
BOYS TOWN/HI-NRG DISCO
No Chart this week.
STEVE WIGGINS, still busy around Barry in South Wales, has tried and tested this Club International/Vale Disco Club silly seasonal medley, which he’s put on tape enabling him to mingle with the crowds dressed as Santa, showering gifts and gimmicks as he goes. Not a chart, this is running order:
MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY – Slade – Polydor
SUPERMAN – Black Lace – Flair
I WISH IT COULD BE XMAS EVERYDAY – Wizard – Harvest
UPTOWN GIRL – Billy Joel – CBS
BITS AND PIECES – Dave Clark 5 – Columbia
JINGLE BELL ROCK – Chubby Checker & Bobby Rydell – Cameo
MY BOY LOLLIPOP – Millie – Island
BIRDIE SONG – Tweets – PRT
EL BAILE DE LOS PAJARITOS – M Jesus y su Acordeon – Spanish Olympo (a non-vital optional addition, you’ll be delighted to hear!)
RETURN TO SENDER – Elvis Presley – RCA
HAPPY XMAS WAR IS OVER – John Lennon – Apple
LONELY THIS XMAS – Mud – Rak
WHITE CHRISTMAS – Bing Crosby – MCA
MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING – Carpenters – A&M
WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME – Paul McCartney – Parlophone
MARY’S BOY CHILD – Boney M – Atlantic
Steve also advises that Chas & Dave’s knees-up tempo ‘Auld Lang Syne‘ is great out of a more traditional slower version for the New Year celebrations, if you can find it (on A&M soundtrack LP).