May 17, 1986: Lovebug Starski, Alexander O’Neal, Dhar Braxton, Nu Shooz, Grandmaster Flash


MORGAN KHAN’s July 19 UK Fresh ’86 shows at Wembley Arena, as well as the Mike Allen Roadshow, would appear to include such as Mantronix, Aleem featuring Leroy Burgess, Roxanne Shante, Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde, Afrika Bambaataa, Word Of Mouth featuring DJ Cheese, Hashim, Captain Rock and more (New York’s New Music Seminar being over by then) . . . Live Wire’s next October 10-12 soul weekender is likely to be switched from Bognor to the Butlins camp at Barry Island near Cardiff. The extra journey for Londoners actually won’t take much longer than that to the south coast as it’s all by motorway, and will be well worth it provided the neighbouring funfair remains open as that’s a good one! . . . Froggy seems to have permanently landed Capital Radio’s Sunday midnight — 4am early morning soul show, followed for two hours however by Steve Collins and then Al Matthews’ gospel slot — more sleepless nights! . . . Community Radio licence announcements are indeed being delayed, but the Home Office now promises they will be made, with some drastic changes to the original recommendations, within the next two months or so, or sometime (current Home Secretary Douglas Hurd was always interested in radio and has many ideas of his own to add) . . . Shep Pettibone and the Latin Rascals’ exciting 105(intro)-107½bpm US Remix, with juddery cuts and scratches, of ‘Something About You’ has been added by popular demand to Level 42’s UK 12 inch (Polydor POSPA 790), vocally every bit as soulful as Police . . . Joyce Sims’ ‘Mantronik Mega Mix‘ of ‘All And All’ (London LONXR 94) was worth the wait, with fresh new edits and added 109¾bpm percussion . . . Technics turntables have a serious new rival in the US, where PPD’s similarly styled vari-speed TT2400 deck includes such refinements as a tiny light built in above the stylus . . . Atlantic have scaled down their old ‘This Is Soul’ compilation to make a new 12 inch EP ‘6 of the 60’s’ (A9410T) containing the classic Arthur Conley ‘Sweet Soul Music’, Wilson Pickett ‘Land Of A 1000 Dances’, Solomon Burke ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’, Aretha Franklin ‘Respect’, Booker T & The MG’s ‘Green Onions’, King Curtis ‘Memphis Soul Stew’ — forget the Seventies disco revival, here (with Sam Cooke) comes the Sixties . . . MCA Records have reactivated the 0-124½bpm M&M Extraterrestrial Mix of Ready For The World ‘Oh Sheila’ (RFTWX 1) in a 12 inch twinpack to coincide with the group’s televised Montreux appearance . . . Chris Paul’s B-side, now finished copies are out, is his own 116¾bpm Paul Hardcastle-ish whoops, Jeff Lorber-ish instrumental ‘Broadway Boulevard‘ . . . Thursday (15) hunky Big H hosts Ascot Belvedere Arms’ beach party . . . Jeff Young joins Trevor Fung & Paul Oakenfold at Streatham Zigi’s weekly The Project this Friday (next week, Pete Tong), and also souls Deptford Champs on Sunday (18) . . . Mike Shaft & Colin Curtis pack Manchester’s Playpen Thursdays . . . Larry Foster’s Fridays at Gants Hill Villa are veering ever more into old R&B, Motown and soul . . . Trevor Hadley funks Saturdays at Deal’s free admission Lifeboat Inn on Walmer Strand, while Peckham Walmer Castle’s newly opened Snoop’s Disco is funked Thur/Fri/Sat by DJs Dave, Freddie M and Owen Washington . . . Oxford’s Steve Aspey does Boddles Wed-Sat but really gets into jazz ‘n’ soul Tuesdays at Parkers cocktail bar, for listening . . . ‘The Bean’ is back from abroad and attempting to funk Charnock Richard’s The Park . . . Hollywood’s Prime Cuts record store reckons that aerobics instructors account for half the Hi-NRG records sold there! . . . Samantha Fox’s bosom buddy Linda Lusardi is getting in on the singing act, recording for Polo Records . . . I just haven’t room to review all the current incredible deluge of black dance releases here, but my column in Music Week at least lists all that fit (although without BPMs) . . . RELEASE THE TENSION!

DESIREE HESLOP’s debut LP ‘Princess’ (Supreme Records SU1) as well as her current 119bpm ‘I’ll Keep On Loving You’, and abbreviated 101¼bpm ‘After The Love Has Gone’, 104bpm ‘Say I’m Your Number One’ hits, has the strong jauntily tumbling 109bpm ‘Tell Me Tomorrow‘, self-penned moody 112bpm ‘Just A Teaze‘, routine 114bpm ‘If It Makes You Feel Good‘, Hi-NRG-ish 118bpm ‘In The Heat Of A Passionate Moment‘, and US-aimed 122¼bpm ‘Anytime’s The Right Time‘, all typically tightly produced by the Stock-Aitken-Waterman team. ‘Tell Me Tomorrow’ (from the movie ‘Knights And Emeralds’) sounds like another smash!


LOVEBUG STARSKI : ‘Amityville (The House On The Hill)’ (Epic EPA TA 7182)
Stand by for another smash, the ‘Monster Mash’, updated in Kurtis Blow co-prod/penned jiggly 88bpm go go hip hop rap style with impersonations of the ‘Star Trek’ crew as well as the more usual Karloff/Lugosi voices (they’re especially on the dup flip). Already massive in London, this is the next Full Force/Whistle-like crossover.

ALEXANDER O’NEAL: ‘What’s Missing’ (Tabu TA 7191)
With a new O’Neal LP due soon, look what CBS have finally done after a year of campaigning by the soul media — they’ve pulled his (0-)111bpm US Remix of this exuberantly striding album smash off the recent 12 inch of ‘A Broken Heart Can Mend’ (no wonder they let that quietly die) to make it at last an A-side here! A pity it isn’t the still superior original version, but we can’t have everything (inst, and 80bpm ‘Do You Wanna Like I Do’ flip).

DHAR BRAXTON: ‘Jump Back (Set Me Free)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 47)
Exploding on import, this breezily catchy here 116bpm electro leaper in the Lisa Lisa/Rochelle/Shannon/Joyce Sims style should be a pop smash too (Dubette and Jump Backappella flip, presumably leaving the Dub for creative marketing later?)

NU SHOOZ: ‘I Can’t Wait (“Dutch Mix”)’ (Atlantic A9446T)
Valerie Day and John Smith of Portland, Oregon, only started to hit in New York discos once their subtly nagging bass prodded rolling 104¼bpm tugger had been released in Holland as a local remix with catchy chipmunk-ish emulator hooks. Flipped here by the chunky (0-)103¾bpm ‘Make Your Mind Up‘, it’s been stealthily climbing our chart but may be too “underground” for the masses.

GRANDMASTER FLASH: ‘Style (Peter Gunn Theme)’ (Elektra EKR39T)
Hot for probably too long now with hip hoppers, this tough 102¼bpm rapper revolves around Henry Mancini’s 1959 TV theme, already revived by Art’n’Duane, Flash scratching in snatches of Cameo’s ‘Single Life’ and more (inst/edit flip).

SYLVESTER: ‘Living For The City’ (Creole CRT 90)
An inappropriate, albeit brief, Eurobeat chart entry, this whinneying and hypnotically chugging 116-0bpm Stevie Wonder remake could fit into the Seventies disco revival for some (dub/edit flip). Fat Sylvie still wails up a gospel storm, and it’s a bit of a grower.

IAN FOSTER: ‘Tell Me It’s True’ (MCA Records MCAT 1025)
Loose Ends’ manager Tony Hall’s latest hot songwriting property sings now too, a Nick Martinelli-produced lethargically wriggly 0-97½bpm meanderer in the current mannered soul style (inst flip), sneakily satisfying rather than startlingly different.

BOBBY WOMACK: ‘Gypsy Woman’ (MCA Records MCAT 1050)
Curtis Mayfield’s 1961 Impressions oldie remains scarcely updated in a lyrically rippling 113¾-114¼bpm remake that fits right in with the Sam Cooke revival. The rest of the 12 inch is taken up by short 124¼bpm and marathon 0-124¾-124½bpm versions of the juddery wriggling ‘Whatever Happened To The Times?‘.

ATLANTIC STARR: ‘If Your Heart Isn’t In It’ (A&M AMY 319)
Fragmented 66½-0-33¼-66½-0bpm but beautifully sung big ballad more for radio, flipped by 1978’s datedly bounding 114-115bpm ‘Stand Up‘ and their current album’s 85¾bpm ‘Let’s Start It Over‘.

GERRY TEW: ‘Heartache’ (BILLYboy 12 BILLY 1, via PRT)
Bluebird Records, is run by “The Two Billies” so BILLYboy makes a logical name for their new label, independent of Bluebird/10, debuting with this T.C. Curtis-prod/penned, John Morales-mixed bouncily skipping 102½bpm lurcher (dub flip) by a Watford lad.

STEVE CARLTON: ‘Keep On Walking’ (RCA PT 40696)
Billy Ocean’s singing keyboardist debuts with an untidily started but then insistent Walkers-ish wriggly 113¾-113½-0bpm little strider (inst, and nice 99½bpm ‘Heart Of The Matter’ flip).

EARLENE BENTLEY: ‘Point Of No Return’ (Champion CHAMP 12-13)
Morales-mixed, Levine & Trench-prod/penned typical swaying 101½-0bpm tripper in undemanding Dr Buzzard style with some scatting over pattering rhythm (inst flip), all very pleasant.

BARBARA PENNINGTON: ‘Out Of The Darkest Night’ (Record Shack SOHOT 55, via RCA)
Belated release of her John Morales-remixed Levine & Trench-prod/penned, SOS Band-tempoed rolling melodically wailed 97½-0bpm old LP track (inst flip).

ANY DAY NOW: ‘Show Me The Way’ (A&M AMY 310)
Paul Hardcastle’s ex-First Light partner Derek Green returns with new boy David Hubbard and typically juddering co-producer Mark Berry on a jerkily episodic (0-)106¼bpm jitterer (in three 33 1/3rpm versions) that keeps losing sight of its song.

ROSHELLE FLEMING: ‘Love Itch’ (Crossover SLN 1, via PRT)
Although its striking acappella intro is a standout, the strongly sung but untidily rambling 0-120¾-120¼-120½-120¾-120½bpm long A-side of this burbling bumpy swayer is not as easy to use nor as catchy as the flip’s straightforward 120bpm radio version (instrumental too).


THIS WEEK I’ve tried to work off the pile of UK reviews and have only space to list the hottest imports, of which there are plenty (check the chart for BPMs of those that hit). LPs include Midnight Star, Linda Tillery and Johnny Kemp, while in approximate sales order at time of writing the 12 inchers include Blue Moderne, Shot featuring Kim Marsh, Run-DMC, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, Shawn Christopher, Yarbrough & Peoples, Hanson & Davis, Spyder-D featuring DJ Doc, Ghetto Style with 2 Live Crew, Point Blank MC’s Juicy, Whight Knight, Whistle (Dutch remixes), Skipworth & Turner. An expensive week!


BEATS PER MINUTE for the last fortnight’s Top 75 entries on 7in (endings denoted by f/r/c for fade/resonant/cold):

Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald 92½f classic MoR swayer, Spitting Image (0-)112¾-112¼-0c Black Lace send-up, Peter Gabriel (0-)96¼/96½f great Stax-style lurcher, The Cure 167¼-0r guitar pop, Dire Straits 61¼f moody smoocher, B-52s 185-180½-184-176/88-184½-182-181c jerky US punk, Matchroom Mob 99-100½c subdued singalong (minus Joe Johnson), Kate Bush 61¼-122½f murkily throbbing fan fodder, Dr & The Medics 120½f straight strong Norman Greenbaum revival, Jaki Graham 104f churning soul, Tavares 121¾-122-121¼-122-121¾f galloping soul oldie, Diana Ross (0-)45¾/91½f Bee Gees slowie, Pete Wylie 104½r ‘The Story Of The Blahs’, OMD 120f dreary moaner, Huey Lewis 144-142-144-142f surging sprightly rock classic, Hipsway (0-)121¾r mournful builder, Cactus World News 133½-133-134½-0r messy rock-pop, Aretha Franklin 125½f cranking pop kicker, Robert Palmer 111¾f powerful rock chugger, Nick Heyward (0-)131½f cheery Wham!-ish bounder (not Billy & The Essentials!), Total Contrast (0-)109¼f wriggly soul, Blancmange 33¾-135f slow starting canterer, John Cougar Mellencamp 164-166f terrific rock stormer, Sam Cooke 122-121-122-121f vintage swayer, PiL 111½f dull chugger, Psychic TV (0-)121½f lethargic rock, Icehouse 115f nice gentle swayer.

DISCO TOP 100 – May 17, 1986

01 02 THE FINEST, The SOS Band, Tabu 12in
02 01 YOU AND ME TONIGHT, Aurra, 10 Records 12in
03 03 (YOU ARE MY) ALL AND ALL, Joyce Sims, London 12in
04 04 WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FORME LATELY (REMIX), Janet Jackson, A&M 12in
05 10 ON MY OWN, Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald, MCA Records 12in
06 05 LOVE’S GONNA GET YOU, Modern-nique featuring Larry Woo, 10 Records 12in
08 23 EXPANSIONS ’86, Chris Paul featuring David Joseph, Fourth & Broadway 12in
09 32 YOU CANT BLAME LOVE, Thomas & Taylor, Cooltempo 12in
10 22 YOU AND ME TONIGHT (MIDNIGHT MIX), Aurra, 10 Records 12in
11 06 SERIOUS, Serous Intention, London, Pow Wow Records Inc 12in
12 07 DO FRIES GO WITH THAT SHAKE, George Clinton, Capitol 12in
13 15 I’LL KEEP ON LOVING YOU, Princess, Supreme Records 12in
14 16 I CAN’T WAIT (DUTCH MIX), Nu Shooz, Atlantic 12in
15 14 JUMP BACK (SET ME FREE), Dhar Braxton, US Sleeping Bag Records 12in
16 11 GOTTA FIND A WAY/INSTRUMENTAL, Russ Brown, 10 Records 12in
17 18 A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (M&M REMIX), Shalamar, MCA Records 12in
18 13 TENDER LOVE, Force MD’s, Tommy Boy, Island 12in
19 26 NOVELA DAS NOVE (SPIDER WOMAN)/CHIEF INSPECTOR (PRECINCT 13), Wally Badarou, Fourth & Broadway 12in
20 58 LADIES(REVIVED)/BASSLINE (STRETCHED), Mantronix, 10 Records 12in
21 12 STAY, The Controllers, MCA Records 12in
22 33 MINE ALL MINE (MARK BERRY REMIXES), Cashflow, Club 12in
23 25 WHAT YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT (DANCE REMIX), Total Contrast, London 12in
24 39 S.O.S., Oliver Cheatham, Champion 12in
26 08 PRISONER OF LOVE (UK RE-EDIT), Millie Scott, 4th + B’way 12in
27 17 SET ME FREE, Jaki Graham, EMI 12in
28 21 CAN’T WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE, Five Star, Tent 12in
29 27 LESSONS IN LOVE/WORLD MACHINE, Level 42, Polydor 12in
30 20 HEADLINE NEWS (EXTENDED REMIX), William Bell, Tout Ensemble 12in
31 38 GIVIN’ IT (TO YOU), Skyy, US Capitol 12in
33 63 AMITYVILLE (THE HOUSE ON THE HILL), Lovebug Starski, US Epic 12in
34 31 IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX), Tavares, Capitol 12in
37 36 SHADOWS OF YOUR LOVE, J.M. Silk, US DJ International Records 12in
38 — MAIN THING (102¼-103¼-105¼-105½-105¼-105-106¾-105¼bpm), Shot featuring Kim Marsh, US Easy Street 12in
39 53 BROOKLYN’S IN THE HOUSE, Cut Master D.C., US Zakia Records 12in
40 45 DIAL MY NUMBER, Pauli Carman, US Columbia 12in
41 35 WHERE YOU GONNA BE TONIGHT?, Willie Collins, US Capitol LP
42 34 WHEN I THINK OF YOU/NASTY, Janet Jackson, A&M LP
43 — ALL AND ALL (MANTRONIK MEGA MIX), Joyce Sims, London 12in promo
44 84 OPEN YOUR DOOR, Guinn, Motown 12in
45 — THROUGH THE NIGHT (106¾-0bpm), Blue Moderne, US Roll Records 12in
46 — HEADLINES (0-103½-103¼)/MIDAS TOUCH (117)/CLOSE ENCOUNTERS (80bpm), Midnight Star, German Solar LP
47 87 DESTINY, D.S.M., Elite 12in
48 40 SOUL POWER/DON’T TELL IT, James Brown, Boiling Point 12in
49 56 HOW IT, NOW HIT IT, Beastie Boys, Def Jam 12in
50 41 MY LATIN LOVER, Q-Pid Featuring Nikki Q, US Sunnyview 12in
51 49 I’LL KEEP ON LOVING YOU (DUB & SCRATCH REMIXES), Princess, Supreme Records 12in
52 52 CAN’T GET BY WITHOUT YOU (REMIX), Real Thing, PRT 12in promo
53 79 PRAYIN’ (GOSPEL MIX), Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Stateside 12in
54 73 INTO THE MOTION, The Cool Notes, Abstract Dance 12in
55 67 I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, Marvin Gaye, Motown 12in
56 50 STYLE (PETER GUNN THEME), Grandmaster Flash, Elektra 12in
57 55 RAZZLE DAZZLE, Michael Jeffries, US Warner Bros 12in
58 59 THE FOOLISH THING TO DO, Heaven 17 featuring Jimmy Ruffin, Virgin 12in
59 30 SECRET LOVERS, Atlantic Starr, A&M 12in
60 60 FIRESTARTER, Tease, Epic 12in
61 42 CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE, James Cobbin & Prime Cut, Lovebeat International 12in
62 — MY ADIDAS (95¼bpm)/PETER PIPER (105¾bpm), Run-D.M.C., US Profile 12in
63 78 PEE-WEE’S DANCE, Joeski Love, US Vintertainment 12in
64 28 THE HEAT OF HEAT (CLUB HEAT MIX), Patti Austin, Qwest 12in
65 — SECRETS (97½-98-99-99½bpm), Linda Tillery, US 411 Records LP
66 43 MY SECRET FANTASY, The Controllers, US MCA Records LP
67 69 DUB THE TENSION/RELEASE THE TENSION, J-A Groove, US Studio Records 12in
68 44 FINE YOUNG TENDER/LOVE’S ON FIRE/MORE THAN A MILLION, Aleem featuring Leroy Burgess, Atlantic LP
69 29 WHAT’S MISSING (REMIX), Alexander O’Neal, Tabu 12in
70 74 DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK, Cognac, Rise Records 12in
71 — GO-GO SWING(0-94-94¼-94-93½-93-92½-93½-93-93½-95¼-94½)/HERE WE GO AGAIN(0-94¾-94-92-93½-94½-93-94½-93½bpm), Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, US Future 12in
73 64 JACK YOUR BODY — HOME MADE/CLUB YOUR BODY, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, US Underground 12in
74 91 BROOKLYN’S IN THE HOUSE (REMIX)/SHE’S GOOD TO GO, Cut Master D.C., US Zakia Records 12in
75 48 TRUTH OR DARE (REMIX), Shirley Murdock, Elektra 12in
76 51 THE ART OF DRUMS, Macattack, Baad Records 12in
77 — TELL ME TOMORROW, Princess, Supreme Records LP
78 re TAKE A PIECE OF ME, Booker Newberry, Omni 12in
79 65 MYSTERY, Anita Baker, US Elektra 12in
80 72 A LOVE BIZARRE, PARTS I AND II, Sheila E, Warner Bros/Paisley Park 12in
81 61 YOUR SMILE, Rene & Angela, Club 12in
82 — TROW THE DICK/TROW THE D. (123bpm), Ghetto Style with 2 Live Crew, US Luke Skyy Walker Records 12in
83 47 COMPUTER LOVE (REMIXES), Zapp, Warner Bros 12in
84 88 DON’T WANNA WAIT, Lew Kirton, US Tweedside 12in
85 — PEOPLE OF ALL NATIONS (119½-0bpm), Shawn Christopher, US DJ International Records 12in
86 — ONE BODY, Marc Reed, 20/20 Records 12in
87 — I CAN’T WAIT (TO ROCK THE MIKE) (103½-0bpm), Spyder-D (featuring DJ Doc), US Profile 12in
88 — LOVE ZONE (0-94¾bpm), Billy Ocean, Jive LP
89 80 OFF THE HOOK, C.M. Dance, US Midnight Sun 12in
90 99 JUST ANOTHER LOVER, Johnny Kemp, US Columbia 12in
91 re FOOL’S PARADISE, Meli’sa Morgan, Capitol 12in
92 — SOCK IT TO ME (0-107¾-105¾-107-106-0)/RAYDEO MIX (107¼-104¾-106¼-106¾-107-106-0bpm), Ayre Rayde, be*bop & Fresh 12in promo
93 85 DON’T WANNA BE A SOMETIME LOVER, Sylvia Smith, US Qwest 12in
94 re MAKE ME THE ONE, Crown Heights Affair, US Releaseme 12in
95 76 RECONSIDER, The Main Attraction, US RCA Victor 12in
96 — ANYTHING WORTH HAVING (78bpm)/COVER GIRL (117bpm)/BRING YOUR LOVE AROUND (118bpm), Johnny Kemp, US Columbia LP
97 83 FREE AND EASY, Choice Reunion, US Les-Wes Records Co 12in
98 92 BYE-BYE, Janice, US 4th + B’way 12in
99 — BREATHLESS (105½bpm), Mtume, Epic 12in promo


01 03 REFLEX ACTION, Louise Thomas, R&B 12in
03 02 E.S.P. (EXTRA SENSUAL PERSUASION), Hazell Dean, EMI 12in
04 04 MALE STRIPPER, Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish, US Recan 12in
05 03 YOU’RE A BEAT, Eastbound Expressway, Passion 12in
06 05 OH L’AMOUR/GIMME GIMME GIMME, Erasure, Mute 12in
07 07 KEEP ON ROCKIN’ , Hemyl, Italian Missing 12in
08 — RUNNING AWAY FROM LOVE, Astaire, Passion LP bonus 12in
09 — I’M YOUR MAN, Barry Manilow, RCA 12in promo
10 09 NOTHING IN COMMON, Wagner, Italian Best 12in
11 — LIKE A TIGER, Michael Zager, US Mosaic 12in
12 — AMERICAN LOVE, Rose Laurens, German WEA 12in
13 16 AGAIN, Do Piano, French EMI 12in
14 11 IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX), Tavares, Capitol 12in
15 19 I LOVE MY RADIO (MIDNIGHT RADIO) (US REMIX), Taffy, US Emergency 12in
16 — VENUS, Bananarama, London 12in
17 17 ANIKANA-O, Afrika System, Italian X-Energy 12in
18 15 BURNING, Sapphire, Passion 12in
19 24 YOU’RE MY FIRST, YOU’RE MY LAST, Linda Jo Rizzo, German ZYX 12in
20 — DISENCHANTED, The Communards, London 12in
21 — IRRESITIBLE, Stephanie, Carrere 12in
22 — LADY O, Paul Rein, Swedish Alpha 12in
23 06 GIVE ME UP, Michael Fortunati, Belgian Ariola 12in
24=— ROCK IT DOWN TO MIDNIGHT, Diebold & Co, US Night Wave 12in
24=— LOOKIN’ BACK, Lucky Ross, Italian Rainbow 12in
26 20 DANGER FOR LOVE, Deborah, German ZYX 12in
27 — HUMANOID INVASION, Laser Dance, Dutch Hot Sound 12in
28 10 LOVE HOSTAGE, Jessica Williams, Mexican Mastered 12in
29 — RESTLESS HEARTS, People Like Us, Passion 12in white label
30 re SHY SHY SUGARMAN, Jack’s Project, German Ariola 12in

4 thoughts on “May 17, 1986: Lovebug Starski, Alexander O’Neal, Dhar Braxton, Nu Shooz, Grandmaster Flash”

  1. And so, finally, after plugging the track almost constantly for months on end, James gets his wish: a full A-side release for Alexander O’Neal’s “What’s Missing”… which went on to peak at the dizzy height of #90 in the pop chart. Oh well, you can’t blame a man for trying.

    Looking at the new entries, Run DMC’s ascent to become arguably the biggest hip hop act of the year starts this week, while Bananarama’s “Venus” would go on to become a game-changer for SAW, giving them their first US Number One and signalling the beginnings of their shift back towards uptempo Hi-NRG-derived dance-pop. Note also the arrival of Princess Stephanie of Monaco on the Eurobeat chart!


  2. I was looking at this week’s disco chart today and thinking how like the whole column encompasses everything that people could plausibly dance to in specialist dance music clubs. Hiphop, traditional funk and r&b, early house, jazz, early garage, britfunk you name it.

    But obviously the idea now of a dance chart today (or at least in the early millennium when I last knew what was going) encompassing every type of music danced to in such clubs would be ridiculous.

    I wonder when it would last have been possible – I’d say about 1990 – anyone who went to raves in 1988/89 will remember that everything was played if it had a vaguely house production everything from the obvious Chicago stuff to various euro stuff and hiphop/hiphouse and pop stuff like Samantha Fox, Paul Rutherford, Bros, Fleetwood Mac if they were house mixes and revived stuff such as Magic Fly, Jean Michel Jarre, Space Bass and still even a bit of traditional contemporary funk and r&b stuff if the beat was right.

    In 1990 with acid house having died out as a ‘thing’ and being replaced by the fragmentation with specialised nights for everything that has gone on ever since. So by 1990/91 such a chart would be hard to envisage. I don’t actually remember what happened all those 30+ years ago…


    1. I basically agree with you. 1986-89 was a peak time for me, and the RM chart definitely felt like an accurate reflection of what was going on, but I recall a distinct drop-off in its relevance during 1990, and a feeling by 1991 that it could no longer sum up everything that was happening; the highest-charting tunes just didn’t feel like the biggest tunes in the country any more.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. JH’s other big hobby horse at this time aside from ‘What’s Missing’ as a single seemed to he his hostility to Level 42’s presence on his page. Tbh I’m surprised they’re still featuring so high in the chart – I‘d always thought they’d kind of disappeared from the specialist dance world after Hot Water.


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