December 11, 1976: Salsoul Orchestra, Rose Royce, Deodato, Stevie Wonder, Bar-Kays

New Spins

SALSOUL ORCHESTRA: ‘Salsoul 3001’ (from LP ‘Nice N’ Naasty’, Salsoul SZS 5502) (mentioned in Billboard column 8/7/76, Billboard chart debut 9/18/76)
A perfect mix out of ‘Jaws’ and a sure smash when issued soon on single, this powerful instrumental joins the Silver Convention-ish title track and various throbbing drummers or slick hustlers, plus a funny little jingle at the very end.

ROSE ROYCE: ‘Car Wash’ (from LP ‘Car Wash’, MCA MCSP 278) (Billboard chart debut 10/2/76)
The full 5:06 version of this huge catchy clapper, which is due out as a 3:18 single any day now.

DEODATO: ‘Peter Gunn’ (from LP ‘Very Together’, MCA MCF 2774) (Billboard chart debut 10/2/76)
Purposefully pounding good new treatment has the ‘Gotham City Boogie’ sound.

STEVIE WONDER: ‘I Wish’ (Motown TMG 1054) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/16/76, Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
Back to his monotonously funky ‘Superstition’ style for the first single from you-know-what.

BAR-KAYS: ‘Shake Your Rump To The Funk’ (Mercury 6167417) (Billboard chart debut 10/9/76)
Overdue US funky smash in the Ohio Players bag, already much imported.

INNER CIRCLE: ‘Jah Music’ (Capitol CL 15900)
Particularly solid reggae slowie with slinky beat and big potential.

NORMAN CONNORS: ‘You Are My Starship’ (Buddah BDS 449)
Top US soul hit finding friends here, it’s a cooled-out smoocher sung by Michael Henderson.

10CC: ‘The Things We Do For Love’ (Mercury 6008022)
Typical 10cc despite their split, a tempo-changing semi-slowie that works well.

GEORGES MOUSTAKI: ‘La Philosophie Batucada’ (from LP ‘More Moustaki’, Polydor 2439105)
MoR jocks who did well with Tabou Combo’s ‘New York City’ will love this madly gay French-sung South American romper – what a rhythm!

ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW: ‘Shimmie-Doo-Wah-Sae’ (from LP ‘Be Bop ‘N Holla’, A&M AMLH 64602)
Great happy carnival rhythm with gibberish lyrics.

ICE: ‘Time Will Tell’ (Creole 135)
Crisply ticking instrumental in the Strutt style, with flute, brass and chants.

STATUS QUO: ‘Wild Side Of Life’ (Vertigo 6059153)
Typically rocked up treatment at Hank Thompson’s 1950 country hit originally done by the Carter Family as ‘I’m Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes’.

MICHAEL DE ALBUQUERQUE: ‘I Gotta Woman’ (from LP ‘Stalking The Sleeper’, Warner Bros. K 56276)
Sexily grooving sophisticated reading of Ray Charles’s oldie.

BILL CAMPBELL: ‘She’s My Sweetness (Instrumental)’ (EMI 2552)
Simple little Jesse Green type thing.

ARTHUR ADAMS: ‘Reggae Disco’ (Fantasy FTC 137) (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
Nothing to do with real reggae, it’s a perky US dancer with trite “disco” lyrics.

JAN HAMMER: ‘Oh Yeah?’ (from LP ‘Oh Yeah’, Nemperor K 50276)
Happily leaping avant-garde Jazz-Funk in the Miroslav Vitous bag.

QUINCY JONES: ‘Midnight Soul Patrol’ (from LP ‘I Heard That!!’, A&M AMLM 63705)
Mundane but lively synthesizer instrumental doing well for some funky jocks.

BOBBY BYRD: ‘Here For The Party’ (Contempo CS 2096) (mentioned in Billboard column 12/25/76)
Trendy disco rhythm behind the gruff old Famous Flame.

LOU CHRISTIE: ‘You’re Gonna Make Love To Me’ (Midland Int’l MID 6)
Insistent little semi-slow tripper, hypnotically original – hear it all before deciding!

PETER ALLEN: ‘I Go To Rio’ (A&M AMS 7264)
Sophisticated frantic rhythms for jetsetters.

BOBBY DAZZLER: ‘Dance Dance Dance’ (Big Bear BB 1)
Energetic old ‘Tiger Feet’-type raver.

BROTHER KIP: ‘Disco Dan’ (Sol-doon SDR 023)
Simplified bouncy UK treatment of the Faith, Hope & Charity hustler.

YAMASUKIS: ‘A.I.E. (A-Mwana)’ (UK 153)
Out yet again, the supposedly Japanese original of Hot Blood’s reputed Afro-funker.


Imports

BRICK: ‘Dazz’ (US Bang 727) (Billboard chart debut 9/4/76)
Combining Disco and Jazz, this big US hit funky slow rhythm jiggler has both high-pitched vocals and flutes over the solid beat.

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Open Sesame’ (US De-Lite DEP 1586) (Billboard chart debut 12/18/76)
The street funk originators now have to combine Brass Construction and Parliament noises to maintain the pressure.

EMOTIONS: ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love’ (US Columbia 3-10347) (Billboard chart debut 7/17/76)
Cool chanting and a chattering thud rhythm for the soulful chicks.

ETAP: ‘Did You Mean Maybe’ (US Warner Bros. WBS 8266)
Johnny Pate spelt backwards for a medium-pounding instrumental with chix and a freaky synthesizer break.

LEROY HUTSON: ‘Blackberry Jam’ (from LP ‘Hutson II’, US Curtom CU 5011)
Herky-jerky Funkadelic stuff with whistling synthetics and muttering raps.


Mix-Master

Sam Harvey of Ultra-Froid Discos, Harwich, gigs regularly at Dovercourt’s Deva Restaurant and at Colchester’s Regency and Embassy Suites, where he concocted this ultra-cool segue sequence: WILD CHERRY ‘Play That Funky Music’ (Epic) / BROTHERS JOHNSON ‘Get The Funk Out Ma Face’ (A&M) / BAZUKA ‘Love Explosion’ (A&M) / ROSKO ‘Al Capone’ (Trojan) / BONEY M. ‘Baby Do You Wanna Bump’ (Creole) / STEVIE WONDER ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (Motown) / BRENDON ‘Gimme Some’ (UK) / BONEY M. ‘Daddy Cool’ (Atlantic) / J.A.L.N. BAND ‘Life Is A Fight’ (Magnet).


UK Disco Top 20 – December 11, 1976

01 01 Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Chrysalis
02 02 Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music – Epic
03 06 Showaddywaddy – Under The Moon Of Love – Bell
04 04 Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely – Motown
05 03 Tavares – Don’t Take Away The Music – Capitol
06 07 Rod Stewart – Get Back – Riva
07 17 ABBA – Money, Money, Money – Epic
08 05 Chicago – If You Leave Me Now – CBS
09 08 Lalo Schiffrin – Jaws – CTI
10 14 Steve Miller Band – Rock ‘N Me – Mercury
11 12 Barry White – Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long – 20th Century
12 RE Billy Ocean – Stop Me – GTO
13 13 Rose Royce – Car Wash – MCA [Imp]
14 19 KC & The Sunshine Band – Keep It Comin’ Love – Jay Boy
15 RE Barbara Pennington – 24 Hours A Day – UA
16 NE Queen – Somebody To Love – EMI
17 NE Chris Hill – Bionic Santa – Philips
18 09 Boney M. – Daddy Cool – Atlantic
19 NE Bonnie Tyler – Lost In France – RCA
20 15 Rose Royce – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is – MCA
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 12/18/76)
#2 (Billboard chart debut 9/4/76)
#4 (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
#5 (mentioned in Billboard column 6/5/76, Billboard chart debut 6/19/76)
#9 (mentioned in Billboard column 6/12/76, Billboard chart debut 7/17/76)
#11 (Billboard chart debut 11/13/76)
#13 (Billboard chart debut 10/2/76)
#14 (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
#15 (Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
#18 (mentioned in Billboard column 9/25/76, Billboard chart debut 11/20/76)
#20 (Billboard chart debut 12/25/76)


Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

ULTRAFUNK: ‘Gotham City Boogie’ (Contempo) (Billboard chart debut 1/22/77)
JIMMY BO HORNE: ‘Gimme Some’ (RCA) (Billboard chart debut 7/12/75)
J.A.L.N. BAND: ‘Life Is A Fight’ (Magnet)
JESSE GREEN: ‘Flip’ (EMI) (Billboard chart debut 2/5/77)
AFRIC SIMONE: ‘Ramaya’ (Galaxy)
HANK SWATLEY: ‘Okie Boogie’ (RM)
PRATT & MCCLAIN: ‘Happy Days’ (Reprise)
HANK MIZELL: ‘Rakin’ & Scrapin” (Charly)
DONNA SUMMER: ‘Four Seasons Of Love’ LP (GTO) (Billboard chart debut 10/9/76)
JIMMY JAMES: ‘Do The Funky Conga’ (Pye)
BARRABAS: ‘Checkmate’ (Atlantic) (Billboard chart debut 8/2/75)
HANK THOMPSON & HIS BRAZOS VALLEY BOYS: ‘Rockin’ In The Congo’ (Capitol)
WEBSTER LEWIS: ‘Theme’ (Epic)
MANHATTAN TRANSFER: ‘Chanson D’Amour’ (Atlantic LP cut)

December 4, 1976: D.C. Larue, Miroslav Vitous, Bumblebee Unlimited, Walter Murphy Band, Earth Wind & Fire

New Spins

D.C. LARUE: ‘Ca-The-Drals’ LP (Pye NSPL 28225) (Billboard chart debut 5/8/76)
The full long version, with better volume response than the single.

MIROSLAV VITOUS: ‘New York City’ (from LP ‘Magical Shepherd’, Warner Bros. B 56219) (Billboard chart debut 5/15/76)
Available since the summer, this great freaky funker causes problems for some but sounds terrific mixed in between ‘Movin” and ‘Disco Connection’ – try it and see!

BUMBLEBEE UNLIMITED: ‘Love Bug’ (Sky 1004) (Billboard chart debut 9/18/76)
Hot US disco hit from Canada, not quite another ‘Disco Duck’ but close.  Continue reading “December 4, 1976: D.C. Larue, Miroslav Vitous, Bumblebee Unlimited, Walter Murphy Band, Earth Wind & Fire”

November 27, 1976: Brass Construction vs. Mass Production

The battle is on and confusion reigns as Brass Construction’s new ‘Brass Construction II’ album (UA UAS 30016) is rivalled in DJs’ affections by the similar sounding (and looking!) hot new import album by hitherto unknown Mass Production, ‘Welcome To Our World’ (US Cotillion SD 9910).

Already many funky jocks have come out in favour of the latter, saying that it’s more the way that they thought the new Brass Construction set would sound. As BC are out here now and MP won’t be available until January, the situation will have to simmer for a while.

But what do the albums offer? Unlike their rivals, BC this time have nothing over six minutes long, and of the eight tracks only two are dancers that maintain their intensity: ‘Ha Cha Cha’ – the ‘Movin’’ of the set – and ‘Sambo’ (the ‘Changin’’?). MP also do eight tunes, with more vocal emphasis and several slowies but come up with three strong dancers all on Side 1: ‘Welcome To Our World (Of Merry Music)’ – their ‘Movin’’! – and ‘Wine Flow Disco’, which segues beautifully on the record into ‘I Like To Dance’.

We’ll have to wait and see who are the ultimate winners, while meanwhile it’s safe to say that both are equally good and funky!

Continue reading “November 27, 1976: Brass Construction vs. Mass Production”

November 20, 1976: “The boss of the funky club jocks is still Chris Hill.”

Search though we may for original DJs, the fact remains that you can’t beat the boss – and the boss of the funky club jocks is still Chris Hill. Star of ‘Renta Santa’ and now ‘Bionic Santa’, Chris is resident most nights at Ilford’s Lacy Lady, out to the east of London, where he has a loyal crowd of freakily dressed dancers who lap up the clever way he changes the sound of every record with echoing flutes and spontaneous raps. (Sorry, there’s no swing revival this time around!)

Unfortunately, it’s the way that Chris’s crowds dress that attracts the attention of the media usually, so here is some warning of what the papers will be showing once ‘Bionic Santa’ is the hit it’s bound to be.

Everyone at the Lady is heavily into the Punk look, and many are festooned with chains, safety-pins, rubber dummies, scissors, and all sorts of things hanging from their earlobes. PVC ‘Flash Gordon’ tops tend to be paired with pegged “Ali Baba” pants, or with trousers turned into a plus-four effect by woollen knitted leg-warmers.

If they don’t get their PVC tops from Image in Chatham, many of them make T-shirts out of polythene dustbin liners – others wear pyjamas, while quite a few “Tiger Skin” tops with scooped necks are about. Winkle-pickers, wing-tips or fancy sandals complete the effect, which is topped for blokes by neatly parted and brushed back shortish hair.

I know, that sounds just like your mate round the corner – but that’s the point, isn’t it? But I’ll bet there’s thousands who have yet to even dream of looking like that!


New Spins

WILLIE MITCHELL: ‘The Champion, Pts. 1 & 2’ (London HLU 10545)
Forget it – this much-sought old instrumental whomper stomper is a stone smash!  Try sitting still to this!

BARRABAS: ‘Checkmate’ (Atlantic K 10716) (Billboard chart debut 8/2/75)
Sprightly classic funker reactivated after a near miss earlier this year.  Do try it.

ULTRAFUNK: ‘Gotham City Boogie’ (Contempo CS 2100 / 12 incher CX 14) (Billboard chart debut 1/22/77)
Driving long 5:31 retread of the old Batman theme, full of fast funky rhythm like ‘Jaws’.  Continue reading “November 20, 1976: “The boss of the funky club jocks is still Chris Hill.””

November 13, 1976: Four Seasons, Queen, Brendon, KC & The Sunshine Band, Tommy Hunt

New Spins

FOUR SEASONS: ‘We Can Work It Out’ (Warner Bros. K 16845)
Beatles go symphonic with Frankie and the guys punching through the tempo changes.

QUEEN: ‘Somebody To Love’ (EMI 2565)
Danceable pent-up but off-key slowie, already stale over-exposure on radio.

BRENDON: ‘Gimme Some’ (UK 158)
Simplified slightly faster version of Jimmy Bo Horne’s huge funky thumper (RCA 2585), pretty powerful.  Continue reading “November 13, 1976: Four Seasons, Queen, Brendon, KC & The Sunshine Band, Tommy Hunt”

November 6, 1976: Donna Summer, Barry White, KC & The Sunshine Band, Clover, R. O’Casey

New Spins

DONNA SUMMER: ‘Four Seasons Of Love’ LP (GTO GTLP 018) (Billboard chart debut 10/9/76)
‘Spring Affair’ is the best of the funky jumpers in her ‘Try Me’ groove, others being ‘Summer Fever‘, ‘Autumn Changes‘ and ‘Spring Reprise‘ (‘Winter Melody’ is slow). The tracks mix with over-long doodling breaks this time, spoiling the continuous flow.

BARRY WHITE: ‘Is This Whatcha Want’ LP (20th Century BTH 516) (Billboard chart debut 11/13/76)
As well as the new single. ‘Now I’m Gonna Make Love To You’ and ‘I’m Qualified To Satisfy You‘ move along with future hit potential, while the sexy slow ‘I Wanna Lay Down With You Baby‘ gets pretty risky!

KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND: ‘KC & The Sunshine Band’ LP (Jay Boy JSL 12) (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
All the tracks are similar variations of a familiar funky formula, set by ‘Shake Your Booty’. Possible standouts include ‘Keep It Comin’ Love‘, ‘I Like To Do It‘ and ‘I’m Your Boogie Man‘ — but jocks will have their own ideas.  Continue reading “November 6, 1976: Donna Summer, Barry White, KC & The Sunshine Band, Clover, R. O’Casey”

October 30, 1976: Carol Douglas, Giorgio, Rose Royce, B.T. Express, Barry White

New Spins

CAROL DOUGLAS: ‘Midnight Love Affair’ LP (Midland Int’l BKL 1-1798) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/31/76, Billboard chart debut 8/28/76)
Lovely Carol does a Donna Summer, making her current disco hit into one long unending album side by mixing in other similar songs.

GIORGIO: ‘Knights In White Satin’ LP (GTO GTLP 017) (Billboard chart debut 7/31/76)
And Donna’s own producer does likewise, stretching the Moodies’ song over one side and repeating the “coz I luv you” line.  Edited to a single (GTO GT 73), the sexy fast ‘I Wanna Funk With You Tonight‘ flip is good too.

ROSE ROYCE: ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ (MCA 259) (Billboard chart debut 12/25/76)
Funky stuff from the ‘Car Wash’ crew.  Continue reading “October 30, 1976: Carol Douglas, Giorgio, Rose Royce, B.T. Express, Barry White”