ODDS ‘N’ BODS
THAMES VALLEY DJ Assn’s Sunday (27) 2-7pm Disco-Ex at Sunbury’s Kempton Park has 32 major disco exhibit stands, followed 7-12pm by Shownite 85 with the Cool Notes and Black Lace live plus PAs including hopefully Chaka Khan, Sade & Wham! . . . Saturday (26) Capital Radio sponsors the Kensington Commonwealth Institute’s one day 10am-5.30pm seminar Rock ‘N Roots at which panels (Charlie Gillett seems heavily involved) will discuss with audience participation all sorts of black music topics, including pirate radio (I’m going along with the Solar-FM guys) — £5 tickets (£2.50 unemployed/student) from Capital or the Commonwealth Institute . . . North Wales DJ Ian Turner (Llandudno 79404) is after artistes willing to appear at a PA-style concert on Sunday March 17 at Llandudno’s 1,200 seat Arcadia Theatre in aid of the Feed The World Ethiopia campaign, at which he hopes Bob Geldof will be star guest . . . Ballymena DJ Davy King reveals that the elusive Modern label is an offshoot of Northern Ireland’s Emerald Records and available from Solomon & Peres, 120 Coach Road, Templepatrick, Co Antrim (9486-32711) alternatively Davy himself can supply any desperate jocks with copies of the label’s great John Anderson Big Band ‘Glenn Miller Medley’ on 0266-41374 after 6pm (check for N. I. dialling code) . . . London picked up Barrington Levy ‘Here I Come’ for rush release as of now (LONX 62) . . . Fourth & Broadway’s “go go” compilation seems to be on hold, their first release from Washington DC’s DETT label now being Redds & The Boys ‘Movin’ And Groovin‘ . . . Dave Clark (Barking Chains) reminds us the Jimmie Gray produced Kirk ‘Sweet Legs’ Thorne rap of ‘Mr Magic’ was previously on Champagne/DJM’s 1981 compilation LP ‘Premixture‘ . . . Dave McAleer, nowadays behind labels like S.O.U.N.D. and Crystal City, is looking for new black dance music acts and song writers — send demos and details to him at 38 Wharncliffe Gardens, London, SE25 6DQ . . . Wokingham Mark One record shop’s Mark Clark reports the upcoming Maze set is a goodie, while Melba Moore produced by Keith Diamond sounds like a female Billy Ocean! . . . Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre, as an example, have pegged LP import prices at £8.49 but 12in rise from £4.75 to £4.99 (don’t forget they do good part exchange swapsies, though!) . . . Matt Bianco’s currently promoed ‘Big Rosie (Remix)‘ is a buoyantly bounding 121½bpm samba instrumental, commercially their next B-side, while also now promoed on single-sided 12in is the acappella started LP version of Ashford & Simpson ‘Solid’ . . . Morales & Munzibai, have remixed ‘Club‘ and ‘Dub‘ mixes of the Commodores on so far scarce US promo . . . Amii Stewart’s UK LP in a few weeks will have some alternative tracks and remixes (including ‘Friends’) as well as all the better import tracks . . . Mercury are releasing a ‘Best Of Jerry Butler’ LP . . . Julian ‘Slack’ Palmer has moved to A&R at Fourth & Broadway, leaving Adrian ‘Black’ Sykes as head of club promotion with new boy Tim Rudling to answer the phone . . . Steve Walsh & Paul Hardcastle’s label Total Control Records has signed with EMI where it would appear to be a major part of their new Dance Division, with busy Paul as house producer: Paul is also currently remixing Third World’s old ‘Now That We Found Love’ for Island with added Direct Drive female vocal and a wild dub B-side, while his original ‘Rain Forest‘ has sold over 250,000 in the States so far and Bluebird/10 have just promoed his ‘Forest Fire‘ as a trailer to their ‘Zero One’ soundtrack LP (plus of course he’s behind The Silent Underdog’s new ‘Pigbag’ hit and has new product due under his current solo contract with Cooltempo!) . . . Horizon Radio as threatened snuck back on 94.5FM to rival breakaway Solar-FM (who experienced some interference from a brief return of LWR, while Radio Fulham has joined London’s soul airwaves on 92.1FM . . . JFM’s studio it seems was finally tracked down when the police and DTI men blacked out the electricity supply floor by floor until the station’s signal cut off — whereupon Steve Jackson and Mastermind’s Herbie & Dave, who were just starting their very first show, couldn’t get out of the window . . . Hull Bali Hai regular Carl Kingston has lost his BBC Radio Humberside evening show due to needletime cutbacks but is sitting in as a freelance on Viking Radio 102.7FM . . . Radio Forth jock Tom Wilson in his regular telephone chat with New York’s Charlie Cassanova at WBLS learnt that ‘BLS are still urban contemporary, it only being WKTU that’s gone Top 40 in NYC . . . America’s colour conscious music video cable service MTV has finally started a separate cable channel Video Hits One (VH-1) on which around a third of the artists screened appear to be black — giving an outlet at last to MTV’s leading critic, Rick James . . . Mayfair Gullivers ‘King J Root’ party nights every Wednesday are heaving, Melle Mel & Scorpio hangin’ out last week while tonight (23) James Mtume plus Carroll Thompson & Total Contrast are due to PA . . . Chas Dennis finds ’60s soul and R&B taking the place of jazz sets at his gigs (like Yeovil Electric Studio Sat 26), and in fact every Thursday at Taunton Kingstons it’s oldies until 10pm when things get more modern and Chris Stagg does some mixing too . . . Friday (25) finds the ’60s soul Function At The Junction upstairs at Clapham Junction’s Wessex Suite, and Chris Hill guesting with Colin Hudd at Dartford Flicks (Chris might have had more of a look-in on Bob Geldof’s ‘This Is Your Life’ had he been flown in specially from New Zealand or somewhere!) . . . Saturday (26) Kev Hill celebrates Harlow Whispers first birthday with lots of PAs headed by the Cool Notes . . . Sean French joins Vicky Holloway at London Bridge Tooley Street’s Royal Oak Mon (28), Pete Haigh funks Tues (29) upstairs at Charlestons on Morecambe Promenade, Greg Wilson hip hops Wigan Pier Wed (30) with top breakdance crews and prizes . . . I don’t know which end of town Tim Westwood lives, but I haven’t seen him hanging out around Harlesden where the Mastermind guys are my near neighbours and the kids in the local supermarket stopped being heavily into hip hop ages ago — anyway, isn’t street roller hockey going to be 1985’s skateboard?! . . . Grandmaster Flash’s current ‘Sign Of The Times‘ turns out to be rapped by his group’s new member Leven and (Melle Mel’s brother) Kid Creole . . . Major Harris claims he was in the Jarmels for their 1961 US hit ‘A Little Bit Of Soap‘ but reference books don’t list him — and if he’s as young as he says he is the other guys would’ve been a whole lot older! . . . Atlantic should consider re-issuing Bobby Darin’s ‘La Mer (Beyond The Sea)‘/’Mack The Knife‘ following their current revivals by respectively George Benson and Frank Sinatra . . . Colin Hudd’s hot chop is from Little Benny’s “duh duh duh duh duh” into Direct Drive’s “dit dit” (if you yet my drift!) . . . MCA’s Paul Bunting seems to be overtaking Streetwave’s Morgan Khan for the title ‘Mr Reliability’ . . . Broader than Broadway, Safer than Safeway — WOAH OH OH!
AN UNEXPECTED BATTLE has broken out between two rival European versions, neither brand new, of the theme from ‘Shaft — that Richard Roundtree starring 1971 film which sparked a spate of “blaxploitation” flicks, and whose Isaac Hayes-penned 117-122-0bpm wukka-wukking theme was no less influential musically.
Polydor have already picked up for Feb 15 release the interesting 122-0bpm electro treatment by VAN TWIST (French Magic M 771), surprisingly close to the original arrangement apart from the way the actual noises are generated (reviewed off green vinyl rather than the earlier evidently different white vinyl version), this being the winner so far on radio although currently in short supply — so thus selling faster at the moment and preferred anyway by many is the even older 121¾-121½-122½-122-121½(vocal on)-0bpm non-electro treatment by EDDY AND THE SOULBAND (Dutch Break 308467), in which Ben Liebrand excitingly cuts up the wukka-wukking “real” instruments with car ignition effects and bursts of percussion (WEA were after this when last heard). Incidentally, Eddie Murphy’s hilarious though foul mouthed new film ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ could well become the ‘Shaft’ of the ’80s — do see it!
T. C. CURTIS: ‘You Should Have Known Better’ (Hot Melt 12TC 003)
Taking London’s airwaves by storm, this excellent buoyantly lurching 113½bpm chugger is worryingly whinneyed and yelped (sometimes in Jackson-ish style) while the beat and backing chicks keep creaming away (inst flip) — terrific stuff, so nagging it should be a national smash!
LITTLE BENNY & THE MASTERS: ‘Who Comes To Boogie’ (Bluebird/10 BRT 13)
Singing trumpeter Benny Freemen from Rare Essence seems all set to spearhead the UK explosion of Washington DC’s “go go” beat with this infectious brassy 109¼-109½-109¾-109½-108¼-109½bpm good time party jiggler (less vocal Club Mix flip), similar to Chuck Brown’s ‘We Need Some Money’ — which is surely due for re-promotion?
EUGENE WILDE: ‘Personality’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 18)
Bruce Weeden has created two good back-to-back remixes of this mournfully sung electronically jittered nagging wriggler, the acappella introed 115½bpm Complex vocal and sparse 116bpm Split dub, sandwiching a de-Hi-NRG-ized John Morales remix of the joyfully bounding 123½bpm ‘Let Her Feel It’ (previously credited to Simplicious). Continue reading “January 26, 1985: T.C. Curtis, Little Benny & The Masters, Eugene Wilde, Change, George Benson”