Yes folks, amidst a flurry of beat boxes and a slither of scratching, it’s time to announce the big ones for that year of destiny 1984! All statistics are derived from the year-end disco charts, for the contents of which you only have yourselves to blame — which leads us straight into . . .
THE REAL HITS OF THE YEAR:
Cheryl Lynn ‘Encore’ (US Columbia/Streetwave), Jeffrey Osborne ‘Plane Love’ (US A&M), both of which hung on but mainly midway in the chart for month after month after month.
1984’s HOT TEMPO:
THE OTHER HITS THAT STILL MATTER:
Fatback ‘I Found Lovin’ (Master Mix), Rose Royce ‘Magic Touch’ (Streetwave), Dennis Edwards ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ (Motown), Jocelyn Brown ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’ (Fourth & Broadway), Cameo ‘She’s Strange’ (Club).
PRODUCERS OF THE YEAR:
Jimmy Jam Harris & Terry Lewis.
ARTISTE OF THE YEAR:
‘SLEEPER’ OF THE YEAR:
Grandmaster Melle Mel ‘White Lines’ (Sugarhill).
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Leon Bryant ‘Finders Keepers’ (US De-Lite/Club)
IMPORT OF THE YEAR:
Circle City Band ‘Magic’ (US Circle City Records).
DISCO LABELS OF THE YEAR:
1 (-) Motown, 2 (-) Club, 3 (1) Epic, 4 (-) Warner Bros, 5 (-) WEA, 6= (-) MCA and London, 8 (4) Streetwave, 9 (-) Fourth & Broadway, 10 (-) Atlantic.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO:
RECORD COMPANIES (labels ranked by hit strength):
1 (7) WEA — Warner Bros/WEA/Atlantic/Sire/Elektra, 2 (3) RCA — Motown/Planet, 3 (2) Phonogram — Club/London, 4 (1) CBS — Epic/CBS/Tabu, 5 (6) Island — Fourth & Broadway/Ensign, 6 (-) MCA, 7 (5) Streetwave, 8 (9) Arista, 9 (-) Record Shack, 10= (-) Total Control and Master Mix.
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).
Steve Ripley’s follow-up CBS compilation ‘Club Classics 2‘ will definitely include the much sought Willie Bobo ‘Always There’ remix (possibly even shrink-wrapped on limited bonus 12in!), but not before March … Froggy has launched his own Krack label (one track mind!) with surprisingly some Hi-NRG by Touchdown … Thelma Houston’s 12in is now on UK pressings (MCA MCAT 932), and The Temptations’ LP is out here too (Motown ZL72342) … RCA are rushing Amii Stewart next week, and the Skyy LP … David Middleton, jocking aboard the OW Hollandia across the North Sea, reports that Holland’s time-shared TV channels show a lot of new videos and it’s noticeable how less censored some are than here — he cites the Pointer Sisters’ ‘I’m So Excited’, Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ and The Cars’ ‘Hello Again’ as being much raunchier than the versions we see here (the lucky Dutch!) … David also info’s that the now land-based TV offshoot of Radio Veronica has just been voted ‘Europe’s Young People’s Television Company’ – incidentally, could Holland be a good new base for London’s soul pirates to beam from? … David Collins has joined the deserters from JFM to Solar-FM … Tony Hodges keeps revealing (in his great radio voice) that his exclusive megamixer ‘Scratcher’ lives in Burnham near Slough – which is Disco Mix Club territory, so are we to assume he’s had written permission to play their mixes on Solar? … DMC’s Glam-Rock mix seems to have been sparking off a ‘70s pop revival especially up north, while December’s set of mixes should cause even more excitement: Sanny X has totally restructured Chaka Khan ‘I Feel For You’ and put together an Electro ’84 medley, Alan Coulthard has excelled himself on a brilliant Hi-Energy ’84 stormer (enabling DJs to junk half the Hi-NRG records they previously carried!) although his Pop ’84 is less compulsive, and Les Adams is hot in spurts on Funk ’84 (subscription details 06286-67276) … Graham Gold does an indiscernible mix between Temptations ‘I’ll Keep My Light In My Window‘ and Kool & The Gang ‘You Are The One‘, both a bit gospelly, both 91bpm (even if the latter is really double-time!) … Stevie Wonder ‘Woman In Red’ finally topped Prince’s own soundtrack atop the US Top Black LPs … Arista ought to rush out Ray Parker Jr’s US hit ‘Jamie‘ while telly soap fans’ interest in the like-named new ‘Dallas’ character is still high … Chaka Khan and Dennis Brown headline this Saturday at Kingston Jamaica’s third annual Reggae Superjam … Peter Kok, a faithful Toronto reader, reports Run-DMC are currently working on their own ‘Run-DMC’ film which they say will show the “real story” of hip hop, while Jimmy Jam Harris & Terry Lewis seem indeed to be together and forming their own Flyte Time label in Minneapolis … Philip Bailey is following his own wonderful gospel LP on Myrrh by producing gospel singer Jubilant Sykes for the label … Teena Marie’s soulful ‘We’ve Got To Stop Meeting Like This‘ duet with Ronnie McNeir was originally intended as a return engagement with Rick James (like ‘Fire and Desire’), but Motown won’t let him work with her now she’s moved labels to Epic … Al Jarreau’s slowie ‘After All‘ is huge on US “adult contemporary” radio so it’s strange he let himself be talked into using uncomfortable fast electro rhythms on his album just to be supposedly fashionable … Toddy, another Essex jock into Onyx, has a pre-Xmas boogie at Ilford Town Hall’s Lambourne Rooms this Friday (14), when Froggy funks Stanmore Chevaliers in The Limes (get there by 11pm), and Colin Hudd attracts an ever older crowd to Dartford Flicks for soul oldies from ’75 to ’70 (loon pants!) … Saturday (15) Chris Dinnis joins Paul Lewis souling Swindon Brunel Rooms Ampitheatre, which pulls the party hearty crowds from the likes of Reading, Gloucester, Oxford & Bristol … Steve Walsh, now weekly Fridays at Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush, joins the usual crew at Birmingham’s Powerhouse alldayer Sunday (16), when Frenchie T in the same city reminds everybody to check the funk weekly at Edgbaston Maximillians’ Sunday Night Experience … Dave Hucker, celebrated Thur/Sat spinner of ethnic exotica at Soho’s Sol Y Sombra, moves his Afro/Carib/N & S American ryddims into Ronnie Scott’s Maze Club Wednesday (19) … Bolts gay venues are spreading north to Nottingham’s Easy Street every Wednesday from the 19th … Llandudno’s hot Hi-NRG mixer John Dineley made a big move from North Wales to Surrey and Camberley’s new gay Krugers, where he’s after PAs (and members) on Camberley 64547 …Tony Howard shirtily sniffs he’s been sole DJ at Brighton Bolts (Sundays in the Pink Coconut) since Summer ’83 … Hazell Dean is square jawed at London’s Hippodrome Mon (17) … John DeSade has opened Wed/Thur at Gillingham’s lavish new The Avenue, and in the same town souls Sundays at Kents with lots of old jazz to please Barry the boss (makes a nice change!), Paul French (the other one), still at Kents Tues/Thurs, now does Fri/Sat at The Avenue – which he reckons is in Rainham’s Watling Street … Franklin Sinclair the funky solicitor (really!) has actually replaced Sean Brett Fri/Sat at Bolton’s fully refurbished The Dance Factory, which now turns “the young element” away but is if anything funkier than before … Phil England spins ’60s soul at Egham Olivers Wednesdays … Darryl Hayden has clocked up nearly 70,000 miles this year alone in his Ford lorry with his 6 kilowatt video roadshow – among selected upcoming dates are Ruislip Southbourne School Sat (15), Cranford Community Centre Mon (17), Potters Bar Elm Court YC Fri (21) – and he now also operates a Twickenham-based Abracadabra disco equipment hire service (01-898 1127) offering a whopping third-off discount to reader DJs caught short over Xmas … I’d advise anyone parking in the West End of London to pay attention to police “No Parking” signs no matter how unreasonably sited you may think they are, otherwise you could find the bomb squad letting off controlled explosions in your car – I was parked perfectly legally not far from just such a suspicious vehicle and the police only begrudgingly let me move in a great hurry (while they hid around the corner) after checking first for a secondary device under my own car, so be warned, be careful, and be aware that your lack of consideration can cause unnecessary alarm and trouble … Theo Loyla probably realizes his record plugging job enables him to visit such far flung hot spots as Blackburn’s Peppermint Place, which I too would love to see if it cost nothing to get there and wasn’t at the weekend when my own job ties me down to assembling the charts he finds so useful – thanks for the kind words though Theo … DJs post your charts ‘n info NOW to arrive Monday (17) to catch the issue dated January 5 … SA Y-HO-HO-HO!
GAP BAND: ‘I Found My Baby’ (LP ‘Gap Band Vl’ US Total Experience TEL8-5705)
The guys repeat their enduring underground smash ‘Outstanding’ bar for bar at 97bpm but now with a flavour of Fatback’s ‘I Found Lovin’’ – and as both are still instant floor fillers in black clubs this is off to a great start! – while ‘Disrespect‘ is a Woody Woodpecker-introed whistle blowing easily rolling and swaying 107¾bpm groove with chanting from halfway, ‘The Sun Don’t Shine Everyday‘ a particularly beautiful very delicate tenderly started 52/26bpm slow smoocher building in a Marvin Gaye influence (fragments of its instrumental link some other tracks), ‘I Believe‘ an interesting old fashioned yet Stevie Wonder-ish tortuous 73-0bpm weaver, ‘Beep A Freak‘ (the US 12in) a perfectly serviceable repetitive 114 ¼bpm P’funker, ‘Weak Spot‘ a rambling 106bpm soul swayer, their inevitable fast ones being the frantic 136½bpm ‘Video Junkie‘ and jerky 134½-137bpm ‘Don’t You Leave Me‘. Now, how about a megamix of ‘Outstanding’ and ‘I Found My Baby’ as UK 12in?
ASWAD: ‘Need Your Love (Each And Every Day)’ (Island 12IS 214)
Nice lazily soulful attractive 83bpm reggae swayer ending in its dub.
SOUTH-WEST LONDON’s long established community-serving Radio Jackie 1332kHz/227m MW last Friday were served with a writ by Radio Mercury and the Attorney General claiming loss of advertising revenue and the stealing of Mercury’s audience, amongst other complaints (this despite sympathetic support from their local MP) — however the writ is being contested by Jackie, who are taking their case to the European Court Of Human Rights … Jon Guy reports from Manchester that the busted KFM were planning by now to be back on air, but on Medium Wave using a low power transmitter, while the unconnected rival Carousel Radio have been testing on the thus vacated 94.3FM with an aim to run around the clock … LWR seem firmly back on 92.05FM, and although not one of London’s soul stations there are various hip hop shows … Brian Hurst now counts down the Billboard top 100 US Hot Black singles on Solar 102.45FM Fridays 9.11 pm … Ashford & Simpson topped US Hot Black, Alphaville ‘Big In Japan’ Hot Dance/Disco with Paul Hardcastle ‘Rain Forest’ streaking up fast behind!! … The Temptations actually increased their UK sales but because four other singles vaulted higher they slipped one place in last week’s Gallup chart, thus becoming ineligible for Top Of The Pops, which was a shame as (now too late) their video was then ready — ironically they were overtaken by labelmates the Dazz Band, whose video was ready and shown the week they went Top 30 (still, these are the breaks) … Marion McClain, of Jeff Lorber Fusion and Pleasure as well as solo fame has joined the Dazz Band for their US tour … Roy Ayers’ ‘In The Dark’ LP is also out here now (CBS 26199), as is the Phyllis St. James set (Motown ZL72298), while La Famille ‘Lost In Paradise’ is indeed on 107⅓bpm 12in (Bpop BPOPT 01, via PRT) … G.Q. should have been 115½-0bpm … Morgan Khan’s latest compilation, not without some help from myself, is a massive 14 album boxed set of 142 Love Ballads (Street Sounds LVBAL 1)! … Lenny Henry’s current 12in is about to be twin-packed with a great “Hip Hop Katanga” electro scratcher and a comedy routine, neither on his LP … Erskine Thompson is overseeing a largely re-recorded remix of Total Contrast ‘Sunshine‘ … Ian Dewhirst, ex-Leeds Warehouse DJ, is now the disco man at EMI who are launching a classy new Manhattan label next year with such jazzy signings as Bobby McFerrin … George Benson’s new LP ’20/20’ is due Jan 11 … Chris Hill (Sheffield Park Hilly’s) and Tom Holland (Canvey Goldmine) have exclusive tapes of Sister Sledge’s unreleased ‘Outrageous’ well ahead of vinyl issue … Double Dee & Steinski, with Whiz Kid, are creating “an historic mastermix” of classic hip hop tracks for an LP on US Tommy Boy which next month will compliment Steve Hager’s similarly titled book ‘Hip Hop’, the album (and the mastermix’s starting point) featuring such seminal “break” oldies as the Incredible Bongo Band ‘Apache‘, Dennis Coffey ‘Scorpio‘, Baby Huey & The Babysitters ‘Listen To Me‘, Ralph MacDonald ‘Jam On The Groove‘ … Les Adams’ remix of ‘Stomp‘ will be promoed on 12in backed by his 4-track medley, only available commercially on the Brothers Johnson’s final A&M hits LP … Kev Hill soulfully VJs “video funk” Thursdays at Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush Palms Cocktail Bar (pub hours) to build the night for eventual transfer into the club itself, while his Saturdays at Harlow Whispers are being talked about as the Goldmine’s natural successor — he himself tips Basildon’s Chris Hewitt as a “singing Paul Hardcastle-like future star”, hot on Essex radio duo to Dave Gregory plugging his demo of ‘Dateline Girl’ recorded as by Onyx … Booker Newberry Ill, an amiable fellow with whom it’s a pleasure to chat, may be big (though not as big as Steve Walsh!) yet he really struts his stuff in a dynamic stage act worth catching while he’s here — and the slinky Vanity moves it about a bit too, cor! … l was too late to see much of David Sanborn at Wembley but Al Jarreau was pretty good when not over-doing his self-indulgent scatting — his frantic acappella scat ‘Take Five’ was great though, while my faves were his sultry ‘Teach Me Tonight’ and bluesily staged ‘Just Got In From Chicago’ — after which I waited with Fiona Waterman and birthday girl Barbie Dunne to watch him perform again to a playback of the first few numbers so that, while all around was being dismantled, he and the band could have some action close-ups filmed to slot into the TV programme shot at Wembley … Lovely Previn acting as tour guide later that night led Al Jarreau and Slim Gaillard into Rockafella’s late nite eaterie and introduced us, so naturally we had a chat in which Al revealed he’s such a perfectionist he’d have repeated the entire show for the cameras had it been necessary … Brenda Russell’s ‘Jarreau’, off last year’s ‘Two Eyes’ LP, was played immediately before Al hit the stage and has been causing quite a demand in record shops since … Junior joins such as the Pointer Sisters, Rick James, Shalamar, The System, Patti LaBelle in supplying soundtrack songs for the new Eddie Murphy movie ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ … Beggars Banquet have picked up and re-packaged/titled the old 1981 Grove Production album by Robert Greenfield’s alter-ego Roberto Campoverde, the “London Latin” and hot in its day Cayenne ‘An Evening In Jaffa‘ (Coda CODA 11) … Band Aid’s as yet unheard 12in was mixed by Trevor Horn … Capital’s John Sachs bribed me not to mention where he was in Cricklewood last Thursday, but Mike Allen is there instead this week and the club (your starter for ten) is named after the surname of a Labour MP from a North Midlands mining constituency! … Five Star join Rick Robinson at South London’s Old Kent Road Oasis (free admission) Thursday (6), when Judge Dread hits Whitchurch (Shropshire) 007 Club — he’s at Charing (Kent) Night Owl Fri/Sat (7/8) … Friday (7) finds Chris Hill & Froggy back at The Royalty, or rather Southgate’s Pink Elephant for one night only, Jeff Young (who will sit in for Robbie Vincent on Radio One too!) at Dartford Flicks, Chris Dinnis at Yeovil Electric Studio with Paul Lewis & John C (and alone at Taunton Kingstons Sat) … Friday (7) also sees Pete Haigh & Kev Birchall alternate between floors at Blackpool Baskervilles with monthly Mecca/Wigan classix upstairs and the new Black alternative Dance downstairs (£1 covers both), PAs needed on 0253-824156 … Saturday (8) Mastermind cut up an under-18s hip hop scene 6.30-11pm at West Norwood’s Nettlefold Hall … Sunday (9) Electricity Records present Kofi & The Lovetones, Simone, Velvette, Linda Lewis, Angie Gold and more at Nottingham Barry Noble’s Astoria 2pm Hi-NRG alldayer jocked by Peter Martine, Les Cokell, Richard Jones, while the previous Ilford crew of Froggy, Graham Gold, Nicky Holloway & Ian Reading funk another 3pm alldayer but at Southend Zero 6 with lotsa PAs … Paul Major now does Birmingham Millionaire’s Fri/Sat, and is about to start the other five nights at Derby’s non-dancing Knotted Snake fun pub … Birkenhead Atmosphere’s Tuesday Hi-NRG nights are hosted by the enigmatically named Gypsy Rose Lee … Clair Hicks & Love Exchange ‘Push (In The Bush)‘ (US KN) is a Greg Carmichael/Shep Pettibone-produced scratch remake of 1979’s Musique ‘In The Bush’ — and Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett has re-recorded his immortal 1962 ‘Monster Mash’ as an updated ‘Monster Rap‘ (US Easy Street) … Al Matthews, whose Sunday 6-7am Capital gospel show is an hour I try never to miss, really played some corkers last Sunday — such soulful singing! … Continental hits Tony Esposito ‘Kalimba De Luna‘ (Red Bus) and Sandy Marton ‘People From Ibiza‘ (Carrere) mix nicely using 7in copies if you run the latter’s electro intro through the former’s short 4 bar break (chopping that out as Sandy’s beat begins) … who is this Damon Cheesedip anyway? . . . SAY-YAY-YAY-YAY-YEAH!
ATTENTION DJs! Please post your charts and all Christmas/New Year gig info NOW to arrive this coming Monday (10) or else you’ll be too late for inclusion in the Dec 22 issue, and likewise next Thurs/Friday aim for Monday (17) delivery to catch Jan 5. We’ll be back to normal (ie: previous Wednesday 2) for the Jan 12 issue, but especially at this busy time for everyone we really need ya to keep ‘em coming!
MAJOR HARRIS: ‘I Believe In Love’ LP (Streetwave MKL 3)
Produced by Butch and backed by the whole family Ingram (who typically go more for soul content than strict tempo), the traditional throaty soulster’s excellent classy set’s most haunting standout is the gently weaving 104⅓-105⅔-108½- 0-108bpm title track swayer, beefier being the 110-111-112bpm ‘What Ever Happened‘ and 110½-111-112½bpm ‘Let Me Give You Love‘ while in this company his recent wriggling 113⅓- 113¾bpm ‘Gotta Make Up Your Mind‘ sounds stronger (a better mix?), many mellow slowies including the 82¼/41bpm ‘Through It All (The Game)’, 68½bpm ‘After All’, 74bpm ‘I Love You’, 69-0bpm ‘Rediscover’, 62bpm ‘Spend Some Time’.
MASCARA: ‘Baja’ (Personal 12PER 110)
‘Jingo’-ish jaunty rattling 122¾bpm bounder with Spanish chattering chix and Kid Creole-ish rapping chap going into a vibes-based conversational break (useful Instrumental Dub and echoey Ruff Mix flip), mixed by Jellybean and huge in US clubs as is anything he touches. A stiff on import, but then even ‘Jingo’ took time to explode.
Pennye Ford appears to be Sharon Redd’s sister, although oddly her biography confirms everything but that … Kool & The Gang’s LP is now out here (De-Lite DSR 6, ‘Misled’ being [unreadable] bpm), as is Deodato’s (Warner Bros 825 175-1), BPMs fractionally different from review) … James Ingram’s remix is due here January, when Chaka Khan’s follow-up will be ‘This Is My Night’ … Second Image return after Xmas with the aptly titled ‘Starting Again’ and jazzily instrumental ‘Ovo Mexido’, both soulfully harmonised swayers mixed by The Quick … Leroy Burgess (anything featuring his voice) seems to be an avidly collected hot property in certain quarters of black London … I’ve belatedly seen ‘Purple Rain’ and find significant Prince’s evident attitude to the more traditional black music exemplified by The Time’s two numbers (and some of his own more soulful rolling-on-the-floor screamers), the style which eventually makes him a star in the film and which he seems most genuinely to enjoy – and which he’s featuring on his current US tour – being unadulterated rock: taking the plot as loosely autobiographical, we must assume in real life his increasingly controversial early hit singles were but cynical confirmation of the black stereotype expected of him by the colour-coded US media until such time as his outrageous image had made him big enough to leap the barrier with ‘Little Red Corvette’ and rock like the Jimi Hendrix he now seems to emulate – he must, of course, have known all along that the white mass market will always prefer a rock star to a soul star (the film itself is basically just a remake of Elvis Presley’s ‘Loving You’ in many respects, my own favourite bits being indeed The Time, and Apollonia Kotero’s corset!) … Morris Day as reported has now split from The Time following the popularity of his scene-stealing “shuck and jive nigger” role in the film, the somewhat unkind send-up nature of which he himself may not have realised … London’s Hippodrome a year late on its first birthday finally launched its much ballyhooed “spaceships”, lighting loaded contraptions which came creaking across the ceiling at about three feet per minute to underwhelming response and looking, to quote Phonogram’s John Waller, “like my bathroom heater!” (the effect would have been better without up-lighters showing the suspension gantry), yet Peter Stringfellow kept babbling on, when the painful sound system didn’t cut out on him (as it did also in the middle of a mimed Rondo Veneziano PA!), about how only London and not New York could manage such a stunt — for the self-proclaimed “best disco in the world” the whole evening was not very impressive, showing that the world Stringfellow lives in is one of his own, and I’m afraid that my other companions including Theo & Joy Loyla, Kev Hill, Kim & Clare all agreed it was a shame the way it just begged sarcasm (by and large we’d rather have been at Flicks!) … Jez Nelson of Solar-FM’s Friday 7-9pm fan show (he’s at Bromley Dr Crippens Thursdays) and colleague Gilles Peterson are compiling an all-time Jazz Top 100 for Xmas broadcast: all (not just local listeners) are invited to send top ten nominations to him c/o Unit 1, 8-20 Well Street, London E9 … Les Knott explains his Harlow Hospital Radio party chart was compiled from local disco DJs for broadcast to the bedbound patients! … Hugh Williams, soon to leave the Black & White disco in Interlaken’s Hotel Metropole, warns jocks heading for Switzerland his slow-changing hits are Sandy Marton ‘People From Ibiza‘, Carrava ‘Shine On Dance‘, Paul Sharada ‘Florida (Move Your Feet)‘, P. Lion ‘Dream‘, Fancy ‘Chinese Eyes‘ — and, despite these, breakdancing is big news there … Frank Sammes in the Thames Valley DJ Assn’s current ‘Disco Action’ mag writes good advice for DJs about not buying more records than you can reasonably expect to use at the type of gigs you do (unadventurous maybe, but the richest jocks play the same old party records and just the biggest hits) … Flash Gordon, commuting home for Fri/Sat at Bristol’s Faliron Greek restaurant and a Wednesday night slot talking about record collecting on BBC Radio Bristol, now manages the London branch of Plastic Wax Records at 17 Westbourne Grove, offering 10 per cent discount on oldies and newies to bona fide DJs … Sandy Martin, whose Friday ‘Disco-Trekin’’ show on Wiltshire Radio, 96.4/97.4FM is 9-11pm, points out the Pointer Sisters also recorded Prince’s ‘I Feel For You’ on 1982’s ‘I Am So Excited’ LP, and that Chaka Khan’s real name is Yvette Marie Stevens (incidentally her sister Tasha Thomas recently died) … Norman Scott, reminding us Paul Parker’s current ‘Without Your Love‘ was originally by Cut Glass on RCA in 1980, is now joined by Colin Peters Saturdays at Haringey and circulates Sundays between the Bolts at Brighton, Bournemouth and the newly opened one in Luton RoneIles … Daryl Stafford (Bournemouth Cabaret Club) regrets that gay music ever got called “Hi-NRG” as the identikit formula then adopted by some UK record producers (he excludes Ian Levine) has helped fuel the growing Anti-Hi-NRG movement in gay clubs … Record Shack following the collapse of IDS is now distributed by EMI, so ‘Heartless’ should be back in stock (Evelyn Thomas, who’s sung backups with them, penned Fatback’s next single) … New Edition ‘Cool It Now‘ topped US Hot Black … Big Phil Etgart, surprised Angela Bofill wasn’t hotter as it’s great out of Thelma Houston, starts weekly with Gary Steele & Paul M at Berkhampstead’s Old Mill Hotel Fridays, when Tim Westwood hip hops Forest Gate Upper Cut’s roller disco while Zero Gravity reggaes the back room dance club … Pete Tong souls Chatham St. George’s Hotel The Music Parlor Sun (2), London Bridge Tooley Street Royal Oak Mon (3), when Steve Walsh funks Tottenham Silver Lady … Judge Dread’s “naughty disco show” hits the Bier Keller circuit in Leeds Mon (3), Blackpool Tues (4), Liverpool Wed (5) … Chris Dinnis souls Exeter Boxes Wed (5) … Roy Ayers has an RANYCBA, mane’s a JHLTBA, what’s yours? … Sophia Loren to guest in ‘Hill Street Blues’?! … Taurean Blacque to guest at Street Sounds’ Xmas party???? … SAY-YAY-YAY-YAY-YEAH!
ROY AYERS: ‘In The Dark’ (C8S TA 4855)
Excellent value 3-track 12in, this deceptively very catchy floor-filling huskily sung (0-)120bpm beefy chugger now being coupled with not only the more subduedly shuffling instrumental 121-120½bpm ‘Love Is In The Feel‘ but also — a big bonus —his album’s equally infectious if jazzier Grover Washington Jr/Tom Browne-backed driving 123bpm ‘Goree Island‘!
THE INTRUDERS: ‘Who Do You Love’ (Streetwave MKHAN 34)
A delayed action explosion on import, this rhythmically War-like gospelly-sung superbly soulful 0-118bpm trotter is packing floors thanks to its “who do you love — is it him or is it me?” catch line (inst/edit flip).