July 30, 1988: Steve Walsh, Jo Ann Jones, Longsy D + Cut Master M.C., Rick Clarke, James Brown


Urban have pressed on “promo” copies of a four-track 12 inch that contain two tracks each from their new ‘James Brown’s Funky People (Part 2)’ and ‘Urban Classics 2’ LPs, respectively 1972’s brassily burbling and tumbling (0-)96½-96-94½-97bpm Hank Ballard & The Midnight Lighters ‘From The Love Side’, 1970’s piano nagged rolling and preaching 0-99½-100-100½-0bpm Myra Barnes ‘The Message From The Soul Sisters (Parts 1 & 2)’, 1972’s squeaky early Jackson 5-style Foster Sylvers ‘Misdemeanour’, 1971’s glorious blue-eyed Philly soul swinging 117½-115½-115-116bpm The Mob ‘I Dig Everything About You’… WEA have now promoed Terrajacks ‘Houseplan’, a frenetic samples studded choppily jumping jangly 0-122¾-123-0bpm volume pumper that’s already been white labelled around Merseyside for months… Double Trouble (his mum knows him as Leigh Guest) has created a megamix for Syncopate, the 0-118-117½-117-117½-0bpm INSYNC 1, combining Brass Construction ‘Movin’’, Chris Paul ‘Turn The Music Up’ and Carol Cayne ‘What My Love Can Bring’… Warner Bros are preparing an album of remixed oldies by Chaka Khan, ‘I’m Every Woman’ being remixed by Dancin’ Danny D, ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Frankie Knuckles, ‘Slow Dancin’’ by Hank Shocklee amongst others… Steve Walsh, always one to say things for effect, actually confirmed to me that he was born in Walsall, but quite rightly his mum should know and she tells me that he was London born and bred – however, his Irish born dad did live for years in Walsall… Les Adams at Norbury’s Sussex Tavern, only a music pub and not a vast great place, raised £1,310 in just two hours for Steve Walsh’s family trust – mind you, he sold even the shirt off his back to do so!… Les has also just created a full 24 track remix of the Funky Worm ‘Hustle! (To The Music)’ but for Disco Mix Club release only – a bit of a breakthrough, the very first mix they have featured done from master tape rather than disc… Marshall Jefferson is doing a house remix of ‘Somebody Save Me’ as the follow-up for By All Means… Jellybean’s still only promoed ‘Coming Back For More (Part 1)’ is now also in a more smoothly jiggling 114½-0bpm vocal version gruffly nagged by Richard Darbyshire from Living In A Box… 88 Light + Sound Show, the annual PLASA equipment exhibition this year is at Olympia 2 in West London’s Hammersmith Road from Sunday to Wednesday, September 11-14, discount £2 advance booking forms having to be returned by August 19 – to get yours, contact PLASA, 7 Highlight House, St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, Sussex BN21 3UH (otherwise it’s £5 on the door)… Edinburgh DJ Donald Hughes, the Steve Walsh lookalike ‘Shuggy Bear’ pictured by this column back in January, still presents the Radio Forth Dance Chart on Saturdays 8-9pm, and now hosts a Sunday 2-4pm ‘The Scottish Chart’, compiled from retail sales in – you guessed – just Scotland… Lindsay Wesker has moved with Kiss Records and Goodfoot Promotions to Unit 14, Backstock Mews, Backstock Road, London N4 (01-359 2969)… Marie Birch’s new Sound Promotions address is 31 Norfolk Place, London W2, and not as misprinted last week (when it should also have been Gipsy Kings, Yello, Dave Ball, Blue Moderne, S’Xpress, Fon Force, etcetera – well, it’s probably my fault for delivering the copy late!)… Monday (August 1 – what, August already?) finds Liverpool’s Mardi Gras having another No Sell Out night, number 8, the monthly pack jammed underground house/rap/funk/reggae/soul event, while up at Darlington’s Zhivagos a £3 North East Frontline jam has the Wee Papa Girl Rappers and a DJ cast list including Hutchy, Alex Lowes, Herbie Mack spinning jazz/soul/rare groove… Swansea’s soul boyo Jeff Thomas also now hikes on Tuesdays to 5th Avenue at Torquay… Dorothy turns out to be two white girls and their reggaefied single is of Prince ‘Still Waiting’ rather than Diana Ross’s ‘I’m Still Waiting’ – which latter is what the white label promo called it… NANU NANU!


STEVE WALSH ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now (Party For The World)’ (A1 Records 12A1 304, via PRT)
Quite a revelation, the late and sadly missed giant amongst DJs sounds far more polished than before on a tasteful and really excellent long smoothly flowing (0-)111bpm revival of McFadden & Whitehead’s singalong soul anthem, starting off with doodling piano before being presented as a live performance with the crowd support increasing as Steve breaks halfway into some rap and a “party for the world” call and answer session (including an inevitable though brief “you wot, you wot?” exchange), so good that it would have been a smash regardless of the circumstances – the flip’s jiggly lurching 97bpm ‘I’ll Keep On’ is less remarkable but especially ironic.

JO ANN JONES ‘Share My Joy’ (Champion CHAMP 12-81)
Sybil’s producer James Bratton has followed the example of Jellybean and Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor by assembling an upcoming ‘The James Bratton Project’ on which his creations are performed by individually credited different artistes, first UK release from it being this excellent striding 116½bpm bubbly kicker (dub/edit too) with rippling vibes and cooing girls behind the superbly soulful unhurriedly wailing Jo Ann, a voice that’ll drive those with a taste for the old style wild!

LONGSY D. + CUT MASTER M.C. ‘To The Rhythm’ (Big One VV BIG 10)
Creating the maximum rhythm from the minimum ingredients of a resonant bass thrummed madly jaunty 93⅓-93½-93¾bpm syncopation, cutting in the Upsetters’ ‘Return Of Django’ and James Brown’s ‘Funky President’ amongst others (Dub Rap Mix/Bonus Beats flip), these beat bouncing reggae hip hoppers claim to be “like Zanussi, the appliance of science” – I’ll drink to that! Stay still if you can! Continue reading “July 30, 1988: Steve Walsh, Jo Ann Jones, Longsy D + Cut Master M.C., Rick Clarke, James Brown”

July 23, 1988: Chris Paul, Deluxe, Mr Lee, Alexander O’Neal, Al B. Sure!


Steve Walsh’s funeral was attended by so many – all the “names” in the business you can think of (apart from noticeably, the old jazz-funk “mafia”) – that most were outside the chapel in the sun listening to the service on loudspeakers, over which at the end was played ‘I Found Lovin’’, which initially gave one a start (but not as much as the unfortunate way in which the smoke from his cremation then blew down onto the departing mourners) … Paul Hardcastle was one of the very last people Steve spoke to on the telephone just before his fateful operation, asking “I’ll be alright, won’t I?” … Gary Smith and Peter Ferrant were due to have Steve with them at Romford’s Hollywood two weeks ago, so turned it into a tribute night and raised £2,900 towards his family’s trust fund (they also got 1,800 rowdy clubgoers giving him a minute’s silence!) … Thursday, August 18 is the date for the Hammersmith Le Palais benefit night for Steve’s family, which the Disco Mix Club are organising – one can see why they would leap in, but they’ve caused resentment amongst some of Steve’s longer standing colleagues … Bomb The Bass’s long awaited follow-up is a double A-side, the Merlin-featuring ‘Megablast (Hip Hop On Precinct 13)’ being another ‘Beat Dis’-type 0-114⅓-0bpm jerky shuffler full of rather tired samples, and the Lorraine-featuring ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ a reedy shrill 0-119¾-0bpm Latin hip hop jitterer, both a bit disappointing … Public Enemy’s import LP is now out here (Def Jam 452415 1) … Full Force’s remix of James Brown ‘Static’ is due here early August … Ben Liebrand has remixed the Four Seasons ‘Oh What A Night (December 1963)’, out in Europe already but unfortunately I can’t tell you what it’s like as it was only sent me on CD! – speaking of which, amongst their many other compact disc dance music releases, Germany’s BCM Records have kicked off a four-track ‘Classic Dance Tracks On CD’ series, Volume 1 (BC 50-2150-44) featuring Fred Wesley ‘House Party’, Stone ‘Time (Tic Toc Remix)’, Rod ‘Shake It Up (Do The Boogaloo)’ and Michael Zager Band ‘Let’s All Chant’ (the recent remake) … Raul featuring J Bonell ‘Guitarra’ (Spanish Blanco Y Negro), now a Euro smash, could be a Balearic Beat worth checking, probably compatible with the big instrumental remixes of both the Thrashing Doves ‘Jesus On The Payroll’ (US A&M) and Mandy Smith ‘I Just Can’t Wait’ (PWL Records), all having been reviewed at different stages in the past … Supreme Records still haven’t released the Project Club ‘Dance With The Devil’ commercially yet – originally scheduled for June, it’s finally out on July 25, by which time it’ll be far from “the first” Balearic Beat single! – the finished copy’s Balearic Mix being very slightly altered and coupled now with the also 120¼bpm but very different raucously sung house-ish ‘Amnesia (Up All Night Mix)’ alternative treatment of the same rhythm, minus any chimes … Balearic, as feared, is already being used by record companies as a tag with which to try and foist any old rubbish onto the public … Jon Jules, Glen Gunner, Jagger, Rocky and Diesel, plus Adrenalin MOD member Richie Fermié playing acid live, have turned every other Tuesday (that’s fortnightly, next one July 26) at Greenford’s Barbarellas into “the hottest Balearic night outside Spectrum” – they actually get many Spectrum and Trip regulars coming for a sweat with them! … Graham Gold’s re-edit is in fact “the more brightly remixed B-side” of the Hudson Giants, reviewed last week from inaccurate label copy, Pascal Gabriel’s remix being therefore the frankly less good A-side – Jeff Young, incidentally, played Graham’s Public Enemy megamix on Radio 1 last Friday … Cornish mixing DJ Tristan Bolinho now precedes the relayed Radio 1 chart on BBC Radio Bristol every Sunday afternoon with a well positioned soul show, which I managed to hear while driving all the way from Somerset to Bournemouth, plus he hosts what I presume also to be a soul show for two hours every weekday evening on the same station – nice work, if you can get it! … Roger Squire’s Light & Sound showroom in Manchester has combined with the local Piccadilly Sound & Light and moved as the Piccadilly Squire Megastore to new premises at 130 Broadway in Salford’s Metroplex Enterprise Zone, near the end of the M602, opening this Thursday (21) … Marie Birch is moving her Sound Promotions mailing list yet again, to 31 Norfolk Place, London W21 (01-258 0035) … Benny Wilson has graduated from DJ to manager to owner of Stoke Newington’s The Cotton Club, at 20 Stamford Hill (01-806 3765), and is looking for good mixing DJs to play acid house, rap and Seventies disco on the GL1 mixer – will his phone be hot or what?! … Johnny Kemp ‘Just Got Paid’ has actually been withdrawn prior to a full relaunch the first week in August, when Johnny will be over doing PAs, to try and boost it into equalling its US success … Shirley Lewis reckons that Bros fans have been buying her single on account of her long standing relationship with Luke Goss … Syn-Dee, whose ‘It’s Best To Be A Girl’ will be out on August 1, is young and English, and previously rapped with Boy George … Love Street, revivers of ‘Galaxy’, turn out to be Stephen Mallinder, Dave Ball and Ruthjoy from Krush … Smith & Mighty’s members and confederates, Rob Smith, Ray Mighty, Jackie Jackson, Krissy Kriss, MC Kelz and DJ Linx, are all from Bristol … Sabrina ends the rap in ‘Boys’ with the line “Every boy that’s got a c**k”, according to Vincent O’Brien of Tollcross, Glasgow, who reckons Auntie Beeb’s censorship standards have slipped in this instance! … I’ve been so swamped by the last minute arrival of overdue mail that there’s no time to review albums this week by such as Burrell (already BPM-ed in The Club Chart last week), Masters Of Ceremony, James ‘D-Train’ Williams on import, and many more out here … Burrell are twins called Ronnie and Rheji, which (spelling apart) might sound familiar! … I actually began my DJ-ing career in a club, Esmerelda’s Barn, owned by the more infamous twins, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, and as a matter of coincidence bought my mobile disco equipment exactly 20 years ago this month, and am still using it – the very first purpose built mobile unit ever made, it was built to last by Pepe Rush, who in the Sixties was the pioneer of club sound installation, the console he sold me actually being a prototype which needed to be adapted for little things like tape input/output! … NANU NANU!


CHRIS PAUL ‘Turn The Music Up (Extended Version)’ (Syncopate 12SY 13)
The West London DJ/remixer/instrumentalist’s thudding jittery scurrying 119-0bpm Players Association revival takes a while to become recognisable but then there’s no disguising the distinctive jiggly guitar and braying brass that he’s wisely retained amidst (for once!) his own breathy vocals, while the flip is a screams greeted good jittery bounding 0-118¾-0bpm ‘House On The Move’ jazzy keyboards and guitar instrumental with occasional vocoder and girls choruses, almost better than the plug side.

DELUXE ‘(I’ve Got A) Feeling’ (The Dance Yard Recording Corporation/Unyque Artists UNQ 3T, via Spartan)
Delores ‘Deluxe’ Springer follows up ‘Your Loving Drives Me Crazy’ with another sultrily crooned sparse sinuous 84½bpm bumpily jogging “street soul” swayer that was recorded in Master ‘The Beatcreator’ Tee’s bedroom studio, flipped by the equally sparse 108bpm ‘My Mama And Papa Always Told Me (Club Remix)’ and gently jiggling (0-)105bpm ‘Passionately’, with some male rap and ragged harmony, all of them enough off-key in lovers rock vocal style to give them that nagging charm.

MR LEE ‘Pump Up London (Club Mix)’ (London USAT 639)
Possibly anthemic enough to be the first real acid house crossover hit, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds, Scotland and various UK clubs being namechecked as well as London during the bursts of staccato chanting in this Mike ‘Hitman’ Wilson-mixed acid synth sizzled 125¾-126bpm thumper, flipped by a brand new 125½bpm Acid Dub and the import’s 125¾-0bpm Acid Mix of ‘Pump Up Chicago’. Continue reading “July 23, 1988: Chris Paul, Deluxe, Mr Lee, Alexander O’Neal, Al B. Sure!”

July 16, 1988: Steve Walsh obituary, Mantronix, Public Enemy, Stetsasonic, Mica Paris


As I hope you realised, last week’s column was printed before tragic events overtook its lead story … Steve Walsh’s untimely death has had one beneficial side effect, in that it appears to have given some of our fatter DJs a keen sense of their own mortality, and encouraged them to diet in earnest … Steve was chairman of the Dance Aid Trust, which has selected as one of three nominated charities for support this year the Christian Lewis Neuroblastoma Trust Fund. which become a registered charity on June 6 — young Christian’s own tumour is still undergoing chemo- and radio-therapy but has not shrunk (he’s the son of Swansea DJ James Lewis, who has written with local musician Maldwyn Pope a song called ‘Christian’, described as “not a bass bomber but a catchy pop dance number’, for which they seek a deal on 0792-896928) … S-Express have indeed changed their name’s spelling to S’Xpress, to make it more phonetic and prevent people pronouncing it as “S”- “Express” — incidentally, it really is very misleading sometimes having to review 12 inch versions of such as their new ‘Superfly Guy’, which turns out to be a much catchier song in its edited seven inch/video form … Gwen McCrae’s review last week was premature as her single isn’t now out until July 25, when the brand new jittery Jocelyn Brown-ish ‘Eighties Lady (Seventies Trammp Mix)‘ will be the A-side, merely flipped by the track previously promoed and reviewed … Groove’s ‘Hijack The Beat’ seems likely to be remixed extensively before it’s out commercially … Martyn Young of M|A|R|R|S created the Afro-Acid Remix of Mory Kante’s ‘Yé Ké Yé Ké’, and has another Mory’s House Remix ready to follow it, too … ffrr are previewing their ‘The House Sound Of London Vol IV — The Jackin’ Zone‘ album with a pair of 12 inch promos containing the frantic samba flavoured 125½-0bpm The House Addicts ‘Come Together‘ flipped by the Dancin’ Danny D-created “acieed”-chanting burbling 124¼-0bpm D. Mob ‘We Call It Acieed‘, and the Jazzy M talked and Julian Jonah moaned, Bam Bam co-produced, Fingers Inc backed jittery smooth (0-)122bpm The J&M Connection ‘Living In A World Of Fantasy‘, plus its more melodic 122¼bpm One For The Ladies Mix semi-instrumental, flipped by the synth washed and piano nagged slippery throbbing 0-120⅓bpm Richie Rich ‘Salsa House‘ … Inner-City ‘Big Fun’ is the next (and only logical) single to be pulled from 10 Records’ tedious ‘Techno!’ double album … Acid Fingers couldn’t possibly be Simon Harris’s new “house” alter ego? … Virgin have promoed on totally blank white label the particularly strong, jaunty girl rapped scratching and jiggling 108⅓bpm Syn-Dee ‘It’s Best To Be A Girl‘ … Jellybean’s new instrumental ‘Coming Back For More’ will in fact be followed by a vocal version featuring Richard Darbyshire from Living In A Box … Eddie Murphy, in his hilarious new film ‘Coming To America’, successfully shatters his old stereotype by playing four totally different characters — including an old white Jew called Saul! — while co-star Arsenio Hall likewise plays four characters, the make-up jobs being fantastic (incidentally, when you see it, which you must, the kid in the barber’s choir is Cuba Gooding Jr, presumably son of the Main Ingredient member) … Leroy Burgess is recording himself again and producing others for Zoo Experience Records in London next month … CityBeat have combined their previous releases by Philadelphia rap acts Cool C and 3-D into a six-track £3.99 mini-LP, ‘CityBeat Hilltop Hustlers‘ (CBLP 2) … Lindsay Wesker (playwright Arnold’s little boy) has co-founded the new Kiss Records label, debuting with — it has to be said — a very intelligent compilation LP of Salsoul oldies, ‘Salsoul 1‘ (LIPS 1), including such as Jimmy Williams ‘All Of My Lovin’’, The Strangers ‘Step Out Of My Dreams’, Surface ‘Falling In Love’ … Urban’s new ‘Urban Classics 2‘ (URBLP 5) includes such eagerly sought rare grooves as the squeaky Jackson 5-style 89⅙-88⅚bpm Foster Sylvers ‘Misdemeanor‘, and New Orleans chanting pattered and wah-wahed 0-111-112-113½-109bpm The Wild Magnolias ‘(Somebody Got) Soul, Soul, Soul‘ … Charly R&B have released a great double LP of Sixties material, classics and rarities, recorded by the likes of Aaron Neville, Ernie K-Doe, Benny Spellman, Eskew Reeder, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and The Showmen (featuring General Johnson) for the late Joe Banashak’s various New Orleans labels, ‘Mr Joe’s Jambalaya‘ (CDX26) … Big Dee Irwin, the singer/songwriter who 30 years ago led the Pastels doo wop group but is better remembered for his hit duet of ‘Swinging On A Star’ with Little Eva 25 years ago, has been signed (under his real surname, Ervin) by 2000 AD Records, the label that veteran record plugger Golly Gallagher is now running here … James Brown’s past cohorts, including Bobby Byrd, Vicki Anderson, Lyn Collins, Marva Whitney, Maceo Parker, the JBs, Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns are all live at London’s Town & Country Club in Kentish Town next Wednesday/Thursday (20/21) … James Brown’s CD is packaged more colourfully than the brand new bag given to his ‘I’m Real’ LP here … Keni Stevens’ old ‘Blue Moods’ album on Jam Today will soon be on CD with extra mixes and unissued songs boosting it to 13 tracks … T-Coy’s latest latin house jangler ‘Night Train‘ (a new tune) is due on promo now … Dave Rogers, a regular shopper along with me at Rayners Lane’s Record Centre, has himself set up a small specialist Soul Shop at 789-791 London Rood in Hounslow, supplying black and dance music plus imports for the locals there … Sarbani, the girl whose ‘(Ish Ka Deh) Marmaleh‘ Bhangra house single turns out to be produced by Andy Cox of Fine Young Cannibals, is the Wolverhampton teenager who won the national Bhangra dance contest on TV’s ‘Network East’ … Culture Shock’s pioneering ‘House Bhangra‘ only ever hit (in a small way) the Indie, rather than dance charts … North West London’s postal disputes held up DJs’ charts (and new UK releases) this week … NANU NANU!

STEVE WALSH died on Sunday, July 3, following an operation on his fractured left leg in Paddington St. Mary’s Hospital. His great bulk of around 26 stone, which gave him such a commanding presence on stage, proved to be his undoing. Apparently people who are very overweight are liable to get calcium deposits around their joints, bits of which can break off during this type of operation and get into the bloodstream, causing a blockage and heart failure. This is what happened when, made fully aware of the risk, Steve agreed that surgeons should put a plate in his leg, as otherwise his fractured femur might not have mended sufficiently to bear his weight and allow him to walk again. This four hour operation was successful, and Steve woke up after it, before his heart stopped twice, the second time there being no reviving him. Four evenings earlier, on Ibiza in the Balearic islands, Steve was being driven in a convoy of cars back from the final sunset shot of the third day’s filming for his new single’s video, when a car shot out of a side road straight into the car he was in, throwing him through the windscreen. In addition to a broken leg he suffered four broken ribs, a black eye and facial lacerations. Put in traction, he was flown home by air ambulance for medical attention close to the Paddington apartment he shared with wife Sue and three young daughters (one only weeks old).

Steve himself was born on September 20, 1958, in Walsall, although into a South London family with colourful connections about which he later loved to boast. Moving north of the river, he ended up at school in Paddington with classmates Paul Hardcastle, Billy Idol, radio DJ Gary Crowley and actor Phil Daniels. I first met him when he was 17, and we spent many hours talking about the art of DJ-ing, as he was even then determined to learn as much as he could in order to get to the top. While still a teenager, he talked his way into running very successful soul sessions on Sundays at the Lyceum, with which he made his early reputation. Soon there was a “Walsh Force” who followed him by the bus load to his out of town gigs. At this stage he was often accused of copying other better DJs’ styles: he was, however, much younger than his size suggested, and still learning by other people’s example. Cutting a Henry The VIIIth like figure with his red hair and massive girth, he commanded instant attention when on stage, not only because of his bulk but also, even more important for a DJ, he was loud and could be heard. Subtlety and Steve Walsh were the opposite ends of the spectrum, yet, against all odds, and showing again his determination to get things right, by painstaking practice he became one of the few disco DJs to make the successful transition from live stage work to radio, modifying his stentorian stage manner into the necessarily more intimate “one to one” style of the radio presenter. At one incredible period he was actually presenting soul shows on Guildford’s County Sound plus both London’s Capital Radio and BBC Radio London, before finally opting for the latter. (Most recently he also introduced the “Boogie Box” show on the Music Box cable TV channel.)

At Radio London his Sunday and Monday night soul programmes, in which he introduced far more new music than when on stage, were overshadowed perhaps by his partnering Tony Blackburn in the wildly successful Radio London Soul Night Out live broadcasts, these latter being really what established his reputation as London’s number one disco name. Everyone loves a fat man, and he only had to walk on stage with his arms spread wide and a smile on his face for the crowd to erupt. Indeed his actual disc-jockeying at such gigs was reduced to the predictable rotation of a few well proven favourites, one of which, Fatback’s ‘I Found Lovin’’, he eventually recorded himself and took into the top 10 last autumn. His simplistic “you wot, you wot?” catchphrase chant thus caught on nationally, and perhaps summed up his unpretentious live appeal. It certainly helped him at last to become the nation’s embodiment of a “disco DJ”. Prior to this, back in the early Eighties, for three years his face had appeared in advertisements on the front page of London’s Evening Standard newspaper, endorsing Svenson’s hair-weaving process, making him even then the first “mere” disco DJ ever to be given such prominence in an advertising campaign totally unconnected with the disco business.

Through all this, he surprisingly never let his ambition, and enjoyment of such fleshly pleasures as his Rolls Royce, weaken his commitment to the black music that some might have considered could hold back an entertainer in his position. Although the records he played at gigs may have been predictable, they were far from obvious to a pop crowd (he had long been an early champion of Aswad, for instance), as he always played primarily for the black market. It is a mark of the gap his untimely death now leaves that the organisers of a special tribute night, being planned for Hammersmith’s Le Palais to benefit his wife and daughters, cannot think of any other current figurehead from the disco world who could handle such an event as Steve would have done himself. He will indeed be missed.

(The single for which he was making the ill fated video, his “you wot”-studded rendition of McFadden & Whitehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ will ironically still be issued by A1 Records on August 18, while his manager, Martyn Levett, has set up the Steve Walsh Family Trust, c/o Barclays Bank, Crouch End Branch, 46 The Broadway, London N8, account number [redacted], sort code [redacted], all to benefit his widow and children, as Steve seems to have spent his earnings as he made them.) Perhaps it is fitting that he should share with you the secret of his stage success, “Always look at the audience, look into their eyes as you are talking.” He learnt this, and passed it on.

LEIGH GUEST is the sole remaining original member of the Double Trouble remixing team but still uses its plural monicker for his work (joined though as he often is these days by the separately credited Simon Goffe, fuzzily glimpsed lurking behind him here), Leigh alone creating special mixes now for Chris Forbes’ Capital Radio soul show every Saturday night. Come to think of it, in this photo, Simon Goffe is (very appropriately!) the face behind the face behind the name on the label!


MANTRONIX ‘Join Me Please … (Home Boys — Make Some Noise) (Noise It Up Mix)’ (US Capitol V-15386)
Although this (0-)95-0bpm remix of their disappointing album’s wordy jitterer (with home boys making background noise) is the plug side, together with its LP version and dub, plus the dull booming 0-87bpm ‘Get Stupid (Part III)‘, it’s the flip’s brand new break beat-cutting 0-108-104-105⅓-103¾-97⅓-98⅓-0bpm ‘King Of The Beats’ instrumental scratch mix that’s selling it.

PUBLIC ENEMY ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ (US Def Jam BFW 44303)
Interspersed with brief snips of live crowd reaction from their London concert (which is flattering to us considering that it’s the US pressing), this tracks crammed typically angry rap set to the b boys’ heroes exploded immediately for the “bass” repeating (0-)105½-0-105½-0bpm ‘Night Of The Living Baseheads’ but also has the (0-)107⅔bpm ‘Cold Lampin With Flavor‘, (0-)101bpm ‘Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic‘, (0-)117bpm ‘Caught, Can We Get A Witness?‘, (0-)96½-0bpm ‘She Watch Channel Zero?!‘, 0-108⅔bpm ‘Party For Your Right To Fight‘, (0-)99⅓bpm ‘Louder Than A Bomb‘, (0-)91 bpm ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos‘, already issued 0-99⅚bpm ‘Rebel Without A Pause’, (0-)110⅕bpm ‘Bring The Noise’, 98½bpm ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’, 0-100⅓-0bpm ‘Prophets Of Rage’, and short 100½bpm ‘Mind Terrorist’, 0-107⅚bpm ‘Show Em Whatcha Got’, instrumental 97⅔bpm ‘Security Of The First World’. It’s a bit militant!

STETSASONIC ‘In Full Gear’ (Breakout AMA 9001)
Another tracks crammed though less angry rap set, with the excellent ‘Expansions’ basslined 0-108-0bpm ‘Talkin’ All That Jazz’ (which makes the point: “tell the truth, James Brown was old, ’till Eric and Rak came out with ‘I Got Soul’ — rap brings back old R&B, and if we would not, people could have forgot”), Force MD’s featuring dreamy (0-)40½-81pm revival of the Floaters’ ‘Float On‘, Mohawks ‘The Champ’-cutting wordy 104-108⅔-0bpm ‘Miami Bass‘, 98⅔bpm title track, 95bpm ‘Stet Troop ’88!‘, (0-)91⅓bpm ‘This Is It, Y’All (Go Stetsa II)‘, 97⅓bpm ‘It’s In My Song‘, 112bpm ‘Pen And Paper‘, reggae 88bpm ‘The Odad’, already issued 103bpm ‘DBC Let The Music Play’, 0- 101bpm ‘Sally’, and short 0-101bpm ‘Rollin’ Wit Rush’, bongo pattered 95-0bpm ‘Freedom Or Death’, organ instrumental 0-100⅔-0bpm ‘Music For The Stetfully Insane’. Continue reading “July 16, 1988: Steve Walsh obituary, Mantronix, Public Enemy, Stetsasonic, Mica Paris”

July 9, 1988: S-Xpress, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, El Bee & Tee, Bang The Party, The Funky Ginger


STEVE WALSH, checking out the Balearic Beat at first hand on Ibiza (and filming his ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ video), had his leg broken when the car he was being driven in crashed — lucky it wasn’t his recently resprayed Roller! … Supreme Records evidently didn’t have their Project Club single in the shops to meet the demand following my Balearic Beat article, even greater demand though apparently being for the Fini Tribe whose chimes it borrows … Fourth & Broadway could suddenly find The MLK Project ‘I Have A Dream’ (12 BRW 93) starts selling for the B-side’s Martin Luther King uninterrupted speech sequence, used on top of the other records by the Balearic jocks … Gino Soccio ‘Dancer‘ could make a useful Balearic reissue, as so much that’s played actually sounds like it — in point of fact, Balearic Beat is going to be a useful banner under which record companies can reissue even more dodgy old material than they did with Rare Groove! … BBC Radio 2 reclaims sole use of its FM transmitters in October, leaving Radio 1 covering only 60 per cent of the country on its own FM network then, it will be maybe two more years before the latter is complete … Chiltern’s soul jock Martin Collins is being considered by Radio 1 for a pop programme … Pete Tong points out that it was London/ffrr’s promotion of the remix that made Salt-n-Pepa’s ‘Push It’ cross over at last, closely tied in with its strategically placed live performance on the Nelson Mandela show … Wembley and Harrow post offices have been on strike, causing Fred Dove to ship his DJ mail-outs over for posting from WEA’s head office in Kensington … Wayne Hernandez’ original version was of course the Bulletin Mix, my confusion of it last week with the new The News At 12 Remix was because I keep being sent copies of the old one — anyway, there’s the possibility of yet another ‘Bad, Bad News’ as by WH Posse, a samples scratched more chunkily jiggling faster 117bpm “illegal mix” cutting ‘Think (About It)’ and more (but I didn’t tell you this!) … Camberley JW’s DJ Dave Roarty has in fact created another strictly promo-only ‘Illegle 2‘ mix (the mis-spelling is deliberate) combining Alexander O’Neal, Temptations and much more, including “important” radio announcements, out of Nick Kamen’s 0-120bpm ‘Bring Me Your Love’ … Greg Wilson has also used radio samples from around the world on Greyhound-distributed limited white labels of the girl chorused 0-122½bpm lively volume pumping Credit To The Edit ‘(Non Stop Radio) The Rhythm Of Life’ (CTTE 001) … Chris Paul’s now promoed scurrying 119-0bpm remake of the Players Association’s ‘Turn The Music Up‘ takes a while to become recognisable but then there’s no disguising the jiggly guitar and braying brass that he had to keep amidst his own breathy vocals! … Jellybean’s next UK single will be the slightly Oriental flavoured jittery thudding and chugging 114¾-0bpm ‘Coming Back For More‘ instrumental theme from the forthcoming film, ‘The Man In The Glass Booth’ … Republic Records have promoed ahead of July 25 release the M-D-Emm-produced ‘Pump Up The Volume’ tempoed 116½bpm Kikkit ‘Love Fixation‘, a heavily bounding instrumental strider influenced by the early Eighties output of such New York disco labels as West End and Prelude … Coldcut’s follow-up will feature Junior Reid from Black Uhuru on the go-go-ish ‘Crazy Thing‘, promoed in a fortnight, while they’re also releasing 19-year-old girl rappers Lazy & Lisa’s ‘Bad Young Sisters‘ on Ahead Of Our Time, which label also currently has their latest strictly limited ‘Hot Plate 4’ 12 inch, featuring the acidic instrumental 120½-0bpm ‘Acid Drops‘ and 120bpm ‘Acid Ant Attack‘ by Acid Ant, (0-)120½bpm ‘Deep‘ and 0-121¼-0bpm ‘Stepper‘ by Sweet Tooth Sonny, plus the loopingly edited 124-0bpm bonus beat, ‘Juice’ by Juice … GRC’s third and final previously unreleased track on their ‘House Music Vol 1’ double album compilation is due on Urban 12 inch in three weeks, Phoenix ‘Everybody (Get Loose)‘, a Damon Rochefort co-created 118-0bpm pastiche of lots of disco oldies all revolving around an intertwining of Tony Rallo’s ‘Holdin’ On’ and Aleem’s ‘Get Loose’ … Millie Scott’s upcoming UK 12 inch on Fourth & Broadway will be the gently swaying 104bpm ‘To The Letter‘, flipped by the two songs that make up her current import single … Sybil’s producer James Bratton is following Jellybean and Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor with an album called ‘The James Bratton Project’ on which different singers perform his productions, the first single from it being promoed here by Champion ahead of August 1 release, the Jo Ann Jones-credited soulfully unhurried 116½bpm ‘Share My Joy‘ with rippling vibes and cooing girls … Angela Winbush’s currently imported juddery 108bpm ‘C’Est Toi (It’s You) (12” Remix)‘ has been promoed on Club (JAB 67), with no release date scheduled, flipped by the sultrily wailing (0-)61½bpm ‘Hello Beloved‘ duet with Ronald lsley … Gregory Hines’ classy import LP is totally created by Luther Vandross in his own style — count up the number of BPMs and reviews I’ve got through in this issue and then work out why I have unfortunately not had time to cover it and other new albums this week, OK? … NANU NANU!

PUBLIC ENEMY have the hottest import album of the week, ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ (US Def Jam BFW 44303), biggest track so for being the “bass”-repeating (0-)105½-0-105½-0bpm ‘Night Of The Living Baseheads’, while another hot rap set that’s out here is STETSASONIC ‘In Full Gear’ (Breakout AMA 9001), biggest track initially being the Force MD’s-featuring sweet (0-)40½-81bpm revival of the Floaters’ ‘Float On‘ ballad, both LPs however being so jam-packed with tracks that I just haven’t had time to review them fully this issue. Sorry!


PAUL OAKENFOLD is the Balearic Beat pioneering DJ behind ELECTRA ‘Jibaro’ (ffrr FFRX 9), a Phil Harding & Ian Curnow-produced extremely catchy and commercial remake of Elkin & Nelson’s German CBS-issued Continental oldie, with ‘Jingo’-style chants (featuring pouting Paul plus — shhh! — Rick Astley amongst others) and a simple percussive 0-109bpm bounding beat, likely to be the biggest Balearic crossover of those heard so far — this one, however, not being due commercially until July 25 (with a much more subtle 0-109-0bpm Spanish version B-side, and the strange episodic 106-0-73½bpm ‘The Future: Edition 1’, in which ‘Stone Fox Chase’ meets Ofra Haza, Chaka Khan, “Beatles”, Pink Floyd and many more).


S-XPRESS ‘Superfly Guy’ (Rhythm King LEFT 28T)
Chugging and thumping 117½-0bpm percussive jiggly thudder with chanting girls, wailing guys, dialogue samples and various breaks, quite bright but monotonous and less catchy than their number one (repetitively looping jiggly 117-0bpm ‘Lolly-Pop‘ and bongos pattered moody 99⅓-0bpm ‘Funky Killer‘ flip). What’s with the slight name change? Continue reading “July 9, 1988: S-Xpress, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, El Bee & Tee, Bang The Party, The Funky Ginger”

July 2, 1988: The Funky Worm, Loose Ends, Bobby Brown, Freddie Jackson, Full Effect


Jazz & The Brothers Grimm ‘Disco Nights’ turns out to be the co-creation of Phil Fearon – I shoulda guessed!… Robert Clivilles & David Cole have remixed ‘Ha Cha Cha’ as Brass Construction’s follow-up reissue… Steve Walsh’s next single is his inimitable reading of McFadden & Whitehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, complete with “you wot”’s! (Steve, chuffed at the TimeLords’ “you wot” quotes, evidently missed the Nelson Mandela birthday bash crowd chanting his catchphrase too!… Morgan Khan has signed the Gap Band plus the whole Total Experience label for the UK to Westside Records… Dave Lee of M-D-Emm has left his Rough Trade day job to work full time on his own Republic Records label… Nottingham DJ Graeme Park has promoed the upcoming new Groove single on Submission, ‘Hijack The Beat’ adapting Herbie Mann’s old ‘Hijack’ into a bubbling and leaping 0-120bpm East Midlands house groove, flipped by a thudding and bounding 126⅓bpm new acidic remix of ‘Submit (To The Beat)’ with some ‘RR Express’ quotes… 10 Records’ mailing list DJs have charted, ahead of July 11 release, the Timmy Regisford-mixed rumbling and jolting choppily worried 112bpm Burrell ‘I’ll Wait For You‘, by identical twins from New York; likewise, the label’s promoed particularly tedious double album of stark acid house, ‘Techno! The Dance Sound Of Detroit‘ (DIX 75), is hitting with its best track, the Paris (a girl) sung bounding 120¼bpm Inner-City (featuring Kevin Saunderson) ‘Big Fun‘, plus the deadpan girl whispered shuffling 120⅔bpm Mia Hesterley ‘Spark‘ and frantically jacking 126¾bpm Eddie ‘Flashin’’ Fowkes ‘Time To Express‘ (fuller review when I’ve more time)… Scotland was terrific last week, but thanks to a side-trip to the sundrenched Lake District on the way back I had no time to pick up such evidently happenin’ imports as (on LP) Womack & Womack, Najee, New Edition, and (on 12 inch) Ultra Magnetic MCs, D Train, Schoolly-D (check The Club Chart for BPMs if they hit)… Big Daddy Kane’s new single will be his album’s now sizzling ‘Set It Off’… Matt Bianco’s ‘Wap-Bam-Boogie’, plugged by radio and clubs since the off, has finally been made the official A-side… Wayne Hernandez’ remix, credited last week as The News At 12 Mix, turns out to be called the Bulletin Mix… Simon Harris has created two remixes of Jack E Makossa ‘The Opera House’ which will be released by Champion separately along with the two original old mixes, making four different records in all, at the same time on July 18!… Champion meanwhile are chuffed by the eventual crossover pop success here of Salt-n-Pepa ‘Push It’, to which they own the UK rights (despite ffrr claiming the remix), obviously made into a hit by the girls’ Nelson Mandela birthday bash appearance, which at the time looked out of place in the running order but its chart place proves was better accepted by TV viewers than the rock-biased live audience… Norman Cook is guest DJ and one of the judges at Brighton Club Savannah’s £100 mixing competition this Friday (July 1), entry forms available in advance from the club at 32 Old Steine, Brighton… Tim Westwood presents MC Lyte, the Audio Two and Wrecks-N-Effect at Brixton Fridge’s teenage 6-10pm Illin this Sunday (3)… Chris Paul, whose new single will feature his own vocal on a remake of the Players Association’s ‘Turn The Music Up’, says his Thursday gig at Kingston-upon-Thames Options needs more men as it’s full of women, and his acid house Friday at the Camden Palace is now so steaming that Steve Walsh looks in for free… Swansea Martha’s Vineyard is so heavingly full that a glass conservatory has been added to the front, due for completion on Monday… Westerham’s Road-block club is organising a £6 coach party next Friday (8) to see Ten City, Marshall Jefferson and Bang The Party at Brighton’s Club Savannah (coach details on 01-668 1527 between 6-7pm)… Airto and Flora Purim will be live at Hammersmith Le Palais on July 18 (Monday) for a Funky Street Samba Party… Danish DJ Kenneth Baker has been signed as an artiste by MCA Records here… Natalie Cole’s ‘Everlasting’ video wittily reverses the Robert Palmer ‘Addicted To Love’ formula with emotionless cool male musicians swinging their hips behind her… Gary Hickson (0254-62411 office hours) is after a pair of the old Sennheiser HD424 headphones (2K resistance) as Simon Johnson, his colleague at Radio Lancashire, has the only pair at the station and is fed up with Gary always borrowing them!… NANU NANU!

NICKY HOLLOWAY, showing off his new profile in best Frank Sinatra style, is the Balearic Beat pioneering DJ behind BEATS WORKIN’ ‘Sure Beats Workin’ (It’s A Trip Mix)’ (ffrr FFRX 8), a jauntily rolling 0-113¼-0bpm instrumental leaper which combines the distinctive harmonica from Area Code 615’s ‘Stone Fox Chase’ (the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ theme, inspired in this case though by a Canadian disco version by Icarus) with a new backing track and bursts of Winston Churchill speech.


THE FUNKY WORM ‘Hustle (To The Music)’ (Fon FON T15, via WEA)
Creating quite a buzz, Sheffield’s answer to the Seventies revival is this Julie Stewart-sung and DJs Parrot and Ping Pong-scratched nervily shuffling 120¾bpm jitterer quoting from the old ‘Spanish Hustle’ rhythm riff, with an even better spikier 121¼bpm Manu Dibango-ish instrumental Blow Job flip.

LOOSE ENDS ‘The Real Chuckeeboo’ (Virgin V2528)
Classily packaged and produced long-awaited new album, sticking to their typical tempo range with the US-issued jiggly jogging 99bpm ‘Watching You’, rolling soulful 0-102bpm ‘(There’s No) Gratitude‘, Nick Martinelli-produced flowingly mixed 99⅔bpm continuous title track medley of the swaying ‘Tomorrow’, chunkier ‘Mr Bachelor’ and weaving ‘You’ve Just Got To Have It All’, jauntily wriggling 105bpm ‘Hungry‘, cheerfully jolting 101⅙bpm ‘Life‘, jerkily rolling 97⅔bpm ‘Remote Control’, lightly lurching 106⅔bpm ‘Is It Ever Too Late’, slightly Marvin Gaye-ish 107⅓bpm ‘Easier Said Than Done’ and 103⅓bpm ‘What Goes Around’.

BOBBY BROWN ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ (US MCA Records MCA-42185)
New Edition’s now solo old leader sounds solid if sometimes derivative on a consistent album with the juddery jogging Cameo-ish 102⅓-102½bpm title track, Change-ish slinky roiling 0-107¾bpm ‘I’ll Be Good To You‘, lovely old Philly-style 53bpm ‘Take It Slow‘, smacking “purple”-tinged (0-)110¼bpm ‘My Prerogative‘, ‘phonecall started tortuous 82⅔bpm ‘AII Day All Night’, swaying 73⅜bpm ‘Roni’, smoochier 77½bpm ‘Rock Wit’cha’ and 83½bpm ‘I Really Love You Girl’. Continue reading “July 2, 1988: The Funky Worm, Loose Ends, Bobby Brown, Freddie Jackson, Full Effect”