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).

SIMPLY RED: ‘Come To My Aid’ (Elektra EKR 19T)
Trumpet introed chunkily lurching 115¾-116-115¾bpm blue eyed soul, self penned this time though still like the last one, with an authentic atmosphere — not so apparent on the inevitable remix, the messy cluttered 0-114½bpm ‘Survival Mix‘ (EKR 19TX) with dub flip.

STYLISTICS: ‘Love Is Not The Answer (Snatch Mix)’ (Virgin VS793 13)
The makings of a decent song have been remixed by Fernand Fidore into an 114¾-115-115¼-0bpm freak show full of gimmicky effects.

BOBBY JIMMY & THE CRITTERS: ‘Fresh Guys’ (US Rapsur Records RP 10015)
The tongue in cheek L.A. rappers are amusing enough on the moderately straight (0-)107½bpm A-side but get completely outrageous on the flip’s hilarious 131½bpm ‘Sheeps‘ — they prefer them to girls — and Theophilus P. Wildebeeste-style smoochy 0-34½bpm ‘I Wanna Have Ur Baby’. A good laugh!

JACK N. MADNESS: ‘I Like Percussion’ (US Z 28 Records JLP1)
Strictly for mixers and doubtless useful with ‘Set It Off’, this quietly pulsing 114½bpm rhythm track weaves and cuts in, legally or otherwise, snatches of other familiar rhythm tracks and effects.

7th HEAVEN: ‘Hot Fun (The Ribbit Mix)’ (Mercury MERX 199)
Far better on 7in, the 109½bpm 12in version dissipates the Kool & The Gang approach of this clomping brassy evident pop hit which so far has noticeably missed the disco chart.

IJAHMAN & MADGE ‘I Do’ (Jahmani JMI 601, via Jet Star)
Number two in RM’s reggae chart, an appealing sweet slow old fashioned 74bpm duet, with a tougher Rasta 74¾bpm ‘Ancient Lover‘ flip by just IJAHMAN LEVI.

VARIOUS: ‘Reggae Hits Vol 2‘ LP (Jet Star JELP 1002)
Another useful compendium of 13 good recent reggae tracks, although this time there are far fewer (like the 91½bpm SANDRA REID ‘Caught You In A Lie‘ and soulful 85-87½bpm MIGHTY DIAMONDS ‘Country Life‘) that are widely familiar — making it more interesting? Check the sparse haunting 0-77½bpm HORACE FERGESON ‘Senci Addick’.

CANUTE: ‘No Looking Back’ (EMI 12TAKE 4)
Phil Harding-produced messy 113½bpm rerun of the ‘Sexomatic’ rhythm.

DISCO TOP 100 – October 5, 1985

01 01 SINGLE LIFE, Cameo, Club 12in
02 02 TRAPPED/DUB, Colonel Abrams, MCA 12in
03 03 I’LL BE GOOD, Rene & Angela, Club 12in
04 04 ONE LOVE (REMIX), Atlantic Starr, A&M 12in
05 08 ROMEO WHERE’S JULIET?, Collage, MCA 12in
06 06 (I’LL BE A) FREAK FOR YOU, Royalle Delite, Streetwave 12in
07 07 SET IT OFF, Harleqiun Four’s, US Jus Born Prod 12in
09 05 TAKES A LITTLE TIME, Total Contrast, London 12in
10 11 NEVER CRY AGAIN (REMIX), Kleeer, US Atlantic 12in
11 09 WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO ABOUT IT?, Mercy Mercy, Ensign 12in
12 15 SEXUAL THERAPY/I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU, Billy Paul, Total Experience 12in
13 22 FALL DOWN (SPIRIT OF LOVE), Tramaine, A&M 12in
14 17 EMOTIONS, Starpoint, Elektra 12in
15 24 ON THE ONE, Lukk featuring Felicia Collins, Important Records 12in
16 18 PART-TIME LOVER (REMIX), Stevie Wonder, Motown 12in
17 10 SAY I’M YOUR NO.1, Princess, Supreme Records 12in
18 45 THE HEAVEN I NEED, The Three Degrees, Supreme Records 12in
19 14 AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE IT (M&M REMIX), Michael Lovesmith, Motown 12in
21 29 CHIEF INSPECTOR, Wally Badarou, Island LP/4th + B’way 12in remixes promo
22 28 YOU BLEW IT, The World Famous Mad Lads, Champion 12in
23 46 I’LL BE GOOD (MARK BERRY REMIX), Rene & Angela, Club 12in
24 16 TWILIGHT, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Capitol 12in
25 13 I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force, CBS 12in
26 37 HOT PURSUIT!, Skipworth & Turner, 4th + B’way 12in
27 23 THIS IS FOR YOU (REMIX), The System, US Mirage 12in
28 19 STAND UP/SO FINE, Howard Johnson, A&M 12in
29 21 A LITTLE PAIN INSTRUMENTAL, P.P. Arnold, 10 Records 12in
30 — SLIP ‘N’ SLIDE, Roy Ayers, CBS 12in
31 25 YOU’RE THE ONE FOR ME (PAUL HARDCASTLE REMIX), “D” Train, Prelude 12in
32 20 STATUS-QUO, Donald Banks, US Kapitol Sity Records 12in
33 56 THE DANCE ELECTRIC, Andre Cymone, CBS 12in
35 49 I’LL BE YOUR FRIEND, Precious Wilson, Jive 12in
36 58 AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH, Frankie Kelly, US TWI 12in
37 32 I WISH HE DIDN’T TRUST ME SO MUCH, Bobby Womack, MCA 12in
38 34 GIVE AND TAKE, Brass Construction, US Capitol 12in
39 41 LET ME HOLD YOU, Sonique, Cooltempo 12in
40 35 ZIG ZAG/CONQUEST (REMIXES), Brass Construction, Capitol 12in
41 93 SHE’S A GO-GETTER, Fatback, Atlantic 12in
42 47 STILL SMOKIN’, Trouble Funk, 4th + B’way/TTED 12in
43 33 A LOVE BIZARRE, Sheila E, Warner Bros/Paisley Park LP
44 61 HARD TIMES FOR LOVERS, Jennifer Holliday, Geffen Records 12in
45 43 ON A CROWDED STREET, Barbara Pennington, Record Shack 12in
46 54 SO IN LOVE, Nicci, Debut 12in
47 69 YOU WEAR IT WELL (M&M REMIX), El DeBarge with DeBarge, Gordy 12in
48 — TRAPPED (REMIX), Colonel Abrams, MCA 12in
50 51 (KRUSH GROOVE) CAN’T STOP THE STREET, Chaka Khan, US Warner Bros 12in
51 76 STOP PLAYING ON ME, Vikki Love, US 4th + B’way 12in promo
52 66 SHE’S NOT A SLEAZE/THERE AIN’T NOTHIN’ (LIKE YOUR LOVIN’), Paul Laurence, US Capitol 12in
53 57 GET UP OFFA THAT THING (GODFATHER II), Screamin’ Tony Baxter, 4th + B’way 12in
54 55 GETTING CLOSER, Haywoode, CBS 12in
55 63 THE SHOW, Doug E Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew, US Reality Records 12in
56 31 HEAVEN KNOWS (REMIX), Jaki Graham, EMI 12in
57 65 LOVE SO FINE, Sahara, Elite 12in
58 70 JAZZ RAP/INSTRUMENTAL, Cargo, Cargogold Productions 12in
59 40 CAN I TAKE YOU HOME TONIGHT, John Ingram, Mirror Records 12in
61 53 ALL I WANT IS MY BABY, Roberta Gilliam, US Sutra 12in
62 44 BASS AND TROUBLE/MAKE ‘EM MOVE, Sly & Robbie, Island LP
63 39 MAIN ATTRACTION (REMIX)/MINUTES AWAY, Brooklyn Bronx & Queens, Cooltempo 12in
64 — HIT AND RUN, (MEDIA MIX), Total Contrast, London 12in
65 36 INTO THE GROOVE, Madonna, Sire 12in
66 94 STARTIN’ ALL OVER AGAIN, Brass Construction, Capitol LP
67 42 CLOSE TO PERFECTION (REMIX), Miquel Brown, Record Shack 12in
68 64 I SPECIALIZE IN LOVE, Sharon Brown, Virgin 12in
69 81 OFF THE WALL, Paul Scott, US Ace Beat 12in
70 30 (JOY) I KNOW IT/LAUGHING AND SMILING, Odyssey, Mirror Records 12in
71 62 SO SMOOTH, Krystal Davis, US Urban Rock Records 12in
72 100 SUNSHINE, Warren Mills, Jive 12in
73 60 BARELY BREAKING EVEN (’85 CLUB MIX), Universal Robot Band, Streetwave 12in
74 — RAISE THE CURTAIN/OUT OF THE DARKEST NIGHT, Barbara Pennington, Record Shack LP
75 re GYPSY WOMAN, Bobby Womack, MCA LP
76 re KNEES/OLDER GIRL, Howard Johnson, A&M LP
77 71 NIGHT LIGHTS, Toney Lee, US Critique 12in
78 98 SAY YOU LOVE ME/YOU’RE THE ONE/JUST A MATTER OF TIME, Jennifer Holliday, Geffen Records LP
79 38 BODY AND SOUL (REMIX), Mai Tai, Virgin/Hot Melt 12in
80 50 L.O.S. (LOVE ON SIGHT), Colors, 4th + B’way 12in
82 84 BODY ROCK (JELLYBEAN MIX), Maria Vidal, EMI America 12in
83 74 WHO DO YOU LOVE, Bernard Wright, US Manhattan 12in
84 96 HOLD ON, Claudia, Bluebird/10 12in
85 83 LAYING IN HIS ARMS, Ralph MacDonald featuring Yogi Lee, US Polydor 12in
86 59 SET IT OFF, Masquerade, Streetwave 12in
87 95 JUST ANOTHER LONELY NIGHT, The O’Jays, Philadelphia International 12in
88 75 AMERICA/AJ MEETS DAVY DMX, Kurtis Blow, US Mercury 12in
89 re STANDING RIGHT HERE, Melba Moore/HOLD BACK THE NIGHT, The Trammps, Buddah 12in promo
90 re STAND UP (REMIX), Howard Johnson, US A&M 12in
91 72 LET ME HOLD YOU CLOSER, Jamaica Boys, Cooltempo 12in
92 48 GET LOOSE, Aleem (featuring Leroy Burgess), US NIA 12in
93 — BABY IT’S YOU, Curtis Mayfield, US CRC Records 12in
94 88 KISS/I’M YOUR SUGAR/I CHOOSE YOU, Sugarfoot, Warner Bros LP
95 — CALL ME (WHEN YOU NEED MY LOVE), Josie James, TPL 12in
96 — IF YOU’RE GONNA FALL IN LOVE/ALL I GIVE TO YOU, Phil Fearon & Galaxy, Ensign LP
97 97 LOVE IS IN SEASON (CANDLELIGHT MIX), Peter Royer, Club 12in
98 — SOMETHING ABOUT YOU (SISA MIX), Level 42, Polydor 12in
99 67 LOVE IS IN SEASON/INSTRUMENTAL DUB, Peter Royer, Club 12in
100 — SMOOTH/YEH YEH, Matt Bianco, WEA 12in


01 01 REFLECTIONS/RUNNING WILD IN THE NIGHT, Evelyn Thomas, Record Shack 12in white label
02 02 VANITY, Carol Jiani, Record Shack 12in
03 03 THE MEN IN MY LIFE, Miriam Lee, Passion 12in
04 06 THEY SAY IT’S GONNA RAIN, Hazell Dean, Parlophone 12in
05 07 VERTIGO, Barbara Pennington, Record Shack LP
06 12 WHISPER TO A SCREAM, Bobby O/Claudja Barry, US MeNoVision 12in
07 04 CLOSE TO PERFECTION (REMIX), Miquel Brown, Record Shack 12in
08 08 WIND BENEATH MY WINGS, Menage, US Profile 12in
09 14 FUTURE BRAIN, Den Harrow, Italian Baby 12in
10 17 EATEN ALIVE (REMIX), Diana Ross, Capitol 12in
11 23 BIT BY BIT, Stephanie Mills, MCA Records 12in
12 24 DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY (SYLVESTER MIX), Jeanie Tracy, US Megatone 12in
13 05 BLACK KISSES (NEVER MADE YOU BLUE), Curtie & The Boom Box, RCA 12in
14 10 STREETFIGHTER, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, US Curb 12in
15 16 I LIKE YOU, Phyllis Nelson, Carrere 12in
16 13 NO FRILLS LOVE, Jennifer Holliday, Geffen Records LP
17 11 BODY ROCK (MEGAMIX), Maria Vidal, Dutch Chart 12in bootleg
18 15 STANDING, Nick Eastside & Loleatta Holloway, US Rocky 12in
19 09 KNOCK ON WOOD (REMIX), Amii Stewart, Sedition 12in
20 18 HEAVEN MUST BE MISSING AN ANGEL (1985 BEN LIEBRAND REMIX), Tavares, Dutch Capitol 12in
21 30 I CAN LOSE MY HEART TONIGHT, C.C. Catch, German Hansa 12in
22 22 I HEAR TALK (REMIX), Bucks Fizz, US Disconet LP
23 — MY HEART GOES BANG (GET ME TO THE DOCTOR), Dead Or Alive, Epic 12in
25 re FANTASY, Lian Ross, German ZYX 12in
26 28 ANOTHER BOY IN TOWN, The Girls, US Popular 12in
27 27 IF LOOKS COULD KILL (REMIX), Pamala Stanley, US Mirage 12in
28 — SATELLITES, Ellie Warren, MKO 12in
29 — YOU MAKE MY HEART GO BOOM, Mother Cube And The Boom Tube, Sonic Solution 12in
30 29 LOVE BITES BACK, Jane Spring, MKO 12in

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

  1. And here we have it: the first mentions of Chicago house records in these columns, with a name check for J.M. Silk “Music Is The Key” and a review for Jack N. Madness “I Like Percussion”. I’d not heard of the latter record before, and stylistically it’s something of an outlier, but a bit of digging around led me to a confirmation of its provenance: http://www.recordsystemslv.com/rory/


  2. Little did JH realise how momentous (and in Britain/Europe at least) even more so than the first mention of rap 6 years before that line containing JM Silk and “MusicIs The Key’ would be and how it would be the start of a complete transformation of the world he wrote about and in fact popular culture.

    I see that ‘Music Is The Key’ came out in the July in America so it had been out a bit by now and it was also the first record on DJ International. We had to wait another year before the first house crossover pop hit and about 2 for the very earliest starting of the whole rave scene.

    I’m still trying to work out why for years I’ve thought Colonel Abrams was mentioned when people talked about house music in this country in the very earliest days I don’t really see the connection reading this now although I know he made some house type records once house hit big.


    1. I don’t want to reveal too much in advance, but Colonel Abrams will soon become one of James’s most recurring reference points, and early Chicago house will initially be described as an extension of a style which his records – along with those by Serious Intention and Harlequin Four’s – pioneered.


      1. That’s the way I see it too. That House music started in New York but was named, and developed in Chicago. Named after the Warehouse where Frankie Knuckles from New York DJ’d though The Warehouse was already shut down before Chicago House music started. Boyd Jarvis and the likes also made House music before it was called House. Old school House heads still argue about where and how it began! 🙂 Certain early Italian Disco records sound almost exactly like some early House records too, and there was a record store in Chicago named Imports, etc. who’d carry Italian imports that inspired some early House from Chicago as well.


  3. Very probably the first mention of house music in print in Britain too – I can’t think of anywhere else you’d have got an earlier one. PS DSM’s Warrior Groove is another big underground and pioneering record that is just coming through too.


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