Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Pray silence for Ham E. Fresh! Burp suck hiss burp, burp suck hiss burp, pop pop pop pop pop pop pop, burp! Yup, fighting our way through a barrage of human beat boxes, it’s time to open once again the golden envelope and see who wins the year end kudos for 1985. All statistics are derived from the year-end disco charts. for which you will have to wait a fortnight until the next issue of RM, but in the meantime . . .
DISCO ARTISTES OF THE YEAR:
René & Angela.
Fatback, Steve Arrington, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Loose Ends, Cameo, Change, Five Star, Kleeer, Colonel Abrams, Total Contrast, Cool Notes, Atlantic Starr, Skipworth & Turner, Midnight Star, Paul Hardcastle, Princess, Chaka Khan, Lisa Lisa with Cult Jam and Full Force, Barbara Pennington.
DISCO HIT OF THE YEAR:
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, ‘Twilight’ (Capitol).
RECORD AT NUMBER ONE FOR LONGEST:
Cameo ‘Single Life’ (six weeks).
IMPORT OF THE YEAR:
Harleqiun Four’s, ‘Set It Off’ (US Jus Born Prod).
PETE WATERMAN craftily keeps nicking other records riffs to boost his own mixes, cleverly choosing instrumental disco monsters that didn’t cross fully over the first time, and now he’s re-emphasised the psha psha ‘Set It Off’ cymbal beat for the 111¾bpm ‘Pull It Off’ (geddit?) remix of O’chi Brown ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ (Magnet MAGTR 288) which in Princess ‘Bad’ style starts off instrumentally just like Harleqiun Four’s! . . . D.S.M. ‘Warrior Groove’ (10 Records DAZZ 45-13) as threatened has been remixed minus its excellent scratching for the rather fractured and empty seeming 0-118¼bpm ‘The Saga Continues’ and ‘Warrior Dub’ versions, although some remains in subdued form on ‘Jazz Groove‘ . . . Aretha Franklin’s 108¾-109-108¾-109-108¾-0bpm ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who’ US Dance Mix adds a ‘Set It Off’-ish 108¾108¼bpm Dub and full length Acappella . . . Cherrelle cracked it, the first import album track to top our Disco chart (all over and not just in London) for no knowing how long — and Full Force reached runner-up position ahead of UK release too! . . . CBS have taken so much flak over not recognising Cherrelle’s hit potential — Tony Blackburn really pulverised them on air last week! — that they’ve been embarrassed into snatching her back from Streetwave to release themselves on January 10 (let’s hope they alert the sales force!) . . . Streetwave meanwhile are releasing back-to-back on one 12in the first two Doug E. Fresh singles, from different US labels, Vintertainment’s ‘The Original Human Beat Box‘ (when he was merely Dougie Fresh) and Enjoy’s ‘Just Having Fun (Do The Beat Box)‘/’Bonus Lesson #1’ — did he change his name’s spelling to get some DEF initials? . . . ‘Streetsounds 15‘ has the current hits by The Concept, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Princess (‘Bad’), David Grant & Jaki Graham, Colonel Abrams (‘Music Is The Answer’), Brass Construction, B.T. Express, Caprice, Lonnie Reaves, Aleem, while ‘Streetsounds Electro 10‘ includes Full Force, Tricky T, LL Cool J — and the ‘Jazz Juice‘ LP is now finally due after it seems my enthusiastic comments about it containing the ultra rare Quartette Tres Bien gave the track’s owners Decca thankfully short-lived second thoughts! . . . Colonel Abrams’ LP (MCA Records MCG 6001), The Temptations ‘Touch Me’ LP (Motown ZL72413) are out here now, The Isley Brothers ‘Masterpiece’ LP (Warner Bros 925347-1) is due next week, while on 12in Yarbrough & Peoples ‘Guilty’ (Total Experience FT49906) should be out too . . . Lionel Richie’s album isn’t now expected until January 12, his next single being a duet with Sheila E (it’ll all depend on the tempo!) . . . Marvin Gaye ‘Romantically Yours’ LP (US Columbia FC 40208) is better waited for on UK release, all slushy standards ‘n stuff . . . Symbolic Three featuring DJ Dr Shock ‘No Show‘ (US Reality D-250) is a chix-led answer to ‘The Show’ which although quite jolly in its word-switching insults (“fairy cake” instead of “frosty flake”) adds nothing else new to the original inventive format . . . John Morales has remixed The Winans, and Masquerade in another rap version remix is due imminently with a reprinted sleeve on which Morgan Khan’s eloquent message will actually be legible . . . Natasha King’s old 102½bpm ‘AM-FM‘ and its alternative c.103bpm Megamix pressing have been reshipped by Ecstasy to meet sudden underground demand, before proper re-release in the new year — another Royalle Delite-like sleeper? . . . Stevie Wonder was so late at his Stringfellows Christmas luncheon last week it was a bit like waiting for him to deliver a new album, but once he’d delivered a rambling speech and been photographed, the groaning buffet was finally opened to queueing grub grabbers (slurp slurp!) — amongst whom I waited with Greg Edwards, Chris Tarrant, Richard Allinson (all Capital Radio), Simon Bates, Ranking Miss P, Pete Ritzema, John Walters (Radio One), Dave Gregory (Essex Radio), Five Star and Dotty Green . . . Steve Walsh amazingly passed on the food to spend instead a liquid afternoon (evening and night!), moving on during closing hours with myself, Heaven’s “gay funk” DJ Damon Rochefort, Stringfellows jockette Marie Thompson and Hombre lighting girl Melanie to Tin Pan Alley’s A&R Club (just like “The Winchester Club”, know what I mean?) . . . Marie Thompson got her prestigious gig just two weeks after starting DJ-ing for the first time ever in a pub — her skintight black PVC dress so impressed Stringfellows’ main jock Tig’rr (sic ’em) she was offered an audition in the middle of a Saturday night (don’t it make ya sick?!) . . . 4th + B’way as stated will continue, run by newly promoted Adrian Sykes . . . Cameo’s rock guitar intro at Hammersmith Odeon was so appalling I nearly walked out then, but thankfully I stayed a while as about 20 minutes into the show they actually started singing (drowned though by deafeningly amplified instruments, which became too much for me) — to choose between two sometimes confusingly similar groups, the Gap Band are much better fun live . . . Graham Gold at last has realised an ambition, sitting in on Capital Radio for the Sunday 1-5am Steve Collins soul slot both last and this weekend (15), playing and brilliantly mixing (Roberta Gilliam/Ester, wow!) the black music that from experience he knows Londoners really relate to — exciting listening at such an early hour, but then club-leavers will love it! . . . CJ Carlos idiotically, considering of all the Solar jocks he had most star potential, has started broadcasting illegally again on TKO instead of being good and waiting for the community radio licences to be announced — Tony Monson thinks it’s a great shame that he and others have done this when there’s a real possibility they could do so legally soon, and as far as he is concerned those DJs and their breakaway activities have put them beyond the pale having no connection now with Solar or that station’s licence application as SLR (South London Community Radio) . . . Radio Tees soul jock Mike Prior links with New York KISS-fm DJ Bugsy every Saturday 7.15pm to run down the Big Apple’s hot hits . . . Kenni James it is who souls Radio Merseyside Monday evenings, any confusion over his spelling being due to the inaccuracies of a Radio Waves column in another supposedly streetwise paper — sorry to Kenni, and to Kenny Jaymes (who now apparently is resident jock at Luton’s Tropicana Beach, ex-Sands) . . . Christmas means that next week we combine two issues of RM, with the Hammy Awards and my Capital Radio New Year’s Eve four hour party tape’s running order, year end charts not appearing until January 4 — however, regular Disco and Eurobeat charts will appear in every issue, so DJs please post your chart returns NOW and again on Monday December 30 . . . MERRY CRIMBLE!
SHEENA EASTON: ‘Do It For Love’ (EMI 12EMI 5536)
Had this black dance-style 115¾bpm lurching bright strutter arrived on import by some unknown it would have been snapped up by all the hip jocks. The fact it didn’t doesn’t deserve to make a difference, but doubtless will! Not actually great, it’s worth trying, though.
JOHN ANDERSON BIG BAND: ‘Glenn Miller Medley’ (Modern Records 12GLEN 1, via EMI/Priority)
Mobile/MoR-type jocks may remember me raving about this Belfast bandleader’s essential seven inch a year ago, ‘In The Mood/American Patrol/Little Brown Jug/Pennsylvania 6-5000’ medleyed to an ungimmicky timeless twist beat. Well, he’s tinkered needlessly with the 192bpm beat but at least now on 12 inch, it should be easier to order, and will do unless you can find the still superior seven inch a likely floor filler for years! Incidentally, BLACK LACE: ‘Hokey Cokey’ (Flair Records 12LACED 3) will do for parties as well, especially the “X rated” pressing with a filthy ‘Agadoo Have A Screw)’ too!
ADRIAN WEBB has resigned his founding directorship of Showstopper Promotions over policy disagreements and set up instead his own new Livewire operation to run amongst others The Ultimate Soul Weekend next April 11-14 at the evidently superior spacious Bognor Regis Butlins, exclusively using the usual Caister security and DJ team (including Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Martin Collins, Pete Tong, Froggy, Sean French, Chris Brown, Bob Jones plus such guest newcomers as Colin Hudd, Jonathon, Nicky Holloway, Gilles Peterson but minus the semi-retired Jeff Young), with proper sit-down concert presentations of visiting live acts, quality being his aim at all events (details on 01-440 3264) — meanwhile, although this move might be presumed to put their April 18-20 Caister Soul Weekender in jeopardy, Showstoppers’ John Morris assures me the traditional Gt Yarmouth Ladbrokes Holiday Village event will remain as planned with DJs including he claims established current Caister “names” as well as “new younger faces” (details on 01-886 8141) . . . Luton’s Sho-Pro owned Pink Elephant coincidentally has just reverted to being called The ‘New’ California — has this any bearing on anything? . . . Jeff Young, still doing just the odd selected evening gig, has given up jocking at weekenders no matter who the promoter as what with his Saturday lunchtime Radio London show and full-time Phonogram day job he needs to relax — he’s even reluctantly dropping his Sundays at South Harrow Bogarts after Christmas . . . Nicky Holloway following the artistic success of his own recent Bognor Regis weekender is planning a possible week away in Ibiza in May, on a small scale, with DJs playing in a different club every night . . . Ashley Newton and Julian Palmer are leaving it at the end of the year to start their own respective labels, but despite a strange spate of rumours to the contrary 4th + B’way will continue as before as Island’s funk outlet — and even celebrated the launch of its compilation double album ‘Beauty + The Beat > On Broadway‘ (BEAUT 1) last Monday week at Brixton’s The Fridge with a party attended by almost every DJ and disco figure from the London area, a great social occasion, entertained notably by Paul Johnson and friends from the London Community Gospel Choir singing acappella . . . Streetwave amazingly have snatched Cherrelle ‘Saturday Love’ from CBS, who nevertheless are enough on the ball to rush out Nicole . . . Bluebird/10 picked up Bobby Mardis — which, ultra-accurately, is (0-)117-117½-(break)-118bpm, and Meli’sa Morgan ‘Do Me Baby’ (Capitol 12CL 385) is already out here . . . Loose Ends ‘Choose Me’ has also been remixed on import . . . Sly & Robbie’s 12in has added ‘Bass And Trouble‘ to help it sell . . . Royalle Delite’s already promoed Streetwave newie after Christmas will be the dialogue started then sickly sweet 42¾-85½bpm ‘Spend A Little Time With Me‘, not terribly exciting, while Polo likewise have white labelled Midnight’s better pleasant gently cooed slow (0-)100½bpm ‘Easy Promise To Break‘, a bit Cool Notes-ish . . . Stevie Wonder was celebrating with an exclusive Christmas party at Stringfellows this Tuesday lunchtime, full menu details next week! . . . Junior as suspected did not anticipate much club play for ‘Oh Louise‘, wanting it to sound different and make it as a song . . . Haywoode, going to the same doctor as Paul Young for the nodules on her throat, doesn’t now visit the States until January to coincide with the release of her album . . . Five Star’s outfits didn’t exactly flatter their thighs and hips on last Saturday’s ‘Wide Awake Club’ on TV-am, talk about pork! . . . Leisa Dove, only 17 and no hits to her name, seems to be upsetting people by acting the prima donna already . . . Teddy Pendergrass’s ‘One Of Us Fell In Love‘ is actually a cover of 1981’s Liquid Gold single! . . . Lionel Richie on his upcoming LP has recorded one track with top country group Alabama, presumably to give him the chance of pulling off a truly across-the-board US chart-topper, Pop, Black, Dance, Adult and Country? . . . Isley Jasper Isley topped US Black 45s in Billboard . . . Gallup, to be fair, also openly allow record companies to hold albums off the UK LP chart during the first week when sometimes shipments have reached only a very few shops, although enough to result in an unrealistically low chart entry . . . Robbie Vincent points out that Radio One producer Pete Ritzema at least had been featuring Doug E. Fresh before it hit on Annie Nightingale’s Sunday evening show (thus giving Robbie the perfect excuse for not playing it himself?), although that’s not exactly a daytime “strip” show . . . BBC Local Radio stations together raised almost half the total money in the recent Children In Need appeal, in the face of TV and national radio competition — jolly well done! . . . LWR 92.1FM, TKO 102.4FM, KISS 94.05FM and JBC 105FM were still pumping out black music in London as of the weekend, when they were joined by yet another unidentified test transmission on both 106 and 101.05FM — while “upfront pop and soul” Radio Sanctum was due on 90.2FM (which won’t be popular with the Beeb) . . . Disco Mix Club main man Alan Coulthard is so addicted to TV soaps that he’s setting up a Soap-Opera Appreciation Society, and next Tuesday (10) he’s even talking about it on Radio London after 11pm with Steve Allen (not the Peterborough one!) . . . Pete Haigh does his monthly soul roundup this Sunday (8) on Steve Barker’s 2-5pm Radio Lancashire show, and doubtless will be raving about Manchester jazz-fusionists The Stems, with Viv Dixon’s vocals and Snake Davis’s slick sax sounding very American (and just a little characterless?) — they’re gigging at Withington Mulberry’s Tues (10), Sheffield University Thur (12), Carlisle Front Page Fri (20) . . . Colonel Abrams makes his first ever live concert debut, with British musicians, at Hammersmith Palais Monday (9) . . . Friday (6) Marsha Raven PAs for Adrian Parkin at Huddersfield’s revamped and renamed Hi-NRG 42nd Street (ex-Gemini Club, free admission), Saturday (7) Divine joins Norman Scott for a full show at Haringey Bolts, Sunday (8) Hazell Dean joins Bill Grainger for a 30 minute show at Edinburgh Fire Island . . . Tricky Dicky & Alex Baker have now started gay Wednesdays at Shepherds Bush Silks . . . Thursday (5) Lyndon T guests with Simon Goffe at London Leicester Square’s Secret Rendezvous . . . Chris Dinnis guests at Yeovil Electric Studio Sat (7), then souls with Chris Stagg Exeter Boxes Wed (11), Taunton Kingstons Thur (12), plus he’s jazzy Tues/funky Fri at Torquay Monroes weekly . . . LWR’s Ron Tom funks Canning Town Bentley’s Sat, Stamford Hill Cotton Club Wed . . . Chris Kaye took over Thursdays at Gillingham’s The Avenue (smart dress) . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn members meet Sunday (8) noon at Iver’s Tower Arms — I must agree with their Disco Action mag’s comment that for most mobile gigs 7in singles (apart from the rare essential 12in mix) are all that DJs need, which is precisely why (for my own use ultimately!) I always BPM the Hit Numbers on 7in for you . . . Kensington’s The Park went pop so Dave Rawlings left his funky Thursdays there after two years — he feels the DJ should be allowed to judge what music will work, while of course reacting to the dancers’ prevailing taste and that if forced into an unhappy musical compromise this will communicate to the audience (however he concedes that the new Top 20 format is working on the floor) . . . Full Force is neck and neck with Cherrelle as the number one in London’s clubs, with on their heels Kurtis Blow and Rochelle coming up fast — the latter being huge around Manchester too . . . Linda Clifford seems biggest along the Thames estuary for some reason! . . . Began Cekic’s prod/penned exciting catchy (0-)118bpm instrumental bounder from about three years ago, featuring Madness’s “Hey you” and other identifiable vocal punctuations, Brooklyn Express ‘Sixty-Nine’ has turned up in some London charts again evidently as a remix, which I’ve yet to locate although I’ve certainly seen the original (on US One Way) being used too — its shorter flipside ‘Change Position (88)‘ version always struck me as even more urgent . . . Corky Hale debuting at 93, is a female jazz harpist who otherwise sounds like Shakatak, if that’s your bag . . . EMI have mailed out import copies of Bernard Wright’s 12in, unscheduled here, so let’s see what delayed action they have on the Disco chart now — Clarence Carter as anticipated dropped right out again, and Sun returned, thanks to the “mailing list syndrome” (good records both, though) . . . Capitol need to get a Brass Construction video to Jonathan King in case Ashford & Simpson-like, lightning really can strike twice! . . . Froggy Productions Inc (or whatever it’s called) did the UK Gadget Version on the Doug E. Fresh remix, and Solar’s Chris Forbes with Disco Mix champ Roger Johnson were due to do one too although whether theirs is the Dr D. & Necam 7 Get Fresh Gadget Mix is unclear . . . Oliver Cheatham ‘Turning Point’ is now actually on Champion, for whom he’s currently cutting an album in London, licensed from Move . . . CBS have reissued not only Marvin Gaye ‘Sexual Healing’ but also Miami Sound Machine ‘Conga’ although not in its Hi-NRG hit Hot Tracks remix . . . Eurobeat breakers include Den Harrow ‘Future Brain (Remix)‘ (Italian Baby), Shady ‘Get Right Next To You‘ (Boystown UK), Bondettes ‘007‘ (Dutch Sound Shop), Evelyn Thomas ‘High Energy Medley’ (Record Shack), Angie St. Phillips ‘Light Up My Heart (Remix)‘ (US TRS), David Knopfler ‘Shockwave‘ (makingwaves), O’chi Brown ‘Whenever You Need Somebody‘ (Magnet), Tony Baron ‘Dream In Black‘ (French Carrere), Taracco, ‘Voodoo Night‘ (German Metronome), Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin ‘Sisters’ (RCA) . . . Christmas deadlines mean that if any gigs between now and January 8 are to be publicised, you MUST send details TODAY, not tomorrow, marking your envelope (addressed to me as usual) with “DISCO DATES” to arrive no later than Monday morning — that’s right, this coming Monday (9), for printing next week . . . SEND IT OFF!
Streetwave boss Morgan Khan hasn’t let colour supplement exposure go to his head, he really does appear with Masquerade on their record sleeve and at gigs with good reason — it seems he handles much of the lead vocal on their ‘One Nation’! Based on Funkadelic’s classic ‘One Nation Under A Groove’, with interpolations from other George Clinton P’funkers ‘Flashlight’, ‘Tear The Roof Off Sucker’ and ‘(Not Just) Knee Deep’, this version and the group’s use of the Union Jack have an underlying message, the significance of which would be more apparent to record buyers had the sleeve’s printing not obscured it. Morgan’s wise words which you should have been able to read are extremely pertinent: “Britain urgently needs to become one nation again, and perhaps the biggest obstacle preventing that happening is racism — a sickness that has to be wiped out. One way we can defeat racism is by reclaiming the flag for all Britons. The Union Jack has been hijacked and perverted by racist organisations and used by them as a symbol of hostility to any Briton who isn’t Caucasian. Let’s make the Union Jack the emblem of all the races in Britain today and at the same time deny the racists one of their most potent symbols. Then we can all have pride in our country, our environment and, most of all, in our future — one nation regardless of colour, creed, race, or sex.” Amen.
FULL FORCE: ‘Alice, I Want You Just For Me!’ (CBS TA 6640)
Out on Monday, this totally compulsive joyful bouncy (0-)101-0bpm unison-sung jiggler has as expected exploded and should even be a crossover monster maybe to rival Doug E Fresh, not that it’s a normal rap (two much more freaky quiet stark mixes on flip). Stay still if you can!
NICOLE with Timmy Thomas: ‘New York Eyes’ (Portrait TX 6805)
Currently a much bigger request than its parent import LP’s progress might suggest, poised to explode now on 12in, this delightful buoyant rhythm filled though surprisingly slow 79¼bpm tripping little jogger is duetted in irresistible pent-up style right from its “Hi, are you from New York?” conversational start (the ugly crass 125bpm ‘Ordinary Girl‘ flip’s a pity though).