March 28, 1987: Mandy Smith, Cindy Valentine, Luther Vandross, Living In A Box, Patrice Rushen


HERB ALPERT has had most of his horn replaced by an organ sound on a new Manic Mix of his hit, likely to be marketed here in conjunction with (rather than replacing) the original … Pete Tong is circulating a rather fast 128½bpm house instrumental with a Creative Source-ish bassline and other vaguely familiar ingredients, credited on moody white label as The Bootleg ‘The Rare Grooves‘ (or should that be the other way around?), which although pressed independently at Lyntone must surely be some cunning scam to help boost an upcoming commercial release — isn’t it? … RCA, rather long after it was a “jazz” club hit, next week 12 inch Elvis Presley’s 106⅔/213⅓-212⅔bpm ‘Bossa Nova Baby‘ from 1963 (RCA ARON T1), while for variety — although interestingly the exact same BPM — the original from a year earlier is also out, by Tippie & The Clovers (you may recall my mentioning it) on the excellent double album ‘The Red Bird Story‘ (Charly CDX 15) … Fourth & Broadway for the DJ Convention specially pressed a Sly & Robbie promo 12 inch seguing the 103⅓bpm ‘Fire’ and ‘Boops’ with an 104-103⅔-0bpm Chris Mackintosh scratch mix of them as flip … Virgin, unable to shift commercial offerings by their group Well Red, have circulated a white label as by Double-U-R containing what amount to break beats mixed by Spikey, the 112½bpm 8.08 Mix and 112bpm Bass Drum Head Mix of something called ‘Honey‘ … Debut already have Eleanore Mills here, Champion have Sybil … Lola’s US mixes will be out here too, soon … US LPs now on UK release include Millie Scott (Fourth & Broadway BRLP 511), Herb Alpert (A&M AMA 5125), The System (Atlantic 7816911) … UK Fresh would appear still to be on, at the NEC on August 12, according to Morgan Khan — who’s filling me in on his new label plans too, this week! … Disco Mix Club’s DJ convention, as many observed, was less well attended than usual by record industry people, maybe because they opted for just the Monday’s more “glittering” Albert Hall bash instead of eating into their weekend time off on Sunday? … Technics world mixing finalists will be weeded down in preliminary heats the previous afternoon so that next year just the best eight will be in the main final showdown … Randy Muller, no longer put off by terrorist bombs, has been back in London remixing Full Circle, and was at the incongruous Hippodrome setting for Maze’s après-gig party —where I found myself chatting to someone who turned out to be Dee Dee Bridgewater, currently playing Billie Holiday on the West End stage in ‘Lady Day’ (she knew that her number one fan Steve Davis had been to see it, but he was too shy to go backstage and she’s really upset as she longed to meet him and get some snooker tips!) … Dave Pearce sits in for six weeks on Susie Barnes’ weekday 2.30-4.30pm Radio London soul show from next Monday, with Damon Rochefort supplying scandal and gossip on Fridays at 3.30 … Dave Gregory’s soul shows on Essex Radio have now expanded to Fridays 9pm-2am and Saturdays 6-10pm, the station’s Soul Night Special heading for the first time to Clacton Pier’s Oscars this Friday (27) … Friday also sees the opening of Manchester’s upmarket Applejacks, funked two nights weekly by Franklin Sinclair, and at Hemel Hempstead’s Heath Park a soul room with Joe Field, Graham Gold, Dave Ealand and jazz with Chris Bangs, Bob Cosby … Saturday (28) Pete Tong, Nicky Holloway and Gilles Peterson funk ‘n’ jazz The Slammer at Gravesend’s Red Lion, while Martin Collins, Graham Gold, Bob Jones and more warm up for Caister at Cambridge Corn Exchange … Chris Kaye (0732-356061) is running a fashion show-cum-disco called ‘It’s The New Style’ on May 22 at Tonbridge’s Angel Centre, and wants offers of anything relevant like PAs, demonstrations … Pillar Promotions are not interested only in rock and rap DJs, all types can apply for their mailing list on 01-735 8171 (ext 118) … “Bam Boo”, in the continued absence of more complete label details, is being credited by some to Bam Boo also as artiste while we join the majority in listing it as being by its writers/producers Lenny D. & Tommy Musto, on the Northcott Prod. Ltd. Label, which from the evidence that does exist seems reasonable … Jimmy Jam’s partner Terry Lewis introduced Pete Waterman to Janet Jackson as “the world’s best producer”, the guys having a mutual admiration society … Curtis Hairston’s previously reported US single of ‘(You’re My) Shining Star‘ is an extended 87bpm remix of the lazily sinuous title-repeated smoochy soul soarer … Cheryl Lynn, if you didn’t know, was evidently first discovered when competing on US TV’s ‘Gong Show’, the amateur talent series briefly shown here a while back! … Charly had better hurry up with Anita Baker’s ‘Angel‘, as the Style Council have already covered it! … LAH DE DAH DE!

Hot producing/writing team (from right to left) MIKE STOCK, MATT AITKEN and PETE WATERMAN have been up to their remix tricks again! They’ve now, typically, put out MEL & KIM ‘Respectable’ in a much harder totally revamped semi-instrumental frantic scratched and freakily jack track-ed 0-122bpm Tabloid Mix (Supreme Records SUPETX 111), on for a full third of the record before anything recognisable from the hit version appears, while they’ve really excelled themselves by just about totally ignoring Bill Wyman’s little friend in turning MANDY SMITH ‘I Just Can’t Wait‘ into an aptly subtitled terrific breezily cantering 114bpm instrumental Cool & Breezy Jazz Version (PWL Records PWLTX 1), with jazz guitar by Matt Aitken. Well hard and credible!


CINDY VALENTINE ‘In Your Midnight Hour’ (US Polydor 885-657-1)
The sleeve shot just doesn’t do justice to lovely Cindy (already seen with Mike Sefton in rm, 15/11/86), who whispers then plaintively chants over a jittery percussive 102⅓bpm chugging rhythm that seems self-consciously similar to the same label’s Gwen Guthrie approach. Beware the abrupt vocal fade, although the dub ends (edit too, and more Madonna-ish 116¾bpm ‘Work It Out‘). Continue reading “March 28, 1987: Mandy Smith, Cindy Valentine, Luther Vandross, Living In A Box, Patrice Rushen”

March 21, 1987: Technics DJ Mixing Championships, Eleanore Mills, Sly & Robbie, Millie Scott, Sybil, Dynasty


CHAD JACKSON’s win in the world final of the Technics DJ Mixing Championships, seen to be deserved by anyone paying attention (like us judges!), has created such an incredible controversy that all my ‘phone calls seem to be from people believing the lies spread by those who stood to benefit had someone else won … I, as a judge, initially rated Denmark’s Ken Larsen (who came third) as the likely winner thanks to the way he mixed dazzlingly without headphones, followed by the USA’s subtly double-beating Joe Rodriguez (who was second) and France’s vigorously scratching Dee Nasty (unplaced) – however, on last, Chad (who in fact I’ve never marked as a winner before) blew them away by using every current mixing technique without fault, topping the Dane by draping a Union Jack over the console’s controls while he mixed without using either headphones or faders! … Chad won on merit, there was no fixeroo, and he also took his place in the championship fairly, as last year’s runner-up to defend the title in the absence of 1986 champ DJ Cheese (who, contrary to rumour, was indeed invited, twice) … Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis had a hero’s welcome from a crowd just as impressed by their credentials as by Janet Jackson and Alexander O’Neal (if not more so), the Royal Albert Hall being the prestigious venue that had attracted such stars to fly in specially on Concorde – apart from the silly ugliness surrounding Chad’s win, it was a night about which the disco industry should be proud … Paul Dakeyne demonstrated the art of mixing Compact Discs using Technics’ vari-speed SL-P1200 CD players at the previous day’s International DJ Convention, which thankfully had as a new entertaining focal point a rapping contest in place of the mixers … Manchester’s rapping Prince Cool won this, with help from The Terminator’s incredible human beat box, after battling through vicious slanging matches with the other rappers, all of whom had their beats provided by two guys wielding “rhythm sticks” — keyless synthesizers worn and played around the neck like a guitar … Avtar Singh, whose home studio was recently robbed, won a contest by “mixing” 16 different records’ title lines in just two minutes … Music Week columnist Barry Layzell won the Pop Mastermind competition with 19 correct answers (Cliff Richard being his specialist subject), our own Alan Jones tying for second with radio DJ Mike Read at 13 points … Rikki Patrick was the most impressive PA – I missed the closing dance party with all the visiting Chicago house stars … Steve Walsh sent his chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce to collect Alexander O’Neal, and took him (a CBS artiste) to A&M’s launch party for the Breakout label at Soho’s Le Beat Route, where MC Double Def Sef was delighted to greet him in the absence of Janet Jackson … Groove Records just over the road did a roaring trade in back catalogue (rather than newies), snapped up by out-of-towners … C.J. Carlos — the “real” C.J. — was celebrating his engagement to Claire Boots with a private party at late nite eaterie Rockys following the Albert Hall, and Loose Ends were amongst the many who headed there next … Herb Alpert’s amazing vertiginous tightrope video should turn a hit into a smash … Micron’s rap ‘n’ scratch of ‘EastEnders’ won’t be about any more, the Beeb caught up with it! … Shep Pettibone is currently mixing it up in London … Arista belatedly picked up Marshall Jefferson ‘House Music Anthem’, while Flame have King Sun-D Moet … Helena’s ‘Be Soft With Me Tonight‘ turns out to be a cover, released ahead of a version by Gloria Gaynor … Jonathan Woss, chat show host of Channel 4’s Friday night ‘The Last Wesort’, used to be a researcher for ‘6.20 Soul Train’!  … Les ‘Mixdoctor’ Adams presents a two hour mixing show Saturdays at 11pm on Solar 93FM … UK pressings of Grandmaster Flash turn out to be 101½bpm, while White Knight ‘White Knight Jacks’ should be 124¾bpm … Nicky Holloway’s Poole weekender at Rockley Sands in Dorset is this weekend (20-22), practically rammed with room for just a few more on 01-439 2628 – DJs are Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Jay Strongman, Gilles Peterson, Paul Oakenfold, Chris Brown, Johnny Walker, Chris Bangs, Bob Masters, plus there’s a presentation of the current West End comedy ‘Bouncers’ … Dave Withers promotes a Black Music Record Fair this Saturday (21) 10.30am-5pm at Manchester YMCA … Gloucester’s crippled DJ Metal Mickey scratches using his crutches, given the chance by clubs un-frightened of his handicap, and will be doing that this Saturday (21) at Queens Club when Perry Jay presents bouncy Maria Whittaker there … DJ Danny and Kevin Ashton head a charity 3.30-11.30pm soul alldayer also this Saturday at Redruth’s Penventon Hotel, to benefit a local hospital (not the one there where I was born, though!) … Steve Ogley and David Superfly jack the house Thursdays at Oulton Broad’s Chequers, playing funk/house, electro with free admission and half price drinks — sounds too good to be true! … Colin Hudd, Chris Hill and Eddie Gordon soul Gravesend’s Waterfront every Friday … Luther Vandross did backing vocals on Nick Kamen’s debut album (don’t forget, he also sings commercials) … Terence Trent D’Arby, considering he’s just 25, seems to know a surprising amount about the typical stage acts of soul singers in the Sixties, which he does his best to recreate! … Company B ‘Fascinated’ topped US 12 Inch Sales too now, in Billboard … Eurobeat chart returns have greatly increased, in case the look of the current chart suggests otherwise, so maybe Ian Levine really is a popular producer! … Scott & Raven aren’t massive but are number one in nearly every chart that lists them … LAH DE DAH DE!

JANET JACKSON was announced as winner of the best female singer award at the Albert Hall, but then the news was dropped that she hadn’t managed to make it to the ceremony and instead there would be a world exclusive preview of her new video. A big disappointment. However, as the video finished, crafty Tony Prince then announced that the video had arrived by ‘plane carried by a courier — and here was the courier, Janet Jackson!


ELEANORE MILLS ‘Mr Right’ (US VinylMania VMR 007)
Co-created by Larry Woo and Gordon Worthy, this friskily bubbling 117-116½-116 (break)-116½bpm bounder has honking sax and wriggly Latin rhythms behind Stephanie’s nagging sister, a New York fusion of current Miami and Chicago influences with lots of oomph of its own (116½-116-116½bpm instrumental Right Mix, 117bpm Bonus Beats, 0-116½bpm Radio Mix). It sounds about right, too!

SLY & ROBBIE ‘Boops (Here To Go)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 61)
Featuring such as Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Herbie Hancock, Grandmixer DST, Shinehead, Half Pint and Rammellzee, the fascinating 0-102⅔bpm P’funky bassline weaver is just one edited part of the Jamaican rhythm team’s imminent marathon LP exploration of the Ohio Players’ old ‘Fire’, using rap, reggae, funk and more (103⅙bpm instrumental, and their old 0-92½bpm ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ too). That was fresh!

MILLIE SCOTT ‘Love Me Right’ LP (US 4th + B’way B’WAY 4004)
A strong set by the quietly elegant lady, with the Loose Ends-ish sultry David Ball-duetted 99⅚bpm ‘Let’s Talk It Over’, brassily jaunty 104⅙bpm title track, brightly romping 115bpm ‘One Stop Lover‘, Earl Klugh guitared classy slow 0-74-0bpm ‘Don’t Take Your Love’, breezily striding 115bpm ‘2 Hot 2 Handle‘, ponderously lurching 105bpm ‘Can’t Stand The Heat’, plus her 102bpm ‘Every Little Bit’, 109⅕bpm ‘Automatic’, 110bpm ‘Prisoner Of Love’ hits. Continue reading “March 21, 1987: Technics DJ Mixing Championships, Eleanore Mills, Sly & Robbie, Millie Scott, Sybil, Dynasty”

March 14, 1987: Grace Jones, Bam Boo, Herb Alpert, Jocelyn Brown, Salt-n-Pepa


DJs are already crawling out of the woodwork to claim they’ve been playing Tullio De Piscopo since 1984 — all very commendable, but it wasn’t them that made it a hit! … Janet Jackson, Alexander O’Neal, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, Jaki Graham, Loose Ends, and Mel & Kim were all due as special guests collecting awards on Monday at the Royal Albert Hall — as by now you may already know, as an unprecedented 140 journalists (plus TV) were covering the event! … Sunday’s DJ Convention saw record companies adopting a more American approach to it as a promotional outlet, Virgin for instance handing out bags containing a special promo LP of current product and “Virgin Dance”-emblazoned short-sleeved shirts for all attendees, while at the Albert Hall on Monday every banner-hung box was booked by companies for use as a hospitality suite … Morgan Khan had guaranteed StreetSounds’ bank overdraft and its debt to RCA against the value of his Sunningdale private home, so it’s not only his car he looks like losing … Serious Records seem seriously to be filling the StreetSounds void, signing a two year deal with PRT … Simon Harris has picked up the Microphone Prince ‘Who’s The Captain?’ for his Music Of Life label, now via Pinnacle, and is starting a StreetSounds-style LP series called ‘Def Beats‘, the label’s 12 inch singles ail being at 33⅓rpm and shrink-wrapped like imports … Charly snapped up UK rights to the old Anita Baker ‘Songstress’ album at last, so maybe ‘Angel‘ will be a singles hit yet! … Steve Proctor has quit Liverpool’s The State to take over club A&R and promotion at Polydor in London, where he’s after gigs on 01-499 8686, his first vinyl protect being the overdue legal reissue of Maceo And The Macks ‘Cross The Track’, flipped by James Brown ‘Funky Drummer’! … Slough DJ Tony Hodges is now club promotions man at Creole — and their brand new Nine O Nine label, to be launched by Wired and C.T. Satin here — building a DJ mailing list on 01-965 9223 … Rhythm King’s next volume of ‘Rob Olson’s Chicago Jackbeat‘ will include Hercules ‘7 Ways’, On The House ‘Pleasure Control’, this week’s T.J., plus other newies by J.B. Traxx, Denise Motto, Rare Form, plus they’re releasing a UK-only live double LP of Chuck Brown at single LP price … Portrait picked up Donna Allen’s LP for the UK, plus Frankie Knuckles, first fruits of Julian Palmer finally finding his feet at CBS … Keni Stevens’ debut LP for Elite, promoed on cassette, bravely sets his slightly Phil Fearon-ish tones to amorphous gently tapping atmospheric backings, nothing fast, and could be the first British entry in the Alexander O’Neal, Freddie Jackson stakes … Phonogram here is hoping to equal its US crossover success by reissuing Jeff Lorber featuring Karyn White ‘Facts Of Love’ (Club JEFDJ 48) as a twin-pack containing the Five Star-ish trotting bubbler in Victor Flores’ 0-108⅙bpm Passion Mix, Larry Levan’s 0-106⅔bpm Actuality Mix and 106⅙bpm Reality Dub, Jeff Lorber & Taavi Moté’s (previously unheard, I think) 0- 106½bpm ‘Fact # 1’, as well as its 0-106½bpm LP Version (plus ‘Every Woman Needs It’ and ‘Sand Castles’); meanwhile, a new US Warner Bros 12 inch credited there to The Jeff Lorber Band featuring Karyn White couples ‘True Confessions (The Left Bank Mix)‘ with ‘Midnight Snack‘, all the above from the same ‘Private Passion’ LP … Breakout’s commercial 12 inch copies turn out to be in fully pictorial sleeves after all, only advance copies being in the house bag design shown last week … Les Adams’ megamix of Luther Vandross material (too fast to include ‘See Me’) is at last on the new Disco Mix Club March edition … ‘Animal House’ fraternity party stars of ‘Shout!’ fame, Otis Day & The Knights (in reality, “Otis” is actor DeWayne Jesse, brother of rock ‘n’ roller Young Jesse) are being produced by George Clinton for MCA Records again … Loose Ends ‘Slow Down’, as you may have noticed, topped the US Black Singles chart, while Mel & Kim ‘Showing Out’ topped 12 Inch Sales and Paul Parker ‘One Look‘ then Company B ‘Fascinated’ topped Club Play in Billboard … Jeff Thomas has started a petition to get a specialist soul show onto Swansea Sound radio, send your collected signatures to him at 32 Landeg Street, Plasmarl, Swansea SA6 8LA … Chippenham Goldiggers needs a female DJ for Thursdays, call Barrie Thyer on 0249-656444 … Ken ‘B’ Brudenell has already left his post at Mecca Agency International to resume DJing … ‘Jazz Juice 4‘ is now so scarce (apparently it was never fully released by StreetSounds) that it’s selling for over a tenner … I bought Cannon’s brand new EOS 650 autofocus SLR camera so soon after its launch that some of the photos in its instruction booklet were taken just 11 days earlier, and on collecting my 70-210mm zoom lens straight from the warehouse discovered it was only the third one to be sold here to date – how’s that for up-front? … LAH DE DAH DE!

Here’s proof that the brand new British single from LUTHER VANDROSS will be ‘See Me‘, in an exclusive UK Remix — a bit percussive and not an improvement to my mind, so maybe it won’t be inducement enough for all those who bought the original either on his LP or as the B-side of his last 12 inch to buy it again. Hopefully we won’t see another Alexander O’Neal situation, where the truly in-demand track had already saturated its market before finally becoming an A-side? Anyway, on seven inch (to which this is the sleeve) the flip is ‘A House Is Not A Home’. Luther will be returning here in July to play four nights at Wembley and two at the NEC!


GRACE JONES ‘Party Girl’ (Manhattan 12MT 20) Remixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero, this tapping and jittering typical 106½bpm Big Apple bumper is imperiously sung as ever although basically just a rhythm groove (dub too), and could work with Lola.

“Bam Boo” (US NCP 187)
On an oddly uninformative label that fails to identify either the artists or, with any degree of certainty, its own name this nevertheless is one of the freshest house hits in a while, happily galloping through bright 120-119¾-0bpm percussion, dated synth, “rock the joint” shouts and a muttered title line reminiscent of the old ‘Big Bamboo’ (dub flip), worth serious investigation.

HERB ALPERT ‘Keep Your Eye On Me’ (Breakout USAT 602)
Catchy enough in its stark way to be a smash, Herb’s drily muted trumpet tootles over a Jam & Lewis-created driving jittery Janet Jackson-style (0-)114½bpm rhythm track, with a freaky effects-filled intro. His US LP of the same name (US A&M SP-5125) was too late for review so check the Disco chart for BPMs. Continue reading “March 14, 1987: Grace Jones, Bam Boo, Herb Alpert, Jocelyn Brown, Salt-n-Pepa”

March 7, 1987: Norwood, The House Sound Of Chicago Megamix, Lillo Thomas, Lee Prentiss, Full Circle


DJ CHEESE will not be defending his title at Monday’s World Final of the Technics DJ Mixing Championships in the Royal Albert Hall as he is concentrating now on his recording career, so last year’s runner-up will take his place battling the 16 international finalists — and that runner-up of course is Chad Jackson! … Exposé will be special guests at the final, the girl group who are in the vanguard of the new Hi-NRG Latin Disco style that on US radio is rapidly becoming known as ‘Hot’, with Miami a ‘hotter’ source city than Chicago so far as US clubs are concerned … Streetwave and StreetSounds, according to their liquidator, had never at any point in their history been solvent and ended up with debts of £1,240,000, managing director Morgan Khan admitting that the labels had lost £750,000 in the last 13 months (about the time their magazine ‘The Street Scene’ folded), although he claims to have been unaware of the situation — one immediate result is that he’s already had to swap his Jaguar XJS for a more modest Renault 5 … Germany’s ‘Chicago Trax — Volume 1’ double LP will sell in the UK as London’s ‘The House Sound Of Chicago — Volume 2 (Chicago Trax)‘, all 19 tracks selling here for the price of one import 12 inch: meanwhile, Trax Records artists Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Kevin Irving, Adonis and Fingers Inc are currently over here going from house to house at London Limelight Thursday (5), Gt Yarmouth Tiffanys Sat (7), Nottingham Rock City (8), Manchester Hacienda Mon (9), Southsea 5th Avenue Tues (16) — but nowhere in the North-East, house’s greatest strong-hold! … Michael Jackson’s album appears finally to be due next month, after which in the US his two new Pepsi commercials will begin their TV airing … MCA Records for some strange reason have put back the release of Jody Watley’s single until the end of March, when everyone already serviced with it (including radio) will doubtless be expected to regenerate their enthusiasm! Cooltempo similarly have now rescheduled the Taurus Boyz to March 16 … Luther Vandross ‘See Me‘ has been remixed for release later on the month — but as an A side? … London picked up the Masters Of Ceremony ‘Sexy’ … I wish someone would boost the brilliant Microphone Prince ‘Who’s The Captain?‘, selling at hip hop stockists and attracting crossover interest but never charted by enough DJs to hit … Nitro Deluxe as warned is now being creatively marketed with the 114⅔bpm ‘Let’s Get Brutal‘ and its 114¼bpm Dub, flipped by a 0-115⅔-115¼- 15bpm Brutal Mix of ‘This Brutal House’ by Dancing Danny D, who’s so totally restructured it that oddly he’s left out the piercing synth hookline (Cooltempo COOLR 142) … Raze ‘Let The Music Move U’ is now flipped also by an excellent brand new proper Vaughan Mason-created 121⅔bpm It’s A Jungle Remix of ‘Jack The Groove’ (Champion CHAMP X12-27), with many musical overlays as it smoothly bounds along … Bluebird Records have just signed with Stiff for distribution via EMI, and are re-promoting Company B ‘Jam On Me‘ with a new Herbie-Laidley-created 112¾bpm Mastermind Remix as A-side (BRTX 27) — the Miami girls’ ‘Fascinated‘ will be follow-up even though they’re now on Atlantic, just in the US … Darlene Davis ‘I Found Love’ starts more sharply at 116bpm (before then wandering off again) in two new back-to-back Valentine Mixes (Serious Records OUSX 1) … CJ McKintosh has already done a scratch remix of Junior Gee & The ‘A’ Team … Boy George has bought himself some twin decks to practice scratching — can we expect him as an observer at the Royal Albert Hall? … Rick Robinson and DJ Kiwi, when together at Croydon Easy Street, created their own contemporary mix of ‘Lean On Me’ (covered by Club Nouveau) by synching the Bill Withers original (vari-speeded +6) with the Hot Chocolate ‘You Sexy Thing’ bonus beats (down -2) … Arthur Baker’s secret project for Champion turns out to be ‘Jackin At The Opera House‘, featuring Jellybean’s ‘Sidewalk Talk’ vocalist Catherine Buchanan and Freeez’s keyboardist Andy Stennett … ‘Love Ain’t No Toy‘, the Norman Whitfield penned song now revived by Amii Stewart, in case like most people you couldn’t place it, was originally an album track by Yvonne Fair … Go Go Lorenzo & The Davis/Pinckney Project’s UK follow-up ‘Top Bottom Side And Rear‘ will again be licensed to Boiling Point but promoed by UK owners Bluebird … Heavy D & The Boyz’ “fat boy rap” follow-up will aptly be called ‘Chunky But Funky‘! … The Gap Band’s US follow-up to ‘Big Fun’ is their album’s ‘Get Loose, Get Funky’, retitled though for singles as ‘Zibble, Zibble (Get The Money)‘! … ‘Moonlighting’ is being added to Al Jarreau’s ‘L Is For Lover’ LP, from which the moodily rolling 88bpm ‘Golden Girl‘ is also included on his 12 inch … Tony Blackburn had a hardened music biz audience in stitches as compere of the Music Week Awards 1986, which as he said was “like an audition!” … Robbie Vincent’s Sunday evening soul show on Radio One will be broadcast live in extended form at Easter from the Prestatyn weekender … Easter in Prestatyn also sees the opening of the brand new £2½ million Nova luxury discotheque, with swimming pools, restaurant and fun pub under the same roof … Chris Bangs and Bob Masters, not to be outdone by Livewire’s Prestatyn four-dayer, will once again be behind a small scale but friendly Easter weekender at Bournemouth’s Neptune on Boscombe Pier (details on 0582-65123) … Hardrock Soul Movement, Faze One, DJ StreetsAhead and Tim Westwood hip hop over to Holland for a March 11-16 rap tour (Tim’s Monday Rap Trap had to close) … Thursday (5) Jay Strongman and Rob Milton start the weekly Pay-Off at Charing Cross Heaven, playing black grooves from Sixties to now (including Hank Ballard, I bet!) … Friday (6) Georgie Fame and the Jazz Defektors star at Blackpool Tower Ballroom’s Spring Ball ’87, and Danny Smith jazz-souls Cambridge’s The Globe … Richard Short, funking Watford’s £50,000 refitted Pockets Thursdays, is after other Watford/Harrow weekend gigs on 0923-45217 (evenings) … Aberdeen mobile jock Harry Duncan, into soul and electro, feels isolated so far north and wants international DJ pen-pals at 100 Victoria Street, Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland – in a place actually called Dyce, is his theme tune ‘I Can’t Take It’? … George Hargreaves, the song’s writer, is desperately seeking mint seven and 12 inch copies of Five Star’s forgotten first single, ‘Problematic’ (on Tent when via PRT) – call him on 01-247 9035 … David Grant – sporting a very severe Larry Blackmon haircut – debuts on Polydor with ‘Take Us Back’, a tapping and tumbling (0-)101½bpm Spandau Ballet-ish pop song which regrettably will mean nothing on floors … WEA’s disco plugger Fred Dove and I are considering starting a music biz club for Canon T90 camera owners – however, I’m now the much poorer owner of their new autofocus EOS 650, too! … Manchester’s jazz-funkers the Stems are now known as 5th Of Heaven and are supporting Maze here … Man 2 Man, Man Two Man, from now on the new spelling is Man To Man featuring Paul Zone & Man Parrish … the Fly Boys are “crutch rap”, make no mistake – what’s “crunch rap”? … ILLIN’ ‘N’ CHILLIN’!

This is the sleeve design of A&M’s brand new Breakout label, launched during the International DJ Convention, with its first releases due over the next two weeks being the snappy (0-)114½bpm HERB ALPERT ‘Keep Your Eye On Me‘ (USAT 602), soppy sweet 43⅙-0bpm JANET JACKSON ‘Let’s Wait Awhile (Remix)‘ (USAT 601) — coupled for strength with Parts l & II of the old 103½bpm ‘Nasty (Cool Summer Mix)‘ — and very trickily remixed 112-0bpm VESTA WILLIAMS ‘Don’t Blow A Good Thing‘ (USAT 600) — maybe prophetically titled, so coupled with the soulful 86⅓bpm ‘You Make Me Want To (Love Again)‘.


NORWOOD ‘I Can’t Let You Go’ (US Magnolia Sound MCA-23686)
Out of a trickily nervy intro the jittery 101⅓bpm electronic beat seems to mellow when it reaches the Philadelphia soulster’s prodding hoarse Abrams/Vandross-ish voice, repetitive female chants building the intensity in bursts, the whole thing ending up very soulful indeed with surging gospel fervour (edit and Luther-ish (0-56¼-)112½bpm ‘Don’t Let Love‘ flip). With a buzz already, it’ll be big!

VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘The House Sound Of Chicago Megamix’ (German DJ International Records/BCM DJ33-1006-45)
The same German label that originated the ‘Chicago Trax — Volume 1’ LP now has a 30 minute 12 inch containing three house medleys incorporating tracks by Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, House People, Farm Boy, Raz, Mario Reyes, Femme Fion, Chip E, Fingers Inc and Mark Imperial, tightest and excitingly Hi-NRG being the Peter Vriends-created 0-124¾-126-127¼-126⅔-126¼-125½-124¾-0bpm Jackin’ Mix, ‘Mix Mac’ Meyers letting through one very sloppy link during his 119-121⅔-121¼-121½-121bpm Latin Mix but trucking tightly on his 121⅔-121½-121⅔bpm Dub Instrumental Version.

LILLO THOMAS ‘Sexy Girl (Sexy Mix)’ (Capitol 12CL 445)
The hit import now (0-)107⅔bpm yelping, cooing and soaring repetitive wriggly soul groove is here flipped by the old tensely wriggling (0-)108½bpm ‘Settle Down (Extended Remix)’ and even older calmly strolling 104¾bpm ‘(You’re A) Good Girl (Special Mix)’ instead of his excellent sincere remake of Otis Redding’s ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)’, which surely would have given it wider appeal? Continue reading “March 7, 1987: Norwood, The House Sound Of Chicago Megamix, Lillo Thomas, Lee Prentiss, Full Circle”