February 11, 1984: Shannon, Dennis Edwards, Rodney Franklin, Warp 9, Larry Wu


AMIDST FIERCE fighting, London won Julia And Company for rush UK release . . . Shannon’s remix will go on sale when current commercial copies are exhausted . . . New York DJ turned hot pop remixer, John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez has signed to EMI America in his own right, debuting next month with the 5-track 12in EP ‘Wotupski‘ (as in “What’s up, Doc?”) featuring different actual artistes on each cut . . . Ian Levine, slipping back into his old shape, has mixed Miquel Brown ‘Men’/Kofi/Laura Pallas/Simone/Shirley Lewis/Abba ‘The Visitors’/Earlene Bentley ‘Life’/Gloria Gaynor/Sharon Redd ‘Winner’/Eartha Kitt for ‘Street Sounds Hi-Energy 1‘ (HINGR 16), due now . . . Gary London starts this week presenting a Record Shack sponsored Hi-NRG Disco show 8-10pm, Saturdays on SE London’s Skyline Radio 103.6FM/212MW . . . Tyne-Tees’ The Tube is rumoured to be trying to avoid all mention of the word “disco” on their Hi-NRG special in a fortnight (24th)! . . . Alan Coulthard’s megamixes on Disco Mix Club cassette this month include ‘Hi-NRG 83’ (fine after a dodgy Irene Cara start), yet another remix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and a largely successful Mac ‘n Jack medley of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson material (the former’s oldies working best, actually) — however, probably most useable of all is a Salsa medley by Steve Gladders . . . CBS weigh in with two more all-mixed albums, both lumbered with poor material dragging down the hits, Peter Romer’s ‘Electro Shock — Voltage 1‘ (VOLT 1) having a neat side two in Dead Or Alive’s weak pop revival of KC’s ‘That’s The Way I Like It’/Herbie Hancock ‘Rock It’/The Tribe ‘Jungle Rock’/Herbie Hancock ‘Autodrive’ though side one is dull, while Greg Wilson’s ‘Dance Mix — Dance Hits Vol. III‘ (DM3) is forever clashing vocal on vocal and offsets some neat tricks with surprising clumsiness too . . . Total Contrast’s own label is now distributed by PRT . . . BBC 2’s Arena Special last Saturday, ‘Say Amen Somebody‘, was such a compulsive grabber for true soul fans that I bet most stayed with it rather than changing channel for Mel Brooks — focusing on gospel music, the programme’s standouts were the Barrett Sisters (who, spiritual lyrics apart really brought back the atmosphere of Harlem’s Apollo Theatre in the mid ’60s — fantastic!) and the obese O’Neal Twins (who, as a point of interest were the direct inspiration for Sam & Dave in ’64): it was O’Neal who articulated an epitaph for soul as well as gospel in the sage observation, “Unfortunately we are living in a hit record society, and we get caught up on a hit record and miss the substance” . . . Amen . . . Karen Spreadbury of pluggers Eyes & Ears has stopped promoting London’s Xenon niterie after 14 months and says thanks to all the liggers who put it on the music biz itinerary (does this mean now they’ll all be going somewhere else?!) . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) is booking small dance acts (two to five members) into Europe and invites all to send him CVs with photos and videos at The Paddock House, 4 Paddock Way, Warners End, Hemel Hempstead, Herts — where he’s also selling a complete late ’70s to present dance record collection (700 LP/12 in, 400 7in) for £425 ono . . . Steve Dennis starts his new 7-9pm Friday funk show on BRMB this week, plus on Saturdays he’s got the 6-9am breakfast show and 11pm-2am snooze show — is he gonna be knackered or what?! . . . Hereward Radio’s Saturday evening soul host Steve Allen currently electro-funks Tuesday at The Gables and souls Sunday at the Wheatsheaf pubs, both in Peterborough . . . Millie Jackson is at Watford Baileys Thurs-Sat (9-11) this week . . . Friday (10) finds Pete ‘n Jeff with a fancy dress “odd couples” lovers ball (½ price before 11pm) at Sheffield Park’s Sheffield Arms on the A275 in Sussex, Nicky Holloway & Sean French with a pyiama party at Bermondsey Dockhead’s Swan & Sugarloaf, Greg Edwards with Cohn Hudd at Dartford Flicks (Colin’s recent number one is now top US Dance/Disco hit, Laid Back ‘White Horse‘) . . . Saturday (11) Chris Hill & Jeff Young rattle their maracas at Canvey Goldmine’s Brazilian Carnival night and things get hot at Daryn Stafford’s weekly Boys Town night in Bournemouth’s Cabaret Club . . . Sunday (12) Nottingham’s Rock City all dayer (3pm) stars Steve Allen and the other usual non-chart returning mob . . . Monday (13) Chris Paul, George Alexander & Mick Salmon celebrate Valentines Day early at South Harrow Bogart’s, while on Tuesday Theo Loyla returns after 2½ years to the totally refitted Bridge Country Club near Canterbury . . . Danny Smith, pretty upfront Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat at Gt Yarmouth’s after-hours 151 Club, is looking for good “modern” DJs on 0483-57303 (though for what he doesn’t say) . . . Feminine Touch need another jazz-soul venue while Upton Park JR’s is being redecorated (call via JD Roadshow on 01-579 0225) . . . Brentwood’s mad Kev Hill (0277-223030) once again guarantees extra punters should any Galway area niteries care to book him during his annual visit . . . Tony Monson agrees with Cyndi Lauper’s similarity to Sue Thompson, tempered with a lot of Little Peggy March ‘I Will Follow Him‘ (yeah, well us old ‘uns remember them!) . . . Lauriece Hudson, not Laurence (last week’s review), is a lady . . . US Atlantic has another nicer new 12in sleeve design, and US Arista a new label . . . DIN DAA DAA!


SHANNON: ‘Give Me Tonight’ (LP ‘Let The Music Play’ US Mirage 790134-1)
Avid hip hoppers preferred her instrumental dub’s excitement but the “disco”-pitched gal’s album is all vocal, this 119bpm jitterer — freakiest towards the end — being a very obvious frantic follow-on from the title track hit (here in 115½bpm 7in edit and the disappointing newly promo-ed 0-116¾-115½-116-116¾bpm vocal remix), other similar style including the 116bpm ‘My Heart’s Divided‘, 108bpm ‘Sweet Somebody‘, while the 149bpm ‘One Man‘ pumper is blatant US rock-disco.

DENNIS EDWARDS: ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ LP (US Gordy 6057GL)
With obvious exceptions, albums on Motown these days don’t exactly set the pulse racing in anticipation, but here from an unexpected source (the Temptations original “new boy”) comes a right good ‘un. The noisemaker is the dynamite jogging 95bpm title track duet with Siedah Garrett, a snappily jiggling but lazily swaying drifter growled and wailed through catchy ‘Roots’-ish chanting, but check too the smoochy Sam Dees co-penned 66½bpm ‘(You’re My) Aphrodisiac‘ and smoothly thrumming 115bpm ‘I Thought I Could Handle It‘, others of lesser though still reasonable degree being the 66bpm ‘Just Like You’, 108bpm ‘I’m Up For You’, 102bpm ‘Can’t Fight It’, 70-140/70bpm ‘Let’s Go Up’, 119bpm ‘Shake Hands (Come Out Dancin’)’.

RODNEY FRANKLIN: ‘Stay On In The Groove’ (LP ‘Marathon’ US Columbia FC 38953)
Realistically just a one-track album, but that track’s a corker! Starting in an ultra-mixable hip hop flurry, it settles into an electro-backed 121bpm groove with cooing chix and a sizzling jazz piano melody over the by then mind-snaring backbeat (Luther locks on superbly!). Otherwise the frantically pumping 149bpm title track has Ronnie Laws on soprano sax, the samba-ish 0-130bpm ‘Lumiere‘ has LP producer Stanley Clarke on piccolo bass, while (two slowies apart) the vocal 128½bpm ‘Let’s Talk‘ and 126bpm ‘Searchin’ For‘ (sic) are sub-EWF. Continue reading “February 11, 1984: Shannon, Dennis Edwards, Rodney Franklin, Warp 9, Larry Wu”

February 4, 1984: Jackie Wilson obituary, Julia & Company, Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame, Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force, Tania Maria, Bryan Loren


OFFICIALLY REVEALED on their import LP sleeve, the featured singer on Rockwell ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ (now a UK 12in, Motown TMGT 1331) really is Michael Jackson — the hot head’s current motto must be “Things go better with Coke!”, huh? . . . Gary Crowley’s master mix version of ‘Play That Beat Mr DJ’ turns out to be the winning entry by US DJs Double Dee & Steinski of a recent US radio competition, and although only about here on strictly privileged aircheck cassettes (unless you dubbed it off Gary’s show yourself, of course), it could end up at least on white label provided 21 Records here can sort out the copyright problems — which are immense, as the mix is made up of not only GLOBE & Whiz Kid’s original but also (are you ready?) Spoonie Gee ‘The Monster Jam’ a NASA aircheck, Alex Dreier ‘Power Closing Techniques’, James Brown ‘Soul Power’, World Famous Supreme Team ‘D’Ya Like Scratching?’ Funky Four + 1 ‘That’s The Joint’, Yazoo ‘Situation’, Dr Saint ‘Harry Houdini’s Final Seance’, Incredible Bongo Band ‘Apache’, Culture Club ‘I’ll Tumble 4 Ya’, Love Bug Starski ‘Starski Live At The Disco Fever’, Rufus Thomas ‘Tutti Frutti’, The Dance Instructor ‘Betty White’s Dance Party’, Humphrey Bogart from ‘Casablanca’, Herbie Hancock ‘Rockit’, Supremes ‘Stop In The Name Of Love’ (over Peech Boys ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ rhythm!), Grandmaster Flash ‘Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel’, Kurtis Blow ‘Party Time’, Bohannon ‘Let’s Start The Dance’, Soul Sonic Force ‘Planet Rock’, Indeep ‘Last Night A DJ’, Peech Boys ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ (acappella), Konk ‘Konk Party’, and the legendary mayor of New York Fiorello LaGuardia ‘The Little Flower’ whadaya mean, you haven’t heard it yet?! . . . Shannon’s promo “remix” instead of emphasising the dub’s excitement sticks mainly to the vocal, and far from equalising the two original sides’ different BPMs now runs 0-116½-115¼-116½bpm — a blown opportunity . . . Godwin Logie is remixing Lefturno for UK release next week on MCA . . . The B Boys 33 1/3bpm 5-track 12in is now not surprisingly classified as an LP — and Chester Browton (Selsey) reports Radio Victory’s Saturday night soul host Franklin Hughes managed to play ‘Cuttin’ Herbie’ right through at the wrong speed without even noticing (I also hear he’s got deep pockets)! . . . Mel Brooks’ last rap ‘It’s Good To Be The King’ was number one in France for ages and already his ‘Hitler Rap’ is huge there too . . . Soul Sonic Force mention “fresh” in their newie, there’s the Fresh 3 MCs, Tyrone Brunson, Tara, and now Davy DMX all with ‘Fresh’ as, or in, their current titles — what’s with this “fresh” (another ‘All The Way Live’, ‘To The Bank’)? . . . Ian Levine is seguing ‘Street Sounds Boys Town 1‘ and is also back producing Evelyn Thomas again, while Miquel Brown ‘He’s A Saint He’s A Sinner’ is due on doubtless fast-selling 12in this week . . . ‘Gangster Of The Grove’ Eddie has teamed with Stevie B for a new Boys Town night on Thursdays at Canvey Island’s Monico, while the same night is Hi-NRG with Duane Henson at the Grapevine in Peterborough’s aptly named Queen Street . . . Steve Walsh starts his weekly residency Thursday (2) at Fleet Country Club with a PA by Second Image, who he’ll also be interviewing on County Sound Saturday evening . . . Steve Walsh with Cino Berigliano plus one Capital Radio DJ are now keeping the Best Disco tradition going on Fridays at London’s Lyceum, Cap Rad’s own Mister Ouch! Al Matthews funking Tottenham Eltons though this Friday (3), when Chris Hill twinkles at Benson-on-Thames Rivers and Jeff Young joins Colin Hudd at Dartford Flicks . . . Island’s Adrian Sykes visits Peter Lee at Bolton’s Dance Factory this Saturday (4) with David Joseph, LCGG and the George Kranz Dancers, while on the Isle Of Sheppey Froggy joins John ‘Nick’ Osborne at Leysdown Stage 3 . . . Rod Bolam hopes to revive memories of his pioneering Letchworth Broadway jazz-funk nights of ’76-’78 when starting this Monday (6) with similar aims at his current Thur/Fri/Sat residency, Stevenage’s Annabella’s in Danestrete — good luck! . . . 16 year old Warren Aylward funks Southsea Nero’s with poppier partner Ray Andrews on Mondays, when this week (6) Pete Tong will be souling Bermondsey Dockhead’s Swan & Sugarloaf — which is where starting Wednesday (8) RM’s own Lisson Grove lip Gary Crowley will be joining resident Nicky Holloway weekly now! . . . Quentin Cook and co-promoter Bill Short promise live acts ‘n hot toons every Wednesday at The Roxy in Brighton’s swish Pink Coconut — just as long as the acts are decent, dear! . . . Radio Horizon’s Nick Lawrence funks Thur/Fri/Sat at Mile End’s Benjy’s, Mike Morgan does Fri/Sun at Writtles Chequers as well as still supporting Kevin Springham at Chelmsford’s bustling lazer-lit Dukes . . . Rich Edwards had £2,500 of flight case packed 7in, 12in & LP records plus two Sure mikes and some Disco Mix Club cassettes pinched from his car in Birmingham — all were stamped with his name and Gloucester 25874 phone number, so ring that or the Brum fuzz if you’ve any info . . . Big Phil Etgart (01-864 3271) is offering vast sums for either the original or remake of Monk Higgins ‘Who-Dun-It‘ (I’ve got that on Chess somewhere, but I’m not selling!) . . . US imports seem to be settling down as at least £6.99 LP, £4.50 12in (some famous central stockists are evidently charging 25p more) . . . US LPs include Maleman (Mercury — punchy mid/down-tempo beat), Deco (Qwest — very derivative though with fans), Jenny Burton (Atlantic — predictable ‘One More Shot’ remakes), Homi & Jarvis (GRP — laid back), T. Ski Valley (Capo — a “best of” set by Tyrone Cox, his real name!) . . . Mezzoforte mixes less alarmingly (its intro can seem a bit violent) if you skip the opening “funk” passage — it’s rather nice out of Billy Griffin’s old ‘Hold Me Tighter In The Rain’ . . . Cosmic (also Thur/Fri/Sun at Basildon New Yorker) on his Wednesday at Southend’s Rain rivalled Flicks’ “boobless wonder popping out of the cake” by presenting the boss with an 18 year old 40 inch busted blonde — pics promised! . . . Lamont Dozier confesses in song, “Twiggy was my passion!”! . . . Ronnie McNeir is still hanging on deservedly up North, Melle Mel ‘White Lines’ is proving to be as long lasting a sleeper as Chill-Fac-Torr ‘Twist’, while presumably Hashim is hot with the services in the NAAFI — but Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’ reissue didn’t exactly take off like a rocket did it? GINO – Full Story And Pics, read all abaht it! . . . DIN DAA DAA!


JACKIE WILSON, who died a couple of weekends ago, never recovered from a heart-attack which had left him in a coma for several years — sad irony for a performer whose stage antics made him truly “the black Elvis”. One of his most fantastic tricks was to spin round with his back to the audience, drop to his knees, and hang upside down by the back of his legs over the edge of the stage, so that all the girls would swarm down and cover him in kisses, every now and then Jackie’s voice carrying on the song as he lowered his still aloft microphone-holding hand.

Detroit born, as an under-age 16 year old he won a Golden Gloves welter weight boxing championship in 1948 before turning to singing, being spotted at a talent show in 1951 by Johnny Otis. Anticipating the departure in 1953 of Clyde McPhatter from Billy Ward’s Dominoes, Jackie auditioned for the group and did indeed take over as lead singer for four years before going solo in ’57. This is where things get interesting, because in an early example of a now familiar pattern, his first hit was a top ten smash in Britain yet only peaked at 62 in the USA and that hit was ‘Reet Petite’, co-penned by Berry Gordy Jr (Gordy co-wrote many Wilson hits, his first taste of success, before founding Motown). The unusual quasi-operatic range of Jackie’s voice was emphasised on his only other UK hits of that era, ‘To Be Loved‘ and ‘All My Love‘, while in the States his rootsier R&B style gave him greater crossover success, his first stone smash being ‘Lonely Teardrops‘ at Xmas ’58, ‘I’ll Be Satisfied‘ and ‘Doggin’ Around‘ from the next two years recently having been made popular again by Shakin’ Stevens and Klique respectively.

As far as the newer breed of soul fan is concerned, though, his name will live on thanks to his ’66/’67/’68 recordings, ‘Whispers‘, ‘Higher And Higher’, ‘I Get The Sweetest Feeling’ — though on a shameful about turn, Britain didn’t latch on to the last named classic until it charted here in 1972, and again in 1975. His early ’70s UK visit, backed by just a simple guitar trio, showed us for a final time what a magnificently musical talent he possessed, as well as an exciting physical presence. He has already been missed.


JULIA AND COMPANY: ‘Breakin’ Down (Sugar Samba)’ (US District Of Columbia DYSC DC-OPUS)
Most talked about buzz of the week, and already hotly battled over by several UK labels, this jazzily introed totally joyful staccato sung strutting jiggly 117-116bpm cantering samba builds incredible excitement as it intensifies through fiddle-pitched sax to full blown brass and an ever more rhythmic climax while Julia (McGirt?) squalls up a vocal storm to rival Aretha Franklin at her high flying best. Yeah, they really do make records like that these days!’ (Edit/dub flip). Run for cover, the fallout could be deadly.

STEVE ARRINGTON’S HALL OF FAME: ‘What Do You Want From Me’ (LP ‘Positive Power’ Atlantic 780127-1)
The most impressive feature of this excellent non-”electro” funk set is the newly mature authority of Steve’s versatile voice, growling, yodelling, scatting, wailing and cajoling while his well muscled rhythm machine cranks out a heart pounding remorseless momentum. Most Slavish are this sinuously chugging 108bpm pent-up roller (great with Circle City Band) and the “classically”-introed 107-106-105bpm ‘Mellow As A Cello‘, his vocal being most fluid on the dropped coin-introed 119-120-119-120-119-120bpm ‘Money On It‘, while ‘15 Rounds‘ is an 115-116bpm update of the Dominoes ’60 Minute Man’, ‘Hump To The Bump‘ a steel drums climaxed speedy Narada-ish 121-122-123bpm smacker, the title track a jiggly 116½bpm chugger, ‘Young And Ready’ a basic 107-108bpm thudder and ‘Sugar Momma Baby’ a soulful slow (0-) 80¼bpm jogger.

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & SOUL SONIC FORCE: ‘Renegades Of Funk’ (US Tommy Boy TB 839)
Advertised for two months and now finally about on import just ahead of UK release, the Arthur Baker/John Robie-produced 114bpm 12in hip hop rapper isn’t particularly inventive but must rank with the classics as Afrika, Mr Biggs, GLOBE, Pow Wow and Jazzy Jay pop their tops to typical electro backing. With an instrumental flip and another actually stronger ‘Renegades Chant‘ version, out of which the ultra-catchy ‘Iko Iko’ bit will be spliced into our 7in edit, it’s likely mixers will need two copies — if not, Brunson bridges well and it’s good with ‘White Lines’, Break Machine etc. Continue reading “February 4, 1984: Jackie Wilson obituary, Julia & Company, Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame, Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force, Tania Maria, Bryan Loren”

January 28, 1984: Mel Brooks, Tyrone Brunson, Kenny G, Tony Joe White, King Short Shirt


Gary Crowley on Capital last Sunday spun GLOBE & Whiz Kid ‘Play That Beat Mr DJ’ in a brilliant new ‘Master Mix’ version incorporating cuts from electro, rock ‘n roll and even Humphrey Bogart’s plea for Sam to “play it” (Gal never did start his much publicised Gravesend gig, the venue had a bust before he got there) . . . Motown are rushing ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ this week, the “British”-accented raps being by Rockwell himself (who’s rumoured to have a “famous relative”) while the Michael Jackson pitch of his fellow singer shouldn’t be so surprising as evidently whisper whisper whisper – yeah, the very same, moonlighting on his old label! Wot a little thriller! . . . Michael’s ‘Thriller’ video does indeed go on a tiny bit longer than shown on The Tube, ending with more dancing, three body poppers and a gruesome face . . . Korova picked up Cargo ‘Tender Touch’ the slick 7in edit of which is getting much radio play now while New York’s WBLS is plugging it heavily ahead of US release, and Total Contrast has now been re-pressed . . . Shannon has been re-promoted, a promo-only remix going to jocks, ‘Joanna’/’You Can Do It’/’Tonight’ being Kool & The Gang’s 3-track 12in next week . . . Bryan Loren is coming here on Virgin (serviced by E.T. from Hot Licks), Lefturno will be on MCA, and CBS are relatively rushing Damaris (the record that Luther should have made with Dionne?) . . . Afrika Bambaataa is a long time coming on import, or are 21 Records holding it back so as not to spoil UK release? . . . J. Blackfoot ‘Taxi’ has rightly exploded, helped by general availability of a 7in . . . Lionel Richie ‘Running With The Night’ was recently twin-packed on the QT with a cassette of his ‘All Night Long (All Night)’ instrumental – sneaky! . . . I can’t help thinking that vinyl starvation over Xmas has resulted in some rather indiscriminate buying now there’s new stuff about . . . ‘Trommeltanz’ translates as ‘Drum Dance’ and derives from a drum solo encore of Berliner George Kranz, whose original version was recorded in November ’82 – the current remix now tops the US Dance/Disco chart (and Patti LaBelle’s slow ‘If You Only Knew’ is top US Black single) . . . Willi Morrison & Ian Guenther appear to have finished the final production of Hazell Dean ‘Evergreen’, to give credit where it’s due . . . Laura Pallas, who must be glad the snow is finally here, got conveniently married the other day . . . Alton Edwards is back under the wing of Morgan Khan signed direct to Streetwave now – as are Hi-Tension too . . . I wasn’t too impressed by Special-T ‘It’s Your Love’ (US Next Plateau), not knowing it’s penned/produced and even sung by Jive’s own Suzie Halls – oops, it’s marvellous, dear! . . . I’m amazed Art Of Noise ‘Beat Box’ didn’t break here sooner – Mastermind were on it from the start but it needed a visit from Whiz Kid to bring home its US success (try it with Pumpkin!) . . . Break Machine’s whistling hip hop instrumental side really is compulsive frisky dynamite (forget the vocal), a terrific electro mixer especially with Charles Earland, I.R.T. and Two Sisters ‘High Noon (Remix)’ (try the latter out of it!) . . . Adrian Dunbar reports that hip hop/electro, the tuneful ones like Xena & Shannon, is now getting big with the younger “trendier” boys at Southampton’s Warehouse . . . The Standard’s Ad Lib column reports that choreographers are moving in on break dancing with a view to staging it at Las Vegas – a sure sign of the death knell, sadly . . . Northern mixer Greg Wilson is rumoured to be concentrating more on studio work now, having just done CBS’s ‘Dance Mix Dance Hits 3’ . . . Steve Dennis is chuffed that his increased BRMB radio role will add yet another dance show to the station, playing disco/funk 7-9pm every Friday from Feb 10 . . . South-East London’s 7 days a week 6am-midnight Skyline Radio 103.6FM/212MW has been going strong for five weeks now and adds Froggy every Sunday 12-3pm . . . Carl Kingston (0482-42169) jocks aboard Radio Caroline four weeks on/four weeks off, and is after club gigs especially within its reception area . . . SEDA (South Eastern Disco Assn), the first association founded, celebrate their 10th anniversary at 8pm this Sunday (29) in their original meeting place, Tunbridge Wells’ Kelsey Arms in St Johns Road (details Theo Loyla 022-786 604) . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meet for their AGM at noon the same day in Iver’s Tower Arms, Ritchings Park . . . John Mayoh with new Friday Hi-NRG partner Leo Stanley celebrated the rapid £75,000 refit at Bolton’s Cinderella’s/Rockafella’s last week with a Wobbly Bottom Cabaret Show – he promises photos! . . . Brian Mason (whose mum really is Barbara Mason – not that one!) is running a weekly talent contest every Tuesday at The Adelaide, Adelaide Street, St Albans, Herts (write him there) and needs all acts from novelties, dance troupes to bands, but not DJs, for weekly prizes and an eventual Continental holiday . . . Colin Hudd’s surprise top hit at Dartford Flicks is Laid Back ‘White Horse’ (Creole – flip of ‘Sunshine Reggae’), which despite Boney M-type blokes does have an 123bpm ’76-ish feel – Colin’s guest is Chris Hill this Friday (27), when Robbie Vincent souls Tottenham Eltons, Steve Walsh funks Fleet Country Club (to promote a residency starting there next Thursday (Feb 2) when Second Image will PA) . . . Pete Haigh and Richard Searling revive the Mecca’s Highland Room era at Blackpool’s Baskervilles this Friday (27), while diagonally across country Roger Dynamite has another expanded ‘60s night at Gt Yarmouth Tiffanys . . . Sunday (29) sees Steve Walsh, Brother Louie, and Morrissey Mullen live at Dunstable Tiffanys, while Leeds Tiffanys’ 3pm alldayer has a predictable DJ crew including sometime chart returners Steve Allen, Simon Walsh, Baz Maleady & Eddie Gee . . . Bob Jones jazzily jocks Upstairs At Eric’s in Bournemouth’s busy Glenfern Road this Monday (30) . . . Tom Holland revives the Lacy Lady era again at the White Swan in East London’s Commercial Road on Wednesday (1), when Steve ‘Dover’ Day funks Folkestone’s Soundhouse on the Canterbury Road weekly, and Peter Lee is usually with Stuart Hamilton at Liverpool’s New Coconut Grove . . . Mirage unexpectedly dropped right out of our chart despite strong sales – what happened, are jocks doing their own chopped medley of George Benson oldies, as suggested? . . . Rick James’s help from Smokey Robinson may be tremendous, but more to the point it’s “tremulous”! . . . I often don’t receive record packets sent in the mail but the current Russian roulette delivery situation means that any product unreviewed may not have reached me (though there’s probably a funky postman somewhere) . . . DIN DAA DAA!


MEL BROOKS: ‘To Be Or Not To Be (The Hitler Rap)’ (Island Visual Arts 12IS 158)
Again with musical help from our own Pete Wingfield, the zany film maker raps some more in typically bad taste about one of his favourite topics, the Nazi Paar-tay! If his gruff vocals can cut through on the floor, this ‘The Crown’-style 105bpm 12in (inst flip) could just be an early springtime hit for Hitler. Say “Heil!”

TYRONE BRUNSON: ‘Fresh’ (US Believe In a Dream 4Z9 04951)
Well over a year after his electro trail blazing ‘The Smurf’, Tyrone’s finally returned with a vengeance – obviously fuelled by Herbie Hancock’s success – the A-side of this jittery driving 113bpm 12in instrumental having nicely varied texture including string section effects and tuneful moments, the immediate smash though being the starker ‘scratch mix’ flip (“serious scratchin’” by Elai Tubo) which smacks up a less varied hip hop storm (Charles Earland’s an ace mix!). Rock it!

KENNY G: ‘Hi, How Ya Doin’?’ (LP ‘G Force’ US Arista AL8-8192)
Although produced by Wayne Brathwaite the stamp of executive producer Kashif is all over the synthesized rhythm arrangement of the white saxist’s second solo set (soulful vocals by Barry ‘Sunjohn’ Johnson), this acappella-introed 113bpm jiggly shuffler (good with ‘Serious’) already hitting on US single while just about every cut could click here – most are instrumental with jazzy sax and strong beat, and include the 0-117½bpm ‘I’ve Been Missin’ You’, 107bpm ‘Tribeca’, 107bpm ‘G Force’, 115bpm ‘Do Me Right’, 116bpm ‘I Wanna Be Yours’, 106bpm ‘Help Yourself To My Love’. Cool tootin’. Continue reading “January 28, 1984: Mel Brooks, Tyrone Brunson, Kenny G, Tony Joe White, King Short Shirt”

January 21, 1984: Rick James And Friend, World Premiere, Manhattan Transfer, Damaris, Girls Can’t Help It


Ian Anthony Stephens confirms he produced ‘Evergreen’ by Hazell Dean in September purely as a promo for Proto, who rejected it, so Passion then asked him to cut a budget version for them by Fantasia, after the release of which Proto then tidied up and rushed Hazell without consulting Stephens (whose next project is Paul Parker) . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes (London’s Dicks Inn) says “I can’t bring myself to chart either version of the insipid ‘Evergreen’ until demand makes me – so far the punters aren’t bothered” (it hit number one Boys Town without him!) . . . Hazell Dean meanwhile will be singing her own co-penned “Stay In My Life” for A Song For Europe . . . Earls Court Copacabana DJ Chris Lucas is chuffed to have co-mixed Mimi ‘The Man’s So Real’ (due on Challenge next month), his first venture into the studio . . . Gary Allan at Liverpool’s Concert Street has had so many requests for the video of local lads Frankie Goes To Hollywood that he’s now after any other Hi-NRG/Alternative promo videos which companies can send him . . . Disco Dave Singleton (Newton-Le-Willows 6018) is after DJs to act as agents to get his video juke boxes installed in venues from Ipswich to Carlisle and Southport to Hull, on £100 commission per machine . . . Steve Jason moans he’s not on major mailing lists yet nobody in Peterborough plays to more people 18-25 than him (he says): his gigs include the Gordon Arms (Sun), The Gables (Mon/Fri), and just started on Tuesdays with Paul Douglas at La Scala where there are excellent PA/video facilities (Total Contrast visited this week) . . . Frank Samms has finished working mobile to be full time at Egham’s The Victoria in Albert’s Music Room, which he himself equipped with a DJ booth and customised sound system . . . Nick Ratcliffe’s Thursdays at Portsmouth Ritzy are packed – maybe it’s because punters pay a penny at the door and get a pound voucher to spend at the bar – but Saturdays are even fuller, and they’re surprisingly “into” the music too, sez Nick . . . Pete Richards shares Thursday ladies’ night with Terry Winters at Greenford Barbarella’s, soloing Saturday and Sunday, the latter pub prices jazz/soul oldies night (so how about some charts?) . . . Froggy rejoins Ian Reading at Southend Zero 6 this Friday (20), when Carroll Thompson PAs with Steve ‘Dover’ Day and Sheerness Woody’s, and Fred Dove graciously permits Dartford Flicks to show his WEA videos . . . Sheffield body-pop/break dancers Smac 19 strut their stuff for George Power at Peckham Kisses on Sunday (22) . . . Julian Palmer at Lewisham’s Paradise Garage plays an interesting range of current funk, Northern Soul, Hi-NRG and old jazz, while Aaron Lewison-White at Brooksie’s (formerly Martines) near Chichester joins the trend of adding Hi-NRG to recent pop-soul . . . Colin Gibson at the basically funk ‘n soul orientated Stripes in Tamworth is nevertheless raving about how useful some pop-electro tracks by Sparks can be, citing several cuts from their ‘Terminal Jive’, ‘Whomp That Sucker’ and ‘In Outer Space’ LPs, which work so well the club’s even had a special Sparks night recently (well, it makes a change from Roxy/Bowie!) . . . Nige Kerr & Dave Nash of the on-base disco at RAF Machrihanish (near the Mull on Kintyre) welcome the locals to honorary membership (apply in writing) and are now slipping lots of funk into the pop . . . Lee Taylor sits in for the rest of this month at London Piccadilly’s Tokyo Joe’s but is still after permanent gigs on 01-385 4345-6 (days) . . . M.A. Bird, calling himself Tony StMichael, but with the daytime contact name of Mr. P Thorogood on 01-609 3851, wants Boys Town gigs or guest spots specifically in East Anglia, the North, East London or Scotland – talk about a split personality! . . . Status IV is of course only 113bpm . . . Trans-Lux may work best minus the annoying early pause if started at the ‘Rockit’ bit, while Man Parrish ‘Hip Hop Be Bop’ starts synching superbly during ‘White Lines’ so the following ‘Let The Music Play’ vocal runs through it . . . Lionel Richie ‘All Night Long’/World Premiere/Circle City Band/Status IV/West Phillips/Charles Earland/IRT/Break Machine inst/Tara inst/The System ‘Sweat’/Rick James ‘Cold Blooded’/Rockwell/Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ was my hottest mix sequence of last Saturday at Mayfair Gullivers, while a Friday electro-funk set kicked off well with Warp 9/Malcolm X/Pumpkin/K-9 Corp ‘Dog Talk’/Sun . . . Kool & The Gang ‘Joanna’ is now top US Black single and rising fast Pop there too . . . Seattle-printed US soul fanzine Beat Street is quite an interesting read (although it promises increased rock coverage to come), available here at 50p per issue plus 30p postage from Max Rees, 114 High Street, Cherryhinton, Cambridge, Cambs . . . Graham ‘Disco Kid’ Cambridge, still after ABC’s ‘Poison Arrow’ remix, wants DJs to send him an all-time Top 20 chart for him to compile into a Top 500 for comparison with a similar punters’ list already done – he’s at 4 Dane Avenue, Acomb, York YO2 5EX (0904 790686) . . . Michael Jackson, for all his current mega-stardom, couldn’t manage higher than number 51 in Capital Radio’s latest listeners’ Top 500 – and that was with ‘Ben’ (he had another 11 lesser entries, mainly slowies) – while even more staggering was Stevie Wonder’s best effort at 150 with ‘Lately’ (he only managed another 5) . . . RCA sent jocks an Evelyn Champagne King ‘Action’ slip mat (just the one) – to get “behind the groove”? – while Island impressively kitted me out with a giant size David Joseph anorak! . . . DIN DAA DAA!


RICK JAMES AND FRIEND: ‘Ebony Eyes’ (Gordy TMGT 1327)
The “friend” being Smokey Robinson, this tremendously luscious 70/35bpm smoocher deserves to break Rick on radio here at last now it’s on 3-track 12in, flipped by the frantically skittering 129bpm ‘1, 2, 3 (You Her And Me)’ and Temptations-led old 119(start)-120-122bpm ‘Standing On The Top’.

WORLD PREMIERE: ‘Share The Night’ (Epic TA 4133)
Looking like the next disco chart-topper even had it stayed on import and a sure fire pop crossover success now it’s out here, this effects introed sinuously weaving 0-108bpm 12in shuffling chugger builds through stereo drumbeats to throaty butch vocal interaction lightened by some Bee Gees harmony, ‘Galaxy Of Love’ jetstream, and a yowling synth break, all very sneakily exciting (two useful instrumental breakdowns as flip).

THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER: ‘Spice Of Life’ (Atlantic A 9728T)
Co-penned by Rod Temperton much as if ‘Off The Wall’ had been arranged by Bob James during his ‘Sign Of The Times’ session, this superb chick-sung catchily slinking 110bpm little tripper has a burst of Stevie Wonder harmonica topping off its compulsive melody and first exploded on New York radio in September, but has had to wait until now for 12in release despite initial success off import LP last year. Continue reading “January 21, 1984: Rick James And Friend, World Premiere, Manhattan Transfer, Damaris, Girls Can’t Help It”

January 14, 1984: George Kranz, Status IV, Donna Summer, O.C. Miller, Tara


Steve Dennis is now combining his annual DJ Convention with the Disco Mix Club’s 1st anniversary party at London’s Hippodrome on Sunday 11th March, including six top international jocks in a “battle of the mixers” during the buffet supper – £15 tickets (£10 evening entertainment only) from DMC, PO Box 89, Slough, Berks SL1 8NA . . . Alan Coulthard’s current DMC megamix is of Culture Club (and a bit undynamic for dancers?), pride of place going to “new boy” Les Adams with three neat medleys on the cassette, including one comprised of well known breaks and bridges . . . Derek Laurence (Southall) overheard a Brixton Briefcase blasting what sounded like a megamix of Freeez ‘IOU’ with beats from Sharon Redd ‘Beat The Street’, Visual ‘The Music Got Me’, and John Rocca’s voice treated like the tones from ‘Close Encounters’ – what the hell was that?! . . . Sharon Redd’s 12in now seems to be ‘You’re A Winner’, Girls Can’t Help It is due here again on Virgin, Katie Kissoon has covered ‘Penny Lover’, Kool & The Gang ‘Straight Ahead’ has been repressed in a longer version (don’t all rush!) . . . US dollars being so strong against sterling, imports have taken a price hike in most shops to around £7.20 LP, £4.20 12in – ouch! . . . Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame have preceded their new album with the zappy c121½bpm ‘Hump To The Bump’ on 7in (US Atlantic 7-89715), building to good vibes . . . Tony Joe White’s Dutch CBS LP is worth checking, his c102bpm revival of Ruby & The Romantics’ ‘Our Day Will Come’ being great with Lionel Richie ‘Love Will Find A Way’, while Dave Pike’s US Muse ‘Moon Bird’ has a lovely jazzy ‘Love For Sale’ . . . BBC-1’s 1983 Team Disco Dance Championships last Wednesday may only have been youth club members dancing to a live group but at least the music was as funky as they wanted (dodgy vocals apart) and rooted in reality, as were many of the dance routines – however, the East Anglian winners pranced about with umbrellas to ‘Dead Giveaway’ (the only fast pop tune), beating the best actual disco routine by Gloucester’s team into second place . . . Peter Powell (who breakfasts apres-gig at Mayfair’s Rockafellas) has stopped his Monday Steppin’ Out soul slot in favour of Radio 1’s new Sunday night Robbie Vincent show – a disastrous move for soul (no disrespect to Robbie), hiding it away again in the minority appeal ghetto . . . Radio 1 also evidently appeared to copy my New Year’s Eve four hour party music show, 10 til 2 just like on Capital! . . . I did well after Xmas, fell over in the gutter (on the rooftop car park at Doncaster’s Arndale Centre, of all romantic locations!) and strained a ligament in my ankle, which resulted in a relaxing week with my leg up! . . . Ian Anthony Stephens produced Hazell Dean’s ‘Evergreen’ for Proto but evidently fell out with the label and rapidly re-recorded it by Fantasia for Passion, Proto then rush-releasing their superior original amidst all sorts of bad feeling . . . Shakatak’s recent recruit Norma Lewis seems a busy girl, lending her voice to many other Hi-NRG names but not to her “own” record? . . . Yvonne Gidden, who didn’t work out on ‘Skiing In The Snow’, is now reviving Joy Lovejoy’s ‘In Orbit’ for producer/veteran Northern Soul jock Kev Roberts . . . Ian Levine is mixing a duet by Jimmy Ruffin & Jackson Moore (the Boys Town Gang girl) on ERC . . . Norman Scott at Haringey Bolts is entering his 25th year as a DJ (“thank heavens for Max Factor and very clever lighting” quoth he!), a biggie at his Thursday Stepping Back Club being Fontella Bass ‘Rescue Me’ while due soon on Proto is the ancient Petula Clark ‘Sailor’ – really? . . . Danny Searle now electro-souls Thurs as well as Sat at Southsea’s Vagabonds in Goldsmith Avenue . . . Cosmic happily soul-funks Fridays again at Basildon New Yorker, and wonders if any major companies might now reconsider him for their mailing lists? . . . Lenny Henry cabarets Chippenham Goldiggers this Friday the 13th (oo-er!), when Froggy funks Dartford Flicks . . . Gary Oldis is trying to establish pure funk ‘n soul Saturdays at Scarborough Victorias . . . Colin Curtis, Shaun Williams, Roger Tovell, Ralph Randell and others do the Birmingham Powerhouse 3pm alldayer this Sunday (15), when Big Al Mayfield & John ‘Nick’ Osborne start weekly under-18s at Streatham Cat’s Whiskers . . . Larry Foster’s 2nd Motown night is at Gants Hill Villa Tuesday (17), Richard Searling & Mike Shaft start weekly at Blackburn’s The Club Wednesday (18), Ian Reading has a toga party at Southend Zero 6 Thursday (19) . . . Ken ‘B’ Brudenell has quit Southampton’s Topshop/Topman instore “radio” after 2½ years to take over Poole’s Mariners Wharf from Dave Van Seiger (now at Southampton Mayfair), funking Tues/Thurs/Sat – the latter with Andy Bianchi, who does Wed/Fri alone (so how about some charts, guys?) . . . Jeff Thomas is back from Norway at Pontardawe Mamma Mia’s near Swansea (Wed-Sun) . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson after three months in Norway, seven in Bangkok, two in Germany, is just off to Canada now for Bacchus International, while Rudi ‘Rapper’ Gilpin is in South Africa . . . Alan James Jewell’s Xmas chart-topper at Hong Kong’s incredibly swank Hollywood Boulevard was Toni Basil ‘Over My Head (Remix)’ (US Chrysalis 12in) – thanks for the kimono, Wal! . . . Graham Murray sent a kind “drink” before leaving Teeside for Salzgitter’s Hotel Just and Langelsheim’s Beat Club in West Germany, but a whole “Jereboam” was too generous of Pete Haigh (Blackpool Bananas Tues/Standis Cassinelli’s Thurs/Caton Scarthwaite Hotel Sun)! . . . Weybridge expatriate Steve Ingham now calls himself Steve Stuart after 2½ years in Lincolnshire at Boston’s Elizabethan Club (Lizzy’s) – wouldn’t “Tudor” be more appropriate? . . . Steve Ogley’s gig at Lowestoft Snaps is closed for refurbishment, while South London’s famous Dun Cow in the Old Kent Road closes next week for a fortnight to be refitted with yet more elaborate video, laser and lights – once re-opened in February with a 2am licence, Ron ‘Spider’ Baker will be joined Thursdays by Capital’s Mike Allen, Greg Edwards still funking Tuesday . . . Lionel Richie’s ‘Running With The Night’ video is very “Kid Creole” . . . Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video is rumoured to be longer than as shown on The Tube . . . Mac ‘n Jack’s ‘Say Say Say’ has been a US chart-topper but Paul McCartney’s album has been his smallest US seller ever – which shows whose fans have been buying the single, huh, kids? . . . The hills are alive with The Sound Of Muzak . . . DIN DAA DAA!

Alexis Korner

A shortage of commercials on telly this last week could have been caused by the sad death of the voice in so many of them, Alexis Korner, undisputed father of British R&B. Anyone familiar with his distinctive croaking smokey vocal will not be surprised that a cancerous lung finally felled him.

Of mixed East European parentage, Alexis in the ‘50s played guitar in trad jazz band leader Chris Barber’s pioneering blues splinter group (which Lonnie Donegan left to popularize skiffle as a home grown hybrid).

By the early ‘60s Alexis had teamed with tubby mouthed harpist Cyril Davies to form the incredibly influential Blues Incorporated, instituting Thursday R&B sessions at London’s Marquee Club when it was still a jazz venue under the Academy Cinema in Oxford Street.

It was Alexis’s enthusiasm for then current sounds that led to a split in the group, as he liked playing ‘Green Onions’ (etc) in amongst the Chicago bar room standards, Davies talking singer Long John Baldry into his own group while Alexis recruited the black Ronnie ‘US Air Force’ Jones. A Thursday regular at the Marquee from October ’62, I nevertheless remember the best set ever being fronted by Ronnie in his uniform up at La Discotheque in Wardour Street.

The first star I ever got to know, Alexis subsequently mentioned several times on his occasional radio series (where he played a range of obscure delights) how it was I who first turned him onto Otis Redding. By coincidence, that was exactly 20 years ago. Now they’re both gone, but their influence will linger on . . . if only in the Rolling Stones.


GEORGE KRANZ: ‘Din Daa Daa (Trommeltanz)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12 BRW 2, via Island)
A mindblowing monster of silly gibberish gimmickry given an epic Wagnerian production, this fabulously exciting 0-123-0-123-aca-122⅓bpm 12in amalgamation of doo-wop, scat, nonsense and noise builds ever upwards to an acappella break (try chopping Hot Streak minus intro out of it), and although far from electro it’s perfect mixed with Hashim (less dense 121bpm original and ditto accapella-ish dub flip). From Germany, it’s now huge in the States and could be another ‘Underwater’ here.

STATUS IV: Lovin’ You (Radar RDR-12010)
Hottest import smash since Christmas (welcomed with open arms by vinyl-starved junkies – oops, jocks!), this Eric Matthew-produced excellent creamily bumping very soulfully harmonised mellow 113bpm 12in jogger has some superb wailing horns halfway (inst dub flip), and mixes perfectly between Circle City Band and Lefturno.

DONNA SUMMER: ‘Stop Look And Listen’ (Mercury DONNA 312)
Although nominally A-side, this quite beefily textured choppily lurching 124bpm 12in thudder is likely to be overtaken by its really lovely and actually very soulful 93bpm ‘Tokyo’ flip, which could be huge and is certainly worthy of “summer tempo” play (appropriate, what?!). Continue reading “January 14, 1984: George Kranz, Status IV, Donna Summer, O.C. Miller, Tara”

January 7, 1984: charts only.

Editor’s Note:
From James’s January 14th Odds ‘N’ Bods column:

I did well after Xmas, fell over in the gutter (on the rooftop car park at Doncaster’s Arndale Centre, of all romantic locations!) and strained a ligament in my ankle, which resulted in a relaxing week with my leg up!

This would explain the absence of reviews and Odds ‘N’ Bods this week…

DISCO TOP 85 – DECEMBER 31, 1983

Rated by the country’s top DJ’s as the most up-front disco chart in the UK, compiled on Monday, on the street on Wednesday

01 02 The Sound Of Music – Dayton – Capitol 12”
02 03 Holiday – Madonna – Sire 12”
03 01 Thriller – Michael Jackson – Epic 12”
04 04 Crazy Cuts – Grandmixer D.ST. – Island 12”
05 06 Let The Music Play (Dub) / (Vocal) – Shannon – Club 12”
06 08 Al-Naafiysh (The Soul) – Hashim – Streetwave 12”
07 09 On The Upside – Xena – Streetwave 12”
08 07 Another Man / Rap – Barbara Mason – Streetwave 12”
09 05 All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie – Motown LP remix
10 18 Cuttin’ Herbie/Rock The House/Two Three Break – The B Boys – Streetwave 12”
11 11 I’m Out Of Your Life – Arnie’s Love – Streetwave 12”
12 10 Love How You Feel / Dub – Sharon Redd – Prelude 12”
13 15 Share The Night – World Premiere – US Easy Street 12”
14 14 Serious – Billy Griffin – CBS 12”
15 23 Magic – Circle City Band – US Circle City Records 12”
16 12 Ain’t Nobody – Rufus & Chaka Khan – Warner Bros 12”
17 22 Let’s Stay Together – Tina Turner – Capitol 12”
18 30 Straight Ahead – Kool & The Gang – De-Lite 12”
19 31 Where Is My Man – Eartha Kitt – Record Shack 12”
20 25 Out Of Sight – Lefturno – US Ascot 12”
21 16 Happiness Is Just Around The Bend – Cuba Gooding – London 12”
22 20 Joys Of Life – David Joseph – Island LP
23 32 Inside Love (So Personal) (Vocal) – George Benson – Warner Bros 12”
24 26 Love Will Find A Way – Lionel Richie – Motown LP
25 21 Get It On – Spence – Arista 12”
26 47 Watch The Closing Doors / Dub – I.R.T. – US RCA 12”
27 19 I Wanna Be With You – Armenta – Savoir Faire 12”
28 24 Somebody Save The Night / You’re A Winner / Activate / Got Ya’ Where I Want – Sharon Redd – Prelude LP
29 17 Love Is The Message – Hi Voltage – KRP 12”
30 13 White Lines – Grandmaster & Melle Mel – Sugarhill 12”
31 29 Scratch Break (Glove Style) – Motor City Crew – Motown 12”
32 33 Just Can’t Let You Go – Ronnie McNeir & Instant Groove – US Crossroad Entertainment Corp 12”
33 52 I Wanted Your Love / For The Sweetness Of Your Love / Busy Body – Luther Vandross – US Epic LP

34 — Big Apple Noise – Trans-Lux – US Master Mix 12”
35 50 Just Can’t Get Enough / Don’t Give Up Your Dream – Lew Kirton – Epic 12”
36 41 B-Boys Beware / B-Boys B-Dubbed – Two Sisters – US Sugarscoop 12”
37 37 Make Mine Guarana – Azymuth – US Milestone LP
38 27 Single Handed – Haywoode – CBS 12”
39 34 Fo-Fi-Fo / Tell Me A Bedtime Story – Pieces Of A Dream – German Elektra LP
40 28 Don’t You – Second Image – MCA 12”
41 42 Running With The Night (Remix) – Lionel Richie – Motown 12”
42 51 No Sell Out – Malcolm X / Keith LeBlanc – US Tommy Boy 12”
43 40 My Guy – Mary Wells – US Allegiance 12”
44 49 Baby I’m Scared Of You / T.K.O. – Womack & Womack – German Elektra LP
45 38 Crotona Park – Dave Valentin – US GRP LP
46 56 You Ain’t Got No Money – Jaime Lynn – US Salsoul 12”
47 36 All My Life – Major Harris – London 12”
48 44 It’s Really Love / Got To Have Your Love / Never Say Never – Melba Moore – Capitol LP
49 68 This Love Is For Real – Ron Banks – US CBS Associated Records LP
50 43 Dressing Up! – Street Angels – Street Beat 12”
51 46 All Night Long (All Night) (Instrumental) – Lionel Richie – US Motown 12”
52 53 Baby Doll (Remix) – Girls Can’t Help It – US Sire 12”
53 35 So Different – Kinky Foxx – Sound Of New York 12”
54 54 (Whatever Happened To) The Party Groove / ‘Jellybean’ Remix – The Walkers – London 12”
55 65 Beat Wave – Warp 9 – US Prism 12”
56 39 Cavern – Liquid Liquid – US 99 12” EP
57 71 I’ll Let You Slide – Luther Vandross – Epic 12”
58 62 It’s Your Turn – Delegation – CBS 12”
59 73 A Night In New York – Elbow Bones & The Racketeers – EMI America 12”
60 70 Deeper – Gerry Trew – Bluebird 12”
61 63 King Of Soul Medley – Soul Kings – US Pandisc 12”
62 61 Time For Some Fun – Central Line – Mercury 12”

63 — Radio Activity Syndrome – Arcade Gang – US Rappers Rapp Disco Co 12”
64 64 Red Hot – Herb Alpert – A&M 12” re-remix/LP remix
65 66 (Just Because) You’ll Be Mine – Instant Funk – US Salsoul 12”
66 — (I’m Just A) Sucker For A Pretty Face – West Phillips – Canadian Quality 12”
67 69 You And Me Right Now / I Want My Baby Back – Teddy Pendergrass – Philadelphia International LP
68 59 Stay With Me Tonight (Remix) – Jeffrey Osborne – A&M 12”
69 78 Love Is Still Waiting – Al Jarreau – WEA 12”
70 76 Tell Me If You Still Care – The SOS Band – Tabu 12”
71 55 Bigger Than Life – Lamont Dozier – Demon LP
72 72 Bad Times – Captain Rapp – US Saturn/Becket 12”
73 79 Summer Breeze – Baiser – Canadian Celsius 12”
74 — Give Me The Night (Medley) – Mirage – Passion 12”
75 81 What’s Going On / I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Remix) – Marvin Gaye – Motown 12”
76 48 Give Me Your Love (Remix) – Active Force – US A&M 12”
77 — Electric Boogie (Remix) / (Long Version) – Marcia Griffiths – Island 12”
78 57 Copy Cat – P.Funk All-Stars – US Uncle Jam LP
79 — How Can I Love Again – O.C. Miller – Orbitone 12”
80 77 You Are Beautiful / Believer / You Got Some Love For Me – Chic – US Atlantic LP
81 58 Yah Mo B There – James Ingram – German Qwest LP
82 — Let’s Take Time Out – Howard Johnson – A&M 12”/US remix
83 — Encore – Cheryl Lynn – CBS LP/US Columbia 12”
84 — The Good Times – Stanley Clarke/George Duke – Epic LP
85 — ‘Lectric Ziggee Groove – Ziggee Toir – US TSOM 12”

Continue reading “January 7, 1984: charts only.”

December 31, 1983: The Hammy Awards, Kool & The Gang, Circle City Band, Barbara Mason, Hashim, I.R.T.


MORGAN KHAN’s ambitious ‘The Dance Decade‘ 14 album/9 cassette boxed set actually did reach the shops more than a week before Christmas, while ‘Street Sounds Electro 2‘ turns out to be far stronger than the regular ‘Street Sounds 7’ . . . ‘Street Sounds Boys Town 1‘ starts yet another series (suggested by myself) in January, plus on Streetwave a 5-track 12in EP of The B Boys is imminent . . . PRT picked up Mary Wells ‘My Guy’ for rush release, and — you’ll never guess! — Michael Jackson’s ‘P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)’ will now follow ‘Thriller’ here as the sixth UK single from his LP (which the video has sent right back up the charts both sides of the Atlantic again) . . . Tommy Boy won rights to Malcolm X ‘No Sell Out’ but pay a nominal royalty to Sugarhill, who not surprisingly have severed all connection with producers Keith LeBlanc & Marshall Chess — Tommy Boy’s new pressings evidently include an added gunshot at the end . . . Midas Records have had to stop their ‘In Store Music’ promo cassette service as currently operated due to further objections by the BPI rights committee (refunds are being sent to subscribers) the fact that record companies were charged for the inclusion of their product, rather than the other way around, proved to be the stumbling block this time . . . George Benson ‘Inside Love’ has been white labelled with a new somewhat phased instrumental remix . . . North East Londoners Total Contrast, aping the original Linx approach (see Hot Vinyl), are offering PAs on 01-928 5666 (day)/806 9295/764 4839 (evening) . . . Mickey Lee, now taking a break from Crete until next summer with partner Laura B at Italian ski resort Sauze D’Oulx, temporarily filled in at Nethertown’s Village Inn where snooker champ Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins (the one who isn’t into mixing!) had to pay to get in, muttered to a tipsy regular “This wouldn’t happen to me at Stringfellows”, and got the reply “I’m sorry to hear that, Alex, but tell me how’s the boxing these days?”!! . . . Teesvalley Roadshow’s Graham Murray & Alastair Jones are just off to work in Germany, leaving Cleveland in the grip of Hi-NRG fever (they say the jocks all know about our Boys Town chart and ignore ‘The Tube’!): meanwhile Gary Oldis has left Aycliffe Bee Jays for Victoria’s in sunny Scarborough, where the pop has a definite Hi-NRG bias (biggest requests still being Hazell Dean ‘Searchin’ and Ronni Griffiths ‘Breakin’ Up’) . . . If Hi-NRG does come galloping down from the frozen North and into the pop charts, as many seem to predict, it won’t be anything new — remember Kelly Marie? . . . Record Mirror’s influential Boys Town/Hi-NRG Disco chart has other less regular contributors but wouldn’t exist without the help of Ian Levine (Charing Cross Heaven), Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana), Norman Scott (Haringey/Brighton Bolts) Tricky Dicky Scanes (London Dicks Inns), Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse), Gary Allan (Liverpool Concert Street), Bill Grainger (Edinburgh Fire Island) — the most powerful boys on the beat! . . . Peter Stringfellow’s cavernous new Hippodrome is about to go gay on Mondays . . . Mary Wells ‘My Guy’ remake really is remarkably good out of Barbara Mason’s ‘Another Man’, even down to its story-continuing “no muscle bound man can take the hand of my guy”! — Mary’s ‘The Old, The New And The Best Of Mary Wells’ import LP (US Allegiance AV 444) is a disappointment though, full of interesting but limp remakes of her old Motown material . . . Active Force ‘Give Me Your Love’/Girls Can’t Help It ‘Baby Doll’/Lionel Richie ‘Love Will Find A Way’/Ray Parker Jr ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ make a sensational mellow mix sequence, while I scared myself doing an unbelievably imperceptible much vari-speeded mix from George Clinton ‘Atomic Dog’ into P.Funk All-Stars ‘Copy Cat’ (not easy as the latter’s short odd intro is 7½bpm faster) . . . Big Phill Etgart (Bethnal Green Weavers Nitespot) suggests as Warp 9 ‘Beat Wave’ is so good with Malcolm X, using its dub under Martin Luther King (from Stevie Wonder’s flip) before mixing into Malcolm . . . Mayfair Gulliver’s Danny Daniels has had a haircut making him look like Fats Domino, while Capital’s Disco John Leeech has had his dyed! . . . Capital Radio’s ‘Best Disco’ finished as such at the Lyceum over Christmas but is due to hit the road for live broadcasts from different London area venues starting in February, but probably returning to the Lyceum once a month . . . Capital’s New Year’s Eve ‘Nothin’ But A House Party’ goes out 10.03pm-2.00am, four solid hours of my party mixes yet again . . . Steve Walsh’s New Year’s Eve soul show on County Sound is an extended 6- 10pm review of ’83, while Robbie Vincent starts his Sunday 10pm-midnight Radio One soul show on New Years Day . . . Brian Mason (St. Albans) wishes Radio London soul broadcaster Tony Blackburn would stop hammering the “only available from import shops” and “the only station that plays the best of the Top 40 and the best in jazz funk and soul” — even his jokes are bearable but not that, sez Brian . . . I’m losing count of the records Passion put out without sending me promos — latest is a George Benson soundalike medley by Mirage (inspired by the Disco Mix Club?) . . . Luther Vandross ‘I Wanted Your Love‘ does actually grow on one, mainly through memories of ‘The Glow Of Love’ . . . BT Express ‘Hangin’ Out‘ should be c.113bpm , and improves the longer it’s on . . . Eartha Kitt could have had a bigger hit if her 7in edit hadn’t left out the best “big, big yacht” . . . Wham! ‘Megamix’ is conversely much better and more danceable in its 7in form . . . Theo Loyla makes a point about the late lamented Nightclub chart, with which I totally agree, that it was the pop hits which didn’t get into it that had most significance — if only we didn’t have to wait until they’d stopped selling to find out! . . . Disco/Boys Town/info deadline for contributors returns to normal next week, so beat the post and mail ’em before the weekend . . . 1984 is upon us. Thirty years ago I didn’t realize that the numerical significance was only a rearrangement of ‘1948’, but do remember a doom-laden craze for the “Big Brother is watching you” slogan in 1954 itself, when (at a very young age!) today seemed a lifetime away in the future yesterday . . . I suppose it was, but the frightening thing is it didn’t then take long to get there . . . WOT, NOT COLD TURKEY AGAIN!


KOOL & THE GANG: ‘You Can Do It’ (LP ‘In The Heart’ De-Lite DSR 4)
Fully reviewed weeks ago to amazingly zilch response so far, their self-produced set is comfortably familiar (dated?) with the harmonised jittery thudding 106bpm title track and this brassily thrusting 118bpm chanter being most instantly recognisable.

CIRCLE CITY BAND: ‘Magic’ (US Circle City Records CC-053183)
Most in demand import before Christmas, this fabulous very Slave-like deliberately thudding 110bpm 12in roller sets up one of those monotonously driving momentums that sweep all before it, especially when thundered through huge speakers (inst/edit flip). Not a cross-over, though.

BARBARA MASON: ‘Another Man’ (Streetwave MKHAN 3)
A controversial “succes de scandale”. Barbie laments her man’s going out with another man, wearing her clothes, talking and walking funny — but all so sweetly wailed and rapped with seductive girlie group support to a gently bumping 112bpm swaying beat box that unless you listen it’ll pass you by. The 4-track 12in rap compresses the story to its main meat. Continue reading “December 31, 1983: The Hammy Awards, Kool & The Gang, Circle City Band, Barbara Mason, Hashim, I.R.T.”