August 1, 1981: Teena Marie, Raydio, Real Thing, Roy Ayers, Jean Carn


THE SAGA OF MSO continues: This salsa orchestra turn out to be a combination from members of Cayenne, Breakfast Band and Gonzalez, assembled last year without the knowledge of Roberto Campoverde after his brain had been picked by producers Ray Singer and Arthur Louis — however, their Mainstreet label seems unable to decide whether the hot track is called ‘In The Jungle’ or ‘Colombia’ depending on the record size. It’s on the B-side anyway, shops can’t get the 12in, and until I did some sleuthing nobody knew how to order it (or indeed that it existed) — so, do they want a hit or not?! . . . Capitol plan a 3-track Maze 12in with the live ‘Joy And Pain’ / ‘Happy Feelin’s’, plus the earlier ‘Golden Time Of Day’ . . . Level 42’s album is likely to be launched during August at Mayfair’s Gullivers club in Down Street, where every night this week Mirage are playing live . . . Paul Murphy’s Jaffa’s live jazz venue inside London Tottenham Court Road’s Horseshoe is planning to follow the wildly successful Heath Brothers gigs with future appearances by Inversions, Cayenne, Roland Vasquez & Urban Ensemble, Ray Carless & Tarantula, Morrissey Mullen and, hopefully, Dave Valentin (wot, no Shakatak?!) . . . Quincy Jones could well be bringing a star-studded orchestra over here soon, following release of his Patti Austin album on Qwest . . . BADEM’s Discotek 81 at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel on September 13/14/15/16th will be open all four days to DJs this year (from 11am daily) with overseas manufacturers exhibiting for the first time too, plus fringe events like a series of seminars for DJs, record company participation, and a DJF awards night . . . France’s even more massive exhibition, Discom 81 will be at Paris’s Parc Des Expositions on October 26/27/28/29th, aimed at all leisure facility users of sound and lighting equipment (UK rep: Jack Kessler, 01-499 2317) . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn are having a DJs riverboat shuffle sailing from Kingston-upon-Thames on Sunday 16th August, £5 tickets including buffet (cheques payable TVDJA) from PO Box 39, Staines, Middlesex — sounds like a nice idea . . . I had great fun last week playing nothing but ‘food” and “drink” hits (like ‘Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me’, ‘Special Brew’) at a party to launch the latest Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles by Messrs Rice, Gambaccini & Read, the guest stars including everyone from Cliff ‘n’ the Shads to Shakin’ Stevens — Mud’s Les Gray in particular got going to Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Have A Drink On Me’ and ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bed Post Overnight)’! . . . New York’s black-orientated (ie: soul/disco) WBLS radio has again come out way on top of the latest ratings, actually increasing its audience share since the winter (and they still say disco is dead) . . . Sandy Martin at Swindon Brunel Rooms got an exercise bike from the local sports shop and gets people doing speed trials in time to the records, pedalling and pulling the rowing-action handlebars, ‘Brazilian Dawn’ being hard to beat . . . Greg Davies (Bedford) gets his punters to put their requests “on tape” via a small Philips tape memo pad, which obviates scrawled scraps of paper and the danger of mispronouncing names — but presumably he has to chain the recorder to something? . . . John Mayoh (Bolton 55516) needs firm offers of work before raising a loan to buy a Philips 80-inch screen and Chromascope for video projection, so anyone interested within 50 miles of Bolton let him know.

CENTRAL LINE, formed a a sextet in ’78 from the same pool of East End funk musicians that also coughed up Light Of The World and Imagination, has shrunk down to the current foursome of Henry Defoe, Camelle Hinds, Lipson Francis, Linton Beckles, their sizzling hot ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ newie being co-written by the last two with Heatwave’s Roy Carter, who produced it (for Mercury Records & Tapes).


IN RESPONSE to continuous mail asking about the American DJ-only subscription service which issued remixes of amongst others Abba ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’, Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’, Grace Jones ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’, I have no alternative but to give their address. This back-catalogue material will no longer be available from them, so please don’t go pestering them for it. General public fans of the artists concerned, don’t waste your time, as the service is strictly for DJs who are very carefully vetted before being added to the list (this is for copyright reasons as most releases are combinations of material from many different labels). Before you start, be aware that this is a Book Of The Month Club type of operation, where for a very sizeable subscription you have to receive what they send you at regular intervals (with options to purchase special extras), and that the material they send out is aimed mainly at gay orientated US disco DJs. In other words, if you think you’re going to get lots of great remixes that will be really useful here, this could be a massive waste of money which does not justify the odd UK-slanted goodie that slips through the net. Ah-hah, yes — the service is called Disconet, operated by Sugarscoop Inc, 698 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA (telephone 0101-212-687 2313). Timewasters, please do not apply. On the other hand, you could try London’s Record Shack, who have been known to get a limited number of each issue which they sell at £25 each (an indication of the cost you’ll be letting yourself in for).


TEENA MARIE: ‘Square Biz’ (Motown 12TMG 1236).
Jerkily juddering shrill 113-114bpm 12in squawker with some mumbling male help reaches a rap section. Bobby Broom ‘Saturday Night’ being a welcome mix out of it.

RAYDIO: ‘Still In The Groove’ (Arista ARIST 12392).
Bass synth punched catchy 119bpm heavy funk instrumental gets monotonous after a while but works brilliantly as a mixer for short stretches, the budget priced 3-track 12in also including his previous US smash 7in coupling of the buoyantly jogging 46/92bpm ‘A Woman Needs Love’ and slow 21bpm ‘So Into You’.

REAL THING: ‘I Believe In You’ (Calibre CABL 109).
Well produced (by themselves) bass synth bumped jogging semi-slow 108bpm 12in swayer with typical vocal sound and enough hook to catch if it’s played.  Continue reading “August 1, 1981: Teena Marie, Raydio, Real Thing, Roy Ayers, Jean Carn”

July 25, 1981: Central Line, Level 42, Black Slate, Brick, The Strikers


RCA RECORDS cap their sustained hit streak with the top three places in this week’s disco chart all on the actual RCA label . . . Lobo, now on 12in, is not the ‘Dog Named Boo’ singer but a Dutchman . . . Commodores is also now on 12in, Teena Marie ‘Square Biz’ is on US promo 12in flipped by the old Ozone ‘Mighty-Mighty’, and Marcia Hines is on extended 121½bpm 12in promo (Logo obviously mean business) . . . David Sanborn has a 4-track 12in LV due imminently . . . MSO ‘In The Jungle’ (confusingly titled ‘Colombia’ on 7in) is at least now being stocked by Soho’s Groove Records in Greek Street, who managed to track down the elusive Mainstreet label and order this sizzling slab of pure Latin excitement . . . Robbie Vincent’s VE Night at Dartford Flicks last Thursday was good fun, my reference to Louis Jordan ‘Caldonia‘ as “the week’s hottest new import” (which it would have been in May 1945!) creating a lot of interest, while a confetti cannon detonated up in the lighting gantry destroyed a couple of hundred quids worth of neon tubes! . . . Capital Radio’s jazz session producer Jeremy Lloyd (of Incognito fame) wonders whether Spaces named their ‘Song For Jeremy’ with him in mind! . . . Paul Dower of Waterford’s Suirside Radio is persevering with his disco show and still needs the big disco hits that don’t go Top 40 Pop as these are hard to get in his part of Eire — maybe friendly pluggers could contact him at Suirside, 7 The Mall, Waterford, Ireland . . . Derek ‘Greg’ Lawrence (01 571 4528), well experienced at mixing up futurist and dance music, is angling after a Saturday matinee-style disco gig or any other West London DJ work . . . Nick Davies is going futurist on Sundays at Watford New Penny, with half-price drinks from 8-10pm . . . Kev Hill (Basildon Sweeneys) reports his fave local band Elixia have jazzed up their basic funk sound with more than a hint of Latin influence . . . Preston’s Keith Richard won the £1,000 Carling Lager amateur disco dancing final at Sheffield Top Rank Suite recently . . . Paul ‘Wiggy’ Wignall & Tony Riding, resident at Liverpool’s Wynners in Peters Lane for smart over-22s, will pay anything for a mint condition Johnny Bristol ‘Bristol’s Cream’ LP . . . Don Covey has reunited 1968’s Soul Clan supergroup for live USA appearances, with himself, Solomon Burke, Ben E King, Joe Tex, plus new member Wilson Pickett as replacement for Arthur Conley (and not Ben E King for Otis Redding, as printed by another paper which should have known better) — the original line-up’s ‘Soul Meeting’ single by coincidence having hit the US soul chart exactly 13 years ago last week . . . Carl Carlton, also exactly 13 years ago, had his first minor success with ‘Competition Ain’t Nothing’ as by Little Carl Carlton, “14 Year Old Sensation” . . . Roger Scott’s new Wednesday 6pm ‘Soul Cruising’ on Capital Radio has already done the Soul Clan and probably Carl too by the time you read this, so don’t miss it as every week there’s something among the soul oldies of relevance to today! . . . Barbara Acklin’s 1968 ‘Love Makes A Woman‘ at 118bpm does indeed vari-synch superbly out of Carol Jiani ‘The Woman In Me‘ . . . War ‘Cinco De Mayo’ is the background basis for the latest of Chris Hill’s legendary raps . . . Flash Gordon (Bristol Sinatras) recommends local reggae group Talisman ‘Dole Age‘ / ‘Free Speech‘ — but what’s the label? . . . Froggy’s hot for Hi-Tension ‘There’s A Reason‘, Martin Platts (Blackburn) gets strong reaction to Gap Band ‘When I Look In Your Eyes‘, Marshal ‘Woolie’ King (Sunderland Mayfair Roller Disco) gets ’em skating to Incredible Bongo Band ‘Bongo Rock ’73‘, Frenchie is amongst North-Western jazz jocks on Alphonse Mouzon ‘Funk Transplant‘ (US Metronome LP) from ’79 . . . Edgar Winter ‘Above And Beyond‘ (the exciting bit after the guitar two-thirds through) is terrific out of Sharon Redd’s remix . . . Zenith ‘People Of The Sun‘ (US Lynx 12in) and, now belatedly breaking in US discos, Suzy Q ‘Get On Up And Do It Again‘ (Canadian JC 12in) both got zilch response following my reviews but work really well for me, the latter especially out of the Graingers . . . Mike Morgan, still doing Chelmsford YMCA Saturday roller disco, is now at the Angel in Bocking near Braintree every Tues/Fri/Sunday . . . Ronnie Symonds (or is it Simons?) has joined Larry Foster at Ilford’s Room At The Top to replace Terry Hooper, who as manager opened Stratford’s new Revelations club last week . . . Mark Southall of Newport’s Flashback Records reputedly appears in the cover photo on Cheryl Lynn’s LP, but whether as the extra weight inside her sack or as the stereo-totin’ kid is unclear! . . . Mike Heaney (Southgate), thanx for the support . . . Richie Rome’s album, which first appeared early last August eventually to be dominated by the ‘Remember Me‘ track, merely managed to crack the Disco 90 for four weeks peaking at 81 shortly before Xmas yet nevertheless has only just dropped right out of the survey after a colossal eleven months bubbling under — surely an all-time “sleeper that never was”? . . . Neil Fincham (Dunbar Goldenstones) observes that saying a record “caused a riot” takes on a whole new meaning these days . . . KEEP COOL!

GLENN GRAINGER of the Graingers, whose ‘Shine Your Light‘ (US BC 12in) has yet to do as well here as it deserves, turns out to have toured extensively as musical director and trumpeter with Odyssey, who not surprisingly call him “Grainger the Arranger”!


CENTRAL LINE: ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ (Mercury MERX 78).
Sensationally strong simple sleazily chugging 112bpm 12in tripper produced by ex-Heatwave bassist Roy Carter sounds really great out on the floor, the 129-128bpm ‘That’s No Way To Treat My (Love)‘ flip being Eddy Grant-type vocals with Change ‘Searching’ beat as backing.

LEVEL 42: ‘Turn It On’ (Polydor POSPX 286).
Excellent bass synth pushed cool steady 117bpm ticker with a gorgeous atmosphere and beautifully controlled smooth vocals slotting into the powerful unhurried beat, the acappella scat introed 143bpm ‘Beezer One‘ flip being very jazzy.

BLACK SLATE: ‘Live A Life’ (Ensign ENYT 215).
Without the over-obvious gimmicky hook of ‘Amigo’ but aided no end by the catchy vocoder-continued vocal pattern and superb chunky playing, this lovely 65/130(intro)-63½/127-63-126bpm 12in reggae roller is actually even more powerful as a whole and should be huge, while the 0/64(intro)-65bpm ‘Reggae Feeling‘ flip is good too.  Continue reading “July 25, 1981: Central Line, Level 42, Black Slate, Brick, The Strikers”

July 18, 1981: Modern Romance, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bobby Broom, Genji Sawai & Bacon Egg, Spaces


CLUB ATTENDANCES are slumping yet the pop chart has never been fuller of disco / black material, and with fewer opportunities for DJs to play it there is a frustratingly large amount of strong new product about . . . Erskine T it can now be announced has rejoined his old Arista colleagues who now work at WEA, where as assistant to the head of A&R he will be responsible for WEA’s black product . . . Abba’s 12in, as you’ve probably heard.. is not 7in at all . . . Commodores ‘Lady (You Bring Me Up)’ will eventually be sneaked out on 12in (evidently US Motown don’t approve of 12in versions here as they don’t release them in the States) . . . ‘Square Biz’ will be Teena Marie’s single, imminently . . . Boystown Gang ‘Remember Me/Suite’ will be out here via WEA, but ‘Cruisin’ The Streets’ is considered too hot for British release (at least in unabridged form!) . . . Cayenne have recorded a Spanish version of ‘Roberto Who’ for foreign release . . . Ze’s ‘Mutant Disco’ album in the States is called ‘SeiZE The BEAT’, with Cristina ‘Drive My Car’ (which ran into a copyright ban here) replacing the Kid Creole cut . . . Staple Singers, who played London’s Venue on Sunday, have returned to recording with an album for 20th Century-Fox . . . Evelyn King was due to have made a quick visit here on Tuesday/Wednesday this week . . . Stevie Wonder’s 7in of ‘Happy Birthday’ is a digitally mixed new version specially done while he was here in London . . . Mainstreet, the elusive label for the dynamite MSO ‘In The Jungle’, appears to be distributed by Stage One . . . Froggy can’t tell his Morrissey Who? from Roberto Mullen, and obviously missed ‘Wade In The Water’ when it first came out! . . . ‘Wikka Wrap’ is impossible to avoid on New York’s WBLS radio station, and steamed into the US Disco chart . . . US Club owners who jumped on the ‘Urban Cowboy’ bandwagon are now moaning that the country music disco format isn’t working anymore — meanwhile, UK club owners reeling from the ‘Urban Violence’ bandwagon are moaning that the country isn’t working anymore . . . ‘Bits & Pieces III’ the bootleg original version of ‘Stars On 45’, has finally dropped out of our disco chart after nearly eight months . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow), horror of horrors, wonders when Jonathan King will make a mixer out of his hits (he must be Jo King!) . . .


DOE-EYED dolly with the braided hair, Marcia Hines evidently became the most successful female singing star ever in Australia during the late ’70s. American born, she moved down under from Boston to appear in the local productions of ‘Hair’ and then ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ (yup, she’s one of them) before starting her hit streak in ’75, and now, after a two year recording lay-off, she’s returned with a cantering catchy pop-aimed 121bpm 7in revival of Dusty Springfield’s ‘Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees’ (Logo GO 403). With looks like hers, who needs a voice?


MODERN ROMANCE: ‘Everybody Salsa/Salsa Rappsody’ (WEA K 18815T).
Sensational “new dance music” fusion of authentic-type happy Latin salsa and then a rap section in rather futurist style on 124-123-122-124bpm 12in, although in fact the two-part 7in version can be made to flow in reverse order, the rap flip being 123½-124f and then the A-side picks up at 124-123-124c. Like Spandau’s ‘Chant’ this is a crossover smash.

After Stars On 45, now Classics on 45! All your fave Hundred Best Toons segued together on 0-131bpm 12in and headed straight for the top of the pop charts. In fact the treatment is surprisingly similar to an old 1960 Golden Guinea LP by 101 Strings, called ‘Back Beat Symphony‘, which put a “rock & roll” beat behind much the same material but minus the mixes.  Continue reading “July 18, 1981: Modern Romance, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bobby Broom, Genji Sawai & Bacon Egg, Spaces”

July 11, 1981: Abba, Stevie Wonder, Manhattan Transfer, Commodores, Avonn


SHOWSTOPPERS CORNISH weekender at Perran Sands (October 2/3/4) will star Froggy, Jeff Young, Chris Brown, Sean French, Tom Holland, Martin Collins and Chris Dinnis – “traitors”, to quote a well known opinionated jock conspicuous by his absence from the bill! . . . I won’t give you booking details because presumably tickets are only being sold to punters in the clubs . . . ‘Wikka Wrap’ in its US 12in version (SAM S-12339) is much edited, and minus the risque “twelve inch (ooh) disc” reference . . . Black Slate have a good new untitled red label Ensign 12in promo currently circulating, guesstimatedly called ‘Are You Ready Now’ 65/130(intro)-63½/127-63/126bpm / ‘I’ve Got To Feel It (Reggae Music)’ 0/64(intro)-65bpm . . . WEA’s Fred Dove has serviced a ‘Going Back To My Roots’ promo 3-track 12in, featuring two different lengths of Lamont Dozier’s original plus the faster 119bpm Richie Havens version . . . ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’ will indeed be Randy Crawford’s follow-up, a cert to smash . . . Heaven & Earth ‘I Really Love You’ is now on US WMOT 12in with an instrumental flip . . . Spandau Ballet, wickedly wondering which way Duran Duran will jump now, last week filmed an elaborate video at Soho’s Le Beat Route (mentioned in the rap part of ‘Chant No.1’) . . . Robbie Collins starts another new futurist night next Wednesday (15) at Ilford’s Lords, in Cranbrook Road . . . MSO ‘In The Jungle‘, recently reviewed killer pure Latin rave-up, is proving too elusive for shops to order on the unheard of Mainstreet label – does anyone know who distributes it (or indeed who sent it to me)? . . . Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields dynamite ‘I Like Your Lovin‘ (reminiscent somewhat of Lenny Williams ‘Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh’) causes a stampede every time its played by us at Mayfair Gullivers (where Graham Gold never let up telling everyone it was his birthday last Saturday night) . . . Rick James’ absence from the UK chart was obviously too great an embarrassment for Motown to bear . . . Gap Band appears to be selling mainly for the ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’ flip, again . . . WEA’s mailing list DJs seem to lack consistent staying power, charting everything as they get it and then dropping it for the next batch the following week, which surely is not what Fred finds most effective? . . . See Bees T-shirt printers (you see their wares on sale at all the best gigs) have a nifty new design, an ‘All American Jazz Funk Giants’ eagle logo on grey fabric . . . Greg Davies (Bedford) got in the year’s first Xmas card on his return from the States and an exploration of Dallas’s flourishing jazz clubs, the ‘Strictly Tabu’ apparently being best of seven he visited . . . Paul James (Halesowen Elite mobile) hosted the entertainment at Birmingham’s Strathallen Hotel recently for the Miss Europe contestants – lucky dog! . . . Chris Ellis sez the next Staines Fusion Few naughty Caister magazine is now in production, and adds a belated happy 21st to Kathryn Peatfield, who’s “blonde, beautiful, and ultra-wow!” . . . Andrew Worthington-Jones, pop jock at North Wales Bodelwyddan Poppeys Country Club, helped car-troubled disco DJ colleague Alan Taylor by giving a lift to a friend of his only to break down himself – his kind gesture costing a £40 repair bill and no sleep for 24 hours (still, £40 wouldn’t get a fan belt fitted in London!) . . . Liverpool Gnome (or is it Pixie?) Alan Cody must have an interesting trick to have earned the nickname ‘Nutcracker’ . . . ‘Clash Of The Titans’ has such dodgy special effects you’ll believe a horse CAN’T fly, ‘For Your Eyes Only’ is OK but not as good as the last one, while the mega-monster will be ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’, which leaves you like a wrung-out rag within the first five minutes and then gets even more exciting, funny, and visually stunning – the best film since ‘Stars Wars’, see it, see it, see it! . . . UK Disco 90’s upper reaches are especially tough to crack right now, with so much strong product stacked up and trying to climb . . . DJ contributors, for goodness sakes get your gig details in early (Paul Clark, that means you especially!) as it’s a shame when they keep arriving a week too late – the deadline is Wednesday of the week before the week of publication, and remember that the post is awfully slow at present . . . MAKE IT MELLOW, KEEP IT FUNKY, YO HO HO!

RAY PARKER Jr. of Raydio is in the States a bigger star than you might suppose,owning a two million dollar house right at the top of Beverly Hills (above Frank Sinatra’s) which, he told recent visitor Chris Hill, he paid for all by himself . . . unlike some stars whose homes are owned by their record companies.

SUMMER GROOVE starts this Friday (10) on BBC Radio One between 4.30-5.30pm with Froggy and Peter Powell presenting a mixture of hot new soul sounds and some session tapes. Froggy feels that the Beeb’s top brass remain unconvinced that there’s an audience for our kind of music and reckons that feedback in the form of constructive letters to them could be helpful – so get writing. And, PP make it funky!


ABBA: ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ (Epic EPC A13-1456).
Now sounding really strong on unremixed but beefily cut 12in, their galloping 0-133-134bpm disco pounder has a spacious choral sound lined to a Sylvester / Tantra-type beat and will obviously be huge pop – plus it’s flipped by the almost Quo-like powerfully trucking 127-128-127bpm ‘On And On And On‘!

STEVIE WONDER: ‘Happy Birthday’ (Motown TMG 1235).
There can hardly be a jock that hasn’t used this languidly bubbling but madly infectious 117bpm loping swayer, even if only trotting it out now on the title’s occasion (ie: someone has a birthday every night!), and now it’s finally on single – but only 7in commercially with an instrumental flip, lucky mailing list DJs getting the long prepared promo 12in flipped by Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ sermon.

MANHATTAN TRANSFER: ‘(Wanted) Dead Or Alive’ (Atlantic K11668).
Great – their dynamite happy jump-up 121bpm version of the Mighty Sparrow’s terrifically worded calypso is now on 7in and should add lotsa fun to those party moments when the tempo varies.  Continue reading “July 11, 1981: Abba, Stevie Wonder, Manhattan Transfer, Commodores, Avonn”

July 4, 1981: Spandau Ballet, Hi-Gloss, Mighty Fire, Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields, Cheryl Lynn


SOUTHGATE ROYALTY, home base of Showstopper Promotions, in a shock-gasp-horror move has had to knock jazz-funk on the head completely at the weekend due to early closure of the local tube station, Froggy now just jocking Wednesdays there, with Country Music taking over Fridays and the ’50s/’60s rock ‘n’ soul night moving in on Saturdays from Picketts Lock with Roger Scott and myself (starring this week) . . . Sho-Pro’s October Caister is sold out, and an additional weekender earlier in the month will now be back at Perran Sands in Cornwall on Oct 2/3/4 . . . Froggy joins Peter Powell on BBC Radio 1 for a weekly ‘Summer Groove’ soul show starting Friday 10th July 4.30–6.30pm, over nine weeks . . . Roger Scott’s ‘Cruising’ on Capital Radio switched last week on Wednesdays 6.00-6.30pm to soul oldies, all the records as usual from my own collection so you really can expect to hear some goodies! . . . John Grant, in another shock-gasp-horror announcement, intends (unless something fantastic happens in the interim) giving up his DJ activities to “pursue other interests” — “I need a break, and am continuing at Manchester Rufus up to around the end of August on Saturdays only, my very last all-dayer being on the 31st August, and no dates at all during the week” . . . Chris Britton at the end of August starts running mid-week jazz nights in Finsbury Park Rainbow’s new foyer club, with a mixture of club and radio guest jocks plus new Britfunk bands live every week, the best bands being gathered together for an all-dayer every two months or so, interested bands call Chris at the Rainbow on 01 272 9636 or outside office hours on 0494 451797 . . . Cameo’s up-coming UK release will be a double 12in pack, a 3-tracker with ‘Don’t Be So Cool’ / ‘The Sound Table’ / ‘On The One’, plus a one-sided ‘Freaky Dancin’! . . . Raydio have a 3-track 12in rushed this week with ‘Still In The Groove’ / ‘A Woman Needs Love’ / ‘So Into You’ (ARISTA 12392) — for sale at the price of a 7in! . . . CBS are releasing Abba ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ after all (which’ll please Martin Platts of Blackburn), but only in the original LP version and not the Disconet remix — however, it’ll be a 12in . . . Stevie Wonder ‘Happy Birthday’ is on 7in right now . . . Unlimited Touch ‘Searching To Find The One’ belatedly gets UK release in three weeks, with Lamont Dozier ‘Cool Me Out’ and Cheryl Lynn scheduled soon on 12in too . . . Edit Point ‘Bright Side’ (which didn’t exactly set the chart on fire before) has been picked up by PVK, and Scandal / Lee Genesis, by Creole . . . Automatic’s Tantra 12in and 7in are completely new “definitive” versions unreleased anywhere else before, the 12in edit being an Italian remix and 7in a US Importe/12in promo version made for radio out of “everyone’s fave bits” . . . Cayenne ‘Roberto Who …?’ is being remixed for 12in . . . Nigel Martinez ‘Behind My Back’ could use a remix to cut through on the floor better . . . David Bendeth, visiting British haunts with wife Ruth, says his album is due out again soon in totally remixed, restructured and repackaged form . . . Disconet’s latest DJ subscription-only 12in twin-pack includes a dynamite remix of ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ and a ‘1980 Top Tune Medley‘ mixer which interestingly reverses tradition by getting progressively slower, the final part being most useable here mixing ‘Celebration’ / ‘A Lover’s Holiday’ / ‘Love Sensation’ / ‘Can’t Fake The Feeling’ / ‘Rapture’ / ‘Upside Down’ / ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ (but other cuts on the set are tres gaie) . . . General Saint & Clint Eastwood’s reggae ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ (Greensleeves) in the 7in version even gets the catalogue number OINK 1! . . . Diana Ross’s new stage shows apparently won’t contain any Motown material at all — how will her fans like that? . . . ‘Wide Awake In A Dream’ was intended by arranger/producer Barry Biggs for its ’60s originator Philip James to re-record, but Philip didn’t like the basic backing track so Barry sang it instead! . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn starts marketing a range of products of use to DJs with a massively discounted Hermetite manufactured BCF fire extinguisher (good against electrical fires) at £7.50 inclusive of P&P, but with a further £1 discount to DJF members — cheques/POs (payable to TVDJA) with your orders to PO Box 39, Staines, Middlesex . . . TVDJA membership details are in a pamphlet from Steve Brandy at the same PO Box address — and Steve (Ashford, Middlesex 54714) wouldn’t mind jazz-funk gig offers . . . Kev James, resident weekday lunchtime and Thurs/Friday nights at the Raglan in City of London’s St Martins Le Grande, still does Tuesdays at Golders Green Great Expectations with live bands and invites interested bands (regular well paid work) to send an audition tape plus photos to him at 113 Bute Road, Wallington, Surrey . . . Norman Scott now runs a gay ‘Bolts’ night on Thursdays at the well-appointed Lazers in Green Lanes, Harringey (or, as Norman spells it, Harringay!) . . . Paul Rae & Ralph Randell, packing ’em in on their futurist Thursdays at Manchester’s Legend, also feature an hour of solid jazz on their popular jazz-funk Wednesdays . . . Excaliber/R&B Records reliable Morgan Khan needs more up-front club jocks (who can break new material) for his mailing list, so if you fit the bill send full work details to him at 34 Salisbury Street, London, NW8 8QE — but only If you’re in a major mainland UK town or city other than London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (where his quota is already filled) . . . Robbie Vincent and Jeff Young have another special VE Night at Dartford Flicks on Thursday 16th July, with last year’s searchlight plus (it’s rumoured) a tank, and a certain bearded disco journalist/DJ who will make a guest appearance playing authentic 1945 dance records while wearing his dad’s equally authentic sailor suit! . . . Colin Curtis, Frenchie & Pete Haig take to a boat on Ullswater for a jazz-funk cruise on Saturday 18th July — strictly limited £5.50 tickets from Chris Tittley, 244 Vicarage Lane, Marton, Blackpool, FY4 4NG (PO/cheque plus SAE) . . . Froggy, Jeff Young, Pete Tong & Colin Hudd the following day Sunday (19) then cruise around the Isle Of Wight — details on 01 723 1362 . . . Jacques Fred Petrus, French West Indies-born producer and Italian colleague Mauro Malavasi formed Change after first collaborating on Macho’s ‘I’m A Man’ in ’77. Petrus now producing BB&Q Band . . . Record Shack’s Jeff Shack has written to me saying “I would like to apologise to you for suggesting that you were gay. I didn’t actually mean to suggest that in my advert but it came out like that” . . . Michael McGloiry meanwhile has finally shown up in our chart, mainly it must be said as a result of gay disco play . . . Erskine T is currently secretive about an interesting new affiliation which should bring him in close contact with another somewhat lookalike disco plugger! . . . Phonogram’s John Waller implores his secretary Karin Rasborcheg, “Please don’t go – we love you too much! . . . Alan Costa (Brighton Kings Club/Kings II) has been playing Lamont Dozier ‘Going Back To My Roots’, but people keep coming up asking for the original by Odyssey — it had to happen, right?! . . . Craig Dawson (Edinburgh Road Runner Mobiles) reports currently number one in the Dutch disco chart appropriately is Frankie Smith ‘Double Dutch Bus’ — also of course finally huge Stateside, and the 119-120bpm US WMOT 12in is proving useful here again too (try Fatback ‘Kool Whip’ out of it for instance) . . . Sylvester’s eagerly sought dynamite promo 12in remix of ‘Give It Up’ is terrific out of the Sharon Redd remix – it’s 112(intro)-110(chix)-109(sax/rhythm)-110(“give it up”)-109-111(Sylvester)bpm, flipped by the nice 42/83bpm ‘Here Is My Love’ sexy duet, should you be lucky . . . Cerrone ‘Hooked On You’ is brilliant synched with Odyssey, don’t forget . . . R D Hart (Wells-Next-To-Sea) asks, “How the hell are you supposed to mix Shakatak ‘Brazilian Dawn’ with anything else — the nearest thing I can find is ‘Nut Rocker’ ” . . . like it, like it! . . . Mass Prod ‘I Got To Have Your Love’ is 119bpm, not 190bpm as printed(!) . . . Top Of The Pops two weeks ago was the most soulful ever, with something like six out of nine acts being black, while of last week’s pop Top 75 a good third was soul/disco and only an arguable six records ware futurist . . . Plan B worked then, all the no substance trendies jumping off soul and onto another bandwagon, leaving the charts wide open to people who spend money on music rather than clothes! . . . ‘Wikka Wrap’ is probably the biggest disco hit yet to go national without a major label being involved . . . Tony Clarke, jocking his way around Scandinavia, recommends Mikie Burke’s Record Shop in Grimstad, a seaside town in Southern Norway — Mikie was a jock himself and stocks current US/UK imports at reasonable prices . . .

DIONNE WARWICK —proving that good bone structure lasts a lifetime — is back with a double LP that’s great for listening, ‘Hot! Live And Otherwise’ (Arista DARTY 10), the “otherwise” being mainly some Michael Masser slowies (‘Some Changes Are For Good’ creating a US radio stir as her new single there) while the “live” majority includes a marathon medley of her hits. Nostalgic femme fans will dig.


SPANDAU BALLET: ‘Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)’ (Reformation CHS 122528).
They’ve kept saying that their music was “funk” and now for real it really is. In an absolutely amazing amalgamation with — wait for it! — the sizzling brass of Beggar & Co, creating a sensational funkily thudding and motoring 0-121-0bpm 12in groove that chantingly builds to a dynamite break. Totally compatible, it mixes well with ‘Wikka Wrap’ for instance, the vocal side’s break actually being stronger than the whole of the shorter instrumental B-side. You’re unlikely to hear anything else as astounding this week!

HI-GLOSS: ‘You’ll Never Know’ (EPC A13-1387).
Although hotly contested by other cuts on the terrific import album, this gorgeous soulful chix-sung sleazily jolting 99bpm 12in clapped jogging swayer has so far come out on top as lead track, the great value flip’s Phillip Baliou-sung lovely lazily bumping cool 113bpm ‘I’m Totally Yours‘ being the closest contender and still potential winner. Class disco at its very best.

MIGHTY FIRE: ‘Love Fantasy’ (LP ‘No Time For Masquerading’ (Elektra K 52294).
Recently reviewed in full on import but now out here, the hottest hit by far is this superb spaciously arranged unhurried 126-127-128-129bpm mellow soul trotter with lovely jazzy solos from guitar, trumpet, sax and bass that are true jazz-funk, ‘Sweet Fire‘ being an equally good Harold Melvin-ish 121-123-124bpm rolling swinger, and ‘Love Attack‘ a monotonous jittery 128bpm thudder.  Continue reading “July 4, 1981: Spandau Ballet, Hi-Gloss, Mighty Fire, Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields, Cheryl Lynn”

June 27, 1981: Carl Carlton, The Jacksons, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Carol Jiani, Sharon Redd


No column this week.


CARL CARLTON: ‘She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)’ (20th Century-Fox TCD 2488).
Leon Haywood-prod/penned hit-bound infectious jauntily trucking jittery 114bpm 12in strutter with Stevie Wonder-ful vocal sound and Kool-style “yahoo” yells, rushed out here ahead of US imports and flipped by his older lovely 36½/73-36/72bpm ‘This Feeling’s Rated X-tra‘, which is quite staggeringly similar to Tyrone Davis’s ‘In The Mood’ (try synching ’em and see!).

THE JACKSONS: ‘Walk Right Now’ (Epic EPC A13-1294).
Vibrant frenetically lively 133bpm 12in galloping strutter with gimmicky noise-filled final break will like their last one alienate the soul disco crowd but doubtless pull pop fans.

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: ‘No Woman, No Cry’ (Island 12WIP 6244).
1975’s London Lyceum-recorded classic 40/79-80-0bpm reggae-rock slowie now on full length 12in flipped by ‘Jamming‘ — but rather irritatingly its a Paris-recorded faster 65/130-131-0bpm live version from ’78.  Continue reading “June 27, 1981: Carl Carlton, The Jacksons, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Carol Jiani, Sharon Redd”

June 20, 1981: Gino Soccio, Change, Evelyn King, Mighty Fire, Mastermind


DISCO OBSERVERS doubtless join me in heaving a sigh of relief at this week’s final return to normality . . . US imports will be costing more from the next shipment on . . . Teena Marie’s LP has been withdrawn in the States for a complete remix (was it something I said?!) . . . Morgan Khan is now pleading with dealers to sell Excaliber’s ‘DJ Purposes Only’ releases to ordinary non-DJ customers too — seems some shops took the series’ title literally! . . . Excaliber’s future issues include Candido ‘Jingo’, Wish ‘Nice and Soft’, Barbara Roy ‘If You Want Me’ (with a segued mixer flip), and a remix of Firefly ‘Love’ . . . Champagne has reissued Spargo ‘You and Me’ (FIZY 1001) . . . Hi-Gloss ‘You’ll Never Know’ / ‘I’m Totally Yours’ is being rushed early June . . . Star Sound’s next project is an Abba medley . . . Lenny White’s album ‘Twennynine with Lenny White’ (Elektra K 52257) is being sold here with a free copy of the previously promo-only ‘Fancy Dancer’ 12in remix . . . Fatback and James Brown LPs reviewed last week on import are now out here (Spring 2391512 and Polydor POLS 1029 respectively) . . . Carol Jiani is evidently about on a Canadian remix . . . Eddie Russ’s much-sought ‘Zaius’-featuring old ‘See The Light’ LP is turning up in certain London stores now . . . Archie Bell’s Becket LP will be on PRT here . . . Soho’s upmarket new L’Escargot wine bar seems off to a good start, spotted sipping Californian wine there last week were Jonathan Dimbleby, Pete Townshend, Roberto Campoverde . . . Roberto Who? . . . ‘Wikka Wrap’, reportedly the hottest record in the USA with radio going crazy for it, sold 30,000 copies in one day after rush release on SAM . . . Inversions ‘Loco Moto’ / ‘Black Russian’, finished only last week, should be due on Groove Production 12in any time now . . . Paapa / Future ‘Tastes So Good When It’s Hot’, an excellently produced fast urgent happy smacker involving members of HI-Tension and Sweet Sensation, is currently only in acetate stage, but should smash when picked up for release . . . Brighton Busby’s Thursday jazz-funk night didn’t get the “right” crowd, so Paul Clark & Mick Fuller are just there Sundays now . . . Sunderland Mayfair’s Roller Disco on Thurs/Saturdays is going great, sez Marshal ‘Woolie’ King . . . Terry Hooper has left Ilford Room at the Top after eight years to become manager of the soon to open Stratford Revelations . . . Robbie Collins (01 520 7547) needs more futurist bands to gig on Thursdays at Slough Alexandra’s – where Tokyo appear tonight (18) . . . Neil Fincham is looking for a learner / assistant DJ / video op at Dunbar’s Craigengelt in Marine Road — contact him there any Thur/Fri/Sat at 7.45pm . . . Paul Mallon (Bath 0225-3319931), following closure of Halifax Tiffanys would welcome summer season work playing any kind of music on the coast or in Europe . . . London Organisation of DJs’ membership has been reduced to £16 (including insurance cover) and their meeting venues will range around the area in an effort to attract more jocks — LODJ details from Ralph Maloney (01-805 8211) . . . Radio Caroline will have a futurist format when it returns on 559m off the Essex coast sometime this month . . . Steve Strange/Rusty Egan’s ‘Club For Heroes’ is merely Funktion flying under a new flag, with Peter Byfield in pirate clothes at the Barracuda . . . I spent a staggering 15 hours just BPM-ing records over the weekend, and trust it’s appreciated . . . HO DE HUM!


GINO SOCCIO: ‘Try It Out’ (Atlantic K 115947).
Already an absolute monster as an import LP track, this strangely compulsive dead simple but oh so powerful hypnotic walking paced 113-115bpm thudder with squawking chix and tootling trumpet is slipped by the synth washed jazzy guitar doodled lovely lush 35-36bpm title track to the LP ‘Closer’, which is now also out here (K 58790), the other main attraction on it being the tightly smacking 119bpm ‘Hold Tight‘ girlie group chanter, which is very strong too.

CHANGE: ‘Paradise’ (WEA K 76196T).
Since we were so rudely interrupted, this fabulous creamily chugging 118bpm 12in girlie group-cooed subtle throbber has been a US disco chart topping smash and is widely considered to be the one that got away here. In light of all this, it’s not too late to give it the renewed shove it deserves to make it the hit it still could be – is it? Come on, we can do it!

EVELYN KING: ‘I’m In Love’ (RCA RCAT 95).
This dynamite precisely smacking bumpy little 115bpm 12in chugger has indeed exploded and sounds so strong it’s as if it’s been a disco smash for ages, instead of just a week and a half!  Continue reading “June 20, 1981: Gino Soccio, Change, Evelyn King, Mighty Fire, Mastermind”