ODDS ‘N’ BODS
WHITNEY HOUSTON may be flavour of the moment in the pop charts, but did you know, prior to her Arista debut, she contributed the Bill Laswell-produced ‘Memories‘ on a Material album about four years ago on CellulOid … Disco Mix Club have released a full two hour long VHS video of the Royal Albert Hall 1987 Technics World DJ Mixing Championship Finals (£29 from DMC Ltd, PO Box 89, Slough SL1 8NA, England), showing every competitor in colourful close-up for armchair critics to judge for themselves, plus the Janet Jackson, Alexander O’Neal, Jam & Lewis all-star awards presentation. It’s a professional production which cost £15,000 to make, and is worth seeing even if you were there … Herb Alpert has followed his tightrope-walking video with another brilliant one for ‘Diamonds’, with an hilarious comedy prologue in which buck-toothed disco DJ “Bucky” is finally persuaded by a plugger to play the record — a situation every jock will enjoy! … New York’s New Music Seminar looks likely to include a special British Dance Night showcase at one of the city’s top nightclubs, probably the Palladium, featuring 15 UK acts … Cooltempo managed to grab the UK singles rights for Eric B and Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’, following an earlier deal with the act, although their current US label Fourth & Broadway will have their upcoming LP here … Mirage, apparently selling well in the pop chart although still has much to do in the DJ charts, now has yet another 124bpm ‘Jack Mix III‘ (Debut DEBTR 3022) featuring this time ‘Living In A Box/Can U Dance/Jack Your Body/Showing Out/Respectable/Axel F/Jackin’/Do It Properly/Male Stripper/House Nation/Underwater/Let Yourself Go’ — provided they keep updating it with current hits, is there any reason why the idea shouldn’t run and run, for years on end? … Man To Man’s official ‘Male Stripper’ follow-up, already on a white label, here couples as double A-side the crass 129½bpm ‘Energy Is Eurobeat‘ with Paul Zone & Man Parrish’s current zingily racing 130-0bpm ‘I Need A Man‘ (Bolts BOLTS 5-12), the latter of course a now much altered Grace Jones oldie … MCA Records’ latest Solar oldie four-tracker is of Shalamar (SHALT 5), whose material has been reissued recently already, containing the classic sinuous 108⅓bpm ‘A Night To Remember’, lurching 102½-102¾bpm ‘There It Is’, dated 117bpm ‘Take That To The Bank’ and 127bpm ‘Uptown Festival’ … Capitol have reissued last October’s soulfully worried pent-up slow 0-38½/77bpm Freddie Jackson & Melba Moore ‘A Little Bit More‘ (12CL 446), following both singers’ sustained US success … US LPs recently reviewed in full on import and now out here are The Whispers ‘Just Gets Better With Time’ (Solar MCF 3381) and Norwood ‘Can’t Let You Go’ (MCA Records MCF 3381), both excellent soul sets … Donna Allen ‘Serious’ has now been marketed in a dubbier 0-110¼bpm Delirious Mix (Portrait 650744 8) … Herbie Laidly has added a bassier 119½-0bpm beat to make Company B ‘Fascinated (Mastermind Herbie Remix)‘ (Bluebird BRTX 35) a little bit more house than Miami … 10 Records have promoted T La Rock’s LP with a strictly promo-only 12 inch sampler containing the now 89-0bpm ‘Lyrical King‘, 100⅓bpm ‘This Beat Kicks‘, 104¾bpm ‘It’s Time To Chill‘, 89⅚-0bpm ‘Big Beat In London‘, serviced to mailing list DJs which may influence any subsequent chart action, diverting attention from the actual album … North Wales’s veteran jock Alan Taylor has opened his own record shop, Right Trax Records in Rhyl’s, Piazza Centre, offering discounts to DJs … Nottingham’s def dude Graeme Park has a recording project called Submission he keeps playing off successive tapes — so when’s it going to reach vinyl, then? — and no doubt he’ll be debuting ‘Submission 8′ (or whatever number it’s up to) this Friday (May 29) when he, Winston Hazel, Ping Pong, Parrot, Jass AB plus guest PAs funk ‘n’ jazz Sheffield City Hall 10pm-2am … Monday (June 1) Dave Pearce — no longer souling the afternoon now that Susie Barnes is back — presents Radio London’s 10pm A Fresh Start To The Week live from Camden Palace with hip hoppers Faze One, Derek B, Three Wise Men, Roger Johnson … Charing Cross Heaven next Friday (June 5), for its first Motown night in four years, presents the original Velvelettes, Martha Reeves and the reformed Vandellas, and Marv Johnson! … Le Palais, Hammersmith, reopens to the general public next Saturday (June 6) following two VIP nights, with Dave Munday as resident DJ/promotions manager … Brighton Montis XXI in Montpelier Road has funk/house/rap/go-go every Monday with Mick Fuller, plus jazz/Latin upstairs … Glen Gunner has started two weekly clubs, Blow Your Head at Soho’s Paramount City in Great Windmill Street every Tuesday with guest DJs (and rappers/scratchers invited on 01-578 3673), plus Blow Your Head (Again) on Thursday in jazz jock Paul Murphy’s new venue The Cat at 307 Finchley Road (corner Lithos Road) London, the fare at both being rare groove, rap, house, Sixties soul … Ian Reading has turned Thursday at Southend Zero 6 into hip hop night, but seems a bit confused calling hip hop “a new trend flooding New York at the moment” and then saying the evening will feature house and go-go, too! … Simon Dunmore and Ivor Jones play rare and real soul at Hayes’ Keats Winebar Sundays, the Rhythm Zone night having become a regular fixture the first Thursday every month at Northolt’s C&L Country Club … Ken ‘B’ Brudenell, having left his Mecca promotions post, has returned to jocking Thursday/Fridays at Luton Coliseum … Lowestoft Ziggies has added a seafront ‘real music’ bar called Rumours, playing mainly soul, funk, house and some MoR (eh?) with Paul Allen from the disco upstairs its frequent DJ … Steve Day has moved to Milton Keynes where he spins house/jazz/soul Sundays 6-7.30pm on the local CRMK 90.6FM, and seems to be gigging at just about every disco in the area … Jerry Hipkiss for the summer season now souls Severn Sound 102.4FM from 7-9pm Saturdays, followed 9-11pm by Ivanhoe Campbell’s reggae … US rap LPs of so-so specialist interest include the latest from the Fat Boys, with a track actually featuring the Beach Boys that combines the old ‘Papa Oom Mow Mow’ and ‘Wipeout’ (its title)! … Norwood’s UK follow-up will be the Colonel Abrams-ish ‘Give It Up‘ rather than the slower US choice — and, speaking of Colonel, where’s he been for the last year? … Judge Dread is resurfacing with one of his periodical send-ups, turning ‘Jack Your Body’ into the probably fairly dubious ‘Jerk Your Body‘ … Tina Charles ‘I Love To Love’ in its DMC Records remix by Sanny X has sold over 600,000 copies in Europe … John Sinclair (Loughborough Sammys) and Gary Hickson (Blackburn Kaleidoscope/Peppermint Place) both tip that One Way and Cameo synch superbly together, Kev Ashton (Newquay Frizzbys) similarly tips Lillo Thomas ‘I’m In Love’ blends imperceptibly with Herb Alpert ‘Keep Your Eye On Me’, and Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers) runs Joyce Sims with Black Britain … Def Jam’s recently touring Tashan, Chuck Stanley and Oran ‘Juice’ Jones have done noticeably worse with their current singles than Mason, for whom exposure to the crowd at Livewire’s Prestatyn weekender was not considered a waste of time – and Prestatyn probably didn’t hurt Maceo & The Macks, either! … LAH DE DAH DE!
TOM WILSON every Saturday at 6.30pm on Radio Forth broadcasts the Scottish Dance Chart, compiled from 100 disco jocks’ returns by First Class Radio & Club Promotions, whose Bill Grainger then repeats it during his Sunday wee small hours Hi-NRG show at 3am on Radio Clyde. As Scotland’s jocks are a law unto themselves, this makes immense good sense!
T LA ROCK ‘Lyrical King (From The Boogie Down Bronx)’ LP (10 Records DIX 52)
On this ponderously heavy specialist rap set, Mantronik only produces the old 98bpm ‘Back To Burn’ and helps on the break beat-cutting 100½bpm ‘This Beat Kicks‘, T LA and Louie Lou being joined by human beat box Greg Nice for the 89½-0bpm title track, amusing 0-86⅔-0bpm ‘Tudy Fruity Judy‘, 10 minute chattering hip hop hoedown 0-110-113-116-0bpm ‘Live Drummin’ With The Country Boy‘, 93⅙-0bpm ‘Bust These Lyrics‘, 90-0bpm ‘Big Beat In London’, 105bpm ‘It’s Time To Chill’, plus the totally human ‘Having Fun/Three Minutes Of Beat Box‘.
JOYCE SIMS ‘Lifetime Love’ (London LONX 137)
Already massive in soul clubs thanks to a mixture of advance promos and import copies, this Mantronik-produced plaintively small voiced haunting subtle 107½bpm monotonous ticking jitterer has had its six US mixes here reversed and reduced so that Soft Club is now the main A-side Jazzy Beat, Hard Dub 2 the Jazzy Dub, Hard Club (America’s A-side) the Def Beat, and Hard Dub and Def Dub.
DAVID SANBORN ‘Chicago Song (Extended Version)’ (Warner Bros W8392T)
Writer/producer Marcus Miller’s tighter 104bpm remix of the saxist’s bluesily jogging jazz-funk instrumental is so sneakily catchy that it could easily be a crossover hit here. I hope so! Continue reading “May 30, 1987: T La Rock, Joyce Sims, David Sanborn, Faze One, Sweet Heat”