May 25, 1985: One Way, Bridge, Freddie Jackson, Merc & Monk, Carl Anderson


PAUL HARDCASTLE’S third and definitely last ’19’ mix (“so NOT another Frankie Goes To Woolworths”, he tells me!), a partly re-recorded ‘19 The — Final Story‘ (Chrysalis CHS 322860) brings out the commentary with sharper emphasis and less “song” in two following parts, 117¾-0f . . . 0f/0-118-0bpm, due imminently flipped for real value by ‘King Tut (Remix)’, and evidently ’19 (Destruction Mix)’ as replacement for ‘Rain Forest (Remix)’ which Bluebird barred, causing the originally pressed B-side to be scrapped . . . Chrysalis in the States have rushed out ’19’ after all, to the anticipated controversial reaction, interviews with Paul Hardcastle being televised simultaneously nationwide by both ABC and NBC news, the latter network banning parts of his Vietnam actuality video as “too harrowing”, while evidently ’19’ was adopted as the theme song (?) for parading ‘Nam veterans in New York (doubtless some heavy plugging involved there!) . . . Colin Hudd in his ‘Apocalypse Now’ video mix actually underpins all the early action with the promo flip’s rhythm track before starting ’19’ (original 12in) as detailed last week . . . Disco Mix Club’s New York visit has changed dates yet again, to the cooler September 22-29, as the New Music Seminar with which it’s set to coincide has had to reschedule back by seven weeks due to its planned venue not being built in time . . . Roy Ayers’ vibes help give depth and de-sweeten Loose Ends ‘Magic Touch (The Vibes Version)‘ (Virgin VS 76113), on 114½bpm one-sided promo but selling in shops now . . . Skipworth & Turner ‘Thinking About Your Love’ is now in its inevitable 106¼-0bpm remix, more mellow with a drawn out less forceful intro . . . Bruce Weeden has cleaned up Joanna Gardner ‘Watching You’ into a much beefier and better 107¼bpm Extended Remix, due soon . . . Change ‘Let’s Go Together (Paul Hardcastle Remix)‘ should be their current 12in flip within a fortnight, the follow-up being a Nick Martinelli remix of ‘Mutual Attraction’, while Cooltempo have also picked up the next BB&Q Band LP . . . 10 Records managed to win Gloria D. Brown for release next week, to be followed with a limited edition remix by Jocelyn Brown/Jenny Burton producers McFarlane & George (funny, as I originally likened Gloria to their class!), plus the label picked up The Affair featuring Alyson as well as the Conway Brothers, the latter featuring a remix from the start — talk about hot! . . . Mick Clark, responsible for these signings, must have pulled some fast strokes as until recently he’d been hospitalized for ages having his wisdom teeth out — and that’s not all his news, as Dexter Wansel is cutting a solo album for 10 featuring the Jones Girls and a ‘Life On Mars 85’! . . . Eugene Wilde for his follow-up has completely re-recorded and rewritten ‘Che Che Kule‘ as a sort of medley with new lyrics about “let’s celebrate”, making a totally different song . . . Polydor are reissuing on 12in EP the same four James Brown oldies mentioned recently, but this time in full-length versions . . . EMI’s new double LP ‘Now Dance‘ (NOD 1) containing full 12in versions of 20 current or recent disco smashes (the pop stuff sensibly restricted on just one side), should at about £6.99 be good value for impoverished mobile jocks, and similarly (although edited versions) Virgin’s album of recent reggae hits ‘Massive 1‘ (V 2346) contains 12 cool grinders — doubtless inspired by Jet stars success? . . . Pennye Ford, whose LP ‘Pennye’ (Total Experience FL89449) is finally out here, is a little poppet, far cuter in the flesh than in photos: sadly, she tells me her and Sharon Redd’s half-brother Gene Redd Jr. died of pneumonia last month — a veteran producer, working with James Brown amongst many, he was Kool & The Gang’s original mentor . . . Pennye’s chaperon, Rudy Taylor of the Gap Band, tells me that ‘I Found My Baby‘ is so like ‘Outstanding’ in a deliberate attempt (which seems to have worked) to win back their black audience after recent lightweight recordings . . . The Team ‘Wicki Wacky House Party’ only cost Gee Bello £500 to make, and in fact the very first take would have been the best had not the tape spewed all over the floor! . . . Gee Bello actually has a solo single (and LP) out in the States on Capitol, ‘International Lover‘, described by Billboard as “MoR-disco, mid-’70s style” . . . Go Go Promotions (01-771 1761) are looking for DJs with and without their own mobile gear in South London . . . Dave Gregory of Essex Radio rang me for a marathon chat to hint, without making any official announcement yet, that next month will find even more soul on the South-East’s legal airwaves . . . JFM will be back on air in the autumn and seem quietly confident, after playing it by the book, that they could be a legal station then . . . Tony Monson should soon be using the Dartford Tunnel rather more than he is at present . . . Les Adams has mixed a Maze medley which despite Solar FM’s claims is definitely not due for release: meanwhile, in further “scathing attacks” on Solar, Disco Gary Van Den Busche is easily their most relaxed and listenable late night jock on the Thursday dawn shift, whereas Graham Gold is shouting now even more than Froggy used to! . . . London’s pirates need the money so I’m delighted they’re pulling in so many commercials, but the tiresome saturation these have reached could well prompt listeners to dial hop — and with Solar, Horizon, LWR and commercial-free Radio London to choose from, they really should now tighten up their programming . . . Dave Treharne features ‘The Girl Groups’ on his Friday 8-10pm DevonAir R&B show this week (24) . . . Edwin Starr sounded good sitting in for an ailing Greg Edwards on Capital last Saturday . . . Edinburgh soul jock Tom Wilson is amongst those made redundant at Radio Forth due to needletime caused cutbacks . . . Stringfellows jock Peter Anthony, recently back from his first stint on Radio Luxembourg, quips about Frizzby Fox’s ‘The Future Now’ Thursdays at the Hippodrome “see tomorrow’s haircut today” . . . 1983 World Disco Dancing champion Jay Janani had his brand new 450 Mercedes Sport vandalised and smashed right outside his house last weekend, just before he was due to dance at the Princess of Wales’ brother Viscount Althorpe’s birthday party on Monday — hard parmesan . . . 6.20 Soul Train this Friday has Loose Ends, Mai Tai, Village People, Pennye Ford, Ike & Tina Turner, Rose Royce . . . Prince, although originally no single was scheduled, is releasing ‘Raspberry Beret’ in the States whereas we get the Lennonesque 106bpm ‘Paisley Park’ . . . Sister Sledge must be feeling sick that everyone here (except for pop radio) is ignoring their lightweight new 165bpm perky pop single ‘Frankie’ (Atlantic A9547T) in favour of the recreation of their old sound by Mai Tai! . . . Phil Fearon’s ‘You Don’t Need A Reason‘ is his poppiest bounder yet at 126½bpm, due soon . . . The Darts adopt a fast 172½bpm Prince beat for their Roy Carter-produced new ‘Blow Away‘ (Choice Cuts PIG 907, via PRT), but the flip’s squeaky Donnie Elbert-ish dated 128-130bpm ‘Hold Me Down‘ sounds far more interesting — with possible “rare soul” appeal? . . . Marvin Gaye’s next album, in 1986, may well be made up of easy listening standards from tapes given to his mother: however, both CBS and Motown have similar material, so a battle could result . . . David Grant’s album has met with on oddly cool response so far . . . DJ Atkin (Morpeth), one of many to praise my recent piece about Radio One (thanks), questions the RM Disco Chart’s claim to be “on the streets on Wednesday” — well, it is, in Central London, distribution delaying the paper until Thursday elsewhere . . . The Cool Notes’ ‘Spend The Night’ actually ended up a bigger pop hit than Loose Ends’ ‘Hangin’ On A String’, although this wasn’t reflected in the Disco chart as unfortunate timing by then had pitted it against Steve Arrington — and now it’s just as tough for Curtis Hairston, who normally could have expected to be number one (both Steve and Curtis have done far, far worse back in the USA even in the black charts than they have here) . . . Kool & The Gang ‘Fresh’ topped US Black 45s and 12in Sales, Tears For Fears Club Play . . . Cashmere should worry, even R&B columnist Nelson George in US trade paper Billboard thinks they’re a British act! . . . Mad Marx and his soul brothers have moved from Tues to Thurs at Westcliff On Sea Swag, and Kevin Hawkins (whose Brentwood Elliotts beach party is this Friday) corrects that Fat Sam’s Grand Slam bar is at Basildon’s Crest Hotel (most upfront Wed) — I do wish DJs could get things right before they go into print . . . Rick Robinson funks Leysdown Stage 3 this Friday (24), although normally he’d be at Brentwood Bugatti’s (where Mike Morgan souls Thurs) . . . Cacique and 3-D’s visit Harlow Whispers Saturday (25), Hereward’s Steve Allen, Jonathon and more funk Peterborough Rinaldo’s 6pm all-eveninger Sunday (26); Brass Construction start a week at Watford Baileys Monday (27) and play London’s Dominion Sunday June 2; Cool Notes play live at Preston Clouds Wednesday (29) with Colin Curtis and (a long way from his Peterborough La Scala residency) Wayne Fitzgerald . . . 400 Blows ‘Movin‘ is so good I played it solidly for a whole afternoon the day I got it! . . . Carol ties the knot with Chris Hill next Wednesday, and could it be 19 Tubular Bells for Ralph Tee and his Los Angeles companion Maggie Williams? . . . 1, 2, 4, 5 and a good third of the chart made up of “our” music last week — now we’ve got ’em on the run, LET’S KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON!

400 BLOWS may seem an unlikely source for a remake of Brass Construction’s classic ‘Movin’, but their excitingly sizzling 122¾bpm treatment is densely driven by relentless rhythms through braying brass and some clipped chicks (soul venues may prefer the instrumental, only on advance white label) in a surprisingly faithful clarification of the original’s sound, sure to be huge when released commercially in three weeks time by Illuminated (ILL 6112, via Pinnacle). First ‘Wicky Wacky’, now this — what next, ‘Shack Up’?


ONE WAY: ‘Let’s Talk’ (USA MCA Records MCA-23545)
“Let’s talk about sex!” chant the enthusiastic chaps, with female comments chipping in, rather as if Fatback’s ‘Girl’s On My Mind’ had been set to The System’s ‘Sweat’ at a steady 114bpm for an extra-long P’funk workout (excellent stark dub, and chorusing inst). Hard!

BRIDGE: ‘Baby Don’t Hold Your Love Back’ (US Atlantic 0-86892)
Classiest soul smash of the week, a creamily swaying fidgety 112bpm traditional male vocal group worrier full of agonised interplay ending acappella (inst/edit flip), probably too specialist for the pop chart though not unlike Grant & Graham/Detroit Spinners.

FREDDIE JACKSON: ‘Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)’ (Capitol 12CL 358)
Despite his album having other now hotter contenders, this has a video already and anyway remains a superb knee trembling slow 72bpm soul smoocher aimed right at the ladies where they’ll feel it most (inst/edit flip), another ‘Sexual Healing’. Continue reading “May 25, 1985: One Way, Bridge, Freddie Jackson, Merc & Monk, Carl Anderson”

May 18, 1985: Edwin Starr, Chris Cameron, The Team, Bill Withers, Ian Dury & The Blockheads


COLIN HUDD at Dartford Flicks makes has own spectacular video mix of ’19’ using the Wagner helicopter attack from ‘Apocalypse Now’: start the movie at Robert Duval saying “shall we dance?”, the record at “I went my men out of there now”, and run them together emphasising the movie volume on helicopter effects and commands, so that both finish as Duval says “one day this war is gonna end” — phew! . . . Streetwave picked up Carl Anderson ‘Buttercup‘ for rush release, only a few years late, and Island finally got the great Shirley Brown ‘Intimate Storm’ LP . . . US LPs now out here are Freddie Jackson ‘Rock Me Tonight’ (Capitol EJ 2403161), Alexander O’Neal ‘Alexander O’Neal’ (Tabu TBU 26485), Jeff Lorber ‘Step By Step’ (Club JABH 9) — evidently the latter’s US 12in mixes of ‘Best Part Of The Night’ differ from the imminent UK remix . . . New Yorker Freddie Jackson started in his teens as a gospel soloist at Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church, where he met and began working with his now producer Paul Lawrence, co-penning ‘Trust Me’ for Lillo Thomas as well as writing alone for Melba Moore (whom he sang behind) and Howard Johnson . . . Philip Bailey’s next secular set will be produced by Nile Rodgers, and he admits that “unofficially” Earth Wind & Fire have split up — he joins Aurra, Imagination, Freddie Jackson, New Edition & Donna Summer on this Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ . . . Streetwave’s cool dressing ladies man Orin Cozier actually got barred from a club for the first time in his life — at London Busby’s Friday Mud Club, for “looking too straight”! . . . Island’s go go movie ‘Good To Go’ has been upsetting many tradesmen along Washington DC area Adams-Morgan’s 18th Street, where the filming of some spectacular car smashing stunts effectively kept customers away without any prior warning or compensation (shooting should by now be just about wrapped up) . . . Thelonius Monk III and Eric Mercury are these days known as Merc And Monk because their earlier T.S. Monk partners Yvonne Fletcher and sister Boo Monk both tragically died in 1983 . . . A Taste Of Honey ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ should last week have read as “now dated”, which does rather alter the review! . . . Hi-NRG breakers include Village People ‘New York City (Remix)‘ (Record Shack), Martinique ‘No Regrets‘ (Young Blood), Isley Jasper Isley ‘Kiss And Tell‘ (Epic), Suzy Q ‘Computer Music‘ (Canadian Black Sun), Bronski Beat ‘I Feel Love (Medley)‘ (London), Lipps Inc ‘Does Anybody Know Me’ (US Twin Tone) . . . Hazell Dean has left Proto for EMI . . . South-West Wales’ only soul radio DJ and Swansea City Football Club’s Radio Vetch founder, James Lewis is teaming up with local funk jocks Jeff Thomas and The Bean to promote a city centre Soul Over Swansea night starting in June — prospective PAs and other interested parties call him on 0792-896928 . . . Superjocks pluggers Theo & Joy Loyla next week holiday on the Gower, my favourite place in Wales, looking at Worms! . . . Theo perhaps misunderstands my reference to London and the South-East starting all the soul hits — I’m not surprised the excellent Animotion pop hit broke everywhere but there — and persists in dismissing our Disco chart as “upfront”: it’s not, it’s the strictly specialist soul chart, and an accurate enough reflection of what his own punters are dancing to for John Osborne now to feature the RECORD MIRROR Disco Top 50 as the official chart on Horizon Radio 94.5FM Sundays 1-4pm . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre, no sooner had I commented on video hirers rushing through record shops to get to the video department, have put their videos upstairs and the records down the stairs at the back — so no more browser box/display-generated impulse record sales there! . . . Loose Ends visit Southend Zero 6 tonight (Thursday 16), Direct Drive play Yeovil Electric Studio with Chris Stagg Friday (17), followed the next night by Chris Dinnis & Paul Lewis Saturday (18), when Intrigue PA at Harlow Whispers . . . Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Chris Paul & Neil James soul the invitation only pre-opening press night Monday (20) at the £300,000 refurbished South Harrow Bogart’s — yeah, I’d noticed the new paintwork when passing! . . . Eon Irving, a (small) blast from the past, souls busy Monday’s hipsters at Chelsea Kings Road Mainsqueez with both upfront sounds and mid-’70s street funk — which he confirms generates most excitement when simply chopped rather than mixed . . . Kev Hill (0277-223030) is after James Brown ‘Take A Look At Those Cakes‘ 12in, and says that War ‘Galaxy’ goes great out of the Conway Brothers . . . Terry James souls Peckham’s free admission Kellies pub (opposite Kisses) every night except Saturday, busy apart oddly from Thursdays for some reason, where he’s currently reviving Jaki Graham ‘Hold On‘ and Fatback Band ‘Spanish Hustle‘ (and not just on oldies Sundays) . . . Steve Banks has swung ’em over to upfront soul Thur/Fri/Sat at East London’s Sorrells in Commercial Road (over-21s, no jeans), where he’d like PAs and guest DJs . . . Dave Smith (01 734 6249) is after PAs at Mayfair Samanthas (next to late nite eaterie Rockafella’s) . . . Latin-jazz Mad Marx joins soul-funk Simon Abel & Gary T Tuesdays at Westcliff On Sea Swag’s Underground Soul Cellar, while his soulful Sundays at Leigh On Sea Whispers soon reach their first birthday . . . Trevor M still actually admits to playing “jazz-funk” along with electro & soul in Hanley (Stoke on Trent) at The Place Fri/Sat, Chicos Wed . . . Birmingham’s Studio 222 Experience with mixer Paul Dixon does Kitts Green Mackadown Tues, The Grapes’ Legs Eleven Wed/Sat, Ward End Fox & Goose Thur (funk night)/Fri . . . Tim Jeffery funks Brighton Escape Club Fri/Sat . . . Lynton P. Elcocks does Swindon disco-bar the Rodbourne complete with flashy lights and now a little dance floor . . . Paul Major has moved Wed-Sat to Leicester Harpers, chart funk ‘n dance . . . MDM Associates of Burlington, Massachussetts, have developed ‘The Extender’ (nothing to do with alcohol!) which enables a 7in single to be cued-up and slip-mixed like a 12in when inserted into this wide rimmed blank disc’s foam indented centre . . . Disco Mix Club’s May mixes are Les Adams’ absolutely brilliant funk medley (his best yet?), Sanny X’s clever fusion of David Cassidy ‘Romance’ with Donna Summer ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Love To Love You Baby’ plus his equally cleverly synched classic rock medley, and Alan Coulthard’s noisy fast current pop and Howard Jones medleys (subscription details on 0628-67276) . . . London gay DJs are attempting to find an alternative descriptive word for Hi-NRG — any suggestions? . . . DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


EDWIN STARR: ‘It Ain’t Fair’ (Hippodrome 12HIP 101, via EMI)
Fading into an instrumental start, this remarkably dated schmaltzily soulful 105½bpm swayer is pure 1974 — it must have reminded Peter Stringfellow of his DJing days playing Real Thing! — but is so craftily melodic that following extensive pre-release radio play by Tony Blackburn especially it’s become such a nagger it should be huge (even if only with nostalgic housewives!).

CHRIS CAMERON: ‘Is This Love?’ (Steiner STE 1265)
Shamelessly copying Earth Wind & Fire, this awkwardly started but then jerkily shuffling 112¼bpm brass spiked, falsetto squeaked and hummingly harmonised lush jitterer (inst flip) is selling so far only on white label after soul radio play in London.

THE TEAM: ‘Wicki Wacky House Party’ (EMI 12EMI 5519)
As detailed last week, here on hot vinyl indeed is the funkily bounding 113bpm medley of the Fatback Band and Fred Wesley oldies (inst flip), jammed up and jelly tight! Continue reading “May 18, 1985: Edwin Starr, Chris Cameron, The Team, Bill Withers, Ian Dury & The Blockheads”

May 11, 1985: Mai Tai, Paul Hardcastle, Change, Mink, Alexander O’Neal


RADIO ONE ought by now to be getting worried about their waning influence as one after another hits that they deliberately ignore come crashing into the charts, proving that other stations better in tune are filling the gap to win new listeners interested more in music with substance than in silly haircuts and over-hyped drones: in London and the South-East soul sales are incredibly strong thanks not only to the pirates but more especially to the shaken up programming policy at many local stations dominated by Radio London and Capital, who now jump on a hot import as if it was a domestic release — unfortunately the Gallup Top 75 has to monitor the whole nation and only the BBC covers the country, a real Catch 22 that now increasingly is being overcome! . . . London’s main Oxford Street HMV Shop reported last week that Paul Hardcastle was its biggest sales sensation since ‘Relax’, and in fact throughout the South-East he was easily top seller — without meaning to upset the provincials, it really is a shame that thanks to Radio One’s blinkered attitude people “up-country” are unable to appreciate fully the flourishing scene I write about, and by being behind in the BBC dictated taste are the unwitting culprits who hold back (by not buying them) the chart progress of so many massive South-Eastern soul hits, like Jenny Burton ‘Bad Habits‘ to name one outstanding recent example (imagined South v North elitism has nothing to do with this — or anything!) . . . TV’s 6.20 Soul Train is obviously already a help but still doesn’t quite reflect what’s really happening, tending to play faster music for the dancers than the stuff they’d actually boogie down to in the clubs (this Friday’s show has Aurra, Edwin Starr, Lifesighs, Dan Hartman, vintage Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5) . . . I reckon actually that radio and club play may be less important to the marketing of a modern pop hit than three other factors: the real vinyl junkies who visit their record shop every week and are the main target for remixes/gimmicks which radio listeners would be less aware of (this crowd also includes all the DJs who may well be the most faithful shoppers of all, hence the many disco hits that chart briefly just on DJ sales alone!); the special displays and browser boxes that can divert the attention of double-parked punters hurrying through the shop to get to the video department for their Saturday night viewing; the depressingly obvious impact of TV and videos on a mass public who don’t really listen to the radio burbling away in the background and need a visual stimulus to become fully aware of the music (all those unexpected MoR hits especially sell to a TV rather than radio audience) . . . Phyllis Nelson however was the first No.1 in ages without a video . . . Steve Arrington’s spectacular success only seems to have surprised those pop observers who still underestimate the current groundswell towards soul (and who obviously never experienced thousands of dancers moving in unison to Slave!) . . . Record Mirror’s soul orientated Disco chart currently has so many hot records all struggling up it that it’s actually tough to make the 85 let alone the Top 5 . . . Paul Hardcastle is now so hot he’s even had calls to his home phone number redirected to his management company (called 19) . . . The Manhattans ‘Too Hot To Stop It’ LP (CBS 26262) is now out here, as are the (here 105½bpm) 7in Bill Withers ‘Oh Yeah‘ (CBS A6154) and the ‘Rockie Robbins’ LP (MCA MCF 3259) — incidentally his 12in ‘Work For Love (M&M Mix)‘ turned out to be 117½-117¼bpm . . . Redds & The Boys ‘Put Your Right Hand In The Air‘ will soon be on tidied-up 12in . . . Touch Of Class still isn’t due here for another three weeks — are Atlantic waiting for an album to release first? . . . Warren Aylward — at Southsea Honky Tonk Mon/Portsmouth Ritzy Tues/Waterlooville Sam Lord’s Castle Fri — while fellow DJs Steve Foster & Mark Frampton claim their efforts to push soul in the Pompey area prompted the local Domino Records shop, on their self-named label, to pick up for re-release the old 118bpm Status IV ‘You Ain’t Really Down‘ (DOM 1T, via Greyhound or on 0705-833818 for £2.80 by mail) . . . US imports may not get any cheaper as a mandatory increased “stamp duty” is to be imposed on all non-EEC imports by the MCPS/BPI (despite mechanical royalties, which the duty covers, being paid already in the States prior to shipping) . . . BBC Radio London have had to economise on “needletime”, which explains why Guy Hornsby’s afternoon soul show plays so many StreetSounds ‘Love Ballads’ (Streetwave/StreetSounds being unregistered with PPL are non-needletime) . . . LWR are looking for more (un-salaried) DJs — send demo tapes to Mark Mason, 51 Fox Hill, London SE19 2XE . . . Invicta Sound, Kent’s ILR station, has renamed itself Invicta Radio now that the clashingly named pirate is long gone: however Andy Grahamme’s afternoon soul show is no more, and he’s moving to the London YMCA hotel’s closed circuit Central London Radio with the ambition of getting involved in any community soul station hoping for a licence (but meanwhile he’d welcome on 01-352 3822 offers from any current soul stations) . . . EMI’s Ian Dewhirst plays ’70s soul obscurities on Horizon 94.5FM Thurs 9.30-11.30pm . . . Pete Haigh (Fever Thursdays at Blackpool Blakes) is after Rare Essence ‘Body Moves‘, Fred Wesley ‘House Party‘ (12in), The Time ‘77911’ (LP or 12in) on 0253-824156 evenings, and Mark Clark (0734-793779) urgently needs Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde ‘Gettin’ Money‘ for big bread . . . Kevin Hawkins, souling Basildon’s new Fat Sam’s Grand Slam bar at the Essex Hotel Tues/Wed/Thur, still funks Brentwood Elliotts Fridays when he needs PAs for a beach party on the 24th . . . Sally Devine of Formby is going to Rhodes in June and would like advance warning of the hot spots to check in Rhodes Town or Ixia — it’s early in the season for our usual news bulletins from jocks there, but any info would be welcome . . . USA for Africa topped US Black 45s, Luther Vandross (finally) Black LPs, Kool ‘Fresh’ Club Play, while Loose Ends have started their US chart climb . . . TC Curtis, muttering darkly about his Melt Down Mix B-side, is having to fight off a cover version in the States, ironically British, by Nigel Wright-masterminded Skratch on Passion . . . Froggy, more than upset, points out the Shakatak megamix promo was pressed up while still an unfinished backing track . . . I know lots of jocks use the old 4-track 12in EPs by James Brown and the Fatback Band from 1982, when they were never BPM-ed, and now seems a good time to do so: ‘Sex Machine’ (edited) 107½-108½, ‘Get Up Offa That Thing’ 113-119-118-117½, ‘Get On The Good Foot’ 107½-107¼-108-108½, ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ 128-130, ‘Wicki Wacky’ 108-109-110½, ‘Do The Bus Stop’ 107-108-110, ‘Yum Yum’ 108-109, ‘Backstrokin’ 116½-117½-116½-117bpm . . . Five Star PA at Harlow Whispers Sat (11), Edwin Starr plays “live” Yeovil Electric Studio Fri (10), when Chris Hill & Danny Smith jazz-soul Hembsy Stardust Rooms in Norfolk . . . Chris Dinnis souls Torquay Monroes Fridays (summer visitors note), and guests this Sat (11) at Swindon Brunel Rooms . . . Larry Foster now does Enfield Townhouse Sat, still funks Gants Hill Villa Fri, and with Terry Jones 6-T’s Hackney Road Pickle House Wed — the latter Solar souled by Nick Laurence Thur/Fri, Segue Steve Goddard Sat . . . Adrian Dunbar has joined Andy Bianci mixing nightly (bar Sun/Mon) at Poole Quay Wharf, but still Hi-NRG-izes Bournemouth Bolts Sun . . . Brian Davies, disco columnist in three local papers, funks Stourport Severn Manor and Hagley Badgers Set Thur/Fri/Sat . . . Jay Cee souls Sat at Newtownards Mingles in Northern Ireland . . . Peter C. Helyer did so well after his namecheck on Mondays at Cardiff Ritzy he’s there now Fridays too, and funks Gloucester Cinderella’s Rockerfella’s Thursdays . . . I still find more tracks I really want to hear on the Process And The Doo Rags album than on Rick James’s, even if his title track is a blinder, so as far as I’m concerned my Process review was right! DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!

GEE BELLO filled some unexpected spare studio time by calling in ex-members of Light Of The World, Beggar & Co and Incognito for a spontaneous jam, which resulted in a roaring and blazing funkily bounding 113bpm medley of the Fatback Band’s ‘Wicki Wacky’ and Fred Wesley’s ‘House Party’ (with a little Kool & The Gang ‘Hollywood Swinging’). EMI cut just seven acetates in total, to distribute five among the jocks at Caister (where it raised the roof) and two for London’s soul radio — that is all, yet last week it actually reached 52 in our Disco chart! Legitimately too, as several Caister copies went towards that, but the rest was made up of DJs dubbing it off radio and playing cassettes, it’s so hot! I now have an eighth and final acetate, the only one flipped by a less exciting drawn-out dub version, although by now the vocal/instrumental versions should be on white label ahead of full release next Monday, to be followed in a few weeks by that dub. OK, all you frustrated funksters?


MAI TAI: ‘History’ (Virgin/Hot Melt VS 773-12)
Shaping up as the next crossover monster, “we are family” becomes “our love is history” in this 103½bpm shameless Dutch recreation of the Sister Sledge sound (in three mixes). For the final time, they’re pronounced “My Tie”!

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ’19 (Destruction Mix)’ (Chrysalis CHS 222860)
‘Two Tribes’ all over again? Due imminently, this more instrumentally emphasized (0-)117¾bpm version sets its main statement to a backing of helicopter effects before the music starts, the now 3-track flip’s new bonus ‘The Asylum (It’z Weird)‘ being fast smurfy 122½bpm electro hip hoppery.

PAUL HARDCASTLE ‘King Tut (Remix)’ (US Profile PRO-7070)
Possibly in short supply as now banned on import by its publishers, this excellent melodic quite jazzy 125¼bpm skitterer in typical ‘Rain Forest’ style is from his Bluebird material and if anything has replaced ’19’ on London’s soul radio (more cramped 125½bpm original version flip). Continue reading “May 11, 1985: Mai Tai, Paul Hardcastle, Change, Mink, Alexander O’Neal”

May 4, 1985: Fatback, Pennye Ford, Loose Ends, Atlantic Starr, Marvin Gaye


PAUL HARDCASTLE has made an even more spectacularly high pop entry than Steve Arrington this week! . . . Gloria D. Brown is so hot she has at least seven UK labels after her . . . A&M at the last minute decided not to release the Atlantic Starr LP here until June . . . Lillo Thomas’ last LP is finally set for UK release, but Freddie Jackson is being rushed next week . . . ‘Too Many Games‘ is the new US 12in for Maze, while Bill Withers’ LP (surely due here soon?) is as mellow as you’d expect . . . Sheila E ‘The Glamorous Life’ (Warner Bros W9285T) is the intro-less 127½-0bpm UK re-edit, and hopefully this third time around the exhilarating rattler with its nagging sax/rhythm hook will finally confirm my faith in it as one of 1984’s finest . . . Graham Gold — credited as from Solar Radio rather than Gullivers — had half a second of fame as DJ of the week on 6.20 Soul Train . . . (this Friday’s guests are Paul Hardcastle, Billy Ocean, Lifesighs) . . . Chaka Khan videoed “live” on stage at Hammersmith singing ‘Eye To Eye’ was obviously post-synched with the actual record . . . ACR (Alternative Community Radio) 103.3FM should be going around the clock this weekend in SE Essex . . . Birmingham Nightingale Hi-NRG jock (Wed/Sat/Sun) Tony de Vit and veteran radio man Mike Baker (hi Mike!) present a ‘Dance Hour’ on Beacon Radio relayed also by Wyvern Radio Wednesday midnight, and repeated at club chucking-out time Sunday 3am on the same plus Mercia Sound & Radio Trent . . . BBC Radio Cleveland presenter/ITV Razzamatazz DJ Paul Gough (0429-70036) badly needs a replacement James Brown ‘Honky Tonk‘ 7in for his South Shields Buddy’s weekends — he’ll pay well . . . Gary Webber (Northfield Blairs/Cannock Chasers) is after Jerry Knight ‘Overnight Sensation‘ on 021-358 2863 . . . Adrian Allen, who reminds me his Chelsea Cat venue is in South Shields, says although it doesn’t stock imports the hottest record shop with local DJs (50 go there weekly) is Chartz in Sunderland . . . Paul Barron Entertainments at The Music House, 111 Bole Hill Lane, Sheffield S10, South Yorkshire, urgently needs big name groups to PA for big bread over the next month . . . Steve Young, running disco equipment hire and his own upmarket mobile on 01-455 5055, is desperately looking for high class talking DJs with wide music variety for North London Saturday private functions . . . Beverley Winston, of his publishers Abkco Music (01-580 4571), is searching for first hand reminiscences and especially film of Sam Cooke’s UK visit . . . Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland has made a sensible seeming label move to that home of southern soul, Malaco . . . DeBarge topped US Black 45s, Maze topping instead Black LPs . . . Washington DC suddenly is becoming an American Liverpool, with US labels like Atlantic, Elektra, Manhattan, PolyGram, Columbia & Warner Bros all scouting for go go product in the wake of Island as news of their ‘Good To Go’ movie and the music’s success here rapidly spreads . . . Les Knott, scarpering from home town Harlow where he says most people spend the time hitting each other, is gigging in the Canary Islands for a fortnight before returning to jazz-funk Thur/Fri/Sat at Bishop Stortford’s Juicy Duck . . . The Guvnor “does a Dennis” to become ‘Mad Max Miller’ for Thursday party nights at Harlow Whispers (where Barbara Pennington PAs this Sat); meanwhile, Colin Hudd “does a Kevin” reviving 1976 this Fri (3) at Dartford Flicks — where incidentally on a New Year’s Eve visit David Grant was inspired by all the 70s soul classics to try his current hit revival — Flicks on Bank Holiday Monday (6) having a 6pm Kent Soul Festival Reunion with Colin Hudd, Kev Ashman, The Dude and more . . . Bank Holiday weekend, and sure enough Phil England does Cullompton Blazers Sat (4) . . . Sunday (5) Get Down & Lick Wood’s “2nd massive alldayer” at Hammersmith Palais 2-11pm stars Steve Walsh, David Rodigan, Freddie M, Smiley Culture, Asher Senator, Peter King, Patto Banton & the Fashion crew plus Cool Notes live and Aswad, Direct Drive, TC Curtis, Hi-Tension, Hot Shots PAs . . . Baz Fe Jazz bosses the Jazz Room at Camden Electric Ballroom Fri (3), joins Gilles Peterson at Richmond’s Sheen Road Belvedere Arms Sun (5), and with Chris Reid jazzes Hanley’s Place Club 3pm Mon (6) alldayer funked by Trevor M, Colin Curtis, Jonathan & Simon Smith . . . Paul Oakenfold hip hops Funhouse Saturdays at Scarletts in Purley Royal Oak Centre . . . Joe Field & Martin Collins have moved in Hemel Hempstead and now established soulful Sundays at the Midland Hotel (arrive by 8.45pm to get in, £1 including raffle) . . . Erskine Thompson seems to be making a habit of not turning up as arranged with Loose Ends for confirmed PAs, tsk, tsk . . . Theo Loyla surveyed 300 Superjocks DJs to find their favourite viewing is Dallas, The Tube, Hill Street Blues, Top Of The Pops, Minder — similarly, fave food is steak, curry, Chinese, and the person they’d like to spend a night with had Samantha Fox on top, then Madonna, and “the wife or girlfriend” (aah!) . . . Wiltshire Radio disco DJ Sandy Martin of Swindon’s Brunel Rooms now has all the expense of being a new daddy, just after he’d lashed out on 200 pre-printed cards for the charts he sent us — and we went and changed addresses! . . . Motown seem to have changed their traditional singles prefix from TMG to an anonymous Z . . . Roger Johnson, Detroit style . . . Neil Fincham topically revives Detroit Spinners ‘Love Is In Season‘ at Edinburgh Mad Hatters Sunday Soul Club — spring is the season it was meant for . . . The RAH Band’s video and TV presentation is sadly cheap and tacky, not the mental image I want to remember, and it’s possibly the cause of their dramatic drop in the soul chart . . . Alan Knight (Southsea), the track you want is George Kranz ‘Din Daa Daa’ (Island) . . . ‘Rappin’ Duke’, the label of which doesn’t list an artist, is being credited by Billboard to both Shawn Roberts and Shawn Brown . . . DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


FATBACK: ‘Girls On My Mind’ (Atlantic FBACK 1T)
Better late than never, this terrific insidiously wriggling now 101½bpm low down nasty R&B smash has Sanborn’s sax squawking over the rambling chant ‘n chat, with its instrumental and last year’s overshadowed hot tempo-ish 108½bpm ‘Just Be My Love‘. Yes Yes Yes!

PENNYE FORD: ‘Dangerous’ (Total Experience FT 49976)
Sharon Redd’s kid sister is suddenly exploding with the back-to-back exciting remixes of this fun filled electro FX-ified 0-111½bpm jittery disco chugger and her earlier (0-)118½bpm ‘Change Your Wicked Ways‘ (both slower on UK 12in). Don’t miss ’em.

LOOSE ENDS: ‘Magic Touch’ (Virgin VS 761-12)
Not perhaps their album’s immediate standout, this winsome sneaky little 114½bpm wriggler (inst flip) sounds brightly jaunty in its Club Mix — initially marketed with a lavishly gatefolded bonus 12in of their old 122bpm ‘Emergency (Dial 999) (Dub Mix)‘ and 118bpm ‘Tell Me What You Want‘, but also due at some crucial chart stage in another mix with Roy Ayers on vibes! Continue reading “May 4, 1985: Fatback, Pennye Ford, Loose Ends, Atlantic Starr, Marvin Gaye”