April 27, 1985: Freddie Jackson, Gloria D. Brown, Advance, George Duke, The Gap Band


T. C. CURTIS snapped up for his Virgin/Hot Melt label no less than Mai Tai (which, a cocktail, is pronounced “My Tie” — hi Peter!) . . . Alexander O’Neal’s UK 12in will be ‘A Broken Heart Can Mend’/’Are You The One?’/’Innocent’, while Loose Ends follow up with ‘Magic Touch’ — incidentally the latter plus Steve Arrington, ‘Club Classics Volume 2‘ and Jet-star’s TV advertised ‘Reggae Hits Volume 1‘ have been doing deservedly well in the overground LP charts . . . Atlantic Starr’s LP is due on UK release by next week, so save some money! . . . Jakata ‘Golden Girl’ (Motown TMGT 1379) adds its instrumental on UK 12in . . . US smash Animotion ‘Obsession‘ (Mercury PH 3412), the excellent locomoting 115bpm pop chugger I turned on to in DC, is now out here and looking indeed hitbound . . . Bluebird Records worked out from mail order demand the two areas most worth setting up shop in (wouldn’t you like to know the other?!), and have opened a branch in Luton at 16 Stuart Street managed by Solar FM’s Andy Taylor — the “catalogue” mentioned in their advert is actually a 24 page monthly newspaper called Blueprint with features by such radio stars as John Sachs, Andy Peebles . . . Tony Berry, ex-Arista disco plugger and latterly boss of Pinnacle, is updating his CLUB mailing list at Tony Berry & Associates, 33 Mallings Drive, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4HF; Music Power Records, the home of Intrigue, are building a mailing list at 37 Grand Arcade, Green Lanes, London N4 1AQ; Jon Williams is running General, Alternative/Hi-NRG, and Black mailing lists at The Reaction Report, Unit 20, Liverpool Business Centre, Mathew Street, Liverpool: all want truthful applications from bona fide DJs . . . Carl Richardson has written a BPM programme for the BBC Micro computer, calculating (in fractions) over exactly 30 or 60 seconds when you press any key in time to a beat: send 40 track disk or cassette tape plus £2 to him at 32 Abbeydale Oval, Hawksworth Park, Leeds LS5 3RF . . . Morecambe’s tourism committee hold a UK Breakers Championship on Saturday June 1, £200 prize for crews (£2.50 enrolment fee), £100 for individuals over & under 16 (£1 fee) — but all enrolments are due by April 30 so call Cary Smith for details on 0524-34386

. . . Ethiopia’s potentially most interesting fund raiser is actually being recorded today (Thursday) in New York by ex-members of such doo wop oldies groups as the Cadillacs, Chords, Dubs, Orioles, Channels, Teenagers, Del-Vikings, Drifters, Halos, Jive 5, Chiffons, Tokens, Mellows — Arthur Crier of the latter, with his son GQ bassist Sabu, co-ordinating the ‘Don’t Let Them Starve’ session which is being videoed by the NYC Board of Education . . . Rare Soul fan Peter Gibbins of Hull infos that the Maze LP track ‘I Want To Feel I’m Wanted‘ was first cut by Frankie Beverly way back on Washington DC’s Rouser label — so rare only two copies reached Britain — before reissue on Philadelphia’s Fairmount label (around £40 when found here), both times as flip to ‘Because Of My Heart’ . . . Expose ‘Point Of No Return‘ topped US Club Play (not a particularly big seller), USA for Africa topping 12in sales . . . DeBarge seem bigger than ever with US pop fans, two old albums even re-entering the chart . . . Lisa Lisa is selling like hot cakes in the States still on UK CBS import, and remains huge with young black Londoners — as is the old Cheryl Lynn ‘Gotta Be Real’ for Steve Walsh’s crowd . . . Carrie Lucas’s import LP nicely revives ‘Goin’ In Circles‘ and ‘Hello Stranger‘, and Gwen Guthrie has a 5-tracker of old remixes (mainly of ‘Padlock’, and powerful) . . . Phyllis Nelson ‘Move Closer’ (which strikes me as being another Ketty Lester ‘Love Letters’) was launched on its way entirely by Tony Blackburn’s perseverance . . . Curtis Hairston does all the vocals you hear multitracked — “I’ve always liked male and female singers and when I came to record I wanted to try and get in between” (he sure couldn’t dance though on Soul Train, whose main stars this Friday should be Chaka Khan, Haywoode, Working Week) . . . Solar, Horizon & LWR all lost their transmitters last Thursday but were back by the weekend, LWR even in stereo now . . . Southwark’s Pentecostal black mayor Sam Beaver King is evidently applying to run a religious community radio station, Gospel Broadcasting Station (GBS) London, when local radio is expanded . . . Pete Tong’s Saturday soul show on Invicta Sound 103.8FM this week moves an hour earlier to 6-9pm . . . DMC mix champ Roger Johnson joined LWR lunchtime weekdays, Eddy James ditto 8-10 Tuesdays, while Damon Rochefort — who confides that now he’s got to know everyone on the soul scene he finds it hard to mouth off about them — has a “Street Noise of the air” on Horizon 5-7.30pm Saturdays . . . James & Susan Wells ‘RSVP‘ has been copied note for note as ‘Our Love Is Heart And Soul’ by The Denials on Canadian BMG . . . Pamela Nightingale used to be called Zippy Azizollah, her real name, when lead singer on Croisette’s old AVI LP produced by Ian Levine . . . Chris ‘Connie’ Crooks took his after-hours day Habits to Squires at Derby’s Rowleys . . . Gillingham’s Paul French unbelievably has moved yet again, now Spatts Mon, Ice Bowl Wed/Sun, Kents Thur, The Avenue Fri/Sat — right that’s yet lot! . . . Chad Jackson mixes just the early evening junior disco at Bolton Dance Factory on Saturdays, Franklin Sinclair taking over after 10pm . . . Rick Robinson starts funking Friday (26) at the actual opening of Brentwood’s brand new Bugatti’s, still does over-21 Sundays at Beckenham McCormacks, and has moved Thursday to London Bridge Royal Oak with PAs etc — also, keeping in with his Soul Patrol, he’s arranging free coaches to Stage 3 on May 24 (details 01-771 1761) . . . Brentwood Bugatti’s (A128 Ongar Road) other jocks include The Dude Sat, Dave Gregory & Kev Hill Wed (when it’s free for members) . . . Hereward Radio’s Steve Allen go go funks Peterborough Fletton Fleet Centre Friday (26) with Nick Graham & Trevor Mac . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meets Sunday (28) noon at Sunbury on Thames Constines Restaurant (Sunbury Cross Shopping Precinct) with a presentation by Martin Audio . . . Carl Anderson’s old ‘Buttercup‘ is happening again (especially at Caister) confusingly just as a new LP is due . . . Los Angeleans are reportedly all walking around the streets going “da ha da ha, da ha ha ha-ha ha”, the Rappin’ Duke having taken a mighty hold! . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT WILL BE!

PAUL HARDCASTLE’S controversial ’19’ despite having smash written all over it oddly seems to be considered too offensive for army veterans by his record company in America, who have released ‘King Tut‘ instead — for the time being? Here ’19’ (a perfect synch with the Conway Brothers incidentally) is flipped by the typical 115¼bpm melodic jitterer ‘Fly By Night‘ and wave washed romantic 88½bpm ‘Dolores‘, but another as yet unheard Destruction Mix will add ‘The Asylum (It’z Weird)‘ to that version’s flip. Ever busy, Paul has also remixed ‘Oh What A Feeling‘ and ‘Let’s Go Together‘ back-to-back as the follow-up by Change! Does this man sleep?


FREDDIE JACKSON: ‘Calling’ (LP ‘Rock Me Tonight’ US Capitol ST-12404)
Superb soulful love set by the sometimes almost over-mannered Kashif-ish agoniser, hottest being this phone introed 103½bpm sparse tender snapper, the jiggly 115½bpm ‘He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)‘, lush 92 1/6bpm (eee, you’re so precise James — Ed) ‘Love Is Just A Touch Away‘, and 12in hit 72bpm title track, although the 105¼bpm ‘I Wanna Say I Love You‘, (0-)109bpm ‘Sing A Song Of Love‘, 0-91½/45¾bpm ‘You Are My Lady‘, 0-26/52-0bpm ‘Good Morning Heartache’ (Billie’s) are just about as strong. Not to be missed if masculine breathy, wriggly vocal teasing is your style.

GLORIA D. BROWN: ‘The More They Knock The More I Love You’ (US Krystal Records KRY-16)
Instantaneously powerful Rodney Brown-prod/penned remorseless jiggly snapping 109½bpm chugger in the Jenny Burton/Jocelyn Brown class (inst flip), destined to be huge.

ADVANCE: ‘Take Me To The Top (Remix)’ (Belgian BMC BMC-3528)
Originally on a ‘Studio 57’ mixer LP ages ago, this brilliant Ben Liebrand restructuring of the chix chanted bass burbled 113½-112½bpm roller from over two years back (never issued here by Polydor) is causing a sensation on 12in thanks largely to the way it sounds as if the deck keeps accidentally stopping, only to restart without losing a beat (inst flip). Large! Continue reading “April 27, 1985: Freddie Jackson, Gloria D. Brown, Advance, George Duke, The Gap Band”

April 20, 1985: Steve Arrington, Paul Hardcastle, Curtis Hairston, Robert White, Aurra


BOILING POINT is now confirmed as Polydor’s new dance label — and it’s signed the available Philly World Records catalogue, starting with Joanna Gardner . . . Salsoul has folded, Aurra being their first act already to find a new label . . . Paul Hardcastle and Mark King’s remixes of ‘Anything’ will finally be out commercially next week as flip to Direct Drive ‘A.B.C. (Falling In Love’s Not Easy)‘ (Boiling Point POSPX 742), a brittle brassy fast un-funky 0-135¾bpm bounder that’ll need all they can do for it, a big mistake . . . Atlantic Starr ‘Freak-A-Ristic‘ (A&M AMS 245) is already due here but with its dub replaced by the old 117½bpm ‘Circles‘ and 108½bpm ‘Island Dream‘ . . . CBS have lost a great opportunity by only using the 7in edit of ‘You’re Gonna Love Being Loved By Me‘ on the 12in of The Manhattans ‘You Send Me’ (CBS TA 6046), flipping it instead with the old slow ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’, ‘Hurt’ and ‘Shining Star’ — doesn’t everyone already have them on StreetSounds? — yawn! . . . Jeff Lorber’s first UK single on Club, although flipped with ‘Step By Step‘, oddly has ‘Best Part Of The Night’ as A-side — why not the far hotter ‘Every Woman Needs It’? . . . Chaka Khan’s ‘Eye To Eye‘ 7in mix is indeed far superior to the dreadful 12in botch up — can’t something be done? . . . New Edition’s excellent “extended version” seems totally unknown to certain MCA sales reps and hence has yet to show up in the chart — really creative marketing! . . . Nigel Wright & Froggy have done a so far promo-only Shakatak ‘Megamix’, which starts at 106bpm but sounds so dull I soon gave up! . . . Herman Kelly has evidently been cutting up rough over the inclusion of his old ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat‘ in Tommy Boy’s ‘Roots Of Rap’ LP and its Double Dee & Steinski medley, which seems to have put the project in jeopardy: unless he has equally clever re-release plans himself, what more profitable use could he find for such an obscure track? . . . Disco Mix Club’s April mixes are Roger Johnson’s championship winning clever cut ‘n scratch, Les ‘Mix Doctor’ Adams’ exciting ‘Hip Hop! What’s Up Doc?‘ based on Eddy’s ‘Shaft’, Sanny X’s powerfully restructured Lipps Inc ‘Funkytown’, Alan ‘The Judge’ Coulthard’s scrappy Level 42 and frustratingly bitty UK funk medleys being rather abrupt (DMC subscriptions on 06286-67276) . . . Les Adams actually bought Ready For The World ‘Tonight‘ just to play for me on his Friday late night Solar 102.45FM show, but his copy turned out too warped to track (excuses, excuses, but thanks anyway!) . . . RAH Band ‘Clouds Across The Moon‘ must be the biggest hit yet to be created primarily by London’s soul radio . . . KJAZZ, KO? . . . Robbie Vincent & Jeff Young co-hosted Radio London’s Saturday lunchtime soul show last week live from Caister . . . Colin Day may not be a nationally known radio DJ but has solid experience and currently operates as a “Jock Doctor”, evaluating and giving very sensible lengthy advice about prospective radio audition tapes, for £15 plus £10 per follow-up critique, on 0905-353361 . . . Soul Train on US TV let’s face it isn’t exactly action-packed, and in fact the UK version if anything has more happening even though it follows the same rather limp format (Cool Notes, Phyllis Nelson & Fat Boys guest this week) . . . Curtis Hairston is on Soul Train next week, and at London’s Lyceum with Barbara Pennington & Edwin Starr for Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (18) . . . Tony Blackburn & Steve Walsh start an alternative night out Monday (22) at the Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow — don’t spread it too thin, lads — while Steve Walsh, Freddie M & Damon ‘Cheesedip’ Rochefort attempt to make Leicester Square’s Maximus funky on Wednesdays . . . Colin Hudd and “new boy” John Courtney hold pyjama party Friday (19) at Dartford Flicks . . . Derby Habits is no longer gay Sats . . . Gillingham’s busy Paul French filled Wednesday at the Ice Bowl but dropped The Avenue on Sunday, now his only night off (which nevertheless he’d like to fill again!) . . . Maze topped US Black 45s, and on Wednesday May 1 join Dionne Warwick (plus Rita Coolidge, Peter Allen & Gregory Hines of ‘Cotton Club’) at London’s Royal Albert Hall for a gala night in aid of USA for Africa . . . Mark ‘1’ Richards (0432-57710) is after freebies and sponsors for the Hereford Disco Club’s well organised popular under-18s charity gigs, the next with Radio Wyvern DJ Sammy Southall (hi Sam!) being at Hereford Town Hall next Sat (27) in aid of Ethiopia . . . Shaun Sullivan gets solidly funky Tuesdays now (as well as more mixed Thur/Fri/Sat) at 800 capacity Bloxwich Flix, where he’d welcome PAs, videos etc on Walsall 27307 . . . Dave Rawlings has a new video system to play with at refitted Basingstoke Martines . . . Oneness Of Juju ‘Every Way But Loose‘ is being revived by both Dave Malone (Sudbury Queens Arms) and Adrian Allen (who writes reams weekly from Sunderland but never reminds me what his club is — not very bright, and he’s not alone!) . . . Alan Jones appears to be over-worked, hence no Nightclub chart recently . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT IS?

MARVIN GAYE’S first posthumous new release, initially on import 7in (US Columbia 38-04861) from his imminent ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’ LP, is the electronically bubbled lightly shuffling 116¼bpm ‘Sanctified Lady’ with gospel-ish girls emphasizing the “sanctified” as Marvin coos, croons ‘n yowls in his inimitable style, all slightly like an updated sexually healed ‘Got To Give It Up’ (inst flip). Pleasantly jaunty, co-penned and (with Harvey Fuqua) produced by Gordon Banks & Marvin, it may not have seemed such a major opus in his lifetime but is sure to satisfy expectations now.


STEVE ARRINGTON: ‘Feel So Real’ (Atlantic A9576T)
In an exceptionally strong week this, our current chart topper, has to be lead review, an incredibly original rattling and wriggling (0-)113½-0bpm inspirational soarer with Freddie Hubbard’s horn before the distinctive percussion breaks, the inst flip here being joined by the sombre ‘In The Ghetto’-ish (0-)95¼bpm ‘Willie Mae‘. Massive!

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ‘Nineteen’ (Chrysalis CHS 12-2860)
“In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26, in Vietnam he was 19” — that’s the boldly stated basis of this brilliant aural documentary with news reports and veterans comments superimposed and cut up over typical jittery 117½bpm electronics, sure to be as controversial a smash in America as Tom Clay’s classic ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love/Abraham, Martin And John’. As Paul himself says, “If this doesn’t shock you there’s something wrong”. (Promos had beats and bits for mixers, commercial copies have two as yet unheard newies on the flip).

CURTIS HAIRSTON: ‘I Want Your Lovin’ (Just A Little Bit)’ (London LONX 66)
So familiar to Londoners it’s almost an oldie now, this excellent leanly striding wriggly 119bpm soul burbler like his earlier hit ‘I Want You All Tonight’ is apparently duetted with a similarly straining girl — unless that’s him multi-tracked? — with a strong dub too. Continue reading “April 20, 1985: Steve Arrington, Paul Hardcastle, Curtis Hairston, Robert White, Aurra”

April 13, 1985: Loose Ends, George Benson, Melba Moore, Lillo Thomas, Winston Groovy


MORGAN KHAN has brought back Orin Cozier to Streetwave as A&R man (at last, someone with ears!), and label manager for both CellulOid and Butch Ingram’s new label Society Hill (which latter will include Ingram, Ronnie Dyson and — scoop new signing — Phyllis Nelson?) . . . Champion picked up Robert White, but because they’re so hot with Spank they’re putting it out on Calibre (in over just a week) . . . Kool & The Gang’s 12in of ‘Cherish’ will be flipped by both ‘Celebration’ and the US remix of ‘Fresh’ . . . Froggy and Simon Harris’s megamix medley of James Brown is due next week . . . George Duke ‘La La’ is of course great with DeBarge — can’t it be the A-side here? . . . Afrika Bambaataa joins the Rap Attack season of hip hop happenings and seminars at Euston’s Shaw Theatre from Sunday to give master classes, no less, other specific events being the Last Poets in concert this Fri/Sat at 8pm, a marathon 1am-3pm “graffiti splash” with artist Brim Monday (15), 8pm DJ Convention Tues (16) and grand all-star hip hop spectacular Wed/Thur (17/18) at 8pm — full details from Jane New or Jean Davenport on 01-388 0031 . . . London now has a 100% jazz station KJAZZ 94FM Sundays 10am-10pm with DJs Gilles Peterson, Baz Fe Jazz, Chris Bangs, Jez Nelson, Paul Murphy . . . Andy Grahamme appears to have an audience for his 2-5pm weekday show (totally soul Fri) on Kent’s Invicta Sound 103.8FM — which apparently is more than the breakfast show has! . . . Channel 4’s thirteen week series of 6.20 Soul Train debuting this Friday (at 6.20pm!) is introduced by Jeffrey Daniel, who of course started out as a dancer on the long-running US original of the show before being recruited into Shalamar . . . Commodores topped US Black LPs (which, at 42, Luther Vandross amazingly entered more than twice as low as in the UK Pop LP chart!), Mary Jane Girls topping US Dance/Disco Club Play . . . T.T.E.D.’s distribution in the States by Island has immediately resulted in Redds & The Boys hitting both the US Black and Dance/Disco charts . . . Lisa Lisa is selling Stateside on UK CBS import as oddly it isn’t out there yet on Columbia . . . Ralph Rolle ‘Roxanne’s A Man‘ (US Streetwise) is subtitled, hopefully with reason, ‘The Untold Story — Final Chapter’ . . . US LPs on import also include, if you can afford ’em, a strong Johnny Mathis, disappointing Joanna Gardner . . . Paul Hardcastle’s import-blocked compilation album is storming up the US Pop LP chart — incidentally, Paul plus Steve Walsh, Billy Idol, Gary Crowley & Phil Daniels were all together at Paddington’s Rutherford School (had it not been before the days of leg-warmers it might have been like Fame!) . . . EMI Music plugger Robert Blenman queued outside the Montcalm Hotel to get Michael Jackson’s autograph, actually met the man, and now is even more of an MJ lookalike even investing in the sunglasses and pulling down his front curl! . . . Kev Hill — “Today Harlow, Tomorrow The World”? — has two spare second row stalls tickets for Maze on Fri 26 to sell (face value) to the first true fan who correctly names the group’s debut LP on 0268-702626 (days) . . . Maze immediately sold out all their six April dates at Hammersmith Odeon, and doubtless by now have filled the late extra concert there on May 10 too . . . Paul Young fanatics may want to check their local import shop for a seemingly BBC-recorded ‘The Live Edition’ LP only available on Japanese Epic/Sony (20.3P-578) at about £10.99 . . . Colin J. Dale (Lee) is after Rare Essence ‘Body Moves‘ (Fantasy) on 01-674 8668, Dave Dutch wants Visage ‘Pleasure Boys‘ (12in remix) on 01-253 7777 days, Darren Dawes needs the ‘King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown’ LP on Bracknell 486260 . . . Bournemouth Boscombe’s The Academy with fire-eating new DJ Johnny Proctor on Fridays this month has Loose Ends (12), Haywoode (19), Cool Notes (26) . . . Friday (12) Brian Mason celebrates Cricklewood Ashton’s first birthday with Page 3 Girls Samantha Fox & Corrine Russell, plus PAs and radio DJs — hmm, I might go to that! . . . Bolton Dance Factory (where Chad Jackson appears to be mixing Saturday’s) has a big Island/Fourth & Broadway promotion weekend Fri/Sat (12/13) . . . Sat (13) The Guvnor plugs ‘Club Classics Volume 2’ at Harlow Whispers . . . Chris Brown souls Bermondsey Royal Oak Mon (15), doubtless the inevitable “after Caister” night . . . DJ Undercover at Soho’s Wag Club Saturday lunchtime sounds like one of Britain’s best cut ‘n’ scratch mixers, to judge from an inventive long “live” sequence played on LWR . . . Chris ‘Connie’ Crooks does the after hours Saturday 11pm-2am Boystown Habits round the rear of Derby’s Friary Hotel, and the similarly based video disco Sundays at the Rising Sun pub where he needs more video promos — maybe he should contact Roz Bea at The Video Pool on 01-602 5935 . . . Paul Clark, back at Sheffield Park Hilly’s Sun, go go funks Brighton Royal Escape Sat (packed at pub chucking-out time) and has returned to soul cheap booze Mondays at the Brighton Belle . . . Cleveland Anderson, Allan Sullivan & Soul Incorporated Roadshow funk Fridays at Southall Feathers . . . Nicky Leek spins 95% soul & funk at Stratford on Avon Punt & Cushion Thursdays . . . Jeff Thomas mixes upfront funk and a bit of smut in Swansea at Strikeout Sundays, Martha’s Vineyard Fridays (Cool Notes “live” at the latter Fri 19) . . . Peter C. Helyer does Mondays at Cardiff Ritzy — fascinating, what? . . . Phil Roberts & Aquila P. Weekes (like it!) at “East Anglia’s most versatile funk club” Ipswich Cindys have updated the sound system there three times in three years yet still want one that’s bigger and better (but does the boss?) . . . RECORD MIRROR is now at Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QZ (incidentally that’s a Q before the Z) to which all charts ‘n’ info should now be sent: meanwhile main deliveries at my home have been so erratic that if any record companies wonder why their releases haven’t been reviewed it may be because they never reached me . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT IS!


LOOSE ENDS: ‘The Sweetest Pain’ (LP ‘So Where Are You?’ Virgin V2340)
With strings handled by Dexter Wansel it’s no surprise his own classic 97bpm sultry smoocher, the similar 0-90/45bpm title track and sweetly drifting SOS Band-ish 78¾-0bpm ‘You Can’t Stop The Rain‘ come off best, while — their in this context untypical 103bpm ‘Hangin’ On A String’ hit apart — the faster material may wriggle too slickly to have immediate floor response, but once familiar the 0-115bpm ‘A New Horizon‘, 115½bpm ‘If My Lovin’ Makes You Hot‘, 114½bpm ‘Magic Touch‘, (0-)115bpm ‘Give It All You Got‘ (did the drum machine get stuck?) should work too, a faithful 105¼bpm revival of David Bowie’s ‘Golden Years‘ presumably being a tribute-like case of coal to Philadelphia (where both were recorded), the set ending in a Ron Jennings-guitared 107-109-111bpm jazz carnival instrumental half-stepper ‘Silent Talking‘. Still lots of surface gloss although more substance this time, too.

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Beyond The Sea (La Mer)’ (Warner Bros W9014T)
Surprisingly close to Bobby Darin’s 25 years old swingingly arranged big band translation of Charles Trenet’s classic old French standard, George croons, Joe Sample tinkles and the brass brays through this 122-117-114-112-0bpm sophisticated quickstepping delight, real music (flipped by the old instrumental (0-)82-81bpm ‘Breezin’, just to remind us he used to be a guitarist of reknown, and the slow ‘This Masquerade’).

MELBA MOORE: ‘King Of My Heart’ (LP ‘Read My Lips’ Capitol MEL 1)
On a quite amazingly derivative set, this Keith Diamond-prod/penned 116bpm chugger IS ‘Caribbean Queen’, while ‘When You Love Me Like This‘ is a plopping 0-106½bpm lurcher duetted with Lillo Thomas and the 0-118-0bpm ‘Dreams‘ sounds like Fleetwood Mac because indeed they did it first: however Tina Turner never did the (0-)103-0bpm ‘I Can’t Believe It‘, the 0-103bpm ‘Love Of A Lifetime‘ tries to be ‘Sexomatic/Medicine Song’, leaving the 110bpm rock chugger title track and empty fast 119bpm ‘Winner’, 120bpm ‘Mind Over Matter’. Continue reading “April 13, 1985: Loose Ends, George Benson, Melba Moore, Lillo Thomas, Winston Groovy”

April 6, 1985: Alexander O’Neal, Steve Arrington, David Simmons, Pennye Ford, Aurra


CURTIS HAIRSTON will be here on London and Lillo Thomas is due too, while T. C. Curtis was picked up by Sire Stateside . . . US import prices are likely to be down again this week as the dollar dives . . . George Duke’s import LP is a big disappointment — and its best track, the Lionel-ish lightly Latin lilting 114½bpm wriggler ‘La La‘, will be added to his UK 12in flip anyway . . . Donald Byrd will be based in Britain for much of the time from this summer . . . Lifesighs ‘All In One Night’ turns out to be on Pressure (SURE 1) via EMI . . . John Savill of Bacchus International at 64/66 Glentham Road, London SW13 9JJ (01-741 7241) is after visual, entertaining, dancing DJs who can feel their audience’s mood and work complex lighting, for residencies around Europe, the Far and Middle East, Australia, Canada (they’re kosher) . . . Debbie Gopie is building a DJ mailing list at the new Impulse Promotion Company, 10-12 Chaplin Road, London NW2 (01-459 8866) . . . Hi-NRG diva Laura Pallas has left Record Shack to shop for a new label with room for her big talent: contact Nagasaki Management on 01-928 4274 . . . Peter Stringfellow DJs (with his old applause effects records?) this Wednesday just gone for all but Central London readers at The Hippodrome’s recreation of his original Sheffield King Mojo club, complete with Jimmy James & The Vagabonds and Edwin Starr (now indeed signed to his label) . . . Danny Daniels starts funking Thur/Fri/Sat at Balham Digits this week . . . Euston’s Shaw Theatre kicks off ten days of hip hop happenings next Tuesday (9) with Mastermind Roadshow and London All-Star Breakers running workshops to teach scratch mixing and breakdance/bodypopping (details 01-388 0031), more major excitements to follow . . . Tom Silverman in our DC limo played Double Dee & Steinski’s latest ‘Lesson Three‘ mindblowing mastermix medley, now sent me on cassette ahead of its inclusion on Tommy Boy’s future “history of hip hop” album: using such as Herman Kelly ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’ and the inevitable Incredible Bongo Band ‘Apache’ it synchs in such blasts as ‘Hernando’s Hideaway’, and Lauren Bacall’s immortal “whistle” line cuts straight from “you just put your lips together and . . .” into the Fat Boys bullfrog-ish Human Beat Box! . . . Washington was quite good fun (except perhaps for poor Tony Blackburn, who spent much of his 36 hour visit waiting for Max Kidd or the cars to appear, something we others overcame later!), all of us getting on very well, and doing some serious eating at the local stuff yourself silly Beefsteak Charlie’s — my highlights were B.B. King, the Soul Searchers, and the spring weather, my bummer being rammed by some bozo while driving home once back in London . . . The Regent hotel wasn’t far from Rock Creek Park where it’s easy to imagine lovers doin’ it in the dark! . . . B.B. King’s Washington cocktail party was mainly for radio people, including Baltimore’s top black jock Randy Dennis — yup, we had a good laugh, and when we told him he joined in too! . . . London radio actually plays more go go than Washington, and it seems every club here with a Little Benny, two Chuck Brown and a Kurtis Blow record is advertising a go go night . . . John Mayoh (Bolton) points out that the Happy Feet dance merely looks like the old pre-“rowing” line dance done originally to ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’, you know, left four steps, kick, right four steps, kick with a bob down in the middle . . . Madonna ‘Material Girl’ topped US Dance/Disco — well it would, wouldn’t it? . . . Yello is rightly storming the US Dance and 12in charts, and deserves more than just Hi-NRG support here . . . Barbara Pennington and Alison Moyet are suddenly hot names in mafia soul circles . . . Channel 4’s UK edition of Soul Train starts next Friday (12) at 6.20pm, the first show seemingly with Cashmere, Loose Ends, Jenny Burton, Mary Jane Girls, Millie Jackson, and clips from the US series seem likely . . . Prince’s televised concert revealed more than anything that he really is the new Little Richard, in that it was straight rock ‘n’ roll! . . . ITV’s Portrait Of A Legend last week on Aretha Franklin for once really did come up with some great archive video material, especially from her pre-Atlantic mid-’60s (in monochrome) . . . Maze’s ‘Back In Stride’ video may have been a bit short but brightened up Monday’s TV-am! . . . John Sachs phoned in using an ultra-posh accent on Tony Blackburn’s April Fools Day “sexline” eventually coming clean (although recognisable before that), confessing he listened to Tone rather than Kid Jensen on his own station Capital! . . . IBA research figures from January suggest that at the weekend Solar FM “is a serious threat” to Capital Radio . . . Segue Steve Goddard has returned, on Solar’s Saturday dawn shift . . . Whitney Houston appears to have been promoted here on 4-track 12in, by the looks of things lacking the LP’s best tracks . . . RECORD MIRROR don’t forget has moved to Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QZ, the address for all charts . . . DO EASTER BUNNIES HIP HOP?

CREATIVE MARKETING goes mad this week! LOOSE ENDS ‘Hangin’ On A String’ (Virgin VS 748-14) is now also in a limited 102½bpm ‘Mastermind Megamix‘ including bits of dialogue cut in and echoing repetition. THIRD WORLD ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ (Island 12ISX 219) has had an acappella 121-122-121bpm remix by Neill King based on the original (rather than a remake) with the instrumental tracks brought up more — both these flipped by their current A-sides — RICHARD JON SMITH ‘The ABC of Kissing’ (Jive JIVE T 85) is already in a more brittle less busy 118½bpm ‘Lipstick Mix‘ with a sparser break, while belatedly NEW EDITION ‘Mr Telephone Man’ (MCA MCAT 938) is finally in its originally (mis-)labelled excellent 94bpm Extended Version with long dialogue intro, phone effects and a great vocal break. DeBARGE ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ (Gordy TMGT 1376) turns out on commercial 12in not to be the promoted mix but instead a 115¾bpm UK concoction re-edited from the 7in and thus stronger in impact but lacking the promo’s good break (producer Richard Perry has evidently prevented release of any other remix). Finally, marketing in a way although not commercially available, Fred Dove & Simon Capes have mixed a ‘WEA Club Promotion Only‘ sampler LP of disco soul one side and rock pop the other (the rock mix really rather accomplished, actually).


ALEXANDER O’NEAL: ‘What’s Missing’ (LP ‘Alexander O’Neal’ US Tabu FZ 39331)
A superb set prod/penned by his fellow The Time alumni Jimmy Jam Harris, Terry Lewis & Monte Moir, the soulful crooner gets gritty on this 111bpm swaying strutter and the Cherrelle joined Prince-ish marathon 115¾bpm ‘Medley: Innocent/Alex 9000/Innocent II‘, but is really caressing on the gently pulsing (0-)100½bpm ‘A Broken Heart Can Mend‘, chatter finished 100½bpm ‘You Were Meant To Be My Lady (Not My Girl)‘, tablas faded 81bpm ‘If You Were Here Tonight‘, 80bpm ‘Do You Wanna Like I Do‘, 78¼bpm ‘Look At Us Now‘, the latter three almost making a suite. The 7in of ‘Innocent‘ (ZS4 04718) also has the oddly un-included ‘Are You The One‘, a jolting 115-0bpm intensity builder that’s meatier but with a Prince-ified similar backbeat to ‘Settle Down’ (as Pete Tong keeps pointing out!).

STEVE ARRINGTON: ‘Dancin’ In The Key Of Life’ LP (Atlantic 781245-1)
Not actually that strong as a set, the scorching joyous 115½bpm title track wriggling rattler is dynamite though and follows on perfectly after the hit (0-)113½-0bpm ‘Feel So Real‘. Otherwise the slightly Smokey-ish ticking 112¼bpm ‘She Just Don’t Know‘ stands out from the Stevie-ish 113¼bpm ‘Brown Baby Boy‘, Prince-ish (0-)120¼bpm ‘Gasoline‘, (0-)95¼bpm ‘Willie Mae‘, (0-)111½bpm ‘Turn Up The Love‘, 113½bpm ‘Stand With Me‘. But, boy, that title track!

DAVID SIMMONS: ‘Love Tonight’ (Atlantic A 9585T)
Finally out here, a knee trembling scorching sultry 89bpm smoocher sung in thoroughly masculine style something like Dennis Edwards doing Marvin Gaye with a husky romantic rap near the end (edit and two insts flip). Wow! Continue reading “April 6, 1985: Alexander O’Neal, Steve Arrington, David Simmons, Pennye Ford, Aurra”