September 22, 1984: “The UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco”, Stevie Wonder, Steve Washington, Gwen Pressley & Portable Patrol, Billy Ocean, Out


DONNA SUMMER seems unlikely ever to have another Hi-NRG hit after a US TV chat show appearance during which, talking about her Born-Again Christianity, she reportedly said “Homosexuals have brought AIDS upon themselves as a divine retribution from God for their sinful ways” — the instantaneous result is that outraged gay discos (her earliest supporters) have stopped playing her, and record stores are putting out rubbish skips with signs saying “Dump your broken Donna Summer disks here!” (I wonder what’s her opinion of the fire at York Minster?) … Radio London’s first Thursday Soul Night Out at Kilburn’s National Club had a surprise special guest, Stevie Wonder no less, who sang live to the 12in flip — the reason he now puts instrumental versions on his B-sides is “So if by some chance you see me somewhere and I come over your house and you have a little record player and we can get together for moment, I can sing to you” … aah! … Motown however have in typical incredibly irritating manner serviced DJs with double A-side white labels, so Stevie had better steer clear of mailing list clubs … Stevie and Junior are working on some songs together, and it was the latter’s manager Keith Harris who was behind Radio London’s windfall (he used to be Stevie’s personal assistant) — incidentally, the obviously chuffed Tony Blackburn has been insufferable ever since! … UK 12in prices have gone up to around £3, following the industry’s discovery that the buoyant 12in market now accounts for nearly a third of all singles sales —dealers seem upset at this attempt to milk and probably spoil the market. but the fact remains every 12in pressed uses the same pressing facility as a more profitable LP … Randy Muller finally remixed Brass Construction ‘International‘ for UK release soon … Island picked up Gayle Adams, and have Eugene Wilde anyway (through the Simplicious connection) … Rod Temperton co-produced the now January scheduled LP by Lionel Richie, whose ten to fifteen minute Olympics finale ‘All Night Long’ was seen in full by viewers in Eire (says Gerard Ryan of County Cork) — grrr! … Jellybean’s 5-track mini-LP will be out here early October, his ‘The Mexican‘ meanwhile topping US Dance/Disco … Diamond Time are launching a monthly video compilation for clubs, mixing assorted hot music with funny short links (like Ronald Reagan failing to do up his flies!) — Bruce Higham on 01-586 7056 is building the £37.50 per month subscription list, and is also ever on the lookout for fresh material … George Hargreaves, not unconnected with the Billy Ocean reissue, is compiling a club video mailing list at In Store Music, 3 Crownstone Court, Crownstone Road, London SW2 1LS .. Chris Kay (Tunbridge Wells) warns with experience that “wet T-shirt”-type risqué competitions can cause problems if winners later prove to have been under-age, and local newspaper publicity can quickly sour … Dru Baker hosts a Dance Yer Ass Off disco oldies Friday (21) at Burnham (-on-Crouch) Country Club Scandals, Capital’s Disco John Leech fills in for Kev Hill at Harlow Whispers Sat (22) party night … Paul Roberts Hi-fi hold possibly the UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco at Weston-Super-Mare’s hi-tech Piranha’s Tues (25), using two Philips CD 101 players and £4,000 worth of Bose amplification (free admission before 10.30pm) … Island’s Julian Palmer joins (brother of Mike) Brian Gardner at Soho’s Wag Club Wed (26) for “very mixed music” with a Cool Notes PA … Horizon Radio 102.55FM moved studios north of the river to Victoria, and reception has suffered since … Miami’s latin-soul station Super-Q has suddenly started playing lots of UK Hi-NRG imports … Earls Court Copacabana DJ/Hi-NRG producer Chris Lucas now manages the Record Shack shop —incidentally, Record Shack should realize their top act suffers from severe identity confusion, nearly every jock writing their name as “Break Dance” instead of Break Machine … I hope anyone watching last week ITV’s George Melly-introduced history of British traditional jazz, ‘Whatever Happened To Bill Brunskill?’, was struck by the remarkable parallels with the soul-jazz-funk scene — doubtless in years to come we’ll be seeing old films of Caister on learned TV programmes … I’m off on the JFM funk cruise to Holland — let’s hope it isn’t “rrrrough!” … CRY GOD FOR HARRY!

MASTER MIXERS Double Dee & Steinski (the latter, a/k/a Steve, centre) snapped talking razor blades and quick cuts with Disco Mix Club’s Tony Prince (right), at the New Music Seminar in New York. The duo’s prize-winning ‘The Payoff Mix’ of G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid’s ‘Play That Beat Mr DJ’ is being revamped to meet copyright requirements for release here on Tommy Boy/Island, while the original, flipped by their ‘Lesson Two‘ James Brown mix, on their own privately circulated Double Dee & Steinski Mastermixes 12in is one of hip hop’s most highly prized collector’s items … rare on vinyl, if much dubbed off radio! (photo: Mark Clark)


STEVIE WONDER: ‘Love Light In Flight’ (LP ‘The Woman In Red’ Motown HH72285)
The Wonder-produced soundtrack’s hottest and classiest dancer is this gently pulsating 108⅓-0bpm jogger, while the (abruptly ending and seguing) 118bpm movie title track is one of Stevie’s jerkily lurching leapers, ‘Don’t Drive Drunk‘ a frantically rattling 1225bpm [sic] skitterer and ‘It’s More Than You‘ an instrumental 325/70bpm [sic] doodle (by guitarist Ben Bridges). The set is actually shared with DIONNE WARWICK, who solos on the nostalgically Bacharach & David-ish 81½/40¾-0bpm ‘Moments Aren’t Moments‘, duetting the gentle 92/46-0bpm ‘Weakness‘ and 75-0bpm ‘It’s You‘. Also of course now on 12in too is the (0-)113bpm extended ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You‘ (TMGT 1349), which in honesty could have used that remix as the edit where his vocoder comes in instead of the cha-cha-cha is kinds tacky.

STEVE WASHINGTON: ‘Please Don’t Go’ (Streetwave MKHAN 27)
Streetwave sensibly follow Holland’s Rams Horn label in salvaging from the Aurra guy’s disappointing album (mainly sung by Sheila Washington) this excellent remix of its one decent track, an 103(intro)-103-106bpm sinuously rolling repetitive chix chanted hypnotic cool swayer overlaid by tootling trumpets, flipped by its less dense slower 101½ (intro)-103½-104½bpm LP Version and the mushily drifting Slave-ish 115-113(start)-116-115-116-115-117-116bpm ‘Like A Shot‘, with yowling guitar last part. Steve, do an exhausted BPM-er a favour, buy a Linndrum!

Slightly reminiscent of Stacy Lattisaw’s ‘Jump To The Beat’, this hot to trot noisily wailing jittery forceful smacker with brassy stabs and chanting girlie group breaks uses up much intense energy without actually ‘running’ rhythmically at all, in an 115bpm Club Mix and acappella-outroed 116bpm Long Club Mix. Continue reading “September 22, 1984: “The UK’s first ever all-Compact Disc disco”, Stevie Wonder, Steve Washington, Gwen Pressley & Portable Patrol, Billy Ocean, Out”

September 15, 1984: Paul Hardcastle, Jocelyn Brown, Intrigue, The Controllers, Champaign


US COPIES of Stevie Wonder’s soundtrack LP all seem to be pressed off-centre on side two and sound really drunken, the OK side one’s 6:17 version of ‘I Just Called To Say’ keeping on with a vocodered section right where you’d expect the final cha-cha-cha (doubtless this will be unleashed on 12in to keep him at number one!) … Chaka Khan’s UK 12in release of ‘I Feel For You’ has been delayed for a possible remix … Duran Duran’s overdubs are only on the 12in remix of Sister Sledge, the 7in being the same as 1979’s … Kleeer & The Cool Notes live at Hammersmith Odeon last week hit some snags, not least a bedazzled Haywoode falling off stage when a stand-in sound system “put her off-balance” (she does hop, skip and jump about a bit anyway!) — however the subsequent sympathy sales haven’t hurt her single, which was of course previously recorded by Talkback … Haywoode, Junior, Precinct & Shakatak guest this Thursday (13) at Kilburn’s National Club for the first weekly ‘Radio London Soul Night Out’ with Steve Welsh jocking, Tony Blackburn wallying (on air 11pm-midnight) — Tony’s also at Dartford Flicks Fri (14) while Froggy & Simon Harris have done a Sharon Redd megamix for him which is the best I’ve heard in a long time … Disco Mix Club’s September mixes are Simon Harris’s excellent cut-up confection based on M ‘Pop Muzik’ (the inspiration for ‘Ghostbusters’?), Alan Coulthard & Mark Clark’s melding of ‘War/Relax’ brilliantly overdubbed with World War ll actualities and much more, Alan’s solo megamixes being a bland Pointer Sisters, predictable Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis/Hawk Wolinski, and Howard Jones/Nik Kershaw … Mastermind have cleverly combined ‘Lollipop Luv/ Easier Said Than Done’ for future Bryan Loren release, while Mastermind Herbie’s remix of Grandmaster Melle Mel ‘White Lines’ will be out next month on the anniversary of the original’s UK release (I actually heard its first-ever New York radio play exactly a year ago!) … Newcleus ‘Jam On It‘ has been hanging around the middle of the US pop Hot 100 for nearly four months … Run-D.M.C. look like spearheading an autumn invasion of authentic New York hip hop stars … Washington DC-a-go-go’s DETT Records hopefully should be reissuing Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers’ 1978 US black smash ‘Bustin’ Loose‘, as a flip to a re-recording of Trouble Funk’s ‘Drop The Bomb‘ which was being planned a while back … US Elektra’s other back-to-back 12in reissues are Crown Heights Affair ‘Say A Prayer For Two (Remix)‘/Frontline Orchestra ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On Me‘, and Dee Dee Bridgewater ‘Bad For Me‘/Bruni Pagan ‘Fantasy‘ … speaking of Pagan, “which one of you bitches is my mother?”! … Polygram have a couple of timely albums, ‘The Essential Astrud Gilberto’ (Verve VRV 6), seventeen boss bossa’s, and ‘Jazz Club‘ (Club JABB 3) compiled by Leon Campadelli and cool jazz jock Paul Murphy in best sampler tradition … Brothers Ernie & Marvin Isley with Chris Jasper have teamed as a new splinter group, Isley, Jasper & Isley … NY disco/hip hop outfit Profile seem to be copying Tommy Boy in launching a separate heavy metal label … ‘Beat Street Volume 2‘ (US Atlantic 80158-1) has more from the film by Jazzy Jay, Juicy, Tina B, Treacherous Three, Jenny Burton, Rockers Revenge, Ralph Rolle, La La, while latest 12in release from the original LP is Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force + Shango ‘Frantic Situation‘ (US Tommy Boy TB 849) … Billy Ocean ‘Caribbean Queen‘ hit No 1 US Dance/Disco AND Black 45s, Midway and Circuit coming up fast in the Dance list too … Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields’ superior ‘Jazzy Lady‘, now evidently on 12in, has had a sudden deserved resurgence here —could it be something to do with Chris Hill saying on radio it’s his top hit at Canvey Goldmine? … Chris joins lan Reading at Southend Zero 6 Fri (14), Chris Dinnis souls Swindon Brunel Rooms Sat (15), Steve Walsh joins the usual alldayer crew at Birmingham Powerhouse Sun (16) … Monday (17) Nicky Holloway moves under the same management from Bermondsey’s now soulless Swan & Sugarloaf to new venue the nearby London Bridge Tooley Street Royal Oak, joined by Jeff Young with Pete Tong, Chris Brown and other regulars in subsequent weekly rotation … Jeff Young will be sitting in for Robbie Vincent on Radio London’s Saturday lunchtime soul show now for another month or more … JFM’s “funk cruise” to Holland aboard the Olau Hollandia Tues-Wed 18/19 next week is like a cross-channel alldayer/nighter with time ashore in Vlissingen (coaches from London, £30 a head, details 01-771 7377) — I might just go myself! … Mike Allen is indeed specifically a soul show on Capital Fri 10pm-1am/Sat 11pm-1am (Sun too from end of month), which with the inestimable Ram Jam David Rodigan’s reggae Sat 8-11pm means that from the time Greg Edwards starts at 5pm until Al Matthews’ excellent gospel ends at 7am, Capital’s Saturday night is totally black! … Sunday’s dawn transmission of the Rev Al Green’s July Royal Albert Hall gospel show proved that his famous stage trick of backing off from the microphone and getting soulfully tore up without amplification is as effective on radio as nodding! … Chiltern Radio’s soul stand-by Raymondo IS indeed THE Raymondo, Ray Edwards, your bog-eyed buddy and refugee from Bristol City — where his stint with Radio West so polished off his old “sorry ‘baht that” style I didn’t recognize him! … Graham Gold, staunch JFM champion (when he was on it), has suddenly started Wed 3-5pm on Horizon! … I didn’t see it on telly last Saturday, but in Sylvester Stallone’s 1981 film ‘Nighthawks’ the club DJ was actually Jellybean Benitez! … Lenny Henry’s hilarious send-up of the ‘Thriller’ video was brilliant — and although it looked absolutely right most have cost peanuts in comparison with Michael Jackson! … Vanity, who split from Vanity 6 because she didn’t want to do sexy scenes in Prince’s film has signed solo with Motown (home of arch-rivals Rick James and the Mary Jane Girls!) for whom her first Bill Wolfer-produced 126bpm Prince-ish single ‘Pretty Mess‘ is accompanied by — guess what? — a sexy video … Cherrelle’s video for ‘I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On’ features a break dancing King Kong, while Sheila E’s for ‘The Glamorous Life’ shows she’s a real fox! … B-biz-R are The Biz reduced from three to two, Austin Howard and Marcie Bee … Sam Harris, hitting Hi-NRG on Motown, is the pinup-able blond winner of a big US-televised ‘Star Search’ series which he won through 14 weekly appearances (shades of Berni Flint ?) … Lindsay Wesker has turned up at WEA handling UK black A&R, on the scout for new acts here – his first project is getting hot producer Derek Bramble to assemble a ‘The Dude’-type album using songs and singers gathered from around the world … Paradise, of ‘One Mind Two Hearts’ fame, are after a new lead vocalist with obviously great voice and stage presence — send demo cassette, photo, full details to Henry Semmence, Bullet Management, 90 Boston Place, London NW1 … Martin Prescott is offering special discounts to RECORD MIRROR readers carrying this week’s paper on all orders placed at Martin Sound & Light’s stand (no 10) at the PLASA ’84 exhibition — where doubtless East Anglian Productions will get a telling off from Rob Harknett for still not supplying jingles albums paid for at the BADEM show in 1981! … Graham Murray (Teeside), the chart for you is obviously Nightclub — so don’t deny the fast moving soul world its own accurate reflection in the specialist Disco chart (and when in London for PLASA, check the airwaves, import shops and black music clubs for confirmation!) … I think my mail deliveries are hiccupping again — if possible, please ‘bike product to my home address … LET’S BE CAREFUL.


PAUL HARDCASTLE: ‘Rain Forest’ (Bluebird Records BRT 8)
His best yet, a one-off (between labels) from Bluebird’s ‘Zero One’ hip hop video, this immediately familiar tinkling tuneful lush smooth 120bpm electronic instrumental has a beefy undertow and slick surface — almost like an electro Shakatak! — while the harder juddering 115bpm ‘Sound Chaser‘ flip has vocodered hip hop appeal. A national smash once radio play it “up to the news”?

JOCELYN BROWN: ‘I Wish You Would’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 14)
From the same session as ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’, this catchy vocoder introed beefily jiggling here 110⅕-110½bpm chunkily chugging trotter builds infectiously as Jocelyn soars, wails and gurgles in inimitable style (dub flip). Hard to resist.

INTRIGUE: ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’ (Music Power Records MPRT 2, via IDS)
Much more mature than the ‘London Lads’ last one, this creamily schlapping classily subdued 117bpm rolling swayer is smoothly sung and — highest compliment — could easily be American, while the more British B-side lurching semi-slow 108bpm ‘Like The Way You Do It‘ again gives double-sided value. Continue reading “September 15, 1984: Paul Hardcastle, Jocelyn Brown, Intrigue, The Controllers, Champaign”

September 8, 1984: McGee, Margie Joseph, Matt Bianco, Eugene Wilde, Goodie


STEVIE WONDER wanted to remix his 12in again but Motown said no, get on with the album — so, the 12in is delayed (indefinitely?) while his ‘The Woman In Red’ soundtrack set should be due within two weeks … C.L. Blast’s eponymous LP (US Park Place) is the deep soul event of the year, a real stunner (full review next week) — you’ve been warned! … Bill Laswell, taking time out from producing Mick Jagger’s solo LP, recorded Afrika Bambaataa, John Lydon and keyboardist Bernie Worrell for Celluloid release under the name Time Zone … Paul Hardcastle has moved to Chrysalis’s Cooltempo label, but his current release is on Bluebird — who have NOT got Willie Bobo or any other CBS oldies (thanks, Phil!), but are releasing Paris ‘I Choose You‘ (currently on scarce Kelli-Arts import), Walter Jackson’s LP and an old Magnum Force set … Streetwave picked up Fonda Rae and Aleem … US Elektra promoed on 12in the Ralph MacDonald-pattered moodily thematic but intensifying 118bpm instrumental ‘Inside Moves‘ title track of Grover Washington Jr’s imminent new LP … Animal Nightlife ‘Mr Solitaire’ has been reissued in a mushy 115½bpm “Panther Mix” which removes all the exciting hip-hoppery, making it less a fusion of styles … ITV last Tuesday (outside the Thames area) showed ‘Mardi Gras Funk’ with the Neville Brothers, Mac ‘Dr John’ Rebennack, Professor Longhair, Ernie K-Doe amongst others demonstrating how New Orleans’s black musicians adopt Red Indians chants, rhythms and costumes just for the Shrove Tuesday carnival celebrations — explaining at a stroke the rhythms behind ‘Iko lko’, ‘Hey Pocky A-way’ and most of The Night Tripper mumbo jumbo … I spent last week in sunny North Notts, constantly running the gauntlet of police pickets at every exit road from the South Yorkshire coalfield area (er, routes through from Derbyshire were clear!), driving home Friday evening listening first to Carl Kingston playing a Miami/Sledge ‘Dr Music’ mix on BBC Radio Humberside, then Peter Young’s last old soul Pete’s Party on Capital, and someone called Raymondo (not THE Raymondo) on Chiltern Radio with a ‘Soul Seeking’ show … Peter Young’s very last Capital programme, Saturday night’s five hour Pete’s Party, was an emotional occasion with more guests than the studio has held since Wolfman Jack’s one-off nine years ago: however his new home Mercury Radio is already keeping pirates at bay on 103.6FM with a test tone that’s loud ‘n clear over most of London, his shows starting October 22 being weekdays 4-7pm and Pete’s Party Saturday 6-9pm (it’s non-Londoners’ loss if you’ve never heard this guy combine zany voices, dry wit and personally selected excellent music) … Capital’s soul shows now are Greg Edwards Sat 5-8pm/Fri 8-10pm, Steve Collins Sun 1-5am (chart still at 1.45am), Al Matthews (gospel) Sun 5- 7am, while doubtless Mike Allen will slip some in Fri/Sat/Sun 11pm-1am … Chris Tarrant 7 – Kid Jensen 1 … Polydor’s little plugger Pete Tong has won Kent ILR Invicta Sound’s soul show Sat 7-10pm from October 6 … Laser 558’s much admired Jessie Brandon may be swapping her sea legs for a land base in London soon … DBC apparently have been busted but got back on air just for the Notting Hill Carnival, while Horizon have been off air intermittently with transmitter and mixing desk problems … Rayner’s Lane’s Record & Disco Centre have unearthed timely supplies of the Astrud Gilberto/Vince Montana ‘Girl From Ipanema’ — rush rush! … John Luongo’s remix of A Taste Of Honey ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’, only on a ‘Golden Honey’ US Capitol compilation LP so far, sounds vicious! … Bobby Womack plays Hammersmith Odeon Sept 21/22/23 — and Kev Hill (0277-223030) is desperate to swap his Saturday night Row C front stalls tickets for a similar pair on either night … Evelyn Thomas ‘High Energy’ topped US Dance/Disco, Jellybean and Temper challenging hotly … Narada Michael Walden had produced Olympics hero Carl Lewis singing ‘Goin’ For The Gold‘ on – er, hmm – the Megatone label (maybe Daley Thompson was right!) … Haringey Bolts DJ Norman Scott (that was him between George Michael and an un-dragged Divine in last week’s uncaptioned photo) had the world exclusive first play of Divine’s ‘I’m So Beautiful‘ and Wham’s ‘Freedom‘ (“northern soul”), the latter brought in by George on acetate only three hours after recording! … Adrian Dunbar starts a Bournemouth Bolts at Boscombe’s Academy Sunday (9), while Bolts’ National Gay Disco Dancing Championships 1984 kick off around the circuit at London Palm Beach Fri (7), Blackpool Flamingo Sat (8) … Ken Livingstone hopes to gain street cred? — the GLC hold a huge open air Hip Hop Jam this Sunday 2- 8pm on London’s South Bank with assorted scratchers, rappers, breakers, graffiti artists, hula-hoopers, hockey players and more … Big ‘H’ (Harry Jenkins!) has a Cool Notes PA at Burnham Beeches’ Grenvill Lodge Hotel Henrys Monday (10) on his soul night (Thurs there he has ladies free), jazzing Fri and Teddington Clarence Hotel’s La Moulin Sat … KFM’s Wednesday evening “dance” jock, brainy Jon Guy suddenly got a good job as Manchester rep for Record Merchandisers … Elvis fan Kid Galahad and Miss Alexi White funk/rock/megamix Soho’s Le Beat Route as resident jocks now — Kid will doubtless be saddened like me by the death aged 57 in Lubbock, Texas, of Norman Petty, producer/manager of Buddy Holly … BE CAREFUL


McGEE: ‘Now That I Have You’ (US American Dream Records Ltd AD 541)
My much played fave of the week, a dynamite steadily grooving 97-98¼bpm hot tempo rolling groin grinder soulfully teased by the dual-tracked semi-falsetto Tommy McGee over Norman Harris-arranged scratchy strings and some jazzy sax, a real mind grabber for getting lost in! So good it doesn’t matter that the flip merely repeats the A-side.

MARGIE JOSEPH: ‘Midnight Lover’ (Atlantic B9713T)
Finally out here on 3-track 12in, this snappily kicking 115¾bpm romper unashamedly copies its zest from ‘Holiday’ (with which it mixes superbly), flipped for excellent value by two more killers from her recent LP, the stolidly smacking 114bpm ‘Big Strong Man‘ and Aretha-ish 116bpm ‘I Wants Mo’ Stuff‘. Hot Stuff!

MATT BIANCO: ‘Matt’s Mood II’ (LP ‘Whose Side Are You On’ WEA WX7 240 472-1)
The jitterbugging and samba sashaying popsters proved their hip credibility with the (included) jazzy (0-)105bpm ‘Matt’s Mood‘ instrumental, and this more freely flowing 120bpm follow-up features mid ’60s-style organ and brass over busy percussion (it’s also on promo 12in) — however, what’s exciting album-buying jocks is the timely Gilberto-ish bossa nova 107bpm ‘Half A Minute‘ (friskier than the BPM suggests), which is really excellent. Continue reading “September 8, 1984: McGee, Margie Joseph, Matt Bianco, Eugene Wilde, Goodie”

September 1, 1984: Sister Sledge, Level 42, Stephanie Mills, Rick James, B-biz-R


JAMES BROWN and George Clinton’s collaboration, predating the Afrika Bambaataa duet, is rumoured finally to be due (possibly also on Tommy Boy) … Britain’s most compulsively exciting radio DJ, Peter Young is going out with a bang on Capital 95.8FM, sitting in 6-8pm weeknights with a sizzling Pete’s Party prior to leaving for Redhill/Reigate/Crawley’s new ILR Radio Mercury, on air in about a month … Capital afternoon star Roger Scott didn’t bother catching the Jacksons after all as Bruce Springsteen did an extra show on the night he was meant to have off — and Roger’s flying back to the States this weekend just to see him again! (Arthur Baker has remixed Brucie’s ‘Cover Me’ with a new dubwise bassline) … Evelyn Thomas ‘High Energy’ is holding at 2 in the US Dance/Disco chart, but the big Brit success is Billy Ocean whose ‘Caribbean Queen‘ single and new album are storming up all the charts, Black, Pop & Dance! … Ray Parker Jr topped Black 45s (‘Ghostbusters’ on 12in is 113⅓bpm, 7in 114½bpm), while 6 out of Billboard’s Top 10 US pop LPs last week were by black acts, Prince, Tina Turner, Ray Parker Jr (plus others), Jacksons, Lionel Richie, Pointer Sisters, — something of a landmark … New York’s previously urban contemporary radio WKTU is going “Top 40” in format, though KISS-fm (according to visitors Julian Palmer & Adrian Sykes of Island) still keeps the hip hop faith with Chuck Chill-Out, Jazzy Jay, Whiz Kid, Red Alert and Davy DMX all doing regular marathon live on-air mixing sessions … Cosmic sunny Chicago caught Maze in concert, supported by the O’Jays … Jon Williams, jocking nightly at Corfu’s La Plaza in Ipsos, reports the biggest holiday hit is Baobab ‘Let’s Break‘ (German Polydor), while Graham Hunter (Basingstoke’s Firefly Roadshow) says the Benidorm biggies were RAF ‘Self Control‘, Fox To Fox ‘Precious Little Diamond‘, Roberto Jacketti & The Scooters ‘I Save The Day‘, K-Ram ‘Menage A Trois‘ … BADEM, now rechristened PLASA, the Professional Lighting And Sound Association have their annual Light And Sound Show at London’s Bloomsbury Crest Hotel Sept 16-19, but it’s strictly “trade only” … Tricky Dicky Scanes’ record shop Record Cellar at Newport Court (next to London’s Leicester Square tube station) has bought up the old Bond Street Embassy Club’s record collection, full of collector’s items in mint condition as the DJs had kept two copies of everything, for sale in rolling stages from just 99p with the real rarities on offer from Thursday 13th — rush rush! … Bruce Lundvall plans a January revival of his celebrated jazz label Blue Note, combining new releases with vintage material … Terri Wells’ excitingly soulful newie, rapidly being re-evaluated by London for UK release after all, sounds fantastic out of radio speakers and to my mind far preferable to her past overly formularised hits … The Staple Singers ‘Slippery People‘ I didn’t realise is a Talking Heads song! … Jean Knight’s ‘71 classic ‘Mr Big Stuff‘ is getting big in London again, but will Terry Davis & Ian Clark play it at their latest vintage soul Function At The Junction this Friday (31) in the Wessex Suite opposite Clapham Junction railway station? … Joe Field joins Chris Brown at Benson-on-Thames Rivers Fri (31), and steps into Martin Collins’ shoes with Brother Louie co-hosting the Radio Chiltern 97.6FM Sunday 3-6pm soul show for the next two weeks (and at Luton Pink Elephant’s Dumbos the next two Saturdays) … Chris Dinnis souls Exeter Boxes Sat (1) … Hazell Dean plays Brighton Bolts Sun (2) … Toddy starts hip hopping Forest Gate’s Uppercut Club Tuesdays (4), his Wednesdays at Chadwell Heath High Road’s Regency Suite also turning hip hop now … Steve Walsh comperes Kleeer’s Hammersmith Odeon gig next Thursday (6), when Arrow play Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush … Andy Richards, jocking Sat/Sun/Mon at the brand new Chaplins gay club opposite Streatham station, infos that a remix of Dan Hartman ‘Relight My Fire‘ was on a recent Hot Tracks “Classics” re-issue … Jimmy Ruffin’s new ‘Young Heart‘ will be flipped by a remix of his 1980 ‘Hold On To My Love‘, never on 12in at the time … Percy Mayfield died aged 63 of a heart attack on Aug 11 — best known for his ‘Please Send Me Someone To Love‘ and ‘River’s Invitation‘, the veteran “soft blues”-er also wrote ‘Hit The Road Jack’ for Ray Charles … Richard Jon Smith & Katie Kissoon came within an inch of being wiped out while touring North Wales clubs when a massive truck roared down a narrow country road and took off their wing mirror … Theo Loyla as a plugger, representing the careers of the artists he plugs, ought to be appalled at DJs using the sluggish Nightclub chart as a shopping list, only buying the records in it long after they actually need promoting to sell in the main Top 75 (which should surely be pop jocks’ main influence?) — my comment “Well, at least it isn’t predictable” didn’t mean I was “pleased” with the chart, merely amazed that the week after it dropped nationally Shakatak went to number one!… BE CAREFUL.


SISTER SLEDGE: ‘Lost In Music’ (Atlantic B9718T)
Remixed by Nile Rodgers with for some obscure but ultimately commercial reason Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon & Andy Taylor on intrusively overdubbed chants, the familiar 115-116bpm jiggly thrusting trotter was 1979’s A-side to ‘Thinking Of You’, though now is nowhere near as soulful . . . which won’t hurt its pop chances. The sensible new flip is their recent George Duke-produced gentle chime-introed attractive 54½-109bpm ‘Smile‘.

LEVEL 42: ‘Hot Water’ (Polydor POSPX 697)
Never before so exciting, this thumbs thundered and brass blazed noisily over-the-top exhilarating leaping 112-109-110-112-110-111(halfway break)-112-113bpm lurcher (they still can’t keep tempo!) has almost punkish vocals jumping out of the remorselessly stabbing jitter ‘n jiggle. Phew!

STEPHANIE MILLS: ‘The Medicine Song’ (Club JABX 8)
Rufus’s hot hit writing David ‘Hawk’ Wolinski expands his ‘Plane Love’ approach with a slippery rumbling and wriggling 112½bpm intense rhythm build up before Stephanie wails through the then chuggingly spurtive drive (dub flip), now happening here almost as fast as in New York. Continue reading “September 1, 1984: Sister Sledge, Level 42, Stephanie Mills, Rick James, B-biz-R”

August 25, 1984: David Lasley, Mtume, The Staple Singers, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, LaToya Jackson


Stevie Wonder delivered a 6½ minute 12in remix, due here next week . . . Curtis Mayfield’s own label CRC is being activated here through IDS by Nigel Bagley, who’s scheduled a total remake of ‘Move On Up’ and — yup, you guessed! — Linda Clifford ‘Runaway Love’ within a month . . . Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 ‘Mas Que Nada‘ (A&M) looks like the next Sivuca/Astrud Gilberto, to judge from the buzz . . . Nile Rodgers’ remix of Sister Sledge ‘Lost In Music’, out next week, features overdubs by Simon Le Bon & Andy Taylor of Duran Duran — how hip is that! . . . Yogi Lee is Ralph MacDonald’s featured lady . . . Pete Tong has moved sideways from Polydor to become the “London man” he was always meant to be, replaced by Paul Redman who will now consider more applicants for the mailing list at Polydor, 14 St George Street, London WIR 9DE (Mike Sefton continues to handle London club promotion) . . . Bluebird Records seem, like Streetwave, to be picking up some select CBS material including evidently that much-sought Willie Bobo ‘Always There’ remix (however rumour has it that CBS themselves may feature it on a “mid-’70s classix” LP) — Bluebird meanwhile have made a hip hop musical called ‘Zero-One’ for sale to TV, containing tracks by Paul Hardcastle and Whiz Kid . . . London’s airwaves are going mad again — I can only suggest pirate freaks twiddle around the clock to monitor the current situation for themselves — while belatedly The Standard evening newspaper last week did some investigative reports on pirate radio, quite a hoot and so investigative that they kept going on about a North Sea station called “Lazar”! . . . “Wonderful Radio London” should be joining Laser and Caroline broadcasting from off The Naze this weekend . . . Island’s plugger Julian Palmer reports back from New York’s New Music Seminar that all he seemed to hear in clubs and on KISS-fm were Aleem, Run-DMC, Disco 3 and Pure Energy . . . Billboard’s US pop Hot 100 last week saw Lionel Richie join Ray Parker Jr, Tina Turner, Jacksons and Prince to make an entirely black Top 5 (Peabo Bryson at 10, too!), if their skin colour counts for more than their music, while Sheila E’s great ‘The Glamorous Life‘ topped US Dance/Disco . . . Morris Day has said “time” to The Time and disbanded them, just as his own role in Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ film is stealing thunder from the Starr . . . ‘When Doves Cry’ has been done in three different ‘Rapp’ treatments by Captain Rapp, MC Fosty & Lovin’ C, and Arcade Gang Featuring Rich Cason all on the same 12in (US Rappers Rapp Disco Co RR-12″-2002) . . . Larry Levan has remixed Dan Hartman’s US smash ‘I Can Dream About You’ . . . Antena’s sleeve photo seems a mistake, putting off many potential buyers . . . Chris Dinnis, getting great reaction to the old Alessi ‘Oh Lori‘ (A&M), souls Yeovil Electric Studio Fri (24), Exeter Nosey Parkers Sun (26), while Friday also finds TP & Grandmaster ‘G’ piloting a new funk gig at Harlow’s Moat House Motel (ex-Saxon Inn), and Adrian Allen at South Shields Chelsea Cat holding a “Shorts” night, free if wearing shorts and all spirits (shorts) 50p . . . Sat (25) Darryl Hayden wows Winchester’s Gordon Road Recreation Centre with his newly enlarged 5 kilowatt video roadshow . . . Thursdays see Phil England temporarily at Salisbury’s Jams, Steve Cochrane souling Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush (with I Level live next week 30th) . . . Mike Allin has quit jocking, Joe Field souling alone at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar Sundays and fortnightly Thursdays (next week 30th with Chris Brown), plus Joe’s at Luton Cheers Tuesdays . . . Kev Hill at Harlow’s heaving soulful Whispers hosts a Tony Jackson PA Saturday (25), and with Gary Campbell a charity allniter Sunday (26) midnight-5am Monday — similar timing to Dartford Flicks annual charity ‘niter (their eleventh, in aid of Dartford Age Concern) this time starring Greg Edwards with Colin Hudd & John Rush (breakfast included) . . . Bank Holiday Monday’s major events are a marathon 10am-1am Soul On Sound alldayer at Epping Forest Country Club with Tony Jenkins, John Osborne, Dave Gregory, Robbins Collins, parascending, steel band, barbeque and footballing DJs vs First Division All Stars Trevor Brooking, Danny Thomas, Mo Johnston etc; Showstoppers noon-11pm Treasure Island alldayer with Chris Hill and the usual crew taking over Tiffany’s, The Quay & Boxes on Exeter’s Quay with market stalls and outdoor fun; Gary Kent and a Horizon team noon-past midnight at Forest Gate Uppercut Stadium with Kadenza live, lotsa PAs, £1000 breakdance contest; Dave Thomas & Richard Searling noon-midnight with jazz-funk and northern rooms at Oswestry’s Moreton Lodge; Preston Clouds 2pm-midnight with Colin Curtis, Mike Shaft and the usual crew; Paul Clark, John Osborne, Nicky Holloway, Simon Grant etc 3pm-midnight at Sayers Common’s Hickstead Dance Factory on the A23; Kev Ashman, The Dude and other Kentish Men just 6pm-1am at West Malling The Greenway’s Hawaiian beach party with lotsa PAs and live music . . . Hazell Dean plays Haringey Bolts Sat (25), Norma Lewis Edinburgh Fire Island Sun (26) . . . Ian Levine’s “gay northern soul” Sunday (26) at London’s Charing Cross Heaven will feature Jimmy Ruffin live . . . ERC are releasing the ‘Prime Cuts’ medley commercially next week . . . Andy Greg (Loughton Tempo Rico) has written an hilarious “Hi-NRG” lyric, unprintable but it’s called ‘Three Men In A Bed’! . . . Mad Mike says dancers at Redcar Leo’s have switched from hip hop to Hi-NRG . . . Ken ‘B’ Brudenell (Poole Mariners Wharf) rejoices “A week when Frankie wasn’t even requested, let alone played — thankfully they really are getting peed off with the noise and nonsense!” . . . Steve Ogley (Lowestoft Oulton Broad Park Avenue) is amazed the James Brown revival has even reached “Carrot Crunch Country”, where you’re never more than three months away from a hit! . . . John Keenan (Barrow-in-Furness Champers) says pop biggies with holidaymakers returning from Spain are Alphaville ‘Big In Japan‘, Baby’s Gang ‘Happy Song‘, Xalan ‘I Only Move For Money‘ . . . I revisited misty Shropshire, Mid-Wales and the sunny Gower last week, spotting in The Mumbles a girl sporting our Record Mirror T-Shirt! . . . Mark Ryman, who used to write regularly from around Swansea, after travelling the world for Bacchus has been resident DJ-PR at London Piccadilly’s swank Tokyo Joe since 1981 . . . James Lewis B.Sc. (Hons), with the only soul show in South-West Wales on University Radio Abertawe Sat 10am-noon, suggests jocks needing radio experience could do worse than approaching their local pro soccer club (yes, James, I revisited the Worms only on Saturday!) . . . Aug 14 saw mail arrive posted July 19 and 24 — maybe more record companies could consider biking me their stuff? . . . America’s Labor Day record releases have flooded import shops with so much new vinyl that this week only a few can fit! . . . BE CAREFUL OUT THERE.


DAVID LASLEY: ‘Saved By Love’ (EMI America 12EA 179)
Strange but true — this falsetto-singing session man sang lead on Sister Sledge’s ‘We Are Family’ and Chic’s ‘Everybody Dance’! Officially A-side of his self-penned-Don Was (Not Was)-produced 3-track 12in, the 122bpm ‘Where Does That Boy Hang Out‘ sounds like Sylvester singing ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ while the 186/93bpm ‘Next Time’ is a finger snappin’ Frankie Lymon-type ’50s doo-wop jumper (all kinda Billy Joel so far, huh?), but the big noise in soul circles is this excellent squeaky swaying lush 98bpm jogger with soaring sax and again an affectionate nod towards established styles. Hot on the grapevine for months, it’ll sell the record.

MTUME: ‘Prime Time’ (LP ‘You, Me And He’ US Epic FE 39473)
Infinitely better than their last LP and sure to reward repeated home listening, the truly mature set’s immediate dance hit is this superb rolling 109bpm ticker like ‘Juicy Fruit’ brought up to the hot tempo, while ‘C.O.D. (I’ll Deliver)‘ is another teetering suspenseful slow 93½bpm jolter modelled on that earlier classic, ‘You Are My Sunshine‘ an even more strung out 80bpm entwining smoocher, the title track single a terrific stripped down crawling 72bpm examination of a romantic triangle with a separate “I love another” conversation started and sweetly saxed 71½bpm ‘Sweet For You And Me (Monogamy Mix)‘ variation, leaving three funkier cuts in the starkly lurching choppy 99½bpm ‘I Simply Like‘, sax ‘n guitar jiggled instrumental (0-)121bpm ‘To Be Or Not To Bop That Is The Question‘, and loose 103bpm party burbler ‘Tie Me Up‘ which starts and ends with chatter and footsteps as they stroll over to Spooner’s Place to hear Mtume play!

THE STAPLE SINGERS: ‘Slippery People’ (US Private I Records 4Z9 05078)
The suddenly super-hot label’s latest smash is a superb brightly wriggling and whomping 107bpm rattling electro drums-driven trotter with slippery synth squiggles and Mavis leading the family in her usual vocal style like an infectious ‘Do The Do’ combining the modern with the old (inst flip). Continue reading “August 25, 1984: David Lasley, Mtume, The Staple Singers, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, LaToya Jackson”

August 18, 1984: Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown, Cheryl Lynn, Alicia Myers, Rick James, Stephanie Mills


TONY PRINCE rang me hot on his return from New York’s New Music Seminar (having flown the “excellent” Virgin Airline in preparation for the Disco Mix Club’s own NY jaunt next March) bubbling with info about this Tommy Boy/Rockpool organised annual $150 forum which seems to have replaced the old Bilboard Disco Forums — for instance, best event was a demonstration of scratch mixing moderated by Whiz Kid with Duke Bootee’s Mix Master Cheese, Wanda D, Davy DMX, Jam Master J, Run-D.M.C., Farley (Funkin’) Keith, Chicago Hot Mix 5 and possibly Kool DJ Herc all cuttin’ with giant videos of their hands at the decks . . . American DJs evidently make friends with their audiences and end build up a mailing list so that when they move clubs they can inform their punters, which should be useful as there’s friction between jocks and some club owners’ newly restrictive music policies — best club to Tony’s mind was the Area on Hudson Street, which amazingly completely changes its entire decor theme every four weeks (a logical development to keep curiosity boiling?) . . . Pete Tong, likewise back from the seminar, says Paradise Garage is “still the joint” while New York’s hottest sounds are Aleem ‘Release Yourself (Dub)‘ (NIA), Stephanie Mills ‘The Medicine Song (Dub)‘ (Casablanca), GL & Band ‘Equador‘ (Taxi Music), Scritti Politti ‘Wood Beez (Inst)‘, the emphasis there being on instrumentals rather than vocals . . . Ian Levine, just back from Florida, found a Ft. Lauderdale record shop celled Spec’s Music which imports 15 copies of Record Mirror every week so local DJs can stay ahead with our Hi-NRG and Disco charts! Tony Blackburn has started a guest club DJ “floor-filler” spot on his BBC Radio London 94.9FM weekday morning soul show at about 11.20am, the rota being Steve Walsh Mon/Colin Hudd Tues/Chris Hill Wed/Graham Gold Thur/Ian Reading Fri . . . I thought yet another pirate was on London’s soulful Saturday evening airwaves until realising I’d picked up Ralph Tee guesting with Dave Gregory on Essex Radio 95.3FM! . . . Dread Broadcasting Corp 39.9FM Wednesday afternoons (up to 4pm) has a fabulous fresh sounding black rock ‘n’ roll/fast blues oldies show hosted by The Duke, evidently sitting in for Smiley . . . Pirate Watcher ‘Crow’s Nest 7’ (like it!) reports the horrendous fact that London has no fewer than four simultaneous Greek stations on FM — British Greek Community Radio 104.5, Radio Maria 104.3, LGR London 104, Greek Cypriot Broadcasting To London 92.8 — while those Arabs are still blaring out down among the low numbers . . . Edwin King, who as the (now graduated) Warwick University winner of Radio One’s student programme competition presented a ‘History Of Rap’ in April, is currently Radio Caroline’s newest recruit sitting in for a while nightly 10pm-2am, playing much more black music than usual on the station and featuring every Saturday an individual artist medley (Donna Summer this week) . . . I don’t know why radio DJs can’t listen to Manu Dibango’s own pronunciation of ‘Abele’ which should be “ahbaylay” . . . Phonogram have retained Kool & The Gang for the UK, and just first refusal rights to other De-Lite label material . . . Disco Mix Club’s August mixes by brainy Alan Coulthard are excellent Hi-NRG and Prince, an oddly draggy Phil Fearon (just three tunes which need speeding up to sound brighter), and a Double Dee & Steinski-inspired though less accomplished exploration of ‘Good Times’ co-mixed with Simon Harris . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Raffles/Bolts) has compiled from our charts (using inverse points) a Jan-June 1984 master chart, Top 5 Disco being (1) Rufus ‘Ain’t Nobody’, (2) Kenny G ‘Hi, How Ya Doin’, (3) Change ‘Change Of Heart’, (4) Madonna ‘Holiday’, (5) Jocelyn Brown ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’, and Hi-NRG (1) Evelyn Thomas ‘High Energy’, (2) Lisa ‘Rocket To Your Heart’, (3) Kofi & The Lovetones ‘Countdown’, (4) Pamala Stanley ‘Coming Out Of Hiding’, (5) Earlene Bentley ‘Living My Own Life’ (a pity Carrere couldn’t capitalise on Lisa while she was so hot on import) . . . Evelyn Thomas is currently touring Thursday (16) Leeds Rockshots 2, Fri Newcastle-upon-Tyne Rockshots, Sat Montrose Toffs, Sun Edinburgh Fire Island, Mon Glasgow Panama Jax, Wed (22) Liverpool Coconut Grove . . . Bill Grainger at Edinburgh’s Fire Island appears to have got his club immortalised in song by Secession, who play there Sat (18) . . . I must point out my review of Hazell Dean’s current hit was based on the elsewhere also much criticised 12in mix, not on the subsequent smoother 7in version! . . . Andy Greg (Loughton Tempo Rico wine bar) reckons a modernised remix of Dan Hartman ‘Relight My Fire‘ could be hot Hi-NRG now . . . Ian Levine, whose 12 minute Vikki Benson remix is due, tries the first ever “gay northern soul night” at London’s Heaven Bank Holiday Sunday (25), reviving all the original roots of Hi-NRG . . . Mary Love, whose mid-’60s records became northern soul classics, is back with ‘Save Me‘ (US Mirage), described as “Gloria Gaynor-ish” — if it’s a Hi-NRG hit it’ll make up for Linda Lewis reviving her old ‘You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet‘! . . . Esther Phillips died aged 47 of a liver ailment last week: she started scoring R&B hits as a kid 35 years ago (hence “Little Esther”), produced by Johnny Otis who was also involved with Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton, the 1953 originator of Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller’s ‘Hound Dog’, who has also died aged 57 of a heart attack — both were founding mothers of our music . . . America’s top four Pop hits last week were all black (in fact the same but in different order as the top four Black hits) — however, all have a rock bias, being Ray Parker Jr, Prince, Jacksons, Tina Turner — while Ollie & Jerry topped US Dance/Disco with Sheila E at 2 . . . Michael Jackson has produced sister Rebbie Jackson’s ‘Centipede‘ . . . Jellybean is collaborating on a song for Quincy Jones’s next solo LP, co-prod/arr/penning with Q . . . Bobby Womack will tour here late Sept/early Oct possibly with Sly Stone, and The Crusaders are due then too, Joe, Wilton & Ndugu being augmented by David T Walker’s guitar, Byron Millers bass, Mary Williams White’s vocals . . . Disco 3 of ‘Human Beat Box‘ fame are now officially calling themselves after the A-side title of their US single, the Fat Boys . . . Whiz Kid’s “secret weapon” is Visage’s old ‘Pleasure Boys‘, played and cut . . . Mastermind want it known they weren’t responsible for the edits on their Loose Ends ‘Mastermind Turntable Mix‘ — maybe it’s time they practised cutting with a razor blade, too? . . . Steve Jason & Darren Collins hope to get ’em breakin’ on the diving board at Peterborough open air swimming pool’s charity beach party this Saturday (18) . . . Gary Oldis, soon starting Sunday soul at Dalton Piercy Slix, was amazed by a recent breakdance contestant, a white guy in black make-up with a biscuit on his head, calling himself Lionel Rich Tea! . . . Nicky A, the guvners Fred & Joyce and more at beer-brewing Romford’s Tudor Lodge wine bar really sent me a “drink”, a 3 litre box of Liebfraumilch — ta very much! (Nicky’s soulful there Wed/Sat, and this Friday is his fortnightly spot at Romford Jaffas too) . . . Matt Johnson (St Albans Adelaide), playing Byron Lee’s equally good ‘Hot-Hot-Hot’ instead of Arrow, is another jock annoyed by audiences not wanting new material . . . US Elektra have started a ‘Dance Classics’ 12in series coupling old disco hits, first releases being Lamont Dozier ‘Going Back To My Roots’/David Williams ‘Come On Down Boogie People’ and Tamiko Jones ‘Can’t Live Without Your Love’/Atmosfear ‘Dancing In Outer Space’ . . . Atlantic here are evidently reviving Beginning Of The End ‘Funky Nassau‘ on 12in . . . Danny Smith (Gt Yarmouth One Five One Club) is after Gazebo ‘I Like Chopin‘ (Baby 12in) on 0493-857303 . . . Vicious Pink’s new split-channel mix is selling well to DJs: the only other such exaggerated channel separation I can think of was Malcolm McLaren ‘Buffalo Girls’ . . . Miami Sound Machine turn out to be well established salsa stars — pity about their current LP, and its sleeve photo, though . . . The Cool Notes are keen to PA and play — contact manager Mr McIntosh on 01-733 1817 . . . Total Control Records boss Steve Walsh corrects, “Not Barclays, Frankie Goes To The Nat West”! . . . Tony Roma’s A Place For Ribs in London’s St Martin’s Lane is my current fave gorging eaterie, totally American — and when the piano bar singer isn’t there they relay Skyline 90.15FM! . . . Kent’s new ILR Invicta Sound, starting October from studios in Canterbury on 497m/603kHz MW and Maidstone on 242/1242, intends programming more “jazz-funk” throughout the day than other commercial stations and head of music Andy Grahamme is anxious for record companies to supply him with suitable product c/o Invicta at 15 Station Road East, Canterbury, Kent . . . Roydon’s tiny village youth club raised £1649 for the Ben Hardwick Appeal through a 12 hour darts marathon, market and Rob Harknett-run disco, TV’s Bonnie Langford & Charlie Smithers chucking the first arrers . . . BBC-TV kept the nation’s insomniacs waiting all night long for Lionel Richie, only to stop transmitting the Olympics finale at 6.05am before he came on — to add insult to injury CEEFAX then read “the star of the show, however, was Lionel Richie who concluded the ceremony with a special version of his ‘All Night Long’ — and in Monday evening’s recap there was only the briefest clip of him, with one tantalizing shot of the “hundred” breakdancers — boo! . . . Nick Cravat in 1952’s marvellous ‘The Crimson Pirate’ (on telly last Sunday) has to have been the model for Hill Street Blues’ Belker . . . YO HO HO!


AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & The Godfather Of Soul JAMES BROWN: ‘Unity’ (US Tommy Boy TB 847)
Two funk generations clash, and either Bam was overawed or Mr B can’t do anything else but this remains in essence a James Brown record of the old school, brass, bass and guitar mashing beefily with the 111bpm electronic drumbeat. On 12in in six sub-titled variations, with scraps of chatter between tracks, Pt. 4 is the longest groove with both stars evenly matched, Pt. 5 is funkily instrumental, Pt. 3 is Afrika’s stark hip hop attack, Pts. 1 & 2 are funky hip hop with Brown’s rap ahead on 1, Bam’s on 2, and Pt. 6 is acappella. Not quite the third coming, but the Zulu Nation will get down on the good foot!

CHERYL LYNN: ‘Encore’ (Streetwave MKHAN 23)
Hot in hip soul circles ever since initial release on LP last Christmas, this topped the US Black chart back in the spring and has been a permanent fixture in our own Disco chart for the entire year so far — in short, it’s another slow burner like ‘Ain’t Nobody’, yet CBS passed and let someone else put it out here! Why’s it so hot? Well, one of the tracks that defined the “hot tempo”, its only a Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis penned/co-produced 108½bpm wriggle ‘n tap mind-nagger with Cheryl squirming, worming, wailing and yodelling all over the tense rhythm in ultra soulful style, with applause intro and outro — nothing special, Y’know! The 12in mix here is flipped by her original 108bpm LP version and, a useful bonus, older trotting 114-113bpm ‘Got To Be Real’. Vital vinyl.

ALICIA MYERS: ‘You Get The Best From Me (Say, Say, Say) (MCA MCAT 914)
Rush released here, yet evidently recorded four years ago by the girl from One Way’s stable, this dangerously infectious (0-)111bpm loose limbed loping swinger is all set to be a crossover smash (nice smoothly wailed 109bpm ‘I Want To Thank You‘ flip). Watch this go! Continue reading “August 18, 1984: Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown, Cheryl Lynn, Alicia Myers, Rick James, Stephanie Mills”

August 11, 1984: Hugh Masekela, Paul Hardcastle, Jermaine Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Bobby Glover


LONDON’S AIRWAVES are buzzing again with Horizon, Skyline, DBC being rejoined by JFM but on 103.4FM (not to clash with BBC Radio Kent who have claimed 102.8 with a Radio 2 relay, which is also keeping 103.1 clear — and in fact there seems to be increased activity further on up to 105.9, including that Greek Cypriot pirate) . . . JFM’s new no chat/continuous mellow soul format is tagged “Where we gag the DJs to give you more music” — it’s certainly easy listening! . . . US radio stations seem to have construed Carol Lynn Townes’ ‘99½‘ as a plug for rivals broadcasting on 99.5, so she’s evidently re-recorded alternative versions for 99.5, 95.5, 97.5, 98.5! . . . Capital’s Roger Scott is currently catching 10 consecutive shows by Bruce Springsteen all at New Jersey’s Meadowlands stadium, with a side trip the one night Brucie isn’t playing, to see and interview the Jacksons in Knoxville, Tennessee! . . . Stockport/South Manchester’s 24hr KFM 94.2FM have made a properly prepared application for an experimental licence to operate a local radio service, and are still on air (though of course unlicensed) . . . London club attendances especially have been boosted by regular pirate radio advertising, all those punters being likely to rush out and buy Cheryl Lynn’s ‘Encore‘ when clever Morgan Khan releases it here next week on Streetwave — bubbling away since Christmas, it’s the next ‘Ain’t Nobody’ . . . Atlantic must regret not making ‘Love Is In Season‘ the first release from the Detroit Spinners album back in the spring — but if quality “will out”, what the hell happened? . . . Master Mix picked up Chuck Brown, Island got Simplicious, PRT are issuing Cerrone and Klinte Jones . . . Bryan Loren’s LP is on Virgin next week, followed by a remixed 12in ‘Easier Said Than Done’/’Lollipop Luv’/’Do You Really Love Me’ coupling . . . Chad ‘Funky Sister’ Jackson has remixed Hi Tension ‘Hi Tension’ it better be good! — while unfortunately the new Cherrelle US remix is only ‘Fragile . . . Handle With Care‘ . . . Special Request ‘Take It To The Max’ reviewed last week, is already out here (Tommy Boy 12IS 194) . . . ‘Breaker Beat‘, a jittery 111bpm electro instrumental, is the only hard cut from a pretty predictable Ramsey Lewis & Nancy Wilson US Columbia LP . . . Lionel Richie plus a hundred body poppers don’t forget are due to perform ‘All Night Long’ at the Olympics closing ceremony —meanwhile, Colin Hudd & John Rush host fancy dress Olympic fun & games at Dartford Flicks Friday (10) . . . Saturday (11) sees Robbie Vincent at Harlow Whispers, fire-eating video DJ Darryl Hayden at Dorchester Buzz Inn . . . Sunday (12) London’s Heaven under Charing Cross arches becomes ‘Soul City’ for a 3pm-1am alldayer with a cast of at least 17 DJs from around Great Britain, etc etc . . . “Black Monday” (13) Pete Girtley & Steel City Gary Senior start weekly free sophisticated funk at Sheffield Exchange Street precinct’s The Garden wine bar . . . Darren Fogel adds soulful Fridays (free) at Bethnal Green/Mile End The Beehive in Roman Road, and also lurks during Sunday trading hours down Petticoat Lane (playing music?) . . . Martin T insists Saturdays at Hackney’s Pickle House are his alone, Robbie Collins souling Fri, Larry Foster Wed/Sun, Steve Goddard sometimes . . . Mike Hall’s Saturday soul sessions at the new T’s in Erith (Pier Rd) give away one new import LP and one new UK LP weekly in a competition, answers to which are usually found in these pages . . . Mad Marx soul/funk/Latin/jazzes Leigh-On-Sea’s Whispers wine bar/restaurant Sunday evenings . . . Pete Haigh has moved from Sundays to the better Tuesdays mixing urban funk ‘n soul at Caton’s Scarthwaite Hotel near Lancaster (A683 from exit 34 off the M6), and guests Wednesdays at Morecambe Harvey’s Clubranger night — he suggests trying Mtume with Fatback ‘Please Stay’ . . . Steve Jason solved a segue problem by following Arrow with Booker T & The MG’s instantly recognised TV cricket theme ‘Soul Limbo’ on hot-hot-hot sweaty Sundays at Peterborough Cantors . . . Nick Epps (any relation of Preston?!) and partner Trev Pearce are long established on Wednesdays with their Sophisticated Sounds mobile at Fair Oak’s Old George near Southampton, where during hot weather the punters boogie in the street . . . Norman Scott is back at Bang’s on Monday . . . Terry Deal has just started compiling a gay disco chart for the monthly Him, and immediately like me wonders why some record companies spend more time and effort in whingeing on about the positions they reach than in ensuring their releases are really strong to start with! . . . Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ LP review should have read that even soul fans should enjoy the sexily “grinding” 77-79-81-0bpm ‘Darling Nikki‘, which’ll never get airplay! . . . Uncle James the DJ’s buddy? . . . YO!

HIP HOP takes off! Manchester’s break dance crew Broken Glass have finally hit vinyl via ex-DJ Greg Wilson’s pet project ‘Style Of The Street‘, and following TV appearances on such as The Tube are currently breakin’ up suitably roomy clubs and under-18 venues. Book ’em off S. Taylor, 73 Carlton Rd, Whalley Range, Manchester 16.


HUGH MASEKELA: ‘Don’t Go Lose It Baby’ (Jive Afrika JIVE T 64)
This better brand new faster 122bpm Hot African Mix re-emphasises the lurching polyrhythms, bringing in Hugh’s sharply stabbing trumpet and the afro chants with more immediacy, but still seems unlikely to repeat its huge US disco success here (very freaky dub/acappella flip).

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ‘Guilty — The Retrial’ (Total Control Records TOCO 2)
With a freakily distorted spacey vocal intro, this perhaps slightly more skitteringly jolting 116bpm remix is the now mandatory marketing ploy to make people with more money than sense buy it again and help it even higher up the chart (inst flip). Frankie Goes To Barclays.

JERMAINE JACKSON: ‘Dynamite’ (Arista JJK 122)
Jellybean remix notwithstanding, who do Arista think will want this ludicrously fast 190bpm rock-disco leaper? Once again, flip it for Jermaine’s outstanding rhythmically adventurous jittering and jumping 115bpm ‘Come To Me (One Way Or Another)‘, evidently remixed, and a new instrumental of the now Michael-less slower but similar 108½bpm ‘Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin’ (Too Good To Be True)’. Continue reading “August 11, 1984: Hugh Masekela, Paul Hardcastle, Jermaine Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Bobby Glover”