November 28, 1981: Luther Vandross, Bob James, Trini Lopez, Dynasty, Perry Haines

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CBS COMPILATIONS due in a fortnight are a killer Prelude-culled set called ‘Ace Of Clubs‘ featuring Sharon Redd ‘Can You Handle It (Remix)’, Conquest, Vicki Sue Robinson, Empress, Strikers ‘Inch By Inch (Remix)’ and more, and the follow-up to ‘Bitter Suite’ called ‘Second Suite‘, with Eddie Russ ‘Zaius’, Marlene Shaw ‘Go Away Little Boy’, Heath Bros ‘Dreamin’, Bobbi Humphrey ‘Home Made Jam’ and more . . . New York Skyy ‘Let’s Celebrate’ c/w ‘Call Me’ is due next week on Epic/Streetwave 12in and has already been serviced to DJs by Morgan Khan, who is currently working out of CBS’s offices while his own in West Acton are prepared . . . Record Shack would appear to have stepped in at Red Bus/Excaliber following Morgan’s departure . . . Alphonse Mouzon on 12in (finished pressings are 118bpm) has an excellent totally instrumental version as flip . . . Lowrell Simon ‘Love Massage’ actually bangs about a bit at the start, last week’s review being done while Graham Gold was playing it at Gullivers and he had mixed in after the intro . . . Boney M’s 12in version of the not particularly danceable 0-155-0-36/71-0bpm ‘We Kill The World’ features as B-side (not on 7in) a special mixer medley of ‘6 Years Of Boney M Hits’ (starting at 128bpm) which must have helped chart it nationally . . . Dave Rose has left EMI to join WEA in an A&R capacity, but he’s also running a new DJ mailing list supplementary to Fred Dove’s, concentrating on the “white funk” / futurist / heavy metal / Top 40 / video end of disco – but don’t apply as he’s already got his own short list . . . Jenni Nicholson has abruptly and unexpectedly resigned from her assistant disco plugging job at CBS, with talk about returning to Bath – where she’d welcome any PR work for Bristol area clubs / record companies (call 01-886 9393) . . . Showstoppers next Sunday (6) have a special alldayer at Reading Top Rank built around a live appearance by Heatwave, with Chris Hill, Sean French, Brother Louie, Pete Tong, Mike Allan . . . Alton Edwards at his Mayfair Gullivers PA last Friday had to sing along to a specially extended (by me!) combination of vocal, instrumental and back to vocal versions of his ‘I Just Wanna’ white label – the guy has stamina! . . . Tony Todd, the memorably different lead vocalist with TCOJ a few years back, now fronts the rejuvenated line-up of Chequers, who are well worth catching live . . . Dennis Brynner’s mixing partner on Thurs/Fridays at Southampton Barbarella’s, Steve Quinn now joins Dennis and Dave Van Seiger on their Sunday ‘Disco Report’ show over the local university’s Radio Glen to amaze the student listeners with his mixing skills . . . Alan Costa reports for the last month his most popular record at Brighton’s Kings Club and Kings II has been Alec R Costandinos ‘Americana‘ (French RCA) but none of his punters can buy it anywhere . . . Friday (27) at 6 in the morning those four World Go-Go Dancing Record challenging girls step into their shop window in Dudley’s Wolverhampton Street, where they hope to stay until Saturday afternoon next week, gyrating for charity . . . Martin Platt’s last charity marathon run raised an additional £200 from RM-reading DJs (this’ll buy a braille computer and tape recorder for a blind 7 year-old), and he’s now planning to attempt the Land’s End to John O’Groats 2½ weeks running record with nightly stops for an accompanying roadshow to raise money for the Spastics Society – this gives a whole new and accurate meaning to the word “roadshow”! – Martin is actually wanting to hear from any interested roadshow DJs, at 18 Coronation Avenue, Feniscowles, Blackburn, Lancs . . . Alan Taylor (Rhyl), who led the disgruntled North Wales delegation to the Edgbaston Faces DJ Convention, comments “It was another washout, although I agree organiser Steve Dennis held his ground and did his part. The meal service was diabolical, the drinks cost a fortune, and I didn’t learn a thing – same topics, same speakers as last year, same bloody arguments. We all left at 6pm determined not to waste another £40 next year” . . . I always say these sort of events are most useful as meeting places, and Faces was no exception – maybe the answer is for future forums to cut out the speakers and just be a glorified cocktail party? . . . Steve Glover says the Bournemouth disco scene is going through a high at the moment, weekends anyway, the renewed vigour coming from interest in UK “white funk” and “salsa” . . . Disco Lite is a budget priced miniaturised sound-to-light converter constructed as a simple plug-in mains socket adaptor with possible appeal to small mobiles – it only handles 450 watts worth of lighting (7x60w / 11x40w / 18x25w bulbs, or Christmas tree lights) on just the one channel – available direct from Winship & Smith Ltd, 12 Fieldside, East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire OX12 8BS, for £17.20 (p&p included), or from electrical shops at about £18.09 . . . Graham Bond (Teesvalley Roadshow) reports that the refitted Tony’s Records, 162 High Street, Redcar, are discounting current UK disco releases (Kool LP £4.40, Modern Romance 12in £1.60, Linx 12in £1.32) . . . Pete Alex, working in Southern Norway at Kristiansand’s Downtown disco, is another DJ who recommends the already previously mentioned Mikie Burke’s Record Shop, 4890 Grimstad, Norway, which imports disco newies at about the same time (and prices) as shops in Britain, and operates a CoD postal service . . . Bootsy, once a leading light of Southampton University’s soul society, now jocks virtually every night (not Thurs/Sunday) at Chesham-Gatsbys 1812 club . . . Alan Coulthard’s now confirmed as Sat/Mon/Tuesdays at Marble Arch Dial 9 . . . Alan Cody, known around Knotty Ash as Nutcracker of the Liverpool Gnomes, recently trekked to Swindon’s Brunel Rooms and raves about DJ Sandy Martin – whose increased head size should make his trumpet go toot, TOOT! . . . Noel Wright (Watford Baileys Juliets / Ware Beckets) says Bohannon mixes beautifully out of the final break in K.I.D. ‘Hupendi Muziki Wangu?!’ . . . Imagination may be sorry in the long run . . . Pete Tong has obviously heard my mobile goes out for high prices! . . . DO IT TO IT!


UK NEWIES

LUTHER VANDROSS: ‘Never Too Much’ (Epic EPC A13 – 1857).
His languidly swaying distinctively phrased 110bpm US smash is now finally on welcome extended 3-track 12in, flipped by the jerkily lurching 109-110-111bpm ‘Sugar And Spice (I Found Me A Girl)‘, and soulful 45-46 bpm ‘Don’t You Know That?’

BOB JAMES: ‘The Steamin’ Feelin’ (Tappan Zee CBS A13 -1837).
Another Rod Tempterton-penned/arranged terrific bubblingly jaunty though downtempo 101bpm 12in tripper, very similar to if slightly less catchy than ‘Sign Of The Times’ (with which it’s a great mix).

TRINI LOPEZ: ‘Trini Trax’ (RCA RCAT 154).
Back in 1964 when as a mere broth of a lad I was jocking in America on Long Island, about the only white record I ever had to play was Trini’s ‘Live At PJ’s’ LP – and he’s now revived the exact same material (‘If I Had A Hammer’ etc) and singalong hootenanny format but in 144bpm 12in medley style, making it a must for MoR crowds and a likely smash.  Continue reading “November 28, 1981: Luther Vandross, Bob James, Trini Lopez, Dynasty, Perry Haines”

November 21, 1981: Brandi Wells, Norman Connors, Mike & Brenda Sutton, Tom Browne, Tracy Weber

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

KOOL’S HOT ‘Get Down On It’ is set for white label 12in circulation just before Christmas, going on sale at the start of January . . . Morgan Khan’s first rush-release on Streetwave will be Alton Edwards ‘I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You)‘, an ultra-exciting if – in 12in form – slightly rambling 121bpm smacker with a rhythm track that’s so sharp it draws blood (this is remixed and not the same version as originally put about by DJM) . . . Rick James has some great videos doing the rounds, ‘Give It To Me Baby’ revealing a temperature-raising lady and ‘Super Freak’ a squad of lovelies, while he and Teena Marie are both featured in concert . . . Kool’s ‘Steppin’ Out’ is also on video . . . Great Yarmouth Tiffany’s this Saturday (21) holds a DJ Jamboree (7.30pm – 1am) with six jocks on stage simultaneously accepting 20p requests for charity, Pepe spinning soul, Roger Dynamite futurist, Bobby H rock, Paul Major jazz-funk, Ian Soames rockabilly, Paul Venables pop – things could get noisy! . . . London’s pirate radio stations, operating mostly on Sundays and now rather overcrowding the FM wavelengths, held a big meeting last week convened by Radio Invicta at which all their various grievances were thrashed out – while channels of co-operative contact were opened not a lot else was resolved, although the first initial outcome is likely to be some wavelength changes, with a further meeting called before Christmas . . . Ricky MacKenzie has joined Karen Spreadbury in the Eyes And Ears PR firm and is compiling a DJ mailing list, so send full work details to her at 31 Osborne House, 414 Wimbledon Park Road, London SW19 (01 769 9673) . . . Barry McCloud Enterprises are updating their DJ mailing list to 1,000 for transfer to computer – apply to Linda Winning at Suite 29, Isabel House, 46-47 Victoria Road, Surbiton, Surrey (01 399 5324) . . . I dunno who’s sent ’em, but everyone except me seems to have had Reggae Allstars and Defunkt promos . . . Alistair Watt (Fraserburgh) says he’s at least one rock jock who reads this page – and Carrere confirm they had great response to their recent request for rock jocks . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn members (non-members welcome too) meet this Sunday (22) at noon in Cippenham Alexandras on Bath Road in Slough to hear about equipment technicalities, insurance, and legal CB rigs – TVDJA details from Frank Smith on Ashford (Middx) 42587 . . . Adrian Williams (who with Ian Turner spins hot wax Thurs/Fri/Saturdays at Rhyl Central Hotel’s Grass Roots wine bar) was thoroughly underwhelmed by the Birmingham Faces DJ Convention and together with others from North Wales left before the open forum . . . Graham Bond (Teesvalley Roadshow) however reckons that Faces “was the best weekend I’ve had for ages, everybody was very friendly and I’ll be going again next year” . . . Greg Wilson (Wigan Pier/Manchester Legend) points out that not all the Northern jocks at Faces had chips on their shoulders, he and Paul Randall (Legend) both took the stage to scold the complainers: speaking as well connected and well paid DJs in two of the UK’s top clubs, Greg says it’s up to the Northerners to narrow the advantage London area DJs have in being local to the record companies by keeping in close contact with the companies themselves and going to them rather than expecting things to be served up on a silver salver . . . I know for a fact that pluggers put PA’s in venues and service DJs with exclusive promos wherever in the country they may be as long as those venues/jocks create the right chemistry, which amounts to an enthusiastic environment made up of responsive crowds and civilised surroundings held together by someone who knows what they’re doing . . . Andy Collins reveals that the “Bobby Moore” chant began in the Fusion Few and Magnum Force coach on the way to Caister as rhyming slang for “Are you sure?” (“Are you Bobby Moore?”), and built from there to take over by Sunday’s finale as THE Caister call – Andy also complains that there wasn’t enough of Sean French at peak times (“he’s brilliantly stupid at big events”), adding Tom Holland and Chris Brown did good sets playing newies . . . Phil ‘Rod’ Andrews, whose ’60’s chart was printed last week, is now at Derby’s Horse and Groom on Mon/Tues/Wednesdays, plus the Woofters Roadshow does a promotional disco all day Saturdays in Derby’s HMV Shop to help boost sales . . . Joe Williams jazz-funk Mondays in Tottenham have moved from Elton’s to Valentino’s (the old Charlie Brown’s), Steve Walsh starring next week (23) . . . Soho’s Hombres in Wells Street (north of Oxford Street) is the latest London club to have 25p drinks all night, on Tuesdays . . . Samantha’s in New Burlington Street (west of Regent Street) is finally removing its celebrated E-Type Jaguar DJ booth after 17 years . . . Rockerfellas “tomorrow” is long time coming . . . Pete Tong is now, apart from odd Sunday gigs, only at London Baker Street’s Barracuda every Fri/Saturday, his old Hilltop venue having closed on Mondays while Nicky Peck has taken over Fridays at Charing’s King Arthur’s Court . . . Mondays at the Barracuda are now live music night under the name ‘Diverse’, £3.50 tickets (including automatic membership) in advance only, full details on 01-903 2962 . . . Alan Coulthard now funks Fri/Saturdays at Dial 9 off Marble Arch, between his University of London studies . . . Lee Taylor, ex-Tokyo Joe’s, heads for Holland and four months in Chevingham – but what club? . . . Incognito’s 7in sleeve has one of the Big Dipper’s Heavenly Bodies posing with Bluey . . . Imagination’s pianist Tony Swain very obviously plays on the theme from Barbara Woodhouse’s new TV series . . . Phonogram are picking up Ruddy Thomas ‘Just One Moment Away’ . . . Four Tops ‘Don’t Walk Away’ will be follow-up, and Bar-Kays ‘Nightcruising’ is set for UK 12in . . . Sunnie correctly draws for the fine distinction that the Pretenders ‘I Go To Sleep’ is actually more like Dusty Springfield than Dionne Warwick . . . Keith Henderson (Birkenhead 644 8178) says the funk scene in Merseyside is improving, and then in the next breath adds he’s looking for somewhere to funk . . . Central Line’s ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ is now Top 40 in the US soul chart and even a low entry in the Pop Hot 100 . . . Paul Major (Yarmouth), that’s a 15-17, and a 15-31 to you too, fella! . . . ALL THE GOOD NUMBERS!


SANDY MARTIN of Swindon’s Brunel Rooms is currently being nicknamed ‘Toots’ thanks to his activities with a trumpet, especially in accompaniment to Blue Rondo A La Turk – for which he also gets whistles and maraccas going. He used to jock in Scotland. Could it be a case of – sorry ‘baht this – “Toots Mon”?!


UK NEWIES

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Turn Your Love Around‘ has turned up on 3-track 12in (Warner Bros) with ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘Soulful Strut’, and PATTI AUSTIN’S 123bpm ‘The Genie (Remix)‘ is on 12in now too with the 103bpm ‘Every Home Should Have One’ (Qwest). Other hot numbers which lack of space and time mean you must wait until next week for full review include PERRY HAINES ‘What’s Funk?‘ (Fetish Funk Rox.12in – 115-114-113-112bpm), DYNASTY ‘Love In The Fast Lane‘ (Solar 12in – 111bpm), GQ ‘You’ve Got The Floor‘ 120-119-118-121-119bpm / ‘Face To Face’ 98bpm / ‘I Love (The Skin You’re In)’ 106-108bpm / ‘Shy Baby’ 114-116bpm (Arista LP), ANGELA BOFILL ‘I Do Love You‘ 0-56/111-56/111bpm / ‘Tropical Love’ 0-43/87bpm / ‘Something About You’ 113-114bpm.


IMPORTS

BRANDI WELLS: ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ (LP ‘Watch Out’ US WMOT FW 37568).
Watch out indeed – for the next Evelyn King! Mixing sensationally with her last two hits, the otherwise classy slow set’s two killer dance cuts are exceptionally strong, this powerfully lurching 113bpm snickety strutter progressing through some great sparse breaks to have a slight edge over the chunky bass rumbled 117bpm title track, which has a rap about her backing band and some superb scatting. Dynamite stuff!

NORMAN CONNORS. ‘Mr C’ LP (US Arista AL 9575).
Satisfyingly strong consistent set (especially for listening), dominated by the punchily pushing 0-132bpm instrumental jazz title track which has to be the best of its bass and brass powered searing sort for months, up-tempo vocal cuts being the Temperton/Wonder-ish jauntily jerky smacking 0-116-118bpm ‘Keep Doin’ It‘, Latin flavoured urgent jittery 118-120bpm ‘Stay With Me‘, Jean Carn & Derrick Hughes-duetted tripping 0-109bpm ‘Love’s In Your Corner‘ mellow shuffling 119-120-121-120-121bpm ‘She’s Gone‘, and heavily funky 114bpm ‘Party Town‘.

MIKE & BRENDA SUTTON: ‘We’ll Make It’ (US SAM S-12342).
Superstars they may yet be despite their unalluring name, this terrific backbeat kicking 117bpm 12in swinger being not only just like Phyllis Hyman’s ‘You Know How To Love Me’ as if sung by Ashford & Simpson, but also a mind bogglingly similar mix out of Melba Moore’s ‘Take My Love’. It’s a hot one!  Continue reading “November 21, 1981: Brandi Wells, Norman Connors, Mike & Brenda Sutton, Tom Browne, Tracy Weber”

November 14, 1981: George Benson, Incognito, Earl Klugh, Syreeta, Jakob Magnusson

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MORGAN KHAN, who built Excaliber single-handed and then even more significantly R&B (which scored three hits with its first three releases), has formed a new label called Streetwave with CBS in a deal that could make him almost as rich as the rest of his family, the label to be headquartered in fashionable downtown West Acton . . . Linx won Capital Radio’s People’s Choice vote last week but I’ve yet to find a DJ that doesn’t agree their new single is awfully dull . . . Hot Cuisine’s ‘Disco Calypso’ is being issued as remixed A-side — and, incidentally, which US disco chart is it that they’re top of? . . . Dynasty ‘Love In The Fast Lane’ and Donald Byrd ‘I’ll Always Love You’ are due on 12in . . . Wallabys opened on Tuesday and not Monday, as an unfortunate printing vision last week would have had you believe, Jeff Young’s gig being at another venue on the previous night and Martin Collins’s weekly night at Luton’s Hat & Bonnet on Tuesdays — apologies to all concerned . . . Anthony Bernards & Ken Gerou will be taking Wallabys to various venues around the London area as a loveable feast, full details of dates as they are decided . . . BG & Alex Allders, late of Funktion, have formed their own Winners moveable event, having taken over London’s Embassy this Monday just gone for an historic event fancy dress party, and then start two weekly next Thursday (19) at the Exclusive Club in Margaret Street on the site of the old Speakeasy . . . Jr. Walker last Wednesday at Mayfair’s Gullivers could not have found a better setting or atmosphere for his dynamite chuck and jive-filled act — protesting after every number that he had to go, he nevertheless stayed on for an hour and a quarter of energy packed blowing and hollering all firmly rooted in the blues, to produce one of the very best nights that Gullivers has ever seen . . . Mark Haywood’s Roots With Zoots night every Monday at Soho’s Le Beat Route features 1940s/early ’50s R&B and boogie laced with doowop . . . Mark Clark (Bracknell) is in charge of presentation at Earl’s Court’s Ski Show from Saturday (14) for eight days, promising plenty of appropriately cool soft soul and jazz over the speaker system . . . Tom Amigo & Steve Wiggins are cataloguing 10,000 singles from 1973 to now, all tastes and invite jocks with wants to send an SAE to Steve at 19 High Street, Barry, South Glamorgan CF6 8EA — legitimate DJs will get a good deal . . . Frenchie reports from the North-West that — in places like Manchester’s Placemates, Legends, Rufus, Wigan Pier, Blackpool Man Fridays, etc — the jazz-funk scene has survived the disasters of 1980 to get back on the right track, and he wonders how this compares with the scene down South . . . Steve Dennis and Gibbo, playing disco/soul and electro/futurist respectively at Edgbaston Faces, both say their punters are demanding newies rather than oldies — how refreshing . . . Alan Gaskell (St Helens) buys his imports at Liverpool City Centre’s Rumbelows (NEMS) in Whitechapel, where prices are LP £5.49/£5.99, 12in £3.49, 7in £1.10 (in the current climate these prices may have changed by now), while Steven Fay (Darwen) recommends Manchester’s HMV Records in Market Street for 7in imports and LPs . . . Alan Coulthard’s killer mix between Modern Romance’s ‘Tear The Roof Off The Moose’ and their US ‘Can You Move’ rapper remix of ‘Salsa’ reveals a remarkable similarity in the backing tracks . . . Jon Williams (Birkenhead) reckons all labels should employ a clerk to BPM their disco releases so that the correct BPM can be printed on the record, thus spreading the enjoyment of the art of mixing to all DJs . . . Sylvers ‘Come Back Lover Come Back’ last week should have been printed as 0-108-107bpm . . . Neil Benjamin (Guildford) now looks ultra-futuristic but used to roadie for Chris Brown, and says “hi” to Chris . . . Roger J Cooperman souls Wed/Sat/Sundays at Reflections in Stratford, E15 . . . Xmas hits are tricky to predict too far in advance, but I for one won’t be upset if Cliff Richard’s revival of ‘Daddy’s Home’ wins the race this year . . . I wonder how many other mobile DJs find their biggest request is nearly always Dire Straits? . . . KEEP ‘EM HAPPY!


LUTHER VANDROSS, looking like Lenny Henry on his finally released album’s sleeve, made his name as a session singer and by doing numerous commercial jingles for US TV and radio, before finding fame as the vocalist on Change’s ‘Glow Of Love’ and ‘Searching’. Didja know though that he arranged the vocals for Barbra & Donna’s ‘Enough Is Enough’?


UK NEWIES

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Never Give Up On A Good Thing’ (LP ‘The George Benson Collection’ Warner Bros K65107).
An obviously high quality oldies double album set (including CTI and Arista material), packed in a single pocket sleeve with a testimonial filled booklet, the only newie apart from the 7in-issued 102bpm ‘Turn Your Love Around‘ being this excellent smoothly whomping brassy 114bpm backbeat smacker which is already huge for demo-serviced jocks and well up to his usual standard … though word has it that the rest of his newly recorded material was not, hence this hasty stop-gap set.

INCOGNITO: ‘North London Boy’ (Ensign ENYT 221).
Their most commercial bet yet, this terrific powerfully skipping 121-122-123bpm 12in jazzy shuffler has het-up vocals by Tessa Webb, the good lyrics interspersed with some searing sax stabs.

EARL KLUGH: ‘Twinkle’ (Liberty 12UP 647).
Dynamite bass snapped delicate but beefy 123bpm guitar picked instrumental jazz jitterer, great mixed out of ‘Heavy On Easy’, on 3-track 12in with the lusher ‘Broadway Ramble’ and ‘Dance With Me’.  Continue reading “November 14, 1981: George Benson, Incognito, Earl Klugh, Syreeta, Jakob Magnusson”

November 7, 1981: Modern Romance, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Twennynine with Lenny White, Rick James, Teena Marie

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DAVE McALEER, evidently disenchanted by the lack of chart success for such hot product as Jerome, has announced he is leaving DJM/Champagne . . . Champagne meanwhile are readying their ‘Re-Mixtures’ follow-up, an 8-track LP split between UK and US material (Justo Almario ‘Sho’ You Right’ being the only one with any previous action), this set appropriately titled ‘Pre-Mixtures’ and selling for the price of an import 12” . . . US imports have however shot up in price again, even Groove now listing albums at £6.49 (though regular DJ customers get a discount) . . . Second Image blow the brass on – guess what – the Jam’s current hit! . . . Kool’s ‘Get Down On It’ has spawned a new hand gesture, at the relevant points in the song you point in time with the music at the point you’d like your partner to get down onto, grinning wickedly the while! . . . Gonzalez are looking ultra sharp these days all dressed in tuxedos, with a gorgeous sexy black lady now singing and gyrating out front, Janice Hoyte . . . Jeff Young is not only up-dating the soul, general and rock mailing lists at Phonogram but he is also compiling a brand new electro/futurist DJ list, so any busy jocks with big audiences who’d like a stab at any of these should send full work details to Jeff at Phonogram, 50 New Bond Street, London W1Y 9HA . . . Rush Release had nothing to do with the 7-Up rock ‘n’ roll mailout, which was sent by someone else (PEEL? MAP?) . . . Noreen Allen has shifted sideways following Motown’s departure to handle now the general EMI disco mailouts . . . Gee Bello tells me that Light Of The World’s new single was written a year ago and recorded six months ago – so if it sounds like Linx (who have the exact same line-up) it must be something in the air! . . . EMI incidentally sent some people a pair of snazzy pale blue socks imprinted with a Light Of The World logo . . . RCA celebrated the acquisition of Motown with a party at Soho’s Le Beat Route, where an impromptu raffle of various Motown LP sets raised £110 for Capital Radio’s Help A London Child campaign . . . Motown’s back catalogue is now available through RCA, and still includes a lot more old singles than you’d probably realised . . . Decibel Disco Distributors – just opened at 99 Stoke Road, Slough (Slough 35814) – as well as selling gear also service it, with a Monday in / Friday out turnaround and subsidised collection/delivery . . . Trevor Walters sounds so exactly like the record when singing live over the instrumental version at PA’s it is uncanny . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry Freddie’s Bar) now joins those raving over Continental hit Pino D’Angio ‘Ma Quelle Idea‘ – how about it, RCA? George Andrew (Salford) says as well as on the expensive German double pack, Boney M ‘Margherita’ has been on French Carerre 7in for ages (49.709) – the twin 12in set being the big attraction though, and Gordon Laing (Hamilton) is desperate to get it . . . Alan Costa (Brighton Kings Club Kings II) is back from Venezuela recommending salsa fans to check out Billo’s Caracas Boys ‘Billo 81½’ LP – but where’dya get it, Al? . . . Sandy ‘Toots’ Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) horrified the Halloween punters by eventually opening the coffin, to reveal – Buzby! . . . Gail Cartwright, Denise Hickman, Kim Bissell and Julie Smith attempt to break the 200 hours 7 minutes World Go-Go Dancing record starting Friday 27th November at 6am (if successful they’ll still be wiggling at 2pm on Saturday 5th December!) backed up by the Signs, In Transit and Tracks ‘N Grooves mobile discos, all in a shop window in Dudley’s Wolverhampton Street – sponsors to benefit the Lower Gornal Children’s Leukemia Appeal Fund should contact Al Gilbert on 021-557 6609 . . . Rob Harknett debuts next week (Tues/Wed 10/11) at Harlow’s new 1920’s decorated Joseph’s Bar (restaurant & disco) where he’ll be having to use the managements own record selection – will they be 78rpm to go with the decor? . . . Frenchie has managed to get a Sunday dancing licence for his Charnock Richard gig at the Bowling Green, this solo venture not however indicating any sort of a split with his partner Pete Haigh . . . Feta Anikulapo-Kuti evidently celebrated last February 28th in Nigeria by marrying 26 wives all at the some time! . . . Greg Phillinganes (pronounced Fill-in-gains) when asked for simplicity’s sake who he had NOT played with, after a moment’s pause said “Earth Wind & Fire – by that much!” . . . Lesley Gore’s original ‘It’s My Party’, was, it seems timely to remind you, produced by Quincy Jones . . . Flash Gordon (Bristol Misty’s) reckons Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’ LP track sounds like a future smash . . . Martin Starr has started a soul column in ‘Out West’, Bristol’s listings magazine . . . Bristol’s DJ mafia are miffed by Radio West paying less attention to them than they say they’d evidently been promised – but then isn’t that the story wherever a new station opens up? . . . Paul Gambaccini’s Drifters history last Thursday on Radio One was excellent . . . DJ diners discovered last Friday night that the kitchen had burnt out at Rockerfella’s, off Regent Street . . . Sunday morning in wooded Surrey was breathtakingly beautiful, the trees at their most brilliantly autumnal and the sun shining as I motored back from a gig prior to Inter-City expressing (without sleep) up to Birmingham after all . . . Paul Allen of 170 Claremount Road in Halifax had all his gear stolen – equipment, lights, records, the most easily identifiable should anyone in the area be offered any for sale being a Citronic mono console MM313L (Serial number 940081 – 94881/SP25/F4300), Citronic P100 amp (s/no T7023), and a Lewis 10 band graphic 120w amp . . . Davy King (Ballymena Raglan), sorry I don’t know nuffink about makes of lighting equipment . . . Steve Walsh joke corner: “What’s the difference between Steve Walsh and Polo? People like Polo!” (whoops, you’ve probably just sussed who the Pope joke was about!) . . . MAKE ‘EM LAUGH!


CAISTER

Ever since saying that there weren’t many new records played at Caister, I’ve had a succession of aggrieved DJ’s telling me I should have been in such and such a venue at such and such a time and I’d have heard them play such and such a newie. I actually made a point of spending more time than usual in both venues specifically to listen to the music. I also conferred both at Caister and since receiving these complaints with other people whose judgement I trust. I still think that too many old records were being featured, but will grant the jocks that they did a good job and that the people who matter, the punters, had a lovely time. Northern Soul fans have a lovely time in Wigan, too, and that I fear is where the concentration on oldies and recherche jazz is heading, the Southern scene if the DJ’s aren’t careful. Robbie Vincent pointed out that at least the oldies were a fresh selection and not Brass Construction or Roy Ayers all the time (Froggy then upset this argument by later confessing that he had played them in his last session!), Robbie adding that very sensibly, new records were built up to, out of ones that everyone knew. Two years ago, though, it was the other way round and so much new material was being played by every DJ that it was the oldies which were built up to . . . this being what made them stand out. Two years ago it could be said (though not by me) that there was much more strong new material about. Two years ago the big hits to come out of the first Caister, which everyone played on all their sessions, were ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ and ‘Ring My Bell’. Would any of the DJs now play ‘Ring My Bell’? Like hell, they would!


FACES

THE FIRST thing you see on stepping out of a train at Birmingham is a building with big letters on it saying “Futurist”. This turns out to be a cinema, but no matter, as that is where much of Birmingham’s night life is currently at, musically speaking. Disco was the topic of discussion on Sunday though, at the DJ Convention in Edgbaston’s Faces, where 290 disco jocks turned up to meet each other (most important) and listen to a variety of guest speakers droning on. The only one to get a cheer was Morgan Khan, who merely stepped mikeside to say that despite his showdown at R&B/Excaliber he has far more exciting future plans in the contract signing stage. The forum finally got going with an open discussion which mainly consisted of pain in the arse Northerners with chips on their shoulders having a go at London Lyceum DJ Steve Walsh and WEA’s Fred Dove about the age old North versus South attitude, and why doesn’t Fred send out rock records (“Because I’m head of black music promotion!”). This was great fun if not very constructive and was just settling into a nice invective-spitting groove when convention organiser Steve Dennis called it to an untimely halt. Boo! In a combination fax ‘n info quiz and It’s A Knockout-style silly games competition between teams from the North and South, it was perhaps quite telling that while the Northerners were better at games, it was the Southerners’ far superior knowledge that won not only the quiz but the whole contest. An actually rather subdued Fatman Graham Canter had drafted me into the Southern team without telling me about the games, and I’m afraid I was too tired to take in exactly what was expected of me, but I probably wouldn’t have done any better if I had known! Overall, despite the greatly increased attendance, the convention seemed a bit less significant than last year’s – however, it was very well organised and well worth attending as a meeting place. I greatly enjoyed meeting and re-meeting many of our regular chart contributors and am glad I sacrificed sleep and good sense to go there after all. And so back by train, with a guard who over the intercom sounded exactly like Reginald Bosanquet. Very Strange!


UK NEWIES

MODERN ROMANCE: ‘Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey’ (WEA K 18883T).
Sensational ultra-happy conga-kicking singalong fun, the 12in version of the 118bpm title track (an instant pop smash) then continuing as a great instrumental 117bpm ‘Moose On The Loose’ with Beggar & Co-ish “woah-oh” chants (good mixed with ‘Zulu’), the flip being a cooler 118bpm dub amusingly called ‘Tear The Roof Off The Moose‘ – these latter two versions being fine for less pop-orientated venues as nobody’ll know what’s hit them, they’ll just dance.

BLUE RONDO A LA TURK: ‘Me And Mr. Sanchez’ (Diable Noir VS 463 – 12, via Virgin).
Equally sensational frantically flying zestful 127bpm 12in salsa blast, produced by Pete Wingfield with lots of authentic rhythm and jazzy playing coming through on the ‘Club Mix’ while the more vocal ‘Extended Mix’ (not necessarily longer) has English accented lyrics. Try it out of Bunny Mack.

TWENNYNINE with LENNY WHITE: ‘Twennynine (The Rap)’ (LP ‘Just Like Dreamin’ Elektra K 52325).
Excellent consistent sounding coolly rhythmic set with several potentially hot cuts, this being a great powerful bass bumped 115bpm chix-rapped smacker (good between Slave and Skool Boyz), ‘Need You‘ an infectious chunkily rolling 96bpm beefy offbeat-smacking jogger, the title track a softly cooed gentle Sergio Mendes-ish 0-114-115bpm floater, while the 117-121bpm ‘Rhythm‘, 113bpm ‘Movin’ On‘ and 117-119bpm ‘Don’t Look Back‘ are all variations on a pervasive bass-pushed guys ‘n’ gals-sung classy dance sound.  Continue reading “November 7, 1981: Modern Romance, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Twennynine with Lenny White, Rick James, Teena Marie”

October 31, 1981: Caister report, Earth Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, George Benson, Gayle Adams, Melba Moore

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS SUNDAY’S big DJ Convention at Birmingham’s Faces in Edgbaston, by the Five Ways roundabout at 34 Auchinleck Square, promises fun and games as well as serious discussion and, if it’s like last year’s (and if you can stop Fatman getting too excitable!), should be well worth attending that afternoon (2–6.30pm) . . . I am unlikely to be there as I’ve a big gig the previous night . . . Bristol’s Radio West goes on air this week (96.3 FM/238 MW) with Raymondo hosting a weeknight show which from 10pm to midnight goes softly soulful with reggae on Thurs/Fridays, plus at the tail end of his Saturday afternoon show from 5 to 6pm Ray’ll play new disco before switching for an hour of ’60’s soul oldies in a progressive examination of that era called ‘The Soulful Years’, put together for him by myself . . . Dunstable’s Radio Chiltern (97.5 FM/362 MW) has Martin Collins doing an imports slot for the last half-hour of Paul Cook’s 3-6pm Sunday soul show . . . George Benson actually recorded a new album which didn’t meet his label’s requirements, so instead next month there’s a double set of oldies with just three new tunes, one being his current single and another a monster at Caister . . . London has picked up Alphonse Mouzon for remixed 12in soon . . . Second Image not surprisingly sound like Linx – David Grant wrote it (and ‘Walking Into Sunshine’s’ Roy Carter produced it – these fax not discernible on white label!) . . . Junior ‘Mama Used To Say’ has had yet another 110bpm “special new mix” on promo-only 12in, flipped by the Linx-ish stop-start 115bpm ‘Fame’ (a new song) . . . Pete Gage has produced a newly recorded recreation of the notorious Disconet version of ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ – NOT in this case performed by Abba, but by The Bank – which on the Hot Spinner label is being touted as a “legal bootleg” (repeat: this is NOT by Abba, it’s a soundalike) . . . Rose Royce’s full length ‘R.R. Express’ is on Dutch 12in . . . Slave ‘Snap Shot’ / ‘Funken Town’ and edited versions of Yellowjackets ‘Matinee Idol’ / ‘Sittin’ In It’ / ‘Rush Hour’ have been sent out by Fred Dove on US promo-only 12in . . . Chris Hill heads a special return of jazz-funk to Southgate’s Royalty on New Year’s Day with a Caister Veterans party, tickets on sale in advance to Caister identity “passport” holders only . . . Pete Tong now jocks for Funktion on Fri/Saturdays at London’s Barracuda in Baker Street . . . ITV’s World Freestyle Dancin’ Championship 1981 last week could have been better presented but at least the music was quite convincing – until the soundalike musicians got faster and faster as the show progressed (still, the Londoners won!) . . . Marshal King (Sunderland Mayfair Suite) wonders if any companies have a current touring Boogie Bus-style promotion which could entertain 1500 teenage consumers? . . . John Mayoh (Bolton Rockerfellas) has been having fun on Saturday nights running look-alike competitions – Blondie, Manilow, Sting – John himself doing a good Manilow-nosed Debbie Harry! . . . Southampton’s Dennis Brynner (Barbarellas – soul) and Dave Van Seiger (Turpins/Floaters – Pop/Futurist) now have two shows on the local university’s Radio Glen, Wednesdays 6-8pm being futuristic and old soul, Sunday same time being a disco newies report . . . Paul Clark (Brighton Busby – Sunday) reports that his Savanna venue was short-lived due to poor response and complaints about the sound system! . . . Chris Dinnis switches his jazz-funk nights at Exeter Boxes to Wednesday as from 11th Nov . . . Gary Allan’s gay Wednesdays and Sundays are now Liverpool McMillans’ busiest nights . . . Tricky Dicky says although the gay disco scene has got larger (he magnanimously recommends Lazers), fewer people are interested in the music – appearances by ’60s girl singers being the latest gay club fad, people like Helen Shapiro, Susan Maughan, even Diana Dors (he himself presents Kathy Kirby at Tottenham Eltons next Wednesday 4th) . . . Dicky also reckons that the lowest record prices are at Groove, apart that is from his own prices at Disco Music, 391c Mile End Road, London E3 – open 2-7pm Thurs; 1-6pm Fri/Sat only – with a large stock of old and new goodies at ultra-keen prices . . . Flash Gordon, keeping it funky at Bristol’s Mistys Nite Club, says (and I must agree) that the only local import stockists, Virgin, are so expensive he rings Alan at Flashback Records in Swindon, who gives a ten per cent DJ discount – US LP £5.99/12in £3.99 and actually delivers right to the club! . . . K. Henderson (Birkenhead) wants a separate import chart – but they’re all in the same order they would be in the main chart already . . . Jim Kershaw hopefully raised lotsa money for Sheffield’s very first Over-60s Pop-In Centre by running in last Sunday’s New York marathon . . . John Waller’s highly prized secretary Karin has been pinched from Phonogram by Orin Cozier at Arista! . . . PLAY A NEWIE!


CAISTER

SHOWSTOPPER PROMOTIONS eighth jazz-funk and soul weekender at Caister was evidently the most trouble-free of them all, and in other respects a great success too. However, some elements seemed to be missing: audience participation events and new records. The lack of the latter was much commented on by those concerned with the current sad state of the scene. The first two Caister weekenders in 1979 created several hits by playing lots of new material, but since then the DJs, by taking the easy option, have encouraged the crowd to expect a diet of oldies which already have proven chant-along appeal. October 1981 will be remembered for Kool & The Gang’s ‘Get Down On It’ thanks to Chris Hill (the other biggies were Alphonse Mouzon and – not really a newie – Bohannon), and in fact it really was only Chris, in some superb sets which embraced excellent mixing, crowd control, walking on water, and blues harmonica over ‘R.R. Express’, who really took a chance to play new material. Otherwise, the closed circuit Radio Caister was more upfront than the live jocks. It was on the round-the-clock radio that you heard Gayle Adams, Melba Moore and the like. Martin Collins once again proved himself to have the best radio style (for my money he would walk into a late night slot now), while Tom Holland and Bob Jones played some really interesting selections during the dawn-watch hours when the rowdies had left the radio venue, Brother Louie and Mick Clark were the other featured radio jocks (along with some help from facility supplying Radio Invicta), while a slot was found for all the rest of the live DJs too – Froggy, Robbie Vincent, Sean French, Chris Brown, Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Nicky Peck. During an on-air agony auntie session, Chris Hill was moved to remark about a young man wearing a mini-skirt “that he obviously hasn’t got a sexual problem” – not realizing that unseen by him the guy was lifting up the front of his skirt to show off his masculine characteristics! This sort of silliness used to be on a mass organized scale at previous Caisters, most notably through fancy dress or talent competitions, but this time in place of punter-created inspired lunacy there was a sad boxing kangaroo and other assorted animal acts in a truly appalling circus, run by professionals, which fell very flat. (The racing camels had been banned – evidently the locals weren’t keen on the idea of camel shit on their beach!). However, sweaty fun and mass hysteria reached their usual levels once everyone was crammed together swaying, chanting, call-and-answering, the new chant for some obscure Vincent-originated reason being “Bobby Moore!” (minus his Rhythm Aces), while Al Jarreau’s ‘Roof Garden’ formed the basis for a lewd and lascivious singalong. There was nearly an ugly situation at the end of Sunday’s final finale when it was revealed that (in a deliberate policy move) none of the jocks had brought a copy of ‘Shout’ to the gig, but Cab Galloway’s “hi-de-hi” filled ‘Minnie The Moocher’ was eventually played as a substitute. Amongst the tribes, the Medway Rain Forest Missionaries freely distributed ‘Woah Cry’ fanzine (great title!) had a slightly higher chuckle content than the Staines Fusion Few’s pussy mag (sorry Chris!), and Welwyn Toxicated had to be the best tribe name. Perran Sands camp photographer, nicknamed Rolf following his antics at the earlier weekender, was adopted as Showstoppers official Caister cameraman, Fred Dove showed his WEA videos to huge audiences, Arista’s Orin Cozier broke down on the way home (thanks for the lift anyway, Orin!), Nicky Peck sported a pinstriped bomber jacket and baggy pegged pants custom tailored for him by Image of Chatham, Chris Brown bought a round (and a cheroot for himself!). Despite my own and other veteran Caister-goers’ misgivings about the lack of new material being broken, first-timers like the four funkiest people in Frieth (yeah – you find it on the map!) had a fabarootie time and doubtless will be back for Caister 9 on March 26/27/28, 1982 – earlier in the year than usual so as not to clash with Showstoppers trip to St Tropez in May. Anyway, another first-timer at Caister, RM’s Alan Coulthard will be revealing his impressions in Record Mirror next week.


LIGHT OF THE WORLD having fragmented into the horny Beggar & Co and jazzy Incognito, just Gee Bello and Nat Augustin are left under the original group name, and they now sound like Linx. Gee (vocals/percussion) and Nat (guitar/bass/vocals) have the same talents as David and Sketch, but even so the similarity on their EMI debut ‘Ride The Love Train’ is ridiculous!


UK NEWIES

EARTH, WIND & FIRE: ‘Let’s Groove’ (CBS A13-1679).
Vocoder introed typically lurching 124(start)-125bpm jittery strutter with lots of staccato squeaky vocal clucking, now at last on impatiently awaited full length 12in with instrumental flip. Their ‘Raise!’ LP (CBS 11-85272), available if you’re lucky on picture disc, is pretty typical too, my own fave cut being the lovely buoyantly slinky 0-84bpm ‘Wanna Be With You‘ which has a jazzy undertow, while ‘I’ve Had Enough‘ is a squeaky 117bpm smacker, ‘Lady Sun‘ a snappy brittle brassy 126bpm smacker, ‘Evolution Orange‘ a similar but more excitable 126-128bpm smacker, ‘Kalimba Tree/You Are A Winner‘ an oddly introed clapping 105(intro)-103-106bpm heavy judderer, ‘My Love’ a ticking 47bpm slowie, and ‘The Changing Times’ an overly frantic 133-134-135bpm jolter.

DIANA ROSS: ‘Mirror Mirror’ (LP ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ Capitol EST 26733).
Self-produced debut set from her new label, dominated for discos by this chunkily jolting 103bpm steady plodder with yowling guitar and Randy Brecker brass, and by the snaredrum-introed catchily counting 110bpm ‘Work That Body‘ – which really seems to be a limbering-up exercise set to music! Other cuts are all pleasant but tend to be either too fast or slow, the attractively jogging 101bpm ‘Two Can Make It‘ hitting a happy medium.

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Turn Your Love Around’ (Warner Bros K 17877).
Lovely chunkily tripping 103bpm 7in jogging jittery throbber with brassy pent-up climaxes and nice background piano, great with Dukes, Dimples, Four Tops, etc.  Continue reading “October 31, 1981: Caister report, Earth Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, George Benson, Gayle Adams, Melba Moore”

October 24, 1981: Roger, The Quick, Rose Royce, Second Image, Earl Klugh

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

SHOWSTOPPER PROMOTIONS’ eighth soul weekender at Caister gets underway this Friday — remember to take plenty of dry clothes, towels, loo paper, soap, matches, food and an FM radio . . . Tom Holland says he’ll be ringing the Anglian Lodge to make sure it stays open late on Friday night, but in case he doesn’t for goodness sake someone please call ’em on Gt Yarmouth 3985 — tell ’em the Mafia are coming! . . . Chris Ellis’s Staines Fusion Few fanzine for Caister is indeed strongly orientated towards pussy — of the furry feline kind! . . . Diana Ross’s ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ 7in won’t be of much interest to disco fans but don’t despair as her new Capitol LP, due this weekend, contains a disco killer and potential smash in ‘Mirror Mirror‘, a great sultry slow chunky lurcher with yowling guitar solos . . . George Benson, whose overdue album has been delayed reportedly until after Xmas, has, however, a new import 7in with just the A-side being new material . . . Linda Taylor’s ‘In The Pocket’, getting rave New York radio reaction, is being rushed out there by SAM in a new mix which will also be reissued here by Groove before too long . . . Billy Fury, now recording again for Polydor, these days looks remarkably like the aforementioned Linda Taylor — and oddly enough, Linda Taylor is the name given to a female singing star character in TV’s ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’! . . . Weapon Of Peace ‘Jah Love’, reviewed last week, is now on 3-track 12in (Safari SAFE L 39), while the three versions on Ann-Margret’s import 12in actually break down as 0-110bpm short ‘Pt.1’ A-side, 111bpm long ‘Pt.2’, 0-111bpm instrumental . . . GQ’s brand new single ‘Shake‘, due here next weekend, replaces their old distinctive style with a more Michael Jackson-ish sound on a Rod Temperton-type strings and vocal group-backed chugging slick 110-111-112bpm smacker . . . UK Players ‘Girl’ on 7in crazily cuts off just before that terrific long tape-loop vocal note, the whole hook of the 12in! . . . Arista, unless they change their mind, were about to release Phyllis Hyman ‘Tonight You and Me’ on 12in this week, evidently forgetting it was one of the cuts on her last 12in! . . . Rush Release have circulated an 8-track 12in of rock ‘n’ roll classics (all except ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ the original recordings) introduced just at the start of each side by Kenny Everett and a 7-Up jingle, plus some of the titles are on flexi-disc singles . . . France’s disco equipment and entertainment exhibition Discom ’81 is next week from Monday (26) for four days at the Parc Des Expositions, Porte De Versailles, Paris (UK enquiries 01-499 2317) . . . Roger Tovell hosts ‘The Friday Funkshun’ 7-10pm Fridays, amongst other slots on the station, on Gloucester’s Severn Sound (368m/774khz MW, 95FM) . . . Wallabys opening at North Harrows Headstone in the Imperial Hotel has been put back to Tuesday November 10 . . . Le Kilt’s Jean Pierre has opened his own Disco 49 in Soho’s Greek Street right opposite Le Beat Route and almost next to Groove (on the site of ’60s folkies haunt Les Cousins), DJ being Terry Prince, while of real interest to London’s late nite apres-gig eaters will be the ground floor restaurant opening next month which will run from 2am as the ‘Breakfast Club’ until 6am seven nights a week . . . Fatman won’t have far to go! . . . Carrere now need specialist heavy metal rock jocks for a new mailing list — if any read this page, send your full work details to Geoff Scourfield, Carrere UK, 20-22 Queen Street, London W1X 7PJ . . . Sharon Davis — oops, sorry — Karen Spreadbury, ex-Motown press gal, has set up her own Eyes & Ears PR firm with her initial clients being Stax and Le Beat Route (which means she can combine business with pleasure every night!) . . . Mayfair’s Gullivers has added to its big screen video system a remote controlled camera which now relays the action as it actually happens so dancers can watch themselves dancing on TV — but why does it spend so much time pointing at Colin the barman? . . . Steve Day (Chingford) takes the Kent Walton route away from straight disco work — he’s been asked to MC at professional wrestling venues . . . Steve Jerome was actually a child star on TV in Los Angeles, singing on a kids show every morning for four years . . . Kool’s genial manager Buzz Willis explains that the Gang’s pic appears instead of girls on their new LP sleeve to give them a more visible identity following their worldwide mega-smash with ‘Celebration’ — which was of course the biggest selling single in the States over the last couple of years . . . Isley Brothers new import LP is what you might call dull . . . Luther Vandross in the US sings on commercials for Juicy Fruit Gum, Miller Beer, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, Gino’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and even the US Army . . . Pete Haigh (Blackpool Man Fridays – Mondays) reminds me that Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields was recording in the early ’70s, including for his own Dat Richfield Kat label on the ‘Spoiled Rotten’ LP a version of ‘Moody’s Mood For Love’ . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) observes that pop and comedy cabarets always give him awkward hard-to-please customers, while soul show punters are better dressed, better behaved, more sophisticated, and easier to entertain — well I never! . . . New York Soul Connection’s recent controversial event at the Harrow Leisure Centre really did deliver less than it promised, as Cayenne (the only billed live act actually to appear) discovered after agreeing to help the promoter by being paid with a cheque . . . WEA’s Fred Dove has so many relatives entering dance competitions these days it’s a wonder he doesn’t take to the floor more often himself! . . . Kev Hill (Basildon Sweeneys) reports from Nassau that not only are Bahamian discos heavily into hard funk, soul and jazz (Roger’s LP being huge) but so too are all the shops, hotels and even taxis, while Cramond Perry (Edinburgh) reports from Barbados that the music is either calypso-ish or very George Benson-ish, Al Jarreau being huge on radio although the discos only play funk . . . London’s Rockafella’s late nite eaterie off Regent Street was playing a track off the Emotions new album on Sunday morning which gave us hysterics — they sounded just like chickens! . . . Rusty Egan relays the following exchange: Spandau Ballet “What do you think, we’ve gone funk?” — Ultravox’s Midge Ure “We’ve gone platinum” . . . RCA’s Rowdy Yeats was responsible for last week’s most widely circulated joke: “What’s the difference between (a certain well known London DJ) and the Pope? — The Pope’s getting better!” . . . Capital Radio’s Mike Allen was given a car window sticker reading “Happiness is Slough in my rear view window” . . . West Acton could be headed for a tropical Streetwave . . . MAKE IT FUNKY!


UK NEWIES

ROGER: ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ (Warner Bros K 17865T).
The two hottest monsters from Mr Troutman’s nevertheless still essential album here back-to-back on 12in, this sensational vocoder-sung bubbling 118bpm funk smacker and the superb jazzier instrumental 118bpm ‘A Chunk Of Sugar‘ with lovely Benson-ish guitar.

THE QUICK: ‘Zulu’ (Epic EPC A13-1739).
How it missed the national chart before is one of the year’s big mysteries, but now in a new John Luongo remix and following US smash disco success here comes the great coolly thudding atmosphere laden 118bpm 12in bounder again, with a long empty instrumental build up and completely instrumental 117bpm flip. My one reservation is that it may now lack the original’s well-proven MoR appeal.

ROSE ROYCE: ‘R.R. Express’ (Whitfield K 17875T).
Dynamite 116bpm chugger here edited for 12in to “make it easier for Wallys to programme”. Reckon us non-Wallys will stick with the full album version. Flip is 1979’s rhythmically similar but somewhat more bounding 113-114-115bpm ‘Lock It Down‘.  Continue reading “October 24, 1981: Roger, The Quick, Rose Royce, Second Image, Earl Klugh”

October 17, 1981: Arthur Adams, Kool & The Gang, The Frontline Orchestra, Bohannon, Jerry Carr

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MORGAN KHAN, who single-handedly built Excaliber and now more significantly R&B (three hits with first three releases!) has had a difference of opinion with the labels backers Red Bus, but could soon be announcing an even more exciting new affiliation — meanwhile, Morgan and his staff are working from PRT, 132 Western Road, Mitcham, Surrey (01 648 7000) . . . Barry’s Disco Centre run their Discomart ’81 equipment exhibition this Sunday (18) in the Cambridge Suite at Gloucester Leisure Centre from noon to 5.30pm . . . Trevor Walters ‘Love Me Tonight’ is now on Magnet 12in (12MAG 198), the world class gorgeous 0-93/47-95bpm lovers rock smash having justified our initial faith in it by winning Capital Radio’s ‘People’s Choice’ vote this week . . . Arthur Adams ‘You Got The Floor’ has surfaced on import in some configurations with a dynamite instrumental “D-side”, so check which pressing you buy (unfortunately this is not the British RCA flip) . . . Spandau Ballet’s ‘Paint Me Down’, again with Beggar & Co backing, will reportedly be even more disco than their last one . . . The Quick’s US hit remix of ‘Zulu’ is due here imminently again . . . Dynasty ‘Love In The Fast Lane’ will indeed be their 12in . . . Linx’s new ‘Go Ahead’ album is due next week . . . Diana Ross debuts on US RCA 7in (Capitol here) with a revival of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers’ Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ — not at all what one might have expected, huh? — the title track of her new album, due here in less than a fortnight, which also contains a revival of Brenda Lee’s ‘Sweet Nothin’s’ and a re-recording just by herself of ‘Endless Love’ . . . Roger ‘Grapevine’ (Warner Bros) and Lime ‘You’re My Magician (Remix)’ (Rams Horn) are now about on Dutch 12in . . . Malaco’s Motown/Stax oldies medley reviewed last week, Power ‘Play It Again Sam’, is due here imminently via Pinnacle and will doubtless show up in our chart as Rush Release will be servicing it to jocks . . . Stevie Wonder is readying a greatest hits album of ’70s/’80s material, including two as yet unheard new tunes — presumably for release as future singles . . . Rusty Egan climbs back into the news with the formation of his own Metropolis label for distribution via Island . . . Groove Weekly’s Debbie Gopie is now plugging disco product at DJM . . . Rose Royce have reportedly signed to CBS, but whether with or without Norman Whitfield as producer is not known . . . Alphonse Mouzon’s new set is being criticised by some jocks for having too much vocal . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow) reveals that his day job is with Schreiber Furniture, and a record of the firm’s radio TV jingle may be available to bona fide DJs who write to Mr Schreiber at Schreiber Furniture Centre, 9 Baker Street, London W1 . . . Paul Anthony (Walsall) kicks off our recommended import stockists listing by reporting that Ruby Red Records, Cleveland Street, Wolverhampton, have so far kept their prices down (LP £5.49, 12in £2.99 when he wrote) and Steve Fay (Darwen) recommends the renowned Spinn Inn, Cross Street, Manchester — keep ’em coming (unless imports really are dead outside London) . . . US import albums on WEA’s labels you may have noticed now feature a nasty little sticker covered with an encircled W logo stuck on the top right hand back side of the sleeve — this turns out to be an anti-counterfeit measure, the sticker revealing an additional white version of the logo when viewed by indirect torchlight (what next, watermarked vinyl?!) . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny / Reading Cavershams) reckons some jocks drop lots of good soul/funk singles as soon as they chart nationally because it’s unhip to play them — shame! — and yet if these jocks are going to support a particular record they should plug it all the way to the top . . . Davy King reports from Copenhagen that the disco scene there is flourishing, most clubs (he recommends Daddys) full to capacity every night . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillan’s) has a couple of killer mixes: Jacksons ‘Walk Right Now’ (especially end drum breaks) into Evelyn Champagne King ‘Shame’ and Jimmy Ross ‘First True Love Affair’ into Change ‘Glow Of Love’ . . . John Dene (Dunstable Tiffany’s Mon/Wed/Sat) says MoR jocks could find a good evening kick-off segue is Detroit Spinners ‘Working My Way Back To You’, Bee Gees ‘You Should Be Dancing’ (to break), Detroit Spinners ‘Yesterday Once More’ (to break), Village People ‘YMCA’ (US remix version) . . . DJ and especially disco plugger reaction to our chart split has been very encouraging, but we still need more of the funk/soul/jazz/disco type of jock to send in regular Top 20/30 (40?) floor-filler listings, so support your music and send ’em to reach us by Wednesday as often as possible, addressed to James Hamilton, Disco Chart, Record Mirror, 40 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JT . . . MAKE IT FUNKY!


WHEELERS NIGHTCLUB opened a few weeks ago amidst much elegantly dressed revelry in Henley-on-Thames, where resident and guest DJs including Andy Gill, Sean French, Nigel Owen, Johnnie Walker, Marc Carter, Chris Brown were in attendance. Situated on Remenham Hill, the club has a jazzy policy as befits any venture run by Frenchies and Jacksons-founding Paul and Robin Wheeler.


UK NEWIES

ARTHUR ADAMS: ‘You Got The Floor’ (RCA RCAT 146).
The biggest import smash in ages, this Bernie (Capt. Dobey) Hamilton-produced slickly pulsating 113(intro)-116-117bpm 12in beauty has great Luther-like mellow vocal before sensational sax drives it on home with a backbeat smacking kick. Similar to Alphonse Mouzon ‘By All Means’, it mixes on into Linx, Change ‘Glow Of Love’, and — well, you probably already know.

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Steppin’ Out’ (De-Lite DEX 4).
Like an emotionally detached retread of ‘Celebration’ but without any similar catchiness, this squeakily sung bass bumbled bland 0-119bpm 12in jiggly chugger is as you’re by now probably used to reading — not a patch on their US 7in-issued ‘Take My Heart‘ album track … which won’t prevent this reaching a certain level of acceptance here for a while.

THE FRONTLINE ORCHESTRA: ‘No Entry’ (Ice ICET-50).
Excellent jazzily loping 123-124-125bpm 12in instrumental skipper with good understated solos ending up with Latin piano behind tapping percussion, officially the flip to the jittery smacking 118-117bpm ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On Me‘ which despite other reasonable ingredients is ruined by a squawking lead vocal that grates on my ears at least.  Continue reading “October 17, 1981: Arthur Adams, Kool & The Gang, The Frontline Orchestra, Bohannon, Jerry Carr”