September 29, 1984: JFM Radio’s “funk cruise” to Holland, Brass Construction, Glenn Jones, Krystol, Bar-Kays


BOBBY WOMACK & Company at Hammersmith Odeon last Saturday would have been one of the best, most comfortable, soul shows ever seen in Britain even had Stevie Wonder not stepped on stage out of the audience! Alltrinna Grayson, one of Bobby’s three backing girls (the band were ten strong), practically stole the show with her goosebumps-inducing voice when she soloed and duetted —obvious comparisons being drawn with Jennifer Holliday although for me she was more like the one occasion I saw the late Linda Jones — while Bobby paced everything superbly with much sly wit, like slipping briefly into a Jimmy Reed blues riff during the harmonica solo of ‘Surprise Surprise’! … Fonda Rae should finally be in the shops on Streetwave, and is proving moronically catchy enough now to be massive … Yasuku Agawa’s Japanese LP is hard to find, the potentially hot c99bpm ‘LA Nights‘ being a re-worded revival of Light Of The World’s ‘London Town’ … Real Thing return in a couple of weeks with the soulfully credible c103bpm ‘We Got Love‘ … Music Week celebrated their 25th anniversary with a star-studded party at Abbey Road Studios last Friday, for which I dug out all the hits from August 1959 and March 10th 1960 (their first chart) plus other oldies for the disco — the hottest newie I used was Bronski Beat ‘Why?‘ which got screams and people rushing to see what it was! … The Record Retailer Vol 1 No 1, which is how Music Week began, was reprinted specially, and interestingly listed as a July/August 1959 release Quincy Jones & His Orchestra ‘Syncopated Clock‘ (Mercury EP) … Steve Washington’s remix should be 103(intro)-105-106bpm (very significantly speeding up for mixers), Stevie Wonder ‘Don t Drive Drunk’ 125bpm and ‘It’s More Than You’ 35/70bpm, Dianne Reeves ‘Sneaky’ 103bpm … Ray Parker Jr ‘Ghostbusters’ 12in is now on a great picture disc with luminous ghost (try mixing ‘Relax’ out of it!) … Simon Harris has joined forces with Froggy, the M ‘Pop Muzik’ mix on DMC actually being an unbilled Froggy Production Team effort created in his newly built remix/editing studio, the duo’s next job being a re-edit of Jeffrey Osborne’s forthcoming ‘Don’t Stop’ … Warren Aylward (Portsmouth) does a weekly mixing spot on “fast-talkin’” Franklin Hughes’ Sat 6-9pm Radio Victory ‘Funkadelic’ disco show … Hereward Radio’s soul jock Steve Allen, whose ‘Street Beat’ Sat 6-8pm show will next month be transmitted from Northampton on 102.8FM/1557MW as well as from Peterborough on 95.7FM/1332MW, appears at Kings Lynn’s Precinct Club next Wednesday (3) and rightly says “Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields ‘Jazzy Lady‘ always was THE track on the LP!” … DMC’s Les Adams mixes 8.30-10pm during experimental Monday night transmissions by Radio Contact 102.9FM … Horizon 102.55FM’s Chris Stewart, who tickled my ears with some really tasty mixes last Wednesday lunchtime, hints “don’t believe all we say” and promises another 20 feet of transmitter aerial —reception’s been so patchy it wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t hit by lightning on Monday afternoon … JFM 103.3FM’s new “TV turn-off” time late night jock Lee Doyle, a familiar looking punter from way back, should gain lots of listeners when Horizon irritatingly shut down for a while at 1am … Tim Smith sounds slick Tues 4.30-7pm/Sun 11pm-1am on JFM, while biggies on Motown/’70s-slanted Thursdays at Guildford Cinderellas Rockafellas are Karen Young ‘Hot Shot‘ and Kool & The Gang ‘Open Sesame‘ … Peter Young is now in residence at Mercury Radio and worried that pluggers may not know how to send product to him there, c/o Radio Mercury, Broadfield House, Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9BJ … Geoff Dorsett, veteran DJ currently on South Shropshire’s Sunshine Radio 299MW and each summer on Central Florida’s Q-102, calls on all club jocks to boycott product on labels who no longer service mailing list promos, just to show ’em who’s got the power —which is all very well, but (naming no names) those labels’ marketing departments even with DJ support couldn’t break disco material, which may be exactly why they cut back! … Norma Lewis stars at Edinburgh Fire Island’s first allniter Sat (29) … Tony Jenkins confides the recent Soul On Sound alldayer at Epping Forest Country Club, by all accounts a great success with 3,000 there, made him more money than anything else he’s ever done — Soul On Sound now moves to Scotland this Sunday (30) for a 3pm-3am alldayer at Glasgow Custom House Quay’s Panama Jax with jocks from around the UK as well as locals (oh, and the old Funktion moveable venue idea could be due back in London!) … Gary Olds has “bak to skool” fun at Dalton Piercy Slix Friday (28), when Darryl Hayden hits Chester College, and Owen Washington (with all new records at last!) funks Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush — Owen’s still Thurs/Sun at Neasden Level 1, and now Sat at the Lyceum in London … CBS one time disco plugger Steve Ripley’s dad pilots the Capital Flying Eye! … hey, hey, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

JFM RADIO’S ‘funk cruise’ to Holland last week was, for me, exhausting but well worth while. Anticipation of the early 6.30am start by bus from Victoria to Sheerness meant I only managed one hour’s sleep, but there was so much to do once aboard the luxuriously equipped Olau Hollandia that I kept going regardless, carrying bags for Haywoode and her chum (ex-Toto Coelo) Anita Mahadervan, queueing for breakfast with Jimmy Ruffin, eating it with Paul Hardcastle (who’s written some electro for the Beach Boys!), sunbathing with Pzazz plugger Orin Cozier and Joanne Hudson, drinking lunch with Island’s Adrian Sykes & Julian Palmer and PRT’s Robert Blenman. By then the music had started in the ship’s regular disco, its resident DJ Tom Felton (of Leysdown Stage 3 fame) having to mend the linear-tracking decks before any of Clive Richardson’s great ’60s oldies would play properly on 7in. I spent the afternoon with my binoculars watching sunny Belgium and Holland glide by, looking right inland at all the windmills and villages, before briefly disembarking at Vlissingen (also known as Flushing), where rather than join the common herd in a dreadful disco pub that could have been anywhere, the more adventurous Martin John, Sandra Goy, Silhouette plugger Bryan O’Connor and Fiona Waterman (that was her on the right in the recent Miss Wet T-Shirt photo — the GOOD looking one, cor!) joined me dining on fried eel. Orin and Joanne had missed the bus, so back on board in the excellent restaurant I joined them for a starter and pud, Orin much amused by the Dutch for “whipped cream” being “slagroom”! Although there were several hundred in our party (mainly it seemed from South and East London), the car deck which became the main disco was always very underpopulated, chief jock Steve Walsh winding up the crowd with chants of ‘Lon-don” and “you what?” whenever he wasn’t doing a Tony Blackburn routine. Haywoode PA-ed, in the dark until I adjusted some lighting onto the poor girl, Precinct impressively carried on singing even when the volume was whipped out under them, Loose Ends had some neat choreography, while I missed (but talked to) Jaki Graham, Cool Notes, Total Contrast and of course Jimmy Ruffin. The talent was certainly there, so maybe the comfy cabins were too big an alternative attraction once it was night? Finally just as I’d managed to get a couple of hours’ much needed sleep, JFM jock Steve Jackson and friends started roistering outside my cabin door, and when at last they’d shut up the loudspeakers started announcing breakfast being served, thus rendering any further sleep impossible! As a day-and-night’s outing to foreign places amidst good company it was great fun — hopefully like me the punters were there less for the “funk” than for the “cruise”. Thanks, JFM!


BRASS CONSTRUCTION ‘International’ (Capitol 12CL 341)
Brilliantly remixed by M&M&M (Morales, Munzibai & Muller!), their friskily jiggling 120½bpm LP hit now has Lionel-like appeal with an afro-caribbean acappella-ish intro before hitting a much more instrumental and really infectious ‘Movin’’-style groove — potentially their biggest hit here ever! — on 3-track 12in flipped by a similarly exclusive UK-only 121-122-0bpm remix of ‘I Do Love You‘, and the 0-118bpm dub mix of ‘Partyline’. Due commercially October 8th.

GLENN JONES: ‘Finesse’ LP (US RCA NFL1-8036)
Rightly selling fast, an exceptionally consistent modern soul set in sorta more mellow Kashif/Lillo-like style loaded with train-spotter credits to ensure top notch quality (if few surprises), six cuts — count ’em! — being excellent sinuous dancers, the 112bpm title track, 109bpm ‘Meet Me Half Way There‘, 108½bpm ‘You’re The Only One I Love‘, 98bpm ‘Everlasting Love‘, 117bpm ‘It Hurts Too Much‘ and 12in issued 84bpm ‘Show Me‘.

KRYSTOL: ‘After The Dance Is Through’ (US Epic 49-05084)
Broken wide open in London by repeated radio plays, this Leon Sylvers III co-prod excellent chix sung jittery rolling remorseless 106⅓bpm deliberately paced hot tempo chugger (inst flip) really worms its way upside your head — you’ve been warned! Continue reading “September 29, 1984: JFM Radio’s “funk cruise” to Holland, Brass Construction, Glenn Jones, Krystol, Bar-Kays”

September 22, 1984: “The UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco”, Stevie Wonder, Steve Washington, Gwen Pressley & Portable Patrol, Billy Ocean, Out


DONNA SUMMER seems unlikely ever to have another Hi-NRG hit after a US TV chat show appearance during which, talking about her Born-Again Christianity, she reportedly said “Homosexuals have brought AIDS upon themselves as a divine retribution from God for their sinful ways” — the instantaneous result is that outraged gay discos (her earliest supporters) have stopped playing her, and record stores are putting out rubbish skips with signs saying “Dump your broken Donna Summer disks here!” (I wonder what’s her opinion of the fire at York Minster?) … Radio London’s first Thursday Soul Night Out at Kilburn’s National Club had a surprise special guest, Stevie Wonder no less, who sang live to the 12in flip — the reason he now puts instrumental versions on his B-sides is “So if by some chance you see me somewhere and I come over your house and you have a little record player and we can get together for moment, I can sing to you” … aah! … Motown however have in typical incredibly irritating manner serviced DJs with double A-side white labels, so Stevie had better steer clear of mailing list clubs … Stevie and Junior are working on some songs together, and it was the latter’s manager Keith Harris who was behind Radio London’s windfall (he used to be Stevie’s personal assistant) — incidentally, the obviously chuffed Tony Blackburn has been insufferable ever since! … UK 12in prices have gone up to around £3, following the industry’s discovery that the buoyant 12in market now accounts for nearly a third of all singles sales —dealers seem upset at this attempt to milk and probably spoil the market. but the fact remains every 12in pressed uses the same pressing facility as a more profitable LP … Randy Muller finally remixed Brass Construction ‘International‘ for UK release soon … Island picked up Gayle Adams, and have Eugene Wilde anyway (through the Simplicious connection) … Rod Temperton co-produced the now January scheduled LP by Lionel Richie, whose ten to fifteen minute Olympics finale ‘All Night Long’ was seen in full by viewers in Eire (says Gerard Ryan of County Cork) — grrr! … Jellybean’s 5-track mini-LP will be out here early October, his ‘The Mexican‘ meanwhile topping US Dance/Disco … Diamond Time are launching a monthly video compilation for clubs, mixing assorted hot music with funny short links (like Ronald Reagan failing to do up his flies!) — Bruce Higham on 01-586 7056 is building the £37.50 per month subscription list, and is also ever on the lookout for fresh material … George Hargreaves, not unconnected with the Billy Ocean reissue, is compiling a club video mailing list at In Store Music, 3 Crownstone Court, Crownstone Road, London SW2 1LS .. Chris Kay (Tunbridge Wells) warns with experience that “wet T-shirt”-type risqué competitions can cause problems if winners later prove to have been under-age, and local newspaper publicity can quickly sour … Dru Baker hosts a Dance Yer Ass Off disco oldies Friday (21) at Burnham (-on-Crouch) Country Club Scandals, Capital’s Disco John Leech fills in for Kev Hill at Harlow Whispers Sat (22) party night … Paul Roberts Hi-fi hold possibly the UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco at Weston-Super-Mare’s hi-tech Piranha’s Tues (25), using two Philips CD 101 players and £4,000 worth of Bose amplification (free admission before 10.30pm) … Island’s Julian Palmer joins (brother of Mike) Brian Gardner at Soho’s Wag Club Wed (26) for “very mixed music” with a Cool Notes PA … Horizon Radio 102.55FM moved studios north of the river to Victoria, and reception has suffered since … Miami’s latin-soul station Super-Q has suddenly started playing lots of UK Hi-NRG imports … Earls Court Copacabana DJ/Hi-NRG producer Chris Lucas now manages the Record Shack shop —incidentally, Record Shack should realize their top act suffers from severe identity confusion, nearly every jock writing their name as “Break Dance” instead of Break Machine … I hope anyone watching last week ITV’s George Melly-introduced history of British traditional jazz, ‘Whatever Happened To Bill Brunskill?’, was struck by the remarkable parallels with the soul-jazz-funk scene — doubtless in years to come we’ll be seeing old films of Caister on learned TV programmes … I’m off on the JFM funk cruise to Holland — let’s hope it isn’t “rrrrough!” … CRY GOD FOR HARRY!

MASTER MIXERS Double Dee & Steinski (the latter, a/k/a Steve, centre) snapped talking razor blades and quick cuts with Disco Mix Club’s Tony Prince (right), at the New Music Seminar in New York. The duo’s prize-winning ‘The Payoff Mix’ of G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid’s ‘Play That Beat Mr DJ’ is being revamped to meet copyright requirements for release here on Tommy Boy/Island, while the original, flipped by their ‘Lesson Two‘ James Brown mix, on their own privately circulated Double Dee & Steinski Mastermixes 12in is one of hip hop’s most highly prized collector’s items … rare on vinyl, if much dubbed off radio! (photo: Mark Clark)


STEVIE WONDER: ‘Love Light In Flight’ (LP ‘The Woman In Red’ Motown HH72285)
The Wonder-produced soundtrack’s hottest and classiest dancer is this gently pulsating 108⅓-0bpm jogger, while the (abruptly ending and seguing) 118bpm movie title track is one of Stevie’s jerkily lurching leapers, ‘Don’t Drive Drunk‘ a frantically rattling 1225bpm [sic] skitterer and ‘It’s More Than You‘ an instrumental 325/70bpm [sic] doodle (by guitarist Ben Bridges). The set is actually shared with DIONNE WARWICK, who solos on the nostalgically Bacharach & David-ish 81½/40¾-0bpm ‘Moments Aren’t Moments‘, duetting the gentle 92/46-0bpm ‘Weakness‘ and 75-0bpm ‘It’s You‘. Also of course now on 12in too is the (0-)113bpm extended ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You‘ (TMGT 1349), which in honesty could have used that remix as the edit where his vocoder comes in instead of the cha-cha-cha is kinds tacky.

STEVE WASHINGTON: ‘Please Don’t Go’ (Streetwave MKHAN 27)
Streetwave sensibly follow Holland’s Rams Horn label in salvaging from the Aurra guy’s disappointing album (mainly sung by Sheila Washington) this excellent remix of its one decent track, an 103(intro)-103-106bpm sinuously rolling repetitive chix chanted hypnotic cool swayer overlaid by tootling trumpets, flipped by its less dense slower 101½ (intro)-103½-104½bpm LP Version and the mushily drifting Slave-ish 115-113(start)-116-115-116-115-117-116bpm ‘Like A Shot‘, with yowling guitar last part. Steve, do an exhausted BPM-er a favour, buy a Linndrum!

Slightly reminiscent of Stacy Lattisaw’s ‘Jump To The Beat’, this hot to trot noisily wailing jittery forceful smacker with brassy stabs and chanting girlie group breaks uses up much intense energy without actually ‘running’ rhythmically at all, in an 115bpm Club Mix and acappella-outroed 116bpm Long Club Mix. Continue reading “September 22, 1984: “The UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco”, Stevie Wonder, Steve Washington, Gwen Pressley & Portable Patrol, Billy Ocean, Out”

September 15, 1984: Paul Hardcastle, Jocelyn Brown, Intrigue, The Controllers, Champaign


US COPIES of Stevie Wonder’s soundtrack LP all seem to be pressed off-centre on side two and sound really drunken, the OK side one’s 6:17 version of ‘I Just Called To Say’ keeping on with a vocodered section right where you’d expect the final cha-cha-cha (doubtless this will be unleashed on 12in to keep him at number one!) … Chaka Khan’s UK 12in release of ‘I Feel For You’ has been delayed for a possible remix … Duran Duran’s overdubs are only on the 12in remix of Sister Sledge, the 7in being the same as 1979’s … Kleeer & The Cool Notes live at Hammersmith Odeon last week hit some snags, not least a bedazzled Haywoode falling off stage when a stand-in sound system “put her off-balance” (she does hop, skip and jump about a bit anyway!) — however the subsequent sympathy sales haven’t hurt her single, which was of course previously recorded by Talkback … Haywoode, Junior, Precinct & Shakatak guest this Thursday (13) at Kilburn’s National Club for the first weekly ‘Radio London Soul Night Out’ with Steve Welsh jocking, Tony Blackburn wallying (on air 11pm-midnight) — Tony’s also at Dartford Flicks Fri (14) while Froggy & Simon Harris have done a Sharon Redd megamix for him which is the best I’ve heard in a long time … Disco Mix Club’s September mixes are Simon Harris’s excellent cut-up confection based on M ‘Pop Muzik’ (the inspiration for ‘Ghostbusters’?), Alan Coulthard & Mark Clark’s melding of ‘War/Relax’ brilliantly overdubbed with World War ll actualities and much more, Alan’s solo megamixes being a bland Pointer Sisters, predictable Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis/Hawk Wolinski, and Howard Jones/Nik Kershaw … Mastermind have cleverly combined ‘Lollipop Luv/ Easier Said Than Done’ for future Bryan Loren release, while Mastermind Herbie’s remix of Grandmaster Melle Mel ‘White Lines’ will be out next month on the anniversary of the original’s UK release (I actually heard its first-ever New York radio play exactly a year ago!) … Newcleus ‘Jam On It‘ has been hanging around the middle of the US pop Hot 100 for nearly four months … Run-D.M.C. look like spearheading an autumn invasion of authentic New York hip hop stars … Washington DC-a-go-go’s DETT Records hopefully should be reissuing Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers’ 1978 US black smash ‘Bustin’ Loose‘, as a flip to a re-recording of Trouble Funk’s ‘Drop The Bomb‘ which was being planned a while back … US Elektra’s other back-to-back 12in reissues are Crown Heights Affair ‘Say A Prayer For Two (Remix)‘/Frontline Orchestra ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On Me‘, and Dee Dee Bridgewater ‘Bad For Me‘/Bruni Pagan ‘Fantasy‘ … speaking of Pagan, “which one of you bitches is my mother?”! … Polygram have a couple of timely albums, ‘The Essential Astrud Gilberto’ (Verve VRV 6), seventeen boss bossa’s, and ‘Jazz Club‘ (Club JABB 3) compiled by Leon Campadelli and cool jazz jock Paul Murphy in best sampler tradition … Brothers Ernie & Marvin Isley with Chris Jasper have teamed as a new splinter group, Isley, Jasper & Isley … NY disco/hip hop outfit Profile seem to be copying Tommy Boy in launching a separate heavy metal label … ‘Beat Street Volume 2‘ (US Atlantic 80158-1) has more from the film by Jazzy Jay, Juicy, Tina B, Treacherous Three, Jenny Burton, Rockers Revenge, Ralph Rolle, La La, while latest 12in release from the original LP is Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force + Shango ‘Frantic Situation‘ (US Tommy Boy TB 849) … Billy Ocean ‘Caribbean Queen‘ hit No 1 US Dance/Disco AND Black 45s, Midway and Circuit coming up fast in the Dance list too … Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields’ superior ‘Jazzy Lady‘, now evidently on 12in, has had a sudden deserved resurgence here —could it be something to do with Chris Hill saying on radio it’s his top hit at Canvey Goldmine? … Chris joins lan Reading at Southend Zero 6 Fri (14), Chris Dinnis souls Swindon Brunel Rooms Sat (15), Steve Walsh joins the usual alldayer crew at Birmingham Powerhouse Sun (16) … Monday (17) Nicky Holloway moves under the same management from Bermondsey’s now soulless Swan & Sugarloaf to new venue the nearby London Bridge Tooley Street Royal Oak, joined by Jeff Young with Pete Tong, Chris Brown and other regulars in subsequent weekly rotation … Jeff Young will be sitting in for Robbie Vincent on Radio London’s Saturday lunchtime soul show now for another month or more … JFM’s “funk cruise” to Holland aboard the Olau Hollandia Tues-Wed 18/19 next week is like a cross-channel alldayer/nighter with time ashore in Vlissingen (coaches from London, £30 a head, details 01-771 7377) — I might just go myself! … Mike Allen is indeed specifically a soul show on Capital Fri 10pm-1am/Sat 11pm-1am (Sun too from end of month), which with the inestimable Ram Jam David Rodigan’s reggae Sat 8-11pm means that from the time Greg Edwards starts at 5pm until Al Matthews’ excellent gospel ends at 7am, Capital’s Saturday night is totally black! … Sunday’s dawn transmission of the Rev Al Green’s July Royal Albert Hall gospel show proved that his famous stage trick of backing off from the microphone and getting soulfully tore up without amplification is as effective on radio as nodding! … Chiltern Radio’s soul stand-by Raymondo IS indeed THE Raymondo, Ray Edwards, your bog-eyed buddy and refugee from Bristol City — where his stint with Radio West so polished off his old “sorry ‘baht that” style I didn’t recognize him! … Graham Gold, staunch JFM champion (when he was on it), has suddenly started Wed 3-5pm on Horizon! … I didn’t see it on telly last Saturday, but in Sylvester Stallone’s 1981 film ‘Nighthawks’ the club DJ was actually Jellybean Benitez! … Lenny Henry’s hilarious send-up of the ‘Thriller’ video was brilliant — and although it looked absolutely right most have cost peanuts in comparison with Michael Jackson! … Vanity, who split from Vanity 6 because she didn’t want to do sexy scenes in Prince’s film has signed solo with Motown (home of arch-rivals Rick James and the Mary Jane Girls!) for whom her first Bill Wolfer-produced 126bpm Prince-ish single ‘Pretty Mess‘ is accompanied by — guess what? — a sexy video … Cherrelle’s video for ‘I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On’ features a break dancing King Kong, while Sheila E’s for ‘The Glamorous Life’ shows she’s a real fox! … B-biz-R are The Biz reduced from three to two, Austin Howard and Marcie Bee … Sam Harris, hitting Hi-NRG on Motown, is the pinup-able blond winner of a big US-televised ‘Star Search’ series which he won through 14 weekly appearances (shades of Berni Flint ?) … Lindsay Wesker has turned up at WEA handling UK black A&R, on the scout for new acts here – his first project is getting hot producer Derek Bramble to assemble a ‘The Dude’-type album using songs and singers gathered from around the world … Paradise, of ‘One Mind Two Hearts’ fame, are after a new lead vocalist with obviously great voice and stage presence — send demo cassette, photo, full details to Henry Semmence, Bullet Management, 90 Boston Place, London NW1 … Martin Prescott is offering special discounts to RECORD MIRROR readers carrying this week’s paper on all orders placed at Martin Sound & Light’s stand (no 10) at the PLASA ’84 exhibition — where doubtless East Anglian Productions will get a telling off from Rob Harknett for still not supplying jingles albums paid for at the BADEM show in 1981! … Graham Murray (Teeside), the chart for you is obviously Nightclub — so don’t deny the fast moving soul world its own accurate reflection in the specialist Disco chart (and when in London for PLASA, check the airwaves, import shops and black music clubs for confirmation!) … I think my mail deliveries are hiccupping again — if possible, please ‘bike product to my home address … LET’S BE CAREFUL.


PAUL HARDCASTLE: ‘Rain Forest’ (Bluebird Records BRT 8)
His best yet, a one-off (between labels) from Bluebird’s ‘Zero One’ hip hop video, this immediately familiar tinkling tuneful lush smooth 120bpm electronic instrumental has a beefy undertow and slick surface — almost like an electro Shakatak! — while the harder juddering 115bpm ‘Sound Chaser‘ flip has vocodered hip hop appeal. A national smash once radio play it “up to the news”?

JOCELYN BROWN: ‘I Wish You Would’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 14)
From the same session as ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’, this catchy vocoder introed beefily jiggling here 110⅕-110½bpm chunkily chugging trotter builds infectiously as Jocelyn soars, wails and gurgles in inimitable style (dub flip). Hard to resist.

INTRIGUE: ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’ (Music Power Records MPRT 2, via IDS)
Much more mature than the ‘London Lads’ last one, this creamily schlapping classily subdued 117bpm rolling swayer is smoothly sung and — highest compliment — could easily be American, while the more British B-side lurching semi-slow 108bpm ‘Like The Way You Do It‘ again gives double-sided value. Continue reading “September 15, 1984: Paul Hardcastle, Jocelyn Brown, Intrigue, The Controllers, Champaign”

September 8, 1984: McGee, Margie Joseph, Matt Bianco, Eugene Wilde, Goodie


STEVIE WONDER wanted to remix his 12in again but Motown said no, get on with the album — so, the 12in is delayed (indefinitely?) while his ‘The Woman In Red’ soundtrack set should be due within two weeks … C.L. Blast’s eponymous LP (US Park Place) is the deep soul event of the year, a real stunner (full review next week) — you’ve been warned! … Bill Laswell, taking time out from producing Mick Jagger’s solo LP, recorded Afrika Bambaataa, John Lydon and keyboardist Bernie Worrell for Celluloid release under the name Time Zone … Paul Hardcastle has moved to Chrysalis’s Cooltempo label, but his current release is on Bluebird — who have NOT got Willie Bobo or any other CBS oldies (thanks, Phil!), but are releasing Paris ‘I Choose You‘ (currently on scarce Kelli-Arts import), Walter Jackson’s LP and an old Magnum Force set … Streetwave picked up Fonda Rae and Aleem … US Elektra promoed on 12in the Ralph MacDonald-pattered moodily thematic but intensifying 118bpm instrumental ‘Inside Moves‘ title track of Grover Washington Jr’s imminent new LP … Animal Nightlife ‘Mr Solitaire’ has been reissued in a mushy 115½bpm “Panther Mix” which removes all the exciting hip-hoppery, making it less a fusion of styles … ITV last Tuesday (outside the Thames area) showed ‘Mardi Gras Funk’ with the Neville Brothers, Mac ‘Dr John’ Rebennack, Professor Longhair, Ernie K-Doe amongst others demonstrating how New Orleans’s black musicians adopt Red Indians chants, rhythms and costumes just for the Shrove Tuesday carnival celebrations — explaining at a stroke the rhythms behind ‘Iko lko’, ‘Hey Pocky A-way’ and most of The Night Tripper mumbo jumbo … I spent last week in sunny North Notts, constantly running the gauntlet of police pickets at every exit road from the South Yorkshire coalfield area (er, routes through from Derbyshire were clear!), driving home Friday evening listening first to Carl Kingston playing a Miami/Sledge ‘Dr Music’ mix on BBC Radio Humberside, then Peter Young’s last old soul Pete’s Party on Capital, and someone called Raymondo (not THE Raymondo) on Chiltern Radio with a ‘Soul Seeking’ show … Peter Young’s very last Capital programme, Saturday night’s five hour Pete’s Party, was an emotional occasion with more guests than the studio has held since Wolfman Jack’s one-off nine years ago: however his new home Mercury Radio is already keeping pirates at bay on 103.6FM with a test tone that’s loud ‘n clear over most of London, his shows starting October 22 being weekdays 4-7pm and Pete’s Party Saturday 6-9pm (it’s non-Londoners’ loss if you’ve never heard this guy combine zany voices, dry wit and personally selected excellent music) … Capital’s soul shows now are Greg Edwards Sat 5-8pm/Fri 8-10pm, Steve Collins Sun 1-5am (chart still at 1.45am), Al Matthews (gospel) Sun 5- 7am, while doubtless Mike Allen will slip some in Fri/Sat/Sun 11pm-1am … Chris Tarrant 7 – Kid Jensen 1 … Polydor’s little plugger Pete Tong has won Kent ILR Invicta Sound’s soul show Sat 7-10pm from October 6 … Laser 558’s much admired Jessie Brandon may be swapping her sea legs for a land base in London soon … DBC apparently have been busted but got back on air just for the Notting Hill Carnival, while Horizon have been off air intermittently with transmitter and mixing desk problems … Rayner’s Lane’s Record & Disco Centre have unearthed timely supplies of the Astrud Gilberto/Vince Montana ‘Girl From Ipanema’ — rush rush! … John Luongo’s remix of A Taste Of Honey ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’, only on a ‘Golden Honey’ US Capitol compilation LP so far, sounds vicious! … Bobby Womack plays Hammersmith Odeon Sept 21/22/23 — and Kev Hill (0277-223030) is desperate to swap his Saturday night Row C front stalls tickets for a similar pair on either night … Evelyn Thomas ‘High Energy’ topped US Dance/Disco, Jellybean and Temper challenging hotly … Narada Michael Walden had produced Olympics hero Carl Lewis singing ‘Goin’ For The Gold‘ on – er, hmm – the Megatone label (maybe Daley Thompson was right!) … Haringey Bolts DJ Norman Scott (that was him between George Michael and an un-dragged Divine in last week’s uncaptioned photo) had the world exclusive first play of Divine’s ‘I’m So Beautiful‘ and Wham’s ‘Freedom‘ (“northern soul”), the latter brought in by George on acetate only three hours after recording! … Adrian Dunbar starts a Bournemouth Bolts at Boscombe’s Academy Sunday (9), while Bolts’ National Gay Disco Dancing Championships 1984 kick off around the circuit at London Palm Beach Fri (7), Blackpool Flamingo Sat (8) … Ken Livingstone hopes to gain street cred? — the GLC hold a huge open air Hip Hop Jam this Sunday 2- 8pm on London’s South Bank with assorted scratchers, rappers, breakers, graffiti artists, hula-hoopers, hockey players and more … Big ‘H’ (Harry Jenkins!) has a Cool Notes PA at Burnham Beeches’ Grenvill Lodge Hotel Henrys Monday (10) on his soul night (Thurs there he has ladies free), jazzing Fri and Teddington Clarence Hotel’s La Moulin Sat … KFM’s Wednesday evening “dance” jock, brainy Jon Guy suddenly got a good job as Manchester rep for Record Merchandisers … Elvis fan Kid Galahad and Miss Alexi White funk/rock/megamix Soho’s Le Beat Route as resident jocks now — Kid will doubtless be saddened like me by the death aged 57 in Lubbock, Texas, of Norman Petty, producer/manager of Buddy Holly … BE CAREFUL


McGEE: ‘Now That I Have You’ (US American Dream Records Ltd AD 541)
My much played fave of the week, a dynamite steadily grooving 97-98¼bpm hot tempo rolling groin grinder soulfully teased by the dual-tracked semi-falsetto Tommy McGee over Norman Harris-arranged scratchy strings and some jazzy sax, a real mind grabber for getting lost in! So good it doesn’t matter that the flip merely repeats the A-side.

MARGIE JOSEPH: ‘Midnight Lover’ (Atlantic B9713T)
Finally out here on 3-track 12in, this snappily kicking 115¾bpm romper unashamedly copies its zest from ‘Holiday’ (with which it mixes superbly), flipped for excellent value by two more killers from her recent LP, the stolidly smacking 114bpm ‘Big Strong Man‘ and Aretha-ish 116bpm ‘I Wants Mo’ Stuff‘. Hot Stuff!

MATT BIANCO: ‘Matt’s Mood II’ (LP ‘Whose Side Are You On’ WEA WX7 240 472-1)
The jitterbugging and samba sashaying popsters proved their hip credibility with the (included) jazzy (0-)105bpm ‘Matt’s Mood‘ instrumental, and this more freely flowing 120bpm follow-up features mid ’60s-style organ and brass over busy percussion (it’s also on promo 12in) — however, what’s exciting album-buying jocks is the timely Gilberto-ish bossa nova 107bpm ‘Half A Minute‘ (friskier than the BPM suggests), which is really excellent. Continue reading “September 8, 1984: McGee, Margie Joseph, Matt Bianco, Eugene Wilde, Goodie”

September 1, 1984: Sister Sledge, Level 42, Stephanie Mills, Rick James, B-biz-R


JAMES BROWN and George Clinton’s collaboration, predating the Afrika Bambaataa duet, is rumoured finally to be due (possibly also on Tommy Boy) … Britain’s most compulsively exciting radio DJ, Peter Young is going out with a bang on Capital 95.8FM, sitting in 6-8pm weeknights with a sizzling Pete’s Party prior to leaving for Redhill/Reigate/Crawley’s new ILR Radio Mercury, on air in about a month … Capital afternoon star Roger Scott didn’t bother catching the Jacksons after all as Bruce Springsteen did an extra show on the night he was meant to have off — and Roger’s flying back to the States this weekend just to see him again! (Arthur Baker has remixed Brucie’s ‘Cover Me’ with a new dubwise bassline) … Evelyn Thomas ‘High Energy’ is holding at 2 in the US Dance/Disco chart, but the big Brit success is Billy Ocean whose ‘Caribbean Queen‘ single and new album are storming up all the charts, Black, Pop & Dance! … Ray Parker Jr topped Black 45s (‘Ghostbusters’ on 12in is 113⅓bpm, 7in 114½bpm), while 6 out of Billboard’s Top 10 US pop LPs last week were by black acts, Prince, Tina Turner, Ray Parker Jr (plus others), Jacksons, Lionel Richie, Pointer Sisters, — something of a landmark … New York’s previously urban contemporary radio WKTU is going “Top 40” in format, though KISS-fm (according to visitors Julian Palmer & Adrian Sykes of Island) still keeps the hip hop faith with Chuck Chill-Out, Jazzy Jay, Whiz Kid, Red Alert and Davy DMX all doing regular marathon live on-air mixing sessions … Cosmic sunny Chicago caught Maze in concert, supported by the O’Jays … Jon Williams, jocking nightly at Corfu’s La Plaza in Ipsos, reports the biggest holiday hit is Baobab ‘Let’s Break‘ (German Polydor), while Graham Hunter (Basingstoke’s Firefly Roadshow) says the Benidorm biggies were RAF ‘Self Control‘, Fox To Fox ‘Precious Little Diamond‘, Roberto Jacketti & The Scooters ‘I Save The Day‘, K-Ram ‘Menage A Trois‘ … BADEM, now rechristened PLASA, the Professional Lighting And Sound Association have their annual Light And Sound Show at London’s Bloomsbury Crest Hotel Sept 16-19, but it’s strictly “trade only” … Tricky Dicky Scanes’ record shop Record Cellar at Newport Court (next to London’s Leicester Square tube station) has bought up the old Bond Street Embassy Club’s record collection, full of collector’s items in mint condition as the DJs had kept two copies of everything, for sale in rolling stages from just 99p with the real rarities on offer from Thursday 13th — rush rush! … Bruce Lundvall plans a January revival of his celebrated jazz label Blue Note, combining new releases with vintage material … Terri Wells’ excitingly soulful newie, rapidly being re-evaluated by London for UK release after all, sounds fantastic out of radio speakers and to my mind far preferable to her past overly formularised hits … The Staple Singers ‘Slippery People‘ I didn’t realise is a Talking Heads song! … Jean Knight’s ‘71 classic ‘Mr Big Stuff‘ is getting big in London again, but will Terry Davis & Ian Clark play it at their latest vintage soul Function At The Junction this Friday (31) in the Wessex Suite opposite Clapham Junction railway station? … Joe Field joins Chris Brown at Benson-on-Thames Rivers Fri (31), and steps into Martin Collins’ shoes with Brother Louie co-hosting the Radio Chiltern 97.6FM Sunday 3-6pm soul show for the next two weeks (and at Luton Pink Elephant’s Dumbos the next two Saturdays) … Chris Dinnis souls Exeter Boxes Sat (1) … Hazell Dean plays Brighton Bolts Sun (2) … Toddy starts hip hopping Forest Gate’s Uppercut Club Tuesdays (4), his Wednesdays at Chadwell Heath High Road’s Regency Suite also turning hip hop now … Steve Walsh comperes Kleeer’s Hammersmith Odeon gig next Thursday (6), when Arrow play Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush … Andy Richards, jocking Sat/Sun/Mon at the brand new Chaplins gay club opposite Streatham station, infos that a remix of Dan Hartman ‘Relight My Fire‘ was on a recent Hot Tracks “Classics” re-issue … Jimmy Ruffin’s new ‘Young Heart‘ will be flipped by a remix of his 1980 ‘Hold On To My Love‘, never on 12in at the time … Percy Mayfield died aged 63 of a heart attack on Aug 11 — best known for his ‘Please Send Me Someone To Love‘ and ‘River’s Invitation‘, the veteran “soft blues”-er also wrote ‘Hit The Road Jack’ for Ray Charles … Richard Jon Smith & Katie Kissoon came within an inch of being wiped out while touring North Wales clubs when a massive truck roared down a narrow country road and took off their wing mirror … Theo Loyla as a plugger, representing the careers of the artists he plugs, ought to be appalled at DJs using the sluggish Nightclub chart as a shopping list, only buying the records in it long after they actually need promoting to sell in the main Top 75 (which should surely be pop jocks’ main influence?) — my comment “Well, at least it isn’t predictable” didn’t mean I was “pleased” with the chart, merely amazed that the week after it dropped nationally Shakatak went to number one!… BE CAREFUL.


SISTER SLEDGE: ‘Lost In Music’ (Atlantic B9718T)
Remixed by Nile Rodgers with for some obscure but ultimately commercial reason Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon & Andy Taylor on intrusively overdubbed chants, the familiar 115-116bpm jiggly thrusting trotter was 1979’s A-side to ‘Thinking Of You’, though now is nowhere near as soulful . . . which won’t hurt its pop chances. The sensible new flip is their recent George Duke-produced gentle chime-introed attractive 54½-109bpm ‘Smile‘.

LEVEL 42: ‘Hot Water’ (Polydor POSPX 697)
Never before so exciting, this thumbs thundered and brass blazed noisily over-the-top exhilarating leaping 112-109-110-112-110-111(halfway break)-112-113bpm lurcher (they still can’t keep tempo!) has almost punkish vocals jumping out of the remorselessly stabbing jitter ‘n jiggle. Phew!

STEPHANIE MILLS: ‘The Medicine Song’ (Club JABX 8)
Rufus’s hot hit writing David ‘Hawk’ Wolinski expands his ‘Plane Love’ approach with a slippery rumbling and wriggling 112½bpm intense rhythm build up before Stephanie wails through the then chuggingly spurtive drive (dub flip), now happening here almost as fast as in New York. Continue reading “September 1, 1984: Sister Sledge, Level 42, Stephanie Mills, Rick James, B-biz-R”