April 25, 1987: 2 Puerto Ricans A Blackman And A Dominican, Ultra Magnetic MC’s, Whispers, Kinkina, Eleanore Mills


DISCO AID may only have raised £50,000 from its co-ordinated national charity night last November, but now a Disco Aid Trust is being set up as the disco industry’s charitable organisation to run further events, hopefully with even greater success and public awareness … Somerset Sound & Light are promoting the Disco West 87 equipment exhibition this Sunday (26), 11am-6pm, at Glastonbury’s Tor Sport & Leisure Centre on the A39 … Phyllis Hyman’s new 96bpm US remix of the Loose Ends-penned, Julie Roberts-originated sultry ‘Ain’t You Had Enough Love’ has been white labelled here and will be twin-packed with her ‘Screaming At The Moon‘ 12 inch (to which the LP version is flip. anyway), this new mix being even more exaggeratedly typical of Nick Martinelli’s production style … Prince’s follow-up will be the sexily muttered sinuous squeaky 96bpm ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend‘, which in my rush I missed from his LP review (presumably the end will be faded as it’s too hot for radio!) … Debut picked up The Movement ‘Magic’, and are putting out a ‘Jack Mix II‘ remake (rather than remix) of Mirage ‘Jack Mix’ … Keni Stevens’ LP appears to be selling most strongly to the slow slinky “heartbeat” tempo loving black market as there’s nothing fast enough on it for white dancers … Five Star’s house tempoed newie, although it hit nationally quite high, is proving to be too “hard” for the kids and the wrong group for DJs to buy … Paul Lekakis’ suggestively worded frantic Hi-NRG 129¾bpm ‘Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back To My Room)‘ (Champion CHAMP 12-43), a long established Euro smash now climbing fast in the US, could well be the next ‘Male Stripper’ if you’re into that type of thing … Sheffield vintage soul purist Mike Ward and industry veteran Alan Bellman have set up the Timeless Records label dedicated to hard core soul, launched with brand new albums by Ike Noble, Barrett Strong, The Controllers, Frederick Knight, Tyrone Davis, plus Anita Ward, C L Blast, Tommy Tate, Lynn White to follow … Nick Ratcliffe’s Dance Show has been discontinued in County Sound Radio’s spring schedules, but he’ll be hosting another new show in the future … BBC Radio Merseyside soul DJ Kenni James and Hott Waxx Records shop owner Kev Edwards joined Alan Gaskell in St Helens recently for a soul night to raise money for Mark Eccleston, hospitalised with spinal injuries that’ll leave him paralysed for life — that seems a far more worthy exercise than any number of Sun-glorifying charity singles … Tricky Dick Scanes runs his own gay discos around London and has no connection with Bolts, other than in his knee, currently held together by bolts and a plate following a skiing prang … Ben Liebrand’s sister Rita is a mixer too, jocking in Germany at Essen’s Librium, and has been asked by CBS there to create a continuously mixed album … Friday (24) Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince (if they bother to turn up) should be with Pete Tong and “Beastie Boyz” Tony Wilson, Trevor Fung and Paul Oakenfold at the Project Club in Streatham’s Zigis, where next Friday (1) its Jeff Young’s turn … Saturday (25) Chris Hill heads a Prestatyn reunion (what else?) with Kev Hill and Maggot at Harlow Whispers’ weekly Sweat Box (the club’s half million pound refit isn’t now due until mid-summer), the next few weeks’ guests being Bob Jones (2), Froggy (9), Jeff Young (16) … Monday (27) Desa starts a weekly upfront night at Liverpool Atmosphere’s with Damon Rochefort and Sharon Dee Clarke as special guests … Belfast’s burgeoning Soul In The City Saturday club in Robinson’s Top Floor Bar is running a mystery tour on Sunday May 3, taking 200 soul fans to an undisclosed special nightclub booked for their exclusive use, buffet and transport included for the £8.50 non-members’ price — call Belfast 661761 after 6pm to see if any tickets are left … Northern Ireland’s Traks in Portrush sponsors the International North-West 200 motorcycle race on Saturday, May 9, which every year draws 180,000 people from around the world — and, to DJ Brian Moore’s delight, the track is right on Traks’ doorstep … Gary Hickson funks Tuesdays at Blackpool’s newly refurbished Adam & Eve, using the sound and light system that he was contracted to install as well … Steve Wren and Big Al Parker house ‘n’ funk Dagenham’s Beacon Leisure Soul Club in Raynham Road South on Friday evenings, buffet included, and Steve also has a Sunday house party at Walthamstow’s Racers Chingford Road … Scottish PA circuit organiser Tony Cochrane is now manager of Dundee’s brand new Tokyo Joe’s, with Ian Robertson as DJ … Andy Baker (Rhyl Downtown/Octagon) finds with a bit of vari-speed that Living In A Box synchs forever with ‘Set It Off’ … Steve Ogley (Oulton Broad Chequers) wonders whether, in JMO ‘Jack Is The Message’, the constant dog bark featured throughout is by a “Jack” Russell! … LAH DE DAH DE!

SIMON HARRIS has launched a new hip hop compilation LP series on his label with ‘Def Beats 1‘ (Music Of Life Records MODEF 1, via Pinnacle), continuously edited rather than mega-mixed — although, in his alter ego of NOMIS SIRRAH, he climaxes it with a 0-93-0bpm ‘Powerplay Megamix‘. London’s Derek Boland contributes a viable UK answer to Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince in the James Brown break-cutting 99bpm DEREK B ‘Rock The Beat‘, and also previously unreleased anywhere are the beat-cutting female rap 91bpm SPARKY D ‘Sparky’s In The Place‘, fast-talking youthful 93⅓bpm FATHER MC ‘My Beat‘, rock-guitared 0-83½-0bpm BEWARE AFFAIR ‘Def Beat‘, MC-popping 95bpm BLUZ BROS ‘Bluz Bros‘, while already known are the story song 0-91 bpm DANA DANE ‘Delancey Street’, scratching 86½bpm SPYDER D ‘My Whole Life Flashed’, US original 102½bpm VICIOUS RUMOR CLUB ‘Whole Lotta Love’, 90⅔bpm THE MICROPHONE PRINCE ‘Who’s The Captain’.


2 PUERTO RICANS, A BLACKMAN AND A DOMINICAN ‘Do It Properly!’ (US Fierce Records FR 1000)
Really, that’s the name on the label! Their speedily snicking 124¼bpm jack track kicks off with terrifying rippling and romping piano, the same player then pumping an organ before “jack your body” gets sampled and things keep getting crazier — very exciting (the same track repeats as flip).

ULTRA MAGNETIC MC’s ‘Traveling At The Speed Of Thought’ (US Next Plateau NP5008)
Excellent singsong chanting and scratching 111bpm jaunty sparse rap which keeps cutting the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’ into its ‘Honky Tonk Woman’-type tempo, great fun and sure to be big (dub too, plus the disjointed jittery 0- 104⅓-0bpm ‘MC’s Ultra (Part II)‘ and break beat-cutting short 106⅓bpm ‘B-Boy Bonus Break’).

WHISPERS ‘Rock Steady’ (US Solar V-71153)
A much used title over the years, although here a new song, this jauntily trotting 116⅓bpm singalong swayer is vintage Whispers, with clipped choruses and a lean arrangement so immediately recognisable as their timeless style that, cleaner recording apart, it sounds little different from their revived oldies (inst flip, and 1984’s lovely Philly-ish 66¼bpm ‘Are You Going My Way’). Continue reading “April 25, 1987: 2 Puerto Ricans A Blackman And A Dominican, Ultra Magnetic MC’s, Whispers, Kinkina, Eleanore Mills”

April 18, 1987: Jim Bennett & His Bumpin Crew, Carey Johnson, True Mathematics, Benetta & Kevin, Wired


POLYDOR are starting a new dance label called Urban as a replacement for, and expansion of, Boiling Point — first release at the end of April will be Maceo & The Macks, followed by Cindy Valentine, Jackson Sisters ‘I Believe In Miracles’, Manu Dibango ‘Makossa 87‘ … Circa Records have circulated key shops with pre-release copies of the instantly strong-selling Hindsight ‘Heaven’s Just A Breath Away (The Bliss Mix)‘, a gentle jiggly 105½bpm tugging swayer due commercially in a different format on April 27, without the pre’s 104⅚bpm Paradise Lost dub mix flip … London are promoting their ‘The House Sound Of Chicago Volume 2’ double LP with a strictly promo-only 33⅓rpm four-track 12 inch containing two 126bpm mixes of last summer’s Adonis ‘No Way Back’, the 0-120bpm Hercules ‘7 Ways’ (here retitled ‘7 Ways To Jack’), and the slowed down 114⅔bpm Mr Fingers ‘Can You Feel It’ … Ben Liebrand’s more meatily altered 107bpm Extended Groove Mix of Hot Chocolate ‘Every l’s A Winner’ (EMI 12EMIX 5607) seems to be the better seller with DJs now it’s on 12 inch, and includes its own new powerfully lurching Bonus Beats … Shep Pettibone’s 113bpm remix of ‘Lessons In Love’ is, as warned, now on the B-side of the typical wordily jittering 114¾bpm Level 42 ‘To Be With You Again‘ (Polydor POSPX 855), maybe slightly more relevant to soul clubs than their last one, although I still don’t see why soul DJs continue to chart stuff like this yet ignore Dire Straits … Les Adams has given Jaki Graham a 0-79¼-83⅐-73¼bpm Megamix (EMI 12JAKI X10) that’s probably too late to salvage ‘Still In Love’, sandwiching it briefly between the Derek Bramble-duetted more soulful ‘Let’s Get Blue’, and ‘Love Under Moonlight’ … Dancin’ Danny D might have blown it this time by making his upcoming Patrice Rushen remix clodhoppingly Hi-NRG, while his Chinese-flavoured lurching 116¼-0bpm Radical Remix of the Taurus Boyz ‘Looking For A Lover’ (Cooltempo COOLS 141) is, unusually, a 33⅓rpm seven inch — too unusually, as DJs are reluctant to buy it so far … Epic look like creatively marketing Luther Vandross with Les Adams’ megamix from the Disco Mix Club … Patrice Rushen’s ‘Watch Out!’ LP is now out here (Arista 207 831), and Jody Watley’s US hit ‘Looking For A New Love‘ is finally due too, months after finished UK copes were originally circulated … Robert Brookins’ excellent value three-track UK 12 inch turns out to be only a promotional sampler, from which just ‘If I Only Knew‘ is scheduled as a future commercial A-side — MCA do it again! … Serious Records are starting another label called Needle Records, to carry a new ‘Dance Mania‘ compilation LP series, as a supplement to the ‘Upfront’ series, plus they’re releasing a beefed-up US revamp of ‘Rock The House (Medley)’, which in their version will no longer be credited to Mr K Mix by Special K … Morgan Khan actually had to buy a copy of his own original StreetSounds label’s limited-release ‘Jazz Juice 4′ LP for reference purposes, in readiness for its reappearance on his new label of the same name, all copies held in stock by the original label now of course being tied up by the bankruptcy proceedings of its parent company, Brazendown Ltd — hopefully this doesn’t mean the new pressing will be dubbed from disc? … Elite, with the release of Keni Stevens’ LP, is metamorphosing with a label name change into Jam Today … Phyllis Hyman, during a sequence of songs from her starring role in ‘Sophisticated Ladies’, at her London concerts suddenly went into a whistling solo, soon followed by a harmonica solo — only this latter turned out to be actually by one of her sound men, harping away at the control console in the middle of the auditorium while she was miming at the mike! … Epping Forest Country Club had its disco burnt out by an electrical fire, only the function suite being left operational at the moment … Roy Ayers’ second show will be broadcast live from Prestatyn on Radio 1 as part of Robbie Vincent’s extended programme this Sunday, the other live act at the soul weekender being the good-time R&B Boogie Brothers Band during Saturday lunchtime, while PAs will include Mason, Chuck Stanley, Tashan, Oran ‘Juice’ Jones, Cheryl Glasgow, David Grant — the largest ever DJ team promises plenty of new music will be played, with a minimum of shaving foam, while instead of the usual radio service this time there will be live on-site studio shows, videos and movies relayed to every chalet’s colour TV set by LWT (this one being Live Wire Television!) … I see that even some of the DJs appearing there think that Prestatyn is in South Wales, so it was just as well we did print my directions last week for finding it (in North Wales!) … Lillo Thomas and Phyllis Hyman were the latest stars to be spotted grooving at Gullivers, which finally moves from Mayfair in July to even more central London premises, where Graham Gold will still DJ at the weekends — plus he’ll be doing PR for the club by day, and is looking for other possible users of his many contacts (on 0923-42983, office hours), should any plugging-type people be interested … Tilly Rutherford, working now on acts like Hazell Dean out of Pete Waterman’s studio, is setting up a DJ mailing list to be run by ‘Aitch’, at PWL Empire, 4/7 The Vineyard, Sanctuary Street, London SE1 1QL … Paul Quinton is starting a mailing list for Hi-NRG/house-type DJs at Big Top Music, 66 Mollison Road, Meir, Stoke-On-Trent ST3 7AG … Jeff Thomas, the soul man at Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard even on Mondays, has started a Wednesday Hi-NRG night and is after the right sort of guest DJs (good looking mixers) and PAs for it on 0792-702034 … Chris ‘Connie’ Crooks now Hi-NRGises Derby’s gay Rising Sun Fri/Sat/Sun/Wed, and Dimensions at Derby’s Fifth Dimension the third Monday of every month (I presume Bank Holiday makes no difference?) … Ian Levine’s various artists Hi-NRG compilation LP ‘That Nightmare Sound Volume 1‘ (Nightmare MARELP 1) confusingly shares not only some artists but also almost exactly the same sleeve design as ZYX Records’ US-issued ‘The Best Of Eurobeat Volume 1‘ … Sharon Redd’s kid sister Pennye Ford has replaced Mary Davis as lead singer in the SOS Band … Club Nouveau topped Billboard’s US 12 Inch Sales … Maze broke ZZ Top’s T-shirt sales record at Wembley Arena … Brighton’s Rhino reopens this Friday (17) in the seafront’s West Beach Hotel, def beats being spun by Steve Clancy, Warrick McGinty and rm’s own ace design editor Graham ‘Beastie’ Black (the Rhino Bro’ himself!) … Easter Day (19) Bolts returns to Boscombe’s Academy for a one-off special with Adrian Dunbar, while down the road on Bank Holiday Monday (20) at Bournemouth’s CoCo’s noon alldayer, Chris Dinnis heads the jazz ‘n’ soul DJ line-up … Monday lunchtime also finds Rick Robinson with a jazz and R&B session at Chertsey Bridge Cricketers — where Chris Brown does Sunday lunchtimes (when not at Prestatyn) now that Ascot’s Belvedere Arms has lost its music licence … Sly & Robbie are at Nottingham Rock City’s Easter Day alldayer, Birmingham Millionaires on Easter Monday, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Walkers Wed (22), Leeds Warehouse Thur (23), Manchester Hacienda (24), Brixton Fridge Sat (25) … LWR’s Gary Smith and Angela have named their baby James, and even considered asking my permission … LAH DE DAH DE!

PHYLLIS HYMAN had the dubious pleasure of my company at dinner, during which the stunning six-foot soulstress proved a messy and enthusiastic eater who really likes upmarket UK cooking — she actually took up smoking last month just to lose weight, which seems a bit drastic! When the subject of her historic unrobing in ‘Oui’ magazine was raised, she ripped open her cleavage and declared, “I have great boobs, I’m not ashamed of what I did! They only showed my top half, and backside, and ran nine pages of photographs together with nine pages of interview, something which they never normally do.” (Mel & Kim, eat your hearts out!) These enjoyable aspects of the meal apart, she also revealed that she’ll be singing in Spike Lee’s next movie ‘School Days’, she was meant to have recorded (and still wants to do) ‘Passion And Pain’ with producer Nick Martinelli, she confessed to her original mentor Norman Connors that she thinks he’s a terrible drummer (but a better producer), she wants to record in different foreign languages, and do a one woman show like her friend Dee Dee Bridgewater (who took over her role in the Duke Ellington musical ‘Sophisticated Ladies’). Quite a lady.

C.J. CARLOS – London’s original “CJ” – is back in the West End, on Tuesdays at Hombres and Thursdays at Le Beat Route, but he still rocks the house Saturdays at Norwood’s Limelight, and Fri/Sundays at his legendary venue, Dalston’s Oasis.

Is this man the UK’s answer to Freddie Jackson? Taking the brave step of creating a soul album on which everything is delicately sinuous, with nothing raising a sweat, the somewhat Phil Fearon-ish toned KENI STEVENS ‘Blue Moods’ (Jam Today KENI LP1, via PRT) has the (0-)94bpm title track, 66bpm ‘Spend The Night’, 108⅕bpm ‘Night Moves’, 100bpm ‘Too Much Too Soon’, 91⅙bpm ‘Passionate’, 38⅝/77¼bpm ‘Shine’, 87bpm ‘Cannot Live Without Your Love’. Move over Alexander, tell Chuck Stanley the news!


JIM BENNETT & HIS BUMPIN CREW ‘Bump & Roll (Give Up The Funk)’ (Bluebird BRT 36)
Apparently due for rush release in competition with Go Go Lorenzo & The Davis/Pinckney Project’s disappointing follow-up, this similarly styled though far superior 102⅚bpm go go bubbler is really infectious and quietly commercial in the same well arranged mellow way as ‘You Can Dance (If You Want To)’, with simple catchy synth, nice piano, swaying jiggly beats, and rhythmically rambling Chuck Brown-style exhortations (inst flip).

CAREY JOHNSON ‘Real Fashion (Reggae Style)’ (10 Records TENT 170)
From Charlie Gillet’s Oval imprint, this fabulous happy calypso style (0-)95bpm dated reggae chugger can’t help but make all who hear it feel good, and is already hot on London’s radio (dub flip), a possible smash.

TRUE MATHEMATICS and the Invisible Empire ‘After Dark’ (Champion CHAMP 12-44)
Rapping Mr Mathematics (but to you, True) casually chats about the night people on a hauntingly weaving 95-94⅔bpm swayer with a tugging beat that surges through scratched-in go go percussion and bursts of siren-like synth — on its less gimmicky way almost another ‘Amityville’ – flipped by the more urgently jolting 96⅓bpm ‘Greeks In The House‘ (dubs too). Fresh! Continue reading “April 18, 1987: Jim Bennett & His Bumpin Crew, Carey Johnson, True Mathematics, Benetta & Kevin, Wired”

April 11, 1987: Junior Gee & The ‘A’ Team, Sybil, Prince, Swing Out Sister, Jason


MORGAN KHAN has retained the label name StreetSounds (its parent company Brazendown Ltd being what filed for bankruptcy), and with new backing and a distribution deal via PRT intends to continue the label’s previous activities as of the end of this month, re-launching ‘Jazz Juice 4‘, ‘Hip Hop 16‘, another in the ‘Anthems’ series, and a new limited edition ‘StreetSounds Preview‘ series containing unreleased US masters, the new sister label equivalent of Streetwave being called (as hinted last week) Westside, although no releases are scheduled for that yet — his entire operation will be scaled down and starting as if from scratch, out of new smaller Ealing premises (which include a studio though), and so as not to dissipate his money and talent he has had to cancel the live rap festival UK Fresh ’87 after all … Germany’s BCM label has released a house Maxi-CD, ‘House Sound Of Chicago (CD Jack Attack)‘ (German DJ International Records D.J. 50-1007-44), containing Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley ‘Jack Your Body (Monty Remix)’, Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk & Jesse Saunders featuring Darryl Pandy ‘Love Can’t Turn Around (Farley Remix 2)’, Raze ‘Jack The Groove’, and the Mic Mac Meyers-mixed ‘The House Sound Of Chicago Megamix (Latin Mix)’ … LPs now out here include, from the same German source and here confusingly re-titled, the Trax Records double album compilation ‘The House Sound Of Chicago Volume 2 (Chicago Trax)‘ (London LON DP 32), plus the recently reviewed Lillo Thomas ‘Lillo’ (Capitol TC-EST 2031), Full Circle’s re-named First Circle ‘Boys’ Night Out’ (EMI America TC-AML 3118), Juicy ‘Spread The Love’ (Epic 450480 1) … Champion won’t now be releasing Kinkina ‘Jungle Fever’ until next month, although enough white labels have escaped to the right people to chart it, the Chakachas-originated (theirs is still available on Old Gold) throbbing panter being in a Phil Harding & Pete Waterman-remixed new 100bpm Megamix, a DJ StreetsAhead-scratched fresh 100bpm Skratch Fever version, plus the 99⅔bpm Original from around four years ago … Mel & Kim ‘Respectable’ has been out for nearly a fortnight in yet another Phil Harding-remixed 122½-122-122½bpm Shop Mix (Supreme Records SUPETZ 111), beat switching and frantic without improving on the main hit version, which this remix more closely resembles … Lola’s complete US 12 inch mixes are at last out here (Syncopate 12SYX 1), always better to my mind than the UK concoctions … Shep Pettibone’s currently imported 113bpm remix of ‘Lessons In Love’ will be on the B-side of Level 42’s UK follow-up next week … Norman Harris, guitarist/arranger/producer and one of the main creators of the mid-Seventies Philly Sound (he was a member of MFSB), died of heart failure in Philadelphia on March 20 … Radio London, wanting to contribute more to London’s oldies-swamped night-life than yet more repetition of ‘I Found Lovin’’ at their Soul Night Out, start a Nite FM Club Night at Kentish Town’s Town & Country Club this Saturday (11), with Dave Pearce, Pete Tong, Nicky Holloway, Gilles Peterson, Roger Johnson, Julian Palmer and Gary Crowley spinning crucial upfront rather than rare grooves – on a more sombre note, their Soul Night Out last Thursday at Leicester Square’s Empire Ballroom had a stabbing fatality … North Sea-based Laser will be back by the end of the month on 576AM, with a daytime black station WEZE starting in June on both AM and 10 kilowatt stereo FM, which should reach East London, Kent, and through East Anglia in stereo with the AM (Medium Wave) signal obviously getting far further … Yomi presents a one hour non-stop mix party Saturdays at 11pm on LWR … Graeme Park, the def dude, has one of his funky Glint nights at Derby’s Blue Note this very Thursday (9) … Romford’s glittery Hollywood nightclub opens Friday (10), with resident jocks Gary Sutton, John Tingley and Cosmic … Simon Dunmore spins real soul (fairly rare) at Hayes’ Keats winebar Sundays and at Uxbridge’s Abrook Arms fortnightly Fridays (this week) … Jody Watley (still not out here) replaced Company B ‘Fascinated’ atop Billboard’s US Club Play chart, last week’s highest new entry being Kissing The Pink’s house tempoed ‘Certain Things Are Likely‘, which should have done more here … Larry Blackmon didn’t only produce Bobby Brown’s ‘Girl Next Door’, he’s also directed its video … The Soul Club ‘I Want Your Guy‘ sounds like Jocelyn Brown ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’ with reason: now it’s no longer just on white label, I see it too was prod/penned by Allen George & Fred McFarlane (while in the US, on MCA, it’s already been remixed by Timmy Regisford) … Champion picked up True Mathematics, and – rather than their pop label, Polo – the blatantly Hi-NRG Paul Lekakis … TV-am’s daily play behind Mad Lizzy’s workouts would appear to have helped Judy Boucher’s chart climb, which proves it’s an MoR hit … Rough Trade will be reissuing next month CeIlulOid’s old catalogue, including the Fab 5 Freddy source of that much-scratched “fresh” … Kool & The Gang appear to be the Hot Chocolate of the Eighties (think about it!) … LAH DE DAH DE!


JUNIOR GEE & THE ‘A’ TEAM ‘The Terminator (Remix)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRWX 63)
Damon Rochefort’s reproduction of ‘The Terminator’ movie soundtrack is cut right down (minus all the amusing bits) in this UK rap’s rather brittle 96⅓bpm remix, with a spikily jittering new rhythm track and increased attention paid to Sharon Dee Clark’s ‘Mind Blowing Decisions’ hookline, plus some scratching by Chris Mackintosh, but for me its main appeal is now missing — even if it is allegedly better for dancefloors like this.

SYBIL ‘Let Yourself Go’ (Champion CHAMP 12-42)
Due here whenever Champion decide to switch from white label to full commercial availability, something they often delay for weeks if not months, this massive import smash is a haunting smoothly skittering and skipping soulfully warbled easily flowing flier in 121-120½-121¼-120½-120¼bpm Club and much more even 120¼bpm alternative Paradise Mixes, joined here by an 112½bpm remix of her older ‘Falling In Love’ hit.

PRINCE ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ LP (Paisley Park WX 88)
Still idiosyncratic though far more accessible than of late, this double LP’s dance tracks are the Paris-recorded live joyously bounding 114¾-114⅔-113-112-114-113⅔-113-113⅓bpm ‘It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night’ stomper, jauntily jumping 115¾-0bpm ‘Housequake‘ (actually led by someone called Camille with James Brown brass and paartaying background), lovely lazily swaying 63½-62½bpm ‘Slow Love‘, slinky chanting funk 109-108½bpm ‘Hot Thing‘, bouncily thudding 95½bpm ‘Strange Relationship‘, hoarsely strained tapping 120-0bpm ‘It‘, wailing vintage sweet soul-style 32-32¼/64½-0bpm ‘Adore‘, shuffling gently jogging Isleys-ish 102½bpm ‘The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker‘ (with wowing tones), fast striding rock (0-)122¼bpm ‘U Got The Look‘, and typically frantic (0-)197½-98¾-0bpm ‘Play In The Sunshine‘. Continue reading “April 11, 1987: Junior Gee & The ‘A’ Team, Sybil, Prince, Swing Out Sister, Jason”

April 4, 1987: Cameo, Fleetwood Mac, Jim Bennett & His Bumpin Crew, Lillo Thomas, The Whispers


WESTSIDE STORY: Ealing entrepreneur Morgan Khan’s new label signs a distribution deal this week, so no details have been made public yet, although I understand its finance is largely from Indian and US sources … Pete Tong was indeed creating a scam, last week’s moody white label 128½bpm house instrumental credited as ‘The Bootleg — The Rare Grooves’ turning out to be commercially the B-side (actually subtitled ‘The Rare Groove Bootleg‘) from Arthur Baker’s 128¼bpm Club Senseless remix of – ulp! we’ve been had! – Fine Young Cannibals ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ (London LONXR 121) … Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis’s new (0-)114¼-114½bpm Manic Mix of Herb Alpert ‘Keep Your Eye On Me’ has indeed got chugging gospel organ, scratched-in girls going “funky” and just the Tijuana trumpet breaks, flipped on promo by an intro-less 114bpm instrumental of the hit version with, if anything, extra trumpet … Marshall Jefferson ‘House Music Anthem’ still has too many legal problems for RCA to release it here after all, despite pressing up 1,500 white labels … Charly won’t have Anita Baker’s ‘Angel’ here either, as they never clinched a deal – shame … Rhythm King’s £5.99 double album, Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers ‘Live ’87’ (Flame Records MELT LP3) includes as the stronger sides three and four, the previously imported jazzy ‘Go Go Swing‘ and ‘Here We Go Again‘ 12 inch medleys — and if you think I’m about to BPM a live go go double LP, I’m afraid you’ve another think coming! … Funkin’ Marvellous Records and Steinar share as main man George Hargreaves, who’s thus been able to promo back-to-back from both labels a teasingly introed 118⅔bpm Mark Berry remix of Lee Prentiss ‘U Me’ and a 0-112⅔-0bpm M&M remix of Mezzoforte’s chunkily jittering vocal ‘No Limit’ … Haywoode’s revival of ‘I’m Your Puppet’ was produced in Philadelphia by Nick Martinelli, a detail that might have helped had it been mentioned on the white labelled promos … Debut picked up Bobby McClure … Champion’s overdue reissue of Kinkina ‘Jungle Fever‘ will include a new scratch version by DJ StreetsAhead … Portsmouth label Domino Records’ next reissue will be the Michael Zager Band ‘Let’s All Chant’ … ‘Paul Revere’ for some reason has now replaced ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ on the Beastie Boys’ 12 inch … UK 12 inch pressings may soon have to contain only a maximum 20 minutes of music, and twin-packed singles seem certain to be a thing of the past … MCA Records in the US have issued seven of their current black hits on cassette maxi-single, a test-marketed ploy being tried by other labels there too, fine for Walkman wearers but less so for DJs should this trend ever replace vinyl (or CD) … Fourth & Broadway label manager Ian Dewhirst sensibly suggests that, as well as standardised rules being applied to future Technics DJ Mixing Championships to prevent any ugly misunderstandings, the competition might also benefit from being split into two separate categories, for gimmicky showmanship and for scratch-type technique … Manchester mixer Rob Manley is now packing ‘em in and breaking new music at Wakefield’s Roof Top Gardens/Cassanovas, which has encouraged him to compile a mailing list of the North’s top club jocks in an effort to service them with new product and help break it further throughout that area — send full work details to him at 42 Emery Avenue, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 2LF, provided you work either side of the Pennines and play more than the hits … Peter King (0675-63554) is updating the Midlands’ mailing list for SuperJocks, and after mid-week PAs for his own venue, Madisons … Nicky Holloway’s Rockley Sands soul weekender attracted a proper soul club crowd, with no shaving foam but a good atmosphere, and will be repeated on October 16-18 … Sunday (5) Birmingham Powerhouse’s 3pm alldayer has a DJ throwdown including UK finalists Scooby Swift and kitchen sink-toting Johnny Jay … Chuck Stanley, Tashan and Oran ‘Juice’ Jones, with busy duettist Alyson Williams in support, comprise a Def Jam US Soul Attack tour over Easter, hitting Manchester International Club (18), Nottingham Rock City (19), London Camden Palace (20/21) … Rick Robinson’s jazz plus lager at 60p a pint are packing Saturday lunchtimes at Chertsey Bridge’s Cricketers … Bournemouth Clouds’ Monday ‘Soul Train’ has new school Alan Matthews and old school Paul Anthony varying the vintages on the two back-to-back floors … Pete Haigh, souling Blackpool’s The Club on Fridays, above Talbot Square’s Rumours, is desperate for the seven inch Silk ‘I Can’t Stop‘ and will swop Randy Brown ‘Always In The Mood‘ on 0253-824156 … Shirley Murdock’s new US 12 inch of her crawling ‘Go On Without You‘ slowie is flipped by the just UK-issued ‘As We Lay (Horizontal Mix)‘ in a much louder pressing … Rob Moir says thanks and goodbye to all at his Chester and North Wales venues as he jets off to Spain for the summer season … James Lewis (Swansea Whispers Thursday) is probably not alone spotting similarities in the rhythm between Tullio De Piscopo and the early Seventies Italian hit, Adriano Celentano ‘The Language Of Love‘ … Peter Sievewright (Perth Yorky’s) wonders whether Jimmy Ruffin ‘What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted’ will make it onto a 501’s commercial … Lola’s ‘Wax The Van’ title in black American slang apparently means “going in by the back door”, if you get my drift … shoot me through the grease, LAH DE DAH DE!

SIMON GOFFE (left) this Thursday (2) starts a new Across The Tracks night at Camden Lock’s Dingwalls in London, featuring all sorts of black music with the help of regular guests, beginning this week with rare groover Norman Jay (right), then funkster Nicky Holloway (centre left) and jazzer Gilles Peterson. Of course another name for the night could have been Canal Street Blues…

GRAEME PARK built Nottingham’s The Garage into a legend but has now moved with his upfront funk to that city’s newer The Barracuda, in Hurt’s Yard, every Tues/Saturday, leaving him more time to gig on other nights around the country. The dude is def.

Last week I mentioned how during some friendly banter with her, I gradually realised that it was none other than DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER (above, with yours truly) who was standing beside me at Maze’s Hippodrome party (not difficult to deduce, as there aren’t many Paris-based Americans currently appearing in the West End!) She’s playing Billie Holiday in the one-woman show ‘Lady Day’, which from April 10 is transferring from the Donmar Warehouse to the legit Piccadilly Theatre for a two month run. Also, just out here is her jazz trio-backed ‘Live In Paris’ LP (Affinity AFF172), not for dancing but great listening. Be like her number one fan, Steve Davis, and catch her if you can!

Established as a soul DJ around Camberley for the last ten years, Phonogram’s new disco plugger (and Buddy Holly lookalike) now really does have to spell his name as JOHNNY WALKER, to prevent confusion between his proper spelling and Radio One’s prodigal son Johnnie Walker!


CAMEO ‘Back And Forth’ (Club JABX 49)
Drastically remixed and opened out, their album’s hottest track now has a disjointedly jacking stereo title line vocal intro before the smacking 111⅔pm beat starts strutting jauntily through different phases to reach at last the catchily repeating roundelay lyrics, although the whole thing ends up overall with more instrumental than singing, gunshots and gurgling electronic voices punctuating the freakier dub (dustbins rattled and organ chorded itchy staccato 112¾bpm ‘You Can Have The World‘, too). Uniquely Cameo.

FLEETWOOD MAC ‘Big Love’ (Warner Bros W8398T)
I know it seems extraordinarily improbable, but this is house! Surging through 0-125¾-125½-125¾-125½bpm ‘Set If Off’ cymbal, pounding piano, jack track stutters and a typical episodic Chicago structure, its only prevented from being totally authentic by just a tiny bit of vocal early on. Honest! The irony is it’ll probably be the first crossover house hit in the States.

JIM BENNETT & HIS BUMPIN CREW ‘Bump & Roll (Give Up The Funk)’ (US Studio Records STU-1411)
Deserving to take over where Lorenzo Queen left off as easily the best and most commercial go go since ‘You Can Dance (If You Want To)’, this similarly well arranged infectiously weaving 103⅙bpm bumpy bubbler has a deadly simple synth riff and some nice neat piano fills behind Jim’s rhythm-riding exhortations (inst flip). Continue reading “April 4, 1987: Cameo, Fleetwood Mac, Jim Bennett & His Bumpin Crew, Lillo Thomas, The Whispers”