May 10, 1980: Jermaine Jackson, Sho Nuff, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Stacy Lattisaw, Cameo

Odds ‘N Bods

Sunday (11) Midland dealers Disco Electronics, N H Field’s Discoscene & Roadshows Disco Centre present the major Disco Light & Sound ‘80 exhibition from noon-7pm at Solihull’s St John’s Hotel in Warwick Road, with over twenty leading manufacturers on show, a Lasertronics demonstration and more, admission 75p (full info on 021-707 1925) . . . Greg Davies’ Disco Forum ‘80 at Stevenage Bo Jangles during the afternoon of Sunday June 1st looks like making proper sense this time, with virtually all record companies there and a panel that still looks promotion-biased. £2 tickets from Greg at 11 Hampton Close, Wilstead, Beds MK45 3DA (0234-741462) . . . Whispers ‘Lady’ is now due on 12in (Solar SO 12-4) . . . Chris Hill & Froggy have raved-over promos of Sonny Rollins keyboardist Mark Soskin’s upcoming ‘Rhythm Vision’ LP (US Prestige) . . . PRAT have signed WMOT and issue Philly Cream’s newie soon, plus on Calibre next week they put out Freeez with a remixed B-side . . . Delegation’s album strangely seems to be selling now it’s on Mercury import more than when out here last year! . . . Donald Byrd’s “dead” ‘Dominoes’ 12in is due at last next week, while the hotter ‘Live At The Roxy’ version from the old Hollywood-recorded ‘Blue Note All Stars’ LP was in fact the only track recorded in New York’s Central Park instead! . . . Groove’s Chris Palmer turns multi-tracked one man band with a great instrumental jazz-funk leaper to be released on his shop’s own label as ‘The Scratch’ by Surface Noise . . . Groove is also doing roaring business with hard-to-get classic jazz cut-out albums, much to Chris Hill’s annoyance as now everyone can play his old rarities! . . . Hill has retaliated against everyone nicking his “freeze” dance with a new step, the “anti-freeze” – stay while ‘The Groove’ is playing and go potty ¡n the pauses! . . . Johnny Wright, of Holborn’s City Sounds record shop, hosted a black-tie spaghetti dinner for all the funk mafia last week – police were seen taking numberplate details of Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Chris Brown, Sean French, Froggy, Tom Holland, Jeff Young, Bob Jones, Pete Tong, Mick Clark, Paul Clark, Graham Canter, James Hamilton, Adrian Webb and Fred Dove! – after which it was down to Gullivers for Froggy to do his Moulinex mix . . . The Grape Escape in Red Lion Street was the meeting place, where barman Tony makes the best pina colada ever, matters discussed ranging from Steve Walsh’s size in gumboots to the adoption of the term SLOP to signify gay Shirt Lifter Orientated Product . . . Disco Dave Singleton (061-775 1299) wonders if there’s a busier DJ in the land: he’s currently doing twenty-one gigs a week (afternoons at Manchester Winchester Wild West Club, evenings at Manchester Rainbow and Knutsford Daddy Monkeys), and would like to hear from a fire-eating DJ! . . . Ashley Woods (Sleaford) bought a royal African python named Clyde, who really digs Grover Washington ‘Snake Eyes’ and Brothers Johnson ‘You Make Me Wanna Wiggle’! . . . Paul Anthony now funks Birmingham Libertys with its blue neon-lit infinity mirror tunnel entrance on Thurs/Saturdays, and early week is at Solihull Scandals . . . Noel Wright funks Ware Beckets Wed/Fridays now, with Les Knott on Thursdays . . . Nick Langham (Dalston Maksims) doesn’t feature our disco chart any more as his punters think it’s dated, whereas Radio Luxembourg’s Tony Prince doesn’t think it’s dated enough because he hasn’t heard some of the Top 30 hits yet . . . Steve Dennis “The Menace” features his club’s Funky 15 every Wednesday at Birmingham Faces . . . Mark Clark’s Hot Gossip Roadshow accompanies, tummy in, Gary Glitter at Hastings Pier Ballroom on Saturday (10), the kids in Hastings being really funky sez Mark – at that gig? . . . Liz Bailey (Leicester) wonders what CBS’s Loraine Trent has against gay discos . . . Radio Caroline being off the air, will the under belly of East Anglia now gradually lose its interest in heavy rock? . . . will pigs fly? . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!

UK Newies

JERMAINE JACKSON: ‘Burnin’ Hot’ (from LP ‘Let’s Get Serious’, Motown STML 12127) (BNDA debut 4/5/80)
With the Stevie Wonder-ful jittery burbling title track now on smash-bound 111bpm 12in (12TMG 1183), this equally powerful Narada Michael Walden-ish 119bpm smacker is the consistently good album’s other outright winner and can be expected to chart in a big way on its own.

SHO NUFF: ‘It’s Alright’ (Ensign ENY 3712)
Maddeningly happy ultra catchy simple little jiggly 122bpm 12in chanted bubbly smacker, re-edited to Chris Hill’s requirements from a less infectious original.

ROBERTA FLACK WITH DONNY HATHAWAY: ‘Back Together Again’ (Atlantic K 114811) (BNDA debut 4/5/80)
The slinkier LP version’s over-long instrumental intro has been cut right down, the rhythm mixed more obtrusively and the central section altered to make a languidly swaying 109(intro)-111bpm 12in backbeat bumper that has the potential to be probably this year’s ‘Bring The Family Back’ rather than blockbuster ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ (both of which it resembles).  Continue reading “May 10, 1980: Jermaine Jackson, Sho Nuff, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Stacy Lattisaw, Cameo”

May 3, 1980: Caister report

Oldies rule indeed! This last weekend at Caister saw lots more just like before – in fact the sense of deja-vu was all too apparent as the DJs forced on into routines that had worked the week before – while the crowd appeared to be made up of rather older original funkateers and tribes. They certainly seemed taller! Enfield’s band of Robin Hood & the Merry Funkers were the best fancy-dressers, and in place of the Mohican placard flasher this week there was the mad bugler, who more or less hit the right notes when blasting forth with the Last Post or Boots and Saddles.

Sunday was sunny, and wafting through the caravans was the sound of skylarks, laughter and jazz cassettes, with a steady bass thump from the Mermaids Hall ever present. Apart from a few swiftly stopped incidents, the main hooliganism came from Showstopper’s boss, Adrian Webb, setting a bad example by squirting a fire extinguisher around the backstage dressing room.

WEA’s Fred Dove seemed strangely upset that Robbie Vincent plugged Boney M’s ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’, Chris Hill revived his Chuck Berry-inspired “I looked at my watch” accompaniment to John Handy’s ‘Hard Work’ (expect to hear this some more), and Froggy did well – Robbie made him miss the final ‘Shout’ cue and then he forgot to take his roadies home!

‘Shout’ and its associated chanting, so easily used to create audience response, did in fact become almost too much of a good thing, prompting one punter to snarl “aw shut up and put the music on!”

This clash of interests should be alleviated at the next Caister in October (when incidentally the Country weekender is at the old Ladbrokes camp), as the neighbouring room which this time housed the video screens will then be turned into a separate jazz venue for hard core music fans. And the Caister after that, because this one ran so smoothly, will be back at the old camp with its variety of venues.

Now that the Mafia’s main eating place is established as the Anglia Lodge (just off the top end of Yarmouth’s front in Regent Road – ask for Charlie), serving lobster and massive T-bones till the middle of the night, I reckon I’ll keep coming back for as long as there’s a Caister! But why, when I managed both weekenders this time, was there nobody from the specialist black press at even one?

Odds ‘N Bods

James Last ‘Seduction’ is now on same-length £1.35 12in (Polydor PDX 2071) . . . Roberta Flack ‘Back Together Again’, more the Caister theme than an anthem, is on 12in next week (Atlantic K 11481T) with a shorter intro and remixed middle . . . Skyy have been renamed New York Skyy just for the UK to avoid confusion with Sky, and ‘First Time Around’ is now their official A-side . . . PRAT have flipped Tony Rallo ‘Burnin’ Alive’ for a ready-made follow-up . . . Paul McCartney’s 131bpm ‘Coming Up’ should be called DOP – Dance Orientated Pop! – while Boney M’s ‘My Friend Jack’ is in reality a drug song about LSD, first done in ’67 by Smoke . . . El Coco’s 117bpm ‘Let’s Get It Together’ remix has great added smack ‘n sax, Renzo Fraiese’s remixed ’12 Engle Street’ running at 123-125-lull-128-123-128(outro)bpm, should you have had a PRAT promo . . . Chris Hill’s hotly hyped 122bpm Sho Nuff ‘It’s Alright’ will be out next week . . . Wednesday (7) sees me addressing an evening seminar of Steve Allen’s Peterborough-based DJ team, but what about I’m not sure (yet)! . . . Kenny Baxter’s Turntable are now resident jazz-funk group, with other live guests and Bob Jones spinning jazz on disc, every Thursday at Chelmsford’s Saracen’s Head . . . John Mayoh (Bolton Rockerfellas) infos that various experienced local jocks run a training course for would-be DJs at 7:30pm every Monday in Bolton’s Cotton Tree Hotel, Prince Street . . . Jason West’s winning ‘Smelly Feet’ DJ rap is being put on limited white label by Phonogram . . . Michael Brown (the truth is out!) asks “who is Mario Viola and where is his baby photo?” . . . Chris Bangs (South Harrow Bogarts on Sundays) speed-spins Lonnie Liston Smith ‘Bridge Through Time’ at about 40rpm . . . Brian Brindle (Chelsea Alibi) says he’s never been asked for Liquid Gold – is this a record? . . . Chris Jones (Cardiff) wonders since when were the Dooleys either rock or new wave but agrees they’re not disco – they’re certainly dorks though, right?! . . . Kev Rousell (Margate Sounds Sensational mobile) is both a soul and heavy metal freak, and accurately observes that heavy gigs are a lot easier to make seem exciting . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) needs a new Johnny Guitar Watson ‘A Real Mother For Ya’ 12in, his being destroyed in a pre-Caister warm-up water fight (that’ll teach him!) . . . Caister showed for sure that silk shorts and dimpled white thighs don’t go well together . . . Jo Field’s sister WAS there this weekend! . . . Colin Curtis & John Grant are flying down to the Knebworth Soul Day by helicopter, but the Southern mafia have yet to ensure it’s one of Jimmy Carter’s! . . . Franklin Sinclair (Stretford) wonders why Radio Luxembourg substitutes records on the Disco Computer chart show featuring our Top 30 – purely because they haven’t always got some and can’t get them out to the station in time . . . I wonder if Martin Platts (Blackburn) has ever really listened to Elvis Presley ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, amazingly soulful for a white singer in ’56, it subsequently turned me towards deep black soul like the Falcons ‘I Found A Love’ . . . Geno Washington, while a good performer, was always the Wally mods’ fave and meant little to hipper soul fans, who preferred original rather than cover versions . . . Doctor John (Stratford Disco-Tech) appears to be jocking at Zurich’s Way Out in Switzerland, where Earth & Fire ‘Weekend’ is number one (that’s Earth & Fire, no Wind) . . . Paul Stewart (Belfast) sends a nicely funky chart from Northern Ireland – but where d’ya work, Paul? . . . “JC” Ellis (Newark) wants Record Mirror to feature colour posters of funksters like Narada Michael Walden, Shalamar, Whispers, Brothers Johnson, Phyllis Hyman, etc – so how about it Alf, there’s people out there buying records by them! . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!

No UK Newies or Imports this week.

UK Disco Top 90 – May 3, 1980

01 01 Brothers Johnson – Stomp! – A&M 12″
02 03 Bobby Thurston – Check Out The Groove – Epic 12″
03 04 Rodney Franklin – The Groove – CBS 12″
04 02 Leon Haywood – Don’t Push It Don’t Force It – 20th Century 12″
05 09 Mystic Merlin – Just Can’t Give You Up – Capitol 12″
06 07 Detroit Spinners – Working My Way Back To You – Atlantic 12″
07 05 Narada Michael Walden – Tonight I’m Alright – Atlantic 12″
08 14 Jermaine Jackson – Let’s Get Serious / Burnin’ Hot – Motown 7″/LP
09 12 Narada Michael Walden – I Shoulda Loved Ya – Atlantic 12″
10 06 Whispers – And The Beat Goes On – Solar 12″
11 10 Liquid Gold – Dance Yourself Dizzy – Polo 12″
12 08 Tony Rallo & The Midnite Band – Holdin’ On / Burnin’ Alive – Calibre 12″
13 13 Mass Production – Shante – Atlantic 12″
14 18 Crown Heights Affair – Use Your Body & Soul / You Gave Me Love – De-Lite 12″
15 11 Gibson Brothers – Cuba / Better Do It Salsa – Island 12″
16 21 Raydio – For Those Who Like To Groove / Two Places At The Same Time – Arista 7″
17 27 Teena Marie – Behind The Groove – Motown LP
18 30 Shalamar – Right In The Socket (remix) / The Second Time Around – Solar 12″
19 28 Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – Back Together Again – US Atlantic 12″ promo/LP
20 51 Brenda Russell – In The Thick Of It / So Good So Right – A&M 12″
21 20 Sharon Paige – Tonight’s The Night – Source 12″
22 22 Dayton – Eyes On You / Livin’ For Today / Dank – US UA LP
23 15 Michael Jackson – Rock With You / Get On The Floor – Epic 12″
24 23 Chuck Cissel – Cisselin’ Hot – Arista 12″
25 26 Bobby Thurston – You Got What It Takes – Epic LP
26 17 Trussel – Love Injection – Elektra 12″
27 24 Ben E. King – Music Trance – Atlantic 7″/US 12″ promo
28 45 Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Running Away / Can’t You See Me – Polydor 12″
29 68 Diana Ross & The Supremes – Supremes Medley / Love Hangover – Motown 12″
30 44 Blondie – Call Me – Chrysalis 7″/Polydor LP/US Chrysalis 12″
31 19 Phyllis Hyman – You Know How To Love Me – Arista 12″
32 16 Fern Kinney – Together We Are Beautiful – WEA 12″
33 53 Gary Bartz – Music / Rockin’ All Night / After The Love Has Gone / Need Your Love / After Glow – US Arista LP
34 35 Lonnie Liston Smith – Love Is The Answer (all cuts) – US Columbia LP
35 40 Community People – Education Wrap – US Delmar Int’l 12″
36 31 Ronnie Laws – Young Child – UA 12″
37 65 Jerry Knight – Overnight Sensation – A&M 7″/US 12″
38 43 Chico Hamilton – Strut / Magic Fingers / Alekasam / Mysterious Maiden – US Elektra LP
39 55 Isley Brothers – Go All The Way / Pass It On / Don’t Say Goodnight / Say You Will – Epic LP
40 42 Brothers Johnson – Light Up The Night / This Had To Be / Celebrations / Smilin’ On Ya / You Make Me Wanna Wiggle – A&M LP
41 54 Herbie Hancock – Go For It / Making Love / Tell Everybody – CBS 12″
42 49 Herbie Hancock – Saturday Night / Stars In Your Eyes – CBS LP
43 41 Bunny Mack – Love You Forever – Rokel/RCA 12″
44 87 Chicago – Street Player – CBS 12″
45 46 Dr. Hook – Sexy Eyes / When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman – Capitol 12″
46 33 Ronnie Laws – O.T.B.A. Law (Outta Be A Law) / Every Generation / As One – UA LP
47 29 Atmosfear – Motivation / Extract – MCA 12″
48 25 Slave – Just A Touch Of Love – Atlantic 12″
49 76 Stephanie Mills – D-A-N-C-I-N’ / Try My Love / Mixture Of Love – US 20th Century LP
50 57 V/A – Calibre Cuts – Calibre 12″
51 38 Light Of The World – The Boys In Blue / This Is This – Ensign 12″
52 89 James Last Band – The Seduction (Love Theme) – Polydor 12″
53 58 Prince – Sexy Dancer – Warner Bros. 12″
54 50 Players Association – The Get Down Mellow Sound – Vanguard 12″
55 56 Con Funk Shun – Got To Be Enough / Happy Face – US Mercury 7″/12″/LP
56 72 Skyy – First Time Around (remix) / High – Salsoul 12″
57 48 Wilbert Longmire – Hawkeye – Tappan Zee LP
58 32 GQ – Standing Ovation – Arista 12″
59 80 Ndugu & The Chocolate Jam Co. – Give Your Love / Shadow Dancing – US Epic 12″ promo/LP
60 NE Raydio – It’s Time To Party Now / Until The Morning Comes / Tonight’s The Night / Everybody Makes Mistakes – Arista LP
61 59 Heath Brothers – For The Public – US Columbia 7″/LP
62 34 Blondie – Atomic – Chrysalis 12″
63 61 Donald Byrd – Dominoes (live at the Roxy) – US Blue Note LP
64 66 Randy Brown – The Next Best Thing To Being There / We Ought To Be Doin’ It / Love Formula 69 / You’re So Good – Casablanca 12″/US LP
65 88 Earl Klugh – Amazon / If It’s In Your Heart / Spellbound / Doc – US UA LP
66 52 Kleeer – Winners / Your Way / Open Your Mind / Rollin’ On – US Atlantic 12″ promo/LP
67 67 Billy Ocean – Stay The Night – GTO 12″
68 73 Kleeer – Close To You – Atlantic 12″
69 78 Stone City Band – Little Runaway / Strut Your Stuff – US Gordy LP
70 NE Change – A Lover’s Holiday / Searching / The Glow Of Love / It’s A Girl’s Affair – US RFC LP
71 NE Stephanie Mills – Sweet Sensation – US 20th Century 12″
72 62 Herbie Hancock – I Thought It Was You (Direct-Cut) – Japanese CBS/Sony LP
73 NE Dynasty – Satisfied / It’s Still A Thrill – Solar 12″
74 RE B.T. Express – Give Up The Funk / Taking Off – US Columbia LP
75 79 Al Johnson & Jean Carn – I’m Back For More / School Of The Groove / You Are My Personal Angel – US Columbia 7″/LP
76 64 Leo’s Sunshipp – Give Me The Sunshine / I’m Back For More – US Lyon’s LP
77 NE Sho Nuff – It’s Alright – Ensign 12″ promo
78 60 Gap Band – I Don’t Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance – Mercury 12″
79 74 Toots & The Maytals – Chatty Chatty / Turn It Up – Island 12″
80 63 Mandrill – Dance Of Love / Feeling Good / When You Shake – US Arista LP
81 71 Givens Family – The Year Of The Child – US Venture 12″
82 RE Avenue B Boogie Band – Bumper To Bumper – US Salsoul 12″
83 RE Whispers – Lady – Solar 7″/LP
84 NE Odyssey – Use It Up And Wear It Out / Don’t Tell Me, Tell Her / If You’re Lookin’ For A Way Out – US RCA 12″/LP
85 NE Manu Dibango – Goro City / Tek Time – Island 12″
86 81 Osibisa – Pata Pata – Pye 12″/Calibre 12″ remix
87 NE Viola Wills – If You Could Read My Mind – Ariola Hansa 12″
88 NE Voyage – I Love You Dancer / Do It Again – US Marlin LP
89 RE Niteflyte – If You Want It – Ariola 12″
90 84 El Coco – Let’s Get It Together (remix) – US AVI 12″ promo
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (BNDA debut 2/23/80) / #2 (BNDA debut 3/1/80) / #3 (BNDA debut 5/17/80)
#4 (BNDA debut 2/23/80) / #6 (BNDA debut 10/20/79) / #7 (BNDA debut 12/22/79)
#8 (BNDA debut 4/5/80) / #9 (BNDA debut 12/22/79) / #10 (BNDA debut 1/12/80)
#11 (BNDA debut 11/17/79) / #12 (BNDA debut 1/5/80) / #14 (BNDA debut 3/22/80)
#15 (BNDA debut 4/7/79 & 9/8/79) / #16 (BNDA debut 5/17/80) / #17 (BNDA debut 3/29/80)
#18 (BNDA debut 10/20/79) / #19 (BNDA debut 4/5/80) / #21 (BNDA debut 2/16/80)
#23 (BNDA debut 8/18/79) / #24 (BNDA debut 1/12/80) / #25 (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
#26 (BNDA debut 12/8/79) / #27 (BNDA debut 3/1/80) / #28 (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
#30 (BNDA debut 3/8/80) / #31 (BNDA debut 11/10/79) / #37 (BNDA debut 4/19/80)
#39 (BNDA debut 4/26/80) / #41 (BNDA debut 7/14/79 & 4/19/80) / #42 (BNDA debut 4/19/80)
#48 (BNDA debut 1/12/80) / #53 (BNDA debut 11/10/79) / #54 (BNDA debut 3/22/80)
#56 (BNDA debut 3/8/80) / #58 (BNDA debut 3/1/80) / #60 (BNDA debut 12/6/80)
#66 (BNDA debut 4/5/80) / #67 (BNDA debut 4/11/81) / #70 (BNDA debut 3/29/80)
#71 (BNDA debut 4/12/80) / #73 (BNDA debut 1/19/80) / #74 (BNDA debut 4/19/80)
#78 (BNDA debut 3/8/80) / #80 (BNDA debut 4/19/80) / #84 (BNDA debut 4/5/80)
#87 (BNDA debut 8/30/80) / #88 (BNDA debut 5/17/80)

Bubbling under the UK Disco Top 90:

HIROSHIMA: ‘Lion Dance’ (Arista 12”)
KWICK: ‘I Want To Dance With You’ / ‘We Ought To Be Dancing’ / ‘Tonight Is The Night’ (US EMI America LP) (BNDA debut 6/14/80)
EDDY ROSEMOND: ‘Funk It’ (US Laser 12”)
DEXTER WANSEL: ‘Life On Mars’ (US Philadelphia Int’l LP)
DEODATO: ‘Whistle Bump’ (remix) (US Warner Bros. 12”) (BNDA debut 5/27/78)
FREEEZ: ‘Keep In Touch’ (Pink Rhythm 12”)
GREY & HANKS: ‘Now I’m Fine’ (RCA 12”) (BNDA debut 3/8/80)
TRAMMPS: ‘Hard Rock And Disco’ (Atlantic 12”) (BNDA debut 4/19/80)
JIMMY RUFFIN: ‘Hold On To My Love’ (RSO 7”)
AVERAGE WHITE BAND: ‘Let’s Go Round Again’ (RCA 12”) (BNDA debut 7/12/80)
DOROTHY MOORE: ‘Talk To Me / Every Beat Of My Heart’ (Epic 7”)
PARLIAMENT: ‘Theme From The Black Hole’ / LOOSE CHANGE: ‘I Wanna Hold On To You’ (Casablanca 12” EP) (BNDA debut 2/23/80)
AURRA: ‘In The Mood (To Groove)’ / ‘When I Come Home’ (US Dream LP) (BNDA debut 5/17/80)
CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR: ‘You’ve Been Gone’ / ‘I See The Light’ / ‘Sure Shot’ (De-Lite LP)
JUDY ROBERTS BAND: ‘Never Was Love’ (US Inner City LP)
RENZO FRAIESE: ‘12 Engle Street’ (Pye 12” promo)
RANDY CRAWFORD: ‘Last Night In Danceland’ (US Warner Bros. LP promo)
COLLINS & COLLINS: ‘You Know How To Make Me Feel So Good’ / ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ (US A&M LP)
RAY GOODMAN & BROWN: ‘Special Lady’ (Mercury 7”)
LOVE COMMITTEE: ‘I Wanna Make Love To You’ / ‘Boogie Papers’ (US T-Electric LP)
LIPPS, INC.: ‘Funkytown’ (US Casablanca 12”) (BNDA debut 1/26/80)
BREAKWATER: ‘Say You Love Me Girl’ (US Arista LP)
DENISE LASALLE: ‘I’m So Hot’ (US MCA 7”) (BNDA debut 5/31/80)


1 (2) UB40, 2 (1) Lambrettas, 3 (3) Bodysnatchers, 4 (4) Madness, 5 (10) Dexy’s Midnight Runners, 6 (6) Muffins, 7 (9) Bad Manners, 8 (5) The Beat, 9 (18) Nolans, 10 (12) Genesis, 11 (7) Vapors, 12 (-) Paul McCartney, 13 (15) Pretenders, 14 (11) Dooleys, 15 (-) Rupert Holmes, 16 (-) B.A. Robertson, 17 (16) Harry J., 18 (-) Jam ‘Going Underground’, 19 (14) Selector, 20 (13) M

April 26, 1980: “Sunny Caister”, Mass Production, Kleeer, Wilbert Longmire, Voyage, Aurra

Sunny Caister

Swimsuits are a must if you’re going to Caister 2 this weekend – so are brollies! – not because of the weather, though but because you’ll get soaked by condensation raining down from the ceiling of the hall where all the funky action is! The Showstopper Promotions-run soul weekender has moved locations from the larger Ladbrokes camp to their Seashore caravans only camp which, nearer Yarmouth, is totally exposed right on the beach. Since Springtime seems later in reaching East Norfolk than other areas this year, the caravans last weekend were buffeted by howling gales and storms of hail in place of gentle April showers.

However, this was the only sour note in an event that ended by creating the best (and most trouble-free) atmosphere of any Caister yet. With only one music venue featuring the ‘Family’ team of Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Sean French, Chris Brown, Tom Holland, Jeff Young and Froggy (immortalised by the phantom Mohican placard flasher as “Froggy mixes better than a Kenwood Chef”) all in rotation, there is no variety in the music to choose between as there was at the old camp’s three main venues. But by being further from civilisation, there is no noise restriction and the grand finales can finish later.

What finales they are too! Roberta Flack ‘Back Together Again’ blending into Billy Paul ‘Bring The Family Back’ into McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ is the starting point, followed by an assortment from El Coco ‘Let’s Get It Together’, O’Jays ‘I Love Music’, Isleys ‘Shout’, Bobby Thurston ‘You Got What It Takes’, Sho Nuff ‘It’s Alright’, interspersed by Gerry & The Pacemakers ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, Lonnie Donegan ‘The Party’s Over’, Vera Lynn ‘There’ll Always Be A Caister’ (that Hill remains a mobile jock at heart!), and great call-and-answer responses of the usual “wah-ooh wah-hah” shout, “oh yes we are” – “oh no you’re not” pantomime routine, and some incredibly good “just the girls”/”just the fellahs” acappella singing.

Last Saturday a video camera was relaying the action into a neighbouring room where two colour screens and an extension of Froggy’s massive roadshow made it a cooler environment to hear what was happening, although by the finale that room was packed too and the crowd were joining in the chanting. Come the Sunday finish this room was empty of people but full of condensation-caused fog!

The condensation also fogged up the mirrors in the main room which were meant to send laser beams all around the place in a “dry” (ha ha) run for the much bigger and more spectacular laser display that will be at Sho-Pro’s big-top Knebworth Soul Day on May 26th Bank Holiday Monday (starring Lonnie Liston Smith, GQ, Eddy Grant, Light Of The World, the ‘Family’ jocks plus Colin Curtis & John Grant, circus acts and more). This event it is hoped will attract a truly national audience.

As it was, Caister 1 had crowds from Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham and Bristol as well as London and the South, the reaction of Liverpool McMillans DJ Gary Allan, at his first Caister, being “we like to think that the all-dayers in the North are as good as this, but they aren’t!” Gary’s coming back this weekend, as are 300 more including myself to join the 2,000 or so fresh campers.

My motivation for returning it must be admitted is a great late-night restaurant in Yarmouth (lobster thermidor for £5.50!) and the fact that the old Ladbrokes camp has Sho-Pro’s Country Weekender going on at the same time. Yi-ha, git DOWN!

Oh yes – the music. Roy Ayers ‘Can’t You See Me’ seemed to be played rather a lot, Donald Byrd ‘Dominoes’ (Live At The Roxy) was as well but to better response and Dexter Wansel ‘Life On Mars’ was heavily requested evidently. Oldies rule?

Odds ‘N Bods

Ronnie Laws’ short UK tour – Birmingham (May 2), Hammersmith (3), Brighton (4), Manchester Dunstable (8) – sees UA release ‘Every Generation’ and not ‘OTBA Law’ as his next single . . . PRAT’s next disco special’s a 6-track 33 1/3rpm 12in (they may find this classified as an LP for chart sales returns) featuring La Pregunta ‘Chameleon’, Rinder & Lewis ‘Blue Steel’, Renzo Fraiese ‘12 Engle Street’, David Benoit ‘Los Angeles’, Jon Faddis ‘Razor Blade’ / ‘Good And Plenty’ (12P 5016) due mid-May . . . Phyllis Hyman’s Arista follow-up ‘Under Your Spell’ 12in will cost only 99p for the first 5,000 copies sold . . . Crown Heights Affair on fancily packaged UK 12in does indeed run faster. ‘Use Your Body & Soul’ at 120-119-120bpm and ‘You Gave Me Love’ at 116bpm, and debuts the De-Lite label here . . . Osibisa ‘Pata Pata’ switches from Pye to Calibre (CABL 102) in a remixed version with added afro party chanting . . . Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway ‘Back Together Again’ has been delayed . . . Ben E King ‘Music Trance’ will eventually be the B-side to a brand new A-side on UK 12in next month . . . Odyssey ‘Use It Up And Wear It Out’ (US RCA PD-11963) and Heath Brothers ‘For The Public’ (US Columbia 43-11258) are now on LP-length US 12in (Heath Bros minus the LP’s clapping intro/outro) while Cheryl Lynn ‘Keep It Hot’ (US Columbia 43-11261) gets a remixed break . . . BT Express’ long awaited (and rumoured to be cancelled) ‘1980’ album has finally appeared but doesn’t sound too special to these ears . . . Caister previews included Freeez ‘Keep In Touch’ (Pink Rhythm 12 Pinky 1), a fast flowing jazzy c. 133bpm 12in UK instrumental with Atmosfear-type breaks that you’d better order now as only 500 will be pressed, El Coco ‘Let’s Get It Together’ (remix) (AVI 12in), Eddy Grant ‘My Turn To Love You’ (Ice 12in), and Chris Hill’s hotly hyped remix of Sho Nuff ‘It’s Alright’ (Ensign 12in) . . . but who is Lorna Greene and why was Chris covering her up!? . . . Robbie Vincent’s oldies along with the more likely ‘Sausalito’ and ‘New Killer Joe’, included Le Pamplemousse ‘Get Your Boom Boom’ and O’Jays ‘Use Ta Be My Girl’ – which caused a conga line! . . . Caister artifacts include a “Don’t stop – FREEZE” badge and a T-shirt with the Glacier Mint bear saying “Freeze!” . . . Sho Pro’s Roger “Dynarod” Dance spent a lot of time in the loo, while Froggy came clean in the bath . . . Sunday 11th May at Solihull’s St Johns Hotel there’s a major Disco Light & Sound ‘80 exhibition organised by three Midlands dealers (details 021 707 4925) . . . Thames Valley DJA members meet this Sunday (27) lunchtime in Camberley Duke Of York for talks on first aid electronics crossovers . . . Brighton’s funky Paul Clark got voted the Public Relations Officer of the Sussex DJ Assn, much to his surprise . . . Jason West did his award-winning ‘Smelly Feet’ rap at USAF Alconbury Aquarius Club and someone let off a stink bomb! . . . Steve Dee’s staff of Amersham fracas fame have adopted my “Wally Herberts” comment as a slogan for future T-shirts! . . . Chris Dinnis’ last funk night at Sidmouth Winter Garden drew funk fans from Gloucester, Bristol, Cornwall, Weymouth and even North London, while his Exeter reunion attracted some Pete Tong followers from Kent . . . Chris Sidney Brown’s forthcoming ‘Family Album’ picture book surely won’t be complete without baby photos of Royston Hill, Allen Holland, Jeff Elkins and Steve Howlett?! . . . Noel Wright (Ware Beckets on Thurs/Fridays) says the local Ware Anti-Mod Pro-Soul Brigade keep insisting he chop Lena Martell into ‘Love Theme From Crossroads’ – are they really Wallys, he wonders? . . . Steve Dennis “The Menace” funks Birmingham Faces in Five Ways on four and a half nights a week – what would the next figure be in numerical sequence? . . . Camberley Frenchies’ Paul Wheeler & Robin Nash are planning with Mayfair Playboy Club’s Tony Jenkins some special jazz-funk Bunny Parties with PA’s by a celebrity secret jazz-funk fan . . . Yankee Disc’s Mike O’Shea offers £50 reward for the unidentified DJ who stirred up trouble with Groove’s Chris Palmer to identify himself . . . Rowdy Yeats of RCA (who are currently carving up the Disco Sales Chart) used to be in a Dudley-based precursor to Chicken Shack called Sounds Of Blue, along with Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, Stan Webb etc . . . Tom Holland, whose warm-up jockette (and constant companion) is the oddly named Jeanneane Cesvette (alias Miss Blue Note), now revives CJ & Co ‘Sure Can’t Go To The Moon’ (US Westbound LP), Doug Richardson ‘Salsa Mama’ (US AVI LP) . . . Jeff Young has a gruesome line in true hospital stories (he’s a hospital lab technician in real life – don’t give up your day job, Jeff!) . . . Raydio, Lakeside, Ben E King, James Brown and the like have brought back heavy funk in a big way to Mayfair Gullivers . . . Kev Hill (Brentwood), fresh back from Ireland, says Galway area discos are invariably large houses DIY converted into dance halls and playing no soul at all but lots of Dave Edmunds ‘Singing The Blues’ . . . Andy Davison (Sawston) says the American and usually black disco jocks at East Anglia’s many USAF bases don’t use mikes but also don’t play gay disco – instead they mix jazz-funk and soul – they’re obviously not from LA! . . . Chris Jones (Cardiff) wonders how many other disco DJ’s are radio amateurs – I’m not sure if he means legal hams or naughty CB fans, but Sean French could probably tell him a thing or two . . . Chris Hill may have started the Freeze, but it would be nice if CBS would acknowledge my own part in actually finding and telling the world about ‘The Groove’ – which incidentally leapt straight into London’s sales Top 20 as the highest new entry last week . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!

UK Newies

MASS PRODUCTION: ‘Shante’ (Atlantic K 11475T)
Amazingly War-like jazzy instrumental builds with shifting solos in ‘Ghetto’ style on UK-only 12in from a quietly beating long start through 124(intro)-126-124-127-128bpm and is huge for funk jocks around the South and Merseyside.

KLEEER: ‘Close To You’ (Atlantic LV 36)
Creamily jittering 117(intro)-119-117(bass)-119bpm backbeat chugger has increased dramatically in my estimation since discovering its main beat mixes perfectly out of Jermaine’s ‘Burnin’ Hot’! While ‘Winners’ is on US 12in promo, this LV 12in is flipped by a Fred Dove segued medley of the old 124bpm ‘Tonight’s The Night’ and ‘I Love To Dance’.

WILBERT LONGMIRE: ‘Hawkeye’ (from LP ‘With All My Love’, Tappan Zee CBS 84155)
Great pattering long 115-116bpm jazz guitar instrumental was big on import and chops (minus intro) out of ‘OTBA Law’ and then synchs into ‘You Got What It Takes’ for my fave mix of a few weeks ago.  Continue reading “April 26, 1980: “Sunny Caister”, Mass Production, Kleeer, Wilbert Longmire, Voyage, Aurra”

April 19, 1980: Gays & Wallys

Gays & Wallys

Tricky Dicky, well-known around London for his gay discos (catch him this Saturday at Stratford Pigeons Hotel in Romford Road), writes “I must agree with all you say about USA gay discos – they certainly helped to kill disco there. It’s not so obvious here and most UK gay clubs are doing fine even though numbers have dropped slightly due to the opening of Heaven, but that should be short-lived as it’s following the defunct US gay disco course. Soon it’ll be back to talking jocks who actually help market the music, which in gay discos is getting funkier although the jazz fad won’t touch them. As well as the most commercial tracks like Bros Johnson, Walden and Jermaine Jackson ‘Burnin’ Hot’, the big gay tracks here are still Jessica Williams ‘Queen Of Fools’, P’zzazz ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ and the Abbe (with an “e”) album.” Thanks for that support, Dicky, and I’m glad my decidedly knocking comments have been accepted so constructively by our own gay scene.

Meanwhile, regarding my frequent references to Wallys, Steve West (Sayers Common Cinderellas at the Stroods Motel on the A23) writes: “Wallys are the bulk of the industry’s bread and butter. Speaking for myself, I have 11 years’ experience of “The People Business” which is, after all, what we are in. Most of us in this business are working to the average Joe Bloggs who wants to meet a girl, have a late drink and a bit of fun. 60 to 70 per cent of them couldn’t care less what music is playing as long as they know the record or have heard it on the radio, another 10-15 per cent just want to drink, which leaves 15 per cent of which 10 of the 15 just follow whatever trend happens to be around nationally (ie: currently 2-Tone and sixties music), leaving five per cent who are hard core funkateers (and who incidentally also get catered for at Cinderellas within the broad musical spectrum). So why do we have to “keep it funky”, as this would make ¡t rather boring for the other 95 per cent wouldn’t it? This is not to say that there shouldn’t be specialist discotheques, as there is a need to be catered for.”

You’ve actually encapsulated my own feelings exactly, Steve. As I have in fact said, there is nothing wrong with Wallys – they are the vast majority, of thoroughly nice to know citizens, with as you have said a merely peripheral interest in disco music. When the right record (like a Liquid Gold) comes along, these are the people who make it a smash. However, it’s the passionately involved specialist minority who take a real interest in disco music and are capable of starting hits of a maybe more modest dimension which nevertheless can become monsters (like the Whispers).

At whom should this page be aimed? The majority who only buy and play what’s already popular, or the minority who usually start that popularity? I personally believe the latter, and am currently delighted that so many charts are being sent in from clubs where people go because they want to hear the music there. The top end of our UK Disco 90 is still dominated by the mass – or if you like, Wally-taste.

It would be good to get even more charts contributed from every type of DJ (send your Top 30 floor response charts, written on your own paper, to me at Record Mirror, 40 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JT), but do be warned for your own continued employment’s sake – DON’T try to force your punters into becoming jazz-funk fans if they obviously don’t like it! However, if they do, KEEP IT FUNKY!

Odds ‘N Bods

Roberta Flack ‘Back Together Again’ (due on 12in next week) seems set as the Caister anthem, especially since Billy Paul ‘Bring The Family Back’ mixes perfectly out of it (chop in two beats before Billy sings) . . . Easter Monday’s Brighton Beach Party had to turn away around 4,000, but Bournemouth didn’t do so well . . . Showstopper Promotions’ National Soul Day at Knebworth on May 26th Bank Holiday will star the excellent GQ and possibly Lonnie Liston Smith . . . Brenda Russell ‘In The Thick Of It’ is indeed on lavishly packaged but same-length 12in (A&M AMSP 7515). Blondie ‘Call Me’ only being on 7in here, the full version remaining on Polydor LP or US 12in . . . Jermaine Jackson is now set for UK 12in early May, followed by Teena Marie ‘Behind The Groove’ which is currently huge for mafiosi (and has increased dramatically in my own estimation!) . . . Donald Byrd’s original (non-‘Roxy’) ‘Dominoes’ 12in has mysteriously been held back until mid-May, although DJ copies are just beginning to circulate . . . Diana Ross’s Chic-produced new LP has been sent back to the producers by Motown and is thus delayed . . . Detroit Spinners ‘Body Language’ reissue has been scrapped . . . Taste Of Honey ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ could be back on unlimited 12in . . . Randy Crawford & Chaka Khan LP’s may now be out here over a week after the importers (sorry, Freudian slip) imports . . . Paul Fearn won £250 and some MCA LP’s at Dartford Flicks’ “club” dancer competition (Fred Dove’s sister came second!), after which the appalling Ian Moore was successfully challenged by the somewhat self-consciously bad Slick Eddie, who kept falling over like an epileptic gibbon . . . Flicks owner Mike Keam and DJ Colin Hudd keep trying to top each other with slagging T-shirts (Colin must regret his old flare-trousered publicity pose!), while I enjoyed meeting fellow judges John Allan (Evening Echo), Dave Potter (South Ockendon Route 66 Records), Colin Snow (THE Record Man of Rayleigh) and 6 foot 2 dancer Sue Judson (humma humma!) . . . Cambridgeshire’s zany Jason West, now emphasising the funk and import element of his comedy-filled roadshow (035387-755), won Phonogram’s recent rapping contest with his ‘Smelly Feet’ set to Kurtis Blow’s B-side . . . MCA have cut their DJ mailing list from 500 to a temporary 100 . . . Caroline Roadshow’s new jock is not surprisingly Tom Anderson, from a certain sunken ship . . . Franklin Sinclair (Manchester) proves the power of ‘The Groove’ – at least 20 kids rushed up to ask what it was the first time he played it! . . . Skyy’s re-remixed ‘First Time Around’ deserves more attention than it’s getting – try mixing it out of Trussel! . . . Billy Ocean sounds stronger in club use than I may have suggested . . . Reggie Bosanquet did tell me his single would be “top of the pops”, but did he really mean top of Kenny Everett’s new ‘Bottom 30’?!? . . Nick Christian (West Kirby) is the latest jock to complain that East Anglian Productions have so far failed to complete a pre-paid order for customised jingles from last November – they may take time to make, EAP, but can’t you at least reply to his calls? . . . Arbie beams over and out, leaving Retford MAYC to the Wallys . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!

UK Newies

NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN: ‘I Shoulda Loved Ya’ (Atlantic K 11413T) (BNDA debut 12/22/79)
One of the definitive “smackers” and hotter for many than ‘Tonight I’m Alright’ ever since the Whispers became its perfect partner, this smash-bound slightly faster 117-114-115-114bpm 12in is all set to be a monster. It’s even getting Capital Radio play!

MYSTIC MERLIN: ‘Just Can’t Give You Up’ (Capitol 12CL 16133)
Great creamily thumping slick 122-freeze-124-chix-125bpm soul loper with lovely jazz sax has evidently been on UK-only 12in a while now.

CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR: ‘Use Your Body & Soul’ (Mercury MERX 9) (‘You Gave Me Love’ BNDA debut 3/22/80)
Buoyantly clapping mellow 116-117-118bpm 12in swinger goes into a bass-bumped central rap, the almost equally hot double-A ‘You Gave Me Love’ being a jiggly 115bpm bumper with catchy “woohoo-oo oo” smacking bits. BPM’s are from my US 12in, the initially serviced UK 7in running respectively 2 and 1bpm faster.  Continue reading “April 19, 1980: Gays & Wallys”

April 12, 1980: Rodney Franklin, Bunny Mack, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Isley Brothers

Odds ‘N Bods

Keith Main’s Atmosphere Lighting & Sound shop presents a Disco Design ’80 exhibition on Saturday/Sunday (12/13) opening noon at Aberdeen’s Treetops Hotel in Springfield Road (details 0224 572923), with many well known equipment manufacturers in attendance all hoping to profit from Aberdeen’s disco boom (seven new clubs in the last year) . . . 12in newies next week include ‘Calibre Cuts’ and Narada ‘Shoulda Loved Ya’, while Diana Ross & the Supremes’ ‘Supremes Medley’ / ‘Love Hangover’ (Motown 12TMG 1180) is due around now . . . Michael Jackson ‘Working Day And Night’ was the flip of ‘Off The Wall’ – don’t some DJ’s turn their records over? – yet many are assuming it’ll be his follow up! . . . MCA goof again making the admittedly lovely ‘When The World Turns Blue’ the new Merry Clayton 7in, leaving the original of her hotter ‘Emotion’ to Epic’s Webster Lewis – didn’t ‘Street Life’ teach them anything? . . . Randy Crawford and Chaka Khan have solo LP’s simultaneously released here and in US at end of the month . . . Chris Britton, as hinted last week, has left High Wycombe’s Tuesdays due to a music policy switch (the Wallies can have it!), but via his new involvement with Rush Release is selling up a series of sponsored jazz-funk nights available to venues during the summer and featuring drink, cigarette and record company participation, imports, T-shirts and paraphernalia stalls, guest star PA’s, plus himself and Stuart Gensian as jocks – booking enquiries on 0494 451797 . . . Stevie Glover meanwhile wants drink, cigarette or record companies to do promotion nights during the summer at Bournemouth’s Maison Royale and Outlook clubs – enquiries on 0202 35128 . . . Chris, meet Stevie, Stevie, meet Chris! . . . Steve Dee (High Wycombe) has had his Amersham Jubilee Hall gigs blown out by a “violent fracas” that resulted in local newspaper headlines screaming “DISCO FEVER IS BEING RUINED BY ‘YOB ELEMENT’” – or should that be “Wally Herberts”?! . . . Mayfair Playboy Club’s hipper DJ Tony Jenkins reports that tennis star Buster Mottram is a jazz-funk fan, buying the new Gary Bartz, David Sanborn and Earl Klugh albums off Tony as soon as he heard them! . . . Gavin who? . . . Soho’s Groove Records are urging other shops to join them in boycotting a certain Chislehurst import wholesaler who by apparently supplying DJ’s direct is damaging retail sales . . . Groove also say they love drugged gays really! . . . Bracknell seems to be a hotbed of revealingly video-ed activity, to judge from rumours about a certain – no, say no more! . . . I keep telling you that Bristol is funky but last week was ridiculous . . . Ben E King, James Brown, Avenue B Boogie Band and even Jermaine Jackson are leading a “funky soul” revival in the 105-110bpm tempo range . . . Andy Davison (Sawston Black Bull) wants to know how Los Angeles disco jocks compare with British – didn’t you gather that while technically many are brilliant mixers, they use terrible dated gay ‘‘disco’’ material and can’t (so thus don’t) use a mike? . . . Dennis Brynner & Dave Van Seiger now display their Southampton Barbarella’s chain in the local Virgin store, which in turn they plug to their punters . . . Steve Allen (Peterborough) thanks Sister Sledge for naming their newie after his ‘Easy Street’ promotions company – pity the record’s no good though! . . . Martin “Sanders of Blackburn” Platts thinks it would he revealing to know what various disco leaders’ all-time fave raves are: my own are Elvis Presley ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, Paul Whiteman ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ and Falcons ‘I Found A Love’ – so what does that tell you? . . . Jon Hill (Brighton Devils Dyke) wonders how one contributes items for this page? Simple. Jon, just send them in – anything of interest will be printed if possible . . . Neil Fincham (Dunbar Goldenstones) has the perfect “squelch”: “what’s the difference between (person joke’s aimed against) and Polo?” Answer: “people like Polo?” . . . unless it’s a label with Liquid Gold on it, eh?! . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!

UK Newies

RODNEY FRANKLIN: ‘The Groove’ (CBS 13-8529) (BNDA debut 5/17/80)
Unearthed in Los Angeles by myself even ahead of Chris Hill and now on UK-only 12in, this madly catchy stop-go 109-112-109bpm jazz party instrumental has as anticipated become a monster that’s spawned its own “freeze” dance craze. Every time it stops for a bar you can have lotsa fun playing with the lights, inserting sound effects, catching the slipmat so it stops even longer or – especially – getting people to do silly things, having told them what to do in advance. Go to it!

BUNNY MACK: ‘Love You Forever’ (RCA MACK 12-1)
Tremendously happy high life-like 124-125bpm 12in afro bubbler with a ‘Frontline Symphony’ flavour has become huge in black-orientated clubs (after possibly I was the first to push it), and now there’s a major label behind it.

PRINCE: ‘Sexy Dancer’ (Warner Bros. K 17590T) (BNDA debut 11/10/79)
Extended 8:41 remixed 122bpm 12in of the great jaggedly jumping staccato smacker is now revealed as being basically instrumental and loses some of its powerful concision by being stretched out, but gains some brand new guitar bits.  Continue reading “April 12, 1980: Rodney Franklin, Bunny Mack, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Isley Brothers”

April 5, 1980: Roy Ayers, Bobby Thurston, Brenda Russell, Isley Brothers, Lonnie Liston Smith

Odds ‘N Bods

Teesvalley Roadshow’s Graham Murray, devoted Radio Caroline supporter, was the first to raise the alarm after hearing Mi Amigo’s coded distress signal up in Cleveland . . . Phillip Tan, EMI World Dancing finalist, managed to win the £700 first prize at Leysdown-On-Sea’s island with a terrific “robot” routine set to Yellow Magic Orchestra ‘Theme From The Invaders’ – which is now on longer yellow vinyl UK 12in . . . Ben E King, despite import buzz, has been on UK 7in since last year . . . Slave ‘Are You Ready For Love’, Prince ‘Sexy Dancer’, Kleeer ‘Close To You’ (or maybe ‘Winners’) c/w two oldies are all due on 12in, while the brat from PRAT plans 12in promos of Renzo Fraiese ‘12 Engle Street’, re-edited Phyllis Hyman ‘Loving You Losing You’, and a new 7in re-mix/make of Osibisa ‘Pata Pata’ . . . Mike Shaft was evidently the Piccadilly soul jock who didn’t ID himself . . . I bought a vicious-looking Armalite/M16-type air rifle up in the Lake District and now everyone who’s seen it wants one! . . . Gavin Breck did indeed and of course know who the Bros Johnson were, so apologies for casting doubt on his professionalism, it’s just he didn’t have their album with him so their manager got uptight . . . is Chris Britton happy in High Wycombe, or are there two Chris Brittons?! . . . Rus Phillips (East London) turned 21 and sent me a quid to celebrate, so – hic – thanksh! . . . Nicky Price’s lavish Lazers at the top Harringey end of Green Lanes managed to open after overnight £30,000 repairs to a petrol bomb attack’s damage – with excellent US-style lighting, the club lacks (so far) the sound to match . . . 1980’s word seems to be “groove”, and the dance is the Freeze! . . . Jackie Moore’s recently ignored ‘How’s Your Love Life Baby’ (US Columbia 12in) now works perfectly with Walden/Whispers-type smackers . . . Slim Tom Holland’s revived oldie tips are O’Donel Levy ‘Bad Bad Simba’ (1973 US Groove Merchant LP), Alphonse Mouzon ‘Snake Walk’ (Blue Note LP), while Bob Jones tips Gene Harris ‘A Minor’ (Blue Note LP), Doug Richardson ‘Salsa Mama’ (AVI LP) – jazz converts, get looking! . . . Brighton on Bank Holiday is one town I wouldn’t like to be in the year following ‘Quadrophenia’ . . . Steve Boley (Weston-Super-Mare) wonders whether Froggy’s roadies are called “toadies”? . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!

UK Newies

ROY AYERS: ‘Running Away’ / ‘Can’t You See Me’ (Polydor POSPX 135) (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
‘Best Of’-culled jumpy jazz-funk classics back-to-back and on UK 12in for the first time ever, both around 116bpm mixing well with Tony Rallo (LP version) during their vibes breaks.

BOBBY THURSTON: ‘You Got What It Takes’ LP (Epic EPC 84257) (BNDA debut 3/1/80)
Dynamite jittery long 118-119-120bpm title track with jazzy guitar and incredibly catchy chorus mixes dazzlingly out of Wilbert Longmire ‘Hawkeye’.

BRENDA RUSSELL: ‘In The Thick Of It’ (A&M AMS 7515)
Lovely slow starting/ending 52/104-107bpm 7in jogger, persistently rumoured to be due on 12in.  Continue reading “April 5, 1980: Roy Ayers, Bobby Thurston, Brenda Russell, Isley Brothers, Lonnie Liston Smith”

March 29, 1980: Mass Production, Heath Brothers, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Jermaine Jackson, Community People

Odds ‘N Bods

Blondie ‘Atomic’ hits the Disco Top 30 this week – if that many jocks are on it presumably even DOR is “disco”! – while the ‘Call Me’-featuring ‘American Gigolo’ LP is no longer delayed . . . Mystic Merlin ‘Just Can’t Give You Up’, Dr Hook ‘Sexy Eyes’ / ‘When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman’ and Hiroshima ‘Lion Dance’ are due now on UK 12in, but Pressure is NOT on 12in . . . Mass Production ‘Shante’, Chico Hamilton ‘Strut’, Roberta Flack ‘Back Together Again’, Twennynine ‘Peanut Butter’, Deodato ‘Whistle Bump’ (remix) / ‘Knights Of Fantasy’ / ‘Space Dust’, El Coco ‘Let’s Get It Together’ (remix) and Shalamar ‘Right In The Socket (remix) / ‘The Second Time Around’ are all coming on 12in, Shalamar in blue vinyl . . . Atlantic’s set of 10 four-track 7in soul classics (advertised last week) will be followed next month by Island issuing six 6-track 10in EPs – yes, 10in! – on their revived Sue label featuring soul classics originally on ¡t, the first being ‘Harlem Shuffle’ . . . Sharon Paige’s UK 12in has an instrumental flip and is faster by 2bpm than last week’s review . . . Delegation on 12in is 114bpm, and thanks to a gift from Fatman I can now reveal that Herbie Hancock’s direct-cut remake of ‘I Thought It Was You’ is 125-123-124-125-122-121-pause-125-123-124(vocoder break)-123-122-0bpm – the last part being dynamite! . . . DJ Federation (GB) have reduced their public liability insurance for members to £11 ea and are again accepting individual memberships at £10 ea from people in areas uncovered by affiliated associations (details from 01-348 3269) . . . Rush Release need another 70 jocks for their mailing list and also specialist reggae DJs for a different list – write ‘em at 8 Morton Gardens, Wallington, Surrey (01-669 0327/659 2701), and remember that when on a list you shouldn’t send us a chart full of free material unless it’s really happening for you (hyping doesn’t help anyone) . . . Southampton University’s Bootsie hold a student soul festival on Friday 2nd May and, while well supported already, want as many other universities, colleges and polys as possible to be represented to show the strength of soul among students nationally – cost is only 60p, free accommodation is available, so send cheque/PO (payable SUSU Events Dept) with SAE and quoting NUS number of similar, to Events Dept, Students Union, University of Southampton . . . Frenchie, Pete Haigh & Peter Paige go fancy dress on Monday (31) at their Caton (Lancaster) Scharthwaite Hotel jazz-funk night, coach party reservations on Morecambe 420796, Lancaster 61744, Cleveleys 824156 . . . Camberley Frenchies jazz-funks Thursdays from next week (3) with Johnnie Walker, Robin Nash and mafia guests . . . Chris Hill and myself are not partners nor co-owners of Canvey’s Goldmine, as mis-stated in Billboard’s belated Disco Forum report which of course ignored our main point that gay dominance is what killed US Disco – Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart merely shows those records which frighten US radio programmers the least . . . Soho’s Groove Records has bought up all remaining stocks of the Leo’s Sunshipp LP (but then Groove found it originally) while owner Chris Palmer confirms that the gays who come into his shop rarely know the names of the records they’ve heard at their discos and have to hum the hooks! . . . Slim Tom Holland wants no more buns – he’s lost 1½ stone . . . GQ-like Liverpudlian 5-piece Natural High were an excellent disco dance band at Gullivers last week . . . Finchley Roads Les Elites has had a lavish and good-looking refit . . . Stone City Band ‘Little Runaway’ into Funkadelic ‘One Nation’ into Narada ‘Tonight’, clapping break into ditto of Chicago ‘Street Player’ into Mass Production ‘Shante’ is one of my current fave mixes – Stone City is an unjustly ignored monster! . . . Arbie (Retford MAYC) writes “Disco is NOT dead, only wally ‘dance music’ is – as the sales chart shows. How long since Boney M, Amii Stewart and Co had big hits?” Maybe so Arbie, but Liquid Gold are doing their best to keep the ‘Seaside Special’ tradition alive . . . MAKE IT FUNKY!

No UK Newies this week.


MASS PRODUCTION: ‘Shante’ (from LP ‘Massterpiece’, US Cotillion SD 5218)
Last week’s lead review as should have been (the lack was not of my doing) has indeed leapt straight into the chart and is an amazingly War-like jazzy instrumental that builds with shifting solos in ‘Ghetto’ style from an expectant quiet 124bpm intro through 126-124-127-128bpm. The Whitehaven Whitehouse kids actually applauded when Chris Hill played it there on Sunday.

THE HEATH BROTHERS: ‘For The Public’ (from LP ‘Live At The Public Theater’, US Columbia FC 36374)
Madly catchy superb easily jogging relaxed saxy 91-90-91bpm instrumental jazz swayer with slight Alpert influence and useful applause intro/outro, this week’s lead review. Motoring back from Cumbria on Monday I heard BBC Radio Merseyside’s Terry Lennaine quote last week’s Liquid Gold comment from this page – he hates ‘em! – and an unidentified Piccadilly soul DJ doing some nice mixes.

ROBERTA FLACK: ‘Back Together Again’ (from LP ‘Featuring Donny Hathaway’, US Atlantic S 15013) (BNDA debut 4/5/80)
Terrific long languidly smacking 110(intro)-112bpm “rock” jogger largely sung by Donny piles on the tension as it progresses through simple repetition and will obviously be huge.  Continue reading “March 29, 1980: Mass Production, Heath Brothers, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Jermaine Jackson, Community People”