ODDS ‘N’ BODS
Stock Aitken Waterman’s disappointing ‘Pack Jammed (With The Party Posse)’ is also due on December 13 in a far better (0-)99¼-0bpm Writ Mix (Breakout USAF 620, flipped by the (0-)99¼bpm original), with lots of snips from the team’s other hit productions and John Sachs laying off on the “skiddendaddy” to play instead a high court judge who, by the use of amusing cut ups, seems to be trying M|A|R|R|S for sampling the scream from ‘Roadblock’ – this could indeed make the record sub judice as the “guilty” verdict might be seen to influence the real court case that’s pending! … Les Adams’ 115(intro)-114⅓-114¼-114½-114¾-114⅔-115bpm Montana Sextet ‘Heavy Vibes (Remix)’ (10 Records TEN 204-12), without the benefit of the original master tape, nevertheless incorporates a sax solo and other instrumentation from a previously unheard seven inch version (plus a sneaky ‘Don’t Stop’ reference to his own LA Mix hit!), but don’t expect anything radically different … Third World’s percussion from ‘Now That We Found Love’ and lots more besides is sampled throughout the much wilder 119⅔-120bpm Krush ‘House Arrest (Burn Down The House Mix)’ (Club JABXR 63), flipped by the more acid house-like Rhythim Is Rhythim and other sample-filled 120bpm ‘Jack’s Back (To Frontline Mix)’ … M|A|R|R|S’ 113bpm US remix of ‘Pump Up The Volume’ (US 4th + B’way BWAY 452) has had its samples carefully vetted, and includes a new “Mars needs women” overlaid 113¼-0bpm Bonus Beat … Derek B’s Urban Respray of Eric B & Rakim, on finished pressings rather than the acetate I reviewed, is a steady 98bpm … Ofra Haza’s ‘Im Nin’alu’, the wailing Yemenite folk song featured in the Coldcut mix of ‘Paid In Full’, has now been given a jittery tugging 0-89½bpm disco beat by its original Israeli producer for two back-to-back remixes on limited white label (GlobeStyle OFRA 1, via Ace Records) … Keith Sweat’s excellent import LP has been rushed out here (Vintertainment/Elektra 960 763-1), along with Modernique (Sire 925 633-1) … WEA have usefully circulated on promo-only 12 inch the (unsegued) Dub Versions that are otherwise only available on the CD and cassette of Madonna’s ‘You Can Dance’ LP, the 118-0bpm ‘Spotlight’, 116bpm ‘Holiday’, 0-116⅓-0bpm ‘Into The Groove’, and 149¼-0bpm ‘Over And Over’ – meanwhile, her new commercial single is the swirling dreary slow 46/92bpm ‘The Look Of Love’ (Sire W8115T), no doubt another pop smash regardless … Fred Dove points out that WEA’s computerised reaction profiles of mailing list DJs’ reports dictate the company’s dance music marketing strategy, rather than any activity in rm’s dance charts that may occur as an incidental spinoff – nothing else was inferred last week, when it merely needed explaining why so many Atlantic imports keep hitting the Black Dance chart long after they were originally released, purely because they’ve been mailed out for free to DJs who never previously considered buying them when new … MCA Records, under almost totally new management here following many staff changes, are planning a proper black music department to start in the new year … Disco Mix Club – now short of office space at Tony Prince’s house and moving soon to premises on the nearby A4 between Slough and Maidenhead – managed to get all the record companies’ disco pluggers to dress up for a funny photo as choir boys (and guess who they got as Father Christmas?!) … Supreme Records’ crazy scheduling of the Dance Aid remix for release actually after the Disco Aid charity night had resulted in absolutely zilch chart reaction from DJs, and not much from sales, as of last week, by which time any reaction from November 14 should surely have been felt (the situation may now hopefully have changed) … Graeme Park reckons it’s a shame the critics only got to see the UK Jackmaster Tour at less than enthusiastic London venues, as on the tour’s opening night at Derby’s 20th Century the house went wild as Darryl Pandy, Out Of Control, Full House, Paris Grey, Joe Smooth and JM Silk featuring Keith Nunnally all jacked amongst the crowd out on the floor and sang along in the DJ booth to all the other records that Graeme was playing – altogether fierce, crucial, well wicked (and really rather good, what?) … Darryl Pandy has lost six stones since last he was here, which means he now weighs in at a mere 18 stones! … Jamie Principal’s hyped-up saga continues, Steve Silk Hurley now having done four remixes of the slower Manhattan-recorded remake version of ‘Baby Wants To Ride’, the one that’s due here on London – no doubt Pete Tong will be giving them plenty of plugs beforehand on Capital Radio! … Man To Man survivor Paul Zone is teaming up with brother Armand Zone to form the Zone Brothers, still working with Man Parrish, and debuting with a remake of Sylvester’s ‘Do You Wanna Funk’ … Jack Trax picked up the UK rights to Rhythim Is Rhythim ‘Strings’ from Neil Rushton, while Serious Records are releasing Bam-Bam ‘Give It To Me’ … The Tams’ ‘There Ain’t Nothing Like Shaggin’’, it apparently needs re-emphasising, was recorded only in 1983 and is a lot less old than many people sporting flared trousers, but also a few black guys with full afro hairstyles, po’ boy floppy caps, and flares – the full awful early Seventies Jackson 5 look! … Jay Strongman, Nicky Holloway and Simon Dunmore are tonight (Tuesday December 1) at an “I Spy” doo at Uxbridge Regals … Kashif is due as star PA at Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (3), for the first time at Reading’s Majestic … Greg Edwards confirms that reports of his jocking on an Irish radio station are unfounded, he is back in London until the building work is completed on his condo development in Grenada – and to prove it, he joins Tim Westwood, Jazzy M and various of the label’s artists this Thursday (3) when Westside Records revive the Streetwave-originated Havoc night at London’s Limelight … Robbie Vincent joins Jeff Thomas at Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard this Friday (4), when Chris Brown guests with Les Fisher and Simon Dunmore at the monthly Rhythm Zone in Northolt’s C&L Country Club … Derek B and Oliver Cheatham join Simon Goffe at this Saturday’s weekly Fever in London’s Astoria … Quila, Greenie and Kev Miller plus guest DJs this Sunday (6) have the second of their fortnightly “cult soul and jazz” nights at Ipswich’s smart La Dolce Vita in Old Foundry Road … Jeff Thomas’ Port Talbot Pharoah’s hip hop gig apparently has foundered, too … Swansea DJ James Lewis may be a bit late with his record company reaction reports for a while, as he and his wife Kim have just discovered their three year old son Christian has virtually incurable cancer – a ghastly prospect, about which I’m sure we all give them our sympathy … World mixing champ Chad Jackson spends Christmas in Australia and New Year’s Eve in Japan, scratching in Sydney, Melbourne and Tokyo, before threatening to make his vocal recording debut in 1988! … Hemel Hempstead DJ Joe Fields’ sister Sally is marrying his colleague Bob Masters next year … Capital Radio, following a disastrous lapse last year, will again have its continuous four hour party tape this New Year’s Eve created by not only myself but Les Adams too, in a co-production this time! … Les, who looks like giving David Grant renewed dancefloor credibility on future productions, points out that when both ‘Roadblock’ and ‘Pack Jammed’ are synched together, the bass drum and snare actually phase, proving they’re common to both, and that Stock Aitken Waterman merely reused the same backing track! … Paul Waller, not Weller, co-produced Black Britain’s ‘Heroin’ – that’ll teach me to read label copy while it’s going round at 45rpm! … Dance Music’s ‘Street Sounds ’87-3’ LP (DM/StreetSounds STSND 873) sneakily includes the original Candido ‘Jingo’, available again no doubt to counter and complement the Jellybean remake … I’m afraid some reviews may seem a bit late, but there just isn’t room for everything and a backlog often builds up that still deserves to be printed … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!
Graham Gold tonight (Tuesday December 1) hosts the farewell party at Mayfair’s legendary Gullivers, where he will be joined in the DJ booth by Fatman Graham Canter, the jock whose original residency at the club began the legend and made it London’s premier black music nightspot. Having shared the booth with both Grahams every weekend for about seven years, until 1984, I too will be spinning a few for old time’s sake, and there are sure to be many, many guest stars looking in as friends. Gullivers is due to move, if all goes well, to brand new premises in Soho next week – but don’t stop going to it in Mayfair yet, until I tell you when!
JON JULES (left) and NIC WAKEFIELD continue the partnership started at Uxbridge Regals when, along with John Mathews, they rock the house every Tuesday at The Bass Bin in South Harrow’s The Avenue, on Shaftesbury Avenue (no, not the one in London’s West End!), spinning rare groove, soul, house and all the funk that fits.
STEVE WALSH (seen here with Gloucester’s plucky disabled DJ, Metal Mickey) actually kicks off his new Stock Aitken Waterman-created catchily jogging 105⅔bpm ‘Let’s Get Together Tonite (The All Together Tonite Mix)’ (A1 Records 12A1303, via PRT) with his rabble rousing “say ho, ho, whoah-oh whoah-oh, you wot you wot” chants — and why not? Promo pressings also feature a separate, music-less, “Listen, this is Steve Walsh”-started short seasonal greeting for DJs to drop where they want. Genial 25 stone Steve sounds ever more like the late Eighties answer to Judge Dread.
SWEET TEE ‘I Got Da Feelin’’ (US Profile PRO-7169)
No sooner had last week’s column gone to press than this impatiently awaited import arrived and exploded in London! Brilliantly produced by Hurby Luv Bug and Steevee-O (The Boy Wonder), the female rapper does it to a dynamite 111bpm beat that’s shot through with the brass from James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’, while JB’s “yeah yeah yeah” punctuates the flip’s equally good 100½-0bpm ‘It’s Like That Y’All’, which uses the choppy guitar riff from Betty Wright’s ‘Clean Up Woman’ (both in instrumental and acappella mixes, too). Hot, or what?!
D.J. TODD 1 ‘That’s The Way I Cut’ (US Cut Up! TBO Sound CIR-156089)
Todd (One) Brown whips up timely simple party fun with James Brown-started marathon (0-)109⅔bpm scratch mix of KC & The Sunshine Band’s ‘That’s The Way I Like It’ (“uh-huh, uh-huh” – remember?), very deftly done but also in his choice of such a catchy well known singalong song an uncomplicated hip hopper that should have far wider appeal than usual at this festive time of year (edit and tough Dope Beats flip).
RICK ASTLEY ‘My Arms Keep Missing You’ (RCA PT 41684)
Promo-ed separately with a dub too, this brand new (not on LP) Stock Aitken Waterman-created typically vigorous 118bpm canterer could be the B-side factor that boosts his reverential but stodgy 0-38-0bpm A-side recreation of the strings swamped old Gordon Jenkins arrangements of the dead slow ‘When I Fall In Love’ higher in the chart than the now rush-released original, and far more subtle, 0-37⅔-0bpm NAT KING COLE ‘When I Fall In Love’ (Capitol CL 15975), from 1957 and really more deserving of hit status. Continue reading “December 5, 1987: Sweet Tee, D.J. Todd, Rick Astley, Jellybean, Flightt”