ODDS ‘N’ BODS
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”