ODDS ‘N’ BODS
There’s no need for speculation about the name of America’s Danté, who turns out to be Dennis Sanders, Phoenix-bred gospel singer who split for Oakland when 17, branching out into singing backup sessions before moving to Philadelphia and a solo debut on ‘Freak In Me‘ … Fantasia Records lack the distribution needed and are keen to licence their excellent Frankie Johnson Jnr ‘Whenever You Call Me‘ – you call Ian Anthony Stephens on 01-235 7726 for a deal … Tom Silverman has copied Def Jam’s move to a major, and signed a half share of his Tommy Boy hip hop label to Warner Bros in the States: meanwhile, Def Jam’s launch here through CBS will include an invitation-only proper party (free booze even!) later in the month … Change’s megamix on WEA promo turns out to be not by Les Adams, as informed, but by Alan Coulthard (who had a merry pub crawl with Cardiff homebody Damon Cheesedip over Christmas!) … Kurtis Blow slipped out here to some shops by mistake ahead of schedule, which gave him an unfortunately ill co-ordinated low chart entry … WEA are now reissuing the Jellybean-mixed lethargic (0-)119bpm Madonna ‘Borderline (US Remix)‘ (Sire W9260T) … Regina ‘Baby Love‘ is now due here on the new Funkin’ Marvellous Records (12MARV01, via PRT) … The Gap Band ‘Gap Band VII’ LP (Total Experience FL85714) is also due here … PRT picked up the Doug E. Fresh answering Symbolic Three ‘No Show‘, and Chrysalis got Betty Wright … Freddie Jackson’s ‘Rock Me Tonight‘ US soul smash of 1985 is being re-released here and could actually cross over this time, with four TV appearances booked already … Royalle Delite despite another UK visit (by all the girls this time) have had their slow ‘Spend A Little Time With Me‘ postponed for a few weeks, if not for a rethink! … Billboard’s US chart toppers since last mentioned in December have included atop Club Play: Phyllis Nelson ‘I Like You‘ (also top 12in Sales throughout), Total Contrast ‘Takes A Little Time‘, Alisha ‘Baby Talk’, Stevie Wonder ‘Go Home (Remix)’, and atop Black Singles: Eugene Wilde ‘Don’t Say No Tonight‘, Lionel Richie ‘Say You, Say Me’ … Jack To Jack are a Birmingham trio along DSM lines about whom a whisper is circulating … rm’s new printing schedules mean, although the Disco chart remains unaffected and bang up to date, the rest of my column has to be finished by an early Friday deadline — record companies and scandal mongers please note! … GET LOOSE!
L.L. COOL J ‘I Can’t Live Without My Radio’ (Def Jam recordings/CBS TX 6684)
This very stark basic juddering 89⅓bpm rap is strictly for headspinners (unlike ‘The Show’, say), flipped by the more interestingly gentle 0-95bpm ‘I Can Give You More‘ plus its instrumental, which feature isolated piano plonks amidst the beat box thuds. The kid is certainly a master at his art, rapping alone to minimal hip hop backing, and if you were concentrating before Christmas you’d have seen my BPM listing for his complete ‘Radio’ LP (US Def Jam/Columbia BFC 40239), the excitingly scratched 98½bpm ‘Rock The Bells‘ being currently hottest cut.
VAL YOUNG ‘If You Should Ever Be Lonely’ (US Gordy 4557GG)
Starting (after a quiet click track for mixers) with a startling acappella-style intro that’s immediately striking, the superior Street Mix becomes an offbeat throbbing and clonking 118bpm canterer with pealing vocal lines and a ringing ‘phone bell, while the instrumentally started less surprising Club Mix is however more of a song (with an edit too). M&M mixed of course, but it was Levi Ruffin Jr and Fred Jenkins who produced, rather than Rick James. Truly, hot to trot!
QUEST FOR LIFE ‘Baby Don’t Stop Me’ (US SeaBright PAL-7094)
This Leon Ware co-penned chaps supported overwrought chick-led deliberately tempoed dense 102⅚ jitterer builds and builds unresolved tension in somewhat Lamont Dozier ‘Roots’ style, and has been exciting much interest since Christmas strictly in soul circles. A real napper that gets under the skin, it’s too specialist to cross over, but for those in the know it has an even longer dub (edit and acappella too). Continue reading “January 18, 1986: L.L. Cool J, Val Young, Quest For Life, Doug E. Fresh, Aleem”