October 26, 1985: Moontwist, Kleeer, Frankie Kelly, Quando Quango, Hugh Masekela


AGAINST ALL expectations it’s Cooltempo who are rushing out Doug E. Fresh here — however there may be a hiccup due to its use of the Inspector Gadget theme, and a snatch of the Beatles’ ‘Michelle’ . . . Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King ‘Your Personal Touch’ (RCA PT 49916) is due here now (why does it make me want to sing the lyrics in “Bahaia”?) . . . John Morales still has amongst other versions an unreleased nine minute vocal remix of Fatback ‘Is This The Future?’ featuring Evelyn Thomas, which he’s offering to Important Records . . . Cat Stevens’ original very similar ‘Was Dog A Doughnut?‘ is being whispered as a possible single release — meanwhile Dutch pressings have helped put Jellybean’s album version back in the chart . . . The Team’s follow-up could be flipped by a jinglebelled ‘Wicki Wacky Christmas Party’ if it’s out soon enough, and (CBS permitting) Roy Ayers could be adding vibes to ‘Rock Creek Park’, as well as to Frankie Kelly . . . The Three Degrees have belatedly been remixed, but Donald Banks is another from Island to guarantee “No further mixes will be available” . . . Al Jarreau joins Shakatak for the blandly pleasant jauntily chugging (0-)104¾bpm ‘Day By Day‘ (Boiling Point POSPX 770), due commercially in two weeks . . . Alan Coulthard’s previously mentioned 0-117½bpm ’85 Remix of Gloria Gaynor ‘I Will Survive’, instrumentally much revamped with new breaks and Chic-ish guitar, has been promoed to gauge reaction before possible release, flipped by his galloping medley of her early hits . . . Jeff Lorber’s single has actually been cancelled, along with his tour (could a US label change be in the air?) — and Eugene Wilde’s UK visit has been postponed until the new year, when he’ll headline a five artiste full Philly World package along with Cashmere and JoAnna Gardner . . . North West DJ Association hold their first major equipment exhibition on Sunday February 16, 1986, at Offerton’s Belgrade Hotel in Stockport, stand space being bookable from David Jon on 061-761 5811 . . . TV-am’s kids-aimed ‘Wide Awake Club’ last Saturday was possibly an inappropriate slot but certainly had all red blooded big boys wide awake when Eighth Wonder made their TV debut fronted (and that really is the word!) by the delightfully ingenuous sex kitten Patsy Kensit whose elbow raising, tummy flashing, knee cocking routine climaxed with her shoulder strap coming undone as all the group rolled on the floor (their shuffling tiny-voiced samba (0-)132/66bpm ‘Open Your Mind‘ was promoed to encouraging DJ reaction, as flip to the outright pop jerkily jumping breathy (0-)170bpm ‘Stay With Me‘ and 0-137bpm ‘Loser In Love‘ (CBS TX 6694) — if Britain has to have a homegrown Madonna, make it her! . . . Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (24) hits Croydon’s Cinatras: last week at Hammersmith Palais, despite plugging it on his show Tony Blackburn sure enough drew a blank with the dancers by playing Ready For The World . . . Friday (25) Essex Radio’s second monthly Soul Night Special is at Braintree’s Essex Barn on the A120 with Dave Gregory, Disco John Leech and star PAs live on air 11-12pm, sandwiched by Tony Monson in the studio 9pm-1am following Dave’s normal 6pm stint . . . Sunday (27) Luton’s Bluebird Records shop celebrates the start of its regular Sunday opening with Chiltern Radio’s soul show broadcasting live from it, Martin Collins introducing PAs on air behind the counter! . . . Happy Hippo Jerry Hipkiss, now summer’s over, has moved his Saturday Severn Sound 95FM soul show from 4-7pm to the current 7-10pm, and would welcome extra mailing list attention c/o Severn Sound, PO Box 388, Gloucester GL1 2DQ . . . Steve Walsh, unable any longer to divide his loyalties, sadly leaves Capital to start a Sunday evening 7-9pm soul show on Radio London 94.9FM from next week, Nov 3 . . . Peter Young’s Soul Cellar oldies show returns to Capital Radio 95.8FM on Sunday nights 11pm-1am! . . . London’s airwaves may have lost Solar and Horizon, but between busts there are still LWR 92.15FM, KISS-fm 93.95FM, JBC 104.95FM . . . Phil Easton of Liverpool’s Radio City and Sonny King this Friday start running a contest for female DJs, part of the prize being a voice test at City (details from Sonny on 051-263 5907) . . . John Jessop in the 1-5am snooze shift on Radio City 96.7FM isn’t specifically a soul jock but the majority of his non-needletime music is black . . . Paul Laurence ‘She’s Not A Sleaze’ has met black radio resistance in the States, some programmers thinking the line “they called her loose Lucy” sounds like “they called her loose pussy”! . . . Stevie Wonder topped Black 45s, Tramaine Club Play in Billboard’s US charts — ‘Fall Down’ on promo here at least, has been clumsily re-edited (it loses the beat!) into a new hybrid 118½bpm Long Version . . . Sly & Robbie ‘Make ‘Em Move‘ featuring Doug E. Fresh has been slightly speeded up on promo 12in to 114bpm . . . Andy Heryet finds dancers at Worthing Carioca (Wed/Sat) far prefer ‘They Say It’s Gonna Rain’ by Kerry Delius to Hazell Dean (who’s now also in a percussion started 0-115bpm Zulu Mix) . . . Derek Boland has permanently joined the mixing team of Froggy and Simon Harris, who are planning their own label (whatever happened to Krack?) . . . The PDM Perry Daniels two Saturdays ago at Deptford Cheeks sent up Dirty Dave Shirt & Wild Magnum Geoff Watts’ efforts of the previous night by synching Stephanie Mills ‘Medicine Song’ right through Harleqiun Four’s, and Colonel Abrams through the instrumental of Conway Brothers ‘Turn It Up’, to wild reaction . . . Mix Doctor Les Adams actually won one of the recent RM contest’s CD players! . . . Greg Parrott (Telford Cascades) is after a 12in of Locksmith ‘Unlock The Funk‘/’Blackjack’ on 0743-240649 . . . Gwen McCrae ‘Funky Sensation‘ (and indeed Afrika Bambaataa ‘Jazzy Sensation‘) which never really went away for jocks with any sense, along with Archie Bell & The Drells ‘Don’t Let The Love Get You Down‘ from their ‘Where Are You Going When The Party’s Over?’ LP are the latest big buzz London revivals — all this energy wasted finding oldies when there are so many good newies being ignored . . . Dotty Green PAs in North Wales at Llandudno’s Speakeasy Bar and Towyn’s Mirrors Friday (25) . . . Bangor’s Dylans and Anglesey’s Min-Y-Don Hotel Saturday . . . Pete Tong joins Paul Oakenfold & Trevor Fung at Streatham Chaplins Friday (25), and closes Disco ’85 at Purfleet’s Circus Tavern Saturday (26) . . . Gary Stevens moves over from funky Friday to help Mike Whitaker for this Saturday’s fancy dress Halloween party at Woolwich’s Dover Castle pub (by the College), where Mike normally teams with Mark Galvin for soulful Sat/Sun . . . Sunday (27) Hastings Pier’s noon-midnight alldayer has Chris Hill, Jeff Young, Jan Allen, Paul Wernham, Chris Kaye, Donovan Dwyer, Si Grant . . . Princess PAs at Charing Cross Heaven for Damon Rochefort’s “gay funk” Tuesday (29) . . . Thursday (31) Blackburn Peppermint Place’s refurbished Pepps 2 reopens as Kaleidoscope, funked as ever by Gary Hickson . . . Paul Taylor is back at Burnley’s Angels, redecorated and renamed now as Clarets, doing wally Thurs/funky Sat 10pm-2am . . . John Mayoh is currently doin’ it at Leicester’s The Studio . . . Dave ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson mixes soul Sundays at Bradford’s brand new Imps Nitescene with 10,000 watts sound system, three decks, digital delay, sampler, harmonizer, drum machine, spare stylii . . . Studio 222 plays fun music with mix spots by Mix Wizard & Double G Fridays at Birmingham Ward End’s Fox And Goose, and upfront newies with Dave, Dave, & The Crew Tues/Wed at Hagley Road’s Duck Inn (next to Libertys) . . . Neil Fincham now souls Styx in Edinburgh’s George Street Thur/Fri/Sat, newly decorated with more to come . . . Cramond Perry does Edinburgh’s brand new Tuttles in their over-25s VW disco club Fridays, with free champagne . . . Chris Britton, literally ‘Trapped’ at Tottenham’s Websters the other Sunday, points out he doesn’t funk so much as pop/Euro/electro/reggae/rock/funk Leicester Square’s Empire Ballroom! . . . Phil Howell, after nearly four years at Derby’s Blue Note, took a year off jocking to set up his own private nursing home business but now has returned, with BBC Radio Derby afternoon presenter Chris Baird, at Burton on Trent’s Clown’s . . . Dave Clark has added Tues/Wed at Rainham (Essex) Yesterdays, a non-dancing winebar/pub under the same ownership as his other gigs, Barking’s Chains (Sat/Thur) and Cowpers (Fri/Sun) . . . Nicky Leek (South Yardley), unhurt in a car crash, had £700 worth of records stolen which she’s been having to rebuy before insurers pay up . . . Island’s mailing list DJs chart returns eased off this week leaving us basically with our old faithful upfront chart contributors (making this week’s Disco 100 as current as possible, Theo Loyla please note, instead of a fortnight out of date), and — surprise, surprise — Island’s own product did a lot better! . . . SET IT OFF!


MOONTWIST: ‘Sight And Sound’ (Certain Records 12ACERT 4, via Priority/EMI)
Sade meets Cleo Laine (actually it’s Ruth Rogers-Wright, ex-Mrs Joe Jackson) for a lethargically mannered fashionable slow 76/38bpm meander, interesting and full of haunting atmosphere if not immediately danceable.

KLEEER: ‘Never Cry Again’ (Atlantic A9505T)
Bassily boosted here, the excellent solidly rolling 108bpm catchy soul chugger now for added value is flipped by the guys’ superb A-side worthy slinkily sensuous (0-)108¾bpm ‘Lay Ya Down Ez‘, and ancient lurchingly cantering 116½bpm ‘Winners‘.

FRANKIE KELLY: ‘Ain’t That The Truth’ (10 Records TEN 87-12)
Had this been easier to find when first on import, would so much attention have been focussed on it? Copying every inflection and detail from Marvin Gaye’s early ’70s style, it’s an immediately familiar sounding 107¼-108¼-108-109bpm weaving and tugging swayer, extremely well done even if it is only a copy. Still, the original’s no longer around. . . Continue reading “October 26, 1985: Moontwist, Kleeer, Frankie Kelly, Quando Quango, Hugh Masekela”

October 19, 1985: Freddie Jackson, 52nd Street, Fatback, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Howard Johnson


WOODY CUNNINGHAM of Kleeer made a flying visit to England lasting one day just to PA at the Caister soul weekender, where the combined jocks came up with an unusual official chart: new hits were The Winans, Serious Intention, lsley Jasper lsley ‘Dancin’ Around The World‘, Frankie Kelly, Diane Schuur ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing‘, established biggies were The System, Kleeer, Wally Badarou, Harleqiun Four’s, Doug E Fresh, while — the trick category! — not heard at all were Cheryl Lynn ‘Encore’, Ready For The World ‘Oh Sheila’, Princess, Cool Notes or Five Star . . . Steve Walsh & Tony Blackburn return to Hammersmith Palais Thursday (17) with Radio London’s Soul Night Out (now why did I follow the previous item with that?!) . . . Robbie Vincent, hinting that Radio One could be getting blacker, will at some stage soon devote his Sunday night soul show to a recording of Bobby Womack’s London concert — I caught Bobby on Friday when unfortunately he was being videoed for US consumption, which meant the show was super slick with lights on the stubbornly undemonstrative audience, such cornily staged tackiness as a flamenco-type flirt cavorting through ‘Gypsy Woman’ and a plainly terrified little girl walking on with a bunch of flowers (how would any kid react when confronted with a screaming sweaty middle aged black man?), warmth only beginning to spill across the live audience when Alltrinna Grayson did her spine-tingling screech on ‘Harry Hippy’, after which there were a lot of good bits but it was nowhere near so spontaneous or memorable as last year (and the sound made the star’s voice indecipherable for much of the time, especially when talking) . . . Princess ‘After The Love Is Gone‘ as before has been white labelled ahead of Oct 28 release, more of the same at 99½-99¾bpm from the Stock-Aitken-Waterman team . . . Paul Hardcastle’s eagerly awaited ‘Just For The Money‘ is a Lord Olivier introduced 0-113-0bpm cluttered bassy chugger possibly too overloaded with dialogue and effects to cut through clearly on dancefloors although it retains the ’19’ format, Bob Hoskins in his ‘Long Good Friday’ gangster voice going on about “this could be the crime of the century” in a scenario that embraces the Great Train Robbers and Al Capone’s Feb 14 shootup . . . Thames Valley DJ Association return to Sunbury on Thames’ Kempton Park racecourse for their expanded 2nd Disco Exhibition on Sunday afternoon, January 26 1986 (stand space bookable from Pauline Smith on 07842-58881), followed that evening by the Imagination-starring Shownite ’86 awards dinner at Windsor’s Blazers (£10 all in, £1 exhibition only, ticket applications payable to TVDJA at PO Box 14, Ashford, Middlesex being advisable now) . . . Kev Hill at Mecca Agency International Ltd, 14 Oxford Street, London W1N OHL, wants to hear from mobile and club jocks (send CV, demo tape, SAE) in case there’s work for them, and from clubs who’d welcome PAs and live appearances . . . “Dave” (01-734 6249) is auditioning alternative music DJs for a well known Mayfair discotheque next door to a late nite eaterie (which still seems to be undergoing alterations), and Debbie Gopie (01-588 0174) is in urgent need of good female DJs for an interesting project . . . Larry Foster, whose most requested oldie at Gants Hill Villa Fridays is Fred Wesley ‘House Party‘, with Segue Steve Goddard has started a rare record finding service on 04023-74864 — he and King Erni both lead the first seasonal wave of Christmas cards, many thanks! . . . Kerry Delius’s deleted 112¼bpm ‘They Say It’s Gonna Rain (Remix)‘ is finally available again as flip to the less disco 109¾bpm ‘Slipping Away‘ (Arrival 12PIK 17, via Priority) . . . Nicci ‘So In Love‘ oddly late in the day is now on Boiling Point (POSPX 774) . . . Disco Mix Club’s October mixes are Les Adams’ tough funk, Alan Coulthard’s recent pop, Sanny X’s slightly scrappy Bob Marley, Prince productions and Simple Minds medleys, none so strong as on last month’s major set . . . Paul Sanders (177 Ludlow Road, Itchen, Southampton SO2 7EL) wants to hear from anyone else who’s had trouble with something called the Grand Groove Mixing Club . . . Colin Hudd’s latest Wally Badarou mix at Dartford Flicks (where he revives 1984 this Friday) is with George Benson ‘Soulful Strut‘ . . . Chris Kaye (Tunbridge Wells) suggests mixing the old Rose Royce ‘RR Express’ with either Andre Cymone or more trickily Harleqiun Four’s — he also complains that Kent’s clubs don’t get a fair share of artist PAs despite being an easy drive from London (maybe that’s because they aren’t on the way to anywhere else?) . . . Steve Jason, who’s added funky-ish Fridays at Peterborough’s refurbished Millionaires (ex-La Scala), finds on his Tuesdays at the Gables that Simple Minds ‘Forget About Me’ doesn’t deter soul dancers possibly because it’s such a doddle to mix with ‘Sexomatic’ . . . Johnny Hero (Belfast The Boxes Fri/Greenan Lodge Mon) wonders why CBS let Alexander O’Neal ‘If You Were Here Tonight‘ slip away when it’s still his most requested smoocher and local wholesalers can’t get enough — something similar happened when it was huge in London, the sales force seemed to ignore it . . . Certain Records has been set up by “millionaire book publisher” John Spiers, chairman of the Harvester Publishing Group and a founding director of Brighton’s Southern Sound ILR station, who in pitching initial releases at the dance market obviously has noticed the immediate chart impact DJs’ purchases can make . . . Ashley Hooper (Bournemouth Shunters) reports local shop demand for Brian Jackson & Gil Scott Heron ‘In The Bottle’ has come around again to such a pitch that whoever owns the rights now would do well to re-release it . . . US Elektra, retaining it for DJ promos, has stopped issuing the 12in format commercially, saying now of all times it’s not viable! . . . Alan Schivek of New York’s Mega Records is giving Record Shack their own custom label identity in the States, with virtually simultaneous release there . . . Freddie Jackson returned atop the US Black LPs (as well as 45s), Ready For The World topped Club Play as well as the pop Hot 100 in Billboard . . . New York’s black radio news currently carries many South African apartheid stories . . . Inspector Gadget is a lyrically much mentioned Saturday morning US TV cartoon show which has inspired a hip hop dance step, so don’t be surprised if the timely ‘Chief Inspector’ gets another Gadget Mix! (UK commercial copies incidentally appear after all to have both Vine Street and Hill Street versions) . . . Luther Vandross is in the middle of producing the Temptations, one of whose old stomping grounds Harlem’s Apollo is due to reopen this month — I myself maybe surprisingly took an undeserved bow there when a judge of the Tip Top Bread Talent Contest in 1964 (contest entry had less to do with talent than the number of bread wrappers your family could muster)! — while just down the same block on 125th Street another of my old stomping grounds the Baby Grand club appears completely unchanged after 21 years, still with piano shaped window in art deco style . . . Haggis & Chris Howard reggae-funk Marsh Farm (Luton) The Cotters pub’s last ever disco night before a jukebox is installed, Steve Allen & Nick Graham electro-funk Peterborough’s Fletton Fleet Centre, and Brian Davies has a tramps and tarts party at Stourport Severn Manor, all on Friday (18) . . . Saturday (19) sees Chris Hill & Robbie Vincent start their new weekly Hill & Vincent’s Fundamental Music Corporation at Croydon’s Sgt Peppers, guaranteeing “no youth club music” . . . Tuesday (22) Tonbridge’s free admission Loggers fun pub (by the station) turns two years old with Chris Kaye running down the ten soul tracks most requested there in that time, while at the Epping Forest Country Club near Chigwell Cino & Gary Raymond feature PAs by Princess, Total Contrast, Haywoode, P.P. Arnold, Precious Wilson, Julie Roberts, Peter Royer and more as ‘The Best Of British Funk ’85’ (over-21s, advance £5.50 tickets only, on 01-660 8645 or 0992-469069) . . . Wednesday (23) Paul Needham has a Motown promotion night at Derby’s Knotted Snake . . . John Coomer jazz-R&B-soul Sundays at Yeovil’s Three Choughs Hotel 7.30-10.30pm, future guests including Bournemouth’s Graham T (27), Exeter’s Chris Dinnis (Nov 3) . . . Russ B & Ian Stewart plus guests funk Friday’s The Wak Wak Club at Options on the A127 near Basildon . . . Neil Matthew souls Ramsden Heath’s Nags Head pub (free) near Billericay every Tuesday . . . Facade ‘The Groove‘ could more concisely be called a cross between the early styles of Paul Hardcastle and The RAH Band . . . Island’s effort to get more DJs sending in charts has helped stagnate the Disco 100 to their disadvantage, as by far the week’s biggest seller was Wally Badarou who stays stuck at 4: other sellers that previously would have reckoned to be higher include The System, Total Contrast, Donald Banks, Grace Jones, The Winans, Sade, Evelyn King, whereas still rising although sales have long tailed off are Michael Lovesmith, Lukk, Roy Ayers, Skipworth & Turner — Kleeer and The Team have actually yet to register major sales despite high placings, and charting purely on mailout reaction without any sales at all are Vikki Love, Jeff Lorber, Bar-Kays and even Brass Construction ‘Zig Zag’, so as always suspected from past experience, huge numbers of DJ returns don’t necessarily help make an accurate up-to-the-minute, interesting chart . . . SET IT OFF!


FREDDIE JACKSON: ‘You Are My Lady’ (Capitol 12CL 379)
Freddie’s definitely the successor to Teddy Pendergrass’s crown as the new romantic black balladeer, to judge from his current huge US success with both his debut LP, very popular here, and this quietly starting sweet slow 0-92/46bpm smoochy ticker. Now can Capitol break him here where CBS didn’t even bother with the similar in appeal Alexander O’Neal? The flip’s 105½bpm “Special Theme Version” of the gently lolloping ‘I Wanna Say I Love You’ amounts to an instrumental.

52nd STREET: ‘Tell Me (How It Feels)’ (10 Records TEN 74-12)
The snappingly introed immediately familiar Nick Martinelli production will make you wonder which Loose Ends (or whoever) record it is until Diane Charlemagne and the four fellahs from Manchester start cooing the 105½bpm drifting but driving swayer (dub/edit flip), their classiest to date if overly tied to a formula.

FATBACK: ‘Is This The Future?’ (Important Records TANT 7)
Possibly the biggest recent black dance hit to remain unreleased on UK 12in until now, this terrific bass synth bumped rolling calm 108½-108¼bpm pusher from 1983 has a memorable chocolate voiced message rap, apparently here re-edited from several known mixes to end up with Evelyn Thomas wailing instead of the original LP version’s great sax, to make a hybrid new version of less contemporary appeal, the flip revives the accelerating 105-109bpm FATBACK BAND ‘Wicki Wacky‘ street funk partaay chant. Continue reading “October 19, 1985: Freddie Jackson, 52nd Street, Fatback, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Howard Johnson”

October 12, 1985: Patris, Serious Intention, Grace Jones, Sade, Facade


STEVIE WONDER actually counters accusations that ‘Part-Time Lover‘ sounds like Hall & Oates’ ‘Maneater‘ with the confession that both owe their inspiration to the Supremes’ ‘My Whole World Is Empty Without You‘! . . . Strafe’s original 111¾bpm ‘Set It Off‘ finally hits our Disco chart over a year after it came out — the Harleqiun Four’s version was recorded as a retaliatory replacement when Strafe split from the Jus Born label and according to producer Craig Peyton it almost included rock guitar (thank goodness it doesn’t!) . . . Prince-associated records noticeably dipped in last week’s Disco chart thanks largely to their main boosters being out of the country in New York . . . TC Curtis snapped up Mark Fisher’s vocalist Dotty Green for his Hot Melt label, promoing her strong simple bubbly striding 111¾bpm ‘I Caught You Out‘ three weeks ahead of full release . . . Bobby Womack will again be accompanied by Alltrinna Grayson at his Hammersmith Odeon concerts this week, while Roy Ayers is going to have Dee Dee Bridgewater — try and keep snooker’s Steve Davis away! . . . Jean Carne apparently added an “e” to celebrate her divorce from Doug Carn, after also consulting a numerologist — as did Dionne Warwick in her brief Warwicke phase and Al Greene in his permanent Green phase, before her . . . ‘In My House‘ was originally by Val Young until Sergio Munzibai flexed his muscles and got the Mary Jane Girls to record it, as he reckoned their album needed beefing up — it was their biggest US hit to date, and served notice to Motown on the West Coast that their new boy in New York knew what he was talking about, after which he was then able to convince them that ‘Nightshift’ should be more than just a Commodores album track! . . . Miquel Brown having been diverted to another producer and Seventh Avenue’s next single postponed for three months, Ian Levine has decided to quit Record Shack when his contract expires and to go freelance producing Earlene Bentley and Eastbound Expressway in the new year (where there’s smoke there’s fire!) . . . EMS plugger Ian Dewhirst in New York unearthed an old white label M&M remix of Fatback ‘Is This The Future’ — do Important Records know about that one? . . . Jellybean not surprisingly is closely following the belated British progress of his instrumental version of Cat Stevens’ 1977 ‘Was Dog A Doughnut?‘ appreciating that supplies on EMI America are likely to remain limited now it’s known his new product will be on his own Warner Bros-distributed label . . . Andrew Holmes (Manchester Brown’s) complains he couldn’t buy Chuck Brown as Spin Inn sold their only copy to Mike Shaft — who then didn’t even play it on air! . . . Pete Haigh (0253-824156 after 5.30pm) is servicing North-West go go jocks with new TTED product (he also guests with Steve Barker on Radio Lancashire this Sunday afternoon) . . . TTED boss Maxx Kidd is bringing in George Clinton, Dexter Wansel and Verdine White to work with Washington DC’s go go artists, and broaden their appeal . . . The Jones Girls have split up . . . Norman Connors’ Starship Orchestra has a new vocal trio offshoot The Lift . . . New York mixers the Latin Rascals are producing Frankie Gaye . . . Warp 9 have moved to Motown, and far from staying electro now sound more like the Cool Notes! . . . The Real Roxanne looks like reverting to the name Dimples to help reduce US radio resistance following saturation of all the associated ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ records . . . Pepsi has the Jacksons, and in a similar US TV commercial New Edition sing “Coke is it!” . . . ABC ‘Be Near Me‘ topped US Club Play, Madonna ‘Dress You Up‘ 12in Sales, Freddie Jackson ‘You Are My Lady‘ Black 45s in Billboard — whose disco columnist Brian Chin I was pleased to meet . . . Dance Music Report’s editor Stephanie Shepherd actually came over to London before anyone had returned from the New Music Seminar, but later last week I took her to such relevant hot spots as Radio London’s Soul Night Out at Luton’s Pink Elephant (where Hot Licks plugger Danny D was so late with Total Contrast they didn’t get on the radio), Mayfair’s Gullivers, London Bridge’s Royal Oak, Old Sarum, Stonehenge and Avebury (eh?) . . . Go West ‘Eye To Eye‘ sounded really “urban” on New York black radio even before I knew Alan Jones’ Chartfile had speculated about its acceptance by that market . . . Darryl Hayden, whose video roadshow played at Horizon’s farewell gig, a trouble free melting pot of 3,000 people, observes that soul music leads to racial harmony which is why it’s such a shame the soul pirates are being hounded off the air . . . LWR had their studio busted last Wednesday under dodgy circumstances considering they’d just inherited another station’s premises . . . Dave Brown’s 7-9.30pm BBC Radio Kent soul show this Friday (11) is also being relayed by both Radio Norfolk and Radio Cambridgeshire to coincide with Caister — he’s of course as usual on Radios Saxon and Orwell Saturday 6-9pm too . . . Peter Young is back on Capital, 5pm weekday drive time — yay! . . . Sandy Martin’s Friday night Disco Trekin’ on Wiltshire Radio now reaches Bristol too — WR becoming GWR — and by coincidence I caught some of it last week . . . Billy Paul ‘Lately’ LP (Total Experience FL85711) is out here . . . Gary Hickson (0253-66701) needs good PAs to celebrate the refurbishment of his “funk factory” at Blackburn’s Peppermint Place on Thursday Oct 31 (or any Friday) . . . Alan Taylor (0745-36757, 6-7pm) is again after good quality soul acts for Friday PAs at Towyn Mirrors near Rhyl, including return visitors (expenses, accommodation and additional North Wales PA opportunities provided as usual) . . . Dan Pucciarelli, well known around Blackpool/Manchester for his many seasons mixing there but currently at Manhattan’s Starbucks (45th St between 3rd & Lexington Ave), would appreciate any offers enabling him to return here — write to 9 Hancock Street, Staten Island, NY 10305 or call 010-1-718987 0124 . . . Tony ‘Flange’ Glass creates his own live electronic remix and sampling effects with his mobile roadshow as well as at Wickford Dickens Wed/Thorpe Bay Shorehouse Thurs/Wickford Charlies Fri . . . Dirty Dave Shirt with Wild Magnum Geoff Watts Friday (ladies free before 11pm) and The PDM Perry Daniels Saturday at Deptford Cheeks mix, phase, remix and generally cut ’em up . . . Froggy too seems to be trekking North-East, recently pleasing a Teeside crowd at South Bank Bonnets with two hours of mixing . . . Colin Hudd’s hot mix at Danford Flicks is Whodini ‘Freaks’/Wally Badarou/Doug E Fresh ‘The Show’ . . . Gary Campbell pulls about 400 from North and East London as well as Essex to Harlow Whispers for Sunday’s under-18s, with whom Sahara ‘Love So Fine‘ is huge — a Sleeper Of The Year? . . . Fatman Graham Canter revives 1979 at Victoria Park Follies Thursday (10), Steve Allen funks Wellingborough Tithe Barn Friday (11) . . . Keni Stevens PAs at Bournemouth Academy Fri (11), Southend Fantasies Sat (12), Birkenhead Promises & Warrington Carlton Sun (13), Liverpool Trophies’ launching night with Kev Edwards Mon (14) . . . Adrian Parkin displays our Hi-NRG chart as a poster at Huddersfield’s Gemini Club, while of course the number of record shops who display the Disco chart is enormous — and now it’s a Top 100 again! . . . Stuart Cochrane (Clackmannanshire) was finally the first jock to chart Tony McKenzie’s invigorating ‘Lolita‘ (Belgian USA 12in) . . . UK and US disco product is flooding out in such quantity at the moment that a lot of good records are in danger of getting lost, as nobody can afford them all . . . SET IT OFF!


PATRIS: ‘Love Oasis’ (US Emergency EMDS-6554)
Classy disco rather than soul — and in fact a brief Hi-NRG chart entry four weeks ago, although it’s not that fast — this smoothly striding sinewy 118bpm shuffler is subduedly cooed by nice little 19 year old singing actress Patris Pitman, whose oddly accented name was given her by mother Delethia Brown in honour of Congolese politician Patrice Lumumba, a bloke. I know all this as I kept bumping into her (and mum!) in New York.

SERIOUS INTENTION: ‘You Don’t Know (Special Remix)’ (US Easy Street EZS-7512)
An old Paul Simpson-produced track now in its crucial third remix, by Pablovia Raban, this new loosely skittering and drifting (0-)116½-0bpm instrumental version has chiming melody and dubby vocals washing through it to make it another ‘Set It Off’, snapped up already here by Important Records (two acappellas sandwich the flip’s tighter 116bpm Live/Extramental mix).

GRACE JONES: ‘Slave To The Rhythm (Blooded)’ (ZTT 12IS 206)
Trevor Horn doubtless has a host more mixes waiting in the wings of this theatrically introduced languidly rolling EU percussion pattered (0-)96¾-0-96¾-0bpm slinky atmospheric pull up to the bumper and other past rhythms, extracted from a longer piece, the flip’s instrumental 95½-97bpm ‘Jones The Rhythm‘ being even more go go, followed by a throwaway 140bpm rigid rock beat. Continue reading “October 12, 1985: Patris, Serious Intention, Grace Jones, Sade, Facade”

October 5, 1985: “New York’s black radio is now so bland and boring, even Tony Blackburn sounds more upfront”


Rapidly writing with jetlag straight off the Virgin Atlantic plane from New York (first class, of course, thanks to my hosts the Disco Mix Club), I may not have time to give you as complete a column as usual but will make up for it next week with full details of all that was of interest about the New Music Seminar . . . Doug E Fresh disappointingly chickened out of competing in the Human Beat Box battle, possibly with good reason as it was convincingly won by Cleveland, Ohio’s Erroll Holloman, while similarly Melle Mel and LL Cool Jay (whose LP will be the first on Def Jam/CBS) failed to show up for the MCs rap battle in which Busy Bee controversially beat the excellent Roxanne Shante after Kurtis Blow on the judging panel gave her low marks for obscenity . . . London’s own Cut ’em Up Max (ex-Mastermind) in his second heat of the fiercely fought DJs cutting contest excitingly took Pittsburg’s Boogie to a triple tie playoff in which the judges went for Max’s speed but finally a precise audience count decided it for the native American, but he and reputation shatteringly both Zulu Nation champion Afrika Islaam and Mixmaster Cheese were then each beaten by the conquering relative unknown Ezgee — no wonder so many of the guys with internationally known names stayed away . . . Downstairs Records, much less upfront than before, in the large oldies section of the shop (selling repressed 7in copies of The Champs ‘Tequila’ for 59 cents!) were inundated by calls from radio and TV stations for ‘Gloria’ by Laura Branigan, Them, anyone, and for anything to do with storms as Hurricane Gloria bore down on the Eastern Seaboard — the hurricane needlessly closed down much of New York as the media over-reacted to a bit of wind and rain, although of course it could have turned out worse, and indeed Brass Construction leader Randy Muller’s house in the suburbs north of the city was damaged and lost some trees . . . Gloria prevented any imports reaching here at the weekend, but the new Bernard Wright and Prime Time albums had already arrived in the UK when they weren’t to be found anywhere in New York! . . . Colonel Abrams’ UK “remix” merely turns out to be the long US 12in version, which I hadn’t realised wasn’t out here anyway . . . Evelyn Thomas ‘Reflections’ is being beefed up in the mix before commercial release next week, while Divine ‘Hard Magic‘ has been promo-ed ahead of Oct 14 release in a rocky percussive Village People-ish 144bpm Magic Mix and more Dead Or Alive-ish 142½bpm Hard Mix, commercial copies only to feature one of these . . . George Hargreaves has started his own label, Boystown UK! . . . Virgin/Hot Melt picked up York, his single here being ‘Plain As Black And White‘ flipped by ‘Star’, in about two weeks . . . Michael Lovesmith has just escaped being dropped from Motown by the strength of British interest in him . . . Steve Stein of legendary state-of-the-art mastermixers Double Dee & Steinski is keen to come to London to create ‘Lesson Four’ for any record company with a suitably diverse catalogue (he emphasises that mere remixes do not interest him), so company people call me to be put in touch — Steve actually writes and produces commercials for MTV and other cable networks, Douglas Franco being a studio engineer at an advertising production studio, it taking them 20 hours to do about five minutes of their intricate mixes which are all done manually (no emulators or razorblades), the basic background on 8-track with the segued edits inserted off 2-track, Steve having 200 spoken word LPs from which to draw . . . John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez is a really nice friendly and unaffected guy, constantly rushing up to introduce me to people, his current production work includes Jocelyn Brown for his own Warner Bros-distributed Jellybean label, Debbie Harry for the ‘Krush Groove’ film, Madonna ‘Gambler’, Siedah Garrett, Jermaine Stewart, Joyce Kennedy and Elizabeth Daily . . . Russell Simmons tells me ‘Krush Groove’ is the name given to his Def Jam label in the film, which he revealingly confides could have been better but should please the kids as the music’s good! . . . Princess has been remixed yet again now by Shep Pettibone for US radio (KISS-fm did a nice mix from it into Nolan Thomas ‘Yo Little Brother‘), while Doug E Fresh ‘La-Di-Da-Di‘ is all over the airwaves too with its naughty bits bleeped or reversed by the radio stations themselves: others much heard included both of The System’s singles (I met affable David Frank), Tramaine, Freddie Jackson’s LP, and continuously Diana Ross — in fact New York’s black radio is now so bland and boring even Tony Blackburn sounds more upfront, and I ended up taping gospel station WWRL! . . . Sunday afternoon I drove so far out into sunny summery New Jersey (with Capital Radio producer Mike Childs and his American wife Jan) to visit the Great Adventure amusement park that Philadelphia’s stations were strongest, including Power 99FM’s great oldies show (possibly hosted by veteran Jerry Blavat, The Geater With The Heater?) which played Frankie Beverly & The Butlers! . . . ‘Hill Street Blues’ no longer starts with the rollcall and some of the guys have swapped moustaches, new series ‘The Insiders’ copies the ‘Miami Vice’ format teaming white Nicholas Campbell and Prince-ified black Stoney Jackson as investigative reporters with of course a rock soundtrack, ‘Charlie & Company’ as anticipated is cosy and middle aged with Gladys Knight and Flip Wilson as parents of humbly cute kids, Lady Ashley and Luke failed to survive the ‘Dynasty’ massacre, and to complete your new season roundup with ‘Dallas’ (well it was bigger news than records last Friday!), Barbara Bel Geddes is back as Mizz Ellie, Sue Ellen hits skid row, Bobby’s buried by his childhood tree house and leaves his 30 per cent of Ewing Oil to Christopher but in trust to Pam, who’s immediately visited by a slavering Cliff Barnes who she turns down flat! . . . Alan Coulthard has created a rather ‘Telstar’-like version of the theme from ‘Dallas’ which cleverly cuts up dialogue from the actual soundtrack, with the official approval of Lorimar Productions . . . Bobby Womack and presumably Altrinna Grayson really wail practically a whole song as a radio commercial for Stroh’s beer! . . . Chris Greenwood, an English DJ just this week returned to London, has spent the last three years jocking on Long Island at Southampton (where I spent a summer DJing myself once), successfully turning his Conscience Point Inn punters onto reggae . . . OK, that’s the New York news — all the really detailed night club and seminar scandal next week! . . . London could find a new Shadow FM on the horizon (hint, hint) . . . Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (3) is at Luton’s Pink Elephant, while Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ sadly is the last of the present series, and a compilation of “best bits” . . . Friday (4) is Sue Ellen night at Dartford Flicks with half price vodka before 11pm and the club’s own JR, John Rush, being beastly to Colin Hudd! . . . Dave ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson, mixing at his funkiest Fri/Sat at the Time & Place, puts us back in touch with Bradford, where Sunday (6) he joins Jonathan and more for an alldayer at Bensons . . . Gary Crowley celebrates his birthday on Tuesday (8) at South Harrow Bogarts with surprise star guests . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson has joined Paul French at Bergen’s Oleana in Norway (the largest Bacchus venue there), using the stage to impersonate Prince, Bruce and the like, as well as now fire-eating and juggling in his act . . . Chris Britton currently funks London’s Leicester Square Empire Mon/Tues, Tottenham Websters Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun . . . Eastside Connexion duo Lee Taylor & Gary Smith funk an East London circuit including Hackney Road Septembers, Bethnal Green Tipples, Cambridge Road Martins, Mile End Nashvilles, Gants Hill Flamingo, plus Kensington’s The Park across town — yes, yes, but which nights? . . . Sterling Vann, where if anywhere are you jocking now? . . . Gilles Peterson (plus guests) plays real R&B and soul Thursdays, jazz Sundays, at Richmond Sheen Road’s Belvedere Arms — which, a pub, has free admission . . . David Holmes Hi-NRGises Thursdays at Ripley Chaplin’s in Derbyshire . . . Trevor Hadley deserves support for his funky soul Saturdays at Deal’s Lifeboat Inn . . . Essex based team Mixmagik Productions have evidently been getting their mixes aired on both Invicta Radio and Radio London . . . New Orleans legends the Neville Brothers (including Aaron & Art) play two concerts at Euston’s Shaw Theatre on Sunday November 3, not to be missed . . . Christopher Walken’s upcoming movie ‘Respect’ will feature Jocelyn Brown’s remake of the title song, plus tracks by Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King . . . Loleatta Holloway is joined on the label of her current solo Hi-NRG hit by its producer Nick Eastside merely to get around the terms of her contract with Streetwise Records . . . Chris ‘Connie’ Crooks (Derby Rising Sun) is amazed at Bobby O’s cheek in borrowing again from another record, this time Lime ‘Unexpected Lovers’, for his Hi-NRG duet with Claudja Barry . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow) is rightly worried, and proud — his eight year old son Kerry DJed at a wedding reception and made more money than dad did doing another gig at the same time! . . . Five Star may jerk and pirouette like little marionettes, earning scorn in some quarters, but it’s a joy to see an act in Britain who have really worked hard to achieve such professional precision . . . Chartfile’s Alan Jones still thinks Warren Mills sounds like the name of a furniture warehouse in the Midlands! . . . Stuart Edwards (Bellshill) longs for someone else to acknowledge the similarity between One Way ‘Let’s Talk‘ and Prince ‘DMSR‘ — when he played them all day long in rotation even his sister thought they were the same record (odd things they get up to in Scotland!) . . . The ‘E’ Factor of Golders Green likes Brass Construction ‘Conquest’, so there! . . . IT’S NOT NECESSARILY GOTTA BE STEVIE!


HARDROCK: ‘Do It Anyway You Wanna (Jam, Jam, Jam)’ (Elite DAZZ 43)
Max and Dave, ex-Mastermind, treat People’s Choice classic much as Boe Brown does ‘Sound Your Funky Horn’, setting up a monotonously grooving 109½-0bpm electronic texture swamping the original’s verve while chix chant and a sax screeches away back in the mix. Even fresher for b boys are the expertly cut ‘n scratched instrumental version and the flip’s two 111½bpm mixes of ‘Hardrock Throwdown‘.

TOTAL CONTRAST: ‘Hit And Run (Media Mix)’ (London LONX 76)
Produced here by Steve Harvey and mixed in New York by Michael Brauer, this wriggly rumbling 114bpm tugger again quotes freely from the Vandross Handbook Of Vocalese, but stays brighter ‘n lighter than Luther would (dub/edit flip), impressive for a British effort. Evidently no remixes are planned — shall we hold them to that?

NO TIME for fresh reviews, but check the “third remix” (it’s the one with three tracks on the flip) of SERIOUS INTENTION: ‘You Don’t Know (Special Remix)’ (US Easy Street), the hottest thing that the British contingent could find in New York, plus GRACE JONES ‘Slave To The Rhythm‘ (ZTT), FATBACK BAND ‘Is This The Future?‘ (Important Records), THE COOL NOTES ‘Have A Good Forever‘ (Abstract Dance), EARL TURNER ‘Love Caught You By Surprise‘ (US CRI), J.M. SILK ‘Music Is The Key‘ (US DJ International Records), ORTHEIA BARNES ‘Green Eyed Monster‘ (US MSR), plus the albums by BERNARD WRIGHT (US Manhattan) and PRIME TIME (US Total Experience). Continue reading “October 5, 1985: “New York’s black radio is now so bland and boring, even Tony Blackburn sounds more upfront””