ODDS ‘N’ BODS
CANADA’S SCORPIO label catalogue including Jay W McGee should by now have been picked up for Britain by Ensign Records . . . American jazz label Inner City has reportedly gone bust, Bob Jones (Chelmsford) suggesting that someone with the cash could buy up their entire back catalogue as there’s always a market for it amongst jazz punters here . . . Real Thing have signed with EMI, their Nigel Martinez-produced ‘Seen To Smile‘ being due now . . . Sweet Pea Atkinson’s ‘Dance Or Die’, reviewed last week on import will here be flip to ‘Don’t Walk Away‘, a gruff tumblingly dragging 102bpm jiggly jogger (Ze 12WIP 6808) . . . Jimmy Cliff’s debut album for CBS (CBS 85878), the very listenable ‘Special’, includes a “special offer” for all purchasers to then send off for a free 12in copy of his included new single, the gently reggae 79½bpm ‘Roots Radical‘ (much played on radio) . . . MCA appear to have reactivated their DJ mailings, under Paul Bunting . . . John Sachs’ Backstage club didn’t last long, the Mayfair premises in Green Street now reverting to the Greenstreet name under the new ownership of lovely model Beverley Knock, reopening this Friday — although Beverley emphasises that it isn’t a disco as such, the dancefloor being too small! . . . Greenford’s Barbarellas is looking for an established soul-funk DJ to do Fridays and Saturdays, no time-wasters . . . Chris Kaye, funking a busy round of regular gigs in West Kent, would like to be offered one-off guest spots in superior venues in the North or Scotland — anywhere but the South-East, for a change, sez he! — so managers/promoters, call Chris on 0892-45023 . . . Howard Johnson ‘So Fine’ now tops the US Dance Disco chart, Jennifer Holliday is still top US Black single and climbing Pop . . . Hi Voltage ‘Let’s Get Horny‘ makes a surprisingly late and unexpected chart debut here, considering the mixer-orientated 124½bpm fierce-ish track first appeared at the start of May . . . Bobby “O” is selling really well as a result of my mix with it on the first Soul On Sound, according to Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre — incidentally, one problem with listening to “fierce” electro-funk at Rayners Lane is you can never be sure if what you’re hearing is on the record or off their ever-busy video games! . . . Peterborough’s Discoasis shop in Cross Street sells import LPs at £6.49, 12in £3.99, DJs getting a special discount . . . George Andrew (Salford Mister Shifters mobile) thanks Stockport’s Grove Records (in London Road, Hazel Grove) for their support at the otherwise largely unsponsored recent Bramhall Festival . . . Adrian, of Bournemouth’s gay orientated Adams bar/disco, recommends Carnival Records in Ashley Road, Bournemouth, for extremely cheap disco 12in prices . . . I’m surprised such a straight MoR record as the Boys Town Gang is getting so much evident “soul” disco play . . . Mark Clark (Bracknell) hopes record companies wouldn’t pounce on any DJs who happen to sell old promos at “car boot” sales in aid of the South Atlantic Fund — probably not, Mark, as long as all future rights to their mailouts aren’t included in the sale! . . . Neil Fincham & Colin Cordrey (Edinburgh Mad Hatters Speakeasy), recently pictured with Junior, claim to be the longest DJ team in the country — total height 12′ 8½” if laid end to end in bare feet (which wouldn’t surprise me) — and challenge all comers . . . I can’t compete, being partnered by Graham Gold, despite my 6’ 8” . . . Watford’s Ponderosa is all very well, but the trouble with unlimited um-yum is it’s too darned fattening! . . . OK, Roger Dynamite, you work at Tiffanys in Gt Yarmouth (we’re not mind readers you know) . . . Sandy Martin reckons after the introduction at Swindon Brunel Rooms of Angus the Angry Bull that women make the best bucking riders thanks to their thigh power — cor, slobbers Sandy, there were some on Angus that could turn an “all nighter” into a “weekender”! . . . thank you Sandy, we get your drift, now tell it to Spare Rib . . . ‘The Day The Music Died’, now published here, is a novelisation (and gripping read) of the development of black music within rock ‘n’ roll from ’56 to ’63, written by Joseph C Smith who under the name Sonny Knight scored the original hit with ‘Confidential’ in 1956, well worth finding and full of thinly disguised characters from the music business — if you’re into your history, read it . . . Cliff Dawson; with a soul listening set on US Boardwalk currently being imported, is from New York but used to be in our own Chosen Few . . . Mezzoforte, the Icelandic jazz-funkers, have rivals in the form of a Nottingham white boys group recording under the same name . . . Capital’s Phil Allen, whose Sunday morning 1.45am London funk chart I never miss hearing, mentioned “a heavy dew” and Peter Young in the same breath — brilliant! . . . Larry Foster, well busy at such East London venues as Reflections, Lamps, The Villa and the Albion pub, left between gigs for a brief holiday in the Lake District to return to London for the following weekend, only to drive back to the Lakes on Monday and repeat it again the next weekend — this doesn’t beat me however: years ago at midsummer I did four consecutive mobile gigs all in different areas, then drove hell for leather to the very North-West of Scotland just to see the midnight dusk, saw it, dug it (though it rained!), and then turned right round again to head back for two more gigs in the South just three days after the last one . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Oscars) says also about his holiday at Salou in Spain that the jock in a club called Shalako mixed the Police ‘Roxanne’ over the break in Soft Cell ‘Tainted Love’ to great effect . . . Mad Marx at Clacton Butlins in his redcoat role had to extemporize when the bingo machine broke down in front of 200 old age pensioners, so he rapidly turned to the record decks and proceeded to rap over ‘You’re The One For Me’ — which was such a hit with the OAPs he now raps every night! . . . (Mad Marx now wonders, who the hell told him that?) . . . Nick Ratcliffe (Winkfield) and others should note that our two Disco and Nightclub Charts are compiled quite simply like this: DJs returns which only and obviously relate to soul/funk/jazz/black material are used for Disco, while any charts which include more than the odd few non-black pop-type titles go towards Nightclub, the orientation of the venues being easy to spot by these means (and neither being considered superior to the other) . . . that said, and although I know how dancers these days seem depressingly keen on oldies, is there any chance we could get some DJ contributors for our Nightclub chart who play something more recent than last month’s hits? . . . DO IT DO IT . . . HEY . . . DO IT DO IT!
DUNN & BRUCE STREET, whose ‘Shout For Joy‘ is chuckling up the chart on Satril, turn out to be two Philly Sound veterans with an interesting past. Dunn Pearson Jr has racked up extensive arranger credits especially with the O’Jays, as well as Wild Cherry, M’Lady, Patrice ‘Choc-let’ Banks, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Stephanie Mills and the Detroit Spinners, while his partner Bruce Gray with a similar background co-wrote the theme for US TV’s ‘Soul Train’ show and arranged the Trammps ‘Disco Inferno’. Continuing the Philly link, their hit in the States is on former O’Jay Bobby Massey’s Devaki label.
BRIAN “BAZZER” MASON, cueing up records at his Friday residency in South Harrow’s Bobby Magee’s, is kept busy also at Watford’s New Penny on Saturday’s (have you eaten at the Ponderosa yet?) and at Southgate’s Pink Elephant (the old Royalty) on Mon/Tues/Wednesdays. Thursday’s he sleeps!
CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR, after their past brilliances, have really disappointed with the UK release of their latest 12in, ‘Somebody Tell Me What To Do‘ (De-Lite DEX 8), a competent enough but scarcely exceptional pedestrian lurching 112bpm chanter flipped by the sweet soul slow 0-37/74-38/76bpm ‘Heart Upside Down’ both from an imminent new LP of which we must hope for better. At least they’re in commendably soulful voice, but all trace of dazzle and flash is sadly lacking.
GRAND MASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS FIVE: ‘The Message’ (Sugarhill SHL 117).
Truly an overnight sensation, this reality rooted 100bpm 12in message is rapped in a mixture of conversational and beat binding voices with a sound-effect ‘Living For The City’-like street bust as climax of the mesmerizing simple repetitive rhythm riff. Dig the message — “its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under” —and look out for (I’m told) “kissing” instead of “pissing” on UK pressings!
HOWARD JOHNSON: ‘So Fine’ (Funk A&Merica USAF 1221).
Funnily enough I freaked on first hearing this but then tempered my original import review with caution, thinking “Nah, it’s too carefully controlled.” Doo-wop acappella introed insistently rolling smooth 113bpm 12in smacker with great vocal work by the ex-Niteflyte singer, officially flip here to the creamily jogging “new soul” slow aching 102bpm ‘Keepin’ Love New‘.
EVELYN KING: ‘Get Loose’ LP (RCA RCALP 3093).
From the production team who bring you Howard Johnson and Melba Moore (joke!), this beautifully packaged set is out here ahead of the States and is full of immediately familiar stuff at a tempo you know and love. Best possibly are the steadily smacking 114-115bpm ‘I Can’t Stand It’, sinuously weaving 115bpm ‘Back To Love‘ and 114bpm title track, plus there’s the 113½bpm ‘Stop That‘, 117bpm ‘Get Up Off Your Love‘, 108bpm ‘Betcha She Don’t Love You‘. Continue reading “August 21, 1982: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Howard Johnson, Evelyn King, Mike & Brenda Sutton, Melba Moore”