August 21, 1982: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Howard Johnson, Evelyn King, Mike & Brenda Sutton, Melba Moore

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CANADA’S SCORPIO label catalogue including Jay W McGee should by now have been picked up for Britain by Ensign Records . . . American jazz label Inner City has reportedly gone bust, Bob Jones (Chelmsford) suggesting that someone with the cash could buy up their entire back catalogue as there’s always a market for it amongst jazz punters here . . . Real Thing have signed with EMI, their Nigel Martinez-produced ‘Seen To Smile‘ being due now . . . Sweet Pea Atkinson’s ‘Dance Or Die’, reviewed last week on import will here be flip to ‘Don’t Walk Away‘, a gruff tumblingly dragging 102bpm jiggly jogger (Ze 12WIP 6808) . . . Jimmy Cliff’s debut album for CBS (CBS 85878), the very listenable ‘Special’, includes a “special offer” for all purchasers to then send off for a free 12in copy of his included new single, the gently reggae 79½bpm ‘Roots Radical‘ (much played on radio) . . . MCA appear to have reactivated their DJ mailings, under Paul Bunting . . . John Sachs’ Backstage club didn’t last long, the Mayfair premises in Green Street now reverting to the Greenstreet name under the new ownership of lovely model Beverley Knock, reopening this Friday — although Beverley emphasises that it isn’t a disco as such, the dancefloor being too small! . . . Greenford’s Barbarellas is looking for an established soul-funk DJ to do Fridays and Saturdays, no time-wasters . . . Chris Kaye, funking a busy round of regular gigs in West Kent, would like to be offered one-off guest spots in superior venues in the North or Scotland — anywhere but the South-East, for a change, sez he! — so managers/promoters, call Chris on 0892-45023 . . . Howard Johnson ‘So Fine’ now tops the US Dance Disco chart, Jennifer Holliday is still top US Black single and climbing Pop . . . Hi Voltage ‘Let’s Get Horny‘ makes a surprisingly late and unexpected chart debut here, considering the mixer-orientated 124½bpm fierce-ish track first appeared at the start of May . . . Bobby “O” is selling really well as a result of my mix with it on the first Soul On Sound, according to Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre — incidentally, one problem with listening to “fierce” electro-funk at Rayners Lane is you can never be sure if what you’re hearing is on the record or off their ever-busy video games! . . . Peterborough’s Discoasis shop in Cross Street sells import LPs at £6.49, 12in £3.99, DJs getting a special discount . . . George Andrew (Salford Mister Shifters mobile) thanks Stockport’s Grove Records (in London Road, Hazel Grove) for their support at the otherwise largely unsponsored recent Bramhall Festival . . . Adrian, of Bournemouth’s gay orientated Adams bar/disco, recommends Carnival Records in Ashley Road, Bournemouth, for extremely cheap disco 12in prices . . . I’m surprised such a straight MoR record as the Boys Town Gang is getting so much evident “soul” disco play . . . Mark Clark (Bracknell) hopes record companies wouldn’t pounce on any DJs who happen to sell old promos at “car boot” sales in aid of the South Atlantic Fund — probably not, Mark, as long as all future rights to their mailouts aren’t included in the sale! . . . Neil Fincham & Colin Cordrey (Edinburgh Mad Hatters Speakeasy), recently pictured with Junior, claim to be the longest DJ team in the country — total height 12′ 8½” if laid end to end in bare feet (which wouldn’t surprise me) — and challenge all comers . . . I can’t compete, being partnered by Graham Gold, despite my 6’ 8” . . . Watford’s Ponderosa is all very well, but the trouble with unlimited um-yum is it’s too darned fattening! . . . OK, Roger Dynamite, you work at Tiffanys in Gt Yarmouth (we’re not mind readers you know) . . . Sandy Martin reckons after the introduction at Swindon Brunel Rooms of Angus the Angry Bull that women make the best bucking riders thanks to their thigh power — cor, slobbers Sandy, there were some on Angus that could turn an “all nighter” into a “weekender”! . . . thank you Sandy, we get your drift, now tell it to Spare Rib . . . ‘The Day The Music Died’, now published here, is a novelisation (and gripping read) of the development of black music within rock ‘n’ roll from ’56 to ’63, written by Joseph C Smith who under the name Sonny Knight scored the original hit with ‘Confidential’ in 1956, well worth finding and full of thinly disguised characters from the music business — if you’re into your history, read it . . . Cliff Dawson; with a soul listening set on US Boardwalk currently being imported, is from New York but used to be in our own Chosen Few . . . Mezzoforte, the Icelandic jazz-funkers, have rivals in the form of a Nottingham white boys group recording under the same name . . . Capital’s Phil Allen, whose Sunday morning 1.45am London funk chart I never miss hearing, mentioned “a heavy dew” and Peter Young in the same breath — brilliant! . . . Larry Foster, well busy at such East London venues as Reflections, Lamps, The Villa and the Albion pub, left between gigs for a brief holiday in the Lake District to return to London for the following weekend, only to drive back to the Lakes on Monday and repeat it again the next weekend — this doesn’t beat me however: years ago at midsummer I did four consecutive mobile gigs all in different areas, then drove hell for leather to the very North-West of Scotland just to see the midnight dusk, saw it, dug it (though it rained!), and then turned right round again to head back for two more gigs in the South just three days after the last one . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Oscars) says also about his holiday at Salou in Spain that the jock in a club called Shalako mixed the Police ‘Roxanne’ over the break in Soft Cell ‘Tainted Love’ to great effect . . . Mad Marx at Clacton Butlins in his redcoat role had to extemporize when the bingo machine broke down in front of 200 old age pensioners, so he rapidly turned to the record decks and proceeded to rap over ‘You’re The One For Me’ — which was such a hit with the OAPs he now raps every night! . . . (Mad Marx now wonders, who the hell told him that?) . . . Nick Ratcliffe (Winkfield) and others should note that our two Disco and Nightclub Charts are compiled quite simply like this: DJs returns which only and obviously relate to soul/funk/jazz/black material are used for Disco, while any charts which include more than the odd few non-black pop-type titles go towards Nightclub, the orientation of the venues being easy to spot by these means (and neither being considered superior to the other) . . . that said, and although I know how dancers these days seem depressingly keen on oldies, is there any chance we could get some DJ contributors for our Nightclub chart who play something more recent than last month’s hits? . . . DO IT DO IT . . . HEY . . . DO IT DO IT!


DUNN & BRUCE STREET, whose ‘Shout For Joy‘ is chuckling up the chart on Satril, turn out to be two Philly Sound veterans with an interesting past. Dunn Pearson Jr has racked up extensive arranger credits especially with the O’Jays, as well as Wild Cherry, M’Lady, Patrice ‘Choc-let’ Banks, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Stephanie Mills and the Detroit Spinners, while his partner Bruce Gray with a similar background co-wrote the theme for US TV’s ‘Soul Train’ show and arranged the Trammps ‘Disco Inferno’. Continuing the Philly link, their hit in the States is on former O’Jay Bobby Massey’s Devaki label.


BRIAN “BAZZER” MASON, cueing up records at his Friday residency in South Harrow’s Bobby Magee’s, is kept busy also at Watford’s New Penny on Saturday’s (have you eaten at the Ponderosa yet?) and at Southgate’s Pink Elephant (the old Royalty) on Mon/Tues/Wednesdays. Thursday’s he sleeps!


CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR, after their past brilliances, have really disappointed with the UK release of their latest 12in, ‘Somebody Tell Me What To Do‘ (De-Lite DEX 8), a competent enough but scarcely exceptional pedestrian lurching 112bpm chanter flipped by the sweet soul slow 0-37/74-38/76bpm ‘Heart Upside Down’ both from an imminent new LP of which we must hope for better. At least they’re in commendably soulful voice, but all trace of dazzle and flash is sadly lacking.


UK NEWIES

GRAND MASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS FIVE: ‘The Message’ (Sugarhill SHL 117).
Truly an overnight sensation, this reality rooted 100bpm 12in message is rapped in a mixture of conversational and beat binding voices with a sound-effect ‘Living For The City’-like street bust as climax of the mesmerizing simple repetitive rhythm riff. Dig the message — “its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under” —and look out for (I’m told) “kissing” instead of “pissing” on UK pressings!

HOWARD JOHNSON: ‘So Fine’ (Funk A&Merica USAF 1221).
Funnily enough I freaked on first hearing this but then tempered my original import review with caution, thinking “Nah, it’s too carefully controlled.” Doo-wop acappella introed insistently rolling smooth 113bpm 12in smacker with great vocal work by the ex-Niteflyte singer, officially flip here to the creamily jogging “new soul” slow aching 102bpm ‘Keepin’ Love New‘.

EVELYN KING: ‘Get Loose’ LP (RCA RCALP 3093).
From the production team who bring you Howard Johnson and Melba Moore (joke!), this beautifully packaged set is out here ahead of the States and is full of immediately familiar stuff at a tempo you know and love. Best possibly are the steadily smacking 114-115bpm ‘I Can’t Stand It’, sinuously weaving 115bpm ‘Back To Love‘ and 114bpm title track, plus there’s the 113½bpm ‘Stop That‘, 117bpm ‘Get Up Off Your Love‘, 108bpm ‘Betcha She Don’t Love You‘. Continue reading “August 21, 1982: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Howard Johnson, Evelyn King, Mike & Brenda Sutton, Melba Moore”

August 14, 1982: Rockers Revenge, Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force, Galaxy, Wanda, Jay W. McGee

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

IMAGINATION, after doing backing vocals for Kelly Marie’s Crusaders- produced track, hint they weren’t exactly impressed despite the Crusaders’ twenty years of musical experience — “the guys are fantastic but they need to utilize what’s happening now, though we did learn a lot from them,” hastily adds Leee . . . Leee also says, “I can’t wait to get a flop, then we’ll know who the real people are in the music business” . . . Italy meanwhile has Imagination’s ‘Just An Illusion’ at 4 and ‘Body Talk’ at 10 in the chart, Belgium has ‘Music And Lights’ at 12, and in Canada ‘Just An Illusion’ has sold enough to go “double gold” . . . Dartford’s futuristically revamped Flicks reopens next week with a preview night party on Thursday (19) and a fireman’s fancy dress ball on Friday (20), when Chris Hill joins Colin Hood, and already the enquiries have been so heavy that the club has had to install an answerphone to handle reopening details on Dartford 25520 . . . Canvey’s Goldmine, on the first week of its tenth anniversary celebrations, had kids queueing outside at 10 in the morning last Saturday! . . . Orin Cozier is now deservedly the Streetwave label’s full time national radio plugger and artist liaison manager, Morgan Khan meanwhile is now hyping himself up on new singings, the Hudson Brothers . . . Howard Johnson ‘So Fine‘, which hasn’t stopped climbing since the news got about it wouldn’t be on UK release, will be out here after all, but as flip to ‘Keepin’ Love New’ (now watch the hipper than hip drop it fast!), spearheading the relaunch next week A&M’s Funk A&Merica series along with Magic Lady ‘Sexy Body’ / ‘Get Off’ (wot not ‘Give It Up’?), Jeffrey Osborne ‘Eenie Meenie’ / ‘You Were Made To Love’, Atlantic Starr ‘Love Me Down’ / ‘You’re The One’ . . . Britain’s first video pool, A. B. SEE provides a monthly one hour compilation of current hot promotional videos at £50 + VAT per month, initially sending two tapes so that the older one can be replaced after the first month thus leaving you always with two to rotate, and the service is already much used by London Clubs (I can vouch for the videos at Le Beat Route) although A. B. SEE’s Roz Bea would like to hear from more provincial clubs with video facilities — contact her at Albion Leisure Services, 147 Oxford Street, London W1 (01-734 9072) . . . Peter Powell’s Steppin’ Out soul show on Radio One (Mondays 6.10pm) would surely be of most benefit if it left all the brand new pre-release exclusives to the local radio specialist shows, which have more time available, and instead concentrated its 50 minutes on consolidating those soul disco hits which, with just a little bit more national airplay, could possibly cross over into the pop chart . . . Industry sources estimate that 5000 sales are needed to break even on a disco hit, many not getting anywhere near that despite apparent chart popularity, while with luck an average disco chart topper which also hits the bottom end of the pop chart can possibly sell around 30,000 after a lot of hard graft . . . Froggy’s Steppin’ Out mixes really should be more ambitious and busier — its no fun waiting right through a record just to hear one segue, especially now that young Alan Coulthard on Radio Luxembourg zaps you with something incredible every few seconds on his megamix masterworks (provided radio reception lets you hear it) . . . Martin Collins Soul Seekin’ show on Chiltern Radio (c.792 MW) every Sunday 3-6pm can be picked up in London, and I’m glad to hear he’s more than lived up to his earlier praised potential . . . Jeff Young is sitting in for Robbie Vincent on Radio London’s Saturday lunchtime soul show for the next few weeks . . . Capital’s recently absent reggae jock David Rodigan has grown a muff around his mouth, to go with the second star lead role he’s been off filming in Greenland for BBC TV’s ‘Shackleton’ series, due on our screens next spring . . . Tony Jenkins Soul On Sound cassette magazine got off to a great start, shops already reporting that my preview mix medley has brought people back in to buy records featured — remember, I can’t use more than a short excerpt (to comply with copyright laws) and so will never be able to do an ideal mix by waiting for all the optimum mix points, but I think you’ll find this week’s edition is even neater . . . Ambiance drummer Mike Parkinson stuck it out giving helpful nods while Tony Jenkins dozed off during the marathon all night session it took to end up with the new medley! . . . Technics digital readout adjustments to achieve the Rockers Revenge/Sharon Redd ‘Beat The Street’/Bobby “O” mix (during which I’m still not sure what bits belong to what records!) are +2.1/0.0/–3.7 . . . Bobby “O” (for Orlando) produced the Flirts ‘Passion‘ gay synth hit, a c.120bpm 12in remix of which is now on Canadian Unidisc (UNI-1086) . . . Graham Gold moves downstairs on Friday nights at Mayfair’s Gullivers in Down Street, leaving me to funk the whole night upstairs on my own (no hardship in itself!) . . . Wham’s glamorous platinum blonde dancer Shirlie Holliman gets nothing from gigs and so earns her keep, not working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, but as one of the remarkably friendly girls at Watford’s Ponderosa — the UK’s first truly authentic American restaurant which is so good I’ve travelled there from London twice in four days to gorge on dirt cheap steak with shrimp, unlimited help yourself salad, unlimited soft drink refills, unlimited um-yum! . . . Harringay Bolts national gay disco dancing championship was won by 20 year old masseur David Beard . . . Ian Levine (Charing Cross Heaven) has Sharon Redd ‘In The Name Of Love‘ at the top of the gay venue’s chart and reminds me that Stephanie Mills ‘I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You‘ was of course originally Syreeta’s debut single when called Rita Wright . . . CBS conned a lot of jocks by disguising the Goombay Dance Band as the GD Band on white label 12in promos of ‘Rain’ . . . Marvin Howell’s ERC label (hot with the Boys Town Gang, whose ‘Signed Sealed And Delivered‘ revival will be the next single pulled off their September-issued LP) is now clarified as being the outlet for product licensed from the US, with acts going on Marvin’s Project label System being phased out (Pino D’Angio possibly being transferred to ERC later in the summer) . . . Adrian reports from Bournemouth’s gay Adams Disco in the Maison Royale complex that Carol Jiani ‘Hit ‘N Run Lover’ megamix is still Bournemouth’s biggest hit, the Fri/Sat/Sun/Tuesday club being busiest on the cabaret Tuesday nights . . . Tony St Michael’s nights at Islington’s Hemingford Arms pub have changed from funk to gay, Sundays for women, Mondays for men . . . Tony de Vit compiles a gay disco chart at Birmingham’s Nightingale Club which he then features on his Beacon Radio show, without identifying the fact that it’s gay, and supplies to listeners by post . . . Paul Parker ‘Right On Target‘ (US Megatone 12in) is top of the US Dance/Disco chart, although Ian Levine prefers the ‘Pushin’ Too Hard‘ flip . . . Laura Branigan ‘Gloria’ is now on UK 12in (Atlantic K 11759T) . . . Gibbo is playing so much material normally associated only with gay discos that I had difficulty in stopping our chart compiler Alan Jones from classifying Edgbaston Faces French Club Jardine as gay! . . . Tricky Dicky Richard Scanes in his Disco Music shop at 391C Mile End Road, London E3, offers UK 12in at £1.90 and US 12in at £3.50 to our gay chart readers, the same discount as for DJs, adding “If you’re gay and a DJ you get an extra special kiss!” . . . yeuchh! . . . Eddie Murphy, whose ‘Boogie In Your Butt‘ was intended as a disco parody but is in fact one of the best funk cuts this year, is a sort of American equivalent to Lenny Henry on TV there . . . Keni Burke, selling well on UK 12in, appears to have been around too long for jocks to stick with him . . . I don’t understand the evident rush to buy Glass — the girls are out of tune, dammit! — nor the surprisingly short lived peak reached by the incredibly good Redd Hott ‘Ecstasy‘ . . . A&M in America have started an AyM label series for strictly Latin music (of the ethnic Mexican/South American variety) . . . Gunch appears probably to be some new illegally ingested substance . . . Al Green is taking time off from his Memphis church to play the type-cast role of a minister alongside Patti LaBelle on Broadway in a new adaptation of the gospel musical ‘Your Arm’s Too Short To Box With God’, set for an eight week run starting in a month at the Alvin Theatre . . . Teddy P, many doctors agree, may never walk again — so I’m sorry about last week’s comment, based on earlier more optimistic reports — although he is already in other respects more mobile than the even more unfortunate Johnnie Wilder . . . Nigel Halkes (Portishead) reminds us that the flip of Shalamar’s ‘Make That Move’ was ‘The Pop Along Kid‘, all about body popping . . . Teesside jocks Cleveland Area DJ Association is now affiliated with the DJF, details from Graham Murray, 7 Crossbeck Way, Ormesby, Middlesbrough, Cleveland . . . Theo Loyla has returned to Mecca after 12 years, joining Dave Munday on Saturday’s at Guildford’s Cinderella Rockerfellas . . . Suzie Halls, remembered by many DJs as Fred Dove’s assistant a while back, now works just along the road from me in Willesden at Jive . . . Brian ‘Bazzer’ Mason jocks Mon/Tues/Wednesday upstairs at Southgate’s Pink Elephant (ex-Royalty) . . . Dion Schoun of Copenhagen’s Tattersall (Tatters Disco) recommends the Ding Dong record shop at Silkegade 3, behind the Illum warehouse, in Copenhagen as a hot source of imported US and UK material . . . Kev James is now permanently based in Denmark (this month at Skagen’s Disco Admiralen), where he says Rick James is king and Falco’s original ‘Der Kommisar‘ is classed as funk . . . Mark Clark (Bracknell) on a recent return to Rotterdam spent a weekend coaching Blue Feather to speaka de English, so now you know who to blame if you encounter them here . . . Rob Harknett (Roydon 027979 2329) had an expensive narrow escape (literally) from Czechoslovakia after his young son came out with measles (silly taking him there really), Rob only managing one gig behind the Iron Curtain but at least he was greeted by the crowd like a superstar — now he needs a copy of the 24.4.82 Record Mirror as the copy he sent his Czech chum was lost . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh) writes from Salou near Tarragona that Kasso ‘Kasso‘ seems big in Spain . . . Nick Ratcliffe (Winkfield) says the taverns in Corfu all wind up with a selection of terrible Eurodisco, the ‘Stars On 45’ singles and ‘Disco Bouzouki’, but it’s all good fun (apart from the other bloody foreigners)! . . . Mark Summers, resident at Hackney’s recently opened luxurious 1920s-styled Flappers in Temple Mills Lane, regularly gets visited by local tribe the Hymen Bursters! . . . Donna Summer’s recording sessions with Quincy Jones were more of a strain than originally anticipated, according to a good report in the LA Times, Donna being preoccupied by her unexpected pregnancy — and did you spot it on TV, but because of this her current video makes extensive use of a slimline cardboard cutout of her! . . . Mike Page (Shifnal Nell Gwynn), who’s always being told he’s too expensive, asks on behalf of himself and several other local jocks, who the hell is Trevor Hughes? (OK guys, meet at noon on main street) . . . Frenchie’s sweat dripped onto his close talk mike while he was fiddling with the badly earthed lighting controller the other Wednesday at Kirkham Charlie Max’s and — ZAPP! – instant hair straightener . . . Chris Cole (Cranleigh Cranley Hotel), please note that although provincial reaction comes via the mail, London’s contribution to the Disco 90 includes bang up to date verbal reports . . . Eddy James (Walthamstow Royal Standard) reckons BPM should now become CPM, for Claps Per Minute . . . WEA’s Fred Dove opines “There are too many DJs asking for free records because they can’t afford to buy them, not because they want to promote them” (think about it, there’s a subtle difference!) . . . Alfred McCrarys says “Absolutely!” . . . Delbert says “KEEP IT CRUCIAL!”


UK NEWIES

ROCKERS REVENGE featuring DONNIE CALVIN: ‘Walking On Sunshine ’82’ (London LONX 11).
Along with “D” Train’s ‘You’re The One For Me’, likely in retrospect to be 1982’s most influential disco record, this brilliant 115bpm 4-track 12in restructuring of the Eddy Grant song is already deservedly the hottest sound in the nation and an absolute delight for mixers. Try overdubbing its own acappella version (get two copies!). Aretha Franklin’s acappella intro, the US ‘Keep On’ B-side’s acappella intro, the Peech Boys acappella 7in, or synch for sensational effect as much of Sharon Redd’s ‘Beat The Street’ as you can manage. If you’re one of the few who haven’t yet heard it, look out for all the sneaky bits nicked from “D” Train and others. It’s a hit-bound cross fertilisation of culture, owing as much to the Human League as to funk. What a blast!

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & THE SOUL SONIC FORCE: ‘Planet Rock’ (21 Records POPX 497, via Polydor).
People either love or loathe this blatant pinch of Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’ speeded up on 126bpm 12in as either an instrumental flip (big for many) or with a freaky US smash rap as the main side. Either way it’s big and getting bigger all the time, with lots of pop appeal.

GALAXY: ‘Head Over Heels’ (Ensign ENYT 229, via RCA).
Not widely available just yet but already eagerly sought on red label promo following weeks of teasing radio play by Robbie Vincent, this Phil (Kandidate) Fearon-penned/sung Quincy Jones-ish slick creamy 117bpm 12in roller was produced by the currently hot Pete Wingfield, whose own gorgeous piano playing on the jazzier instrumental flip is making that the most danced to side, although both develop beautifully as they flow along. Continue reading “August 14, 1982: Rockers Revenge, Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force, Galaxy, Wanda, Jay W. McGee”

August 7, 1982: Aretha Franklin, Dunn & Bruce Street, Teddy Pendergrass, Grandmaster Flash, Jermaine Jackson

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

SHOWSTOPPER PROMOTIONS next year will keep a huge marquee disco running for three months right through the summer season at St Tropez after their return ten day jazz-funk special has finished . . . Southgate Royalty meanwhile is packing ’em in six nights a week in its new guise of the Pink Elephant Fun House, with two separate discos, lotsa fun and sideshows, dirt cheap admission . . . Canvey Island’s legendary Goldmine celebrates its tenth anniversary all this month with a different musical theme each Saturday, this week’s finding Chris Hill and Jeff Young reviving ten years of jazz (including Chris’s “swing thing”) . . . Chris Hill, if he and Carol have been to the movies recently, is doubtless saying “MISTER Porky, to you!” . . . Capital Radio’s bright young blood, Gary Crowley starts a weekly Saturday lunchtime shindig this week (7) at London’s Charing Cross Road Busbys, 11.30am-2.30pm, soft drinks only, aided by ‘Motorway Mick’ Brown and PA’s by Buzz and Wham . . . ‘Reggae On It’ is indeed by Freddie McGregor and will be out here on Erskine Thompson’s new Intense label segued out of ‘Follow This Ya Sound’ as a 3-track 12in flipped by the ‘Big Ship’ remix . . . Narada Michael Walden’s US 12in of ‘Summer Lady’ is a new improved remix and will be out here imminently . . . ‘Chanson D’Llegance‘ in an 11½ minute remix is on the new Disconet . . . Sharon Redd’s ‘Can You Handle It’ in probably the KISS remix version (although it seems slower at c.109bpm) is on US Prelude 12in (PRD-1005) flipped by Muslque ’82 ‘Keep On Jumpin’ (remixed) and ‘In The Bush’ (one version or another), both c.132bpm . . . Holland’s enterprising Rams Horn label is sadly reported to be going broke, which will dry up a strong source of remixes . . . Soul Sonic Force may soon come here on Polydor-distributed 21 Records, Fatback ‘She’s My Shining Star’ is evidently now on UK 12in, Zapp ‘Dance Floor is due too . . . MCA are re-releasing the Crusaders ‘Street Life’ on 12in (MCAT 513), Motown revive Smokey Robinson’s 1979 US smash ‘Cruisin’ . . . Patrick Boothe had a close encounter with a paint sprayer, or is his new hairstyle the “badger” look?! . . . ‘School’s Out’, huh, David and Ji? . . . KEEP IT TIGHT!


Laura ‘n’ Order

LAURA BRANIGAN is shooting up the gay charts in the States and now here with her version of Umberto Tozzi’s storming Euro-hit of 1979 (covered by Jonathan King), the Donna Summer-ish driving 130½bpm ‘Gloria‘ (US Atlantic DM 4835) which is already getting so much pop radio play in Britain that the import 12in has been joined by a UK 7in (K 11759). Born and bread in Brewater, a small upstate New York town, Laura moved to New York City for a drama school course before singing behind Leonard Cohen on his 1977 European tour as part of The Army.


Level Crossing

I LEVEL, whose now released ‘Give Me‘ debut on Virgin has got everyone talking, are Duncan Bridgeman, Sam Jones and Joe Dworniak. Lead vocalist Sam, who used to sing with reggae group Brimstone, wrote the record while Duncan and Joe are co-owners of the Moody demo studios which they financed from past involvements, Duncan with Shake Shake and bassist Joe with BEF. Both have backed John Foxx. This variety of backgrounds is obvious in their work now, giving ‘Give Me’ a very strong wide appeal and freshness of approach which should make it a monster crossover hit.


UK NEWIES

ARETHA FRANKLIN: ‘Jump To It’ (Arista ARIST 12479).
Luther Vandross-produced/co-penned feminist angering (0-)119-120-120½bpm 12in bumper starts with some skippable acappella wailing and a bit of talking before the beat bubbles up and Lady Soul gets down to moaning and searing her way through the supporting chix with some incredible soaring “shabadoodledaweeda” scatting that’ll make your neck hairs bristle!

DUNN & BRUCE STREET: ‘Shout For Joy’ (Satril 12SAT 5OO).
With a name play on Dun & Bradstreet, the guys chuckle in Terry Wogan style and tell us to “have a good time” as this quietly infectious languidly smacking 111(start)-113bpm 12in bumper winds along to an effective gap in the backing rhythm towards the end. An immediate monster for those few jocks initially on it, it’s been surprisingly slow to spread considering how good it is (especially with Howard Johnson, and try A Taste of Honey out of it).

TEDDY PENDERGRASS: ‘Now Tell Me That You Love Me’ (LP ‘This One’s For You’ Philadelphia PIR 85937).
Gamble & Huff-prod/penned absolutely gorgeous familiar 37bpm smoocher with a Dexter Wansel-arranged catchy little twiddle in the backing (did he sing this at Hammersmith?), while other nice slowies on a typical set are the Ashford & Simpson-prod/penned 37-75bpm ‘Only To You‘ and synthetically burbling steadily rolling 0-98-101bpm ‘I Can’t Win For Losing‘. If he had a funny way of walking before his accident, what’ll it be like now? Continue reading “August 7, 1982: Aretha Franklin, Dunn & Bruce Street, Teddy Pendergrass, Grandmaster Flash, Jermaine Jackson”

July 31, 1982: I Level, Evelyn King, Roy Hamilton, Eddie Murphy, Peech Boys

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THE CRUSADERS continue in their attempt to alienate all their original fans. Joe Sample and Wilton Felder (who will be doing production work here several times a year now) have produced, written and played on the next release by — honestly, you’re never in a million years going to guess this, and in fact I find it hard to believe still, despite Joe having told me himself — yes, really, Kelly Marie! . . . Tony Jenkins SFX-like ‘Soul On Sound’ cassette magazine debuts this week and includes a review section constructed as a marathon mix of just 45 seconds each of 26 records, all segued in a continuous session by myself — and considering the restrictions, TJ hovering stopwatch in hand to tell me when 45 seconds was coming up, I think the result ain’t bad (it really was just one take, but there’s a splice near the end as a stylus jumped!) . . . Motown’s Robert Blenman is planning some Rick James promotion nights (featuring his records and videos with giveaways etc.) for the period 19-29 August and needs more midweek venues — if interested, contact Robert or Rose on 01-499 4100 . . . Rick’s follow-up, due then, will be ‘Hard To Get’ . . . Phonogram’s Jeff Young urgently requires heavy metal jocks for a new mailing list — apply to him with full genuine work details at Phonogram/Decca, 50 New Bond Street, London, W1 9HA . . . Polydor Promotions’ Adam Vincent is putting together a very limited video club list . . . Sharon Redd’s UK single looks like being ‘In The Name Of Love’ (oh well, another one down the tube) . . . Narada Michael Walden’s ‘Summer Lady‘, evidently big on the Continent thanks no doubt to its French speaking lady, is now on US Atlantic 12in flipped by his current UK issued ‘You Ought To Love Me’ . . . Rah Band’s remixed ‘Tears And Rain’ is due now as the A-side on 3-track KR 12in flipped by their recent TMT red label’s other two cuts . . . Pinnacle distributed Ace Records (one of Ted ‘Rock On’ Carroll’s labels along with Chiswick) in August launches a new Kent Records logo especially for ’60s soul, starting with a ‘For Dancers Only‘ LP containing such Northern specialities as Mary Love, Felice Taylor, Ikettes, ZZ Hill . . . Phonogram’s licence for Can’t Stop Productions — Ritchie Family and, er Village People product — expired last December so rather than having to renegotiate a new deal which would include the, er, Village People they passed on the Ritchie Family (although there were belated talks about just their album until that subsequently stiffed), while Can’t Stop’s deal with RCA evidently doesn’t include Britain . . . Whitehaven Whitehouse’s DJ Colin Young has his club top 20 on Radio Luxembourg this Friday (11pm), Colin’s own ‘Turn It Up’ show going out on BBC Radio Cumbria every Tuesday and Thursday 5-6pm . . . Luxembourg irritatingly kept fading away during Alan Coulthard’s ‘1979 CBS’ mix last Friday, a week when Alan sported his first love bite from a home town Cardiff girl who didn’t know he’d found such fame in London, that he’s now even getting records from Fred Dove! . . . WEA’s Dove incidentally takes time out in North Wales this weekend to help Al Taylor run to WEA party nights on Fri/Saturday at Poppeys in Bodelwyddan, just south of Rhyl . . . Roger Tovell’s Friday Funkshun show on Gloucester’s Severn Sound (388 MW) is an hour shorter now, 8-10pm, but much more up-front since its reclassification as a minority interest programme — Roger also jocks Fri/Saturdays at apathy-filled Stroud’s Brewhouse . . . Capital Radio’s Tony Hale, once producer of Radio One’s old Al Matthews soul show, never stopped talking about Bobby McFerrin during his on-air plugs for the Knebworth jazz festival (where the weather continued to be fine) — I wonder who told him Bobby was hot! . . . Jennifer Holliday is now top US black single and climbing the pop chart too . . . Angela Clemmons here has finally broken outside gay clubs — and it’s good to see Second Image with a chart hit at last . . . Irene Cara’s 12in quartz locks at 130bpm, the massive success of ‘Fame’ unfortunately proving that as people go out less these days you’ve really got to be on telly to get a hit . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) says: “Still waiting for the return of the US Disco chart, as Billboard is starting to eat a large hole in my pocket — I’d rather buy a record with the money it costs” . . . Pete Tong should note my idea of soul is not “one big hand-clap”, although handclaps do help make disco records danceable — trouble is, there are not many people left who can remember my own idea of real soul (for instance, how many Falcons fans are out there now?!) . . . Jeff Young, Ian Shaw, now Wigan Pier’s Greg Wilson is the latest with a poodle haircut . . . Paul Anthony (Wolverhampton’s luxurious Eve’s, where he’d welcome more artist PA’s) watched for the first time a video of the movie ‘Fame’ and was more shocked by the language than young son Duncan! . . . Edgbaston Faces French jocks Steve Dennis and Alan Gibson are both noticing a demand for newer and newer material, Gibbo in the previously futurist-slanted Club Jardine section now playing what he calls “innovative uptempo electronic dance music”, which combines electro pop, funk, and gay sounds . . . Gary Old is packing Aycliffe Bee Jays at the weekends with mainly soul/funk people, nevertheless breaks up the night with no complaints from anyone by catering to the future-pop fans with two half-hour spots early and late in the evening . . . Newcastle Upon Tyne’s David Emery (54 Reid Park Road, Jesmond, NE2 2ES) has been operating a hand serviced promotion service to just a dozen or so Newcastle/Sunderland area DJs on behalf of various major labels (no jerks serviced and no other DJs needed at the moment), and would welcome further record company interest . . . Trevor Hughes of Telford’s Redeye mobile says Abba’s ‘When All Is Said And Done‘ is currently big with rock fans when played at 33 1/3rpm and introduced as the newie by either Jim Steinman or Meat Loaf! . . . Mike Page (Telford Nell Gwynn) had better strap on his cowboy holster incidentally as Trev is gunning for him with the charge that by under-cutting fees at the gig he’s spoiling things for established local jocks . . . Graham Gold hosts the first of four Sundays this week (1) at Deptford’s Albany Empire to be divided fortnightly between funk and reggae, this Sunday seeing Incognito and One Force playing live, then Second Image there two weeks later (15) . . . Keith Barker-Main, ex-Earls Court Grafitti, starts a weekly gay night at Brixton’s well-appointed Fridge club next Thursday (5) . . . Imagination ‘Just An Illusion’ still gets more requests than ‘Music And Lights’ — anyone else notice that? . . . Paul Major is busy at Great Yarmouth’s Brunswick Regency Suite yet still finds time to write a weekly Country Bumpkin newsletter full of reviews of his promos, and to write a book (which he’s paying to have published — Paul, that’s a con, they should be paying you) — so why’s he looking for work elsewhere? . . . Paul’s brother at some other unidentified East Anglian hot spot, Roger Dynamite, was impressed by the fun and games during a recent Tony Prince appearance, a “change your clothes” competition producing lots of fast fully frontal stripping, followed by 1500 plus people all turning their clothes inside out to Odyssey . . . Steve Day next season starting 21st August will be club DJ at Leyton Orient football ground . . . Bob Jones & Nicky Peck’s recent Isle of Wight jazz-funk boat trip had the added attraction of a close look in Portsmouth harbour at all the returned Falkland fleet . . . Hot Quisine ‘Keep That Same Old Feeling’ finished copies quartz lock at 124bpm . . . Chris Britton: ‘Saddle Up’ is 110bpm, T-Connection ‘Wanna’ 120-122bpm, OK? . . . Tony Reeve (St Albans) thinks it’s unfair and sexist in this age of ‘equal pay’ that club managements should give concessions to women with free or reduced admission and fewer dress restrictions than for men — but, Tony, think about it as a man, aren’t you going to frequent a club that’s full of scantily clad young ladles? . . . Paul Macey has moved residencies on the Isle Of Wight to the Warners Puckpool Holiday Camp at Ryde, while Mad Marx says “hi de hi” and “see you in September” to his jazz punters from his seasonal stint as a Redcoat at Clacton on Sea Butlins . . . Gary Allan is now taking bookings for a weekender at Butlins in Wales, any DJs want to join him? (that’s a joke!) . . . M Platts says “I’ve got to be honest, sometimes I do exaggerate” — no, surely not? . . . Nick Bradman, resident at Sheffield’s luxurious Maximillions, writes in the guise of “Disgusted, Rotherham” that as a bona fide full time DJ he still doesn’t get many promos . . . Edinburgh’s naughty DJ is rumoured now to have been using other DJs names to try and get additional mailouts from record companies, which may unwittingly have cut off the genuine DJs . . . oh for a return to the days when everyone bought all their records . . . KEEP IT TIGHT!


UK NEWIES

I LEVEL: ‘Give Me’ (Virgin VS 523-12).
Brilliant British trio, (two white, one black) debut with a fantastically simple catchy fresh 113½–114½–113½bpm 12in snapping and tapping roller (dynamite between Freddie James and Larry Graham) full of weird effects and budgie noises, smoothly chanted or instrumental on the ‘3 a.m.’ flip. This has crossover pop appeal just as much as the funksters will love it.

EVELYN KING: ‘Love Come Down’ (RCA RCAT 249).
Typically well controlled and carefully crafted steady 116-117bpm 12in snicker, terrific out of Larry Graham, with a surprisingly faster 117½-118½bpm instrumental flip, Evelyn wailing well and most powerfully as it progresses, but unless she pulls pop punters pre-conditioned by Patrice she may not cross over from the committed disco crowd this time.

ROY HAMILTON: ‘Take Your Time (The Ultimate Mixx)’ (Excaliber EXCL 522).
Roy’s terrific frantically fierce smacking Narada/“D” Train-inspired 130(intro)-123-121-123bpm 12in instrumental exciter has been cleaned up since its brief burst of white label activity — but beware, as it’s the flip that’s good, his new remixed vocal A-side now actually being worse than the first. Continue reading “July 31, 1982: I Level, Evelyn King, Roy Hamilton, Eddie Murphy, Peech Boys”

July 24, 1982: Kool & The Gang, Patrick Boothe, Keni Burke, Sharon Redd, Freddie James, first gay club chart

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ROCKERS REVENGE has been snapped up by Phonogram for rush release on London, Satril picked up Dunn & Bruce Street . . . I’ve finally invested in a quartz locked deck, so all bpm’s will now be absolutely accurate (unless marked with c for circa — meaning they were done in a shop) . . . Steve Walsh (01-724 1559) is looking for a lighting and sound engineer, to learn the business from scratch if necessary, at one of the World’s major ballrooms (I wonder which one?!) . . . M Platts now — beat this! — says: “When between DJ jobs my charts are more accurate than half those working” . . . Russ Winstanley reintroduces Northern Soul allniters to Wigan at Tiffany’s the second Friday of every month from Friday August 13 (let’s hope that’s not an omen!), with all the old Casino jocks plus the prospect of Edwin Starr live in September — £2 for members, 1am-8am, 1,200 capacity, lotsa sweat! . . . Capital Radio’s open air Jazz Festival at Knebworth last weekend, at least, had great weather for once . . . Top Of The Pops recent ‘Soul Train’-like edition had its effect — look at the top end of the pop chart . . . I stopped playing ‘Fame’ after the fifth time at a mobile gig last Saturday — the TV series’ Erica Gimpel must be bitter that it’s not her version that hit here, as most people probably think they’re buying her . . . UK pressings of the ‘KISS Mastermixes’ double album, although identified by catalogue number and sleeve logo as on Epic, actually use the Prelude label on the actual records — a long overdue British identity for the hot American disco outlet . . . Whitehaven Whitehouse’s Phil Haslehurst sent me a tape of local Cumbrian band It Bites, whose ‘Ytopio’ is a very accomplished catchy fast flowing sax-led jazz instrumental . . . Gary Crowley could make a fortune doing gigs, to judge from the likely lad’s first live Tuesday broadcast from the Camden Palace recently on Capital . . . Alan Coulthard’s Solar mix got everyone talking who’d heard it on Luxembourg last Friday at 10.10pm — like a fool I forgot to hear it as I was out drinking with Peter Young! . . . OK, Keith, so Persis Kambata is not in the new ‘Star Trek’ flick, though it’s still subtitled ‘The Wrath Of Khan’ . . . Richard Allinson just did a brill segue from Ultravox ‘All Stood Still’ into the similar Sheena Easton ‘Machinery’ — what a way to start sitting in for Nicky Horne! . . . Rush Release’s Ian Titchener marries Clare soon, and invited the world to Harringay Lazers to celebrate this Tuesday just gone . . . Nicky Sands, once disco plugger for such as CBS and UA but now an area manager for Alfred Marks, finally made Joy an honest woman and honeymooned in New York where they caught all the many doo-wop shows, both live and on radio (check 101FM Sundays 7pm-midnight, and twiddle through AM frequencies Saturday 10am-2pm to locate Bobby Jay’s show) . . . Rick Holland kindly gave me a replacement Willie Tee ‘Walking Up A One Way Street‘ so Tuesdays at Le Beat Route are cool again! . . . Rick himself jocks at Tulse Hill’s Bonne Bonne (pronounced “Bon Bonnie”) where he alternates with Tom Nelson (The Admiral), and at Twickenham’s Winning Post . . . Bristol’s Martin Starr, thanks to a mention on this page, temporarily does Dave Beeching’s Level One club in Neasden shopping centre every Mon/Thursday . . . Mayfair Gullivers lets you drink yourself legless for free up until midnight every Tuesday, provided you pay £5 admission . . . Pigbag ‘Big Bean’ on 12in is 129-131-129-131bpm . . . I have seen the likely reality of the 21st century on Earth, in a preview of the hit US movie ‘Blade Runner’, and it is not a pretty sight — but the movie and its visionary effects are stunning . . . Abba’s ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ was only on 12in here, but did indeed come out in the States on 7in . . . Ronnie Scott’s got a chef in his club who’s half black and half Japanese, so every December he attacks Pearl Bailey! . . . KEEP IT TIGHT!


DUTCH BAND Blue Feather, currently climbing the charts with ‘Let’s Funk Tonight’, play a string of dates starting this month.

They kick off by supporting Light Of The World at Hammersmith Odeon on July 31 followed by gigs in their own right at: Hitchin Regal August 5, Manchester Unity 7, Cardiff Top Rank September 3, Brighton Top Rank 10, London Venue 11.

More dates will be confirmed later.


UK NEWIES

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Big Fun’ (De-Lite DEX 7).
‘Celebration’ meets ‘Get Down On It’ halfway at 116bpm — which really says it all — the 12in being flipped by the extended 110-111bpm remix of ‘Get Down On It’ previously only available for Walkman wearers on the ‘Dura-Dance’ cassette compilation.

PATRICK BOOTHE: ‘Never Knew Love Like This Before’ (Streetwave STR A13-2596).
The Richard Jones-produced track is so truly awesome this time that the sinister bass figure is likely to do damage to your speakers as this purposefully pushing 109bpm 12in jitterer unwinds, Earth Wind & Fire’s overworked Phoenix Horns yet again braying behind pent up Patrick (instrumental flip) — but, vital to Streetwave though this release is, I still have the nagging doubt that not enough of a song develops, despite the last minute insertion at my suggestion of more variety towards the end. However, its immediate impact is strong (especially on radio), and it should do much better than that last disaster.

KENI BURKE: ‘Risin’ To The Top’ (RCA RCAT 252).
Around for ages on album, this beautifully soulful classy cool unhurried (0 -)94bpm 12in jogger has been flipped for value by his set’s next hottest cut, the similarly cool drifting and rolling 111-112½bpm ‘Hang Tight‘. On both, it’s the man’s vocal quality that counts. Continue reading “July 24, 1982: Kool & The Gang, Patrick Boothe, Keni Burke, Sharon Redd, Freddie James, first gay club chart”

July 17, 1982: Jeffrey Osborne, Fonda Rae, Shep Pettibone’s Mastermixes, Leroy Hutson, Zapp

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

SUGARHILL GANG ‘The Lover In You‘ was co-produced/penned by our own Pete Wingfield following Sylvia’s borrowing of his ‘It’s Good To Be The King‘ tune, and Pete along with Tiny Duke, Craig Derry and the Sequence actually handle all the singing with the Gang only doing the rap, a rather different original mix by Pete being likely to show up in some form here . . . Sugarhill’s house engineer Steve Jerome is indeed the immensely fat veteran who with brother Bill Jerome was responsible for many old hits like Hot Butter, and is not to be confused with British singer Jerome . . . Alan Coulthard’s debut remix medley of Kool & The Gang material on Radio Luxembourg last Friday at 10.10pm was so staggeringly brilliant I nearly wet myself with excitement, no way had I expected it to be that good — Froggy can forget it! . . . “D” Train’s import version of ‘Keep On’ is reputedly yet another better remix with a new dub flip . . . Wham, yet to live up to expectations, have a US promo remix of ‘Wham Rap’ . . . Renee Geyer’s Australian smash version of ‘Say I Love You‘, which got radio play but missed out in discos to Lenny Zakatek’s more authentic version here, is now on belated 12in (Portrait PRT A13-2056) . . . Eyes & Ears are circulating a 3-track 12in promo of singles currently only on Motown 7in, Bobby Womack ‘So Many Sides Of You‘ a mellow but forceful fast 127bpm bounder, High Inergy ‘First Impressions‘ a tremulously trilled tripping 112bpm swayer, and Bettye Lavette ‘I Can’t Stop‘ a ponderous ebbing and flowing 116bpm strutter . . . Phonogram’s Jeff Young sent out a US promo 12in of Starpoint ‘Get Your Body Up‘, a basic repetitive 119bpm funk jolter, purely because he had some . . . A&M are likely to be speeding up their black US releases here soon, and to keep things current when they do so will not be issuing Howard Johnson ‘So Fine’ . . . Gap Band yo-yo back to US Black number one, Stevie Wonder is top Dance/Disco . . . Colin Hudd is looking for a professionally minded DJ with the same mental attitude as expressed last week by Flash Gordon (DJ Top 20) for one night a week at Dartford Flicks (which will now reopen in August) — write to Colin at the club, Flicks, Kent Road, Dartford, Kent . . . Cleveland Area DJ Assn is promoting itself in September with an Adrian Love-headed monster roadshow incorporating a DJ competition open only to DJF members and (if sponsors can be found) a disco dancing contest too, at Redcar Leisure Centre — details from Tees-valley Roadshow’s Graham Bond (0642-325112) . . . Rob Hartman (Roydon) has updated news on the rigorous tests that DJs have to pass in Czechoslovakia before they can then charge a fee, which is itself assessed according to how they fare in the following: a mammoth written exam on the history and development of pop music, another ditto on world politics, practical and written tests on both listening and dancing programmes, plus a six-part test for equipment, microphone voice, lighting, wiring etc — not surprisingly there’s no “cowboy” problem there! . . . M. Platts is still representing himself to record companies as playing to — get this! — 48,000 people a week (which is some average for three staff discos in five weeks), and confesses that although he told me he’d raised £8,500 by running up Snowdon with a 90lb pack on his back he actually didn’t raise anything . . . you could say he’s been dead clever conning so many record companies for so long, but whichever way, it’s been an interesting case of the Walter Mitty’s — and a lesson is to be learnt: DJs who write too much in their reaction reports obviously can’t be that busy or else they wouldn’t have the time, whereas unfortunately it’s the really busy jocks who can do most for record companies in promoting their product rather than those with the time to write back . . . Paul Major, how busy are you? . . . Edinburgh’s Paul Fabian, now minus a lucrative source of revenue following the cessation of record company mailouts to him, no longer represents Eyes & Ears in Scotland . . . South Wales veteran Alan Christo, most recently working in Porthcawl, is open to offers on Abercynon 741463 from clubs in the area . . . Derek Pierce every Thursday at Moles Cub in Bath is featuring a whole range of black music, including Afro, reggae, funk and rap . . . Brother To Brother are busy on Thursdays at Stanmore Limes Country Clubs Chevaliers, but are so packed on Fri/Saturdays you have to be there before 10.30pm not to be amongst the 200 or more regularly turned away . . . Pete Haigh & Frenchie’s jazz-funk regularly pulls around 500 every Monday to Blackpool’s Man Friday’s, where Southern punters point up the musical differences by requesting Oliver Sain who never hit in the North-West . . . Greg Wilson is leaving Wigan’s Pier on a resident basis to funk as a freelance, but will still be there Tuesdays, and at Manchester Legend on Wednesdays . . . Larry Foster, busy around East London with five residency nights a week plus mobile gigs, is currently also back at Ilford’s Room At The Top on Saturday/Tuesday to stand in for vacationing John Osbourne . . . Nigel Porter has left Leicester to become assistant manager at Exeter’s HMV Shop, and immediately reports favourably on Chris Dinnis’s jazz-funk Saturdays at Boxes, but wonders if there’s a real market for the music in Exeter as his shop at present doesn’t stock it — which he could rectify given encouragement . . . Davy King reports from Northern Ireland that bona fide DJs get 10 per cent discount from Ian McDowell at Ballymena’s Cameron’s record shop . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny/Reading Cavershams) returned from the South of France clutching a Canadian import Beatles medley mixer with all their best known rockers expertly dovetailed under added drums and bass (rather than a drum machine) . . . Oui magazine recently featured a nude spread on Phyllis Hyman — gangway! . . . Ritchie Family was once due here via Phonogram — what happened? . . . Linx are noticeably absent from London’s Top 30 disco sellers . . . Evelyn King/Howard Johnson producer Kashif is recording himself for an autumn debut on Arista . . . Odyssey/Slave producer Jimmy Douglass is working with GQ now . . . Herbie Hancock’s US 7in is ‘Gettin’ To The Good Part’ . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) wants £1,850 for his S-reg/full MoT/low mileage/electric windows/sunroof/stereo/leather upholstered Peugeot 604 SL (“good nick” sez he) — call Chesham 0494-772977 . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre has a deck running a big 4bpm slow, I now discover, which means some of my short “circa” BPM calculations (despite adjustment) may be a little bit out! . . . Lindsay Wesker, thanx! . . . Rush Release seem to have serviced a whole lot of stuff that never reached me, hence I’ve no way of knowing what reviews may be missing . . . ‘Star Trek II’, with a now hirsute Persis Kambata still looking somewhat Morgan-like, is subtitled ‘The Wrath Of Khan’! . . . TV’s Robin Day, on leaving a table of friends at Soho’s L’Escargot brasserie (so convenient for Groove and Le Beat Route), took part in the following exchange: “Goodbye, Day” — “Sir Robin to you!” . . . KEEP IT TIGHT!


BROADWAY’S ‘DREAMGIRLS’ smash musical, about a Sixties black girlie group, now has its original cast album issued here (Geffen GEF 85578), off which the stunningly soulful Jennifer Holiday’s ‘And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going‘ is a top ten 7in in the US black singles chart and a must for all true soul fans to hear. The standout of the recently televised Tony Awards, her stage version has sadly been drastically shortened even on LP (the BPM is immaterial although 0-30/60-0r), the whole thing being an emotional tour de force in which overweight Jennifer protests to her manager, who’s also been her lover, that she won’t leave the otherwise svelte Dreams to make way for a slimline replacement. The actual singing style of the Dreams is nothing like that of the Supremes, incidentally.


HOT QUISINE last Saturday had to be the hardest working band in show business, driving down from Sheffield in the morning to do a PA at an alldayer in Tolworth (SW London) before playing live at The Venue and then doing six more club PA’s, only to drive straight back home to Sheffield as the cold grey light of dawn was breaking. All this was to promote their upcoming new 12in, already about on white label, ‘Keep That Same Old Feeling‘ (Kaleidoscope KRL A13-2560).


UK NEWIES

JEFFREY OSBORNE: ‘I Really Don’t Need No Light’ (A&M AMSX 8234).
Great deceptively strong lazily jogging 107bpm 12in tugger by LTD’s ex-lead singer does nothing spectacular but is just darned soulful, and terrific mixed between Fatback ‘Shining Star’ and Lamont Dozier ‘Roots’. Yeah, like Maze, you could call it the “new soul”. Let it seep into you!

FONDA RAE: ‘Over Like A Fat Rat’ (Vanguard VSL 5023).
Purposefully but quietly authoritative precisely smacking chick souled chunky 111bpm 12in thudder builds tension to become extremely powerful in accumulative effect, and should have been bigger on import.

VARIOUS: ‘98.7 KISS FM presents Shep Pettibone’s Mastermixes‘ LP (Epic EPC 22138).
The 1980’s equivalent of those ‘Good Guys’ oldies but goodies albums which every US radio station used to put out plastered (as is this) with their DJs signatures, the much discussed double album of Prelude remixes is currently hot amongst the mixing fraternity for the inevitable 120bpm “D” Train ‘You’re The One For Me‘, the wild and wonderful 113bpm Jeanette ‘Lady’ Day ‘Come Let Me Love You‘, 111bpm Sharon Redd ‘Can You Handle It‘, 112bpm France Joli ‘Gonna Get Over You‘, 121bpm Secret Weapon ‘Must Be The Music‘. The UK price of around £5.50 is reckoned to be cheap. Continue reading “July 17, 1982: Jeffrey Osborne, Fonda Rae, Shep Pettibone’s Mastermixes, Leroy Hutson, Zapp”

July 10, 1982: Thunderthumbs & The Toetsenman, D Train, Junior, Deodato, Bohannon

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ALAN COULTHARD starts this Friday a weekly ten minute mixing spot on Tony Prince’s Radio Luxembourg disco show (9-11pm) — Froggy’d better watch his crown! . . . Blue Feather’s ‘Let’s Funk Tonight (Club Instrumental)‘, the “Young & Strong second edition” now as third track on their 12in, still has a snatch of vocal at the start and is at 119bpm just 1bpm faster than the plugside (which I hadn’t realized in the UK pressing has yet more vocal at the end, unlike the therefore still superior US version) . . . Ian Levine (Charing Cross Heaven) reminds us that the Broadway smash ‘Dreamgirls’ is extremely similar to the 1976 film ‘Sparkle’ starring ‘Fame’s Irene Cara, Lonette McKee and more as a Supremes-like girlie group called Sister And The Sisters, with Sixties-style score by Curtis Mayfield featuring Aretha Franklin on the soundtrack album — who’s got the UK rights? . . . Marvin Howell’s picked up the Boys Town Gang’s Dutch chart-topping ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, but for ERC rather than his Project or System labels . . . Jonathan King’s slot on ‘Top Of The Pops’ has to be the biggest boost a foreign record can get here . . . David ‘Frantique’ Christie’s ‘Saddle Up’, evidently hitting all over the world, turns out to be the first product from Mike ‘Shout’ Collier’s new Joy label, leased to KR as a one-off . . . Cheri have been answered in the States by The Murphy’s ‘Murphy’s Jive Law‘ (US Venture) . . . Gap Band briefly hiccuped to number 1 in the US Black Singles chart (as Billboard now calls it) only for the Dazz Band to return after one week, but Gap are now top Black LP, while Sinnamon is top Dance/Disco . . . Illusion’s version of ‘Why Can’t We Live Together‘ is a US black hit on Sugarhill there . . . ‘Jive Rhythm Trax‘, instrumental rhythm track versions of various current hits, will soon be on Jive LP . . . Ken ‘B’ full-time instore DJ at Southampton’s Top Man/Top Shop (33-35 Above Bar), finds it increasingly difficult to get onto mailing lists yet says large stores like his are ideal for record promotion — maybe he should try radio rather than disco pluggers . . . West Surrey & Hants DJ Assn meet Monday (12) at 8pm in Guildford’s Stoke Hotel (details Chris on Cranleigh 2641 — and, er, make that XL blue!) . . . Capital never stop playing the Valentine Brothers following the belated enthusiasm of Gary Crowley — they obviously weren’t paying as much attention to Greg Edwards two months ago, or to Peter Young almost as long ago (Peter’s promos for last week’s ‘Best Disco In Town’ were incidentally amongst the funniest things I’ve ever heard — “Say hi South London, say hi North London, say hi Mum!”) . . . Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniels, still body-poppin’ all over the place (and making a smash in the process), had his hair cut in Chelsea’s Kings Road . . . Dartford Flicks will reopen on a Friday later this month with Chris Hill and Colin Hudd holding a fireman’s fancy dress night in the revamped interior (just don’t let Colin near any matches!) . . . Bob Jones, still funk-jazzing Chelmsford’s Countryman Mon/Fridays, plays solid jazz every Tuesday at The Oddfellows pub in Chelmsford’s Springfield Road, where Gene Ammons ‘Jungle Strutt‘ is the boss biggie for Bob, who returns a “hi” to Mike Page (Telford Nell Gwynn) . . . Paul Rae reports from Manchester Legend that their Thursdays are “allsorts” nights, mixing Killing Joke/Bauhaus, German imports, funky electro-disco, reggae, Northern soul, Sixties oldies and sillies like Bucks Fizz or Boney M — in other words it sounds like a regular Wally gig (no insult intended!) and evidently surprised a visiting Clare Grogan . . . Paul also wonders why, with so much great sound equipment but no microphone, the Camden Palace doesn’t employ DJs who can mix? . . . hmm! . . . Tony ‘Soul On Sound’ Jenkins whispers that the place to be this Friday is . . . mumble, mumble, mumble . . . Paul Fabian, come in, your time is up! . . . Colin Cordrey (Edinburgh Madhatters Speakeasy), wait for ‘Soul On Sound’ . . . oh, yes, Laytons Cellars, under St Pancras Station in Midland Road, smart attire essential . . . Bee Gee Barry Gibb is currently producing (separately) Righteous Brother Bill Medley and Dionne Warwick, both of whom could well sound good given his style . . . Darryl Hayden has given up fire-eating and DJing to get a proper job as manager of West Kensington’s Sunset Club in North End Road . . . Glen Auld (Prestwick) would give his right arm for a copy of that Shep Pettibone remixed KISS version of Diana Ross ‘Mirror Mirror’ — now that is a record you will never own! . . . Polydor have re-released again the classic 1962 live recording of James Brown, now retitled ‘Live And Lowdown At The Apollo, Vol. 1’ (Polydor mid-price 2482 530), from the era that I must confess, turned me deeply onto soul — but it does sound strange hearing it now in stereo . . . I haven’t been mentioning my Sixties Soul nights every Tuesday at Soho Greek Street’s Le Beat Route (with Alex Getrry topping and tailing the evening) mainly because they are every week, and (touch wood) are going extremely well . . . Steve Durrell (Staines) didn’t know Chan Romero originated ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ — that’s Association Of Stammerers 1, Disco nil! . . . ‘I Want Candy’, ‘Iko Iko’ now the Belle Stars have done ‘The Clapping Song’ — not to mention Bananarama reviving the Sixties girlie group sound — it’s just like 1965 all over again! . . . how long before someone unearths Bunker Hill ‘Hide And Go Seek‘? . . . DJs using the Light Of The World promo 4-track 12in presumably didn’t realise that ‘I Can’t Stop’ was flip of the group’s previous 12in, totally ignored then . . . is there something cryptic in the Jane Fonda Workout Record’s caption, ‘Can You Feel It’ — The Jacksons?! . . . KEEP IT TIGHT!


KID CREOLE’S new release on remixed 12in this week is ‘Stool Pigeon‘ (Ze 12WIP 6793), a jerkily rolling 108½bpm smacker with typically sassy low-life storyline after a long intro, flipped by the brand new and as yet unheard ‘Double On Back‘.


AT LAST! Here are the mysterious men behind top disco sellers Blue Feather and their mega club hit, ‘Lets Funk Tonight’. Blue Feather, who all come from Holland, have been together since 1976 and feature Ron and Ed Brouwer singing and playing guitar, Dirk Nusink on percussion, Rob Hoelen on guitar, Jan Willem Weeds singing and playing keyboards and Lex Nusink on drums.


CAUGHT ON THE HOP

MARTIN PLATTS, well opinionated scourge of the record companies in his voluminous weekly reaction reports, has after extensive detective work been exposed. He has been receiving free promotional records for several years without having a regular disc-jockeying job.

My own suspicions (as you may have noticed in several cryptic comments) were increased when his unending stories about his marathon charity running activities never mentioned where he was working.

The running probably isn’t genuine either, come to that!

DJ Federation chairman and secretary of the North West DJ Association, Maggie Parsons had tried to contact Blackburn based Platts’ telephone number and address printed on this page, thinking that such an active DJ in the area should be approached to join the Association, but the telephone was cut off and no written replies came.

After further attempts to trace him, the NWDJA then decided to check a big outdoor charity event he was evidently doing at Clitheroe Castle, only to discover that no such event was to take place. After yet more detective work, Maggie noted from this page that in a newsletter from independent plugger Theo Loyla early in June that Platts was reportedly working in North Wales at Butlin’s in Pwllheli, as he had told Theo, but not me.

Maggie rang Butlin’s and asked for the name of their DJ, “Keith” they said. Maggie then rang Theo to tell him of her suspicions and Theo informed her that Platts was indeed working at Butlin’s, as he had a copy of his staff number.

Maggie immediately rang the Butlin’s personnel officer and after establishing her credentials was informed that Martin Platts was a counter service hand in the retail sales department . . . which probably meant he was wiping tables in the cafe. When pressed, he claimed he was planning a staff disco at Butlin’s.

Further detective work amongst WEA’s Fred Dove and CBS’s Caroline Moore had thrown up other doubts and ideas about his supposed DJ work.

Certainly three years ago Martin Platts was a real live club DJ at Romeo & Juliet’s in Blackburn where he was seen by Theo Loyla.

Since then however, after losing his gig, it appears that he kept on the record companies’ books by concocting more and more outrageous fantasies about his activities and by supposedly running a panel of punters who took hours to deliberate about the accurate chart placing for all the promo records he played — this last effort being practised by Theo in the newsletter which was to prove his undoing.

When approached by RECORD MIRROR, Platts said he was working as a regular DJ at Butlin’s staff club, in five weeks he had worked there three times. At the moment he was a counter service hand, but he was hoping for a full time job as a DJ.

The last marathon he had run in was the Inter Service Championships at RAF Swinderby near Lincoln on April 26.


UK NEWIES

THUNDERTHUMBS AND THE TOETSENMAN: ‘Freedom’ (Polydor POSPX 480).
Level 42’s bassist Mark King and keyboardist Mike Lindup (Toetsenman is Dutch for keyboard) combine alone for a great smoothly harmonised but otherwise all happening joyously bright and lively 127-126-127bpm 12in racing rattling romp with Latin percussion, Al DiMeola-ish guitar and the whole shebang recorded in crystal clarity. Wow! Stay still to this if you can! The ‘Freedom A Go-Go‘ flip’s an instrumental treatment.

“D” TRAIN: ‘Keep On’ (Epic EPC A13-2543).
Always bigger for upfront jocks than ‘Walk On By’, this remixed Evelyn King-ish coolly tripping 116-0bpm burbler is modern disco perfection as it thumps along through many changes to a great chiming and rattling synth climax (don’t mix out of it early — play it all!), on 3-track 12in with his LP’s dub-like 120bpm ‘You’re The One For Me (Reprise)’ and less distinguished 124bpm ‘Love Vibrations’.

JUNIOR: ‘Too Late’ (Mercury MERX 112).
Ponderously jolting slow 104bpm 12in melodic roller — here is the Tee Scott remixed US promo version without the original LP’s doodling finish — distinguished by truly outstanding lyrics beautifully sung in a worrying pent-up whinny. Continue reading “July 10, 1982: Thunderthumbs & The Toetsenman, D Train, Junior, Deodato, Bohannon”