September 28, 1985: Josie James, Wally Badarou, Rene & Angela, Frankie Kelly, The Team

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

PAUL HARDCASTLE’s ‘Just For Money‘, due next month and based on both the Great Train Robbery and St Valentine Day’s Massacre, features specially recorded cameos by not only Bob Hoskins but also no less than Lord Olivier! . . . Stevie Wonder’s unexpected 87¼-174½bpm 12in remix of ‘Part-Time Lover’ puts it more firmly in the Chill Fac-Torr bracket, with scat, fingersnap ‘n’ brass intro . . . London mailed DJs two copies (in a double fold sleeve) of Total Contrast’s Lutheran 114bpm ‘Hit And Run‘ so that they can create their own mixes as, it says here, no remix is planned — really? . . . Five Star has inevitably been remixed for a 119bpm The Limit Edition Mix (a play on its producers’ name and not a misprint) with Dub Take Over too, while Colonel Abrams and Mercy Mercy are also due as remixes to rekindle soul sales now they’re crossing over pop . . . Jeff Lorber’s excellent album track sung by Luther-ish James Robinson, ‘Every Woman Needs It‘ has a disappointingly disjointed 0-104½bpm remix due fully in a fortnight . . . Randy Muller right now is remixing The Team, to make it even more Brass Construction like, and Alan Coulthard is working on Gloria Gaynor ‘I Will Survive’ . . . Mersey’s mixer Greg Wilson is setting up his own dance label InfraStructure, with a mailing list at City Buildings, 21 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9BS . . . Fourth & Broadway are rushing (the two years old!) Donald Banks, while Paul Laurence is due next week — however Howard Johnson’s superior US Remix full of impersonations is not coming out here . . . Skipworth & Turner’s 115¼bpm commercial 12in includes an added 105½bpm A Love Awakened remix of their old ‘Thinking About Your Love’ (yawn) . . . Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ has Jennifer Holliday, Three Degrees, Shannon, Teddy Pendergrass and Bobby Womack, both alone and with Patti LaBelle . . . Horizon have gone, Solar close down this Sunday, but LWR have been back on 92.1FM, JBC moved to 104.8FM, and “KISS-fm” will soon be hitting London weekdays on 94FM with K-JAZZ there still on Sundays . . . T Zee Mindich was for one week only, thank goodness, Steve Walsh returning on Capital Radio Sunday 1-5am while Steve Collins does Phil Allen’s show . . . Margate jock Tim Stewart (Franks Wed/Fri, Thorleys Tues/Thur/Sat/Sun) has started presenting a Monday 11pm-1am soul show on France’s RBL 91.6FM, beamed at the Eastbourne-Margate-Ashford stretch of our South Coast . . . DevonAir Radio’s Summer Soul playlist was so popular that there will be much more black music generally now on all daytime programmes . . . NE Wales/Cheshire/N Shropshire’s Marcher Sound could have a problem, as whenever I drive back from North Wales (rather often just recently) I can get Liverpool’s Radio City on FM clear down to Shrewsbury . . . Disco John Leech is currently doing weeknight 11pm-1am late shows on Essex Radio, as well as his Saturday 6-9pm soul show, and reports the station’s first Soul Night Special at Zero 6 was such a lock-out success that more are planned elsewhere in bigger venues very soon — now all DJ the DJ needs is full service from record companies! . . . Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (26) is at Ilford Palais, where hopefully there won’t be the pandemonium seen last week at Hammersmith when mounted police had to hold back the mob outside (leaving the pavement foul with horse droppings) while inside birthday celebrating Steve Walsh prompted the noisiest of many noisy crowd reactions especially on introducing Aswad for a bubblers session (after Tony Blackburn had left the building!) . . . Steve Walsh then took his birthday party to Soho’s Bananas and the bouncers only let half of them in! . . . Royalle Delite proved to be crowd pleasers, even though of the four girls only Magareita and raunchy tall white Melanie were brought over to Britain by cheapskates Streetwave — incidentally, just how is the Scene down on The Street? . . . Bluebird/10 boss Billy Russell had evidently paid £ 15,000 for the Harleqiun Four’s but there was then a delay in exchanging contracts, and Morgan Khan snuck out his Masquerade cover version! . . . Quila wonders why colour supplement king Morgan Khan and Radio Orwell soul jock Dave Brown suddenly left Ipswich Cindys just as they were being bought a drink — could it be the music wasn’t commercial enough? . . . Erskine Thompson denies it all, Frankie Kelly’s single having been sent to Tony Blackburn direct from the States by its distributor . . . Gallup have added the main reggae record shops to their chart panel, which looks like having an interesting effect . . . PRT could be reverting to their old name Pye should a takeover by Tony Calder come to fruition . . . Derek Harold and Tommy Edwards always get lots of classy bookings for their smart Rinky Dink Disco by hiring a stand at Liverpool’s annual Bridal Exhibition in the Atlantic Tower Hotel, its this coming Wednesday (2) 3-10pm — they’ll give a discount to anyone booking them there . . . Kev Hill (Harlow Whispers) moved house only a few miles in Essex to find he no longer gets London’s ITV, let alone the radio pirates — however he’s just got married so there must be other things to do! — plus next week he becomes Mecca’s national promotions manager on 01-637 9401, organising all the disco chain’s PAs and events . . . Andrew Holmes (Manchester Satellite) acts as representative on 061 865 2844 for a couple of US tracks available to UK record companies, the unreleased infectious semi-instrumental go go Louie Oxley ‘Go Go Gadget’ and older disjointed jazz-funk Nature’s Creation ‘Freak Unique‘ . . . Disco Gary Van Den Bussche recommends Kettering’s Out Of The Past Records in Havelock Street for 7in soul oldies from 65p, while Brian Mason tips off that around 1,500 unrequired 12in disco oldies have just been offloaded at Sounds Familiar in London E17’s Wood Street . . . Steve Stuart (Boston Elizabethan Club) is after a replacement ‘250 Disco Jingles’ LP from about 10 years ago, on 0205- 50993 . . . Pete Haigh, who’s now after Sweet G ‘Waiting For Your Love‘ and Chi-Lites ‘Try My Side Of Love‘ on 0253-824156 says there’s yet another version of ‘Set It Off’ by C-Sharp . . . Brian Davies 0562-3488 ext 27) needs more PAs for Tuesdays at Stourport-on-Severn’s Plato’s . . . George McCrae joins John Dean at Dover Images Thursday (26) . . . Friday (27) finds Robbie Vincent returning to Dartford Flicks, jazz man Chris Brown with Trevor Fung and Paul Oakenfold at Streatham Chaplins, while Nick Graham, Trevor Mac and Andy Ibbott funk Wellingborough’s Tithe Barn members club . . . Jon Kutner has not only free admission but also a free bottle of wine (each) for everyone in fancy dress at his Hammersmith Palais beachwear ‘n’ bikini disco party this Saturday (28) . . . Hazell Dean prays for rain at Bolts in Haringey Sat, Brighton Sun . . . LWR’s 3pm-2am soul and reggae alldayer on Sunday (29) at Forest Gate Upper Cut Stadium stars Derek Boland, Tim Westwood, Ron Tom, Eddy James and more with lots of PAs, Sundays being when Gordon Mac and black blonde Kags have cash prize competitions for amateur DJs, dancers and the like at Peckham Kisses . . . Chris Hill will be rushing back from the New Music Seminar to find his wife’s moved house while he was away, and to soul Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Walker’s Club Café again on Monday (30) . . . Total Contrast guest with Gary Crowley at South Harrow Bogarts Tuesday (1) . . . Ian Dewhirst’s Tuesday Wicked Pulse funk night has moved in London to Leicester Square’s Comedy Store (next to the Odeon) . . . Damon Rochefort does St James’s L’Equipe Anglaise every Wednesday with Torso, the black dance troupe he’s now managing, plus this Tuesday he starts a “gay funk” night at Charing Cross Heaven . . . Philip Sallon has started the Saturday Fire Island above London’s Astoria Theatre with DJs Jay Strongman, Fat Tony (a.k.a. Diana Dogg), and Mark Moore in the Psychotronic Room . . . Paul Clark now joins Richard James and Bob Jones on Saturdays at Sheffield Green Hilly’s upstairs playing jazz, leaving Tim Jeffrey alone at Brighton’s Escape Club Sat/Wed (the latter funk oldies night) — Tim’s also looking on 0273-680231 for an upfront Friday venue in London (who isn’t?) . . . Sho-Pro’s Caister team could be in need of new recruits to supplement “good boys” Chris Hill, Froggy and Robbie Vincent . . . Andy Baker was expecting Danny D at Rhyl’s Downtown and luckily checked with pluggers Hot Licks on the evening he was due, only to find “he couldn’t get a hire car” — sorry, but it’s the ones who don’t turn up that everyone hears about: Hot Licks will in fact be making it up to the Edinburgh Soul Club, whose expected PAs had never actually been confirmed it seems . . . Danny D’s latest waxing is due on Elite white label, ‘Warrior Groove‘, now credited as by DSM . . . Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre owner Andy Phippen followed up his Greek holiday club-going by buying the Disco Mix Club franchise for Greece — and right now is with me, host Tony Prince and DMC’s Ceri Berry (plus what seems like most of London!) in New York for the New Music Seminar . . . Ready For The World ‘Oh Sheila‘ topped US Black 45s, Prince ‘Pop Life‘ 12in Sales, Pointer Sisters ‘Dare Me‘ Club Play in Billboard . . . Andre Cymone’s UK pressing is 112½bpm, to be precise, Diana Ross on 12in is 128¾-0bpm, the O’Jays’ 12in is (0-)107½bpm, and in the Mirage ‘Into The Groove (Medley)’ the 124½bpm ‘Holiday’ should have been between ‘Lucky Star’ and ‘Like A Virgin’ . . . HAVE A NICE DAY!


HOT VINYL

JOSIE JAMES: ‘Call Me (When You Need My Love)’ (TPL 12TPL01, via PRT)
Nigel Martinez produced, and wrote with her, both sides of the often heard session singer’s solo debut, this pleasant shuffling wriggly 104bpm swayer revealing her Deniece/Minnie/Emotions/Jones Girls-ish voice which is much more satisfyingly cushioned on the Dexter Wansel-ish sultry slow 78bpm ‘Win Your Love‘ flip, for good value.

WALLY BADAROU: ‘Chief Inspector (Vine Street)’ (4th + B’way 12BRW 37)
Although strictly only a promo the initial 12in pressing is already in some shops and — not the generally available coupling — teams this bubbling extended version of the compulsive 101bpm jiggly jazz-funk instrumental monster with the percussion overlaid Hill Street remix that’ll be out in the States (but not evidently here), so hurry, hurry — which doubtless is what Island want you to do. How many ‘promos’ were pressed?

RENE & ANGELA: ‘I’ll Be Good (Club Mix)’ (Club JABXR 18)
Mark Berry’s radical remix typically restructures the rhythm into a more urgent 110¾-110½-110¾bpm ‘Sexomatic’ mould, lurching and juddering angrily rather than oozing sleazily, which could come as quite a shock (110¾bpm Dub Mix flip). Continue reading “September 28, 1985: Josie James, Wally Badarou, Rene & Angela, Frankie Kelly, The Team”

September 21, 1985: Collage, Stevie Wonder, Andre Cymone, Haywoode, The System

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

BOBBY WOMACK’s ‘So Many Rivers’ LP is finally out here (MCA MCF 3282), and his single on 12in — as is The O’Jays ‘Just Another Lonely Night‘ (Philadelphia International 12PIR 1) . . . Roy Ayers’ new thudding 113¼bpm tripper ‘Slip N’ Slide‘ duetted with BJ Nelson, has arrived on import 7in but CBS promoted it on single-sided 12in ahead of UK release next week . . . Erskine Thompson has pulled one of his typical strokes, buying up all the imported 7in copies of Marvin Gaye-soundlike Frankie Kelly’s ‘Ain’t That The Truth‘ (US Trans World International) to ensure it remained rare, then feeding one copy as an exclusive to Radio London’s morning soul presenter Tony Blackburn who’s merrily been playing it for weeks, thus building the demand (although in truth without this irritating lack of availability it would probably have been dismissed as a good Marvin clone), and now of course it’s coming out on Virgin! . . . Jerome’s imminent newie should be titled ‘Extra Special’ . . . Capital Radio gospel jock Al Matthews has compiled an ‘Inspiration Dance‘ LP for StreetSounds. ranging from recent hits by Steve Arrington, James Ingram, Staple Singers, through Philip Bailey’s ‘I Want To Know You’, to the Edwin Hawkins Singers and Mighty Clouds of Joy . . . NE Wales/Cheshire/N Shropshire’s Marcher Sound 95.4FM has started a new soul show with Paul Edwards every Friday 6-9pm, Saturday 6-10pm, Sunday 7-10pm — not bad going! . . . Tony Dortie hosts ‘The County Party’ including hot soul newies and freebies Saturdays 9pm-1am on Kent’s Invicta Radio 95.1/95.9/96.3/97/103.8 FM . . . Steve Collins, Steve Walsh, or someone, come back soon — who was that bozo last Saturday night?! . . . Surrey’s Sunfire Radio 104.5FM soul pirate, broadcasting Sunday afternoons since April 1984, had their very first — full studio — bust two weeks ago, seemingly along with all the others (Horizon have now voluntarily closed down pending their community licence application) . . . Swansea’s Harry’s Dance Bar has its own “radio station” HFM playing soul every night pre-recorded by Wednesday jocks Jeff Thomas and James Lewis . . . The Northern Ireland Radiothon to benefit various children’s charities on Friday October 11 from 8pm to 10am at Cookstown’s Glenavon Court Hotel will include Gary Davies & Adrian John in Radio One’s first ever all night live broadcast, tied in with a concurrent event in Britain, as the climax to a fund raising campaign — NI clubs are invited to help with special nights of their own, so for details contact Belfast co-ordinators David Hull Entertainments on 0232-240360 or 0265-57386 . . . Radio London’s Soul Night Out begins a new season (in which it’ll switch venues weekly) this Thursday (19) back at Hammersmith Palais, where Tony Blackburn, Steve Walsh & Freddy M will be joined by Five Star, Three Degrees, Royalle Delite, Merchant, Aswad, Warren Mills, PP Arnold, Shakatak, an PA-ing! . . . Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ has Skipworth & Turner, Miquel Brown, Gap Band, Pointer Sisters, Flesh . . . I find it sad that Harlem’s re-opened Apollo Theater, legendary showcase for black talent, should now be gaining most publicity from the appearance there of such as Boy George, George Michael and especially, of course, Hall & Oates, no matter how reverential their respect for its history . . . Washington DC’s very young D-I-Y go go street group the Junkyard Band, witnessed and reported on last March when I thought they could be huge, have signed with Def Jam (whose product will now be distributed by CBS) . . . George Howard’s ‘Dancing In The Sun’ LP finally topped Billboard’s Jazz chart after 19 weeks, while Kool & The Gang’s ‘Cherish’ topped US Black 45s and the Goon Squad’s ‘Eight Arms To Hold You‘ US Club Play . . . Breakers under the RM Dance 85 include Dante, Precious Wilson, Vikki Love, Commodores, Jennifer Holliday 12in, Trouble Funk . . . DJs faced with a sudden rush of autumn newies seem to be ignoring such recent strong imports as Conquest, Prime Time, Carl Carlton, Janice Christie, Finesse and even Charlie Singleton . . . Derby’s Way Ahead record shop specialises in punk and heavy metal, shoving all the latest soul albums into bargain bins at just £2.49 or £2.99 (try to get there before Paul Needham!) . . . Rene & Angela’s ‘Secret Rendezvous’ (Capitol LP) as previously warned now really is becoming London’s next ‘Buttercup’-like revived oldie . . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) plays Madonna ‘Borderline’ rather than her current hyped-up material, while Paul Lewis at the same venue’s Amphitheatre has built a huge buzz on the extended remix of Magnum Force’s ‘In The Mix‘ . . . Paddington Green’s Bluebird Records are trying to recreate a buzz on Bootsy Collins’ ‘Body Slam‘ as they’re now its only stockists — and shop assistant there Steve Watt is itching to DJ again, even warming up for major names (he’s upfront in Rhythm Pals style), on Coulsdon 07375-52110 . . . Ray Davies (Milton Keynes 0908-678314) is after Thur/Fri club work where mixing and party competitions are equally appreciated . . . The Sound Of Music has been formed from their mobiles by Wandsworth’s Brian Devine, Colindale’s Trevor Moore and Acton’s Nigel Lydice on 01-205 7665, hoping to fill the gap left by Mastermind . . . Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers) finds Toney Lee synths so perfectly with Tramaine he suspects it’s the same song! . . . Segue Steve Goddard has been mixing Wally Badarou into Jellybean ‘Was Dog A Doughnut?’ since July at Hackney’s Camis Nitespot, East Londoners liking their funk nice ‘n hard ‘n sleazy ‘n slow . . . Pete Tong tips the thus far unimported Gardinia ‘Chiquita Linda‘ (French Magic) . . . China Crisis’s current Walter Becker-produced 121½bpm hit ‘You Did Cut Me‘ is surprisingly soulful, worth checking . . . Tony Cochrane’s first tour on his recently mentioned Scottish Club PA Circuit takes Vince Clark & Andy Bell of Erasure on Thursday (19) to Brechin Jars/Aberdeen Mr G’s, Friday (20) Dundee Buddies/Kirkcaldy Jackie O’s . . . Friday (20) finds Colin Hudd reliving 1983 at Dartford Flicks, the return of monthly funk to Peterborough Fletton Fleet Centre with Nick Graham & Trevor Mac, and Jeff Young joining Danny Smith at Gt Yarmouth Aquarius for a warm-up to Caister (quite a few converted locals go there now) . . . Saturday (21) Baz Fe Jazz, Chris Reid, Rhythm Doc & El Dorado show rare Cuban/Jazz films at Kings Cross La Scala’s latin-jazz allniter . . . Hereward Radio soul jock Steve Allen starts weekly at Peterborough Rinaldo’s this Sunday (22), free before 10pm . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes has added London Cavendish Square’s Phoenix to his gay pub circuit every Saturday . . . Sunday (22) Miquel Brown plays Plymouth Bolts, and Wednesday (25) Three Degrees visit Kensington’s newly video equipped The Park . . . Disco Gary & Paul French do under-18s every Thursday 7-10.30pm at Chatham’s St George Hotel (behind Radio Kent) . . . Sheila E’s ‘A Love Bizarre’ is another song from the ‘Krush Groove’ movie, in which she appears . . . Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, still with RCA, has also turned up on Private I Records with the George S McFarlane produced ‘Give It Up‘ from a movie called ‘Fright Night’ . . . Dante either have a different single, ‘Freak In Me‘ on US Panoramic or else they’ve got an American rival to their name . . . Island/Fourth & Broadway pluggers Adrian Sykes & Tim Rudling are getting tough with DJs who don’t return charts to RM — I’d better point out that if now suddenly masses of DJs decide to inundate us with charts, they mustn’t merely list any one company’s product but should genuinely reflect what’s happening on the floor, or else they wont get used . . . Welcome to RM, where rock and disco can coexist and IT’S NOT NECESSARILY GOTTA BE MADONNA!


HOT VINYL

COLLAGE: ‘Romeo Where’s Juliet?’ (MCA Records MCAT 1006)
Now again selling on 12in, it took inclusion on a strong album for this excellent insidious bass and jitter guitar driven gut-tugging 107bpm rolling thudder to explode in its own right, the sometimes Shalamar-ish seven man group building the excitement as they growl and slide around the powerhouse beat (even longer dub flip). Superstars of the future?

STEVIE WONDER: ‘In Square Circle’ LP (Motown ZL72005)
Well worth the wait and up to vintage standards on a punchy smash laden set are the great buoyantly shuffling and wriggling 119¼bpm ‘Go Home’, lovely singalong hustling 112bpm ‘Stranger On The Shore Of Love‘, strongly lurching and loping 113bpm ‘Spiritual Walkers‘, busily burbled jittery rolling 110¾-0bpm ‘I Love You Too Much‘, jerkily flowing lightly swinging 121¼bpm ‘Never In Your Sun‘, classically attractive being the melodically swaying 73-0bpm ‘Whereabouts’ and summery slow drifting 83-0bpm ‘Overjoyed’, while ‘It’s Wrong (Apartheid)’ is a rattling fast 125¼bpm exotic skitterer leaving just the frantic flashdance 147¾bpm ‘Land Of La La’ and his current 174½bpm pop hit as the only disappointments for soul fans.

ANDRE CYMONE: ‘The Dance Electric’ (CBS TX 6435)
The acceptable face of Prince so far as British soul fans are concerned appears indubitably, and very fashionably at the moment, to be The Family, Sheila E, Morris Day, and this home town boy whose Prince-prod/penned typical muttering jittery 112¼bpm piledriving groove is more genuinely exciting than anything the Purple Prancer himself has had out in ages. Continue reading “September 21, 1985: Collage, Stevie Wonder, Andre Cymone, Haywoode, The System”

September 14, 1985: “Where’s the supposed London bias?”, Chaka Khan, Paul Scott, Five Star, Mirage

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ISLAND RECORDS took my advice and have started stickering certain releases with a “GUARANTEE: No further mixes of this record will be available”, which hopefully will soon give them a marketing advantage and be adopted by other companies . . . Mark Berry has done an even newer and harder remix of Rene & Angela, due here instead of their earlier US remix, and Larry Levan has remixed Nile Rodgers ‘State Your Mind’ for eventual 12in . . . Randy Muller tells me John Morales has created a ‘Vintage Brass Medley‘ from eleven oldies by Brass Construction — whose LP ‘Conquest’ (Capitol BRASS 1) is now out here — and that further versions of ‘Movin’ could be possible as the original was in fact 15 minutes long, with lots of bits we’ve never heard! . . . Streetwave’s next DJ Limited Edition 12in pairs McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ with Billy Paul ‘Bring The Family Back’ — craftily ensuring sales of two copies to any mixing jocks too young to own the originals! — while third in the series will be by just the Blackbyrds, ‘Walking In Rhythm‘/’Rock Creek Park‘ (a chart cert?) . . . Mink ‘You Were The One (Too Late)‘ (US River Edge Records) now evidently won’t be out here, thus making it almost beyond doubt THE One That Got Away in 1985 . . . ‘The Artists Volume 3‘ (Street Sounds ARTIS 3) has all the monster hits that fit by Womack & Womack, O’Jays, Kleeer and The SOS Band — possibly, if believable, even stronger than previous collections . . . Miquel Brown ‘Close To Perfection’ has been flipped for a limited edition by a ‘So Many Men’ medley of her Hi-NRG oldies . . . Chris Cameron’s 119½bpm pop song ‘Written In Your Heart‘ (Steinar STE 1285) sounds like something Buddy Holly might have done were he alive today, backed vocally by such as Jane & Carl of Loose Ends, Princess, Phil Fearon, Junior Giscombe, Richard Jon Smith, P.P. Arnold . . . Richard Jon Smith’s ‘Hold On’ is about to be re-flipped for its main pressing run by my old marathon megamix of his past material, previously only available on a cassette sold with an earlier single (and not to be confused with its current Megamix flip), so do indeed hold on! . . . Simon Grant has joined Bryan O’Connor to update the “alternative” disco/dance mailing list at Silhouette Promotions, 20 Mitcham Park, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 4EG . . . Paul Barron (Sheffield Silks and Romeo & Juliets) takes over Radio Hallam’s Saturday 6-8pm ‘Ebony + Ivory’ soul show from next week (21), for which he wants to hear from local soul/funk/reggae jocks about their gigs, from local rappers for a competition, and from reggae labels on whose lists he may not be, at Radio Hallam, PO Box 194, Hartshead, Sheffield S1 1GP . . . Douglas Hurd appeared before quite sympathetic towards radio affairs and so could make a useful Home Secretary . . . Peter C. Helyer, still at Bristol Mayfair Wed/Cardiff Ritzy Fri, very urgently needs other residencies within an hour and a half’s drive of 19 Bedwas Close, St Mellons, Cardiff CF3 0HP, or else he’ll have to get a day job to pay the mortgage . . . John Dineley (Camberley Krugers) is after any of the old Technics SL D202 decks in working order, on 01-989 8736 . . . Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ has Animal Nightlife, 7th Heaven, Hugh Masekela, Aretha Franklin, Hall & Oates with Eddie Kendricks & David Ruffin at Harlem’s Apollo . . . Steve Jerome is about to enter “D” Train territory with his imminent 118bpm ‘Suspicion’ — which makes me think his old ‘If You Walk Out That Door’ would adapt rather well to that treatment too . . . Disco Mix Club’s September mixes were almost uniformly excellent, Les Adams doing Cameo and current funk, Alan Coulthard doing The SOS Band and Transatlantic British hits, only Sanny X’s remix of Madonna ‘Into The Groove’, potentially so timely, turning out a mess (someone take away his infernal digital delay!) — he also sequenced a current Continental pop selection . . . Royalle Delite’s Good Groove Mix actually features Derek Boland & Simon Harris on turntables and Froggy on edits and engineering . . . Soul On Sound presents as usual lots of PAs with Derek Boland & Steve Wren jocking at London’s Hippodrome tonight (Wednesday 11) — unfortunately dental appointments are keeping me from my regular boogie ‘n bump with Barbie . . . Dave Gregory & Disco John Leech host Essex Radio’s first ever Soul Night, to celebrate the station’s first birthday, on Friday the 13th at Southend’s Zero 6, with star PAs — while over the river that night Colin Hudd has an “appalling bad taste” night at Dartford Flicks . . . Saturday (14) finds rhythm pals Pete Tong & Jeff Young together for the first time away from Caister at Brands Hatch Kentagon, plus Dan Corrin, Jonathon More & Rob Day starting the weekly urban funk Speako with rapping, toasting, and visual projections at Deptford’s Albany Empire 11pm onwards (free membership for first nighters), while Kevin Sebastian and other outrageous entertainers present crazy cabaret at Mayfair South Molton Street’s Widow Applebaums from 9pm . . . The Three Degrees play Edinburgh Fire Island Sat (14), Miquel Brown hits Luton Bolts at Ronelles Sun (15) . . . Nicky Holloway tempts Jeff Young, Martin Collins, Bob Jones, Gilles Peterson and more for a ‘Do At The Zoo’ in London’s Regents Park on Sunday (15) 6pm . . . Dave Malone, still at the Queens Arms Thursdays, has just started funking Fridays now at Sudbury’s brand new Gainsborough Nightclub (converted from a cinema), and also next Tuesday (17) starts a jazz night at Castle Hedingham Memories . . . Mr Jazz soul-jazzes the new Tuesday ‘9.30 Soultrane’ at Stockton Harveys Wine Bar . . . Willie McKenzie has set up the Centre City Soul Club every Thursday at Stirling Diamonds (50p beer/spirits) . . . Kenny Hume souls the refurbished in Wimbledon Nelsons Thursday ladies night . . . Pete Haigh souls Sundays 7-10.30pm at Blackburn Darwen Street’s Zanzibar . . . Fatman Graham Canter is now at East London Victoria Park’s plush Follies cocktail pub-disco (casual over-23s, free apart from £1 after 10pm Fri/Sat), with a video Motown special on Tuesday week (24) . . . Graham Gold at Mayfair Gullivers does a killer mix from Kurtis Blow ‘America’ to Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde ‘The Challenge’ . . . ‘Baby Talk‘ off Alisha’s new US Vanguard LP is just like ‘Into The Groove’ . . . Eddie Murphy is finally following up his ‘Boogie In Your Butt‘ vocal classic with the long rumoured Rick James-produced ‘Party All The Time‘ . . . Den Lewis (Edgware), back from a radio listening tour of the States, reports that New York’s WBLS electro jock Mr Magic despite its “not for broadcast” lyrics nevertheless spins Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew ‘La-Di-Da-Di‘ . . . Whitney Houston’s far superior ‘Saving All My Love For You’ topped US Black 45s and her album Black LPs, while Colonel Abrams and Tears For Fears ‘Shout’ swapped charts to top now respectively Club Play and 12in Sales in Billboard . . . John Abbey’s Atlanta based Ichiban label has signed the remnants of Slave, plus veterans Rufus Thomas & Clarence Carter . . . Ashley Hooper currently revives Francine McGee ‘Delirium‘ at Bournemouth Shunters . . . Aaron Lewison-White (Chichester Brooksies) finds the two years old Slimline ‘You Can Dance You Can Do It‘ (Pinnacle) has suddenly taken his area by storm . . . Paul French (Gillingham The Avenue) is another local newspaper disco columnist, in the Medway Extra and as of now The North Kent Courier . . . Breakers under the Disco 85 include Roberta Gilliam, Phil Fearon ‘If You’re Gonna Fall In Love’/’All I Give To You’ (LP), Bernard Wright, Conquest, Jennifer Holliday 12in, Warren Mills, Shirley Lites, Paul Laurence, Vikki Love . . . Mike Shaft and other poorly serviced Manchester mafiosi maybe ought to shop instead in either Levenshulme or Stockport at Russ Gray’s import stocking Record Cellar, which had Princess white labels a fortnight ahead of anyone else in the area, and generally carries more good soul LPs in depth (incidentally, Maze obviously sold in shops like this, but it was in the all important — unfortunately — Gallup chart return stores around Manchester that it was slow to cross over) . . . I repeat, this time for Tony Prince’s benefit, where have I ever dismissed DJs outside the London area as pop jocks? I admit to a bias towards “black” music because, as virtually everything is a dance record these days and photogenic white acts find general media attention far easier to come by, it narrows the field to a more manageable (and, I personally feel more worthwhile) form, but surely anyone who regularly reads this column will realise it also publicises DJ activities right across the country whether they be soul, pop, wally, Hi-NRG or whatever? Last week’s column for example included items from or about DJs in Kidderminster, Manchester, Dartford, London, Nottingham, Newcastle, Canterbury, Stourport, Barnet, Portsmouth, Guildford, Ashford, Plymouth, Huddersfield, Austria, Lanzarote, Edinburgh, Harlow, Thamesmead, Midlands and more, of which five were plugs for specifically soul gigs with three of those being North of Watford — so where’s the supposed London bias? I myself am a pop jock when doing mobile gigs (in fact I’m a better pop jock than soul jock, to be honest), and if ever I refer to pop jocks, or soul jocks, or gay jocks, or MoR jocks, or rock jocks, or jazz jocks, it’s in recognition of a particular breed — and if ever I fancy, for instance, that pop jocks up North may go for a certain record it means just that, not that all jocks up North play only pop . . . RECORD MIRROR’s main Disco chart reflects reported DJ plays in the whole country’s specialist soul clubs (Alan Jones hopefully will soon again get around to compiling the other more general Nightclub chart, and we have plans for an Alternative chart too), although admittedly for practical reasons the most upfront new entries tend to reflect a mixture of plays and sales in just the London area over that previous weekend, but as this — whether others like it or not — contains the highest concentration of black music clubs I feel it’s justified as a guide for those jocks elsewhere who use our chart as a shopping list (it should be pointed out that while, as an example, Harieqiun Four’s maybe broke first in Manchester it only really took off once it had belatedly reached London’s shops) . . . DJs who don’t themselves send in charts and info have no right to criticise the result that their own contribution could so easily have had an effect upon — given time and space I try to use everything sent in (rambling complex letters sometimes take too long to precis down under pressure, so keep things succinct), the address being: James Hamilton, RM, Spotlight Publications, Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QZ (that’s a “Q” before the Z), to arrive no later than first post on the Wednesday of the week before publication . . . IT’S NOT NECESSARILY GOTTA BE MADONNA!


HOT VINYL

CHAKA KHAN: ‘(Krush Groove) Can’t Stop The Street’ (US Warner Bros 0-20367)
Oh dear — the overwhelming success of ‘I Feel For You’ seems to be channelling Chaka into a Shannon-type mould as America’s purveyor of perky hip hop. From the Russell Simmons biopic ‘Krush Groove’, this Dan Hartman co-penned herky jerky 110½bpm tricksy jitterer has Nile Rodgers rapping like Melle Mel and producer Russ Titelman filling the first half with juddering edits to create surface excitement (instrumental flip).

PAUL SCOTT: ‘Off The Wall’ (US Ace Beat AB9362)
Confusingly hidden as the third track on someone else’s (Scott-produced) 12in, this sneakily burbling, chattering and pausing 117½bpm electro instrumental (starting with some James Brown squawks) has finally exploded now it’s more widely available five weeks after Steve Walsh first unearthed it on radio — the A-side is actually EVERESS: ‘Don’t You Take Your Love‘, a gradually building (0-)125½bpm chix-sung bounder with a harder 125¼-0bpm Dub, which did itself attract a few jocks initially. Not necessarily, but possibly another ‘Twilight’!

FIVE STAR: ‘Love Take Over’ (Tent PT 40354)
Although in their album’s context not an obvious standout, this The Limit-prod/penned, Paul Hardcastle-mixed, slippery little 119bpm breathy jiggler sounds sweetly appealing enough on its own now to sell like hot cakes, flipped as usual by a new instrumental, the Level 42-ish 112½bpm ‘Keep In Touch‘, and yet another variation on an oldie, the 114bpm ‘Let Me Be The One (Instrumental)’. Continue reading “September 14, 1985: “Where’s the supposed London bias?”, Chaka Khan, Paul Scott, Five Star, Mirage”

September 7, 1985: Cameo, Lukk featuring Felicia Collins, Conquest, Kleeer, Roberta Gilliam

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

SUPREME RECORDS sadly now get greedy with an 104bpm ‘HRH Mix No. 3‘ of Princess, which brings in the ‘Billie Jean’ bass virtually from the beginning but without the Alternative Version‘s shock impact (again it’s confusingly labelled) . . . Jeff Young’s 103½bpm Candlelight Mix of Peter Royer is indeed now out, incorporating Dexter Wansel’s piano . . . Brass Construction’s US 12in ‘Give And Take’ continues to climb as the choice of DJs who buy their records, now they’ve heard the disappointing LP and different UK 12in (although doubtless the mailing list effect will have begun to bite by next week’s chart) . . . Rene & Angela’s video on ‘6.20 Soul Train’ really helped their single’s sales on Saturday, as did Luther Vandross’s ditto a week earlier: this Friday’s acts are Jaki Graham, Odyssey, ‘D’ Train, Warren Mills, Tavares, Ike & Tina Turner . . . Al Jarreau’s Wembley-recorded ‘In London’ concert is new out in the States on Warner Home Video . . . Jean Carn is with Norman Connors’ band next Wednesday (11) at London’s Festival Hall — at least I suppose she is, all the posters spell her “Carne”! . . . Bobby Womack will be at Hammersmith Odeon for five solid nights, October 9-13 . . . Womack and Womack have left Elektra to start a label of their own, called Sar II in homage to Linda Womack’s father Sam Cooke’s own label Sar, on which the Womack brothers recorded as the Valentinos such as their 1964 classic ‘It’s All Over Now’ . . . Tramaine turns out to be Edwin Hawkins’ sister, and sang with his Singers . . . Select Records, UTFO and Full Force, amongst others, are fighting a rearguard action by attempting to sue all the makers of answer versions to ‘Roxanne Roxanne’, citing unfair business competition, copyright infringement and trademark misuse — additional complaints apply to the misleadingly packaged cover version album ‘The Complete Story Of Roxanne‘ on Compleat . . . Phil Canty (Kidderminster) is keen for DJs to co-ordinate a Disco-Aid scheme tied in with Live-Aid: the only way I see something like that having any more impact than the present essentially small scale type of charity disco gigs (from which of course even the smallest contribution counts) is if, say, the majority of clubs across the country could be persuaded on one particular night to synchronise for a special nationally publicised event from which absolutely all proceeds would go to Live-Aid — this just might re-tempt the public into digging deep again, but are club owners big hearted enough? . . . Mark Wimmers & Ben Evans have revived their ‘The Spice Of Life’ ancient and modern Black American music night every Friday, this time at Manchester’s Cloud Nine, starting this week . . . Colin Hudd revives 1982 at Dartford Flicks this Friday (6) . . . Saturday (7) finds Baz Fe Jazz & Andy McConnell with the Tommy Chase Quartet live at a late night Jazz/Salsa Fish Fry, in Bermondsey at 99 Rotherhithe Street (now that sounds like a warehouse party what is a warehouse party!) — Baz is also at Nottingham Rock City’s alldayer with Womack & Womack live on Sunday (8) . . . Chris Hill returns on Monday (9) to Walker’s Club Café in Newcastle Upon Tyne (where Phil Mitchell and Adrian Allen may have been wacky, but more to the point they’re weekly — chart contributors, that is!) . . . Dom McLeman, an ex-mobile jock now in banking, is currently sweltering in Vanuatu amidst (I think?) the Melanesian Islands, where it’s so hot that vinyl records warp and the only music available is Asian bootlegged tapes of old material: however, Tony Bromwich at Newcastle’s Hitsville USA sells him all the “hot” new stuff by remote control, storing the vinyl until Dom’s return and instead personally cassetting his purchases for airmail delivery! . . . South Eastern Disco Assn members meet at 8pm this Sunday (8) in Canterbury’s Coach & Horses . . . Radio Thamesmead’s breakfast show presenter Jamie Wisdom (interviewing Streetwave/StreetSounds boss Morgan Khan next Wednesday 7-9am on the pioneering closed circuit legal community station) lost his pub residency and is after another East London/Thames Estuary gig on 0322-72208 . . . Solar and Horizon may come and go, but West London’s JBC 96.95FM carries on regardless, and is very listenable anyway (if you’re within its very local range) . . . Steve Collins, come back soon! . . . Paul Major, his residency sold from under him, is after another good Midlands dance gig on 0455-291624 . . . Kidderminster’s syndicated local newspaper disco columnist Brian Davies does Tues/Wed/Sat at Stourport’s brand new Plato’s, where this month’s Tuesday star PAs are Dante & Sonique (10), Miquel Brown (17), Kelly Marie (24) . . . Andy Caddy, writing a fortnightly Soul Press column in his local Barnet newspaper, sent me a cassette of his mixes that are amongst the best I’ve ever heard — now all he needs is a gig with two varispeed decks! . . . Nick Ratcliffe (Portsmouth Ritzy/Guildford Cinderellas Rockerfellas) reflects this Madonna mad era with a ‘Medonna Medley’ (sic) which neatly and smoothly blends all her most danceable hits, with doubled-up and edited effects instead of digital delay . . . John ‘Razorblade’ Rushford & Julian ‘Slipmat’ Guffogg (Ashford, Kent) recommend Dutch radio KRO 675KHz on Sundays 11am for an hour long ‘And The Beat Goes On‘ continuous mix of upfront material — their own home-produced mixing efforts are good if over busy when remixing/editing one record, less neat when seguing/blending between records, but as actual remixers they’ve already interested some record companies . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes starts selling Gary London’s rare boots and Disconets from next Thursday at Record Cellar in Newport Court (behind Leicester Square tube) . . . King Enri has a wicked nomination for Slimmer Of The Year — suffice to hint his initials are R.H. . . . Boys Town Gang creator Bill Motley died of AIDS two weeks ago . . . Norman Scott refused a fortune for copies every time he packs the floor with a cassette he made in 1983 at Harringey Bolts when macho George Michael rapped and sang over the dub side of Rockers Revenge ‘Walking On Sunshine’ . . . Plymouth Sound radio DJ Brian Day has opened the gay Friday Cruisers at Plymouth Studio 84, jocked by Glyn Warren . . . Adrian Parkin is now full time Mon-Sat at Huddersfield’s Hi-NRG Gemini Club . . . I promised not to reveal which well known record producer/DJ huffily said “Record company presidents don’t go around hitting their producers”! . . . Record Shack released it last Christmas but now, since it’s been a Continental summer smash, Epic have picked up the 112¾bpm Video Kids ‘Woodpeckers From Space‘ (TA 6504) . . . Atlantic for some reason (unsold stock?) have re-serviced the bright smacking 115¾bpm Stacy Lattisaw & Johnny Gill ‘Block Party‘ (B9719T) . . . Danish DJ Kenneth Baker, touring Europe for inspiration, reports radio in Austria plays lots of soul but also Madonna once or twice an hour, while the Jocelyn-ish Amii Stewart & Mike Francis ‘Together‘ is worth looking out for . . . Dave Clark (Barking Chains) feels fed up that in Lanzarote all the DJs even in bars use SL 1200 decks, and massive Dynacord mixers — at least he didn’t hear Opus! . . . Anthony Bernards’ letter last week winding up Damon Rochefort (now there’s two of a kind!) reveals that the notorious Chris Ellis is still alive and well, and living in Lancashire — how nostalgic . . . Loose Ends, along with Total Contrast and Peter Royer, failed to turn up at the Edinburgh Soul Club for a PA last month, without warning or apology from responsible pluggers Hot Licks (who got them as far as Newcastle I know — so did ET’s battery fail?) . . . Danny D & Collusion’s great but oddly ignored (except by radio) ‘Party People‘ appears fated to be another One That Got Away in 1985 — why? . . . Breakers queuing up below the Disco 85 (NB: not the next 20 places) include No Way Jose (Espanol), Charlie Singleton 12in, Luther Vandross, Weather Girls, Prince ‘Raspberry Beret’, Doug E. Fresh, Sylvia Bennett, Class Action, Billy Griffin ‘Systematic’, Pressure Point, Shirley Lites, Stevie Wonder, John Ingram, Rockie Robbins, Juicy, Nile Rodgers ‘Stay Out Of The Light’, Roberta Gilliam, PP Arnold, Red Hot Chilli Peppers ‘Hollywood (Africa)’, Rosie Gaines . . . Music Week didn’t receive my column in time for the current issue as it took three days by first class mail from North Wales: at least it arrived eventually, which is more than many of the records sent me do — as I’ve suggested before, to be sure please bike ’em (to my home address) . . . I was staying in a house party which included a crowd of kids, and it was the under-10s who kept spinning around on their backs to the music! . . . Darren Fogel keeps dropping cryptic hints that suggest he’s to be seen in ‘East Enders’ (not that I’ve ever watched it) . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow) only needed three records to satisfy the returned holidaymakers last week, Baltimora ‘Tarzan Boy’, Black Lace ‘Megamix’, Madonna ‘Into The Groove’, played in rotation — yup, IT’S GOTTA BE MADONNA!


HAZELL DEAN has taken advantage of the original’s unavailability by covering ‘They Say It’s Gonna Rain’ for her debut Parlophone release (12R 6107), not fully available for four weeks but promo-ed in a chugging 0-115bpm Europop flavoured Indian Summer Mix (the opening chants suggesting “Injun”, rather than the weather). It was in fact the lyrics’ topicality during this dreadful summer that prompted Hi-NRG club DJs belatedly to activate the by then already deleted Kerry Delius version. I’d have hoped the weather might be better by Hazell’s release date, so maybe she ought to rush it instead!


HOT VINYL

CAMEO: ‘Single Life’ (Club JABX 21)
My and seemingly everyone else’s fave of the moment, this superb subtly made very powerful sparse 110½bpm nagging pusher is filled with bits to hook you, especially the Ennio Morricone spaghetti western twiddles, “single guys clap your hands” and “eyes right” instructions, and the devilish way “life” is teasingly left until the next beat after you’ve already anticipated it. Brilliant!

LUKK Featuring FELICIA COLLINS: ‘On The One’ (Important Records TANT 6)
I can’t bear it (and you’ll see why) but initial calculations suggest this languidly rolling dead catchy lurching jiggler, like Five Star singing to a Jocelyn/Jenny-ish backing, has been slowed here by about one beat per minute — which without going right through it again means it now must be roughly (deep breath!) 103-103¾-105¾-103¼-106¼-103¾-102¼-103-104¾-105-104¼bpm (inst flip). You won’t be aware of this, and the thing is a hit!

CONQUEST: ‘Optimistic’ (US Epic 49-05255)
Amir Bayyan-produced excellent chaps chanted and muttered Johnny Guitar Watson-type buoyantly jittering infectious 97bpm jogger with a braying trumpet solo and bags of rhythm ‘n’ bluesy sass that’ll have you poppin’ and boppin’ by the time it’s through (dub flip). What a blast! Continue reading “September 7, 1985: Cameo, Lukk featuring Felicia Collins, Conquest, Kleeer, Roberta Gilliam”