ODDS ‘N’ BODS
Steve Walsh learnt while at MIDEM that Boris Badenough isn’t having a go at Rocky Jones, in fact ‘Hey Rocky!’ is about TV’s cult cartoon series ‘Rocky And Bullwinkle’, and will be promoed with a new B-side for radio which has the characters’ voices (cut-up Steinski style in the actual record) answering questions left blank for DJs to fill in themselves … 19 releases on Chicago’s Trax Records label, including current stuff, have been compiled on a fast-selling German import LP, ‘Chicago Trax (Volume 1)’ (BCM TX 33-5001-43) – presumably the ‘What’s Up Rocky?’ credited to Boris Betanoff is the same as the above? … Darryl Pandy has done a vocal version of ‘Jack Your Body’, to be called ‘Work Your Body’, for D.J. International Records … Chris Amoo of the Real Thing, as probably everyone knows by now, was the proud owner of Crufts’ Supreme Champion 1987 (we’re talking dogs here), Viscount Grant – commonly called “Gable” … MC Double Def Sef launches A&M’s new dance label Breakout with a lunchtime reception at Soho’s Le Beat Route in Greek Street on Monday, March 9, conveniently sandwiched between the previous day’s International DJ Convention and that evening’s World Final of the Technics DJ Mixing Championships (also conveniently, for out-of-towners, just across the road from Groove Records shop!) … Bathgate’s Bill Grainger (0506-54305), the guy who more than anyone else “broke” Tullio De Piscopo, has started First Class Radio & Club Promotions to plug dance records in Scotland with personal DJ contact (servicing all types of dance music, not just hi-NRG/Eurobeat) … Kool Moe Dee – true to his stance as rap’s caring social worker? – hosts the second annual rap awards this Saturday (28) at New York’s Town Hall, with appearances by such as Salt-n-Pepa, LL Cool J, UTFO, Spoonie Gee, Doug E Fresh, Oran ‘Juice’ Jones, Stetsasonic … Kurtis Blow is currently guest presenter of Saturday morning kids’ TV on the US NBC network! … Damon Rochefort’s involvement as producer of Junior Gee & The ‘A’ Team actually extends to being the impersonator of Arnold Schwarzenegger, recreating all ‘The Terminator’ (and Dalek!) dialogue himself … Breakfast Club, reviewed last week, turns out to be the “nom de disque” of Madonna’s frequent collaborator Stephen Bray, so it’s surprising he hasn’t concocted something a bit sharper for himself … I know, I know: the jazz tune synched under Salt-n-Pepa ‘My Mike Sounds Nice’ is Grover Washington Jr ‘Mr Magic’ – incidentally, the girls’ UK-only 0-91⅔bpm remix will be on Champion here March 10 … Nitro Deluxe, were the UK pressing and original import similar enough in format to be combined in the chart, would have been top Disco hit since two weeks ago … John Rocca’s ‘I Want It To Be Real’ may have always meant something in Chicago but even its Ultimate Mix ’87 (not due on CityBeat for nearly a month) still seems unlikely to mean much here in its main (0-)122-122½bpm Club Vocal, although the total instrumental 121⅔-121¾bpm Farley’s Hot House Piano Mix is self-descriptive and could find takers … Arthur Baker while here has produced a secret project for Champion … ‘(You’re My) Shining Star’ is Curtis Hairston’s new US release … Dennis Edwards, still recording solo too, has rejoined the Temptations … Livewire/Top Hat on Saturday, March 14, start a monthly soul and jazz night amidst the shark tanks at Brighton Aquarium, dubbed “the night that bites back!”, with Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Pete Tong, Gilles Peterson, Paul Clark, Big H and Froggy, in two music rooms … Livewire (01-364 1212) at their four day Easter weekender in Prestatyn have added to the DJ bill Paul Oakenfold, Chris Forbes, CJ McKintosh (Chad Jackson is booked anyway, plus hopefully Jazzy Jeff, and now maybe Atlantic Starr) … London’s ebullient soul jock CJ Carlos had better keep a higher profile if he doesn’t want his once distinctive initials to become more synonymous with Mixing champ CJ McKintosh! … Larry Foster of Gants Hill Villa has spent the last year preparing a Music Quiz for East London, weekly heats beginning on March 18 at Walthamstow’s The Lorne Arms, entry forms being available in advance from him on 04023-75059 … Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers play three nights at Kentish Town’s Town And Country Club, March 26/27/28 … Thursday this week (26), Paul Williams, Mike Knight and Alan Coles support go go-funk group Bustin’ Loose at Georgetown’s The Kirkhouse, Merthyr Tydfil, while Chris Brown, Chris Bangs and Simon Dunmore jazz-soul the Rhythm Zone at Northolt’s C&L Country Club (just off the A40 south of the Polish War Memorial) … Friday (27) Joe Field, Bob Masters, Chris Bangs, Bob Cosby and Dave Ealand fill two rooms with soul and jazz at Hemel Hempstead’s Heath Park … Saturday (28) Jasper, Norman Jay and Martin Drake have a Seventies Funk Attack at Hackney’s Shen-Ola Nightclub, while Kev Hill souls Great Yarmouth Mole Club … Eon Irving funks London West End’s Munkberrys Wednesdays … Andy Baker funks Fridays at Bangor’s hi-tech Octagon (on a par, equipment-wise he reckons, with the Hippodrome) … Bishop Stortford’s Juicy Duck is undergoing a complete £30,000 facelift (which would probably buy a few new pygmy bulbs for the Hippodrome!), much to the delight of Les Knott and his fellow jocks … Mecca, as well as aggressively recruiting new DJs around the country, have revamped Bolton’s Cinderella Rockerfellas into the new Ritzy (with a Central Park brasserie), while Tiffanys in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Dunstable are being renovated … Paul Frettingham soon becomes a real VJ, as well as DJ at Nottingham’s Central Park/Ritzy, where an actual TV studio will transmit closed circuit programmes of videos and PAs to the club’s 34 screens … Jackie Becker (Brighton Escape Club Mon/Savannah Club Tues/The Crypt Thurs) tips that Candido ‘Jingo’ mixes well with ‘Jack The Groove’ and ‘Jack Your Body’, plus Quando Quango ‘Genius’ is good with such as ‘It’s OK, It’s OK’ and ‘IMNXTC’ … Stacey Q ‘We Connect’ topped US 12 Inch Sales, Madonna ‘Open Your Heart’ and then Mel & Kim ‘Showing Out’ topped Club Play in Billboard – whose US Black Singles Chart, now once again printed in rm, is not in fact a reflection of the dance singles that are selling, but of the singles being played by black-orientated “urban” radio … DJs are still not supporting the Eurobeat chart in significant enough numbers yet they continually whinge that it isn’t truly representative of what’s really big in their clubs – so who’ve they got to blame? … ILLIN’ ‘N’ CHILLIN’!
BRUCE WILLIS ‘Respect Yourself’ (Motown ZT 41118)
With the part of Mavis played by June Pointer in dominating support, the star of TV’s ‘Moonlighting’ tackles the Staples Singers’ classic in similar 118⅓-0bpm style. Bruce is actually promoting his album ‘The Return Of Bruno’ with a half hour video hosted by Dick Clark as if in the US TV series ‘Rock Heroes’ (like ‘Portrait Of A Superstar’), tracing through hilariously accurate period pastiches and dozens of superstar interview clips the supposed career since the mid-Sixties of Bruno Radolini, supplying this his singing alter ego with an instant mythic past. See it if you can!
BANANARAMA ‘Trick Of The Night’ (London NANX 12)
You’d never know from hearing the dreary seven inch pop version, but for the 12 inch its producers Stock-Aitken-Waterman and mixer Phil Harding have revived their old trick, making the first half of this (0-)105½bpm jiggler sound exactly like Princess’s ‘Say I’m Your Number One’, instrumental for ages before any real vocal begins! (A separate strictly promo pressing hasn’t any vocal at all, in dub and instrumental versions, for collectors). Now that DJs are discovering this, the flip’s house-ish (0-)117¾bpm ‘Set On You‘ is helping sell it, too.
FULL CIRCLE ‘Workin’ Up A Sweat’ (EMI America 12EA 229)
Massive on import but worth buying again now, the Randy Muller-produced Lutheran soul vocal group’s piano underscored jittery roller here is without the 109-108¾bpm Special Sweaty Mix‘s offputtingly electro intro and has a new mellower 108¾bpm Album Version, just the 108bpm Dub Version being still in schizoid original form, with juddery edits. Class, more than crossover. Continue reading “February 28, 1987: Bruce Willis, Bananarama, Full Circle, Donald Byrd, Gigolo Tony”