July 27, 1985: Dante, Hi Tension, Mercy Mercy, Melba Moore, Videeo

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CAPITOL RECORDS radio pluggers strangely refuse to recognise that ‘Twilight’ is the monster track that’s selling Maze, even if there is a video of ‘Too Many Games’ . . . Princess may have a problem, despite being massive in those few shops selected for white labels, because many influential if petty provincial soul radio DJs are so disgruntled about not being serviced with it that they refuse to play it even if they do get it for free eventually (now that’s a really effective promotion campaign!) . . . Total Contrast’s finished pressing is labelled as the ‘Bandito Mix’, and the dub flip ‘Mirage Style’, but (so far) they’re the same as on the reviewed promo pressing — although of course there are almost bound to be more mixes to come (it beats me why people are still gullible enough to buy British singles within their first month of release, when inevitably there will be a range of remixes and special offers to choose between later) . . . Les Adams’ five track Megamix now flips Steve Arrington’s 12in, while Atlantic Starr’s bassier 106½bpm remix hasn’t been greeted as necessarily an improvement . . . Barbara Pennington on commercial release at last is shorter even though the sleeves still give the original timing . . . Freddie Jackson’s US follow up is ‘You Are My Lady (LP Version)‘/’I Wanna Say I Love You (Special Theme Version)‘, Kool & The Gang’s US remix of ‘Cherish’ being flipped by a medleying ‘Fresh/Misled (Special Mix)‘ . . . Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force ‘I Wonder If I Take You Home‘ is being reissued after a sneaky six week deletion to help back orders build up (shades of Pigbag?) . . . Capital Radio’s afternoon man about town John Sachs settles down with his own Lisa Lisa after their wedding this Saturday (presumably he’ll still be with Mike Allen & Brian Mason at Cricklewood Ashtons Thursday) . . . Tony Blackburn’s secretary Rosanne, not surprisingly considering her close involvement with the Radio London Soul Night Out, has made her own recording debut on a squeaky little 102½bpm New London jogger, ‘This Is The Night‘, up for offers . . . The Intruders have remade a more electronically based 0-117¾bpm version of ‘Who Do You Love‘, due next week . . . Cheryl Lynn’s LP has her own soulful densely weaving 89½bpm ‘Fade To Black‘, subduedly ‘Encore’-ish 100½bpm ‘Loafin‘, jerkily rolling 99½bpm ‘Tug ‘O’ War‘, Motown-ish 0-120½bpm ‘Slipped Me A Mickey’, to complete last week’s review . . . Colin Curtis and I seemed to agree, amongst the many DJs encountered in Manchester at the Sandpiper Inn reception for Total Contrast last week, but Mike Shaft was determined to believe what he hadn’t read! . . . No Way Jose should be a hit in Scotland at least thanks to the plugs on Radio Forth (three plays within five hours of intermittent listening last Thursday!), the station playing a surprising amount of black music for such a supposedly pop orientated area . . . Rick James took over atop US Club Play as Paul Hardcastle moved over finally to top 12in Sales, and Rene & Angela topped black 45s — which Paul’s Silent Underdog ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag’ has entered too . . . Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ has Barbara Pennington, Total Contrast, Michael Lovesmith, Loose Ends, Maze, Barry White, Michael Jackson (on video, girls) . . . Pete Tong’s soul show now follows the Network Chart on Invicta Radio 103.8FM Sundays 7-9pm, his old Saturday 6-9pm slot being filled by The Dude doing ‘The Budweiser Show’ for Brian Rix . . . Friday (26) Steve Sparling PAs at Streatham Chaplins, Saturday (27) Intrigue at Maidstone Sunset . . . Pete Haigh guests Saturday (27) at Burnley Bankhall Miners Club and Sunday (28) with Colin Curtis & Richard Searling at Manchester’s Ritz 10th Anniversary alldayer (2-11pm) . . . Wednesday (31) Greg Parrott starts a soul night in the Shimmers Room at Telford Cascades, while Andy Heryet attempts a weekly ladies-free funk night at Worthing Carioca . . . John Mayoh has moved to Bolton’s funkier Clouseaus . . . Trans X has been a permanent feature in many pop jocks charts for years, so no one DJ can claim credit for its success as a remix now . . . STAY WARM!


HOT VINYL

DANTE: ‘So Long’ (Cooltempo COOLX 112)
Light Of The World’s Bluey Maunick finally launches his Stevie Barrington-fronted new group with a purposeful pleasant enough if not over inspired steady 85bpm Britfunk jogger, hammering home the title (untidy 101½-104½-104-105½-104½-105½bpm ‘Lovin’ Eyes‘ flip).

HI TENSION: ‘You Make Me Happy (Shop Girl Remix)’ (Streetwave MKHAX 30)
Always an underground biggie with black dancers, like ‘I Found Lovin’ and ‘Magic Touch’, this newly remixed more spacious soulful wriggly purposeful 99½bpm tapper may now have wider appeal in the wake of ‘Hanging On A String’ and other similar crossover hits (98½bpm original and 98¾bpm instrumental flip). It’ll certainly ram the floors in London!

MERCY MERCY: ‘What Are We Gonna Do About It?’ (Ensign 12ENY 522)
Bass tripped plaintively sung rolling 0-105½bpm jiggly tugger with mesmeric long breaks building nicely (dub flip), slightly like a hot tempo Phil Fearon. Continue reading “July 27, 1985: Dante, Hi Tension, Mercy Mercy, Melba Moore, Videeo”

July 20, 1985: Total Contrast, Danny D & Collusion, Phil Fearon & Galaxy, Odyssey, Steve Sparling

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

HI TENSION’s hot tempo ‘You Make Me Happy’ is indeed being reissued in a new ‘Shop Girl Remix‘ by Streetwave, who’ve picked up the marvellous Mink, and are starting a 12in Dance Classics oldies series including Brass Construction ‘Movin’, McFadden & Whitehead . . . A&M’s initial pressings of the Atlantic Starr remix were so hot they all came out warped! . . . Home Secretary Leon Brittan has finally announced, in vague terms, that a range of 20 experimental community radio stations will soon be offered to applicants, for subsequent evaluation in a Green Paper next summer — however, don’t assume that these are intended as a direct replacement of pirate services . . . BBC Radio One’s bid to get the Gallup chart compilation brought forward so that its first broadcast could be on Sunday, rivalling ILR’s Network Chart, seems for the present to have met resistance from record retailers . . . Five Star’s LP is now out here (Tent PL 70735), the sets by B. B. & Q Band (Cooltempo CHR 1509) and Cameo (Club JABH 11) also being due, while ‘Buttercup’ has evidently been added to Carl Anderson’s current ‘Protocol’ album for UK release . . . Atlantic appear maybe to have cut some of the clumsy breaks out of their ‘Touch Of Class’ UK 12in re-edit, but it still isn’t the superior US original . . . Fourth & Broadway belatedly picked up Colors ‘L.O.S.’, and The World Famous Mad Lads seem set for Champion here . . . ‘Disco Breaks #9‘ (KLS KL 8504) is a European import “only for DJs” which, part of a series, megamixes a variety of current hits in exciting style . . . The Reddings’ funky 107½bpm ‘In My Pants‘ has been remixed as the now commercial flip to their 106bpm Prince-like ‘Parasite‘ (Boiling Point POSPX 738), just when everyone was waiting for ‘Talk’s All Over Town‘, other remixes including The Cool Notes’ percussively thickened (0-)115¾bpm London Mix (which they’ve been in no rush to put out after all), Simon Harris’s irritating stuttery beat repeating 117½bpm Full Monty Mix of the Conway Brothers, and O’Chi Brown’s semi-instrumental 0-118¼bpm Friends Mix . . . Les Adams’ faster 0-108bpm Loyalty Mix of Cacique ‘Devoted To You’ (Diamond Duel DISCX 1) makes them sound like The Cool Notes and may be different but to my mind doesn’t help . . . No Way Jose’s far better promo “Espanol” version of ‘Tequila’ is 188½bpm, and seems of course to be due commercially at some stage . . . Loose Ends ‘Hanging On A String’ topped US Black 45s, a significant step for UK soul, while Tony Blackburn turned New York’s WBLS onto Jaki Graham in a big way . . . Paul Hardcastle appears to have one more remix left to do — of T.Rex! . . . Melle Mel has scrapped any pretence of a Furious Five accompanying group and is now solo . . . Brother Louis Johnson’s solo set which recently surfaced here on US Capitol (with only one OK cut, ‘A Touch Of Class‘) evidently shouldn’t have been released even in the States, so how importers got it is a mystery! . . . US video company Telegenics — at 150 Nassau Street, Suite 1338, New York, NY 10038 (0101-212-227 5966) — is releasing the first in a series of ‘Images Per Minute’ half hour programmes all edited to a consistent soundtrack beat (this particular ‘IPM’ at 115BPM), for use by clubs in synchronisation with their own similarly tempoed records (rather a good idea?) . . . Scandinavia’s disco magazine ‘DJ and Trade News’ nicks all my BPM’s for a listing that quite obviously includes nothing new of their own — one way to fill space cheaply . . . ‘I M’ the unknown mixer, in other words Ian McIntyre (0254-667743 evenings), wants the chance to show what he can do spinning soul in a North-West residency . . . Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (who originated ‘The Twist’, and whose crown James Brown captured as top black act in the early 60’s) spearhead Charly Records revival of material from the Cincinnati King label with an extended 130½bpm ‘Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go‘ chanter from 1960 as A-side of a 3-track 12in (CYZ 113), flipped by Bill Deggett’s 105-104-103-0bpm ‘Honky Tonk Pt.2‘ and Little Willie John’s original 130-134bpm ‘Fever‘, both from ’56, the latter possibly another ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’, these three acts also have well packaged albums on Charly, as do Little Esther (the only one without any hits), saxist Earl Bostic (including ‘Flamingo‘), and Wynonie Harris (including ‘Bloodshot Eyes‘, which by coincidence I played off 45 at my last gig, a stormer great before ‘Reet Petite’!) . . . Sam Cooke ‘Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963’ (RCA PL85181) is a previously unissued live LP for vintage fans which finds him sounding more like a raw ’60s soul singer than a suave balladeer . . . ‘Ready Steady Go!’ last week with the Isley Brothers, Martha & The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, was hotter than ‘6.20 Soul Train’ — which this Friday has 9.9, Light Of The World, Phyllis Nelson, Stylistics, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Cameo . . . I think I’ve sussed why so much current American black music is so bad — obviously, just like ‘6.20 Soul Train’ here, TV producers and radio programmers demand fast material to brighten up their shows, as real soul would never do . . . King Enri (Sidcup Danielles/Sydenham Breeze-Inn) makes the point that, despite his playlist being funk, Sister Sledge’s ‘Frankie’ is number one because it’s the most requested floorfiller with girls . . . Dave Dee (not that one), unemployed in Essex so a second hand/discount bin chain store shopper, says there are many import bargains to be found if you’re prepared to wait, and to look . . . Cardiff Ritzy jocks Peter C Helyer & Marcus Paul have just launched the local addition to Radio Top Shop’s in-store network . . . London’s gay Heaven closes for a £500,000 refit the first few days of next week, reopening at the weekend with the Weather Girls Saturday (27) — however they play Bournemouth Bolts at The Academy this Sunday (21), and 400 Blows PA at Harlow Whispers Saturday (20) . . . Sunday (21) Steve Allen, Jonathon, Simon Smith & Trevor Mac soul Peterborough Rinaldo’s 6pm all-eveninger . . . Tuesday (23) sees the first Wicked Pulse esoteric funk night at London Charing X Rd’s Busbys with Ian Dewhirst, Dave Hucker, Jonathon More, Jay Strongman, Steve Ramsey, Eddie Richards . . . Freddie ‘M’ funks London’s Cavendish Square Phoenix Wednesday’s (with Steve Walsh when he isn’t at Disneyland), Peckham Kisses Friday’s with Gordon Mac, Crystal Palace Buttercups at Heroes Club Sundays (free) with Solotronic (GBS) . . . Andy Vaughan now mixes Tues as well as with Spider Fri/Sat at Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow . . . Adrian Parkin Hi-NRGises Huddersfield’s all new Gemini Club Mon/Tues/Wed . . . Ian Dewhirst last week was arrested right in his office at EMI by uniformed coppers, kept in a cell and driven by Black Maria all the way to Leeds, for non-payment of an £80 traffic fine — just because they’d mislaid his change of address! . . . Steve Walsh sat in for holidaying Greg Edwards last weekend on Capital Radio — where maybe he wiped the earlier smiles off a few faces? . . . Denise LaSalle is a whole lotta woman, maybe a warning to Tina Turner not to eat too many ham hocks? . . . Tina incidentally was ill advised to don a white wig for her ‘Mad Max’ role — it doesn’t make her look any younger! . . . Willie Hutch’s lyric about “the girl with T and A” surely doesn’t mean birds and donkeys, does it? . . . STAY COOL!


HOT VINYL

TOTAL CONTRAST: ‘Takes A Little Time’ (London LONX 71)
Dellroy Murray & Robin Achampong of ‘Sunshine’ near-fame, forsake their own label and let Steve Harvey produce a jittery driving 111bpm Britfunk jiggler of sneaky simplicity if no great depth (chunkier 110¾bpm dub flip).

DANNY D & COLLUSION: ‘Party People’ (Elite DAZZ 42)
Terrific fresh simple jaunty buoyantly rolling and jiggling mellow chanted 101¼bpm party groove with everything understated, and all the more infectious for it — most un-British! — the picky guitar being brought out on the instrumental flip’s 101bpm ‘Jazzy People’ and 90½bpm ‘Vee’.

PHIL FEARON & GALAXY featuring Dee Galdes: ‘This Kind Of Love’ (Ensign 12ENY 521)
Lovely floating 111½bpm smooth shuffly soul revival of Special Delivery’s 1978 oldie with the Galaxy girls almost more prominent than Phil (98½bpm ‘Sharing Love’ flip). Continue reading “July 20, 1985: Total Contrast, Danny D & Collusion, Phil Fearon & Galaxy, Odyssey, Steve Sparling”

July 13, 1985: Five Star, Aurra, Maze, “D” Train, Precinct

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS WEEK’S inevitable remixes include a far superior subdued 0-112½bpm LW5, beefy beat started 113¼bpm Mark Fisher, more spacious muscular 116bpm T.C. Curtis, dense mournful 92¾bpm Take Three, dull vocal (0-)107bpm Sahara, instrumental flipped nasty Dead Or Alive rhythm emphasised 122½bpm 400 Blows, disjointed less hard 0-117bpm Harold Faltermeyer, plus — so far unreceived — Atlantic Starr, and Conway Brothers (although nothing could improve on their excellent 7in edit), the latter remixed by Froggy’s partner Simon Harris originally for his regular slot on Capital during John Sachs’ show . . . ‘The Artists Volume Two‘ (Streetsounds ARTIS 2) is a humdinger double album compilation, one side each of all the hits that fit by Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass, Change, Atlantic Starr! . . . Capitol in the States signed the O’Jays and Patrice Rushen, while Brass Construction’s album next month has a killer called ‘Zig Zag‘ . . . Michael’s sister Janet Jackson is being produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis at A&M, which is where Arnold’s son Lindsay Wesker currently hangs his hat . . . Phil Fearon & Galaxy, with the girls prominently featured, have covered 1978’s Special Delivery ‘This Kind Of Love‘ in a lovely long 111½bpm smooth shuffly treatment that hopefully won’t float over pop fans heads . . . Portuguese-sung and summery — though not soca! — that 104½-107½bpm Gilberto Gil ‘Toda Menina Baiana‘ (WEA U9451T) has been reissued for the good weather . . . Solar’s slimline CJ Carlos, one of several building a buzz on Aleem’s recent though now rare ‘Get Loose‘, says burning up the floor in East London is the old Jellybean ‘Was Dog A Doughnut‘ (EMI America LP), at 0-98bpm suddenly like a slower ‘Axel F’! . . . Colin Hudd’s previously secret oldie now spreading from Dartford Flicks is the Ken Gold produced timely very Chic-ish ‘Darlin‘ by Delegation . . . LWR were busted again as soon as my ink was dry last week, but thankfully all London’s soul pirates were back by the weekend, Solar with a new untraceable link (although what makes them think their DJs’ cars are untraceable I don’t know!) . . . JBC 96.95FM incidentally kept going mainly in the evenings, and some of their shows are very good indeed . . . Light Of The World’s anthemic ‘London Town ’85‘ has obviously been hurt by the lack of pirate plugs . . . Essex’s airwaves change yet again with ACR switching to pop while some of its soul presenters plan a “hard” station of their own . . . Robbie Vincent sits in for holidaying Jeff Young on BBC Radio London the next two Saturday lunchtimes, his own original slot! . . . Chris Ryder (3 Horsley Drive, New Addington, Croydon CR0 0QW) has the franchise from Croydon-Cable UK to run a “radio station” into the 40,000 subscriber homes from next month and urgently needs widely knowledgeable good presenters, not Radio One style — send demo/CV . . . John Dineley (0252-872817), mixing Hi-NRG Thur/Fri/Sat at Surrey’s only gay club Camberley Krugers, is after more mixing gigs the other nights in vari-speed equipped gay venues . . . Disco Mix Club International Mixing DJ champion Roger Johnson (St Albans 0727-39582) actually wants to sell the Trent II console he won so he can get a GLI 9000 mixer instead (tee hee!) . . . DMC’s July mixes are Alan Coulthard’s good Hall & Oates medley and Curtis Hairston minimix, Sanny X’s clever if incongruous restructuring of Rick Dees ‘Disco Duck’ and startling vintage rock ‘n’ roll mix (which would have been better using original versions, if not pressings), and Les Adams’ excellent jocks choice supposedly All-American mix for July the 4th — except of the acts used only Sharon Redd & Poussez for sure, Baby O & Candido possibly, hold American passports, others being French Frantique, Spanish Antonia Rodriguez, Brazilian Sergio Mendes, Birmingham-born Canadian Carol Jiani! (Les actually at short notice had to put this selection together, brilliantly, for a slot that was intended for my own All-American choices, except he shied away from mixing Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and the Pointer Sisters, who are the type of Americans most readily identified by my punters in 1985!) . . . Paul Anthony (Shrewsbury Park Lane) reports that jocks in Northern Italy are into “slow spins” keeping everything between 100-105bpm, like if you can believe it ZZ Top ‘Legs’ mixed into Divine ‘So You Think You’re A Man’ at 33 1/3bpm (don’t go giving Sanny X ideas!) . . . Steve Sale (Wigan Pier) even without vari-speed evidently synchs the entire length of Harold Faftermeyer ‘Axel F’ through Dead Or Alive ‘In Too Deep’ . . . London Records’ regional reception for new signings Total Contrast at Manchester’s Sandpiper Inn in Fallowfield on Monday (15) may well he graced by myself, so Mike Shaft look out! (invites from Mike Sefton or Kev Edwards) . . . Paul Hardcastle ’19’ took over atop US Club Play . . . Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ has Steve Arrington, Conway Brothers, Denise LaSalle, Archie Bell & The Drells, Esther Phillips . . . Gary Byrd could be spreading his wings on Friday evenings soon! . . . Sister Sledge’s two appearances on ‘Soul Train’ seem, as far as our chart returns are concerned, to have made ‘Frankie’ into a soul record — I don’t think (mind you, to put it in perspective, back in the ’60s I bought all the girlie group records on which it’s modelled just as avidly as the deep soul stuff) . . . Alex Gerry, my old ’60s soul co-jock at Le Beat Route, where are you currently? . . . Soul On Sound’s latest monthly Hippodrome night amidst a staggering round dozen PAs included dance trio Torso reviving the classic ’30s acrobatic splits ‘n flips style of such as the Step Brothers, complete with tailcoats (very ‘Cotton Club’ and a joy to see) . . . Danny Stewart (47 Apsley Road, Gt Yarmouth NR30 2HG) is after Linda Jones ‘My Heart Needs A Break‘ (US Loma 7in), while Kevin Hawkins (0375-678558) is after Johnny Guitar Watson ‘A Real Mother For Ya‘, and coincidentally has Claudia PAing this Thursday (11) at Basildon Fat Sam’s . . . PAs also include Precinct Thursday and Cool Notes Saturday (13) at Harlow Whispers, then Precinct Saturday and Cool Notes Thursday (18) at Maidstone Sunset, and 400 Blows Friday (12) at Beckenham Lautrec’s . . . Bolton Dance Factory has Island/Fourth & Broadway promotion nights this Fri/ Sat, WEA ditto next . . . Saturday (13) sees Pete Tong at Leysdown Stage 3, and Phil England driving Matt bats at Cullompton Blazers . . . Solar’s CJ Carlos & Paul Buick are downstairs, Graham Gold in residence upstairs, at Mayfair Gullivers every Wednesday now . . . Pete Sedgebeer, if last week’s went well, should be funking Thursdays at Golden Green’s free Bell pub (in Three Elm Lane off the Tonbridge/East Peckham A26) . . . Paul Oakenfold & Trevor Fung funk Streatham Chaplins Fridays, Tony de Vit does Kidderminster’s Weavers wine bar Tues/Thur with outdoor barbeque when fine, Andy Heryet confesses Worthing Carioca Saturday party nights are his busiest there . . . Wednesday (17) sees the long awaited start of an upfront, no dress restriction, solid soul ‘n’ funk night at Swansea’s Harry’s Dance Bar with James Lewis, The Bean & Jeff Thomas, a brave oasis amidst a pop desert so do support it — I missed Jeff, but met The Bean (and Plastic Sam supping ice cream by the marina) under the kind guidance of James during my latest visit to The Mumbles last week . . . 400 Blows gave me one of their T-shirts, size XXXL — however did they know that’s the only kind your double whopper can wear? . . . STAY COOL!


COMMUNITY RADIO

HOME SECRETARY Leon Brittan last Wednesday announced that so far in 1985 there have been 110 raids on 44 different pirate radio stations, and that he is determined to “stamp out the anarchy of the airwaves”. However, he has yet to reveal any decision about the type of community radio that many anticipate will be a legal replacement for the pirates. This will be more likely if the Government opts for “special interest” radio, broadcasting over a wider area than strictly local “community radio” would cover. By coincidence the day before Brittan spoke, Angela Rumbold MP chaired a press conference at the House Of Commons on behalf of such licence-seeking sometime pirates as Radio Jackie, Solar-FM. two specialist rock stations and various ethnic Asian, Arabic and Greek stations, attended by several Conservative MPs (but significantly no Socialists) who each talked encouragingly although with warnings. Tim Brinton, Conservative Backbench Media Committee chairman, foresaw “some move in experimental community radio within the next few months”, but thought that the generally desirable deregulation of radio would pose too many problems to allow widespread changes for a long time. John Gorst counselled patience, saying “this is an area that Parliament for many years has taken a great interest in”, but a national pride in the standard of our broadcasting would dictate that even the smallest stations at the base of the broadcasting pyramid would have to meet scrupulous standards under centralised control. Ivor Stanbrook, declaring “deregulation is in the air”, although “the road is going to be pretty long and pretty hard”, added that licence applicants should be “self disciplined — take what’s offered and don’t complain about regulations imposed upon you”. At some stage someone made the vary pertinent remark that nobody at the meeting had a God given right to broadcast: quite possibly this was the last speaker, who shook all present with the revelation of his identity, Roger Gale, MP for Thanet and the only Member to have been a pirate DJ himself, on board the old Radios Caroline North and South! As well as raising the question of theft by the pirates of copyright in their non-payment of royalties (unfortunately no mention was made of previous pirate offers to pay being turned down because they were unlicensed to broadcast in the first place), and the future imposition of needletime which would prevent any legal station existing on records alone. Gale summed up the current uncertainty of the situation which still limits one to speculation, “Don’t confuse community radio with specialist interest radio, the Government could opt for one or the other first. What will you do if you don’t get a licence? If you’re not successful, don’t then go away and set up another pirate station as nobody will respect you for it.”


HOT VINYL

FIVE STAR: ‘Luxury Of Life’ LP (US RCA NFL1-8052)
Oddly out on import first, the Essex Family Pearson’s debut set of youthful “New London” black pop as well as their most recent three A-sides (but not flips) has the Nick Martinelli-prod/Loose Ends-arr 119¼bpm ‘RSVP’ and 142bpm ‘Now I’m In Control‘, Steve Harvey-produced 117¾bpm ‘Winning‘, 118bpm ‘Hide And Seek’, sub-Evita-ish 0-34½bpm ‘Say Goodbye’, The Limit-produced 119½bpm ‘Love Take Over’, and Billy Livsey-produced 126bpm ‘System Addict’. Nothing startling for sophisticated ears, although on its UK release I can foresee a spate of Five Star Mania. Believe me, these kids is hot!

AURRA: ‘Happy Feeling’ (10 Records TEN 54-12)
Starleana & Curt are exploding right out of the box with this bass whomped Slave-ish purposeful chunky 108¾bpm strider which has melody as well as beat, and a bumpily jerking 118½bpm ‘Hooked On You‘ flip (despite the sleeve listing the A-side’s inst). Hot to trot!

MAZE featuring FRANKIE BEVERLY: ‘Twilight’ (Capitol 12CL 363)
This mind messingly catchy simple percolating little 0-107½bpm instrumental still dominates its 3-track 12in coupled pleasant if unexceptional 110½bpm slightly remixed ‘Too Many Games‘ and the more relevant totally remixed lean spacious 113¼bpm ‘Back In Stride‘, and could be a monstrous national hit (which let’s face it Maze need) if only Capitol would plug it properly. Continue reading “July 13, 1985: Five Star, Aurra, Maze, “D” Train, Precinct”

July 6th, 1985: Michael Lovesmith, Luther Vandross, 9.9, Shannon, Five Star

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

PAUL HARDCASTLE’s saga isn’t over yet — now ’19’ has appeared on import in a German Version (German Chrysalis 601 827), (0-)117½bpm, with newscaster Werner Veigel replacing the American commentary! . . . Radio London’s last Soul Night Out of the season this Thursday, July the 4th, in case a misprint confused you, finds Steve Walsh & Graham Gold with all the PA stars at Hammersmith Palais while in a simultaneous two-way broadcast link Tony Blackburn & Dave Pearce will be in New York City on urban contemporary station WBLS with Ricky Ricardo & Mary Thomas, whose regular shows with the Limeys as guests will be relayed in London between 10pm-1am exactly as they are being heard in New York, commercials and all, each side of the Hammersmith link! . . . LWR came back in force, London’s other pirates being off air due to bad weather and windy DJs (who don’t want to get nicked in a studio bust) — the reduction in soul time has certainly resulted in lower record sales, while anti-terrorism measures appear to be holding up imports at the airport for Customs checks . . . Ken Livingstone’s Greater London Council has conducted a survey that shows many residents are in favour of community radio and special interest services: during Mike Gray’s follow-up phone-in on Radio London a caller who was easily spotted as being Marc Damon made the much agreed with point that rather than just community stations catering to specialist music tastes there ought to be national services for such as soul, rock and country & western . . . Mike Shaft had better convince me that Manchester has as much daily soul radio as London, and that black records dominate sales there (which according to Gallup figures they most certainly don’t), or else take back what he said about me on Piccadilly Radio — in a sales research based column for Music Week, I never implied that soul doesn’t have a level of popularity there, just that in London currently it is staggeringly successful with the majority of singles selling better than average being black (you can’t argue with the figures, Mike!) . . . Exeter’s DevonAir, doubtless inspired by Essex Radio, have introduced a Summer Soul playlist to run seven days a week through the summer alongside their normal high-rotation ‘A’ list of pop hits . . . Canadian Club’s Disco Doubles dancing champions are Paul Baker & Lena Dattlani from Richmond, London, who win a holiday in Canada along with spending money and other items, no doubt connected with the heavily promoted brand of rye whisky . . . South Eastern Disco Assn members now meet the first Sunday of the month (ie: July 7) at 8pm in Canterbury’s Coach & Horses pub, so as not to clash with Thames Valley DJ Assn meetings which SEDA members hope to attend in future . . . Brian Mason (Cricklewood Ashtons) interestingly suggests the need for a “temps” agency to supply good temporary stand-in DJs to cover at clubs while resident jocks have a holiday or are otherwise engaged —he emphasises they should be reliable DJs who wouldn’t merely try to muscle their way into the residency job . . . Tony Prince at the charity Silver Clef Award Luncheon donated £500 on behalf of the Disco Mix Club for Dave Dee to “whip” Tony Blackburn while singing his old Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch hit ‘Xanadu’! . . . I have a hunch ‘Ready Steady Go’ could create a Dusty Springfield revival . . . Katrina And The Waves ‘Walking On Sunshine’, as I suddenly realised doing a 21st birthday gig in Derbyshire last Saturday, is exactly the same as The Sweet ‘The Ballroom Blitz’, even down to the BPM — dyn-o-mite! . . . Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ has Jaki Graham, Arrow, Cool Notes, Animal Nightlife, Freddie Jackson, Luther Vandross, Sly & The Family Stone — it is getting better, those earlier rock names only being included to broaden its audience base, although unfortunately it appears to be in the hands of someone who (quite possibly rightly) believes fast music makes better TV . . . 400 Blows, to judge from our Disco chart, are maybe more credible when heard not seen, while Phil Fearon has possibly learnt to his cost that the all important London market really does prefer slower soul . . . The Cool Notes ‘In Your Car’ came a lowly 3rd in Tony Blackburn’s listeners voted Record Of The Week this week . . . Five Star’s father Buster Pearson evidently thinks his kids don’t need PAs now . . . September, now they’ve settled their name, turn out to be Juliette Jaimes with her brothers Mark & Paul and two chums, from Waltham Abbey . . . Jive’s 14 years old African kid Warren Mills has been produced by Wayne Brathwaite on an excellent ‘Don’t Tell Me About Your Boyfriend‘ which’ll wow the young “New London” soul crowd, great lyrics for the girls, but unfortunately other lesser releases are planned ahead of it . . . Hi Tension ‘You Make Me Happy‘ is still a hot tempo in Liverpool for Simon Edwards at Maxwells & The Dove (could it, post-Loose Ends, do better now if reissued?) . . . Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers), forsaking piracy for legality and the hope of a proper job in radio, tips off pop jocks that Skipworth & Turner and the Pointer Sisters ‘Automatic’ synch like a dream . . . Arrow ‘Long Time’ to be totally accurate should be 124¾-124½-124¼bpm! . . . Simply Red ‘Money’s Too Tight’ has crossed to soul venues especially in its initially scarce 112½bpm Cutback Mix, which leaves out the original confusing intro . . . Freddie Jackson ‘Rock Me Tonight’ is now #1 Black LP as well as Black 45 in the USA, where similarly Madonna ‘Angel’/’Into The Groove’ now tops Club Play and 12in Sales — incidentally, ‘Into The Groove’ here will be flipped by neither ‘Angel’ nor the promoed ‘Holiday’, the latter oldie oddly being a separate unconnected picture disc on sale at the same time! . . . Kool & The Gang’s ‘Joanna’ was the most performed song in the States last year out of all those administered by royalty collection agency BMI . . . James Mtume has produced the Comsat Angels, just to flex his muscles, although as you will be relieved to hear he himself is not going rock! . . . JoAnna Gardner has been officially flipped, to make ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ A-side . . . Bohannon has delved back to revamp this time ‘Foot Stompin’ Music Part II‘ (US Phase II) . . . Stars On 45, sound-alikes no more, actually feature Sam & Dave for a medley of their own old Stax classics . . . Midlands soul singer Ruby Turner seems likely to be recording in Memphis produced and penned for by such as Willie Mitchell, Homer Banks & Chuck Brooks, Jones & Weatherspoon, and Allen Jones of the Bar-Kays . . . Friday (5) Richard Searling & Pete Haigh start weekly “Modern”/Northern/Motown Soul at Blackpool Bananas, fire-eating Darryl Hayden and turbanned Tony Patti do under-18s at Greenford Town Hall, Adrian Allen has (half-price if dressed right) Sports & Shorts at South Shields Chelsea Cat, Dave Rawlings hosts the annual Miss Martines final at Basingstoke Martines . . . Dave Clark (stage name Dave Toney) crosses the road from Barking Chains on Fridays to funk Cowpers American bar & restaurant (free, but arrive by 10.30pm) . . . John Dean goofed and in fact it’s this Sunday (7) that mixers Froggy & Flip join him at Hastings Images . . . John Marlow has started a Bolts gay night Sundays at Plymouth’s The Academy (for whose owner coincidentally I’m doing a ’60s Party this weekend in Dorset!) . . . Aretha Franklin ‘Freeway Of Love’, breaking in gay venues, on US pressings as well as our two mixes has an extended Latin Rascals remix which doubtless will be creatively marketed here too at a later stage . . . Ian Levine points out it was John Morales’ mix of Barbara Pennington that was just too damn long! . . . Pete Haigh (0253-824156) is now after Harlequin 4’s recent cover version of Strafe’s ‘Set It Off’ . . . London plugger Mike Sefton needs a press agent to prevent future photo captions calling him “who knows?”! . . . Danny Daniels just funks Mayfair Legends Tuesdays as he’s busy with Erskine Thompson as a Hot Licks plugger now . . . Ralph Tee & Damon Rochefort are moving on down the road — or is that The Street? . . . I’ve been toying with descriptive alternatives to the word Disco and came up with Body Music (Black Orientated Dance-y Music!) . . . One Way’s 7in has here been retitled and overdubbed so that it’s now ‘Let’s Talk About Shh’, with “shh” substituted for every mention of “sex”, which only makes it sound more lewd than ever! . . . C’mon, do it right, we’ve got all night, clear the decks and LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX!


HOT VINYL

MICHAEL LOVESMITH: ‘Break The Ice’ (Motown ZT 40274)
Now likely really to take off, here this good Marvin Gaye flavoured jittery slow 100½bpm hot tempo tugger with classy sax is flipped not only by the bright shallow 115bpm ‘Lucky In Love‘ but also his old 118¼bpm ‘Baby I Will‘ (in Change ‘Searching’ style), while on his LP ‘Rhymes Of Passion’ (US Motown 6145ML) this possibly even better bass bumped lightly fluid 116½bpm ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like It‘ with fascinating keyboards behind real soul singing, and brash Stevie Wonder-ish 120bpm chunky jiggler ‘I’m Good At It‘ are getting reaction.

LUTHER VANDROSS: ‘It’s Over Now (Dance Remix)’ (Epic TA 6414)
Although less blatant than Chaka Khan, this soulfully teased lurching smacker has been freakified with fancy effects and “get out” growls into a drastic 110(intro)-113(start)-114-114½-114¼-113¾(break)-114¼-0bpm remix (straightforward inst flip).

9.9: ‘All Of Me For All Of You’ (RCA PT 49952)
This Richard Dimples Fields-produced good looking girlie trio (why indeed isn’t their photo on the badly designed UK sleeve?) exploded overnight on import with their wailing excellent simple 115¼-115¾-116¼bpm disco wriggler, flipped by a far harder dub (here called a remix) and the traditionally bluesy 92bpm ‘Little Bitty Woman‘. A monster! Continue reading “July 6th, 1985: Michael Lovesmith, Luther Vandross, 9.9, Shannon, Five Star”