March 31, 1984: Pointer Sisters, AB’s, Art Of Noise, Cameo, Gino Soccio


SOMETHING like 16,000 actual DJs and goodness knows how many other followers of the music reading these pages, I don’t see why it should be up to me to chase record companies for their beastly product — if they can’t be bothered to get it to me they needn’t expect to see any mention of it . . . Julia & Company’s cooled out less jazzy Munzibai & Morales remix (115bpm on acetate, great out of Galaxy ‘Carnival Mix’) in a change of tactics will now only have 1,500 pressed for specialist shops as the original hit is slipping already . . . Barbara Mason and possibly the group Ingram are mooted as support for Jeffrey Osborne’s one-off London Dominion show on Monday April 16! . . . Slave’s UK tour continues after tonight (Thur 29) at Hammersmith Odeon, playing Manchester Carousel Fri (30), Nottingham Rock City Sun (1), London Lyceum with Greg Edwards Mon (2), Taunton Kingston’s Tues (3), Brighton Top Rank Wed (4), Basildon Raquel’s Thur (5), . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn’s second annual Shownite is Monday evening (2) at Syon Park’s Camellia Restaurant Complex (Islesworth, off the London-Hounslow road), £2 on the door, with exhibits, promotions, awards, entertainment, booze and lots of DJs buying rounds . . . Kev Hill (Harlow Whispers), who got his car back inevitably minus vinyl and cassette deck, was among many visitors to the Disco Mix Club Hippodrome convention annoyed by Radio 1’s Johnny Beerling talking so long that there wasn’t then time for forum questions . . . Island picked up Jocelyn Brown who, somewhat surprisingly not from the cast of ‘Dreamgirls’, has in fact been the session singer behind such as Inner Life, Change, Cerrone . . . Phil Fearon guests on the One Blood US mix, their B-side original 93bpm ‘Get In Touch (Sound City Mix)’ sharing the side with a 68½bpm ‘No Tears Woman‘ reggae chugger . . . Kool’s follow-up 105½bpm ‘In The Heart‘ next week is flipped by a rock-orientated 120bpm remix of ‘Tonight‘ . . . ‘StreetSounds Electro 3‘ (ELCST 3) so soon after ‘Crucial Electro’ and with largely unproven material may be a mistake — current Pumpkin, Newcleus, Davy DMX are warm, Fresh 3 MC’s, Imperial Brothers, Divine Sounds, Boogie Boys (‘Zodiac’) less so . . . Eartha Kitt’s new remix is from the latest DJs-only US Hot Tracks 2-LP set (SA 3-1, £40 if Record Shack have any left!), which besides a Pointer Sisters 134bpm ‘Jump’ remix has an original artists ‘Best Of Hot Tracks 1983’ megamix starting usefully with a synth underpinned new ‘Billie Jean’ (119)/’Jeopardy/Last Night A DJ/Rock The Boat’ (117)/’Pilot Error/Love Is A Stranger’ (116-122)/’Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (123bpm) before then getting Hi-NRG . . . US import LPs currently cost £7.50-£7.99, 12in £4.25-£4.50 or more, depending on where you shop . . . ‘Segue’ Steve Goddard (looking like a 6′ 5½” cross between Colin Hudd and Bob Jones!) sounds punchy on stereo Radio Horizon 102.5FM — I remember buying records from his brother at the Paul’s For Music stall in Brick Lane fifteen years ago! . . . Mastermind’s master of the “one handed four beat cutback”, Cut It Up Max (whose incredible long tension building live ‘Rockit’ scratch, beat by individual beat, needs hearing to be believed) keeps reviving my old C.O.D./Tyrone Brunson ‘The Bottle/The Smurf’ megamix on Radio Invicta 103.6FM Wednesday nights, and I must say it now sounds better than I thought at the time — incidentally, the original Gil Scott Heron/Brian Jackson ‘The Bottle (Drunken Mix)‘ has been revived by so many jocks in the wake of ‘Breakin’ Down’ that maybe a re-release would work? . . . Chris Kaye souls Tonbridge’s The Loggers pub next to the station (free) Tuesdays, but for other ventures offers work to established SW London/Surrey soul-funk DJs with loyal fans prepared to travel: contact him c/o Woodleafe Promotions, Unit F, Thorpe Works, Holden Park Road, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (wot, no post code?!) . . . Ian Gordon at Liverpool’s new The Blitz in Duke Street is after PA’s (an ideal set up, he says) on 051-489 3798 — he mixes new wave/funk Thur/Fri/Sat . . . Andy Bianchi (Poole Mariners Wharf under-18s Saturday afternoon) is after freebie giveaways like promo stickers, badges, T-shirts, while Mark Anthony, now doing Wed/Fri/Sat at Edgbaston Faces French Club Jardine, says “Friends, Romans, record companies, send me your promos!” . . . Theo Loyla is reviving his Super Jocks mailing list at 6 Tomay Cottages, Hawthorne Corner, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 6TL . . . Neil Fincham is attempting to launch a DJ association for East/West/Mid-Lothian & Fife — anyone interested write to him c/o Mad Hatters, 126 High Street, Edinburgh . . . Phil Blizzard (Stoke-on-Trent 634584) is in London on Wednesdays doing some radio production work and could be available for voice-overs or club gigs . . . Dave Smith, funking Fridays at Mayfair Samantha’s, had four Shure microphones (one a special EQ model) nicked in their bag from his car by the Barbican Centre . . . Friday (30) Chris Hill souls Egremont Old Hall (I’ll be an onlooker), Peter Lee has an Island mega-promotion with David Joseph, Phil Fearon, Frankie GTH at Bolton’s Dance Factory, Hereward Radio’s Steve Allen electro-funks Peterborough’s Marcus Garvey Club, John DeSade with Capital’s suave John Sachs and a Paradise PA funks New Addington Kim’s, Pete Haigh & Richard Searling have their third ‘Mecca Soul Revival’ at Blackpool’s Baskervilles, where Saturday (31) they also start a weekly current funk ‘n soul night — Pete incidentally confirmed its existence by sending me the 12in of Race ‘What Is Race?’ (US Ocean Front TOF 1000) . . . Danny Daniels fills in for holidaying Graham Gold this week at Mayfair Gullivers, with me back on Saturday (31), when Chris Ramrachia & Nytro Express funks Bushey’s Hartspring Sports Centre in Park Avenue, Kev Ashman has a “silly hat” party at Charing King Arthur’s Court . . . Monday (2) Chris Hill debuts at Bermondsey Dockhead’s Swan & Sugarloaf, Paul Webb at Dublin’s Pink Elephant in South Fredrick Street has a “Black Monday” (music-wise) the first in every month . . . Tuesday (3) JFM’s Graham Gold starts weekly funking Tottenham Rudolph’s (over-21s) . . . Bob ‘The Doc’ Jones jazz-souls Wednesdays at Braintree Springwood Estate’s Fantasy Club (Rayne Road off A120), where Russ B electro-funks Fri/ Sat (free every night) — Bob’s also moved Tuesdays to Chelmsford’s ‘The United Brethren’ in New Writtle Street with his boxes of jazz ‘n R&B . . . Cyndi Lauper’s remix topped US Dance/Disco last week but has already been ousted by Shannon ‘Give Me Tonight’ while Central Line ‘Time For Some Fun‘ is steadily climbing US Black and Dance charts . . . Channel 4’s ‘I Love Quincy‘ certainly kept Gullivers’ punters at home in the dry last Friday! . . . Steve Levine’s demonstration on Saturday Superstore of making music by computer was fascinating . . . Record Shack’s ebullient Jeff Weston, flushed with chart success, last week treated Miquel Brown, new signing Steve Grant (ex-Tight Fit), label exec Paul Savory, Froggy, Island’s Adrian Sykes and myself to a Peking duck — which was an unexpected treat considering my lunch date was just with Adrian! . . . STAY JUST AS FRESH AS YOU ARE!


POINTER SISTERS: ‘Automatic’ (Planet RPST 105, via RCA)
To its sales advantage here never on import despite massive US disco success, this dynamite Jellybean-remixed solidly pushing 111bpm chugger is huskily sung in almost masculine style, rhythmically right in the current hot (if specialist) groove making it a must for mixers . . . and with the girls name it’ll doubtless get crossover radio support too. The less vibrant original 110bpm LP version and emptily frantic 145bpm ‘Nightline‘ are flip. A monster!

AB’S: ‘Deja Vu’ (Streetwave XKHAN 503)
Thoroughly irritating for all who paid around £12 for the Japanese import LP just to get this one killer cut, it’s now on UK 12in (running at 33 1/3rpm), a floor-filling terrific very Level 42/Brothers Johnson-style subtly jiggling slinky cool 0-91-92-88½-92-88½bpm jazzy jogger, most intriguingly sung in Japanese with the odd English word woven into it. People’s ears will prick up if radio play it so it could be a smash.

ART OF NOISE: ‘Beat Box’ (ZTT ZTIS 108)
Despite topping America’s dance chart and being incredibly influential the original 108bpm version of this Trevor Horn exercise in hip hop was largely ignored here — to British DJs’ everlasting shame. Now it’s been totally remixed and revamped into two new “diversions”, even more imaginatively freaky, the 108½bpm Diversion One ending with acoustic piano while the 107bpm Two incorporates what sounds like a car’s ignition system! Especially if you’ve rushed out to buy Depeche Mode and Scritti Politti, hear those plus the original and be amazed. Continue reading “March 31, 1984: Pointer Sisters, AB’s, Art Of Noise, Cameo, Gino Soccio”

March 24, 1984: Phil Fearon & Galaxy, Cameo, Dayton, Denise LaSalle, Tout Sweet


JULIA & CO rush an M&M remix this week . . . Streetwave got AB’S ‘Deja Vu’ for UK 12in . . . Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ instrumental evidently is NOT the ‘P.Y.T.’ flip . . . CBS’s Fiction Factory 12in was mailed by Rush Release . . . Chris Ryder actually left Skyline Radio for his own commercial-free Atlantis . . . Skyline’s Oscar J. Jennings had a natter at Mayfair’s Rockafella’s diner last Friday with Horizon’s Nick Lawrence & Steve Goddard about the future effect of Redhill/Reigate ILR station Mercury Radio on 103FM — a wavelength so full of pirates that Friday’s Dread Broadcasting Corp swamps Invicta in the Harlesden area! . . . Curtis Simon, back from JA with a hot Gregory Isaacs toon for his own Diamond C label, reports that the clash with Barry G has made Capital’s David Rodigan a supa-star in Jamaica! . . . Capital’s ‘Mr Ouch!’ Al Matthews and suave John Sachs seem to spend their nights at Mayfair’s Gullivers . . . Mastermind Roadshow cut up Peckham Kisses Friday (23), Graham Hunter funks RAF Greenham Common Saturday (24) — ready for a rap attack?! — Leeds Tiffany’s 3pm Sunday (25) all-dayer stars the usual crew, Slave start a UK tour Wednesday (28) at Luton Pink Elephant . . . Chris Hill, Carol & I return to Cumbria at Egremont’s Old Hall next Friday (30) . . . California’s Larc label folded, their veteran soul stars moving to Private I — where The Dells album notes reveal they backed Barbara Lewis’s 1963 classic ‘Hello Stranger‘, produced (as were The Capitols/Deon Jackson) by Ollie McLaughlin who sadly died last month . . . I missed Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler and his vintage soul videos lest week but am certainly catching ‘I Love Quincy‘ (Jones of course) this Friday on Channel 4 at 11.15pm . . . The Crusaders are now just Joe, Wilton, and drummer Ndugu Chancler . . . STAY FRESH!


PHIL FEARON & GALAXY: ‘What Do I Do? (Carnival Mix)’ (Ensign XENY 510)
Brilliantly remixed to sound the same yet full of important differences too, this slightly Latin-tinged longer 113½bpm version is still frothy but harder and reaches great brass and a bass break, the flip’s even more different and excellent jazzily instrumental 0-113½bpm ‘Pina Colada Mix-In-Dub‘ incorporating snatches of ‘Dancing Tight’. Clever devil, he’ll got your money twice!

CAMEO: ‘She’s Strange’ (Club JABX 2)
Immediately massive alter preliminary radio play on 7in, the terrific full length subtle sinuous slinkily weaving 109bpm smacker is right in the Rufus/Lynn/Osborne bag, albeit with a sharper sound — even sharper now it’s on 3-track 12in with the equally good slower dragging 98bpm ‘Groove With You‘ (nice between Dennis E and Y&P), and jerkily smoochy 84-42bpm ‘Love You Anyway‘ which climaxes in jazzy Benson-ish scat.

DAYTON: ‘The Sound Of Music (X-Tended Remix)’ (Capitol 12CLX 318)
Disco Mix Club’s Alan Coulthard floored me when he confessed this cleverly straightened out and simplified (though less jazzy) 114-115-114-115(break)-114-115bpm remix was all his own work, rather than from the US as misleadingly suggested on promo copies! Now a doddle for mixers (McF&W follows nicely), it’s flipped by the gently drifting lovely 51½-106-104bpm ‘Promise Me‘ and Roger Troutman-dominated 111bpm ‘Love You Anyway‘. Continue reading “March 24, 1984: Phil Fearon & Galaxy, Cameo, Dayton, Denise LaSalle, Tout Sweet”

March 17, 1984: Kenny G, Dennis Edwards, Paul Hardcastle, Cloud One, Bobby Womack


MARK BERRY, New York associate of Arthur Baker & John Robie, has alone been producing Freeez — in Farnham, of all funky places! — now thankfully without the unconvincing vocals of John Rocca . . . Phil Fearon & Galaxy has an extended Latin ‘Carnival Remix‘ coming soon, the dub flip including bits of ‘Dancing Tight’! . . . Alan Coulthard no less was responsible for the brilliant Dayton remix, due commercially this week and indeed Lefturno’s remix, plus Crusaders/Joe Sample/Wilton Felder medley on the Crusaders imminent new B-side (what a busy little megamixer he is!) . . . Froggy has strung together a medley of Jeffrey Osborne oldies for the flip of his UK remix of ‘Plane Love’, but as I personally love the long intro of the beefier US remix and its powerful dub flip I’ll be sticking with my import . . . Miquel Brown confesses that the pacemaker keeping her heart ticking is tuned with a magnet to the right BPM — not 129, I hope! . . . Skyline Radio’s Saturday Hi-NRG show now uses the Record Mirror chart as Radio One let Record Shack’s pluggers know that there was disapproval of the shop/label’s sponsorship of the original format . . . Skyline’s Kent-based soul sister Radio Atlantis, soon to go seven days a week, needs presenters and in particular a good mixing DJ — send demo tapes to Chris Ryder at 3 Horsley Drive, New Addington, Croydon CR0 0QW . . . JFM 102.8FM as suspected is only every afternoon/evening, and all day weekends . . . Carl Kingston has forsaken a life on the ocean wave for job nearer home, on BBC Radio Humberside, starting week nights 6-7pm early April, and is also at Hull’s Bali Hai Fridays mainly . . . Lee Taylor, sharing Hi-NRG Mondays at London’s Hippodrome with Colin Holsgrove, is still after fair haired mixing showmen for prestige foreign work on 01-385 4345 . . . London’s newly voted fave gay DJ, Norman Scott so impressed ’em at Busby’s in Charing Cross Road that he’s doing the oldies night there every Wednesday now . . . Friday (16) Capital’s soul seller Peter Young plays his ’60s oldies again at Chadwell Heath’s Regency Suite (don’t shout in his ear, OK?!), while Eddie Gee, Steve Edwards & Ranking Jonathan dub ‘n funk Loughborough University campus’ Edward Herbert Building in the Charnwood Room (60p including wine!), the same venue as Eddie Gee’s afro night next Wednesday (21) . . . Saturday (17) Chris Kaye funks ‘n reggaes Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall (his agent for bookings is on 0892-46014), while Dave Rawlings looks for ‘Miss Wonderful Wiggle’ at Basingstoke Martine’s . . . Sunday (18) Steve Dennis “anchors” the Birmingham Powerhouse alldayer . . . One Blood have the strong catchy ‘Get In Touch With Me‘ 92bpm soul-reggae jogger on Ensign promo ahead of release . . . Damaris’ UK 12in B-side as well as the instrumental has the dead slow ‘Hooray For Love’ from her lovely but down-tempo Dionne Warwick-like import LP — other import albums with slowies being the best tracks are by D Train (only the c.120bpm ‘I’ll Do Anything‘ being brightly typical), Tyrone Brunson, and the Roger-produced The Human Body . . . US based Evan Rovers turns out to be Italian, yet was briefly with Dayton, sang lead on Heatwave’s most recent UK tour, and called himself Otis Liggett when covering ‘Every Breath You Take’! . . . ‘Lou Grant’ is back, while Channel 4 have finally seen the light and are about to re-screen the incomparable ‘Hill Street Blues’ from episode one! . . . Boy George and Helen Terry’s new video togs were designed by Capital DJ John Sachs’ mum (his dad’s most famous role was in ‘Fawlty Towers’) — I’ve heard of the Emmanuelles, but Mrs Manuel??? . . . I and I say Rodigan the conqueror! . . . Sunday’s Hippodrome high jinks kept me from my typewriter, so no time for more gossip . . . STAY FRESH!


LAST SUNDAY saw Steve Dennis bring his DJ Convention south to join the Disco Mix Club’s first anniversary celebration in a double boomer bash at Peter Stringfellow’s Hippodrome in the heart of London . . . and of course the venue was the big attraction for many of the 1000 who attended. Over-dark for much of the time, so you couldn’t see who in fact was there, the Hippodrome came into its own when the fantastic lazer and lights were demonstrated. This was what they wanted! Other than that there were few blindingly brilliant individual moments during the event but the whole thing added up to a jolly nice day out, most useful as always for meeting or re-meeting the faces behind the names that many of us know so well. Of the mixing demonstrations, Sweden’s Sanny Xenokottas amazed everyone by looking for the perfect beat using scratching and especially a digital delay box of electronic tricks, culminated in ‘The Message’ played at 45rpm instead of 33 1/3rpm (it worked!) and a sudden chop into Slade’s slow ‘My Oh My’. Brilliant. Street credibility did materialise as well, thank goodness, as Whodini were a late addition to the bill, and, although the decks were too bouncily sprung for flawless scratching, Grandmaster D demonstrated his cutting technique not only one-handed but with his mouth on the record too! This hopefully shook up a few jocks! The actual disc jockey competition was disappointingly patchy (as a judge I can repeat that some contestants were scoring straight noughts from many on the panel), being won by Mick McGinley who must be a wow at wedding gigs in South Yorkshire, while the questions set by Phil Swearn & Patrick Isherwood for the Pop Quiz were gratifyingly tough (Radio’s Paul Gambaccini, Stuart Coleman & Janice Long won). Of the one forum I caught, outstanding speakers were Capital’s Tony Hale (I’m not crawling!) and the very witty Tony Blackburn, who everyone agreed would make a great after-dinner speaker. Professionally run by Steve Dennis and the DMC’s Tony Prince for professional people (the comparatively high £15 entrance kept out the cowboys, and included an incredibly good buffet feed!), this show wasn’t without its minor hiccups, yet has to have been the best of its type certainly ever held in this country, if not the world. Yes, a nice day out!


KENNY G: ‘Hi, How Ya Doin’ (LP ‘G Force’ Arista 206 168)
Tootin’ ‘n flutin’ Kenny Gorelick has been huge here for ages with this ultra catchy acappella-introed Barry Johnson-sung jiggly 113bpm shuffler, which like the rest of the set is driven by synthesised rhythms influenced by executive producer Kashif, the only other less good vocal being the 115bpm ‘Do Me Right‘ while the 0-117½bpm ‘I’ve Been Missin’ You‘, 106bpm ‘Help Yourself To My Love‘, 107bpm ‘Tribeca‘, 107bpm title track and 116bpm ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ jazz-funk instrumentals are all proven as hot to trot.

DENNIS EDWARDS featuring Siedah Garrett: ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ (Gordy TMGT 1334)
Extended for UK 12in (so now the intro’s useful “drum-tapping” mixing cue comes twice), this incredibly soulful 95bpm semi-smooch slow grinding groove has been a monster ever since the gruff voiced ex-Temptation’s solo LP arrived on import, from which evidently the smoothly thrumming unemphatic 115bpm ‘I Thought I Could Handle It‘ is flip.

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ‘You’re The One For Me/Daybreak/AM’ (Total Control Records TOCO 1, via 01-724 1559)
Recorded in his front room (with 2 year-old niece burbling at beginning and end!) by First Light’s now solo keyboardist for the label he and old school chum London DJ Steve Walsh have jointly started, this excellent 0-117-0bpm medley of D Train’s oldie with Paul’s own two best First Light tunes has literally exploded overnight selling all the initial pressing. Elf-like Kevin Henry sings ‘n scats a bit, while using two copies for terrific effect the instrumental flip can be synched to produce an amazing phase! Continue reading “March 17, 1984: Kenny G, Dennis Edwards, Paul Hardcastle, Cloud One, Bobby Womack”

March 10, 1984: Cameo, J. Blackfoot, Chi-lites, Matsubara, Dezign


RECORD MIRROR’S recent reader survey reveals the fantastic fact that 16 per cent are DJs — people have always assumed that many of the paper’s sales ware due to DJs but the actual statistic is amazingly high (on current sales there are probably more jocks buying RM than anyone buying other specialist black papers), which maybe all those funny little record companies who don’t get their records to me would do well to note! . . . I’ve decided to drop the unnecessary qualification “12in” from reviews and general editorial mentions when no clarification is needed, instead emphasizing just 7in and LP configurations, as let’s face it for many years everything has been in 12in . . . Disco Mix Club’s DJ convention/birthday party at London’s Hippodrome this Sunday between 6 and 7.30pm features mixing demonstrations by Alan Coulthard, Peat Romer, Les Adams, Sweden’s Sanny Xenokottas, Ian Levine & Les Cokell live (Greg Wilson on tape?), but — good though doubtless these are — there are no Americans and not even the Mastermind Roadshow to lend street credibility . . . Alan Coulthard is back on form with all three current DMC megamixes (Thompson Twins medley/Hi-NRG/pop floorfillers), the relative simplicity of which must help at floor level . . . Kev Roberts is adding Hi-NRG jox to the Electricity label’s mailing list at High Energy Records, 62 Rowley Street, Stafford . . . Carrere are putting out the much-sought Front Page ‘Love Insurance‘ (Sharon Redd was uncredited singer), and Fantastique ‘Mama Told Me‘ . . . Lefturno is indeed now finally in a new 114bpm UK remix, on promo at least, restructured with chunks of instrumental making it different— but an improvement, or necessary? . . . Dennis Edwards ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ is due next week in extended new form on 12in here (already promoed) — it’s a perfect synch out of David Joseph ‘Joys Of Life’ as many have already discovered . . . Greyhound picked up Kerr, Island landed Malcolm X and the Warp 9 material, Malaco are releasing Main Line’s “Rockwell/Jackson” remake medley, while various PRT labels have Zena Dejonay, Inner Life (remix), Vicki Sue Robinson . . . Mimi’s Boys Town hit is being beefed up for a “totally intensified” version to replace exhausted current stock . . . Madonna’s US newie is the Jellybean remixed/revamped ‘Borderline’, but here we get a re-release of the less appealing 0-117bpm ‘Lucky Star’ (Sire W 9522T), about which there has been talk of speeding it up to make it brighter on subsequent pressings . . . Rockwell is America’s top Black single while Michael Jackson alone returns (replacing Lionel Richie at last) as top Black LP, and Tina Turner ‘Let’s Stay Together’ is top Dance/Disco hit . . . ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic — you may remember me raving about his Queen send-up ‘Another One Rides The Bus‘ — has shot into the US charts with a Michael Jackson poking ‘Eat it‘ . . . Disco Dave Singleton (Newton-Le-Willows 6018), whose third big screen video venture residency is on Thurs-Sat at Wigan’s Balcony Inn, has three video disco units for sale at £1,000 each (hang on, maybe he’s stopped gigging, then?!) . . . Alan James Jewell, labouring away under appalling conditions at the Hollywood Boulevard in Hong Kong’s Hotel Regal Meridien, has to make do with the club’s own video studio in which to segue his own mixed video compilations every week — yeah, life’s tough in the colonies! . . . London’s JFM radio is reputedly back on 102.8FM seven days/24 hours, Richard Searling’s no-electro/hard funk Soul Sauce show has moved to 3-5pm Sunday on Preston’s Red Rose 301 Radio, while Friday evening 8-10pm on Radio London has Malcolm Laycock joined near the end by Gary James for hilarious bitchy boys talk — quite an ear opener when I caught it last week! . . . Skyline Radio is of course on 103.6FM, Paula Moore ‘Valparaiso’ is c.117-118bpm, Jeffrey Daniel ‘AC/DC’ is in 7/8ths time . . . Howard Hewett has now been joined in the new Shalamar line-up by Prince-look-alike heavy metal guitarist Mickey Free, special talent contest winner Delisa Davis, and (on stage only) break dancer Flip . . . ‘DC Cab’, a ‘Car Wash’ follow-up by the same writer/director Joel Schumacher, is in cinemas here as ‘Street Fleet’ . . . Capital Radio’s John Sachs is compere at heat 2 of Mayfair Gullivers ‘Miss Gullivers’ Thursday (8) while colleague Phil Allen funks Dartford Flicks Friday (9), Skyline’s Chris Ryder funking Tottenham Elton’s every Fri (star PAs)/Sat . . . Saturday (10) Paul Schofield & Simon Walsh have their “second Saturday every month” jazz-funk oldies night at Bradford’s Time & Place, while Helen Shapiro is at Stratford E15’s Pigeons with the boys . . . Norman Scott is back approx once a month on Wednesdays at London Busby’s Wednesday pop oldies night (entrance and all drinks 50p) . . . Andy Bianchi Saturday afternoons 1-5pm at Poole’s Mariner’s Wharf is now “holding Under 18s” (lucky devil, can I watch?!) . . . Dave Thomas souls Shrewsbury’s Oak Hotel Sundays, only 50p and hot toons . . . Colin Curtis and harbourmaster John Grant reunite appropriately at Legends in Manchester on Monday (12) for a special one-off “Rafters revival” . . . Pete ‘Pedro’ Tong joins Nicky Holloway the same night at Bermondsey Dockhead’s no less legendary Swan & Sugarloaf, while weekly Mondays Dave Rawlings lets ladies in free before 11pm at Kensington’s The Park (that old ploy!) . . . Theo Loyla has returned on Tuesdays to his old stomping ground, the Bridge Country Club near Canterbury in Bridge (my own childhood area) . . . I did one of my mobile gigs Saturday night, a 21st, as usual ending after seven hours continuous music at 6.15am in broad daylight, with the guests that were left using the marquee roof above my head as a toboggan run! . . . Derek Lawrence (Soho Bananas Mon/Chertsey Galleon Sun/Burnham Beeches Anne Boleyn Fri/Staines Angel Sat) finally identified that mystery ‘IOU’ mastermix as on the Dutch ‘High Fashion Music 3’ LP . . . STAY FRESH!


CAMEO: ‘She’s Strange’ (LP ‘She’s Strange’ Dutch Casablanca 814984-1)
Selling on US 7in for several weeks but now in full length glory, this terrific subtle sinuous slow 109bpm soul swayer swaps lead vocal styles as the guys gently enthuse about one foxy chick over a delicately jittery rhythm containing simple little twiddles and chords — however hang on, as the set’s other goodie, the jogging 98¼bpm ‘Groove With You‘, will be joining it here on 12in in a fortnight (white labels are already about). Perhaps not coincidentally, Fatback’s ‘Is This The Future?’ synchs sensationally!

J. BLACKFOOT: ‘Taxi’ (Allegiance/Sound Town ALES 122)
Huge Stateside, where already there’s an answering Anne LeSear ‘Take Him Back (Taxi)‘ on HCRC, the Memphis-made 66bpm smooch smash sets the scene with ex-Soul Children leader John ‘Blackfoot’ Colbert hailing a taxi to take him to the other side of town, and us on a soul-drenched nostalgia ride along with him (old style swinging message 121bpm ‘Where Is Love‘/autobiographical bluesy 70bpm ‘Can You Hang‘ flip). Dynamite.

THE CHI-LITES: ‘Stop What You’re Doin’ (US Private I Records 4Z9 04962)
Another year, another label, another soul goodie from Eugene Record (written by various Bayyans/Harrises), an uptempo licketty spit 121bpm smacker with the guys usual sharp vocalese snappin’ back at ya, the breezy beat slotting it in with Luther Vandross currently (inst flip). Continue reading “March 10, 1984: Cameo, J. Blackfoot, Chi-lites, Matsubara, Dezign”

March 3, 1984: Phil Fearon & Galaxy, Ronnie McNeir Experience, Funkmasters, Tout Sweet, West Phillips


CBS RECORDS’ club promotion department has been suspended, Steve Ripley moving up to join Loraine Trent in the marketing, so (for a while anyway) don’t expect anything in the mail . . . I wonder whether CBS will suddenly find March releases (by Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Shalamar, Patti LaBelle, The Jacksons) selling better than usual as all the DJs buy them? — this has been Morgan Khan’s experience since stopping his Streetwave mailing list . . . Total Experience (home of the Gap Band) is another label moving here to RCA . . . MCA picked up Charles Earland (too late?), while surprisingly Malcolm X is up for grabs here . . . Lionel Richie follows with ‘Hello’ flipped on 12in by the instrumentals of ‘All Night Long’ and ‘Running With The Night’ . . . Jive, desperate to sell anything by Whodini, now have a ‘5-Track EP‘ 12in (JIVE T61) of predictable stuff . . . The Academy is on RCA, not Virgin (as misinformed by Rush Release) . . . George Kranz has been ruined by yet another UK-only remix, but Cyndi Lauper in a marathon scratch version remixed by Arthur Baker could be interesting on imminent import 12in . . . Gary Crowley is running his own GLOBE & Whiz Kid-inspired megamix competition on his Saturday evening Magic Box show — send cassettes (sae for return) to him at Capital Radio, PO Box 194, London NW1 3DR . . . Mastermind have their own far superior remix of Shannon ‘Let The Music Play’ with barking cut in on the beat (off Man Parrish?), and on Radio Invicta last Wednesday night Herbie kicked off the hip hop mixes early, just after midnight, while later Max (hi to you too!) played an incredible long tape of the whole roadshow in impressive scratching live gig action, plus some solo mixes of his own — the best Dave could manage were some off-air KISS-fm remix medleys, but all are worth Londoners staying awake midnight-6am Thursdays (Friday morning Trevor Jay OD’s on slow deep soul), in clear mono 103.5FM (though you may need to switch your AFC to “off”) . . . Skyline’s Friday breakfast jock is Oscar J. Jennings, who presumably forgot his real name en route from St Martin’s Lane? . . . Peter Anthony (London Stringfellows), a regular breakfast companion at Mayfair’s Rockafellas, joined me in commiserating with Jeffrey Daniel over his somewhat inappropriate solo debut the 50½bpm ‘AC/DC‘ from his starring role (on roller skates) in the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Richard Stilgoe musical ‘Starlight Express’ — neither disco nor particularly pop, it’s in 7ths time but may be a brave new move . . . Miquel Brown on the Tube’s Hi-NRG special may not have sparkled, but she’d just had a pacemaker fitted to her heart following her car crash, and was straight our of hospital . . . British Airways cabin crew strike stopped Ian Levine reaching Newcastle for the broadcast — his flawlessly exciting mixes on ‘Street Sounds Hi-Energy‘, and those of Mastermind on ‘Street Sounds Crucial Electro‘, put other better ballyhooed efforts in the shade — and point up the stupidity of trying to mix incompatible material purely as a marketing ploy . . . Greg Wilson evidently under-ran his given timing on ‘Dance Mix — Dance Hits III‘, so someone else just tacked on the last track each side . . . ‘Street Sounds Edition 8‘ has Kenny G ‘Hi’ and Luther Vandross ‘I Wanted Your Love’, amongst others, already! . . . Thursday (1) Break Machine & Second Image join John ‘Nick’ Osborne at Rayleigh’s Pink Toothbrush (seriously?), Edwin Starr stars at Haringey Bolts Motown night Cleveland Anderson funks Kensington Cromwell Road’s Le Club Cabana weekly (where there’s lotsa girls but few guys — presumably they’re all in Haringey!) and Steel City G funks from James Brown thru Paz to Afrika Bambaataa weekly at Sheffield Mona Lisa’s The Hothouse . . . Gary Crowley & Steve ‘200 MPH’ Lewis do Southgate Pink Elephant on Fridays now with star PAs — this week Animal Nightlife & The Questions (get there early) . . . Chris Hill is this Friday’s guest at Dartford Flicks, where young Dave Williams is the Tuesday Teen Scene’s new host . . . New Blackbeat’s Steve Guarnori & Tony Stevens start a weekly 60s/70s soul afficionados night at Peterborough city centre’s Grapevine pub this Saturday (3), when Chris Sharpe & Clive Anthony anticipate mucho breaking at Drayton (Derby) Tudor Court’s 1984 ‘Richard’ Disco Dancing final, Kev Ashman funks an MCA-promoting “white” night (£1 discount if you wear white) at Charing King Arthur’s Court, Trevor ‘Redeye’ Hughes starts at Telford’s revamped (and re-named?) Town House . . . Mastermind Roadshow are in full scratching force at Birmingham Dale End’s Hummingbird alldayer on Sunday (4), along with Paz live and a break dancing exhibition by national crews . . . Chadwell Heath’s Regency Suite becomes the hip hopping Dodge Club with Spence, Deblus, Ralph & Debbie funking with fluorescent break dancers every Saturday, which is when Kev Hill now souls Harlow’s Whispers (revamped ex-Tiffanys) despite the loss of his current vinyl and an old Cortina Ghia RPK 882R . . . Soho Gossips on Tuesdays becomes the Krush Groove with Bristol’s Wild Bunch Cuts hip hopping their street scene thing . . . Franklin Sinclair, now a fully qualified partner in a solicitors firm, nevertheless funks Fri/Sat at Radcliffe (Bury) Bennies! . . . Darren Fogel (who evidently missed earlier mentions) still jazz-funks Kensington’s Thackerays wine bar Fri/Sat (pub hours free), and does Under-18s Sunday at Soho Bananas . . . Ernie Priestman & Steve Naylor at Egremont’s Old Hall, handy for Windscale and not far off the route to Scotland, are after bands for PAs or gigs (fully lit stage) on 0946-820307 — Chris Hill & I look like heading there soon . . . Brian Mason (01-441 1322) is selling his trusty old 220 watt disco and lightshow . . . Greek Adam Cheolakakis from Salonica don’t speaka de Eenglish very good but is hot enough at mixing to impress the DMC’s Tony Prince and would love a London gig — better write, rather than call to 474 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, Wandsworth SW18 . . . The Malemen’s LP sleeve features a pile of fan mail — but whose, as it’s obviously not theirs? . . . Omni for two albums running have given special thanks to West Phillips . . . if you funk all night with scratch fever — STAY FRESH!


PHIL FEARON & GALAXY: ‘What Do I Do’ (Ensign 12ENY 510)
Another frothily infectious pop-aimed bouncy 113½bpm 12in swinger with a kicking backbeat (M&M mixed), Phil’s most commercial since ‘Dancing Tight’ (inst flip). To be ludicrously accurate for The Tube to quote, it’s actually 113 3/5bpm, and sounds even brighter when speeded up!

THE RONNIE McNEIR EXPERIENCE: ‘Come Be With Me’ (US Capitol MLP-15015)
On a 4-track “mini LP”, this Rene & Angela-penned superb if specialist soul stormer is a subtly pushing 104½bpm jogger full of jiggly undertow and sinuous singing, the more sombrely jolting 101½bpm ‘Keep Giving Me Love‘, punchily bumping 108bpm ‘Light My Fire‘ (new song) and lovely deep slow 41bpm ‘Is This What Happens To A Love?’ adding to the excellent value. Hot!

THE FUNKMASTERS: ‘Have You Got The Time’ (Master-Funk MF 008)
Less universally appealing than ‘It’s Over’ but good ‘n beefy for the hard core floor, the Tony Williams-produced bumpily tugging 12in chugger has nice vibes and Benson-style scat, halfway on the 113½bpm vocal or from near the start of the more powerfully opened out 0-114bpm Disco Mix. Continue reading “March 3, 1984: Phil Fearon & Galaxy, Ronnie McNeir Experience, Funkmasters, Tout Sweet, West Phillips”