May 18, 1985: Edwin Starr, Chris Cameron, The Team, Bill Withers, Ian Dury & The Blockheads

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

COLIN HUDD at Dartford Flicks makes has own spectacular video mix of ’19’ using the Wagner helicopter attack from ‘Apocalypse Now’: start the movie at Robert Duval saying “shall we dance?”, the record at “I went my men out of there now”, and run them together emphasising the movie volume on helicopter effects and commands, so that both finish as Duval says “one day this war is gonna end” — phew! . . . Streetwave picked up Carl Anderson ‘Buttercup‘ for rush release, only a few years late, and Island finally got the great Shirley Brown ‘Intimate Storm’ LP . . . US LPs now out here are Freddie Jackson ‘Rock Me Tonight’ (Capitol EJ 2403161), Alexander O’Neal ‘Alexander O’Neal’ (Tabu TBU 26485), Jeff Lorber ‘Step By Step’ (Club JABH 9) — evidently the latter’s US 12in mixes of ‘Best Part Of The Night’ differ from the imminent UK remix . . . New Yorker Freddie Jackson started in his teens as a gospel soloist at Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church, where he met and began working with his now producer Paul Lawrence, co-penning ‘Trust Me’ for Lillo Thomas as well as writing alone for Melba Moore (whom he sang behind) and Howard Johnson . . . Philip Bailey’s next secular set will be produced by Nile Rodgers, and he admits that “unofficially” Earth Wind & Fire have split up — he joins Aurra, Imagination, Freddie Jackson, New Edition & Donna Summer on this Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ . . . Streetwave’s cool dressing ladies man Orin Cozier actually got barred from a club for the first time in his life — at London Busby’s Friday Mud Club, for “looking too straight”! . . . Island’s go go movie ‘Good To Go’ has been upsetting many tradesmen along Washington DC area Adams-Morgan’s 18th Street, where the filming of some spectacular car smashing stunts effectively kept customers away without any prior warning or compensation (shooting should by now be just about wrapped up) . . . Thelonius Monk III and Eric Mercury are these days known as Merc And Monk because their earlier T.S. Monk partners Yvonne Fletcher and sister Boo Monk both tragically died in 1983 . . . A Taste Of Honey ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ should last week have read as “now dated”, which does rather alter the review! . . . Hi-NRG breakers include Village People ‘New York City (Remix)‘ (Record Shack), Martinique ‘No Regrets‘ (Young Blood), Isley Jasper Isley ‘Kiss And Tell‘ (Epic), Suzy Q ‘Computer Music‘ (Canadian Black Sun), Bronski Beat ‘I Feel Love (Medley)‘ (London), Lipps Inc ‘Does Anybody Know Me’ (US Twin Tone) . . . Hazell Dean has left Proto for EMI . . . South-West Wales’ only soul radio DJ and Swansea City Football Club’s Radio Vetch founder, James Lewis is teaming up with local funk jocks Jeff Thomas and The Bean to promote a city centre Soul Over Swansea night starting in June — prospective PAs and other interested parties call him on 0792-896928 . . . Superjocks pluggers Theo & Joy Loyla next week holiday on the Gower, my favourite place in Wales, looking at Worms! . . . Theo perhaps misunderstands my reference to London and the South-East starting all the soul hits — I’m not surprised the excellent Animotion pop hit broke everywhere but there — and persists in dismissing our Disco chart as “upfront”: it’s not, it’s the strictly specialist soul chart, and an accurate enough reflection of what his own punters are dancing to for John Osborne now to feature the RECORD MIRROR Disco Top 50 as the official chart on Horizon Radio 94.5FM Sundays 1-4pm . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre, no sooner had I commented on video hirers rushing through record shops to get to the video department, have put their videos upstairs and the records down the stairs at the back — so no more browser box/display-generated impulse record sales there! . . . Loose Ends visit Southend Zero 6 tonight (Thursday 16), Direct Drive play Yeovil Electric Studio with Chris Stagg Friday (17), followed the next night by Chris Dinnis & Paul Lewis Saturday (18), when Intrigue PA at Harlow Whispers . . . Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Chris Paul & Neil James soul the invitation only pre-opening press night Monday (20) at the £300,000 refurbished South Harrow Bogart’s — yeah, I’d noticed the new paintwork when passing! . . . Eon Irving, a (small) blast from the past, souls busy Monday’s hipsters at Chelsea Kings Road Mainsqueez with both upfront sounds and mid-’70s street funk — which he confirms generates most excitement when simply chopped rather than mixed . . . Kev Hill (0277-223030) is after James Brown ‘Take A Look At Those Cakes‘ 12in, and says that War ‘Galaxy’ goes great out of the Conway Brothers . . . Terry James souls Peckham’s free admission Kellies pub (opposite Kisses) every night except Saturday, busy apart oddly from Thursdays for some reason, where he’s currently reviving Jaki Graham ‘Hold On‘ and Fatback Band ‘Spanish Hustle‘ (and not just on oldies Sundays) . . . Steve Banks has swung ’em over to upfront soul Thur/Fri/Sat at East London’s Sorrells in Commercial Road (over-21s, no jeans), where he’d like PAs and guest DJs . . . Dave Smith (01 734 6249) is after PAs at Mayfair Samanthas (next to late nite eaterie Rockafella’s) . . . Latin-jazz Mad Marx joins soul-funk Simon Abel & Gary T Tuesdays at Westcliff On Sea Swag’s Underground Soul Cellar, while his soulful Sundays at Leigh On Sea Whispers soon reach their first birthday . . . Trevor M still actually admits to playing “jazz-funk” along with electro & soul in Hanley (Stoke on Trent) at The Place Fri/Sat, Chicos Wed . . . Birmingham’s Studio 222 Experience with mixer Paul Dixon does Kitts Green Mackadown Tues, The Grapes’ Legs Eleven Wed/Sat, Ward End Fox & Goose Thur (funk night)/Fri . . . Tim Jeffery funks Brighton Escape Club Fri/Sat . . . Lynton P. Elcocks does Swindon disco-bar the Rodbourne complete with flashy lights and now a little dance floor . . . Paul Major has moved Wed-Sat to Leicester Harpers, chart funk ‘n dance . . . MDM Associates of Burlington, Massachussetts, have developed ‘The Extender’ (nothing to do with alcohol!) which enables a 7in single to be cued-up and slip-mixed like a 12in when inserted into this wide rimmed blank disc’s foam indented centre . . . Disco Mix Club’s May mixes are Les Adams’ absolutely brilliant funk medley (his best yet?), Sanny X’s clever fusion of David Cassidy ‘Romance’ with Donna Summer ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Love To Love You Baby’ plus his equally cleverly synched classic rock medley, and Alan Coulthard’s noisy fast current pop and Howard Jones medleys (subscription details on 0628-67276) . . . London gay DJs are attempting to find an alternative descriptive word for Hi-NRG — any suggestions? . . . DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


HOT VINYL

EDWIN STARR: ‘It Ain’t Fair’ (Hippodrome 12HIP 101, via EMI)
Fading into an instrumental start, this remarkably dated schmaltzily soulful 105½bpm swayer is pure 1974 — it must have reminded Peter Stringfellow of his DJing days playing Real Thing! — but is so craftily melodic that following extensive pre-release radio play by Tony Blackburn especially it’s become such a nagger it should be huge (even if only with nostalgic housewives!).

CHRIS CAMERON: ‘Is This Love?’ (Steiner STE 1265)
Shamelessly copying Earth Wind & Fire, this awkwardly started but then jerkily shuffling 112¼bpm brass spiked, falsetto squeaked and hummingly harmonised lush jitterer (inst flip) is selling so far only on white label after soul radio play in London.

THE TEAM: ‘Wicki Wacky House Party’ (EMI 12EMI 5519)
As detailed last week, here on hot vinyl indeed is the funkily bounding 113bpm medley of the Fatback Band and Fred Wesley oldies (inst flip), jammed up and jelly tight! Continue reading “May 18, 1985: Edwin Starr, Chris Cameron, The Team, Bill Withers, Ian Dury & The Blockheads”

May 11, 1985: Mai Tai, Paul Hardcastle, Change, Mink, Alexander O’Neal

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

RADIO ONE ought by now to be getting worried about their waning influence as one after another hits that they deliberately ignore come crashing into the charts, proving that other stations better in tune are filling the gap to win new listeners interested more in music with substance than in silly haircuts and over-hyped drones: in London and the South-East soul sales are incredibly strong thanks not only to the pirates but more especially to the shaken up programming policy at many local stations dominated by Radio London and Capital, who now jump on a hot import as if it was a domestic release — unfortunately the Gallup Top 75 has to monitor the whole nation and only the BBC covers the country, a real Catch 22 that now increasingly is being overcome! . . . London’s main Oxford Street HMV Shop reported last week that Paul Hardcastle was its biggest sales sensation since ‘Relax’, and in fact throughout the South-East he was easily top seller — without meaning to upset the provincials, it really is a shame that thanks to Radio One’s blinkered attitude people “up-country” are unable to appreciate fully the flourishing scene I write about, and by being behind in the BBC dictated taste are the unwitting culprits who hold back (by not buying them) the chart progress of so many massive South-Eastern soul hits, like Jenny Burton ‘Bad Habits‘ to name one outstanding recent example (imagined South v North elitism has nothing to do with this — or anything!) . . . TV’s 6.20 Soul Train is obviously already a help but still doesn’t quite reflect what’s really happening, tending to play faster music for the dancers than the stuff they’d actually boogie down to in the clubs (this Friday’s show has Aurra, Edwin Starr, Lifesighs, Dan Hartman, vintage Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5) . . . I reckon actually that radio and club play may be less important to the marketing of a modern pop hit than three other factors: the real vinyl junkies who visit their record shop every week and are the main target for remixes/gimmicks which radio listeners would be less aware of (this crowd also includes all the DJs who may well be the most faithful shoppers of all, hence the many disco hits that chart briefly just on DJ sales alone!); the special displays and browser boxes that can divert the attention of double-parked punters hurrying through the shop to get to the video department for their Saturday night viewing; the depressingly obvious impact of TV and videos on a mass public who don’t really listen to the radio burbling away in the background and need a visual stimulus to become fully aware of the music (all those unexpected MoR hits especially sell to a TV rather than radio audience) . . . Phyllis Nelson however was the first No.1 in ages without a video . . . Steve Arrington’s spectacular success only seems to have surprised those pop observers who still underestimate the current groundswell towards soul (and who obviously never experienced thousands of dancers moving in unison to Slave!) . . . Record Mirror’s soul orientated Disco chart currently has so many hot records all struggling up it that it’s actually tough to make the 85 let alone the Top 5 . . . Paul Hardcastle is now so hot he’s even had calls to his home phone number redirected to his management company (called 19) . . . The Manhattans ‘Too Hot To Stop It’ LP (CBS 26262) is now out here, as are the (here 105½bpm) 7in Bill Withers ‘Oh Yeah‘ (CBS A6154) and the ‘Rockie Robbins’ LP (MCA MCF 3259) — incidentally his 12in ‘Work For Love (M&M Mix)‘ turned out to be 117½-117¼bpm . . . Redds & The Boys ‘Put Your Right Hand In The Air‘ will soon be on tidied-up 12in . . . Touch Of Class still isn’t due here for another three weeks — are Atlantic waiting for an album to release first? . . . Warren Aylward — at Southsea Honky Tonk Mon/Portsmouth Ritzy Tues/Waterlooville Sam Lord’s Castle Fri — while fellow DJs Steve Foster & Mark Frampton claim their efforts to push soul in the Pompey area prompted the local Domino Records shop, on their self-named label, to pick up for re-release the old 118bpm Status IV ‘You Ain’t Really Down‘ (DOM 1T, via Greyhound or on 0705-833818 for £2.80 by mail) . . . US imports may not get any cheaper as a mandatory increased “stamp duty” is to be imposed on all non-EEC imports by the MCPS/BPI (despite mechanical royalties, which the duty covers, being paid already in the States prior to shipping) . . . BBC Radio London have had to economise on “needletime”, which explains why Guy Hornsby’s afternoon soul show plays so many StreetSounds ‘Love Ballads’ (Streetwave/StreetSounds being unregistered with PPL are non-needletime) . . . LWR are looking for more (un-salaried) DJs — send demo tapes to Mark Mason, 51 Fox Hill, London SE19 2XE . . . Invicta Sound, Kent’s ILR station, has renamed itself Invicta Radio now that the clashingly named pirate is long gone: however Andy Grahamme’s afternoon soul show is no more, and he’s moving to the London YMCA hotel’s closed circuit Central London Radio with the ambition of getting involved in any community soul station hoping for a licence (but meanwhile he’d welcome on 01-352 3822 offers from any current soul stations) . . . EMI’s Ian Dewhirst plays ’70s soul obscurities on Horizon 94.5FM Thurs 9.30-11.30pm . . . Pete Haigh (Fever Thursdays at Blackpool Blakes) is after Rare Essence ‘Body Moves‘, Fred Wesley ‘House Party‘ (12in), The Time ‘77911’ (LP or 12in) on 0253-824156 evenings, and Mark Clark (0734-793779) urgently needs Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde ‘Gettin’ Money‘ for big bread . . . Kevin Hawkins, souling Basildon’s new Fat Sam’s Grand Slam bar at the Essex Hotel Tues/Wed/Thur, still funks Brentwood Elliotts Fridays when he needs PAs for a beach party on the 24th . . . Sally Devine of Formby is going to Rhodes in June and would like advance warning of the hot spots to check in Rhodes Town or Ixia — it’s early in the season for our usual news bulletins from jocks there, but any info would be welcome . . . USA for Africa topped US Black 45s, Luther Vandross (finally) Black LPs, Kool ‘Fresh’ Club Play, while Loose Ends have started their US chart climb . . . TC Curtis, muttering darkly about his Melt Down Mix B-side, is having to fight off a cover version in the States, ironically British, by Nigel Wright-masterminded Skratch on Passion . . . Froggy, more than upset, points out the Shakatak megamix promo was pressed up while still an unfinished backing track . . . I know lots of jocks use the old 4-track 12in EPs by James Brown and the Fatback Band from 1982, when they were never BPM-ed, and now seems a good time to do so: ‘Sex Machine’ (edited) 107½-108½, ‘Get Up Offa That Thing’ 113-119-118-117½, ‘Get On The Good Foot’ 107½-107¼-108-108½, ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ 128-130, ‘Wicki Wacky’ 108-109-110½, ‘Do The Bus Stop’ 107-108-110, ‘Yum Yum’ 108-109, ‘Backstrokin’ 116½-117½-116½-117bpm . . . Five Star PA at Harlow Whispers Sat (11), Edwin Starr plays “live” Yeovil Electric Studio Fri (10), when Chris Hill & Danny Smith jazz-soul Hembsy Stardust Rooms in Norfolk . . . Chris Dinnis souls Torquay Monroes Fridays (summer visitors note), and guests this Sat (11) at Swindon Brunel Rooms . . . Larry Foster now does Enfield Townhouse Sat, still funks Gants Hill Villa Fri, and with Terry Jones 6-T’s Hackney Road Pickle House Wed — the latter Solar souled by Nick Laurence Thur/Fri, Segue Steve Goddard Sat . . . Adrian Dunbar has joined Andy Bianci mixing nightly (bar Sun/Mon) at Poole Quay Wharf, but still Hi-NRG-izes Bournemouth Bolts Sun . . . Brian Davies, disco columnist in three local papers, funks Stourport Severn Manor and Hagley Badgers Set Thur/Fri/Sat . . . Jay Cee souls Sat at Newtownards Mingles in Northern Ireland . . . Peter C. Helyer did so well after his namecheck on Mondays at Cardiff Ritzy he’s there now Fridays too, and funks Gloucester Cinderella’s Rockerfella’s Thursdays . . . I still find more tracks I really want to hear on the Process And The Doo Rags album than on Rick James’s, even if his title track is a blinder, so as far as I’m concerned my Process review was right! DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


GEE BELLO filled some unexpected spare studio time by calling in ex-members of Light Of The World, Beggar & Co and Incognito for a spontaneous jam, which resulted in a roaring and blazing funkily bounding 113bpm medley of the Fatback Band’s ‘Wicki Wacky’ and Fred Wesley’s ‘House Party’ (with a little Kool & The Gang ‘Hollywood Swinging’). EMI cut just seven acetates in total, to distribute five among the jocks at Caister (where it raised the roof) and two for London’s soul radio — that is all, yet last week it actually reached 52 in our Disco chart! Legitimately too, as several Caister copies went towards that, but the rest was made up of DJs dubbing it off radio and playing cassettes, it’s so hot! I now have an eighth and final acetate, the only one flipped by a less exciting drawn-out dub version, although by now the vocal/instrumental versions should be on white label ahead of full release next Monday, to be followed in a few weeks by that dub. OK, all you frustrated funksters?


HOT VINYL

MAI TAI: ‘History’ (Virgin/Hot Melt VS 773-12)
Shaping up as the next crossover monster, “we are family” becomes “our love is history” in this 103½bpm shameless Dutch recreation of the Sister Sledge sound (in three mixes). For the final time, they’re pronounced “My Tie”!

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ’19 (Destruction Mix)’ (Chrysalis CHS 222860)
‘Two Tribes’ all over again? Due imminently, this more instrumentally emphasized (0-)117¾bpm version sets its main statement to a backing of helicopter effects before the music starts, the now 3-track flip’s new bonus ‘The Asylum (It’z Weird)‘ being fast smurfy 122½bpm electro hip hoppery.

PAUL HARDCASTLE ‘King Tut (Remix)’ (US Profile PRO-7070)
Possibly in short supply as now banned on import by its publishers, this excellent melodic quite jazzy 125¼bpm skitterer in typical ‘Rain Forest’ style is from his Bluebird material and if anything has replaced ’19’ on London’s soul radio (more cramped 125½bpm original version flip). Continue reading “May 11, 1985: Mai Tai, Paul Hardcastle, Change, Mink, Alexander O’Neal”

May 4, 1985: Fatback, Pennye Ford, Loose Ends, Atlantic Starr, Marvin Gaye

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

PAUL HARDCASTLE has made an even more spectacularly high pop entry than Steve Arrington this week! . . . Gloria D. Brown is so hot she has at least seven UK labels after her . . . A&M at the last minute decided not to release the Atlantic Starr LP here until June . . . Lillo Thomas’ last LP is finally set for UK release, but Freddie Jackson is being rushed next week . . . ‘Too Many Games‘ is the new US 12in for Maze, while Bill Withers’ LP (surely due here soon?) is as mellow as you’d expect . . . Sheila E ‘The Glamorous Life’ (Warner Bros W9285T) is the intro-less 127½-0bpm UK re-edit, and hopefully this third time around the exhilarating rattler with its nagging sax/rhythm hook will finally confirm my faith in it as one of 1984’s finest . . . Graham Gold — credited as from Solar Radio rather than Gullivers — had half a second of fame as DJ of the week on 6.20 Soul Train . . . (this Friday’s guests are Paul Hardcastle, Billy Ocean, Lifesighs) . . . Chaka Khan videoed “live” on stage at Hammersmith singing ‘Eye To Eye’ was obviously post-synched with the actual record . . . ACR (Alternative Community Radio) 103.3FM should be going around the clock this weekend in SE Essex . . . Birmingham Nightingale Hi-NRG jock (Wed/Sat/Sun) Tony de Vit and veteran radio man Mike Baker (hi Mike!) present a ‘Dance Hour’ on Beacon Radio relayed also by Wyvern Radio Wednesday midnight, and repeated at club chucking-out time Sunday 3am on the same plus Mercia Sound & Radio Trent . . . BBC Radio Cleveland presenter/ITV Razzamatazz DJ Paul Gough (0429-70036) badly needs a replacement James Brown ‘Honky Tonk‘ 7in for his South Shields Buddy’s weekends — he’ll pay well . . . Gary Webber (Northfield Blairs/Cannock Chasers) is after Jerry Knight ‘Overnight Sensation‘ on 021-358 2863 . . . Adrian Allen, who reminds me his Chelsea Cat venue is in South Shields, says although it doesn’t stock imports the hottest record shop with local DJs (50 go there weekly) is Chartz in Sunderland . . . Paul Barron Entertainments at The Music House, 111 Bole Hill Lane, Sheffield S10, South Yorkshire, urgently needs big name groups to PA for big bread over the next month . . . Steve Young, running disco equipment hire and his own upmarket mobile on 01-455 5055, is desperately looking for high class talking DJs with wide music variety for North London Saturday private functions . . . Beverley Winston, of his publishers Abkco Music (01-580 4571), is searching for first hand reminiscences and especially film of Sam Cooke’s UK visit . . . Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland has made a sensible seeming label move to that home of southern soul, Malaco . . . DeBarge topped US Black 45s, Maze topping instead Black LPs . . . Washington DC suddenly is becoming an American Liverpool, with US labels like Atlantic, Elektra, Manhattan, PolyGram, Columbia & Warner Bros all scouting for go go product in the wake of Island as news of their ‘Good To Go’ movie and the music’s success here rapidly spreads . . . Les Knott, scarpering from home town Harlow where he says most people spend the time hitting each other, is gigging in the Canary Islands for a fortnight before returning to jazz-funk Thur/Fri/Sat at Bishop Stortford’s Juicy Duck . . . The Guvnor “does a Dennis” to become ‘Mad Max Miller’ for Thursday party nights at Harlow Whispers (where Barbara Pennington PAs this Sat); meanwhile, Colin Hudd “does a Kevin” reviving 1976 this Fri (3) at Dartford Flicks — where incidentally on a New Year’s Eve visit David Grant was inspired by all the 70s soul classics to try his current hit revival — Flicks on Bank Holiday Monday (6) having a 6pm Kent Soul Festival Reunion with Colin Hudd, Kev Ashman, The Dude and more . . . Bank Holiday weekend, and sure enough Phil England does Cullompton Blazers Sat (4) . . . Sunday (5) Get Down & Lick Wood’s “2nd massive alldayer” at Hammersmith Palais 2-11pm stars Steve Walsh, David Rodigan, Freddie M, Smiley Culture, Asher Senator, Peter King, Patto Banton & the Fashion crew plus Cool Notes live and Aswad, Direct Drive, TC Curtis, Hi-Tension, Hot Shots PAs . . . Baz Fe Jazz bosses the Jazz Room at Camden Electric Ballroom Fri (3), joins Gilles Peterson at Richmond’s Sheen Road Belvedere Arms Sun (5), and with Chris Reid jazzes Hanley’s Place Club 3pm Mon (6) alldayer funked by Trevor M, Colin Curtis, Jonathan & Simon Smith . . . Paul Oakenfold hip hops Funhouse Saturdays at Scarletts in Purley Royal Oak Centre . . . Joe Field & Martin Collins have moved in Hemel Hempstead and now established soulful Sundays at the Midland Hotel (arrive by 8.45pm to get in, £1 including raffle) . . . Erskine Thompson seems to be making a habit of not turning up as arranged with Loose Ends for confirmed PAs, tsk, tsk . . . Theo Loyla surveyed 300 Superjocks DJs to find their favourite viewing is Dallas, The Tube, Hill Street Blues, Top Of The Pops, Minder — similarly, fave food is steak, curry, Chinese, and the person they’d like to spend a night with had Samantha Fox on top, then Madonna, and “the wife or girlfriend” (aah!) . . . Wiltshire Radio disco DJ Sandy Martin of Swindon’s Brunel Rooms now has all the expense of being a new daddy, just after he’d lashed out on 200 pre-printed cards for the charts he sent us — and we went and changed addresses! . . . Motown seem to have changed their traditional singles prefix from TMG to an anonymous Z . . . Roger Johnson, Detroit style . . . Neil Fincham topically revives Detroit Spinners ‘Love Is In Season‘ at Edinburgh Mad Hatters Sunday Soul Club — spring is the season it was meant for . . . The RAH Band’s video and TV presentation is sadly cheap and tacky, not the mental image I want to remember, and it’s possibly the cause of their dramatic drop in the soul chart . . . Alan Knight (Southsea), the track you want is George Kranz ‘Din Daa Daa’ (Island) . . . ‘Rappin’ Duke’, the label of which doesn’t list an artist, is being credited by Billboard to both Shawn Roberts and Shawn Brown . . . DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


HOT VINYL

FATBACK: ‘Girls On My Mind’ (Atlantic FBACK 1T)
Better late than never, this terrific insidiously wriggling now 101½bpm low down nasty R&B smash has Sanborn’s sax squawking over the rambling chant ‘n chat, with its instrumental and last year’s overshadowed hot tempo-ish 108½bpm ‘Just Be My Love‘. Yes Yes Yes!

PENNYE FORD: ‘Dangerous’ (Total Experience FT 49976)
Sharon Redd’s kid sister is suddenly exploding with the back-to-back exciting remixes of this fun filled electro FX-ified 0-111½bpm jittery disco chugger and her earlier (0-)118½bpm ‘Change Your Wicked Ways‘ (both slower on UK 12in). Don’t miss ’em.

LOOSE ENDS: ‘Magic Touch’ (Virgin VS 761-12)
Not perhaps their album’s immediate standout, this winsome sneaky little 114½bpm wriggler (inst flip) sounds brightly jaunty in its Club Mix — initially marketed with a lavishly gatefolded bonus 12in of their old 122bpm ‘Emergency (Dial 999) (Dub Mix)‘ and 118bpm ‘Tell Me What You Want‘, but also due at some crucial chart stage in another mix with Roy Ayers on vibes! Continue reading “May 4, 1985: Fatback, Pennye Ford, Loose Ends, Atlantic Starr, Marvin Gaye”

April 27, 1985: Freddie Jackson, Gloria D. Brown, Advance, George Duke, The Gap Band

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

T. C. CURTIS snapped up for his Virgin/Hot Melt label no less than Mai Tai (which, a cocktail, is pronounced “My Tie” — hi Peter!) . . . Alexander O’Neal’s UK 12in will be ‘A Broken Heart Can Mend’/’Are You The One?’/’Innocent’, while Loose Ends follow up with ‘Magic Touch’ — incidentally the latter plus Steve Arrington, ‘Club Classics Volume 2‘ and Jet-star’s TV advertised ‘Reggae Hits Volume 1‘ have been doing deservedly well in the overground LP charts . . . Atlantic Starr’s LP is due on UK release by next week, so save some money! . . . Jakata ‘Golden Girl’ (Motown TMGT 1379) adds its instrumental on UK 12in . . . US smash Animotion ‘Obsession‘ (Mercury PH 3412), the excellent locomoting 115bpm pop chugger I turned on to in DC, is now out here and looking indeed hitbound . . . Bluebird Records worked out from mail order demand the two areas most worth setting up shop in (wouldn’t you like to know the other?!), and have opened a branch in Luton at 16 Stuart Street managed by Solar FM’s Andy Taylor — the “catalogue” mentioned in their advert is actually a 24 page monthly newspaper called Blueprint with features by such radio stars as John Sachs, Andy Peebles . . . Tony Berry, ex-Arista disco plugger and latterly boss of Pinnacle, is updating his CLUB mailing list at Tony Berry & Associates, 33 Mallings Drive, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4HF; Music Power Records, the home of Intrigue, are building a mailing list at 37 Grand Arcade, Green Lanes, London N4 1AQ; Jon Williams is running General, Alternative/Hi-NRG, and Black mailing lists at The Reaction Report, Unit 20, Liverpool Business Centre, Mathew Street, Liverpool: all want truthful applications from bona fide DJs . . . Carl Richardson has written a BPM programme for the BBC Micro computer, calculating (in fractions) over exactly 30 or 60 seconds when you press any key in time to a beat: send 40 track disk or cassette tape plus £2 to him at 32 Abbeydale Oval, Hawksworth Park, Leeds LS5 3RF . . . Morecambe’s tourism committee hold a UK Breakers Championship on Saturday June 1, £200 prize for crews (£2.50 enrolment fee), £100 for individuals over & under 16 (£1 fee) — but all enrolments are due by April 30 so call Cary Smith for details on 0524-34386

. . . Ethiopia’s potentially most interesting fund raiser is actually being recorded today (Thursday) in New York by ex-members of such doo wop oldies groups as the Cadillacs, Chords, Dubs, Orioles, Channels, Teenagers, Del-Vikings, Drifters, Halos, Jive 5, Chiffons, Tokens, Mellows — Arthur Crier of the latter, with his son GQ bassist Sabu, co-ordinating the ‘Don’t Let Them Starve’ session which is being videoed by the NYC Board of Education . . . Rare Soul fan Peter Gibbins of Hull infos that the Maze LP track ‘I Want To Feel I’m Wanted‘ was first cut by Frankie Beverly way back on Washington DC’s Rouser label — so rare only two copies reached Britain — before reissue on Philadelphia’s Fairmount label (around £40 when found here), both times as flip to ‘Because Of My Heart’ . . . Expose ‘Point Of No Return‘ topped US Club Play (not a particularly big seller), USA for Africa topping 12in sales . . . DeBarge seem bigger than ever with US pop fans, two old albums even re-entering the chart . . . Lisa Lisa is selling like hot cakes in the States still on UK CBS import, and remains huge with young black Londoners — as is the old Cheryl Lynn ‘Gotta Be Real’ for Steve Walsh’s crowd . . . Carrie Lucas’s import LP nicely revives ‘Goin’ In Circles‘ and ‘Hello Stranger‘, and Gwen Guthrie has a 5-tracker of old remixes (mainly of ‘Padlock’, and powerful) . . . Phyllis Nelson ‘Move Closer’ (which strikes me as being another Ketty Lester ‘Love Letters’) was launched on its way entirely by Tony Blackburn’s perseverance . . . Curtis Hairston does all the vocals you hear multitracked — “I’ve always liked male and female singers and when I came to record I wanted to try and get in between” (he sure couldn’t dance though on Soul Train, whose main stars this Friday should be Chaka Khan, Haywoode, Working Week) . . . Solar, Horizon & LWR all lost their transmitters last Thursday but were back by the weekend, LWR even in stereo now . . . Southwark’s Pentecostal black mayor Sam Beaver King is evidently applying to run a religious community radio station, Gospel Broadcasting Station (GBS) London, when local radio is expanded . . . Pete Tong’s Saturday soul show on Invicta Sound 103.8FM this week moves an hour earlier to 6-9pm . . . DMC mix champ Roger Johnson joined LWR lunchtime weekdays, Eddy James ditto 8-10 Tuesdays, while Damon Rochefort — who confides that now he’s got to know everyone on the soul scene he finds it hard to mouth off about them — has a “Street Noise of the air” on Horizon 5-7.30pm Saturdays . . . James & Susan Wells ‘RSVP‘ has been copied note for note as ‘Our Love Is Heart And Soul’ by The Denials on Canadian BMG . . . Pamela Nightingale used to be called Zippy Azizollah, her real name, when lead singer on Croisette’s old AVI LP produced by Ian Levine . . . Chris ‘Connie’ Crooks took his after-hours day Habits to Squires at Derby’s Rowleys . . . Gillingham’s Paul French unbelievably has moved yet again, now Spatts Mon, Ice Bowl Wed/Sun, Kents Thur, The Avenue Fri/Sat — right that’s yet lot! . . . Chad Jackson mixes just the early evening junior disco at Bolton Dance Factory on Saturdays, Franklin Sinclair taking over after 10pm . . . Rick Robinson starts funking Friday (26) at the actual opening of Brentwood’s brand new Bugatti’s, still does over-21 Sundays at Beckenham McCormacks, and has moved Thursday to London Bridge Royal Oak with PAs etc — also, keeping in with his Soul Patrol, he’s arranging free coaches to Stage 3 on May 24 (details 01-771 1761) . . . Brentwood Bugatti’s (A128 Ongar Road) other jocks include The Dude Sat, Dave Gregory & Kev Hill Wed (when it’s free for members) . . . Hereward Radio’s Steve Allen go go funks Peterborough Fletton Fleet Centre Friday (26) with Nick Graham & Trevor Mac . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meets Sunday (28) noon at Sunbury on Thames Constines Restaurant (Sunbury Cross Shopping Precinct) with a presentation by Martin Audio . . . Carl Anderson’s old ‘Buttercup‘ is happening again (especially at Caister) confusingly just as a new LP is due . . . Los Angeleans are reportedly all walking around the streets going “da ha da ha, da ha ha ha-ha ha”, the Rappin’ Duke having taken a mighty hold! . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT WILL BE!


PAUL HARDCASTLE’S controversial ’19’ despite having smash written all over it oddly seems to be considered too offensive for army veterans by his record company in America, who have released ‘King Tut‘ instead — for the time being? Here ’19’ (a perfect synch with the Conway Brothers incidentally) is flipped by the typical 115¼bpm melodic jitterer ‘Fly By Night‘ and wave washed romantic 88½bpm ‘Dolores‘, but another as yet unheard Destruction Mix will add ‘The Asylum (It’z Weird)‘ to that version’s flip. Ever busy, Paul has also remixed ‘Oh What A Feeling‘ and ‘Let’s Go Together‘ back-to-back as the follow-up by Change! Does this man sleep?


HOT VINYL

FREDDIE JACKSON: ‘Calling’ (LP ‘Rock Me Tonight’ US Capitol ST-12404)
Superb soulful love set by the sometimes almost over-mannered Kashif-ish agoniser, hottest being this phone introed 103½bpm sparse tender snapper, the jiggly 115½bpm ‘He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)‘, lush 92 1/6bpm (eee, you’re so precise James — Ed) ‘Love Is Just A Touch Away‘, and 12in hit 72bpm title track, although the 105¼bpm ‘I Wanna Say I Love You‘, (0-)109bpm ‘Sing A Song Of Love‘, 0-91½/45¾bpm ‘You Are My Lady‘, 0-26/52-0bpm ‘Good Morning Heartache’ (Billie’s) are just about as strong. Not to be missed if masculine breathy, wriggly vocal teasing is your style.

GLORIA D. BROWN: ‘The More They Knock The More I Love You’ (US Krystal Records KRY-16)
Instantaneously powerful Rodney Brown-prod/penned remorseless jiggly snapping 109½bpm chugger in the Jenny Burton/Jocelyn Brown class (inst flip), destined to be huge.

ADVANCE: ‘Take Me To The Top (Remix)’ (Belgian BMC BMC-3528)
Originally on a ‘Studio 57’ mixer LP ages ago, this brilliant Ben Liebrand restructuring of the chix chanted bass burbled 113½-112½bpm roller from over two years back (never issued here by Polydor) is causing a sensation on 12in thanks largely to the way it sounds as if the deck keeps accidentally stopping, only to restart without losing a beat (inst flip). Large! Continue reading “April 27, 1985: Freddie Jackson, Gloria D. Brown, Advance, George Duke, The Gap Band”

April 20, 1985: Steve Arrington, Paul Hardcastle, Curtis Hairston, Robert White, Aurra

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

BOILING POINT is now confirmed as Polydor’s new dance label — and it’s signed the available Philly World Records catalogue, starting with Joanna Gardner . . . Salsoul has folded, Aurra being their first act already to find a new label . . . Paul Hardcastle and Mark King’s remixes of ‘Anything’ will finally be out commercially next week as flip to Direct Drive ‘A.B.C. (Falling In Love’s Not Easy)‘ (Boiling Point POSPX 742), a brittle brassy fast un-funky 0-135¾bpm bounder that’ll need all they can do for it, a big mistake . . . Atlantic Starr ‘Freak-A-Ristic‘ (A&M AMS 245) is already due here but with its dub replaced by the old 117½bpm ‘Circles‘ and 108½bpm ‘Island Dream‘ . . . CBS have lost a great opportunity by only using the 7in edit of ‘You’re Gonna Love Being Loved By Me‘ on the 12in of The Manhattans ‘You Send Me’ (CBS TA 6046), flipping it instead with the old slow ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’, ‘Hurt’ and ‘Shining Star’ — doesn’t everyone already have them on StreetSounds? — yawn! . . . Jeff Lorber’s first UK single on Club, although flipped with ‘Step By Step‘, oddly has ‘Best Part Of The Night’ as A-side — why not the far hotter ‘Every Woman Needs It’? . . . Chaka Khan’s ‘Eye To Eye‘ 7in mix is indeed far superior to the dreadful 12in botch up — can’t something be done? . . . New Edition’s excellent “extended version” seems totally unknown to certain MCA sales reps and hence has yet to show up in the chart — really creative marketing! . . . Nigel Wright & Froggy have done a so far promo-only Shakatak ‘Megamix’, which starts at 106bpm but sounds so dull I soon gave up! . . . Herman Kelly has evidently been cutting up rough over the inclusion of his old ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat‘ in Tommy Boy’s ‘Roots Of Rap’ LP and its Double Dee & Steinski medley, which seems to have put the project in jeopardy: unless he has equally clever re-release plans himself, what more profitable use could he find for such an obscure track? . . . Disco Mix Club’s April mixes are Roger Johnson’s championship winning clever cut ‘n scratch, Les ‘Mix Doctor’ Adams’ exciting ‘Hip Hop! What’s Up Doc?‘ based on Eddy’s ‘Shaft’, Sanny X’s powerfully restructured Lipps Inc ‘Funkytown’, Alan ‘The Judge’ Coulthard’s scrappy Level 42 and frustratingly bitty UK funk medleys being rather abrupt (DMC subscriptions on 06286-67276) . . . Les Adams actually bought Ready For The World ‘Tonight‘ just to play for me on his Friday late night Solar 102.45FM show, but his copy turned out too warped to track (excuses, excuses, but thanks anyway!) . . . RAH Band ‘Clouds Across The Moon‘ must be the biggest hit yet to be created primarily by London’s soul radio . . . KJAZZ, KO? . . . Robbie Vincent & Jeff Young co-hosted Radio London’s Saturday lunchtime soul show last week live from Caister . . . Colin Day may not be a nationally known radio DJ but has solid experience and currently operates as a “Jock Doctor”, evaluating and giving very sensible lengthy advice about prospective radio audition tapes, for £15 plus £10 per follow-up critique, on 0905-353361 . . . Soul Train on US TV let’s face it isn’t exactly action-packed, and in fact the UK version if anything has more happening even though it follows the same rather limp format (Cool Notes, Phyllis Nelson & Fat Boys guest this week) . . . Curtis Hairston is on Soul Train next week, and at London’s Lyceum with Barbara Pennington & Edwin Starr for Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (18) . . . Tony Blackburn & Steve Walsh start an alternative night out Monday (22) at the Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow — don’t spread it too thin, lads — while Steve Walsh, Freddie M & Damon ‘Cheesedip’ Rochefort attempt to make Leicester Square’s Maximus funky on Wednesdays . . . Colin Hudd and “new boy” John Courtney hold pyjama party Friday (19) at Dartford Flicks . . . Derby Habits is no longer gay Sats . . . Gillingham’s busy Paul French filled Wednesday at the Ice Bowl but dropped The Avenue on Sunday, now his only night off (which nevertheless he’d like to fill again!) . . . Maze topped US Black 45s, and on Wednesday May 1 join Dionne Warwick (plus Rita Coolidge, Peter Allen & Gregory Hines of ‘Cotton Club’) at London’s Royal Albert Hall for a gala night in aid of USA for Africa . . . Mark ‘1’ Richards (0432-57710) is after freebies and sponsors for the Hereford Disco Club’s well organised popular under-18s charity gigs, the next with Radio Wyvern DJ Sammy Southall (hi Sam!) being at Hereford Town Hall next Sat (27) in aid of Ethiopia . . . Shaun Sullivan gets solidly funky Tuesdays now (as well as more mixed Thur/Fri/Sat) at 800 capacity Bloxwich Flix, where he’d welcome PAs, videos etc on Walsall 27307 . . . Dave Rawlings has a new video system to play with at refitted Basingstoke Martines . . . Oneness Of Juju ‘Every Way But Loose‘ is being revived by both Dave Malone (Sudbury Queens Arms) and Adrian Allen (who writes reams weekly from Sunderland but never reminds me what his club is — not very bright, and he’s not alone!) . . . Alan Jones appears to be over-worked, hence no Nightclub chart recently . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT IS?


MARVIN GAYE’S first posthumous new release, initially on import 7in (US Columbia 38-04861) from his imminent ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’ LP, is the electronically bubbled lightly shuffling 116¼bpm ‘Sanctified Lady’ with gospel-ish girls emphasizing the “sanctified” as Marvin coos, croons ‘n yowls in his inimitable style, all slightly like an updated sexually healed ‘Got To Give It Up’ (inst flip). Pleasantly jaunty, co-penned and (with Harvey Fuqua) produced by Gordon Banks & Marvin, it may not have seemed such a major opus in his lifetime but is sure to satisfy expectations now.


HOT VINYL

STEVE ARRINGTON: ‘Feel So Real’ (Atlantic A9576T)
In an exceptionally strong week this, our current chart topper, has to be lead review, an incredibly original rattling and wriggling (0-)113½-0bpm inspirational soarer with Freddie Hubbard’s horn before the distinctive percussion breaks, the inst flip here being joined by the sombre ‘In The Ghetto’-ish (0-)95¼bpm ‘Willie Mae‘. Massive!

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ‘Nineteen’ (Chrysalis CHS 12-2860)
“In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26, in Vietnam he was 19” — that’s the boldly stated basis of this brilliant aural documentary with news reports and veterans comments superimposed and cut up over typical jittery 117½bpm electronics, sure to be as controversial a smash in America as Tom Clay’s classic ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love/Abraham, Martin And John’. As Paul himself says, “If this doesn’t shock you there’s something wrong”. (Promos had beats and bits for mixers, commercial copies have two as yet unheard newies on the flip).

CURTIS HAIRSTON: ‘I Want Your Lovin’ (Just A Little Bit)’ (London LONX 66)
So familiar to Londoners it’s almost an oldie now, this excellent leanly striding wriggly 119bpm soul burbler like his earlier hit ‘I Want You All Tonight’ is apparently duetted with a similarly straining girl — unless that’s him multi-tracked? — with a strong dub too. Continue reading “April 20, 1985: Steve Arrington, Paul Hardcastle, Curtis Hairston, Robert White, Aurra”

April 13, 1985: Loose Ends, George Benson, Melba Moore, Lillo Thomas, Winston Groovy

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MORGAN KHAN has brought back Orin Cozier to Streetwave as A&R man (at last, someone with ears!), and label manager for both CellulOid and Butch Ingram’s new label Society Hill (which latter will include Ingram, Ronnie Dyson and — scoop new signing — Phyllis Nelson?) . . . Champion picked up Robert White, but because they’re so hot with Spank they’re putting it out on Calibre (in over just a week) . . . Kool & The Gang’s 12in of ‘Cherish’ will be flipped by both ‘Celebration’ and the US remix of ‘Fresh’ . . . Froggy and Simon Harris’s megamix medley of James Brown is due next week . . . George Duke ‘La La’ is of course great with DeBarge — can’t it be the A-side here? . . . Afrika Bambaataa joins the Rap Attack season of hip hop happenings and seminars at Euston’s Shaw Theatre from Sunday to give master classes, no less, other specific events being the Last Poets in concert this Fri/Sat at 8pm, a marathon 1am-3pm “graffiti splash” with artist Brim Monday (15), 8pm DJ Convention Tues (16) and grand all-star hip hop spectacular Wed/Thur (17/18) at 8pm — full details from Jane New or Jean Davenport on 01-388 0031 . . . London now has a 100% jazz station KJAZZ 94FM Sundays 10am-10pm with DJs Gilles Peterson, Baz Fe Jazz, Chris Bangs, Jez Nelson, Paul Murphy . . . Andy Grahamme appears to have an audience for his 2-5pm weekday show (totally soul Fri) on Kent’s Invicta Sound 103.8FM — which apparently is more than the breakfast show has! . . . Channel 4’s thirteen week series of 6.20 Soul Train debuting this Friday (at 6.20pm!) is introduced by Jeffrey Daniel, who of course started out as a dancer on the long-running US original of the show before being recruited into Shalamar . . . Commodores topped US Black LPs (which, at 42, Luther Vandross amazingly entered more than twice as low as in the UK Pop LP chart!), Mary Jane Girls topping US Dance/Disco Club Play . . . T.T.E.D.’s distribution in the States by Island has immediately resulted in Redds & The Boys hitting both the US Black and Dance/Disco charts . . . Lisa Lisa is selling Stateside on UK CBS import as oddly it isn’t out there yet on Columbia . . . Ralph Rolle ‘Roxanne’s A Man‘ (US Streetwise) is subtitled, hopefully with reason, ‘The Untold Story — Final Chapter’ . . . US LPs on import also include, if you can afford ’em, a strong Johnny Mathis, disappointing Joanna Gardner . . . Paul Hardcastle’s import-blocked compilation album is storming up the US Pop LP chart — incidentally, Paul plus Steve Walsh, Billy Idol, Gary Crowley & Phil Daniels were all together at Paddington’s Rutherford School (had it not been before the days of leg-warmers it might have been like Fame!) . . . EMI Music plugger Robert Blenman queued outside the Montcalm Hotel to get Michael Jackson’s autograph, actually met the man, and now is even more of an MJ lookalike even investing in the sunglasses and pulling down his front curl! . . . Kev Hill — “Today Harlow, Tomorrow The World”? — has two spare second row stalls tickets for Maze on Fri 26 to sell (face value) to the first true fan who correctly names the group’s debut LP on 0268-702626 (days) . . . Maze immediately sold out all their six April dates at Hammersmith Odeon, and doubtless by now have filled the late extra concert there on May 10 too . . . Paul Young fanatics may want to check their local import shop for a seemingly BBC-recorded ‘The Live Edition’ LP only available on Japanese Epic/Sony (20.3P-578) at about £10.99 . . . Colin J. Dale (Lee) is after Rare Essence ‘Body Moves‘ (Fantasy) on 01-674 8668, Dave Dutch wants Visage ‘Pleasure Boys‘ (12in remix) on 01-253 7777 days, Darren Dawes needs the ‘King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown’ LP on Bracknell 486260 . . . Bournemouth Boscombe’s The Academy with fire-eating new DJ Johnny Proctor on Fridays this month has Loose Ends (12), Haywoode (19), Cool Notes (26) . . . Friday (12) Brian Mason celebrates Cricklewood Ashton’s first birthday with Page 3 Girls Samantha Fox & Corrine Russell, plus PAs and radio DJs — hmm, I might go to that! . . . Bolton Dance Factory (where Chad Jackson appears to be mixing Saturday’s) has a big Island/Fourth & Broadway promotion weekend Fri/Sat (12/13) . . . Sat (13) The Guvnor plugs ‘Club Classics Volume 2’ at Harlow Whispers . . . Chris Brown souls Bermondsey Royal Oak Mon (15), doubtless the inevitable “after Caister” night . . . DJ Undercover at Soho’s Wag Club Saturday lunchtime sounds like one of Britain’s best cut ‘n’ scratch mixers, to judge from an inventive long “live” sequence played on LWR . . . Chris ‘Connie’ Crooks does the after hours Saturday 11pm-2am Boystown Habits round the rear of Derby’s Friary Hotel, and the similarly based video disco Sundays at the Rising Sun pub where he needs more video promos — maybe he should contact Roz Bea at The Video Pool on 01-602 5935 . . . Paul Clark, back at Sheffield Park Hilly’s Sun, go go funks Brighton Royal Escape Sat (packed at pub chucking-out time) and has returned to soul cheap booze Mondays at the Brighton Belle . . . Cleveland Anderson, Allan Sullivan & Soul Incorporated Roadshow funk Fridays at Southall Feathers . . . Nicky Leek spins 95% soul & funk at Stratford on Avon Punt & Cushion Thursdays . . . Jeff Thomas mixes upfront funk and a bit of smut in Swansea at Strikeout Sundays, Martha’s Vineyard Fridays (Cool Notes “live” at the latter Fri 19) . . . Peter C. Helyer does Mondays at Cardiff Ritzy — fascinating, what? . . . Phil Roberts & Aquila P. Weekes (like it!) at “East Anglia’s most versatile funk club” Ipswich Cindys have updated the sound system there three times in three years yet still want one that’s bigger and better (but does the boss?) . . . RECORD MIRROR is now at Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QZ (incidentally that’s a Q before the Z) to which all charts ‘n’ info should now be sent: meanwhile main deliveries at my home have been so erratic that if any record companies wonder why their releases haven’t been reviewed it may be because they never reached me . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT IS!


HOT VINYL

LOOSE ENDS: ‘The Sweetest Pain’ (LP ‘So Where Are You?’ Virgin V2340)
With strings handled by Dexter Wansel it’s no surprise his own classic 97bpm sultry smoocher, the similar 0-90/45bpm title track and sweetly drifting SOS Band-ish 78¾-0bpm ‘You Can’t Stop The Rain‘ come off best, while — their in this context untypical 103bpm ‘Hangin’ On A String’ hit apart — the faster material may wriggle too slickly to have immediate floor response, but once familiar the 0-115bpm ‘A New Horizon‘, 115½bpm ‘If My Lovin’ Makes You Hot‘, 114½bpm ‘Magic Touch‘, (0-)115bpm ‘Give It All You Got‘ (did the drum machine get stuck?) should work too, a faithful 105¼bpm revival of David Bowie’s ‘Golden Years‘ presumably being a tribute-like case of coal to Philadelphia (where both were recorded), the set ending in a Ron Jennings-guitared 107-109-111bpm jazz carnival instrumental half-stepper ‘Silent Talking‘. Still lots of surface gloss although more substance this time, too.

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Beyond The Sea (La Mer)’ (Warner Bros W9014T)
Surprisingly close to Bobby Darin’s 25 years old swingingly arranged big band translation of Charles Trenet’s classic old French standard, George croons, Joe Sample tinkles and the brass brays through this 122-117-114-112-0bpm sophisticated quickstepping delight, real music (flipped by the old instrumental (0-)82-81bpm ‘Breezin’, just to remind us he used to be a guitarist of reknown, and the slow ‘This Masquerade’).

MELBA MOORE: ‘King Of My Heart’ (LP ‘Read My Lips’ Capitol MEL 1)
On a quite amazingly derivative set, this Keith Diamond-prod/penned 116bpm chugger IS ‘Caribbean Queen’, while ‘When You Love Me Like This‘ is a plopping 0-106½bpm lurcher duetted with Lillo Thomas and the 0-118-0bpm ‘Dreams‘ sounds like Fleetwood Mac because indeed they did it first: however Tina Turner never did the (0-)103-0bpm ‘I Can’t Believe It‘, the 0-103bpm ‘Love Of A Lifetime‘ tries to be ‘Sexomatic/Medicine Song’, leaving the 110bpm rock chugger title track and empty fast 119bpm ‘Winner’, 120bpm ‘Mind Over Matter’. Continue reading “April 13, 1985: Loose Ends, George Benson, Melba Moore, Lillo Thomas, Winston Groovy”

April 6, 1985: Alexander O’Neal, Steve Arrington, David Simmons, Pennye Ford, Aurra

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CURTIS HAIRSTON will be here on London and Lillo Thomas is due too, while T. C. Curtis was picked up by Sire Stateside . . . US import prices are likely to be down again this week as the dollar dives . . . George Duke’s import LP is a big disappointment — and its best track, the Lionel-ish lightly Latin lilting 114½bpm wriggler ‘La La‘, will be added to his UK 12in flip anyway . . . Donald Byrd will be based in Britain for much of the time from this summer . . . Lifesighs ‘All In One Night’ turns out to be on Pressure (SURE 1) via EMI . . . John Savill of Bacchus International at 64/66 Glentham Road, London SW13 9JJ (01-741 7241) is after visual, entertaining, dancing DJs who can feel their audience’s mood and work complex lighting, for residencies around Europe, the Far and Middle East, Australia, Canada (they’re kosher) . . . Debbie Gopie is building a DJ mailing list at the new Impulse Promotion Company, 10-12 Chaplin Road, London NW2 (01-459 8866) . . . Hi-NRG diva Laura Pallas has left Record Shack to shop for a new label with room for her big talent: contact Nagasaki Management on 01-928 4274 . . . Peter Stringfellow DJs (with his old applause effects records?) this Wednesday just gone for all but Central London readers at The Hippodrome’s recreation of his original Sheffield King Mojo club, complete with Jimmy James & The Vagabonds and Edwin Starr (now indeed signed to his label) . . . Danny Daniels starts funking Thur/Fri/Sat at Balham Digits this week . . . Euston’s Shaw Theatre kicks off ten days of hip hop happenings next Tuesday (9) with Mastermind Roadshow and London All-Star Breakers running workshops to teach scratch mixing and breakdance/bodypopping (details 01-388 0031), more major excitements to follow . . . Tom Silverman in our DC limo played Double Dee & Steinski’s latest ‘Lesson Three‘ mindblowing mastermix medley, now sent me on cassette ahead of its inclusion on Tommy Boy’s future “history of hip hop” album: using such as Herman Kelly ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’ and the inevitable Incredible Bongo Band ‘Apache’ it synchs in such blasts as ‘Hernando’s Hideaway’, and Lauren Bacall’s immortal “whistle” line cuts straight from “you just put your lips together and . . .” into the Fat Boys bullfrog-ish Human Beat Box! . . . Washington was quite good fun (except perhaps for poor Tony Blackburn, who spent much of his 36 hour visit waiting for Max Kidd or the cars to appear, something we others overcame later!), all of us getting on very well, and doing some serious eating at the local stuff yourself silly Beefsteak Charlie’s — my highlights were B.B. King, the Soul Searchers, and the spring weather, my bummer being rammed by some bozo while driving home once back in London . . . The Regent hotel wasn’t far from Rock Creek Park where it’s easy to imagine lovers doin’ it in the dark! . . . B.B. King’s Washington cocktail party was mainly for radio people, including Baltimore’s top black jock Randy Dennis — yup, we had a good laugh, and when we told him he joined in too! . . . London radio actually plays more go go than Washington, and it seems every club here with a Little Benny, two Chuck Brown and a Kurtis Blow record is advertising a go go night . . . John Mayoh (Bolton) points out that the Happy Feet dance merely looks like the old pre-“rowing” line dance done originally to ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’, you know, left four steps, kick, right four steps, kick with a bob down in the middle . . . Madonna ‘Material Girl’ topped US Dance/Disco — well it would, wouldn’t it? . . . Yello is rightly storming the US Dance and 12in charts, and deserves more than just Hi-NRG support here . . . Barbara Pennington and Alison Moyet are suddenly hot names in mafia soul circles . . . Channel 4’s UK edition of Soul Train starts next Friday (12) at 6.20pm, the first show seemingly with Cashmere, Loose Ends, Jenny Burton, Mary Jane Girls, Millie Jackson, and clips from the US series seem likely . . . Prince’s televised concert revealed more than anything that he really is the new Little Richard, in that it was straight rock ‘n’ roll! . . . ITV’s Portrait Of A Legend last week on Aretha Franklin for once really did come up with some great archive video material, especially from her pre-Atlantic mid-’60s (in monochrome) . . . Maze’s ‘Back In Stride’ video may have been a bit short but brightened up Monday’s TV-am! . . . John Sachs phoned in using an ultra-posh accent on Tony Blackburn’s April Fools Day “sexline” eventually coming clean (although recognisable before that), confessing he listened to Tone rather than Kid Jensen on his own station Capital! . . . IBA research figures from January suggest that at the weekend Solar FM “is a serious threat” to Capital Radio . . . Segue Steve Goddard has returned, on Solar’s Saturday dawn shift . . . Whitney Houston appears to have been promoted here on 4-track 12in, by the looks of things lacking the LP’s best tracks . . . RECORD MIRROR don’t forget has moved to Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QZ, the address for all charts . . . DO EASTER BUNNIES HIP HOP?


CREATIVE MARKETING goes mad this week! LOOSE ENDS ‘Hangin’ On A String’ (Virgin VS 748-14) is now also in a limited 102½bpm ‘Mastermind Megamix‘ including bits of dialogue cut in and echoing repetition. THIRD WORLD ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ (Island 12ISX 219) has had an acappella 121-122-121bpm remix by Neill King based on the original (rather than a remake) with the instrumental tracks brought up more — both these flipped by their current A-sides — RICHARD JON SMITH ‘The ABC of Kissing’ (Jive JIVE T 85) is already in a more brittle less busy 118½bpm ‘Lipstick Mix‘ with a sparser break, while belatedly NEW EDITION ‘Mr Telephone Man’ (MCA MCAT 938) is finally in its originally (mis-)labelled excellent 94bpm Extended Version with long dialogue intro, phone effects and a great vocal break. DeBARGE ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ (Gordy TMGT 1376) turns out on commercial 12in not to be the promoted mix but instead a 115¾bpm UK concoction re-edited from the 7in and thus stronger in impact but lacking the promo’s good break (producer Richard Perry has evidently prevented release of any other remix). Finally, marketing in a way although not commercially available, Fred Dove & Simon Capes have mixed a ‘WEA Club Promotion Only‘ sampler LP of disco soul one side and rock pop the other (the rock mix really rather accomplished, actually).


HOT VINYL

ALEXANDER O’NEAL: ‘What’s Missing’ (LP ‘Alexander O’Neal’ US Tabu FZ 39331)
A superb set prod/penned by his fellow The Time alumni Jimmy Jam Harris, Terry Lewis & Monte Moir, the soulful crooner gets gritty on this 111bpm swaying strutter and the Cherrelle joined Prince-ish marathon 115¾bpm ‘Medley: Innocent/Alex 9000/Innocent II‘, but is really caressing on the gently pulsing (0-)100½bpm ‘A Broken Heart Can Mend‘, chatter finished 100½bpm ‘You Were Meant To Be My Lady (Not My Girl)‘, tablas faded 81bpm ‘If You Were Here Tonight‘, 80bpm ‘Do You Wanna Like I Do‘, 78¼bpm ‘Look At Us Now‘, the latter three almost making a suite. The 7in of ‘Innocent‘ (ZS4 04718) also has the oddly un-included ‘Are You The One‘, a jolting 115-0bpm intensity builder that’s meatier but with a Prince-ified similar backbeat to ‘Settle Down’ (as Pete Tong keeps pointing out!).

STEVE ARRINGTON: ‘Dancin’ In The Key Of Life’ LP (Atlantic 781245-1)
Not actually that strong as a set, the scorching joyous 115½bpm title track wriggling rattler is dynamite though and follows on perfectly after the hit (0-)113½-0bpm ‘Feel So Real‘. Otherwise the slightly Smokey-ish ticking 112¼bpm ‘She Just Don’t Know‘ stands out from the Stevie-ish 113¼bpm ‘Brown Baby Boy‘, Prince-ish (0-)120¼bpm ‘Gasoline‘, (0-)95¼bpm ‘Willie Mae‘, (0-)111½bpm ‘Turn Up The Love‘, 113½bpm ‘Stand With Me‘. But, boy, that title track!

DAVID SIMMONS: ‘Love Tonight’ (Atlantic A 9585T)
Finally out here, a knee trembling scorching sultry 89bpm smoocher sung in thoroughly masculine style something like Dennis Edwards doing Marvin Gaye with a husky romantic rap near the end (edit and two insts flip). Wow! Continue reading “April 6, 1985: Alexander O’Neal, Steve Arrington, David Simmons, Pennye Ford, Aurra”