February 8, 1986: Aretha Franklin, Alexander O’Neal, Whistle, Mantronix, Stimulus featuring Milton Smith


GEORGIE FAME has been booked for a bluesy bar-room session at Live Wire’s April 11-13 Bognor Regis Trading Places Soul Weekender — yeh yeh! — where the star live attraction will be Kleeer, doing three concerts … Hammersmith Odeon’s next New York Jazz Explosion on May 3/4 features Oui centrefold Phyllis Hyman, pianist Ramsey Lewis, fiddler Noel Pointer, and once again trumpeter Tom Browne … B Boys really did jam Old Bond Street when CBS refused to admit a crowd of “real people” specially invited by Rick Rubin to the UK launch party of his Def Jam label at The Embassy, where instead such crucial hip hoppers as Boy George, Lemmy of Motorhead, and Janet Street-Porter were admitted to watch rapper LL Cool J (the conversation level rose again after his first number) and the pathetic foul mouthings of the Beastie Boys (like little kids saying “piss, bum, willy”) — the food was good, though! … Five Star turned down Walt Disney’s offer of a US TV cartoon series based on the family group — is their father/manager mad? … Regina, who pronounces her name “Regeena” even though the correct Latin is “Regyna”, has a more soulful 114¾bpm remix with extra David Sanborn sax due on heart shaped picture disc (promoed on regular 12in) … Billy Ocean’s UK 12in does indeed now include the Club Mix, making it the same four-track format as the import — so why wasn’t it from the start? … Juicy ‘Sugar Free‘ is being rushed out here … Grover Washington Jr’s fast stuttery circa 126bpm instrumental ‘Poppin’‘, almost electro in character if not sound, seems the main attraction on ‘A House Full Of Love: Music From The Bill Cosby Show’ (US Columbia LP) … Isabel Roberts’ smoothly bubbling 115½bpm ‘Rhythm Of Your Love‘ (Hot Vinyl) is creating interest on promo ahead of release in 10 days … Streetwave, with piles of unsold stock from 1984, are reissuing the 122⅓bpm rapping Divine Sounds ‘What People Do For Money‘ (MKHAN 11), while Viola Wills’ UK 12in now will include ‘Both Sides Now’ as a third track … DDR Records are compiling a DJ mailing list on 0782-331925 … Manchester Mix Studio (061-740 5419), purpose built by and for DJs, offers services like mixing tuition, customised jingles and full practice/dubbing facilities — the studio’s Dave Fawkner sent me some of his own inventive mixes, one unbelievably melding together ‘Mouldy Old Dough’/’They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha’/’Oops Up Side Your Head’/ ‘Michael Row The Boat Ashore’, all at the same time! … DevonAir Radio’s blues presenter Dave Treharne hosts his monthly Hot Dance Night with upfront soul, oldies, all kinds of blues and the Big Town Playboys live at Willand’s Verbeer Manor this Friday (7), which might be something different for Devonians … Manchester’s first allniter of ’86 on Saturday — or rather Sunday (9) as it starts at 1am, confusingly in a club called Thursdays! — stars Chad Jackson, Pete Haig, Andrew Holmes, John Mortimer and London’s waggish Julian Palmer … Terry Davis is playing traditional and deep soul, ancient and modern, on Wednesdays at Bermondsey’s free admission Bugles in Grange Road — a similar set-up to Bob Jones and Ed Stokes’ longer established Mondays at London Bridge’s Royal Oak in Tooley Street … Essex jock Mad Marx, revealed as demon go-go-jazz-rap percussionist ‘Snowboy’ on his own recent single, is retiring temporarily from DJ work to play percussion for Polydor-pacted Chris Sutton … Deptford club Cheeks is now called Champs, having dropped its short-lived gay policy in favour of upfront funk, with Wild Magnum Geoff Watts back as main weekend jock … Bristol’s Nigel Halkes, a keen correspondent to these pages since he was 14, now studying in London and jocking, as ‘Nik’, at Deptford Winston (Tuesdays), has landed a regular spot on the pop panel in Peter Powell’s Sunday morning Radio One show … Prince returns to soul on his upcoming ‘Parade’ album, much of which, however, continues the Lennonesque flavour of his last one … The Mohawks’ 1968 underground club classic ‘The Champ‘ (Pama) later became an equal monster in New York as a break beat from about 1976, and had Tommy Boy managed to locate the rights (in fact Sparta-Florida publish it), it could have replaced the embargoed Herman Kelly ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat‘ for a commercial release of Double D & Steinski’s ‘Lesson Three — The History Of Hip Hop‘ megamix — is it too late now? … GET LOOSE!

Russell Simmons, his manager, claims LL Cool J’s ‘Radio’ LP (now out here, CBS/Def Jam 26745) in the USA is out-selling Barbra Streisand, who happens to have the top Pop LP in Billboard – where Sade topped Black LPs, Grace Jones ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ Club Play.


ARETHA FRANKLIN ‘Another Night (Dance Mix)’ (US Arista AD-I-9454)
Sounding much like Tina Turner doing ‘Jump To It’, Lady Soul’s soaring and surging 119¼-119⅓-0bpm chugger has been remixed by Steve Thompson & Michael Barbiero so that amongst their other chattering rhythm implants her opening “you will remember my name” gets the ’19’ stutter treatment. A four-tracker with Dub/Radio Mix/Edit in America, the UK pressing next week (Arista ARIST 12657) may well be different.

ALEXANDER O’NEAL ‘What’s Missing’ (Tabu QTA 6391)
What a surprise! In a completely unannounced move, his much demanded calmly striding 111¼bpm soulfully pent-up massive album track — a logical follow-up stylistically to ‘Saturday Love’ — has been thrown away instead as an added B-side attraction on the reissued ‘If You Were Here Tonight‘. This latter, always an unrealised potential smash in its own right, is a tranquil 81¼bpm smoocher with interesting Indian tablas in its fadeout, and an alternative more delicate Soft Version mix. At least the 12 inch makes good value, but what a waste!

WHISTLE ‘(Nothing Serious) Just Buggin’’ (Champion CHAMP 12-12)
Rushed out on white label to counteract Mantronix, this terrifically exciting extremely similar but much more widely appealing gimmicky 0-102-0bpm go go hip hop rap ‘n’ scratch, produced by UTFO’s Kangol Kid and Howie Tee, brilliantly makes a musical melody out of the word “bug” cut up by emulator (inst/edit flip). The next Full Force!

MANTRONIX ‘Ladies’ (10 Records TEN 116-12)
Still extremely good in its own right if with narrower more strictly club appeal than Whistle, which shares the same beat, this infectiously jittery go go-influenced 102bpm Full Force-style hip hopper has a new dub and edit as flip. A pity ‘Just Buggin’’ had to come along and steal its thunder.

STIMULUS featuring Milton Smith ‘You Blow My Mind’ (US Roulette RD 2016)
Produced by Tyrone Brunson’s keyboardist Louie Oxley, of still unreleased ‘Go-Go Gadget‘ fame, this naggingly moaned 0-110bpm wriggler may seem a bit monotonous until its useful stark space-filled break, but I’ve a hunch it’s the sort of thing that, once known, could hang on for months in London’s sweatier dives (good dub flip too). It’s certainly got the groove.

ROBERTA GILLIAM ‘All I Want Is My Baby’ (WEA U8828T)
Warm for months on import, Roberta’s very soulfully squalled, wailed and worried sneaky 101⅓bpm downtempo swayer (inst flip) is less commercial than Betty Wright maybe but joins her as the distaff side’s most impressive soul single of the moment. Let it creep up on ya!

TOTAL CONTRAST ‘The River (Club Version)’ (US London 886 032-1)
Adding a touch of the Colonel Abrams and much studio skill (courtesy of Steve Harvey) to their original ‘Takes A Little Time’ formula, this jittery 119bpm leaper lets the rhythm dominate and seems somehow insubstantial. As well as a beefy Dub Version and edit, the US 12in includes the attractive 0-97⅓bpm Instrumental ‘Sunshine‘ which was twin-packed with their last hit here.

ISLEY JASPER ISLEY ‘Insatiable Woman’ (Epic TA 6861)
This lovely 76bpm slinky smoother in ‘Between The Sheets’ style was their album’s next hottest cut, and now it’s on 12 inch is evidently being twin-packed with ‘Caravan Of Love’ (although that may just be the 7 inch).

WARP 9 ‘Skips A Beat’ (Motown ZT40504)
The erstwhile electrophonic phunkers join the ranks of Colonel Abrams copyists on a jittery 112½bpm bounder, on four M&M mixes, which some are finding useful.

JANET JACKSON ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately’ (US A&M SP-12167)
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis now totally revamp Michael’s kid sister, giving her a Vanity 6 style that’ll be even more apparent on her upcoming album, this sharply strutting stark 114bpm smacker muttering more like ‘A Love Bizarre’ (dub/acappella flip). As ex-members of The Time, it’s the closest they’ve been to Prince since.

HARDROCK SOUL MOVEMENT ‘Double Def Fresh’ (Elite DAZZ 46)
Max LX and Dave VJ really get into the pshta pshta pshta ‘Set It Off’ rhythm for four different versions (the B-side’s two called ‘Def Hypnosis’) of a monotonous but ever-changing Kraftwerk-ish 110bpm electronic instrumental, scratched and cut while it drones along.

CASHFLOW ‘Party Freak (Latin Rascal Edit)’ (US Mercury 884 454-1)
Anguishedly groaned – presumably in ecstasy? — and rapped basic Cameo-style 108bpm weaving modern funk actually co-produced by Larry Blackmon (in two mixes plus the 98⅔bpm ‘It’s Just A Dream‘), not terribly special although possibly useful for mixers.

JB’s ALLSTARS ‘Alphabet Army’ (2-Tone CHS TT 1229)
Curtis Mayfield-ish Dee Sharp has been drafted in to lead this dated Jackson 5-style 105bpm jitterer in support of better facilities for schoolteachers. Three vocal mixes are all dwarfed by the flip’s exciting fast 118⅔bpm bass and brass jazz instrumental ‘The Al. Arm‘, worth checking.

THE WINANS ‘Let My People Go’ LP (Qwest 925 344-1)
Inessential although nice for listening, the inspirational set does have the EWF-ish throatily jolting jaunty 103⅚bpm ‘Very Real Way’, girls duetted 93⅔bpm ‘Choose Ye‘ and soulful 107¾bpm ‘Perfect Love‘ as “dancers” amongst the slowies.

LUTHER VANDROSS ‘She’s So Good To Me’ (LP ‘The Goonies’ Epic EPC 70264)
For dedicated Vandross completists, his pleasant typically meandering (0-)102½bpm downtempo drifter is (so far) only available as his sole contribution to an otherwise rather rocky sound-track set.


BEATS PER MINUTE for last week’s top 75 entries on 7in (f/c/r for fade/cold/resonant ends):

Simple Minds 127¾f hot pop pounder, Clannad 0-33½-0f largely tempoless, Ozzy Osbourne 123⅔f droning rock, Rochelle 112f hot black pop, PiL 84⅔f murky monotony, The Costello Show 95-94⅓f mournful Nina Simone/Animals oldie, Madness 64⅕c dreary slow pop, Paul Hardcastle 50¼-100½f club-aimed sneaky half-stepper, Regina 115f perky Madonna clone, Jellybean 115¼c Madonna-penned jitterer, Survivor 97¾f plodding AoR from ‘Rocky IV’, John Cougar Mellencamp 122¼-123-122¾-0r Springsteen clone.

UK DISCO TOP 100 – February 8, 1986

01 02 IF I RULED THE WORLD, Kurtis Blow, Club 12in
02 03 MY MAGIC MAN, Rochelle, Warner Bros 12in
03 01 ALICE I WANT YOU JUST FOR ME!, Full Force, CBS 12in
04 07 LIVING IN AMERICA, James Brown, Scotti Brothers 12in
05 04 SATURDAY LOVE, Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal, Tabu 12in
06 09 I’M NOT GONNA LET YOU (REMIX), Colonel Abrams, MCA Records 12in promo
07 05 WHO’S ZOOMIN’ WHO, Aretha Franklin, Arista 12in
09 06 SATURDAY LOVE (REMIX), Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal, Tabu 12in
10 08 BABY TALK, Alisha, Total Control 12in
11 18 IT DOESN’T MATTER (REMIX), Zapp, Warner Bros 12in
13 13 BABY LOVE, Regina, Funkin’ Marvellous Records 12in
14 19 FUNKY SENSATION, Ladies Choice, Sure Delight 12in
15 11 SHE’S STRANGE/LES ADAMS MEGAMIX/ROOM 123, Cameo, Club 12in
16 14 ONE NATION (DEF MIX), Masquerade, Streetwave 12in
17 16 DON’T WASTE MY TIME, Paul Hardcastle, Chrysalis 12in
18 24 A LOVE BIZARRE, PARTS I AND II, Sheila E, Warner Bros/Paisley Park 12in
19 15 LADIES, Mantronix, US Sleeping Bag Records LP
20 26 SUGAR FREE (DEO/REMIXES)/BAD BOY, Juicy, US Private I Records 12in
21 17 WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN, Prince Charles, US Electric Ice 12in
22 12 NEW YORK EYES, Nicole (with Timmy Thomas), Portrait 12in
24 23 GET LOOSE, Aleem (featuring Leroy Burgess), Streetwave 12in
25 22 COLD SHOULDER, Evelyn Thomas, Record Shack 12in
26 31 (NOTHING SERIOUS) JUST BUGGIN’, Whistle, US Select Records 12in
27 34 PAIN, Betty Wright, Cooltempo 12in
28 20 MR DJ, The Concept, 4th + B’way 12in
29 38 HOW WILL I KNOW (JELLYBEAN REMIX), Whitney Houston, Arista 12in
30 44 HOW TO WIN YOUR LOVE, Spencer Jones, Champion 12in
31 21 AFTER THE LOVE HAS GONE (‘BAD’ MIX), Princess, Supreme Records 12in
32 28 DARE TO DREAM, Viola Wills, US Wide Angle 12in
33 37 IF YOU’RE READY (COME GO WITH ME), Ruby Turner, Jive 12in
34 39 SIDEWALK TALK/WAS DOG A DOUGHNUT, Jellybean, EMI America 12in
35 29 UPTOWN EXPRESS, BT Express, Streetwave 12in
36 27 WHENEVER YOU NEED SOMEBODY (PULL IT OFF MIX), O’chi Brown, Magnet 12in
37 42 YOU’RE MY LAST CHANCE/REPRIEVED MIXES/I’M AVAILABLE, 52nd Street, 10 Records twin-pack
38 66 HEADLINE NEWS, William Bell, US Wilbe Recording Corporation LP
39 35 GUILTY, Yarbrough And Peoples, Total Experience 12in
40 40 IF YOU WANT LOVE, Tululah Moon, US Beauty and The Beat 12in
41 48 THE OAK TREE, Morris Day, Warner Bros 12in
42 67 HOLD ME, Teddy Pendergrass (with Whitney Houston), Asylum 12in
43 69 IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, Taka Boom, Boiling Point 12in
44 55 LOVE’S GONNA GET YOU, Jocelyn Brown, US Warner Bros/Jellybean 12in
45 43 DO ME BABY, Meli’sa Morgan, Capitol 12in
46 71 DON’T STOP THAT GO GO BEAT, Effectron, Nightbeat 12in white label
47 49 THE THINGS THAT MEN DO, Krystol, US Epic 12in
48 32 YOUR PERSONAL TOUCH, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, RCA 12in
49 80 OBJECT OF MY DESIRE, Starpoint, Elektra 12in
50 36 WARRIOR GROOVE, DSM, 10 Records 12in
51 53 COLDER ARE MY NIGHTS, The Isley Brothers, Warner Bros 12in
52 52 KEEP ON, Bobby Mardis, US Profile 12in/Bluebird/10 promo
53 84 SKIPS A BEAT, Warp 9, Motown 12in
54 68 SYSTEM ADDICT (M&M REMIX), Five Star, Tent 12in
55 30 SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU, Whitney Houston, Arista 12in
56 73 TOO TOUGH (REMIX), Lonnie Reaves, US Qwest 12in
58 65 PASSION, Bata Drum, Champion 12in
59 60 FIRE, Fire Fox, Atlantic 12in
60 47 MUSIC IS THE ANSWER/DUB MIX, Colonel Abrams, PRT 12in
61 77 WE GOT THE FUNK, Positive Force, Streetwave 12in
62 94 CURIOSITY, The Jets, MCA Records 12in promo
63 70 LOVE CAUGHT YOU BY SURPRISE, Earl Turner, 4th + B’Way 12in
64 62 HOT (REMIX)/DUB REMIX, Roy Ayers, US Columbia 12in
65 56 HOW CAN I GET NEXT TO YOU/IT’S MY TURN, Chapter 8, US Beverly Glen Music LP
66 72 WHO DO YOU LOVE, Bernard Wright, US Manhattan 12in
67 64 100%, Caprice, Lovebeat International 12in
68 — FOOL’S PARADISE (100¼bpm)/NOW OR NEVER (37½bpm)/DO YOU STILL LOVE ME? (42⅔bpm), Meli’sa Morgan, US Capitol LP
69 61 MY MIND IS MADE UP, Keith Sweat, US Stadium 12in
70 57 IN THE MORNING TIME, Tramaine, US A&M 12in
71 76 TOUCHING AND CARING, Nina Simone, US VPI Records LP
72 87 BEST FRIENDS . . . CRAZY MIXX/. . . SUPER MIX!!!, Eddie Towns (E.T.), US Total Experience 12in
73 74 BABY DON’T STOP ME, Quest For Life, US SeaBright 12in
74 45 GIRLIE GIRLIE, Sophia George, Winner 12in
75 — 100% (TAKE IT TO THE MAX), Caprice, Lovebeat International 12in
77 82 WHAT’S MISSING/IF YOU WERE HERE TONIGHT, Alexander O’Neal, Tabu 12in
78 78 $UCCE$$ IS THE WORD, 12:41, US Fresh Records 12in
79 89 HOLD ME TIGHT, Robert White, Calibre 12in
80 re SPECULATION/TABLE FOR TWO, Colonel Abrams, MCA Records LP
81 — ONE MORE TIME (US REMIX), Third World, CBS 12in
82 51 AFTER THE LOVE HAS GO-GO GONE, Princess, Supreme 12in
83 — CLOUD NINE, Mystery Assignment, US Metropolis 12in
84 90 I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT MY RADIO, L.L. Cool J, CBS/Def Jam 12in
85 15 BASSLINE, Mantronix, US Sleeping Bag LP
86 — LOVE ITCH, Roshelle Fleming, US Prelude 12in
87 58 ALL I WANT IS MY BABY, Roberta Gillam, US Sutra 12in
88 92 ROCK THE BELLS, LL Cool J, US Def Jam LP
89 — BORDERLINE (JELLYBEAN REMIX), Madonna, Sire 12in
90 50 NEW YORK EYES (REMIX), Nicole with Timmy Thomas, Portrait 12in
91 — THE SUPER BOWL SHUFFLE, The Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew, US Red Label 12in
92 83 DON’T CHA GO NOWHERE, Donald Dee, US Sutra 12in
93 — LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO ME (INSTRUMENTAL) (0-103bpm), Junior, London 12in white label
94 — MEDLEY (ALAN COULTHARD MEGAMIX), Change, WEA 12in promo
95 93 SPECIAL/LOVE IS SERIOUS/LET’S GO ROCKIN’ (TONIGHT), The Stylistics, US Streetwise 12in
96 100 MY DOWNTOWN LADY, Reaction, US Strawberry Records Unltd. 12in
97 63 FREAK IN ME, Danté, US Panoramic 12in
98 — WHAT I LIKE/SCRATCH VERSION, Two Live Crew, US Fresh Beat Records 12in
99 re NO SHOW (0-102¾bpm), Symbolic Three featuring DJ Dr Shock, PRT 12in
100= re SHE’S SO GOOD TO ME, Luther Vandross (‘The Goonies’), Epic LP
100= — YOU BLOW MY MIND, Stimulus featuring Milton Smith, US Roulette 12in
100= — DOUBLE DEF FRESH, Hardrock Soul Movement, Elite 12in


01 01 LOVE’S GONE MAD, Seventh Avenue, Record Shack 12in
02 02 PISTOL IN MY POCKET, Lana Pellay, Sublime 12in
03 05 BOTH SIDES NOW, Viola Wills, US Wide Angle 12in
04 26 TONIGHT, Ken Laszlo, Italian MEM 12in
05 10 I’M THE ONE YOU WANT, Les Lee, US Mega Bolt 12in
06 03 HIT THAT PERFECT BEAT (REMIX), Bronski Beat, London 12in
07 04 MAGIC, Brian Soares, US Night Wave 12in
08 07 CUBA LIBRE (REMIX), Modern Rocketry featuring Jo-Lo, US Megatone 12in
09 16 FLY TO ME, Aleph, Italian Disco Magic 12in
10 — AMERICA, Cruisin’ Gang, Italian Cruisin’ 12in
11 12 CHARLESTON/FEEDBACK, Den Harrow, Italian Baby 12in
12 — ONE BITE (JOHN MORALES REMIX), Street Angels, Calibre 12in
13 — MIDNIGHT LOVER, Bernadette, German CBS 12in
14 — TAKE ME AND YOU’LL WIN, Kay Franzes, Dutch Injection 12in
15 14 DON’T YOU WANT MY LOVE (REMIX), Nicole, US Portrait 12in
16 08 SHOCKWAVE, David Knopfler, makingwaves 12in
17 15 WHENEVER YOU NEED SOMEBODY (PULL IT OFF MIX), O’chi Brown, Magnet 12in
18 — MIDNIGHT LOVER, People Like Us, Passion 12in white label
19 — IF YOU SHOULD EVER BE LONELY (CLUB MIX), Val Young, US Gordy 12in
20 20 YOU THINK YOU’RE A MEDLEY, Divine, Proto 12in white label
22 — EXOTIC AND EROTIC, Sandy Marton, German CBS 12in
23 21 FAIRY TALE, Rose, Italian Disco Magic 12in
24 18 LET US DANCE JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE, Secret Service, German Sonet 12in
25 11 DANCE, Joy St James, US Pink Glove 12in
26 06 HE’S NUMBER ONE, Fantasy, US Spring 12in
27 24 FOR YOUR SWEET INFORMATION, P.J. Marcus, Italian Cruisin’ 12in
28 19 CASANOVA ACTION, Latin Lover, Dutch Sound Shop 12in
29 23 BORN TO BE ALIVE, Kelly Marie, Passion 12in
30= — FANTASY (REMIX), Lian Ross, German ZYX 12in
30= — BOLERO, Fancy, Swedish Mega 12in

One thought on “February 8, 1986: Aretha Franklin, Alexander O’Neal, Whistle, Mantronix, Stimulus featuring Milton Smith”

  1. James’s account of who was allowed, and who was not allowed, to attend the Def Jam launch party, is very telling – a lot of Def Jam’s early UK press coverage came from the style monthlies and the rock weeklies, and this makes it clear that they were being explicitly marketed to.


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