October 27, 1984: Dazz Band, Cool Notes, Roy Ayers, S.O.S. Band, Tom Browne

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MATT BIANCO’s 12in next week teams an extended percussion-climaxed ‘Half A Minute‘ with ‘Matt’s Mood II‘ as flip — no messing about this time! . . . Kool & The Gang’s ‘Fresh‘ 12in is due next week while finally Switch ‘Keeping Secrets’ and a re-cut Mercy Mercy are due now . . . Al Jarreau plus David Sanborn’s band play Wembley Empire Pool Sunday 25 Nov, to be filmed and recorded for US syndication — so true believers are needed as an audience . . . Nick Ratcliffe (Portsmouth Ritzy) confirms Luther Vandross is actually credited on the original un-remixed ‘Georgy Porgy’ B-side of the 1979 RCA 12in by Charmé (with an acute “e”) featuring Vivien Cherry called ‘Do It All For Love’ — however, Ralph Tee (Rickmansworth) reckons it was also on their 1982 LP ‘Ultra Dance’ (incidentally the 1978 original by its writers Toto has just come out on their cheapo-cheapo Hallmark/Pickwick LP) . . . The Jones Girls after only one album have left RCA for Capitol and a doubtless welcome return to producer Dexter Wansel . . . Showstopper Promotions’ umpteenth Caister Soul Weekender is this weekend: even though a few veteran funkateers from the very first exactly six years ago will be there, Chris Hill is forced to admit the event is now on a par with Teddy Boy revivals, everyone dressing as they know their big brothers and sisters used to rather than as they do now . . . Chris Hill has left Canvey’s Goldmine, the club he put on the map more than ten years ago, to be replaced by his old warm-up jock from that era Big Tom Holland, Chris’s Saturdays as well as Sundays now being spent at Stan & Jayne Barrett’s Sheffield Arms near lovely Sheffield Park in Sussex — where the disco has been renamed Hilly’s in honour (grand opening Nov 10) . . . Tony Blackburn admits he only has a seven-incher — shock revelation scoop! — coming out on RCA, as a belated follow-up to his “Lenny Gamble” oldie (wot, no 12in?) . . . Billboard’s new US charts breakdown reveals some interesting discrepancies especially amongst the Hot Black Singles, where sales in general lag behind Airplay frequency, so that for instance last week Leon Haywood ‘Tenderoni’ was at 13 in Airplay, nowhere in the Sales Top 30, yet rising at 24 in the combined main chart (which is all we used to see) — the chart’s new typography is less easy to take in at a glance . . . Peter Young counts down the Record Mirror Disco Top 20 at 8.50pm on his Saturday 6-9pm Radio Mercury 103.6FM soul show, which last week he cleverly kicked off very drily exactly as if it was just one from his old Capital series, without any welcoming effusions for his new Sussex listeners . . . Chad Jackson promoting his ‘Crew Cuts Lesson 2‘ LP with “live” scratching demonstrations last week on his home turf in the window of Manchester’s HMV Shop attracted such a crowd that he had to stop after half an hour as record buyers couldn’t get into the shop — in London at the Virgin Megastore the crowd was smaller and I got the impression many ordinary shoppers were thinking “why’s he mucking up all those good records?” (some of his stunts were really good, others he spoilt by scratching on too long), and in fact to escape the piercing volume I explored the books department, spending £34! . . . David Toop’s well researched ‘The Rap Attack — African Jive to New York Hip Hop‘ (Pluto Press £4.95) was my most interesting purchase, the best reasoned examination of black music I’ve read since the oft-quoted Marshall & Jean Stearns ‘A History Of Jazz Dance‘, thoroughly recommended especially to people like Sheffield’s Mike Ward who refuse to acknowledge where “rap” belongs in the development of black music (by the way Mr Toop, if you’d care to contact me I’ve some first hand experiences of “live” soul raps by the likes of Irma Thomas which predate your chronology somewhat) . . . “Do Or Die” I now realize is hip hop-ese for Brooklyn’s black ghetto Bedford-Stuyvesant housing centre, which suddenly makes much more sense of Divine Sounds’ ‘Do Or Die Bed Sty‘ . . . Les Cokell opens Leeds’ gay Rockshots 2 in Call Lane with PAs by Earlene Bentley, Miquel Brown, Norma Lewis, Laura Pallas, Jackson Moore, Odyssey, Mari Wilson, Nicci Gable, Betty Valentino, 501’s, Girltalk this Friday (26), when Imagination and Shakatak PA with Steve Walsh and the JFM jocks at London’s Lyceum, and John Mayoh has a Motown night at Manchester’s New Millionaire . . . Wednesday (31) Hull Romeos & Juliets have a Pernod-plugging Halloween “Appointment With Fear”, free before 10pm if you’re “dressed to kill” . . . John Dene (Bishopsgate BB’s/Portsmouth Ritzy) suggests A&M should try a sax-extended version of The Carpenters ‘This Masquerade‘, which confuses his punters into thinking it’s by Sade! . . . Slack & Black is actually Julian Palmer and fellow Island plugger Adrian Sykes, but Mike’s brother Brian Gardner thinks he and Julian should call themselves that, especially on Tuesdays when Soho’s Wag Club becomes The Slammer for a reggae toasting night . . . Horizon listeners have been raving over the RAH Band’s great “inter-planetary phonecall” – featuring ‘Clouds Across The Moon‘, played off a demo tape originally circulated about three months ago to just a few obviously wrong people, whose discouraging response then has meant that another inferior track is set for release — boo! . . . Crystal Palace McDonalds should have excellent reception! . . . Gary London’s Saturday 8-10pm Skyline 90.2FM Hi-NRG show now refers to it as “Gay Dance Music”, which indeed is what our own Hi-NRG Disco chart (which he counts down) has always reflected . . . Al Rockwell, not Stockwell, is the Stockport STR 92.1FM pirate . . . Neil Matthew “broadcasts” a funky show pre-match Tues/Sat at Billericay Town Football Club on a “station” called NLR (New Lodge Radio) which they call “Britain’s only legal pirate” — he’s also mobile with Fighting Machine Roadshows, and after a weekday pub gig on 02774-51536 (evenings) . . . Chris Britton seems to be moving around, most recently Thursday at London West End’s new Shaftesbury’s and Wed/Fri/Sat at Tottenham Ritzy . . . Inner Life ‘No Way’ didn’t feature Jocelyn Brown, it was Debbie Cooper from Change . . . Joyce Kennedy, US hit ballad partner of Jeffrey Osborne, was lead singer in the old multi-racial Mother’s Finest . . . Stephanie Mills I can’t help thinking on her LP sleeve looks awfully like Brass Construction’s cuddly percussionist Sandy Billups in drag! . . . David Grant, intent again on being a soul rather than pop star (hurrah!), has let his hair grow back into an Orin Cozier style — what next, glasses? . . . I’m still not noticeably being serviced by CBS so was surprised to receive a letter signed by Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni hoping I’d like their enclosed Francois Kevorkian-remixed 12in of the ugly ‘Apollo 9’, their “first venture into club mixes” . . . ‘Top Secret!’ from the makers of ‘Airplane’, in which the hero is a berk, has Val Kilmer doing a ridiculously accurate copy of Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’ gyrations, except he sings ‘Tutti Frutti’ instead . . . ‘The Bill’ could be a London ‘Hill Street Blues’ — it seemed really odd when the sergeant didn’t say “let’s be careful out there”! . . . HEAVE HO, HEAVE HO!


LONDON’S PIRATE soul stations were indeed back last week, if somewhat patchily, plus the general music Skyline returned loud and clear on 90.2FM. Solar FM’s test transmissions actually packed up just about the time you’d have been reading last week’s column, but the station is liable to reappear at any time on 102.5FM — probably under its old identity as Horizon Radio, though with new co-operative DJ management . . . stay tuned. JFM returned last Wednesday with intermittent transmissions and a weaker signal on 103.25FM, promising to go 24 hours a day with lower power but a more efficient transmitter system when they move up to 104.3FM, a move planned for this Monday and not (as I write) carried out — maybe because as I warned them this would bring them perilously close to a powerful Greek-Cypriot on 104.1FM? In any event, JFM is trying to get well away from Radio Mercury (who themselves obliterate anything within reach of 103.6FM), although as evidently even Solar FM were complained about to the Dept of Trade & Industry as interfering with Mercury’s reception it seems a clash of signals is not the real reason for this sort of complaint! BBC and ILR stations would do well to bear in mind the main root of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the late ’40s/early ’50s: American white kids, fed up with the overly manufactured pop of their day, tuning along their dials and getting hooked by the excitement and greater substance of the black music they found on those funny little black stations. Ring any bells?


YUM YUM! Double delicious twins are San Diego sisters Jeanette & Claudette Russ, who were discovered singing in church and first called Split Image before their relationship was emphasized as TWIN IMAGE on their debut single ‘Kiss And Make It Better’ (Capitol 12CL 342), a Jerry Knight-penned perky Kashif-ish 118bpm pop-soul lurcher starting with a strikingly acappella “ooh, let me show you what a kiss can do — ooh, let me show ya”, the line that underpins the whole song (inst flip).


HOT VINYL

DAZZ BAND: ‘Let It All Blow’ (Motown TMGT 1361)
As predicted this is indeed a simple groove that’s ended up absolutely massive, and in double quick time to boot — a great 115bpm semi-electro lurching chugger with Herbie Hancock-style piano and just a lazily delivered “heave ho, heave ho, let it all blow, down down down down” the total deadly catchy lyric content (inst flip). The next ‘Dr Beat’?

THE COOL NOTES: ‘I Forgot’ (Abstract Dance 12AD 002)
Another masterful languidly lazy drifter, surprisingly as fast as 110bpm, this time sung by Steve Mackintosh with the delightful Lorraine and Heather in title chanting support, everything from the neat little scratch intro kept to a beautifully interlocked minimum for the maximum effect — this is British black music at its most distinctive and least derivative (girls-sung 139bpm ‘Baby I Just Want It‘ flip with dated appeal).

ROY AYERS: ‘In The Dark’ (US Columbia 44-05115)
Currently tickling ears and feet with his tinkling vibes on Terri Wells’ ‘Who’s That Stranger‘, Roy’s back in his own right too with this infectious huskily sung sound FX-spiced lightly driving (0-)120bpm jazz-funk chugger co-produced by Stanley Clarke, bound to be big at Caister as it’s bang in that old bag — the flip’s more subduedly shuffling instrumental 121-1201/2bpm ‘Love Is In The Feel‘ being good too. Continue reading “October 27, 1984: Dazz Band, Cool Notes, Roy Ayers, S.O.S. Band, Tom Browne”

October 20, 1984: Champaign, Angela Bofill, Teena Marie, Force MD’s, Laura Pallas

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

LUTHER VANDROSS does indeed sing ‘Georgy Porgy’ by Charme, originally a B-side, although as everyone’s been quick to remind me it first came out in 1978 by Toto featuring Cheryl Lynn . . . Sister Sledge ‘We Are Family (Remix)‘ and Chic ‘Chic Cheer‘ will be out next month, as (rather late?) will be Matt Bianco ‘Half A Minute‘, but George Benson’s LP has gone back to the New Year . . . ‘Street Sounds 11‘ looks a winner with Staple Singers, Fonda Rae, Steve Washington, Rose Royce, Paul Hardcastle, Major Harris, The SOS Band ‘Weekend Girl’ Mtume ‘You Me And He’, Bonnie Pointer ‘Johnny’ — watch singles sales plummet! . . . Hi-Tension is not now commercially released until next week, while Brass Construction are in danger of “doing a Divine” unless copies hit the shops darned fast — all the initial disco buzz has gone and it hasn’t been on radio for weeks . . . Richard Welsh, in a growing trend, has left his managership of Holborn’s City Sounds record shop to take over disco promotion for Cooltempo, building a mailing list from scratch — so send full work details (which’ll be checked) to him at Chrysalis Records, 12 Stratford Place, London W1N 9AF . . . Roy Ayers has at least two jazz-funk goodies that I’ve heard on his long-awaited new LP . . . Yasuko Agawa ‘LA Night‘ is rumoured to be on US 12in (but has anyone actually seen one?) . . . JiFs in Chadwell Heath have evidently kept their import prices to LP £7.50 (from £6.99), 12in £4.50 (from £3.99) . . . Hereford’s The Disco Centre are organising SALSA ’84, a Second-hand Auction of Lighting, Sound and Accessories at Wormelow’s Park Hall on November 4 (11am for noon start), so call 0432-55407 now if you’ve any unwanted gear to sell . . . Dave Gregory’s weeknight 7-9pm Essex Radio 95.3/96.4FM ‘Gregamix’ show has now joined his Saturday 6-9pm ‘Electric Boogie’ in being totally black, the growing trend at least in the south-east (he mixes ‘Sexomatic’ out of ‘Medicine Song’) . . . Graham Gold on the old Horizon last Wednesday synched perfectly Staple Singers ‘Slippery People’/Bar-Kays ‘Sexomatic’/Slave ‘That’s The Way I Like It, before then playing back the previous week’s Eugene Wilde interview which luckily he’d recorded anyway at the time unaware the station had gone off air — it revealed Eugene actually wrote ‘Gotta Get You Home Tonight’ during an earlier London visit in May, immediately after a night out at Graham’s club Mayfair Gullivers! . . . Radio Mercury 103.6FM/ 1521kHz/197m MW, where you’re never more than three minutes away from an oldie (during weekday shows anyway), must have the country’s pleasantest setting for its studios in an elegant 150 year-old house just outside Crawley — don’t forget it starts this Saturday (20) with Peter Young’s 6pm soul show the first proper (non-introductory) programme, Pete then also doing weekdays 4-7pm, while (cripes!) Ian Davidson actually does Saturday mornings — so he really can say “good morning good people!” (Capital listeners will remember Ian fondly, the only man who reads so much off the back of an LP sleeve that once he even said “printed by Garrod & Lofthouse”!) . . . Mike Allen now runs down Groove’s electro chart at 11.30pm Fridays on his soulful weekend midnight shift on Capital, where weekday 3-5pm jock John Sachs is doing his best to get black material onto the playlist . . . Stockport’s KFM has moved studios, and up a notch to 94.3FM, while American accented Al Stockwell has moved from KFM to South Manchester’s brand new STR 92.1FM (currently just Fri/Sat/Sun 7am-midnight) for the Saturday 1-4pm ‘Livin’ Wildstyle For The Weekend’ pop-disco show, during which he counts down Record Mirror’s Nightclub chart — so he’s a fortnight out of date before he starts (however Manny Junior hip hops Sun 3-6pm) . . . ‘Tugboat’ Phil Blizzard (Stoke On Trent 0782-634584) is the latest graduate from Soho’s IBA-guided National Broadcasting School — a part-time college lecturer and disco DJ, he’s now a qualified radio presenter/producer too (given a gig) . . . New York City’s airwaves are still just led by the Top 40 format of WHIZ (Z-100), over the once dominant Urban Contemporary of WRKS (KISS-fm) at number two in the latest ratings . . . Prince ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ briefly topped US Black 45s, Stephanie Mills Dance/Disco, both toppled by respectively Stevie Wonder (Black and Pop — Motown’s first US chart-topper in over four years NOT by Lionel Richie!) and Diana Ross ‘Swept Away’ (her ‘Upside Down’ was Motown’s last non-Richie No.1): Lionel Richie has had at least one of his singles from ‘Can’t Slow Down’ somewhere in the US Top 40 since Oct 1st 1983, when ‘All Night Long (All Night)’ first hit, the LP itself still being Top 10 after 50 weeks . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson en-route to Bangkok found Lionel Richie even being relayed over the PA in Moscow! . . . Mark Ryman (London Tokyo Joe) recently flew out for a one night gig in Karachi, Pakistan! . . . Jeffrey Osborne has produced his US hit partner Joyce Kennedy singing the ‘Stronger Than Before‘ Burt Bacharach/Carole Bayer Sager/Bruce Roberts song from Chaka Khan’s LP (on which of course The System, not Material, did ‘This Is My Night) . . . Pennye Ford actually seems to fluctuate fractionally around 0-119bpm, while it’s Bobby Broom with an LP on Arista . . . Bar-Kays guitarist Marcus Price was shot dead while leaving a Memphis rehearsal studio Sept 24 — that group have had enough disasters, most original members perishing in the Otis Redding plane crash . . . Streetwave had a party for Rose Royce last week at Mayfair’s Gullivers, where amongst others I chatted at length with almost the entire staff of Horizon (a new slimline CJ Carlos included), pre-bust . . . Rose Royce apparently lost their audience halfway through their Dominion show with over-long self indulgent bass, guitar and drums solos: I myself felt when seeing them at Baileys that Loquient Jobe’s bass was very powerful in its initial shock impact but the others had nothing to say — however, the set there was saved by the huge hydraulic stage/dancefloor which then reverted to its latter function for the dance-along finale . . . Steve Jason let local rappers Rayon Gee & Owen Lee take over the mike during his Sunday soul spot at Peterborough Canters and the result was so good that the duo have written a rap specially about the club — and are recording a live version there this Sunday (21) . . . Chad Jackson (a ‘Funky Sister’ only for the first Windjammer remix) is currently giving “live” lunchtime mixing demonstrations in various record shops (Thur 18 Birmingham HMV Shop, Fri 19 London Virgin Megastore) to plug his ‘Crew Cuts Lesson 2‘ LP on Island, while having left Wednesdays at Manchester Legend he’s after major city weekend residency —mixing, of course! — on 0744-50587 . . . Silhouette plugger Bryan O’Connor’s razor-cut bonce was the cleverly interlocked sleeve design on the first ‘Crew Cuts’, and his hair still looks the same! . . . Tony Blackburn’s Soul Night Out will soon be making once monthly forays from Kilburn’s National Club to other assorted venues around London . . . Central London purchasers of Rif this Wednesday (17) are in time for Steve Watts’ latin samba night at Purley Brighton Road’s Bar Montmartre (½ price booze if appropriately dressed, bring your maracas) — he’s also at South Croydon Royal Oak Centre Scarlett’s Sat, and after more gigs on 71-52110 . . . Stafford Top Of The World’s exciting Hi-NRG mixer Bruce Harper has joined Reg Saunders for a new Wednesday Hi-NRG night at Birmingham’s Powerhouse . . . Thursday (18) Tony Simmons funks Luton Pink Elephant with jazz band Catch Catch Catch, and Ian Reading has another notoriously “rude” night at Southend Zero 6 . . . Friday (19) Mastermind Roadshow cut up Ealing Town Hall until midnight . . . Ray Davies mixes soul/disco-cum-chart and always some soulful smoochers Thur/Fri at Uxbridge High Street’s “Hippodrome-ish” new Regals (another old cinema?), where Top Hats Nightclubs have started a specialist soul Monday with Joe Field joined by Chris Hill (22), Tony Blackburn (29) . . . Simon Dunmore jazz-souls Mondays 8-11pm at Hillingdon’s Hiccups Wine Bar in Hercies Road, “proper punters” now replacing his mates as the place hots up . . . Steve Glover plays sophisticated stuff like Frank Sinatra’s ‘Mack The Knife’ at Bournemouth’s Zig Zag . . . Gt. Yarmouth’s Danny Smith, still Thur/Fri/Sat at the One Five One Club, now also jazz-soul-hip hops Wed at Spangles in Regent Road . . . Steve Ogley offers a reward at Lowestoft Oulton Broad’s Park Avenue Disco following the very selective theft of about a hundred imports, promos, vinyl DMCs, and — cruellest cut of all! — his Malcolm X slipmats . . . Ian Gordon reckons he’s swung weekends at Liverpool’s Corns around to “much harder material” and could do with PAs/promotion nights on 051-207 1962 (11am-4.30pm) . . . George S. Georgiou funking Aycliffe Bee Jays Country Club (funkiest Sun) and Steve Vaughn similarly at Stockton Buddy’s Bar are both keen for allniter/dayer gigs if offered — maybe the LADS up there could check ’em out? . . . Island plugger Julian Palmer and Mike’s brother Brian Gardner (now known as Slack & Black!) are a firm fixture Wednesdays at Soho Whisky-A-Go-Go’s Wag Club, mixing up funk, soul, hip hop and northern — and they’re muttering about a real mix-up coming soon (Double Dee & Steinski look out) . . . Ken Brudenell (Poole Mariners Wharf) and Paul Lewis (Swindon Brunel Rooms) both suggest synching the rightly re-activated Sheila E ‘Glamorous Life’ out of Chaka Khan ‘I Feel For You’ . . . Stephanie Mills’ video on Top Of The Pops should help her medicine go down even better . . . BBC-2’s excellent ‘The Money Programme’ last Sunday examined Michael Jackson’s finances — and expressed the fear that like Elvis Presley he may be shutting himself off too much from reality, which could adversely affect future career moves . . . London appears to be plastered with posters of Morgan Khan, bearing the caption “This man is a Nerd” — it is of him, isn’t it? . . . Adrian Allen (South Shields Chelsea Cat) sent my first Christmas card of the season . . . Graham Hunter of Basingstoke’s Firefly Roadshow bought a Mercedes Benz L409 van, but while it was being customised used the old Ford Transit for one last time — and of course broke down on the way to the gig! . . . HEAVE HO, HEAVE HO!


PIRATE BUST UPDATE

SOUTH LONDON’S pirate TV station Channel 36, plus the proximity of JFM on 103.3FM to ILR’s imminent Radio Mercury on 103.6FM (about which I warned months ago), finally last Thursday prodded the Department of Trade & Industry’s men into swooping on the heights of Crystal Palace and confiscating all the transmitter aerials along Church Road, the street corners of which were thronged with pirates watching while their property was dismantled! Horizon, JFM, Skyline and LWR were thus all off the air, only Radio Jackie being left on Medium Wave, but as transmitter confiscation in the past has meant only a brief hiccup you can expect many to be back — and indeed already Horizon’s DJs have organised a new co-operative management to run Solar 102.5FM (Sound of London Alternative Radio) which actually began broadcasting a continuous music test transmission as early as Sunday evening, still going round the clock as I write (great — no boring chat!). The most dramatic event of last Thursday though was the swoop on Horizon’s studio. Rivals JFM had taken time off after the latest anti-pirate laws came into force in which to move their studio location and set up an infra-red transmitter link, which spared them from further detection, but unfortunately Horizon had merely moved up one floor in their original East Dulwich building and spent £15,000 on brand new studio equipment (this despite decoy details of a move to Victoria!). In the lull when no action was taken against them their security became lax, and it was only when on-air jock CJ Carlos glanced at the TV monitor at about 4.45pm that he realized the front door was being beaten down — so, quick as a flash, he pulled out the actual transmitter link (the one prosecutable bit of equipment) and, Plan A, chucked it out of the window into the neighbour’s garden. This is where farce takes over, as the neighbour picked it up and was bringing it back round to the front door when luckily he was waylaid by Gary Kent, arriving just after the Department’s men and the police has forced an entry, who smuggled it into the private ground floor flat’s front room and immediately scattered all the component parts! However nobody in charge of the bust seemed too sure of procedure, and confiscated absolutely everything out of the studio, brand new cart machines, Technics desks, the lot, leaving just the clock on the wall and a chair — this despite Horizon’s then owner Chris Stewart suddenly remembering Plan B, that the building belonged to an African diplomat and had diplomatic immunity. CJ Carlos actually languished in the police cells for two hours, but eventually got away with all his records bar those that he’d played on air. Anyway, Chris Stewart has washed his hands of Horizon, it’s now back as Solar with new studios being built, and who knows what the future of London’s airwaves will hold? Don’t forget though that any legal soul station, should such ever materialize, will obviously be bound by the same restrictive “needletime” agreement with the Musicians Union which prevents both the BBC and ILR from playing wall-to-wall records around the clock — so make the most of the pirates while you’ve got them.


Heavyweight dudes George Lee and Steve Walsh seem to agree that “George Lee’s NOT a Nancy” . . . as pronunciation of his label credit might lead one to think, it reading “GEORGE LEE’S ANANSI”! Finally biked to me by Rowdy Yeats, saxophonist George’s ‘Sea Shells’ (Ebusia EB 001) is indeed a brassily shuffling and pausing 0-120-0-120-123(piano)-124-0bpm afro-jazz instrumental, flipped by the moodily atmospheric slow ‘Song Of Peace‘, both quality jazz.


HOT VINYL

CHAMPAIGN: ‘Off And On Love’ (CBS TA 4768)
CBS without any disco feedback have made the disastrous mistake of putting the dreadful stark 108bpm Dance Remix on the A-side, relegating the sizzling hot superb scat-climaxed jauntily catchy 110bpm soul swayer hit side to the B-side, which it now shares with the undanceable short cod-creole ‘Laissez Le Bontemps Roulez’ Buyers, beware!

ANGELA BOFILL: ‘Can’t Slow Down’ (US Arista AD 1-9277)
Prod-penned by The System, wailing Angie’s back in business with a ‘Plane Love/Medicine Song’-style starkly rumbling 111bpm judderer full of bonging bells, slippery scratches and much pent-up excitement (sparser electro inst flip).

TEENA MARIE: ‘Lovergirl’ (US Epic 49-05100)
Self-prod/penned as usual, the 12in version of her rhythmically Rick James-ish 123bpm frisky bounder has an intensely keened catchy “I just want to be your lovergirl” hook line which with some subdued rock guitar (inst flip) must help widen her appeal Stateside without any of her LP’s less satisfying compromises. Continue reading “October 20, 1984: Champaign, Angela Bofill, Teena Marie, Force MD’s, Laura Pallas”

October 13, 1984: Chaka Khan, Eugene Wilde, Lionel Richie, Tom Browne, Bobby Broom

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

LONDONERS COMPLAINING that the soul pirates by plugging certain great records so much are lessening their lasting value should wake up to the reality of American-style soul radio, which is basically what we’ve got now, and stop being so selfish in their “soul is sacred” outlook — it’s just part of daily life to millions of black Americans for whom it’s also a business in which to make money, and while this doesn’t preclude the creation of timeless art it may indeed seem to cheapen something that once in cloistered Britain seemed rare and special . . . WEA seem to be “doing a Fonda Rae”, holding back UK pressings of the Chaka Khan 12in (which, unlike US copies that people have been forking out for, includes the 7in edit too), while evidently owing to US RCA being caught short of stocks the Glenn Jones LP has all but dried up . . . Island got Washington DC’s DETT label for a Fourth & Broadway 6-track “go-go” sampler LP to include Chuck Brown ‘Bustin’ Loose’, Trouble Funk’s re-recorded ‘Drop The Bomb’, Hot Cold Sweat ‘Meet Me At The GoGo‘ and more . . . Cooltempo picked up Cutty . . . Shalamar’s now solo Jody Watley debuts on Mercury with ‘Where The Boys Are‘ — no, NOT that one! . . . Kool promises a new jazz track with definitely George Benson & Ron Carter, and hopefully Patti Austin or similar singer . . . Eugene Wilde has been proving a big ladies’ fave, especially last week at Mayfair’s packed Gullivers where he helped judge and then PA-ed after the grand final of the Mr Gullivers competition — I hear his hotel’s been practically besieged by female admirers throughout his visit! . . . Grandmaster Melle Mel is the cut-up rapper on “Chaka Khan I Feel For You” . . . Disco Mix Club’s October mixes are Sanny Xenokottas’ very timely James Brown medley, Les Adams & Al Dupres’ exciting general mix-up, while Alan Coulthard medleys Break Machine as predictably as their music dictates, and brilliantly hip hops Herbie Hancock/Man Parrish/Melle Mel/Ollie & Jerry with lotsa sneaky inserts — one of the most useful packages yet (DJs-only subscription details on 06286-67276) . . . Southern Sound, 2CR, Radio Mercury, County Sound, Radio Victory & Radio 210 have started an ILR network broadcasting the rock review/magazine show ‘The Hawk’ in the hour preceding Capital’s Sunday afternoon networking of their new national chart show — however, of far greater significance to us, when Peter Young starts at Radio Mercury on Oct 20 his Saturday 6-7pm Soul Cellar (oldies) and 7-9pm Pete’s Party (newies) will be relayed also by Southern Sound, so that “Mrs Young of Pease Pottage” will cover even more of the south-east with wit and excitement! . . . Mercury incidentally has also recruited from Capital the legendary Ian “Good Morning Good People” Davidson for Saturday nights and Tony Myatt for weekday breakfasts . . . Al Matthews Sunday 6-7am Capital Gospel Train may be awfully early (or late!) but it’s really worth catching, the best singing you’ll hear all week . . . Tom Wilson has gone legal at last, on Radio Forth 96.8FM mainly for the (quite jazzy) midnight shift . . . Graham Gold’s “dance mix” last Wednesday afternoon on Horizon 102.5FM synched Lillo Thomas ‘Settle Down’/Jermaine Jackson ‘Come To Me’/Dazz Band ‘Let All Blow’, after which he proved the similarity of Tom Browne’s newie to The SOS Band by mixing it into ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’, and then just as he was about to interview Eugene Wilde the transmitter blew up! . . . LWR were briefly back amateurish and over-modulated, on 92.45FM — which blotted out a BBC transmission (wallys) . . . Sundays it seems Bournemouth FM is on 91FM . . . Jon Guy is now KFM’s official soul jock, Sunday 6-8pm . . . Steve Walsh must be unique amongst DJs, working for BBC, ILR and pirate radio, respectively Radio London (at the National Club with Tony Blackburn), Guildford’s County Sound, and JFM . . . Tony Blackburn last Thursday was wearing his underpants outside his tights in a Superberk outfit (actually they were shorts, so he looked more like Mickey Mouse in a cape!), Bill Fredericks’ deep bass voice causing most stir during the PAs . . . Tony’s exhortations to come on down to the National Club are all very well but as the night wears on they leave the police and bouncers having to cope with a crowd of disaffected youths who practically climb the drainpipes in their desperation to get in . . . Kev Hill reports Sister Sledge’s recent London Dominion show was evidently highlighted before the curtain had even gone up by Boy George in the audience being abused by the entire Duran Duran contingent in the opposite Royal Box! . . . Jacques Morali semi-jokingly is talking about making a record called ‘We Hate Donna Summer’! . . . Sense is 130bpm, Kofi’s remix singularly UN-dramatic! . . . Saturday (13) London Lyceum’s 2pm strictly Under-18s hip hop alldayer has Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force + Shango, Mastermind, Steve Devonne, Jonathan, Steve Jackson, Gordon Mac plus rappers, breakers & graffiti — and it’s nothing to do with the GLC (in fact it’s a co-promotion of Steve Walsh & JFM) . . . Saturday also sees Intrigue PA at Harlow Whispers, Haywoode at Burnham-on-Crouch’s aptly named Scandals (been yachting, chaps?) . . . Sunday (14) Ilford Palais 3pm alldayer stars Froggy, Graham Gold, Colin Hudd, Ian Reading, Nicky Holloway . . . Dave Thomas starts jazz-funk-electro Wednesday (17) at Shrewsbury Ravens Meadows Park Lane Suite . . . Pete Tong finally blew his noze . . . Rowdy Yeats seems to be back in the business — so how come he hasn’t sent me the record he’s plugging? . . . Phil Eve as a roving photographer reckons he hits more clubs in London per night than anyone else . . . Peter Stringfellow recently returned for a reunion night at what used to be the King Mojo, his mid-’60s Sheffield club, taking along once regular visitors Jimmy James & The Vagabonds including Count Prince Miller . . . Renko, married? . . . LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

CHAKA KHAN: ‘I Feel For You’ (Warner Bros 925162-1)
On an electro influenced set supervised by Arif Mardin, brother Joe Mardin’s great moodily purposeful slow 94bpm groove ‘Caught In The Act’ and The Sembello Brothers’ jiggly buoyant 101bpm jogger ‘Eye To Eye‘ are in the soaring soul stye we love, while Material’s ‘This Is My Night‘ is a violently staggering 0-108½bpm judderer, Hawk’s ‘Hold Her‘ an intense but slightly disappointing (0-)107-106½bpm judderer, Gary Wright’s ‘My Love Is Alive‘ gets John Robie’s full 119-0bpm ‘IOU’ electro treatment, Prince’s 124bpm title track smash is a usefully extended version of the superior 7in mix, Bacharach/Bayer Sager/Roberts’ ‘Stronger Than Before‘ is a delicate 0-81bpm ballad and David Foster’s ‘Through The Fire‘ a tender 0-65bpm crawler, just Philippe Saisse’s emptily jolting 103-0bpm ‘La Flamme‘ and jumbled 118bpm ‘Chinatown‘ letting the rest down. Think it’ll sell?

EUGENE WILDE: ‘Gotta Get You Home Tonight’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 15)
The voice of Simplicious is wowing the ladies both in person and on vinyl with this superb gently jogging 93bpm swayer, a fully orchestrated ‘Sexual Healing’ as if sung by Marvin and Lionel, here in a slightly brighter less mellow mix (inst flip).

LIONEL RICHIE: ‘Penny Lover (Remix)’ (Motown TMTG 1356)
Finally the fifth single from ‘Can’t Slow Down’, much remixed to tempt anew all those who bought the album for it, this delectable mellow 99bpm singalong swayer on 3-track 12in is flipped by the bubblingly building (0-)111bpm ‘You Are’ and dead slow 0-32-0bpm ‘My Love’. Continue reading “October 13, 1984: Chaka Khan, Eugene Wilde, Lionel Richie, Tom Browne, Bobby Broom”

October 6, 1984: Chaka Khan, Paris, Dazz Band, Hi-Tension, Linda Clifford

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

RADIO LONDON’S Thursday Soul Night Out at Kilburn’s National Club (a really nice huge venue) is causing traffic snarl ups as the crowds converge to see Tony Blackburn pose topless, flash his knickers and “break” dance on one knee — all the stars queue too to do PAs and indeed everyone who’s anyone is there, a definite must to visit and so much cooler than that rival Best Disco In Town (though how long before the novelty wears off?) . . . Rose Royce last week at Watford Baileys, wailin’ with falsetto Kenny Copeland and new girl Ricci Benson dramatically acappella, and Lequeint Jobe thunderously flashy on bass, were extremely good — but no goosebumps . . . Baileys DJ Ian Richardson’s disco console emerges from behind curtains in a sort of illuminated dredger bucket suspended from the ceiling on tracks ten feet above everyone’s heads, which must help cut out annoying requests! . . . Morgan Khan’s crafty marketing ploy in holding back UK copies of Fonda Rae has meant that she shot into the sales chart with a huge build up of orders . . . Glenn Jones’ ‘Finesse’ LP had completely sold out in London by last weekend . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre are managing to hold import prices lower than many shops, LP up from £7.99 to £8.35, 12in from £4.50 to £4.75, and are pegging the more expensive UK CBS 12in series at £2.79 — however, Tricky Dicky at Soho Newport Court’s Record Cellar is adding only 15p to the trade price to sell the more expensive UK 12in at £2.20, most Hi-NRG product remaining £1.99 there . . . Change’s follow-up, already promoed, will be the beautiful 0/36-72bpm ‘Say You Love Me Again‘ (although ‘So Far Away’ might make a more memorable title), a highlight of their live stage act and likely to be huge in the black ballad-prefering pop charts . . . Wilton Felder features both Bobby Womack and Altrina Grayson on his new LP, and guested the night before Stevie at Bobby’s Hammersmith show . . . John Luongo’s great New Boogie Mix of A Taste Of Honey ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’, previously mentioned as a ‘Golden Honey’ LP track, is also about on rare US 12in promo and clocks in at a radically restructured 119-125(intro)-124½(vocal)-125bpm . . . Greyhound Record Productions have reissued Greg Henderson ‘Dreamin’‘ (GRPT 101) . . . ‘Penny Lover’ is finally Lionel Richie’s new US single . . . Temper topped US Dance/Disco, only to be toppled by Prince ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ — the more soulful ‘Erotic City’ flip being duetted by Sheila E, whose ‘The Glamorous Life‘ has to be 1984’s main “one that got away” (her ambition incidentally is to record instrumental jazz-funk) . . . James Brown is the latest star to make commercials for US radio and TV, his for McDonalds plugging especially Louisiana Hot Sauce and Chicken McNuggets, which we’ve yet to sample here . . . Pete Tong starts his Invicta Sound soul show this Saturday 7-10pm, heard in Kent on 95.1/103.8FM and 497/242MW . . . Martin Collins is keeping busy with his Chiltern Radio 97.6FM soul shows Sunday afternoon and weekday evenings 7-9pm, plus Luton Dumbo’s Sat/Benson-on-Thames Rivers Fri . . . John Keenan’s chart from Barrow-in-Furness Champers is mentioned on Colin Young’s Friday 7-8.30pm Radio Cumbria TIU show . . . Horizon’s naughty Chris Stewart didn’t namecheck Les Adams as supplying his ear-tickling mixes, while — whoops, almost, yeah, got it, oh no, crash! — the otherwise excellent CJ Carlos practices his own mixing live on air . . . Froggy funks Fridays at Southgate Pink Elephant, and has been busy in his new remix studio to judge from his Saturday teatime Horizon show, after which discerning listeners tune to JFM for Clive Richardson’s great oldies and Paul Dodd’s hip hop . . . London Allstar Breakers, made up of the best from several crews, won the International section of New York’s Swatch World Breakdancing Competition at the Roxy a fortnight ago, American crews not unnaturally coming 1/2/3 overall, the LAB lads now being contracted for TV and gigs all over the place back home — Paul Oakenfold who accompanied them reports that American breakers now seem to incorporate tap dance and gymnastic moves . . . Zomba Books has published a ‘Street Dance’ instruction book by Yonina Knoppers, which could have been better laid out for £1.99, photographed demonstrators The UK Rockers being amongst many more hip hop crews at London’s Lyceum this Saturday (6) . . . Danny Daniels funks new black hot spot Earls Court La Vie En Rose II Fri/Sat/Sun, the latter night a DJ jam with the likes of Mastermind sitting in . . . Graham Gold, your wife is on the phone and the baby’s crying again! . . . Split Image are now called Twin Image, due here soon . . . I suspected my mail was hiccupping at the time — everything posted Aug 21-28 arrived Sept 29! . . . Symphony Sid, legendary New York jazz jock immortalised in song by King Pleasure, has died aged 75 — real name Sid Torin, his heyday was the ’40s when he broadcast live from Birdland and Harlem’s Apollo Theatre . . . Jenny Burton turns out to be the great Jeanie Burton whose impressive mid-70s singles came out here on Seville, a lovely lady with whom I had the pleasure of dancing at the first New York Billboard Disco Forum in 1976 . . . George Michael, never out of Harringey Bolts, this time slipped Norman Scott an acetate of Wham’s LP off which the disco ‘Everything (That She Wants)‘ packed the floor . . . Hazell Dean’s follow-up will be more pop than Hi-NRG . . . Chrysalis signed Sylvester, rushing ‘Rock The Box‘ next week . . . ‘Once Is Not Enough’ whose C. Shore composer credit was originally the only name on the label is belatedly revealed to be by Oh Romeo . . . Dolmann, hitting Hi-NRG, plays the role of a rock star in ‘The Predator’ movie later this year . . . John Dineley, to judge from a cassette, is an exciting Hi-NRG mixer, weekends at Llandudno’s Cavern Bar . . . Friday (5) Norma Lewis joins John C at Yeovil Electric Studio, Pete Haigh & Richard Searling revive northern classics at Blackpool Baskervilles (behind the Tower) . . . Saturday (6) Kev Hill turns 26 at Harlow Whispers and hopes for lots of nice pressies (and a special secret PA) . . . Sunday (7) Robbie Vincent joins Chris Brown & Johnnie Walker for a Midnight Special at Camberley’s Cambridge Hotel Frenchies, whose owners Top Hat Nightclubs open a “great new million pound venue” on Oct 15, somewhere . . . Steve Phillips funks Thur/Fri/Sat at Bristol’s Prince Rupert (a large bar in Broadmead), and starts Sunday (7) at the Smugglers Bar off the city centre in Wapping Road . . . “Toddy” starts Tuesday (9) teenage hip hop at Lewisham Paradise Garage . . . Steve Dennis, soon to unveil his “ultimate mobile disco” The Studio 222 Experience, returns to Edgbaston’s revamped and renamed (yet again) Faces International Wednesdays and the next two Saturdays, plus he’s supplying “dynamic” DJs for other nights through October — meanwhile those other Faces alumni Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson and Jon Alsop are on the move again for Bacchus, the latter to Toronto’s Sparkles from which Alan’s just returned to Bangkok’s Diana’s . . . Bermondsey Dockhead’s Swan & Sugarloaf is soulful again on Fridays at least, with Sean French . . . Larry Foster funks Hackney Victoria Park’s flashy Follies Sat, Gants Hill The Villa Fri (‘Segue’ Steve Goddard there Thurs now), his Hackney Road Pickle House old soul Wed now including ’50s R&B (8-11pm) . . . Kev Ashman now does Ashford (Kent) South Eastern Tavern Wed, and regular Sats at The Lodge atop Charing Hill just off the A20 (claiming the SE’s largest video screen) . . . John Dene & Nick Ratcliffe, still high-powered pop Sat, are now solid funk Thurs at Portsmouth Ritzy, as is Paul ‘Frenchie’ French at Dunfermline Night Magic . . . Night Beat features the best in black music Thur/Fri/Sat at Chorley Market Street’s Academy Dance . . . Russ ‘Stone’ Harris souls Bournemouth Hop Inn Sundays, Hollywood Nights and other clubs along the South Coast . . . Clive Farrer funks Bracknell Wildridings fun pub Wed/Sun, Ian Stewart funks Fri/Sat/Sun at Wickford’s Dickens in Essex . . . Darren Fogel (Hatfield Woodside Country Club Thur/Finchley JP’s Wine Bar Fri/West Hampstead Lately Fri/Sat) hints he’s appearing under his own “kosher” name in ‘Minder’ soon . . . ‘Hill Street Blues’ moves to 10pm Saturday on Channel 4 from Nov 3, where hopefully such footling alternatives as snooker and skating won’t take precedence as they do on Thames . . . South London now has a late night pirate TV station too! . . . LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

CHAKA KHAN: ‘I Feel For You’ (Warner Bros W 9209T)
Now remixed but with its exciting impact ruined by being restructured and drawn out, UK 12in copies of this Prince-penned adventurous 124bpm jerker thankfully include its superb 7in version (so familiar from radio play) with the male-muttered “Chaka Khan I feel for you” intro scratch and Stevie Wonder harmonica — in fact short excerpts from Stevie’s first “live” 1963 US hit ‘Fingertips’ drop into the background almost subliminally! A smash.

PARIS: ‘I Choose You’ (Bluebird Records BRT 9)
Produced by Carl Davis & Otis Leavill, this beautiful lazily drifting but rhythmically tricky 43(intro)-84-82-83-82½bpm pent-up smoocher consists mainly of the title line being worried every which way by an agonised squeaky falsetto chap, pure aching soul (128bpm ‘Punkin Funkin‘ flip). As with their imminent Walter Jackson and Magnum Force LPs, Bluebird initially imported some US pressings prior to UK release.

DAZZ BAND: ‘Let It All Blow’ (US Motown 4524MG)
Although the flip is officially instrumental, the A-side of this starkly clomping semi-electro 115bpm lurching driver is hardly very vocal with just “heave ho, let it all blow” chants over ‘Rockit’-inspired piano and see-sawing beats. One of those simple grooves that end up massive. Continue reading “October 6, 1984: Chaka Khan, Paris, Dazz Band, Hi-Tension, Linda Clifford”