ODDS ‘N’ BODS
DONNA SUMMER seems unlikely ever to have another Hi-NRG hit after a US TV chat show appearance during which, talking about her Born-Again Christianity, she reportedly said “Homosexuals have brought AIDS upon themselves as a divine retribution from God for their sinful ways” — the instantaneous result is that outraged gay discos (her earliest supporters) have stopped playing her, and record stores are putting out rubbish skips with signs saying “Dump your broken Donna Summer disks here!” (I wonder what’s her opinion of the fire at York Minster?) … Radio London’s first Thursday Soul Night Out at Kilburn’s National Club had a surprise special guest, Stevie Wonder no less, who sang live to the 12in flip — the reason he now puts instrumental versions on his B-sides is “So if by some chance you see me somewhere and I come over your house and you have a little record player and we can get together for moment, I can sing to you” … aah! … Motown however have in typical incredibly irritating manner serviced DJs with double A-side white labels, so Stevie had better steer clear of mailing list clubs … Stevie and Junior are working on some songs together, and it was the latter’s manager Keith Harris who was behind Radio London’s windfall (he used to be Stevie’s personal assistant) — incidentally, the obviously chuffed Tony Blackburn has been insufferable ever since! … UK 12in prices have gone up to around £3, following the industry’s discovery that the buoyant 12in market now accounts for nearly a third of all singles sales —dealers seem upset at this attempt to milk and probably spoil the market. but the fact remains every 12in pressed uses the same pressing facility as a more profitable LP … Randy Muller finally remixed Brass Construction ‘International‘ for UK release soon … Island picked up Gayle Adams, and have Eugene Wilde anyway (through the Simplicious connection) … Rod Temperton co-produced the now January scheduled LP by Lionel Richie, whose ten to fifteen minute Olympics finale ‘All Night Long’ was seen in full by viewers in Eire (says Gerard Ryan of County Cork) — grrr! … Jellybean’s 5-track mini-LP will be out here early October, his ‘The Mexican‘ meanwhile topping US Dance/Disco … Diamond Time are launching a monthly video compilation for clubs, mixing assorted hot music with funny short links (like Ronald Reagan failing to do up his flies!) — Bruce Higham on 01-586 7056 is building the £37.50 per month subscription list, and is also ever on the lookout for fresh material … George Hargreaves, not unconnected with the Billy Ocean reissue, is compiling a club video mailing list at In Store Music, 3 Crownstone Court, Crownstone Road, London SW2 1LS .. Chris Kay (Tunbridge Wells) warns with experience that “wet T-shirt”-type risqué competitions can cause problems if winners later prove to have been under-age, and local newspaper publicity can quickly sour … Dru Baker hosts a Dance Yer Ass Off disco oldies Friday (21) at Burnham (-on-Crouch) Country Club Scandals, Capital’s Disco John Leech fills in for Kev Hill at Harlow Whispers Sat (22) party night … Paul Roberts Hi-fi hold possibly the UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco at Weston-Super-Mare’s hi-tech Piranha’s Tues (25), using two Philips CD 101 players and £4,000 worth of Bose amplification (free admission before 10.30pm) … Island’s Julian Palmer joins (brother of Mike) Brian Gardner at Soho’s Wag Club Wed (26) for “very mixed music” with a Cool Notes PA … Horizon Radio 102.55FM moved studios north of the river to Victoria, and reception has suffered since … Miami’s latin-soul station Super-Q has suddenly started playing lots of UK Hi-NRG imports … Earls Court Copacabana DJ/Hi-NRG producer Chris Lucas now manages the Record Shack shop —incidentally, Record Shack should realize their top act suffers from severe identity confusion, nearly every jock writing their name as “Break Dance” instead of Break Machine … I hope anyone watching last week ITV’s George Melly-introduced history of British traditional jazz, ‘Whatever Happened To Bill Brunskill?’, was struck by the remarkable parallels with the soul-jazz-funk scene — doubtless in years to come we’ll be seeing old films of Caister on learned TV programmes … I’m off on the JFM funk cruise to Holland — let’s hope it isn’t “rrrrough!” … CRY GOD FOR HARRY!
MASTER MIXERS Double Dee & Steinski (the latter, a/k/a Steve, centre) snapped talking razor blades and quick cuts with Disco Mix Club’s Tony Prince (right), at the New Music Seminar in New York. The duo’s prize-winning ‘The Payoff Mix’ of G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid’s ‘Play That Beat Mr DJ’ is being revamped to meet copyright requirements for release here on Tommy Boy/Island, while the original, flipped by their ‘Lesson Two‘ James Brown mix, on their own privately circulated Double Dee & Steinski Mastermixes 12in is one of hip hop’s most highly prized collector’s items … rare on vinyl, if much dubbed off radio! (photo: Mark Clark)
STEVIE WONDER: ‘Love Light In Flight’ (LP ‘The Woman In Red’ Motown HH72285)
The Wonder-produced soundtrack’s hottest and classiest dancer is this gently pulsating 108⅓-0bpm jogger, while the (abruptly ending and seguing) 118bpm movie title track is one of Stevie’s jerkily lurching leapers, ‘Don’t Drive Drunk‘ a frantically rattling 1225bpm [sic] skitterer and ‘It’s More Than You‘ an instrumental 325/70bpm [sic] doodle (by guitarist Ben Bridges). The set is actually shared with DIONNE WARWICK, who solos on the nostalgically Bacharach & David-ish 81½/40¾-0bpm ‘Moments Aren’t Moments‘, duetting the gentle 92/46-0bpm ‘Weakness‘ and 75-0bpm ‘It’s You‘. Also of course now on 12in too is the (0-)113bpm extended ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You‘ (TMGT 1349), which in honesty could have used that remix as the edit where his vocoder comes in instead of the cha-cha-cha is kinds tacky.
STEVE WASHINGTON: ‘Please Don’t Go’ (Streetwave MKHAN 27)
Streetwave sensibly follow Holland’s Rams Horn label in salvaging from the Aurra guy’s disappointing album (mainly sung by Sheila Washington) this excellent remix of its one decent track, an 103(intro)-103-106bpm sinuously rolling repetitive chix chanted hypnotic cool swayer overlaid by tootling trumpets, flipped by its less dense slower 101½ (intro)-103½-104½bpm LP Version and the mushily drifting Slave-ish 115-113(start)-116-115-116-115-117-116bpm ‘Like A Shot‘, with yowling guitar last part. Steve, do an exhausted BPM-er a favour, buy a Linndrum!
GWEN PRESSLEY & PORTABLE PATROL: ‘Running’ (US Aerial AR69)
Slightly reminiscent of Stacy Lattisaw’s ‘Jump To The Beat’, this hot to trot noisily wailing jittery forceful smacker with brassy stabs and chanting girlie group breaks uses up much intense energy without actually ‘running’ rhythmically at all, in an 115bpm Club Mix and acappella-outroed 116bpm Long Club Mix. Continue reading “September 22, 1984: “The UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco”, Stevie Wonder, Steve Washington, Gwen Pressley & Portable Patrol, Billy Ocean, Out”