March 2, 1985: Drop the whop! (Washington DC go go special report) / extended “Hip Hop Hot ‘Uns” review special

If you’ve got to Go-Go, go-go with JAMES HAMILTON

Drop the whop!

ISLAND RECORDS’ purveyor of slackness Julian Palmer last week listed the top tunes that currently get Washington DC’s ghetto kids dancing the Whop and the Happy Feet, as discovered on a recent guided tour (with not one but two Mister T lookalike minders!). Strictly ghetto music, go go is so localised that even in its own home town it’s only stocked by a few record stores and as essentially it’s a live, audience participation music, it’s rarely representative when recorded anyway.

The very young fans who stay up all night for the go go jams (with less violence or drugs than some suggest and strictly no booze, at least as witnessed by Julian) are so much a part of the music created by such favourites as E.U. (as Experience Unlimited’s current line-up is known) that they don’t applaud — they’re performing too.

An incestuous scene as one so tightly knit must be, members of such line-ups as Rare Essence, Trouble Funk (mostly post-graduates in music at Howard University!), and the Soul Searchers swap around on various recording projects, just such a combination backing Little Benny whose UK hit not unnaturally has now caused jealousy at home.

Chuck Brown, now aged 52, hardly ever performs his old ‘Bustin’ Loose’ these days: his current drummer (previously in Trouble Funk) Mac Heary has just recorded ‘The Art Of Drums’ for D.E.T.T. as go go’s answer to the locally popular Art Of Noise! Closely related as go go is with P’funk, it’s no surprise to find that George Clinton is currently recording with Trouble Funk, while other new developments are the “bash anything” junkyard bands of South-East Washington’s ghetto and the jazzier feel of some more recent material — which is not to forget that go go alone is only part of the DC scene, as last week’s chart proved.

The kids are equally into New York rap hits and a fascination with the word “freak” has made Whodini ‘The Freaks Come Out At Night’ currently their biggest fave of all.

TROUBLE FUNK: ‘Drop The Bomb’ LP (Sugarhill SHLP 5554)
1982’s seemingly quintessential go go album doesn’t only feature the usual percussion, brass and chants — on the 102-103⅔-102bpm ‘Hey FeIlas’, 106-104-104⅔-104-104⅓bpm ‘Get On Up‘, 106-105⅓-106⅓-106⅔bpm ‘Let’s Get Hot‘ (plus their current UK single) —but also scores with excellent often soulful, even gospelly, vocals which come into their own on the final dead slow romantic 27½ -54⅓-54⅔bpm ‘Don’t Try To Use Me‘. Also about by Trouble Funk and from ’82, ‘Let’s Get Small‘ (US D.E.T.T. RC501) is a hoarsely chanted more typical lurching 104-105-104-105bpm tapper with harmonica (inst flip), while ‘Spin-Time‘ (US D.E.T.T. DT-7-1005) is a not terribly exciting though stereo separated c113bpm instrumental on 7in off their more recent expensive double LP.

PUMP BLENDERS: ‘Love Boat (Get On Down Y’All)’ (Cooltempo COOLX 108)
Pattering sinuous 103-102 104-105-106bpm go go chanter eventually saying no no to TCP (Angel Dust, Love Boat), snipped from a far longer live performance yet with the all-important audience madly mixed right down even during call-and-answer between the different area’s crews (edit, and short 102-101-102bpm “are they freakin’?” segment from the same jam).

EXPERIENCE UNLIMITED: ‘E.U. A Medley Of Funk Live (Throwdown)’ (LP ‘E.U. “Just The Way You Like It”‘ US Inner City IC 7008)
E.U.’s new studio version of ‘E.U. Freeze’ (incorporating the “ah ah ah ah” scatting from ‘Joy And Pain’!) is due here in a month, whereas this 1981 half hour throwdown (incorporating bits from ‘Tighten Up’ and more) rambles fascinatingly across two sides of a 12in-style twin-packed double LP and captures the true essence of Washington DC’s audience participation, at (roughly) 105-103-105-104-107-105-107-108-106bpm and 108-109-108-109-105-107-109-105⅔-106-107-0bpm. A couple of the guys later backed Kurtis Blow’s similar ‘Party Time’. Less inspired, from ’82 ‘Somebody’s Ringing That Doorbell (Express Yourself)‘ (US Inner City IC 7009) is a jumbled episodic 99-99⅚-100½-100bpm party chant half-stepper (inst flip).

TILT: ‘Arkade Funk’ (Malaco MAL 1219)
Originally from two years ago, this Trouble Funk produced 118½bpm instrumental electro percussion patterer with smurfs has a possibly now even more usefully go go 111⅔bpm Slow Dub Version as flip.

MICK JESSUP: ‘Take It Easy When You Get Down’ (US Starplex International SP1002)
From last year, a more conventional tightly disciplined 111bpm application of go go beat and chant with gruffly crooned verses to make an actual song (inst flip).


WILLESDEN ALLSTARS? No, not Hi-Tension as hotly rumoured, but the DC Allstars are indeed a British session group, Frank Tonto, Grace Anderson, Rene Carter, Basil Paul Evans, Guy Simone, Derek Kenyo, Courtney Pine . . . Fatback’s sax is David Sanborn! . . . Roy Ayers with casual showmanship and dazzling fast vibes playing was by far the most explosive jazzer at Hammersmith last weekend (Saturday seeming more spontaneous than Sunday’s live broadcast), his ambling ‘Poo Poo La La’ raising the roof — oh, and in case you wondered what a poo poo la la is, “whatever you envisage in your mind that’s exactly what it is”! . . . Jean Carn, vocally confident if seemingly shy on stage, was teasingly introduced to a standing ovation which soon sat down when she kept singing somebody else’s songs, although she did get to ‘Don’t Let It Go To Your Head’ . . . Angela Bofill’s visit has been postponed probably until June . . . London Xenon’s heat of the Disco Mix Club mixing competition was very convincingly won by Tottenham’s Roger Johnson with an exciting hot tempo scratch ‘n’ cut, but — and herein lies the danger for “names” entering — everyone seems to have heard that Chad Jackson got beaten in Wakefield although few know it was by Rotherham’s Martin McSweeney . . . Prince’s giant minder at the British Record Industry Awards on all-important TV made him a talking point amongst the mass viewing public who wouldn’t necessarily have heard about him before — don’t knock the clever lad . . . ‘Eye To Eye‘ is finally Chaka Khan’s follow-up and WEA picked up Twilight 22 ‘Mysterious‘, while Krystol ‘After The Dance Is Through‘ will at last see UK release — on ‘StreetSounds 12‘! . . . Lillo Thomas ‘Settle Down‘ is shaping up as the year’s ‘Plane Love’, a real nagger that could be around a long time . . . Maze’s LP actually appeared here (Capitol MAZE 1) ahead of imports: my almost accurate review was off cassette, so adjust side one up by ¼bpm, and make side two’s tracks 110⅔-111⅔bpm, 102⅔bpm, 0- 95¼bpm, 70½-72bpm . . . Third World’s supposedly original flip seems to have a newly beefed up break too . . . Wuf Ticket ‘Ya Mama‘ (US Prelude) mixes in with Roxanne Shanté ‘Roxanne’s Revenge‘ to add to the insults! . . . Chris Paul landed the Wednesday job at Kensington’s The Park, while Ralph Tee in the ‘Rhythm Box’ funks Southall Feathers Club ’82 in Featherstone Road every Thursday, when Graham Gold souls Rotherhithe Booties near the tunnel (Fatman Graham Canter’s there Sat, Dave Collins Fri/Sun) . . . Rick Robinson now funks Thursdays at Catford Musique’s II (at the Squire) with video and PAs by Canute tonight (28), Chosen 3 in a fortnight (14) . . . Paul Anthony has a “naughty nightwear” Thursday (28) at Nottingham Easy Street, and Colin Hudd says “virgins wear white” Friday (1) at Dartford Flicks . . . Friday also finds Steve Walsh celebrating Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush’s first birthday, Owen Washington at Fleet Country Club, soulful Chris Brown and jazzy Gilles Peterson at London Bridge Royal Oak, ’60s soul Function At The Junction’s 2nd birthday at Clapham Junction’s Wessex Suite, Peckham Kisses’ allniter with Frenchie T and the Brummy crews, and Roger Tovell with Odyssey & Haywoode broadcasting funk live on Severn Sound 95FM 10.30pm-1am from Gloucester Cinderella’s Rockerfella’s . . . Dave Treharne’s Friday 8-9pm R&B show on DevonAir 95.1/95.8FM this week has a Deep Soul special . . . Solar-FM’s first ever alldayer is Sunday (3) at Peckham Kisses 3pm with CJ Carlos, Gary Kent, Graham Gold, Paul Buick, Dave Collins plus ‘Mix Doctor’ Les Adams . . . Tuesday (5) Harrow Weald Middlesex & Herts Country Club has Steve Walsh with Direct Drive, Hot Shots, Joy Mack PA-ing, and in Liverpool Quinns jocks John Cotton (051-256 7049 for £2 tickets), Graham Slater plus Pez & John Cecchini “funk the ferries” aboard the Royal Iris . . . Phyllis Nelson plays Stratford The Pigeons and Sinitta Edinburgh Fire Island Sat (2), Carol Jiani Brighton Bolts Sun (3), Divine London Hippodrome Mon (4) . . . Pete Tong on Invicta Sound is another playing Prince ‘Erotic City’ over the airwaves — what a funker! . . . Syl Johnson ‘Miss Fine Brown Frame‘ is being revived by both Colin Hudd and Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms), and really vintage go go funk Frankie Crocker ‘Ton Of Dynamite‘ (US Turbo 7in) by both Pete Haigh (Blackpool) and Ian Whittington (Soho Le Beat Route Wed/Fri) . . . Solar’s “wonderful” Bob Jones asks in all innocence “when will someone bring Joe Tex out of retirement?” — I never miss your wonderful Monday evening show, Bob, but I fear Joe will never hear it again . . . Liverpool’s Department of Trade & Industry “heavy mob” were expected back in London this week, so pirates may be scattered again . . . Channel 4’s ethnic Eastern Eye last week approvingly looked at Asian People’s Radio, which has often been busted like the rest yet carries on giving pleasure and profit to listeners and advertisers . . . Disco and Nightclub chart competition is currently so healthily intense that many excellent records which on past form would have sailed in now need considerably more support to make it — there’s so much hot vinyl about (not that you’d know it from listening to London’s increasingly dull pirates) that not even War has managed to hit yet . . . Steve Gladders (Southampton) says he and all his DJ mates aren’t surprised Little Benny isn’t selling, they think it’s incredibly mediocre! . . . LET’S DO OUR JOB BEFORE THEY DO THEIRS!


PENNYE FORD: ‘Change Your Wicked Ways (Remix # 1)’ (US Total Experience TED1-2605)
A truly wicked remix by Lonnie Simmons, suddenly making this 119⅓bpm snappy strider (and its 119bpm dynamite dub) really exciting – and finally a hit in the States. More essential than ever.

JENNY BURTON: ‘Bad Habits’ (Atlantic A9583T)
Prod/penned by Allen George & Fred McFarlane of ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’ fame, this very similar joyful 103½bpm bouncer was evidently laid down originally to be Jocelyn Brown’s follow-up (sedately soulful 98⅓bpm ‘Let’s Get Back To Love‘ flip). You’ll know what to expect!

ROCKIE ROBBINS: ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ (LP ‘Rockie Robbins’ US MCA MCA-5526)
The masterful young soulster finally has a consistently strong album (mercifully minus his ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ contribution) to break him wide open with this immediately familiar somewhat ‘Hi How Ya Doin’?’-ish comfortable chunky 115bpm wriggler, the similar 113bpm ‘Caught In The Act‘ and 110bpm ‘You Finally Found The One‘, digitally tripped lurching (0-)118⅓bpm ‘Work For Love‘, inspirational smoochy 91½bpm ‘We Belong Together‘, Lorraine Ellison’s now cooler classic 59/29½bpm ‘Stay With Me‘, Leon Sylvers-arranged smoothly churning 123⅕bpm ‘Goodbyes Don’t Last Forever‘, dead slow gospelly 0-36- 72bpm ‘I Found Love’.

ROY AYERS: ‘Poo Poo La La’ (CBS TA 6087)
Suffering now in comparison with his fresher live version, the singing vibist’s amusing conversationally rapped strolling 109bpm tale of courtship, trouble and strife is terrific even if it does pall with over-familiarity, and to a new mass audience intrigued by the whereabouts of the “poo poo la la” that he wants to kiss it could quickly become another ‘My Ding-A-Ling’! Slick jazzy inst 121¾bpm ‘Compadre‘ and all-time classic 115½-115-115⅔bpm ‘Running Away’ as flip.

STEVE ARRINGTON: ‘Feel So Real’ (US Atlantic 0-86904)
“Billiard ball” beats gradually build up a rattling 113½-0bpm wriggler insistently chugged along by straining Steve with an oddly dated lilt, chanting chix, and a blazing trumpet solo before percussion takes over completely (inst flip), invigoratingly different and uplifting.

CHANGE: ‘Let’s Go Together’ (Cooltempo COOLX 107)
Jacques Fred Petrus returns to produce this strong new hauntingly insistent 99⅚-100bpm tapping pusher similar in tempo but less tightly dense than a Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis production (which the equally good soulful 80¼bpm ‘Part Of Me‘ flip does resemble).

CASHMERE: ‘We Need Love’ (LP ‘Cashmere’ Fourth & Broadway BRLP 503)
Due as follow-up single and set to explode now the LP (technically banned on import) is fully available, this great naggingly worried soulful 103½bpm swayer has been the hit of their PAs while other hot cuts are the sneakily lurching 120bpm ‘Fascination‘, jerky 120bpm ‘Keep Me Up‘, gentle 94⅔bpm ‘Cutie Pie‘, pushing 117⅓bpm ‘Someone Like You‘.

STEPHEN ‘TINTIN’ DUFFY: ‘Kiss Me’ (10 Records TIN 2-12)
Lavishly gatefolded brand new “cosmic” 121⅓-0bpm recording of the jittery pop disco strutter which has been huge for years in the Midlands but never spread nationally . . . until now?

TIPPA IRIE: ‘It’s Good To Have The Feeling You’re The Best’ (UK Bubblers UKMC 4, via Greensleeves 01-749 3277)
The next Smiley Culture/ Barrington Levy homegrown reggae crossover to explode on London radio, a youthful tonguetwister’s 88-89-91(vocal)-89-91bpm message about the “pirate” life, ending in dub.

ALISON MOYET: ‘That Ole Devil Called Love’ (CBS TA 6044)
Fabulous sophisticated ’50s-style sultry 67-0bpm big band smoocher (saxy Jazz Version too), produced by Pete Wingfield, knocking spots off the likes of Sade!

MATT BIANCO: ‘Big Rosie (Remix)’ (WEA YZ34T)
This spiritedly bounding 120¼bpm latin jazz samba skipper and a tightly remixed (0-)105bpm ‘Matts Mood‘ are instrumental flip to the dramatic humming-introed lovely lazy exotic 0-85bpm lush jogging vocal ‘More Than I Can Bear‘, worth hearing too.

GEE OAKLEY: ‘My Story’ (R-2 R2-001)
I’m going mad trying to remember which ancient ‘This Is My Story’ this chap-sung terrific familiar “dooba dooba”-filled hesitant slow 79¾-79½-0bpm smoochy lurcher is reviving (sax-led inst flip). Whatever, this is one of my current main faves.

I LEVEL: ‘In The Sand’ (Virgin VS718- 12)
Lovely feather light semi-slow slightly reggae-ish subtle slinky (0-)58½/117bpm pulsator, tapping War-like (0-)112½bpm ‘Latin Antics’ flip, both vocally clipped as ever.

ALEX MALHEIROS: ‘Papaia’ (LP ‘Atlantic Forest’ US Milestone M-9131)
The Azymuth bass player’s specialist solo set is dominated for the floor by this humming-backed easily loping 112-114-113-112-116bpm attractive jazz-funk wriggler.

MORRISSEY MULLEN: ‘With You’ (Coda K 20000T)
Teasingly white labelled as by “Southern Comfort”, this Noel McCalla-wailed dynamic classy 68⅔-33½-68¾-69¼bpm surging jazz-soul slowie sounds like typical Al Jarreau album material (inst jazz-funk 92½bpm ‘Meantime’ flip).

FORCE MD’s: ‘Tears’ (Tommy Boy/Island 121S 195)
Staten Island’s hip hop doo woppers tremulously trill a sweet Delfonics-ish 33-65-0bpm smoocher flipped here by just the stark 102⅓bpm ‘Beat Me Girl’ dub instrumental of their 101⅚bpm US 12in ‘Forgive Me Girl (Remix)‘ (US Tommy Boy TB 851), which also has ‘Forgive My Beats’ and a hip hop 107bpm ‘Auld Lang Syne‘!

WEST END: ‘The Other Side Of Midnight’ (EMI 12TAKE 2)
Steve Jerome-produced rather raw untidy 112⅔bpm jolting “disco” basher (better inst flip), heavily promoted.

JERMAINE JACKSON: ‘Do What You Do’ (Arista ARIST 12609)
Dreamy lush 56⅓bpm smoocher broken by radio, flipped (inst too) by his jiggly 108½bpm ‘Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin’‘ duet with brother Michael — which no doubt completists are buying it for.

The only truly memorable music in ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ was this much used simple catchy 117bpm synth theme — a ‘Pink Panther’ for the electro era — flipped by PATTI LaBELLE’s 137½bpm rock-disco chugger ‘New Attitude‘.

DAVID ROACH: ‘Emotional Jungle’ (Coda CODS 10T)
Jazzily saxed bounding 117¼bpm mechanical ticker with bursts of male vocal and some electro punctuation points, slow 67bpm ‘Sleepwalker‘ flip, pleasant enough.

MADONNA: ‘Material Girl (Jellybean Dance Remix)’ (Sire W9083T)
Uncomfortably spiky shrill 136-137bpm pop bounder doubtless sold by its video, less painful dull ‘Billie Jean’-ish 111bpm ‘Pretender‘ flip.

PINK RHYTHM: ‘Melodies Of Love’ (Beggars Banquet BEG 126T)
Careful if uninspiring mushy harmony chanted shuffling Imagination-ish 0-99¾bpm plodder by John Rocca’s new Shepherds Bush chums, with a sax-led instrumental 97-0bpm ‘Walking In the Rain‘ flip.

A CERTAIN RATIO: ‘Brazilia’ (Factory Benelux FBN 32)
Complex sprightly c112bpm samba sung over and around busy percussion with a nice Latin lilt and biting piano (extended flip).

ROBERT WHITE: ‘Hold Me Tight’ (US Paris PRS 0006)
Lightly wailed wriggling c120bpm floater, very pleasant and probably more memorable the more you hear it (inst flip).

TINA TURNER: ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain (Remix)’ (Capitol 12CL 352)
Good purposefully throbbed slinky 88bpm revival.

PRITTI BOYZ FEATURING FELIX: ‘Make Luv Tonite’ (US Posse POS 12-500-5002)
Felix being a plaintive female squawker with the Boyz chanting behind her, this stereophonic 115bpm electro jitterer isn’t as strong but works well with Samson & Delilah (edit flip).

MELBA MOORE: ‘Read My Lips’ (US Capitol V-8627)
Stolidly thudding 0-109bpm chugger with a whiff of ‘Caribbean Jean’.


ROXANNE with UTFO: ‘Roxanne, Roxanne’ (Streetwave XKHAN 506)
Half the jolting hip hop rap saga’s story so far is now here on 6-track mini-LP: UTFO’s original 100⅚bpm ‘Roxanne, Roxanne’ plus, stupidly instead of its instrumental (useful for scratchers), the 109⅓bpm ‘Hanging Out‘ and its 109¼bpm inst, with on the flip uncensored 101⅔bpm and bleeped “shit”-less 101⅓bpm versions of ROXANNE with UTFO’s ‘The Real Roxanne‘ plus its freakily scratched 100⅚bpm ‘Roxanne’s Back Side‘.

Incidentally on the DJs Maurice & Noel-mixed new ‘Streetsounds Electro 6‘ (Street Sounds ELCST 6), UTFO and ROXANNE are linked by CAPT ROCK ‘Cosmic Blast’ to ROXANNE SHANTÉ ‘Roxanne’s Revenge’ and WHODINI ‘Freaks’, Side 2’s fast EGYPTIAN LOVER ‘My House’ followed by BOBBY BROOM ‘Beat Freak’ and usefully both DOUGE FRESH and DOUGY FRESH human beat box records, making a strong set.

VARIOUS: ‘Tommy Boy Greatest Beats‘ LP (US Tommy Boy TBLP 1005)
On double LP all the label’s hits from ‘Jazzy Sensation’, ‘Planet Rock’, ‘Play At Your Own Risk’, ‘Pack Jam’, ‘Rock The House’, ‘Looking For The Perfect Beat’, ‘Salsa Smurph’, ‘Space Cowboy’, ‘Play That Beat Mr DJ’ to ‘No Sell Out’, ‘Let Me Love You’, ‘Lipservice’, ‘Take It To The Max’ and ‘Danger Zone’, with as the fourth side a very clean 114-116-119-125-127bpm ‘Tommy Boy Megamix’ by contest winners 3-D (Ralph D’Agostino, Tom Musto, Tommy Sozzi), the main attraction for anyone already owning the (longer) 12in originals.

WHODINI: ‘The Whodini Electro Rap EP Volume Two‘ (Jive JIVE T 84)
Spearheading with Run-DMC and the Fat Boys the USA’s surprisingly late greatest penetration yet by hip hop (thanks to touring with the Swatch-sponsored New York Fresh Festival which has given each huge hit LPs), the Willesden-recorded rappers’ latest 12in EP has their US smash 96⅓bpm anthemic message ‘Friends’ which deserves to have wide appeal, monotonous grooving 101bpm ‘Freaks Come Out At Night‘, hypnotic 106½bpm ‘Five Minutes Of Funk‘, ‘Magic’s Wand’-based 108⅔bpm ‘Grandmaster Dee’s Haunted Scratch‘, all apart from the latter also being on the LP ‘Escape’ (HIP 16) with the very clean sparse 101bpm ‘Big Mouth‘, 114bpm title track, 0-108½bpm ‘We Are Whodini‘, instrumental 107bpm ‘Featuring Grandmaster Dee‘ and 108bpm ‘Out Of Control‘.

RUN-D.M.C.: ‘King Of Rock’ LP (Fourth & Broadway BRLP 504)
The States’ current leading rappers repeat their ‘Rock Box’ blend of hip hop and rock guitar on the more interesting angrily buzzing 99⅚bpm title track (99⅓bpm on promo 12in), the 74bpm ‘Roots, Rap, Reggae‘ fusion with Yellowman working less well, while the violently cut ‘n’ scratched 104bpm ‘Daryll And Joe (Krush-Groove 3)‘ is causing more of a stir than the starkly rapped 99⅔bpm ‘Rock The House‘, 101⅓bpm ‘Jam-Master Jammin’‘, 89⅔bpm ‘You’re Blind‘, 127bpm ‘It’s Not Funny‘, 139bpm ‘Can You Rock It Like This‘, 120½bpm ‘You Talk Too Much‘ (based without credit on Joe Jones) — however, as cassette sales already suggest, their words are more for listening than dancing.

Most tracks have already been reviewed on longer 12in off their first US smash LP ‘Run-D.M.C.’ (US Profile PRO-1202), which for comparison has the 103bpm ‘Sucker M.C.’s (Krush-Groove 1)’, 99⅔bpm ‘Hollis Crew (Krush Groove 2)’, 121bpm ‘It’s Like That’, 99bpm ‘Jam-Master Jay’, 119½bpm ‘Wake Up’, 119⅓bpm ’30 Days’, 119⅘bpm ‘Hard Times’, 106⅚bpm ‘Jay’s Game’, 100⅓bpm ‘Rock Box’.

MAN PARRISH: ‘Boogie Down (Bronx)’ (Polydor POSPX 731)
Freeze Force rap tightly between bursts of vocoder and human beat box over Man’s jittery 111⅓bpm synth (scratch inst flip), good but less epochal than ‘Hip Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop)’ although it’s been hot in electro circles for months.

JAZZY JAY: ‘Def Jam’ (US Def Jam Recordings DJ003)
Stylishly packaged strong cut ‘n’ scratch specialist 105bpm vocodered judderer with some def snips from Michael Jackson and more, but I actually bought it for the excitingly wild 98bpm ‘Cold Chillin’ In The Spot‘ flip’s hilarious first-time rap by manager Russell Rush (inst too). Hear it!

DUMB GUYS: ‘Rap-O-Matic Rap’ (US Tommy Boy TB 852)
Keith LeBlanc-created fascinating juddered and cut 107⅓-107¼bpm hip hop-jazz hotch potch of smurfs, piano and other solos, in three mixes.

G.Q.G. & SLICK SHEIK: ‘Wild Boys Rapp (Sucker MC’s Version)’ (US Rappers Rapp Disco Co. RR-12-2004)
Inspired by rather than based on Duran Duran, an acappella rap ‘n’ scratch started MC poppin’ 107½bpm judderer causing some stir (Def Jam Version flip).

LISA LISA and Cult Jam with Full Force: ‘I Wonder If I Take You Home’ (CBS TA 6057)
Chick squawked flowing 0-114⅔-0bpm electro judderer with nursery game cadences, by the ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ producers and furthering the story, the flip’s short rap referring to her (dub too), although the style is different.

GRANDMASTER FLASH: ‘They Said It Couldn’t Be Done’ LP (Elektra 960 389-1)
Hip hoppers will find def moves aplenty in the 101bpm ‘Larry’s Dance Theme’, 105bpm ‘Girls Love The Way He Spins‘, 98bpm ‘Sign Of The Times‘, 115¼bpm ‘Alternative Groove‘, 103⅓bpm ‘The Joint Is Jumpin’‘, 98⅓bpm ‘Rock The House‘, BUT – keep reading! — the guys also actually sing soulfully on the tugging 103½bpm ‘Who’s That Lady‘, jittery Michael-ish 103bpm ‘Jailbait‘, seagulls started Isleys-ish 82⅓bpm ‘Paradise‘. Apt album title!

JONZUN CREW Featuring MICHAEL JONZUN: ‘Down To Earth’ LP (Tommy Boy/Polydor 825-167-1)
Even less predictably electro thanks to obvious affinities with a near namesake on the ‘Thriller’-ish 124⅓-0bpm ‘Tonight’s The Night’, jaunty Jackson 5-ish jerky 0-105-0bpm ‘The Wizard Of Space‘, sweet slow 0-69¾bpm ‘We’re Going All The Way’, while the Marvin-ish 95½bpm ‘Lovin’‘ single’s vocodered juddering (0-)107bpm ‘Mechanism‘ flip, chugging 105½bpm ‘Ugly Thing‘, clopping 127bpm ‘Time Is Running Out‘ and “electro northern soul” 182bpm ‘You Got The Lovin’’ are the expected hip hoppers.

BARONE: ‘Shake It Up (‘Til Ya Drop)’ (Jungle Rhythm SWET 4, via PRT)
Interesting juddery 117bpm mixture of “hip hop” — literally, those words cut up! – and vintage doo wop vocal group wailing (116½bpm Shep Pettibone Mix flip).

SUGARHILL GANG: ‘Work, Work, The Body’ (US Sugarhill SH-32037)
Choppily jerking c110bpm party rap about girls, girls, girls (inst/edit flip).

THE ARABIAN PRINCE: ‘It Ain’t Tough’ (US Raspur RP 10005)
Breathily rasped fast jittery c132bpm electro answer to the Egyptian Lover (inst flip).

RONNIE HUDSON & THE STREET PEOPLE: ‘Going Down’ (US Street People Record Co 12″ SP300)
Vocodered staccato jittery c105bpm scratcher (inst flip), quite heavy.


Beats Per Minute for last week’s Top 75 entries on 7 in (f/r for fade/resonant ends):

Prince 0-196-0r, Eddy & The Soulband 122-121-121¾-121-0r, ZZ Top 124¼f, Loose Ends 102⅔f, TC Curtis 113f, David Essex 0-85-86f, Julia & Co 112f, Midnight Star (0-)119¾f, David Cassidy 56¼f, Go West 130½f, Phyllis Nelson 80⅔f, New Edition 93⅚f, David Lee Roth (0-)115f, Sheila E 158f.

DISCO TOP 85 – MARCH 2, 1985

01 01 WHO COMES TO BOOGIE, Little Benny & The Masters, Bluebird/10 12in
02 06 YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, T.C. Curtis, Virgin/Hot Melt 12in
03 10 HANGING ON A STRING, Loose Ends, Virgin 12in
04 03 THEME FROM ‘SHAFT’ (HOT PURSUIT MIX), Eddy and the Soulband, Club 12in
05 05 I’M SO HAPPY/BREAKIN’ DOWN (REMIX), Julia & Co, London 12in
06 07 SOLID, Ashford & Simpson, Capitol 12in/LP Mix promo
07 08 BAD HABITS/LET’S GET BACK TO LOVE, Jenny Burton, Atlantic 12in
08 04 PERSONALITY (COMPLEX)/LET HER FEEL IT (RETOUCHED), Eugene Wilde, Fourth & Broadway 12in
09 47 BACK IN STRIDE, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Capitol 12in
10 02 NIGHTSHIFT, Commodores, Motown 12in
11 16 BUSTIN’ LOOSE/PT 2, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, Source 12in
12 12 CAN I, Cashmere, Fourth & Broadway 12in
13 19 OPERATOR, Midnight Star, Solar 12in
14 11 ANYTHING?, Direct Drive, Polydor 12in
15 09 YAH MO B THERE (JELLYBEAN REMIX), James Ingram, Qwest 12in
16 35 GIRLS ON MY MIND. Fatback, US Cotillion 12in
18 20 AFTER THE DANCE IS THROUGH, Krystol, US Epic 12in
19 27 STEP BY STEP (REMIX), Jeff Lorber featuring Audrey Wheeler, US Arista 12in
20 — NIGHTSHIFT (REMIX), Commodores, Motown 12in
21 24 I CAN FEEL YOUR LOVE SLIPPIN AWAY. Samson & Delilah, US Saturn 12in
22 30 (I GUESS) IT MUST BE LOVE, Thelma Houston, MCA 12in
24 46 PARTY TIME, Kurtis Blow, Mercury 12in/US LP remix
26 36 HEARTBEAT/LET IT ALL BLOW (REMIX), Dazz Band, Motown 12in
27 34 DO YOU REALLY (WANT MY LOVE), Junior, London 12in
29 43 LOVE TONIGHT, David Simmons, US Atlantic 12in
30 55 MR. TELEPHONE MAN, New Edition, MCA 12in
31 26 MOVE CLOSER (NEW MIX), Phyllis Nelson, Carrere 12in
33 22 I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU, KoKo-PoP, Motown 12in
34 79 MISLED (DANCE MIX), Kool & The Gang, De-Lite 12in
35 73 IN MY HOUSE, Mary Jane Girls, US Motown 12in
36 64 MOVIN’ AND GROOVIN’, Redds And The Boys, Fourth & Broadway 12in/US TTED 12in mix
37 45 THINGS ARE NOT THE SAME (WITHOUT YOU), First Love, 10 Records 12in
38 40 FOREST FIRE, Paul Hardcastle, Bluebird/10 12in
39 23 STARTING AGAIN, Second Image, MCA 12in
40 13 I DIDN’T MEAN IT AT ALL/CITY LIFE, Sasss, 10 Records 12in
41 44 HERE I COME, Barrington Levy, London 12in
43 17 THIS IS MY NIGHT (DANCE REMIX), Chaka Khan, Warner Bros 12in
44 38 WE NEED SOME MONEY, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, Master Mix 12in
45 33 CONTAGIOUS, The Whispers, Solar 12in
46 15 LOVERIDE, Nuance featuring Vikki Love, Fourth & Broadway 12in
47 31 1999, Prince, Warner Bros 12in
48 25 BEYOND THE SEA/STAND UP/20/20, George Benson, Warner Bros LP
49 50 OUT OF CONTROL (REMIX)/GIVE ME ONE REASON, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, RCA 12in
50 74 IN THE SAND, I Level, Virgin 12in
51 — CHANGE YOUR WICKED WAYS (REMIX), Pennye Ford, US Total Experience 12in
52 — DO WHAT YOU DO (REMIX)/TELL ME I’M NOT DREAMIN’, Jermaine Jackson, Arista 12in
53 37 FLY GIRL, Intrigue, US World Trade Records Inc 12in
54 — LET’S GO TOGETHER, Change, Cooltempo 12in
55 70 RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT DeBarge, US Gordy 7in
56 32 SHAFT, Van Twist, Polydor 12in
59 52 BUSTIN’ LOOSE, D.C. Allstars, Streetwave 12in
60 41 20/20 (JELLYBEAN REMIX), George Benson, Warner Bros 12in
61 85 DROP THE BOMB/PUMP ME UP, Trouble Funk, Sugarhill 12in
63 58 PUSH (IN THE BUSH), Clair Hicks And Love Exchange, US KN 12in
64 71 OHH BABY/YOU, Spank, German Metrovynil LP
66 — CAN’T STOP THE LOVE/TOO MANY GAMES/I WANT TO FEEL I’M WANTED, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Capitol LP
67 62 MYSTERIOUS (REMIX), Twilight 22, US Vanguard 12in
68 57 EYE TO EYE/MY LOVE IS ALIVE, Chaka Khan, Warner Bros LP
69 60 NOBODY CAN TELL ME (HE DON’T LOVE ME), Jenny Burton, Atlantic LP
70 — FEEL SO REAL, Steve Arrington, US Atlantic 12in
71 67 COME GET SOME OF THIS, Mass Production, US Paran 12in
72 66 JANET, Commodores, Motown LP
73 85= PAPAIA, Alex Malheiros, US Milestone LP
75 81 SHOULD I (PUT MY TRUST IN YOU), Caution/Maxi Priest, 10 Records 12in
76 75 BIG ROSIE (REMIX), Matt Bianco, WEA 12in
78 48 I FOUND MORE LOVE, Godfrey Lloyd Jnr & Hot Shots, Justice 12in
79 54 LOVE IN MODERATION (REMIX)/PADLOCK (REMIX), Gwen Guthrie, Fourth & Broadway 12in
80 — WARM, Beverley Skeete, Elite 12in
81 — ANYTHING? (PAUL HARDCASTLE/MARK KING REMIXES), Direct Drive, Polydor 12in promo
82 — GALVESTON BAY, Lonnie Hill, US Urban Sound LP
83 69 MR. MAGIC — PARTY FOR TWO, Kirk Thorne, JKO 12in
84 re COOL OUT, Magnum Force, US Paula Records 12in
85= 84 TIE ME UP (REMIX), Mtume, US Epic 12in
85= re AMAZING MIND, Canute, EMI 12in


01 01 CRUISING, Sinitta, Fanfare 12in
02 06 KNOCKIN’ ON MY DOOR, Barbara Fowler, US Profile 12in
03 10 LET ME FEEL IT, Samantha Gilles, Belgian Infinity 12in/US JVC remix
04 11 SINDERELLA, Betty Wright, US Jamaica 12in
05 03 STARGAZING, Earlene Bentley featuring Sylvester, Record Shack 12in
06 05 DON’T PLAY WITH FIRE, Paul Parker, Fantasia 12in
07 12 R.S.V.P., James & Susan Wells, Fanfare 12in
08 07 CHINATOWN, Cruisin’ Gang, Italian Cruisin’ 12in
09 04 BELIEVE IN THE BEAT, Carol Lynn Townes, Polydor 12in
10 08 YOU’RE MY HEART YOU’RE MY SOUL, Modern Talking, German Hansa 12in
11 09 TOUCH ME IN THE MORNING, Lydia Steinman, Long Island Sound 12in promo/remix
12 22 I’M NO ANGEL/ECSTASY, Madleen Kane, US TSR 12in
13 16 TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART, Koffie, US Pandisc 12in
14 15 CHINESE EYES/COME INSIDE (REMIX), Fancy, US Personal 12in
15 13 HEARTS ON FIRE (DANCE MIX), Sam Harris, Motown 12in
16 02 TAKE ME TO HEAVEN/SEX (REMIXES), Sylvester, Cooltempo 12in
17 24 SEX OVER THE PHONE (REMAKE), Village People, Record Shack 12in
18 21 CRASHIN’ DOWN, Legear, Proto 12in promo
19 25 NEW YORK CITY, Village People, French Scorpio LP
20 28 JUNGLE BEWARE, June Brown, Bolts Records 12in
21 18 NEW ATTITUDE, Patti LaBelle, US MCA 12in
22 — NIGHT OF THE FULL MOON, Gaby Lang, Dutch Casablanca 12in
23 26 NO REGRETS, Martinique, German Teldec 12in
24 11 WALK THE NIGHT, Bent Boys, Canadian Black Sun 12in
25 re YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD), Dead Or Alive, Epic 12in
27 — AMERICANO, Vivien Vee, Dutch Break 12in
28 20 LET THE NIGHT TAKE THE BLAME, Lorraine McKane, Carrere 12in
29 30 GIRLS IT AIN’T EASY, Peggi Blu, Dutch Injection 12in
30 27 INTO THE NIGHT, Tony Beverley, French Vogue 12in


POP JOX are playing: 1 (1) Ashford & Simpson, 2 (5) King, 3 (2) James Ingram, 4 (3) Prince ‘1999’, 5 (7) Little Benny, 6 (6) Eugene Wilde A/B, 7 (8) Cashmere 12in, 8 (10) Commodores ‘N’, 9 (15) Dead Or Alive, 10 (4) The Limit, 11 (9) Billy Ocean A/B, 12 (22) Phil Collins, 13 (11) Chaka Khan 12in, 14 (12) Madonna ‘LAV’, 15 (21) Direct Drive, 16 (14) George Benson 12in, 17 (40) Eddy & Soulband, 18 (24) Art Of Noise, 19 (36) Van Twist, 20 (39) Loose Ends, 21 (19) Bruce Springsteen, 22 (-) Howard Jones, 23 (27) Kool & The Gang ‘M’, 24 (-) Dazz Band A/B, 25 (18) Kool & The Gang ‘F’, 26 (25) Julia & Co, 27 (-) Chuck Brown ‘BL’, 28 (re) Tears For Fears, 29 (20) KoKo-Pop, 30 (-) Phyllis Nelson, 31 (13) Amii Stewart, 32 (44) TC Curtis, 33 (35) Laid Back, 34 (26) Barrington Levy, 35 (-) Jermaine Jackson A/B, 36 (34) Junior, 37 (17) Sheryl Lee Ralph, 38 (16) Nuance, 39 (30) Sasss, 40 (41) Midnight Star ‘O’, 41 (-) Vicious Pink, 42 (28) Bar-Kays, 43 (50) Change B/A (WEA), 44 (43) Shalamar mix, 45 (-) Jenny Burton 12in, 46 (re) Sharpe & Numan, 47 (-) Paul Hardcastle ‘FF/RF’, 48 (37) Melle Mel, 49 (-) Yello, 50 (-) Bowie/Metheny.

2 thoughts on “March 2, 1985: Drop the whop! (Washington DC go go special report) / extended “Hip Hop Hot ‘Uns” review special”

  1. A first mention here for the Def Jam label, with a review for their third release – we’ve missed DJ001 (LL Cool J: I Need A Beat) and DJoo2 (Beastie Boys: Rock Hard).


  2. And so we start hitting peak hype with Go-Go in the UK, with widespread coverage among specialist columns like James’, the likes of Echoes and also the supposedly trend-setting magazines like The Face and i-D … and yet next to nothing came of it all – and JH nails precisely why, however good the music might be: ‘Strictly ghetto music, go go is so localised that even in its own home town it’s only stocked by a few record stores and as essentially it’s a live, audience participation music, it’s rarely representative when recorded anyway.’ You have to wonder how much money Island spent in total, not only that trip but also on licensing, marketing and then the flop movie Good To Go. It’s the kind of dogged persistence that is now unimaginable in the music industry.

    Ironic that the other sub-genre highlighted in this week’s column is the one that subsequently used the Go-Go rhythm to its advantage: crossover hip hop hits in the UK in 1986 by Whistle, The Real Roxanne and Mantronix all succeeded where Go-Go itself could not.


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