February 12, 1983: Imagination, Johnny Chingas, C-Brand, Inner Life, Kashif

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DAVID JOSEPH, thanks to moody white labels, has overnight become London’s biggest disco seller — and was even used as musical accompaniment for Jackie Genova’s aerobic dancing session on TV-AM’s Saturday ‘Good Morning Britain’! . . . David PA’s at Mayfair’s Gullivers this Saturday (12), where your own James Hamilton starts reviving class soul oldies in the downstairs room every Friday . . . Streetwave’s version of the Band AKA II will just be the vocal version as already available, flipped by the instrumental but seguing at the end into ‘Grace’ — what a wasted opportunity . . . Sunfire ‘Young Free & Single’ / ‘Step In The Light’ will be on UK 12in soon . . . Chris Hill has talked Atlantic into editing together both parts of Beginning Of The End ‘Funky Nassau’ for 12in . . . Jerry Knight ‘She’s Got To Be (A Dancer)‘ / ‘Fire‘ is now on US 12in (A&M SP-12056), but ‘I’m Down For That‘ has come through here as his LP’s monster . . . Cloud has been snapped up by Silvertown from its original Rygel label . . . RCA seems to have the revived Laurie label here, so can Jazzy Dee be far from UK release? . . . Chi-Lites (including Eugene Record) are now on Larc, which looks like joining HighRise, HCRC and Beverly Glen Music among the new breed of consistent US soul labels . . . Morgan Khan, with an independent air, has let Orin Cozier leave Streetwave to form his own video firm — incidentally, ‘Street Sounds — Edition 2‘ is “as advertised on TV” (several spots during ‘The Tube’) . . . Edgbaston Faces Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson has joined the Bacchus DJ team to take over at Oslo’s Leopard from Alan James Jewell, who in turn writes from his own new Bangkok Oriental Hotel’s Dianna’s residency that the temperature’s 95 degrees and he’s got everyone in the club dancing on the speakers, bar and even amp rack! . . . Davy D is rumoured to be scratching for real after his UK visit! . . . Robbie Vincent’s Saturday lunchtime Radio London soul show could well become even more influential in the imminent future . . . The Gap Band, like bespangled ANZAC refugees from Gallipoli, had sound problems at Hammersmith but were especially good on slower material — and couldn’t tempt Michael Jackson from his heavily disguised position amidst the audience! . . . Mayfair’s Gullivers, full anyway, then got bursting when the entire apres gig Total Experience crowd crammed into the club, making some people so excited that even Lenny Henry was being asked for autographs! . . . John ‘Nick’ Osborne’s Tuesday jazz-funk sessions at Ilford’s Room At The Top next week (15) start a season of appearances by Jeff Young alternating with Steve Walsh . . . Greg Edwards & Froggy celebrate Valentine’s night on Monday (14) at Epping Forest Country Club near Abridge . . . Chris Paul & George Alexander have Valentine’s a day late on Tuesday (15) at South Harrow Bogarts, then on Wednesday (16) start fusion funking Southall Barbarella’s weekly . . . Steve Jackson lets in ladies for free before 11pm at Soho Whisky A Go Go’s Friday funk club . . . Simon Scott (Mile End Benjy’s) infos that Sharon Redd’s debut oldie, Front Page ‘Love Insurance‘, is about on a bootleg . . . Adrian (Bournemouth Adams) vari-mixes Motion ‘Don’t Stop’ and Sylvester ‘Don’t Stop’ so nobody notices the difference . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre is suddenly selling Stone’s old ‘Time‘ by the box load — wonder why? . . . Hot Chocolate have gone into motor racing, sponsoring a Van Deiman ’83 Formula Ford driven by “most promising” Tony Chambers . . . Elaine Paige? — I thought ‘Live From Her Majesty’s’ was meant to be a starring showcase exclusively for black ladies! . . . Mahogany is 109-108½-108-108½-108bpm, Ellis Hall Jr 0-32/64½bpm, The Biz Instrumental 113-112½bpm, Walter Jackson 106½/53-107bpm, Cloud 121-119-121 119-121-119-lull-119-124-123bpm, and Lionel Richie is ‘Hill Street Blues’-ish! . . . Liverpool’s Gary Allan says, “Gis a promo, go on, I can play that, give us one!” . . . DUB TIME!


HOT VINYL

IMAGINATION: ‘Changes’ (US MCA-13962).
Dynamic 112bpm 12in remix with an excellent new extended intro full of fresh teasing impact, plus a previously unavailable instrumental flip in similarly new format.

JOHNNY CHINGAS: ‘Phone Home’ (CBS A13-3121).
Immediately monstrous on import though still sometimes tricky to slot in, this superior ‘E.T.’ tune starts atmospherically with night time sounds of the forest before jazzy synth and Timmy Thomas-type rhythm box weave a subtle 117½bpm 12in intensity through “phone home” groans, soft vocal bursts and some acid guitar (instrumental flip). Once on radio it’ll be a smash!

C-BRAND: ‘Wired For Games’ (US Spring SP D 408).
Atmosphere laden gradually building great subtle jittery pushing 116-114½bpm 12in groove with clanking guitar and resonant tones behind eventual muttering and crooning fellahs interspersed by Smurf-type gibbering: the Astronawts synch out perfectly — but this is not itself electrophonic at all, and as if to emphasise the human involvement it’s flipped not by an instrumental but by the soulfully doodling slow 89/44½bpm ‘Plenty Of Love’. (Do not confuse with C-Bank!). Continue reading “February 12, 1983: Imagination, Johnny Chingas, C-Brand, Inner Life, Kashif”

February 5, 1983: Mahogany, S.O.S. Band, David Joseph, Ellis Hall Jr., Maxine Singleton

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

RECORD MIRROR for the fifth time running since 1979 has had a massive majority lead at the top of a poll conducted by Theo Loyla with 320 DJs to establish their music paper reading habits — RM polled 79 per cent, the next best (DI) only getting 45 per cent . . . The Band AKA II ‘Joy‘ will be remixed combining both vocal and instrumental sides for Streetwave release here — hurrah! . . . Morgan Khan’s latest ‘StreetSounds’ LP compilation, due this weekend, includes the recent hits by Gwen McCrea, Whodini, First Light, Sunfire, Montana Sextet, Melle Mel & Duke Bootee, Rocket & Nairobi — pity you bought ’em all already, huh?! . . . Arista has given America’s West End label its own logo identity here . . . Leonard Chin (featuring Alan Weeks on the dominant guitar) has been repressed with a new ‘Dance Mix ’83’ version as flip . . . Steve Arrington’s forthcoming LP will be on Atlantic, the Whispers overdue set should materialize in March now (strongly ballad orientated evidently, though with three dancers) . . . Maurice White has been producing Jennifer Holliday’s first proper solo LP for Geffen release soon . . . Patti Austin & James Ingram’s single is now on 3-track 12in . . . Ashford & Simpson have an hour long video spectacular through EMI Music Videos . . . Prince ‘1999’ maybe doesn’t mean that much in black clubs, but he does have a dynamite video of it on the current AB See compilation (Month 13), along with Eddy Grant, Central Line, Chic and Yarbrough & Peoples — if your club wants to subscribe to this monthly changing service call 01-734 9072 . . . Soul On Sound 012 has possibly the most satisfying soulful preview mix yet (I’m really a bit proud of this one!), all actually done with tape edits this time, comprising Peabo Bryson ‘We Don’t Have To Talk’/Instant Funk ‘Smack Dab’/Ellis Hall Jr ‘Every Little Bit’/Gail Grier/Lanier & Co ‘After I Cry’/Goodie ‘You & I’/Leonard Chin/Kadenza/SOS Band/Smokey Robinson ‘Touch The Sky’/Band AKA II/Forrest/Disco Connection ‘Rock Your Baby’/The Biz/Pure Energy/Jerry Knight ‘I’m Down For That’/Glenn Jones/Flowchart/David Joseph/Jazzy Dee/Maxine Singleton/George Howard ‘The Preacher’/Chic/The Joneses/Con Funk Shun/Ellis Hall Jr ‘Back It Up’ (intro only) — it cooks! . . . Froggy’s mum actually came up to him at his own wedding and — this is the honest truth — said “Isn’t it time you got them all dancing?”! . . . Froggy & Sue must have had their wedding cake on sale or return, as they still hadn’t cut it by the party’s end . . . Kurtis Blow dropped into Mayfair’s Gullivers on Friday along with his scratcher, Davy D, the two of them then taking over the decks for an incredible demonstration of rapping and scratching that had the packed club jumping and also Graham Gold & James Hamilton wishing they hadn’t given up their day jobs! . . . Davy D tips, regarding more orthodox ways of mixing, “Wait for the break before you mix — everybody’s expecting to hear that break” . . . Graham Gold came up with a killer mix: Toney Lee dub/Prince Charles ‘Jungle Stomp’/Bohannon ‘Let’s Start II Dance Again’, while I discovered while fitting in a request that Shalamar ‘Night To Remember’ varied up by a whopping c.7 per cent runs perfectly (if squeakily — but who cares about Shalamar?!) over Michael Jackson ‘Billie Jean’ . . . West Yorkshire Assn of DJs meets the first Sunday every month (so this Sunday presumably) at Huddersfield’s Ridings Squash Club in Queen Street, ring Gary Williamson on Elland 76063 for full membership details (open to any bona fide DJ anywhere in the UK) . . . North West DJ Assn plans its first disco exhibition, aimed at mobile operators, on Sunday 12th June in Stockport’s Belgrade Hotel — contact Paul King at 12 Leicester Avenue, Salford M7 0HA for full display details . . . Robert Blenman is now a radio plugger at PRT . . . Mike Shaft’s ‘TCOB North Of Watford’ mag seems to be admitting defeat before it begins by getting Ralph Tee of Groove Weekly fame to contribute a column about London happenings . . . ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ has been adopted by PRT into personalised jingles for many individual radio DJs — I must confess at my suggestion . . . Tongy & Jonesy kick off Fridays this week (4) at the Music Room in the Sheffield Arms, Sheffield Park, on the A275 near Uckfield . . . Pete Haigh, Frenchie & Colin Curtis start souling Fridays at Blackpool Central Promenade’s Barons, too . . . The Biz PA with Steve Walsh on Saturday (5) at Leysdown’s Stage 3 . . . Phyllis Hyman, Dionne Warwick and now Gladys Knight & The Pips, ‘Live From Her Majesty’s’ — who’s on this week, Aretha Franklin? . . . Billy Fury was a pioneer admirer in the UK of uptown US soul, covering in the very early ’60s material by Gladys Knight, Jerry Butler and more . . . Don Costa also died recently — best known maybe for producing the same songs with both Paul Anka and then several generations later with Donny Osmond, his own DCP label in the mid-’60s was home for Little Anthony & The Imperials . . . I can only assume that old allegiances die hard, as what else explains Level 42’s current success in the black ‘soul’ disco chart with an out-and-out pop song which wouldn’t disgrace the likes of ABC? . . . DUB TIME!


HOT VINYL

MAHOGANY: ‘Ride On The Rhythm’ (West End ARIST 12517, via Arista).
Excellent truly solid slinkily socking 109-108½-108-109-108bpm 12in thudder grooves mightily with wailing Bernice Watkins weaving through great searing sax and simple little licks, all permeated by the very essence of bluesy funk. One of the monster sounds of the moment, not to be missed.

THE S.O.S. BAND: ‘Groovin’ (That’s What We’re Doin’)’ (Tabu TBU A13-3120).
Absolutely dynamite beefed-up, remixed and lengthened 107 2/3bpm 12in version of their LP’s chart-busting jazzy instrumental with catchy vocal chorus chant, pounding unabashedly along Rodney Franklin’s original ‘Groove’, the UK pressing being flipped by their old urgent chix chanted tinkling 119bpm ‘Take Your Time (Do It Right)‘ from 1980.

DAVID JOSEPH: ‘You Can’t Hide Your Love’ (Island 12IS 101).
Not due officially in the shops for over a week but already busted wide open by judiciously circulated very limited advance white label pressings, the former lead singer with Hi Tension rides effortlessly complete with some pretty staccato scatting amongst his vocal variety over a shuffling jittery 117bpm 12in complex time signature (great out of the Trammps), the acappella-introed instrumental flip being 118bpm. Ideal for the hard core crowd though otherwise not that widely commercial, I fear. Continue reading “February 5, 1983: Mahogany, S.O.S. Band, David Joseph, Ellis Hall Jr., Maxine Singleton”

January 29, 1983: Gap Band, S.O.S. Band, The Band AKA, Jazzy Dee, Pure Energy

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MONTANA SEXTET is now as of this week in the shops flipped by Mick Clark’s new “vibes” (but not “sax”) remix, retitled ‘Heavy Heavy Vibes‘ — the eventual follow-up incidentally will be their older ‘Philly Hits Medley’, which failed to impress at the time on import . . . I Level’s commercial 12in tracks will not necessarily be as previously announced on extremely limited test-pressed promo, final selection having been due for decision on Monday . . . Jonny Chingas is being rushed out here in about a fortnight . . . Forrest ‘Rock The Boat’ literally exploded last weekend in London, thanks largely to Capital Radio’s Greg Edwards — though why jocks took so long to go on such an obvious pre-sold winner is a mystery . . . Holborn’s City Sounds based Greyhound label/distribution set-up is putting out the much sought legendary ‘In The Street’ LP by Prince Charles . . . Bronze has signed the Next Plateau label for UK release, debuting next week with C-Bank ‘One More Shot‘ — which, exciting intro apart, is not the most danceable of rhythms . . . RECORD MIRROR picked up the “Trade Publication” prize last Monday at the well attended Thames Valley Disc Jockeys Association’s Shownite ’83 in Hounslow — thanks for your votes . . . Hackney-based Peter Saunders launched his artsy multimedia dance/disco troupe Coruscation at Hounslow, prior to its first proper showcase this Saturday (29) at Birmingham’s Bourneville Club . . . August should see a “major sponsored fund raising event” in southern Scotland involving about 10 Scottish jocks — any wishing to participate (it’s likely to get national media coverage) should be prepared to do strenuous risky stunts like repeated parachute jumps, contact Neil Fincham or Raymond Tuzi at Edinburgh’s Mad Hatters (031-225 4343) . . . US Dance/Disco chart-toppers since Christmas have been Weather Girls, Thompson Twins ‘Lies‘, Michael Jackson LP, the top Block LP remaining Marvin Gaye, whose 10 week run with ‘Sexual Healing’ as top Black single was ended by Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney (no’s 2 & 3 last week being Sonny Charles and Tyrone Davis — classy soul still lives!) . . . Phyllis Hyman and now Dionne Warwick ‘Live From Her Majesty’s’ — and what a truly beautiful musical instrument Dionne’s voice is . . . Holland’s Dureco Benelux company say they’ll sue any unauthorised use of their Smurf characters, presumably in response to all the Smurf dance records (which surely don’t owe much to those petrol promoting little blue people?) . . . ‘E.T. Smurph Home’? . . . Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre’s switched on salesperson Paul Mohamed threatens to supply us with regular male beauty hints, straight from his “macho counter”! . . . Atari’s excitingly realistic new Fuji Racetrack video game incorporates an electronically generated phrase which sounds just like the Buffalo Gals “oh that scratching is making me itch” . . . Steve Allen & Jerry Little kick off their new monthly Friday’s Club at Peterborough’s Fleet Centre this Friday (28) with a cheap drink happy hour between 8-9pm . . . Paul Hazelle starts this Saturday (29) alone at Guildford Newlands Corner’s Straceys, where he and Phil Jay plus guests still jazz-funk Fridays . . . Dave Smith & Darren Fogel at London’s Samantha’s in New Burlington Street (off Regent Street, next to the temporarily closed Rockerfellas late-nite eaterie) offer free admission to anyone carrying a copy of this Disco’s column next Monday and Wednesday (31, 2) . . . Phil Mitchell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne Julies) recommends local wine bar Legends, where John Myers plays nice mellow stuff in pre-nightclub hours . . . PM Dinnis — who wonders if he’s related to Exeter’s Chris Dinnis — souls Beckenham’s over-21’s only McCormacks at The Clockhouse, open Thurs-thru-Sunday . . . Tom Wilson returns to souling Edinburgh at the Northumberland Hotel on Thursdays . . . Flash Gordon (Keynsham 5557, that’s Keynsham — K-E-Y-N-S-H-A M), who’s been jocking successfully in Bristol and now Bath, fancies a move to the London area . . . London man-about-town hoaxster/Soul On Sound interviewer Chris Ellis (01-629 5897) is also after a regular club/bar jocking slot . . . Nic Wakefield (Sidmouth Carinas) picked up on the Ex Tras off Soul On Sound and it’s now exploded for him . . . I’m glad many other jocks, especially on radio, dislike Central Line’s remixed ‘Nature Boy’ intro — but in chart terms the general herd seem to have looked no further than the official A-side instead of flipping for the superior uncluttered original (’83 Mix) US version . . . Rockers Revenge ‘The Harder They Come’ could almost be another ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’, heaven forbid! . . . New York Citi Peech Boys didn’t hang around for long — who was that masked man? . . . I mentioned to Theo Loyla, whose departure from the Bridge Country Club near Canterbury must have been a bit traumatic, that the venue’s current jock Dave Stodart is sending us charts and Theo very magnanimously said the place is now packed . . . Nick Aravis now works alone, without Gary Kent, at Hornchurch Daniels (Monday under-18’s/Wednesday over-21’s — tough if you’re 19 or 20!), as well as Tuesdays at Leyton’s Lion & Key, Fri/Saturdays at Romford’s Tudor Lodge Wine Bar . . . Sandy Martin does a late night soul oldies session every Wednesday at Swindon’s Vadims Club . . . London’s gay faves the Trollettes are every Friday at Kings Cross’s Euston Tavern and Saturday at Stratford’s The Pigeons . . . Adrian (Bournemouth Adams) is experimenting with his own synthesizer and drum box to beef up various dated type records, like Scherrie Payne . . . Set The Tone’s ‘Let Loose‘ B-side as anticipated is getting gay play . . . Cori Josias and Spencer Jones’s “vibrant” ‘Garage Mix’ blend terrifically together . . . Prince Charles ‘The Jungle Stomp‘ goes great with Peech Boys ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’, says John Tracy (Manchester Hacienda Tues/Sat, Sheffield Pennys Wed, Sheffield Leadmill Stylus Videotheque Fri) . . . Bob Heather (Southampton Top Rank Ice Rink) says Xavier ‘Work The Sucker To Death’ mixes superbly out of the end of Set The Tone ‘Dance Sucker’ . . . John Cecchini & Pez tonight (Thursday 27) start funking the Golden Guinea weekly — I think that’s in Birkenhead, it’s certainly on the Wirral (I’m not clairvoyant) . . . Jinx Joynson (Wallasey) hasn’t a copy himself but has seen Bobby Nunn ‘She’s Just A Groupie‘ get such a good reaction he reckons it ought to be on more than just promo 12in — bit late now, though . . . I don’t appear to be receiving all the promos sent to me, something being wrong with the mail in my area, so apologies if records aren’t reviewed immediately . . . Anne Marie Bevan (Dublin), bad luck, but my Spandau Ballet card got thrown out after Christmas — sorry! . . . DO IT IN THE MIX!


THE BIZ are a carefully assembled glamorous British answer to Shalamar, though with the different sexual ratio of Yasmin Evans, Austin Howard and Suzette Smithson — almost a black Bucks Fizz! — whose debut 113bpm ‘Falling‘ 3-track 12in has already sold out on white label advantage pressing but is due this week again in its fully remixed final form from the new Midas label. If your club gets offered them for a PA, grab ’em — as we discovered at Gullivers last Saturday, they really do do “the biz”!


HOT VINYL

THE GAP BAND: ‘Outstanding’ (Total Experience TEX 001, via Phonogram).
Powerfully propelled by an ultra-infectious ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ beat (they mix), this dynamite nagging 99bpm 12in jiggly jogger has great soulful vocal work weaving through the insistent groove and, arguably the guys’ best ever, seems likely to be a huge hit what with their UK visit ‘n all.

THE S.O.S. BAND: ‘Groovin’ (That’s What We’re Doin’)’ (US Tabu 4Z9 03528).
Due here soon too, a great beefed up, remixed and lengthened 107 2/3bpm 12in version chorus chant, based unashamedly on Rodney Franklin’s original ‘Groove’.

THE BAND AKA II: ‘Joy’ (US Bouvier BO-0101-5).
Hailed by many as the best thing to happen in soul music since Bessie Smith, this shuffling 114bpm 12in side to side swinger in its present form seems flawed to me, the vocal side going on interminably without any variation while the marvellous sax which graced ‘Grace’ is only on the (to my mind) preferable instrumental-with-chorus flip. A remix combining the two — now, that would be a killer! Continue reading “January 29, 1983: Gap Band, S.O.S. Band, The Band AKA, Jazzy Dee, Pure Energy”

January 22, 1983: Indeep, Rockers Revenge, Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), Kadenza, Jerry Knight

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

E.T. Boogie‘ can hardly be in short supply now — according to one sales chart it is suddenly the nation’s top disco seller, and certainly such as London’s Oxford Street Virgin Megastore have plenty left in stock (the Ex Tras are apparently London’s current best seller) . . . Jonny Chingas ‘Phone Home‘ has taken off like a rocket — try it synched out of Tyrone Brunson . . . Britain’s funk fans really do seem to be splitting, if not segregating, black kids getting heavily into electrophonic phunk while for many the white taste is pure soul music . . . TMT release a Toney Lee remix this week, I Level’s UK newie next week couples ‘Teacher‘ / ‘Number 4’ / ‘Give Me (US Remix)’, Goodie will have a 4-track 12in when he visits with the Gap Band and Yarbrough & Peoples for February dates at Hammersmith (5) and Birmingham (7) Odeons . . . EWF’s LP is not due here until next month, along with a new War set . . . Kabbala’s labels were reversed on many copies, mine included, the faster more immediate dance track indeed being ‘Ashewo Ara’ . . . Sharon Redd, at her much enjoyed reception last week, confirmed that veteran record producer/arranger Gene Redd Jr is her brother — obviously a lot older than her! . . . Greg Wilson (Wigan Pier) won the Imagination medley-mix contest, Alan Coulthard coming second out of 105 entries, some of which were “awful” (to quote a Red Bus spokesman) . . . Greg Edwards is planning to give up his Capital Radio-broadcast ‘Best Disco In Town’, and all other gigs bar Tuesdays at the Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow, in an effort to mellow out in his old age — and hopefully return to acting, maybe . . . Philadelphia International has evidently folded quietly in the States . . . Ensign is moving from RCA to Island for distribution . . . Phyllis Hyman was stunning on Sunday night’s ‘Live From Her Majesty’s’ ITV show, in an abruptly curtailed excerpt from the Broadway smash ‘Sophisticated Ladies’ Duke Ellington musical — which’ll be coming here in May . . . Channel 4’s ‘The Tube’ is filming this Saturday (22) at Canvey Island’s Goldmine (part 1 / part 2 / part 3), where Miles Davis ‘Milestones‘ is Chris Hill’s current rave revival . . . Goldmine owning Stan & Jayne Barrett’s new venue, The Music Room at the Sheffield Arms, Sheffield Park (off the A275 near Uckfield, East Sussex), officially opens on 4th February with Tongy, Youngy & Jonesy operating a rota every Friday and Hilly starting Sundays later that month . . . Jon Williams’s Merseyside fanzine ‘Soulblowin’ (inc. Jay D’s Boogie)’ even in its “test pressing” stage is full of surprisingly up-front news and, dare I say, makes a meatier read than the more ambitious ‘TCOB NOW’ . . . Ric-Tic label legends from the ’60s Edwin Starr, JJ Barnes, Laura Lee, Al Kent, Pat Lewis & Lou Ragland all appear (on stage 5-7pm) this Sunday (23) at Manchester’s Ritz Ballroom alldayer — worth seeing by all old soul freaks . . . Gregg Parker, the London visiting musician currently happy to be thought of as either brother or cousin of Ray Parker Jr, turns out to be neither — he was conclusively caught out by Eyes & Ears Karen Spreadbury when he failed to recognise a photo of Ray (which doesn’t detract from any musical ability he may have) . . . Walt Disney Productions deny signing Steve Walsh to be their latest cartoon character! . . . Martin Prescott (Chelsea Click) has just opened his own Martin Sound & Light equipment shop at 70a Blackstock Road, London N4 . . . Al Dupres, who does a weekly soul show on Hospital Radio Glamorgan, recommends the three Cardiff branches of Odyssey Records for their DJ discounts . . . Andy, Mel, Julian & Sarah at Pitts in Exeter High Street are keen for the locals to know they now stock ‘Soul On Sound’, my preview mix on issue 11 featuring Galaxy-TU Orch/Gap Band/Mahogany/NYC Peech Boys/Dwayne Omarr/Funkacise Gang/Sweet Ecstacy/Charades/Rockers Revenge/Man Parrish/Fresh Face/Trammps/Sunfire ‘Step’/Harry Ray ‘Love’/Mezzoforte/EWF/Futura/Jonny Chingas/C-Bank/Cori Josias/Spencer Jones/Angela Bofill ‘Tough’/Kabbala/Boy Katindig ‘Midnight Lady’, all crammed into 20:58 while this time it was SOS’s engineering adviser Richard Facey who was snoring on the floor! . . . Melba Moore was so pleased with her earlier experience of co-hosting an issue of SOS that she has particularly stipulated she’d like to do another on her latest UK visit, while all the Soul On Sound team (including Tony Jenkins, Graham Gold, Kev Edwards, Ralph Tee and myself) will be doing an alldayer at Epping Forest Country Club on Sunday 6th March — by coincidence just about my 20th anniversary as a DJ . . . Froggy marries glamorous Sue next Wednesday . . . Tony Jenkins, the only DJ to get divorced before he’s even been married?! . . . Nicky Peck, pounding out a different beat? . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson (021-472 4670) reckons he’s taken his successful formula of new music as far as he can at Edgbaston’s Faces French and is now looking for fresh venues to conquer . . . Andy Baker (0745-591 135) similarly fancies the fresh challenge of, preferably, a soul/funk venue in London/Manchester/Birmingham but will settle for playing anything, anywhere (just so long as it’s not North Wales, huh?) . . . Watford New Penny’s Mr Harris (Watford 22003 after 9pm Wed-Sun) is yet again looking for DJs — can’t he keep them? . . . Steve Glover is delighted to have left Faradays completely for Bournemouth’s Club Enfer, where everyone boogies down . . . Gary Allan still does the gay nights at McMillan’s but has moved over to Liverpool’s The Warehouse for Fri/Saturdays . . . Dave Thomas jazz-funks Shrewsbury Tiffanys Crystal Goblet every Wednesday, Wayne Everett (better known to the Chingford Funkaholics as ‘Tackleman’) jazz-funks Edmonton Angel’s The Globe every Sat/Sunday pub hours . . . Sean French & George Alexander jazz-soul Harrow Leisure Centre this Saturday (22), Morrissey Mullen play Catford Saxon Tavern Panthers the same night and West Kensington Sunset Club on Sunday (23) . . . Nicky Holloway, whose Monday jazz-soul guests at the Swan & Sugarloaf in Dockhead (near London’s Tower Bridge) are Sean French (24) and Jeff Young (31), is looking for Loleatta Holloway ‘Hit ‘N’ Run‘ and Sonny Stitt ‘Slick Eddie‘ (offers on 01-458 1551) . . . Larry Foster (Flat 4, 216 Romford Road, London E7 9HY) wants a replacement Banbarra ‘Shack Up‘ . . . London Piccadilly’s plush Xenon amongst its stage side shows includes the eccentric spectacle of two Russian dwarfs fighting, but after five minutes “they” suddenly straighten up in the amazing revelation that it’s just been one man, bent double! . . . Ian Levine (Charing Cross Heaven) has Bobby Nunn ‘Never Seen Anything Like You‘ (Motown 12in promo flip) as his gay chart-topper, Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana) is into Key Of Dreams ‘Africa (Dub Mix)‘ (Italian Key Of Dreams 12in) . . . Lindsay Wesker seems surprised Bunny Mack ‘Let Me Love You‘ still gets rave reaction, when it’s a true black classic (in London at least) . . . Christmas did not for once see a new Whispers set on Solar import . . . George Clinton ‘Atomic Dog’ is on US Capitol 12in now . . . Trevor John Hughes (Telford 592648) will provide bona fide DJs with tape demos and PAs by new new synth ‘n’ sax electro group Cadre Cadance . . . Rob Harknett (027-979 2329) once again has a pile of ’81/’82 Music Week trade papers free for the collection from Harlow . . . DJ/entertainer Geoff D has left his third season in Jersey to try working in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates — evidently the first to do so . . . Alan Donald (Rothesay) sensibly revives Umberto Tozzi ‘Gloria‘ (CBS 12in) . . . Ned Fincham (Edinburgh Madhatters Speakeasy — not to be confused with Steve Martin upstairs at Madhatters) has split from long time partner Colin Cordrey . . . I only just saw the Hammy Awards issue of RM and should clarify the ”Runners Up (Poodle Cut And Brush Up)” related to “Haircut Of The Year”! . . . Gordy Gordy Hallelujah? . . . Paul Savory (Oxford Coven Club) wants BPMs incorporated into the disco charts — this would be cumbersome and space wasting, but why don’t you copy so many RM-reading DJs and make a file of these pages, referring back to the BPM in the review when you eventually get a record, writing the BPM on it or its sleeve and then boxing the records you use in rough BPM order? . . . Billy Griffin took his time but finally justified our faith, thanks though to radio . . . Gallup are getting it right . . . THERE’S NOTHING SILLY ABOUT THAT!


BLACKPOOL SOUL DJ team, Pete Haigh & Frenchie kindly sent me a digital watch-cum-ballpoint pen for Christmas, which shouldn’t be thought of as a bribe for listing the guys current gigs. Frenchie (real name Chris Tittley) has just started souling Thursdays with Kev Edwards at the Sandpiper in Whalley (how’s that pronounced?!) near Blackburn, and alone still souls Wednesdays at Oscars in Bamber Bridge’s Pear Tree Hotel near Preston, while Pete Haigh on his own has returned to soul Sundays at Caton’s Scarthwaite Hall near Lancaster, and the two of them will begin souling Fridays at Blackpool Central Promenade’s Barons on February 4.


PAPA SIMEON was the youthful and previously unheard of winner from Gloucester of the recent reggae toasting DJ/MC contest at Bristol’s Spencers, hosted by Superfly, David Rodigan and Papa Face, which turned out to be a huge success with people hanging from the rafters but not a glass broken or bag stolen. Second came sly-eyed Striker, who is now already recording radio jingles for all the reggae/soul shows in the South-West.


HOT VINYL

INDEEP: ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ (Sound Of New York SNYL 1, via PRT).
Fantastic compulsive simple chick-sung chugger with ringing phone, skidding tyres and flushing loo effects, culminating in a rapping DJ who “can do it in the mix”, on multi-banded 12in with various dub versions and the sound effects usefully on their own. If this doesn’t go to the Top 20 I’ll be very surprised.

ROCKERS REVENGE featuring DONNIE CALVIN: ‘The Harder They Come’ (London LONX 18).
Relying more on the strength of the song (which actually cuts through extremely catchily) this immediately familiar 0-114bpm 12in Jimmy Cliff update could just as a result become an even bigger pop hit than their very similar though more gimmicky ‘Walking On Sunshine’, of which the much imported 114½bpm ‘Sunshine Partytime (Rap)‘ version (here possibly retitled ‘Rapping In Sunshine’?) makes a 2-track flip alongside the new song’s short 114½bpm instrumental.

MICHAEL JACKSON: ‘Billie Jean’ (Epic A13-3084).
Nothing to do with tennis this sparsely thrumming purposeful precise 116bpm 12in tripper does in its remixed form now make excellent sense as the album’s first single, his het-up jerky vocalese counterpointing the groove beautifully, with an instrumental version and the old spurting 53/105bpm ‘It’s The Falling In Love’ as flip. Continue reading “January 22, 1983: Indeep, Rockers Revenge, Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), Kadenza, Jerry Knight”

January 15, 1983: Trammps, Galaxy-Tu Orchestra, Jonny Chingas, Bobby M, Mezzoforte

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ROCKERS REVENGE’S imminent adaptation of Jimmy Cliff’s ‘The Harder They Come’ is immediately recognisable as them (on exclusive 114bpm acetate promo) but not as excitingly special as was ‘Walking On Sunshine’ . . . Piccadilly Radio’s soul jock Mike Shaft, with support from Spin Inn Records Kev Edwards and the rest of the Manchester mafia, has launched a slightly skimpy (so far) but glossily printed magazine called — you’ll never believe this — ‘TCOB NOW’, the first part being of course ‘Taking Care Of Business’, but are you ready for ‘North Of Watford’!? (details on 061-434 6362) . . . Showstoppers South Of France trip to a fully equipped hotel and club site in the SW of France rather than at St Tropez) with Chris Hill, Froggy, Tongy, Youngy, Collinsy, Jonesy jocking is offered in two overlapping lengths, May 20-June 5 (£175)/May 27-June 5 (£150), full details from lovely Kim on 01-886 1426 . . . Thames Valley DJ Association’s big ‘Shownite 83’ is this Monday (17) at Hounslow’s Red Lion Hotel 8pm-2am, £3 a ticket, with awards, video displays, the Cold Hand Band live and much more . . . ‘Kibbitzing’ Joe Adelman (Friend of the Stars) does one hour spots nightly except Friday at the revamped Studio Valbonne in Soho’s Kingly Street, where a good lighting operator is needed . . . Gary Oldis (Aycliffe Bee-Jays) is desperate for a copy of Paulette Reeves ‘Jazz Freak‘ — call Darlington 82134 anytime in the next 50 years, after 10am! . . . Gillingham-based John Clancy (0634 53992) specializes in MoR work but can’t find enough gigs, club work especially . . . Cleveland Area DJ Assn’s new number is Middlesbrough 244700, c/o Graham Murray of the Teesvalley Roadshow still . . . ‘Be Mine Tonight‘ is the Jammers biggest track, not as printed last week . . . ‘I’ll Be Around’ hit in ’72, as students of maths probably worked out . . . Capital’s David Rodigan is having fun using snippets of ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ as carted stabs between reggae tracks . . . Lenny Henry, whose Break Wind & Fire and Buck Cherry were brilliant last Saturday, ate so much at the Ponderosa while appearing at Watford Baileys he couldn’t move on stage! . . . I had just got to the words ‘Steve Wright’ while reading RM in the library at Capital Radio last week when in walked my favourite DJ with someone I didn’t recognize: Peter Young was, by incredible coincidence, with Steve Wright himself — it turns out his crack about a vocabulary of ten words was aimed at all the imitators of Roger Scott rather than at Rog himself! . . . Kev Hill at a New Year’s gig in Wanstead relayed Big Ben from my Capital four hour continuous party music show and immediately got sucked into the following mixes — it was 20 minutes before he could get back into his own records! . . . Imagination’s Santa Claus outfits for their Hammersmith “carol service” cost a cool £2,000 — they obviously don’t shop at Roger Squire’s . . . Nigel Halkes (Portishead) ensured a namecheck by sending me the first Christmas card of 1983 — but would have rated a mention anyway for info-ing that one Bristol DJ had to return ‘Buffalo Gals’ because it was scratched! . . . SCRATCH ON!


HOT VINYL

THE TRAMMPS: ‘Up On The Hill (Mt. U)’ (US Venture VD-5024).
What a monster! Driven by an incredibly powerful sparse bass and simple clapping 116bpm 12in beat, the guys soulfully chuckle, rasp, wail and ramble on about “Mount You”, with an equally impressive bass emphasizing instrumental flip.

THE GALAXY-TU ORCHESTRA: ‘Always And Forever’ (US Moonglow MGW 107).
I nearly got writer’s cramp from giving out the details last Saturday at Gullivers while playing this fabulously “yukky” 51-0bpm 12in knee trembler, an instrumental chix chorused version of Heatwave’s classic smoocher overlaid with a gorgeously corny “wedding vows” rap by Rosko — not the Emperor, but the veteran US jock whose schtick always was heavy mysticism — the flip being the same again with a ‘Desiderata’ rap.

JONNY CHINGAS: ‘Phone Home’ (US Columbia 44-03480).
Another superior ‘E.T.’-er, starting atmospherically with night-time sounds of the forest before naggingly pitched jazzy synth and 117½bpm 12in rhythm box beats weave through “phone home” groans, soft bursts of vocal, and acid guitar, all building an extremely unusual subtle intensity that’s gonna be huge once it’s been heard a few times (instrumental flip).

BOBBY M: ‘Let’s Stay Together’ (Glory TMGT 1288).
Lovely faithful 101bpm 12in revival of Al Green’s smoocher by white saxist Bobby Militello with superb soulfully aching vocal by Jean Carn, flipped by Bobby’s instrumental jazzy flute tootled 117bpm ‘Charlie’s Backbeat‘. Continue reading “January 15, 1983: Trammps, Galaxy-Tu Orchestra, Jonny Chingas, Bobby M, Mezzoforte”

January 8, 1983: The Jammers, Mahogany, New York Citi Peech Boys, C-Bank, Fresh Face

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS YEAR all disco record reviews come under the new heading of Hot Vinyl, so that no matter what the space/time situation, at least you’ll get to read about the week’s best releases regardless of where they come from — which should stop the “swings and roundabouts” situation! . . . Virgin’s Mick Clark was back from Philadelphia just before Christmas clutching a new Montana Sextet remix he’d created while there, but at the time he was undecided about any release for it . . . Morgan Khan snapped up Masurrati & Huey Harris for Streetwave release, PRT picked up the brilliant smash-bound Indeep . . . Ex Tras actually turn out to include the same Miami-based musicians as the Extra T’s, ‘Haven’t Been Funked Enough‘ now being due on full release this month on TMT (TMTT 1) . . . Motown’s two decades old US label Gordy gets its own identity here at last, debuting with the Bobby M album and ‘Let’s Stay Together‘ single . . . Steve Jerome is being produced by London-domiciled Isaac Hayes . . . Marvin Gaye’s follow-up as you’ve seen is not as previously advised (thanks so much, Greg!) . . . Margie Joseph ‘Knockout’ is now about as a remix . . . UK visitors over the next two months should include Rockers Revenge, Nairobi, Robert ‘Goodie’ Whitfield, Gap Band, Yarbrough & Peoples . . . Jon Williams is after local contributors to help with a planned new weekly soul fanzine for the Merseyside area — contact Jay D’s Boogie, 16 Waring Avenue, Birkenhead. Merseyside L42 6QH . . . Ilford Room At The Top’s John ‘Nick’ Osborne needs someone already running a successful gay night to help start one on Wednesdays, call him on 01 478 5588 Tues-Sat 9pm-2am (his jazz-funk night is back to Tuesdays) . . . Hotline ‘Fantasy’, highest new entry in the Boys Town Chart, is yet another Bobby “O” Orlando production . . . Sharon Redd’s ‘In The Name Of Love’ is actually nothing less than a discotized tango! . . . Ian Dewhirst, packing Leeds Warehouse six nights a week playing a total mixture of almost every type of music “as long as it’s great, new, trendy or absolutely classic”, points out it was he who originated the first Shalamar group’s debut ‘Uptown Festival’ Motown medley hit, co-produced by Simon Soussan (using session singers such as Rinder & Lewis of El Coco fame) — something that current histories of the present group conveniently forget . . . Feel’s ‘I’d Like To’ instrumental is such a sensational synch out of Indeep that I continually forget to fade the other record! . . . MoR jocks should note that Kids From Fame ‘Hi-Fidelity’ is a killer out of Human League ‘Mirror Man’, and also that Dire Straits ‘Sultans Of Swing’ is due on Vertigo 12in . . . Chad (Liverpool Cagneys) says Toney Lee’s acappella intro is brill over ‘Heavy Vibes’ Adrian D (Bournemouth Adams) revives Jackie Moore ‘This Time Baby’ (CBS 12in) and Suzi Lane ‘Harmony’ (Elektra 12in) at his gay venue — actually, he’d welcome offers of a London residency (not necessarily Boys Town) at 53 Markham Road, Winton, Bournemouth, Dorset . . . Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’, with its Van Halen guitar, has predictably got US ‘AOR’ rock radio raving (it was serviced on special promo-only 12in), except some stations are still so tightly segregated — sorry — formatted — that not all have dared “add” it yet . . . ABC ‘The Look Of Love (Remix)’ replaced Prince ‘1999’ as top US Dance/Disco hit, but in most respects our own various disco charts are way ahead of Billboard’s . . . Wallasey Jock Pez presents an in-store radio show on Saturdays to shoppers at Top Man (which side of the Mersey he doesn’t clarify), adding it makes a certain local radio DJ’s ‘Keep On Truckin’ sound like ‘All Our Yesterdays’! . . . I’d just like to point out (not necessarily to Pez) that any idiot can play all the brand new releases but that doesn’t automatically make him a good DJ . . . BBC Radio One’s Steve Wright should note that ten well chosen words are worth more than any amount of mindless Radio One chatter . . . Brian ‘Bazzer’ Mason’s Fridays funking Harrow Bobby Magees are going so well the doors have to be closed as early as 11pm to combat a residents late noise petition . . . Cosmic funks Basildon’s New Yorker on Wednesdays now, John Rush still doing Fri/Sats . . . Nick Aravis now gets help from Gary Kent not only funking Wednesdays but also doing Under-18 Mondays at Hornchurch Daniels . . . Larry Foster as well as funking Fridays has added party night Thursdays at Ilford Gants Hill Villa . . . Kishan, mobile around Harrow as All Jets Sound, has been resident at Swiss Cottage Finchley Road’s Les Elites Club (now redecorated) ever since Alan James Jewell departed for foreign climes (AJJ should be in Bangkok by now) . . . John DeSade’s moved into Central London on Fri/Sats at the Xclusiv . . . Chris Cole’s Fridays at Cranleigh’s Cranley Hotel are being enlivened by a giant new video . . . Chester Browton (Selsey) says that other Spanish holiday hit was probably Lime ‘Babe We’re Gonna Love Tonight’ (Canadian Uniwave/Matra/US Prism/German Polydor) . . . Showstoppers Adrian Webb hasn’t been masquerading on the quiet as Renato, has he?! . . . Tyrone Brunson and Whodini did well to hit amongst all the seasonal oldies/oddities in the Christmas week pop chart . . . now its welcome to the Gallup era . . . Mark Clark (Marylebone Cine Citta) says, some DJs use the rhythm method, others just SCRATCH IT!


HOT VINYL

THE JAMMERS: ‘Be Mine Tonight (Instrumental)’ (US Salsoul SG 388).
Slow acoustic piano introed and then totally restructured sensational new 119bpm 12in instrumental treatment of the current smash, with two vocal remixes as well! If you love the original you won’t be happy without these . . . that’s a warning!

MAHOGANY: ‘Ride On The Rhythm’ (US West End WES 22150).
Truly solid sounding excellent slinkily grooving 109-108½-108-108½-108bpm 12in thudder with wailing chick weaving through great searing sax and simple little licks. Get it!

NEW YORK CITI PEECH BOYS: ‘Life Is Something Special’ (US Island 0-9928).
Heard best at volume out on the floor, which it fills (in the good clubs, anyway!), this disjointedly starting 110bpm 12in Larry Levan creation is very different from ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ building remorseless intensity through War-like tribal ‘Roots’ chanting over a throbbing non-electronic rhythm — the ‘Special Edition‘ being less vocal and more subduedly electronic. Continue reading “January 8, 1983: The Jammers, Mahogany, New York Citi Peech Boys, C-Bank, Fresh Face”

January 1, 1983: The Hammy Awards 1982 / 1982 Year End Disco Chart

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for . . .

THE HAMMY AWARDS 1982

1982 was a year in which music fans split into more different cliques than ever before, and controversy raged within the strictly soul camp about the merits or otherwise of the electrophonic influence.

With so many tastes to be catered for it is not surprising that the overall sales of every type of music suffered, but as the year drew to a close it appeared that disco was going through one of its periodic bursts of pop chart acceptance.

The mass of the general public obviously only want to dance to the records they know, and if they listen to the radio that means a very limited choice, but luckily during 1982 the media began to think of disco as being hip again, resulting in the widespread acceptance of such freak breakthroughs as Grandmaster Flash and Rockers Revenge.

Every few months there was the regulation crossover hit by a black lady, whether it be by the flavour of the summer, Patrice Rushen, or more often Evelyn King, plus the Sharons Redd and Brown, Raw Silk, Vicky “D”, Melba Moore, while a black Anglophile Los Angelean’s Kings Road trip to the barber’s gave Shalamar the key to superstardom.

Disco music wasn’t just about dancing in 1982, as a hefty dollop of real soul was returning to many of the hits too. However, more than anything else, it was undoubtedly the year of fierce electronics — and electrophonic phunk.

HIT OF THE YEAR: “D” Train – ‘You’re The One For Me’ (Prelude) — eight weeks at number one and, followed most importantly by the Peech Boys and Rockers Revenge, the most influential record of the year.

LABEL OF THE YEAR: Prelude, for the second year running.

RECORD COMPANY OF THE YEAR: CBS — the hits being (in ranked order) on Prelude, Streetwave, Epic, CBS, Tabu, Philadelphia International.

RUNNERS-UP (similarly ranked): 2) RCA (Motown/RCA/KR/Carrere/Ensign/Salsoul), 3) WEA (Elektra/Warner Bros/Solar/Atlantic), 4) Phonogram (Mercury/London/De-Lite), 5) Virgin (WMOT/Virgin/SAM), 6) EMI (Capitol/Liberty/EMI America/UA), 7) PRT (Sugarhill/Buddha/R&B/Excaliber/Becket), 8) A&M (Funk A&Merica/A&M), 9) Arista (Arista/GRP/Ariola), 10) Island (Ze/Island).

12in OF THE YEAR: Rockers Revenge – ‘Walking On Sunshine’ (London).

IMPORT OF THE YEAR: Extra T’s – ‘E.T. Boogie’ (US Sunnyview). Continue reading “January 1, 1983: The Hammy Awards 1982 / 1982 Year End Disco Chart”