Billboard’s Sixth Disco Forum proved once again to be no more than a good excuse for visiting the Big Apple to have a great time and meet interesting people on the periphery of the main event.
Old hands have by now learnt that the actual forum sessions are not worth attending and indeed people stayed away from them in droves, while even the only potentially interesting session about disco mixing (held in the Hilton Hotel’s “Sybil’s” Night Club) was a failure as the majority of jocks featured were so ill at ease with the Juliana’s-installed equipment that their mixing demonstrations suffered.
However, one comes to expect the forum to have its difficulties. The exhibition part of the event though was as well planned as usual. The noisy speaker, amplifier and total environment exhibitors had two floors of hotel suite to themselves while the main hall featured smaller stands for individual bits of equipment, disco fashion accessories and other items of supposed disco interest.
But with this forum falling less than five months after the last one, the number of visitors was noticeably down and the feeling among exhibitors was that this short gap was to blame. The next forum in February will be in Los Angeles, which should make good sense as the mid-summer New York show will then come as a completely separate event. And with LA only an extra £24 at current standby air fare rates, I for one will be heading there.
Next week there will be full news and scandal about the British delegation (smaller than expected), who did what to whom (hello Kerri), the fun we had, clubs we visited, sounds we heard, food we ate and all the dirt that’s fit to print.
The Commodores’ new ‘Midnight Magic’ album (Motown STMA 8032) is due for rush release this week . . . Real Thing ‘Boogie Down (Get Funky Now)’ turns out to be on that nasty translucent piss-coloured vinyl again . . . Frantique ‘Strut Your Funky Stuff’, Jackie Moore ‘This Time Baby’ (both 12in) and Teddy Pendergrass ‘Turn Off The Lights’ (7in) are due next week, while Candido ‘Dancin’ & Prancin’’ / ‘Jingo’ and Lou Rawls ‘Let Me Be Good To You’ are on 12in early August . . . TCOJ debut on Utopia with ‘(I Found) Love On The Disco Floor’ next week, with a massive club tour lined up to promote it . . . Mark Hambley (Torquay Grange Court holiday camp, Goodrington) complains that though he’s playing to about 900 people six nights a week, all his mailing list applications have been met with “sorry – full up at the moment” replies from record companies: well, with umpteen thousands of jocks all trying to get on, its hardly surprising that the major companies (whose research tells them the best areas and clubs to service) do indeed have their lists full, and have to turf out one probably quite satisfactory jock to add another . . . Graeme Bilton (Croydon/Thames riverboats) suggests jocks into audience participation should find a local carnival supplies shop, as cheap “trumpet” squeakers and football whistles thrown out into the crowd can have a great effect!
AL WILSON: ‘Earthquake’ (RCA FC 9399)
Almost Brass Construction-like unhurried walking bass-pushed 117bpm tripper with soulful vocal, backup chix and powerful rattling-then-strings break, likely to be huge now that it’s out here on green vinyl 12in.
CANDIDO: ‘Dancin’ & Prancin’’ LP (Salsoul SSLP 1517) (BNDA debut 6/30/79)
Big with jazz-funk jocks, the LP’s four tracks all feature up-front rhythm, Latin flavour and varying intensities of instrumentation and/or girlie group vocal, the just about equally popular titles being the 8:02 ‘Dancin’ & Prancin’’ (110bpm), 10:52 ‘Jingo’ (121bpm), 8:55 ‘Thousand Finger Man’ (122bpm) and 8:51 ‘Rock & Shuffle (Ah-Ha)’ (125bpm).
DIANA ROSS: ‘No One Gets The Prize’ (from LP ‘The Boss’, Motown STML 12118) (BNDA debut 6/23/79)
Noticeably Nick & Valerie-penned 116bpm jogger winds up into even more of a ‘Love Hangover’ successor than the title track hit, while other action cuts include the lovely slow 99bpm ‘It’s My House’ tripper and more urgent 98bpm ‘I Ain’t Been Licked’ jolter. Continue reading “July 21, 1979: Al Wilson, Candido, Diana Ross, Switch, Peter Brown”