ODDS ‘N’ BODS
Many may be surprised to hear I had a very enjoyable lunch with Tony Blackburn, sitting either side of Evelyn Thomas as guests of Record Shack at the annual Music Publishers Association Christmas bash, not the least because Tony was recently quoted as calling me “the most boring man I’d ever met” — an expression I could well imagine him using lightheartedly, but which (as he apologetically announced on Radio London the day after it appeared in print) he had not actually used at all, the words having been put into his mouth as suspected by a student reporter hurrying to make a journalistic reputation, no matter who he upset. OK Ralph Tee, you can stop stirring it! … Solar-FM’s new studio had another “very heavy” raid last Tuesday afternoon (11) with absolutely everything confiscated again — but they were promising to be back on the air again soon … lan Dewhirst invites “imaginative, innovative, good DJs” to send their full details to Dance, EMI House, 20 Manchester Square, London W1A 1ES … Disco Dave Singleton (our “oldest” reader?) is selling his giant video show for £1,000 and looking for DJs/groups on Newton-Le-Willows 6018 as, after eight years jocking there, he’s become general manager and licensee of Eccles Rainbow — a proper job at last! … ‘Purple Rain’ is already available on video Stateside and selling so fast it could outstrip ‘Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller’ — meanwhile, Prince has been modifying his US tour’s content so that when he played predominantly black Washington DC he revived many of his soul oldies in singalong style before really turning on the funk aided by Sheila E, to delightedly stunned response (a thought: could it be that now he’s won the white mass market with his rock style, he’s going to turn them on to soul?) … Madonna topped US Hot Dance/Disco … Reggie Thompson, who so distinctively mixed Mtume’s hits amongst others, is currently adding synthesized drums and a modern “urban” treatment to a whole pile of unreleased 1968-1972 recordings by Bob Marley & The Wailers – the mind boggles … February 23/24 Hammersmith Odeon has the New York Jazz Explosion – basically Roy Ayers, Tom Browne, Lonnie Liston Smith & Jean Carn, each doing a set before combining for one giant jam (at last someone’s promoting the sort of jazz bill people under 50 want to see!) … Haywoode supports Imagination this Fri/Sat (21/22) at the Hammersmith Odeon, where the orchestra pit has been boarded over specially! … Rick Robinson won’t be playing Five Star any more at Bermondsey Old Kent Road’s Oasis after they failed to turn up despite last minute confirmation (has TV gone to their heads?), but with any luck the much nicer Cool Notes will be there tonight (Thur 20) … Johnnie Gee (ex-Tottenham Eltons) souls the Old Kent Road’s Oasis Fri/Sun, while down the road Les Adams funks the Green Man Fri and Dun Cow Thur (plus Tues with Greg Edwards, for whose Saturday Capital show he creates a weekly megamix), Les also doing New Maiden Chemies Wine Bar Sat … John Sachs kids not, his weekday afternoon Capital show was practically wall-to-wall soul when last heard — keep it up! … Simon Harris, mixing Saturdays at Epping Billie Jean’s 18-21 disco, joins Froggy creating a special weekly mix for Tony Blackburn on Radio London … Paul Dakeyne, spinning up-front sounds to up-front people at Hull Romeos & Juliets, is the creator of the weekly ‘Tasty Mixer’ on Carl Kingston’s evening BBC Radio Humberside disco show – and he sent me an absolutely excellent Steinski-type mix on cassette with lots of nice snappy speech drop-ins … Nicky A (Aravis) has quite unfunky Romford to soul Thur-Sun at Ilford High Road’s ArBeez Wine Bar (beer & spirits too), while Dave Clark is fairly funky Mon/Sat at Barking’s non-dancing Chains wine bar … Trevor ‘Redeye’ Hughes is thankfully able to get quite soulful Saturdays at Woodcote’s Preachers (in a converted chapel, between Wolverhampton-Newport) … Stuart Hughes wears two hats both managing and jocking at Sidmouth Carinas (where Nic Wakefield used to hold court), open also as a fun pub lunchtime and the first UK club to be fitted with a 60 selection Thorn Laser Video System, Wednesdays being jazz-funk night, Thursdays reggae … Nick Graham fills Werrington (Peterborough) The Gables with up-front funk Thursdays … Glenn Jones started out singing gospel, first recording when only aged 8 with the Bivens Specials on Nashboro, and later in his teens solo on Savoy … Billboard’s Hot Black chart has gradually been showing there must be an unheralded market presumably amongst young black Americans for records by cute kids, like New Edition, Kids At Work, Force MDs, Menudo, Nolan Thomas and probably even the Fat Boys — it would be ironic if this new youthful market was opened up by that former child star Michael Jackson … Passion next year becomes an exclusively Hi-NRG label, soul/funk going onto the provisionally titled Debut … Tricky Dicky’s record of the year at Soho Newport Court’s Record Cellar shop is Pamala Stanley ‘Coming Out Of Hiding‘, still selling five copies a week (as opposed to ‘High Energy’ now doing one a fortnight) … Evelyn Thomas’s import LP now won’t be out here until March! … Donna Summer’s two simultaneous singles, old and new, didn’t do much did they? … Adrian Allen (South Shields Chelsea Cat) got his Peter Brown ‘Love In Our Hearts’ after Andy Gregory (Laughton Tempo Rico) rang him and rabitted for an interesting hour … Pete Haigh (0253-824156) is after New Birth ‘K-Jee‘ (US RCA LP), JB’s ‘Doin’ It To Death’ (Canadian/US Polydor 12in), Beginning Of The End ‘Funky Nassau’ (LP version) … Chris Ellis, notorious wind-up artiste of recent Greek experience, is back not in London but looking for gigs with David John in Lancashire on 0772- 22771 — could he be the DJ Ellis who’s been doing the odd Club Ranger Night Out at Morecambe’s Harveys?! … Colin Hudd (Dartford Flicks) quips at last there’s a record for everyone who comes up to ask “Can you play anything for my mate?” — Direct Drive! … Nicky Holloway (London Bridge Royal Oak) stumbled on a good mix, Dazz Band into Imagination’s old ‘Burning Up”— “same BPM and everything!” … Jeffrey Osborne ‘Stay With Me Tonight‘ is resurging for Alan Donald in mid-Clyde on the Isle of Bute at Rothesay’s Ashburn, where it “seems to be the type of beat they want up here the noo!” … New Year’s Eve once again I’ll be doing Capital Ratio’s four-hour 10pm party tape, and what’s more the full playlist will be in next week’s Record Mirror, along with the usual year-end features … many thanks for all your cards, kind wishes and welcome drinks, and LETS HAVE AN OUTASIGHT, SNOWY WHITE, CHRISTMAS!
BIG BAM BOO! When recently in Birmingham, AFRIKA BAMBAATAA looked in at the 222 Broad Street headquarters of THE STUDIO 222 EXPERIENCE where young PAUL DIXON (left), street name “Mix Wizzard”, lays down his ambitious mixes — including a weekly selection featured every Saturday night on Steve Dennis’s BRMB soul show.
THE LIMIT: ‘Say Yeah’ (Portrait TA 4808)
Suddenly due in our shops on Christmas Eve — ‘cos let’s face it. it’s too hot to hold! — this breezily skittering 123bpm light snapper with Gwen Guthrie joining the chaps is the deadly catchy “say-yay-yay-yay-yeah!” singalong smash that’s already number 2 in our chart just on import. UK copies will have the as yet unheard ‘Destiny‘ added to the 12in inst flip.
AMII STEWART: ‘Friends’ (RCA RCAT 471)
Exploding as predicted now that European imports have finally flooded in, this unexpectedly beautiful almost ‘I’m Not In Love’-like gently bubbling 0-94⅓bpm soft soul swayer is truly haunting and should with luck (her past Wally hits will help at Radio One) cross over to a wide public — don’t miss it (inst flip).
SOUNDTRACK: ‘Breakdance 2 — Electric Boogaloo’ LP (Polydor POLO 5168)
Hollywood’s quickie follow-up film again has OLLIE & JERRY providing its title track, a chunky 112bpm lurcher obviously led by straining Jerry Knight with whinneying support and stronger than it struck me on 12in, plus their stark skittery 124⅓bpm electro ‘When I.C.U.‘, while the FIREFOX girls return on the jerkily strutting electro 121½bpm ‘Radiotron‘ and similarly backed but more soulful 125bpm ‘Stylin’ Profilin’‘, oldies being GEORGE KRANZ’ eccentric 123bpm vocalised drum solo ‘Din Daa Daa‘ and MIDWAY’s D Train-ish 119½bpm ‘Set It Out‘ (both abbreviated), CAROL LYNN TOWNES’ Hi-NRG pop 135bpm ‘Believe In The Beat‘ being due as our first single, MARK SCOTT’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Come Down‘ being a Michael Jackson-ish fast 129⅓bpm jolter and STEVE DONN’s ‘Gotta Have The Money‘ frantic 164½bpm flashdance —however, the one that’ll do the business here is RAGS & RICHES ‘Oye Mamacita‘, a light 117⅓bpm Latin chugger reminiscent of the Chakachas’ ‘Jungle Fever’. Continue reading “December 22, 1984: The Limit, Amii Stewart, Breakdance 2 – Electric Boogaloo, Bonzo Goes To Washington, Air Force 1”