Odds ‘N Bods
Surface Noise’s next will be ‘Dancin’ On A Wire’ – expect acetate promo reaction by the weekend! . . . PRAT are rushing Flakes ‘Sugar Frosted Lover’ . . . Locksmith’s UK 12in due imminently is ‘Unlock The Funk’ / ‘Far Beyond’ / ‘Blackjack’ – whew! . . . Johnny Hammond’s 1975 cut ‘Los Conquistadores Chocolates’ off the deleted US Milestone ‘Gears’ LP runs 0-120-122-124-126bpm and is grabbing jazz jocks . . . CBS’s Loraine Trent (who’s bet Ilford Room At The Top’s Terry Hooper £5 that the Manhattans go Top 50 pop) says DJ association secretaries requiring the fortnightly CBS New Releases info sheet should call her on 01-734 8161 . . . US Philadelphia International have reactivated their TSOP label, transferring to it the O’Jays, McFadden & Whitehead, Jean Carn, MFSB and adding the Stylistics . . . Graham Dene dropped out to go to Nice instead, while Morgan Khan & Dave McAleer stayed behind to bite their nails during the RATCRAP merger, leaving Froggy, his roadie Owen, Mike Childs and myself to fly out last Sunday on Air India to New York . . . Froggy’s so keen to get back into Studio 54 he’s hired grey morning suits complete with toppers to make Owen and himself look suitably “freaky”! . . . Noel Wright (Ware Beckets on Fri/Sat), just returned, says disco isn’t dead in New York but from what they’re playing it might just as well be . . . I’m more interested in Broadway this trip, actually . . . Mass Production & Bobby Thurston plus lotsa jox are the attraction at Skegness National Funk Day on August Bank Holiday Monday . . . Pete Haigh & Frenchie (Caton Scarthwaite on Mondays) take a “funk cruise” on Ullswater on Thursday 31st . . . Colin Day, currently playing a vastly varied range of music at the Royal Bugatti in Luxembourg (which he says is even more of a DJ’s paradise than Switzerland), returns to the Birmingham area for the month of September and wants some funky gigs then (UK agent 0905 423842) . . . Mark Tarna & Martin King both run video-featuring roadshows giving a TOTP effect with cameras on the audience as well as live hit clips, available via Tony Rivers’ Hove-based Spectrum agency (0273 776642) who also book such regular HM names as Wild Walt Brown, Honey Bee Benson, Stuart Hughes and Southern Counties National Roadshow . . . Nikki Peck funks Sittingbourne Marteen’s for over-21s on Thurs/Fridays and under-18s on Tuesdays – presumably it’s tough luck if you’re 19 or 20? . . . Steve Dennis (Edgbaston Faces), disappointed so far by the standard of his Wednesday world hula-hoop championship competitors, will be fronting the Peter Stuyvesant Disco Roadshow touring major cities with a 12-strong dancing troupe named Body Talk . . . Gary Oldis & Dave Weir now share the week at Aycliffe Gretna Green . . . Gary Hirst (Mayfair Samanthas) gave regular club visitor Marvin Gaye and his band each a flashing “disco visor” and got tickets in return for Marvin’s Venue show – where they all wore the visors on stage . . . JJ Jackson of ‘60s ‘But It’s Alright’ fame is recording again with some of Marvin’s band backing him . . . CJ Carlos (Soho Hombre De Bahia) was asked if he’d sell his Odyssey LP there and then by yet another bozo foreigner, who handed over 10 quid and then literally went to take the record off while it was still playing! . . . Capital Radio’s Peter Young obviously got the soul bug sitting in for Greg Edwards, as his Saturday night midnight-4am show now follows Mike Allen’s audience-grabbing jazzier forerunner by being extremely funky . . . Mike incidentally says unequivocally that this page is “a fact of life”! . . . Kev Hill (Brentwood) reports that Brick ‘Push Push’ is good for rowing, and he’s noticed a resurgence of what was called “the dog” – perhaps “shirtlifter shuffle” would be better now?! . . . Andy Greg (Loughton), whose punters are very particular about what they dance to and shun jazz-funk or reggae, nevertheless has a game where ten “funkateers” stand in the middle of the floor doing a tricky arm movement to the intro of ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’, the best getting a request played (most popular being Frank Hooker) . . . I’m sorry, I’ll read that again . . . Frenchies celebrated its 3rd anniversary at Camberley Cambridge Hotel last Sunday . . . Cuddles Canter has discovered the first band to play Mayfair Gullivers after he started there in ‘76, the Du Blanc Orchestra/Starfire, included now present members of Shalamar, Lakeside & Dynasty – and they were good then too . . . Cuddles’ companion Nicky McKenzie has an everlasting zit (ouch, that hurt Nicky!) . . . Paul “Wiggy” Wiall (Liverpool Oscars) wants the world to know that Merseyside jocks don’t necessarily play Liquid Gold, Nolans or even Kelly Marie (ugh!) . . . Russell “Arbie” Burtonshaw (Retford MAYC) says as surely Liquid Gold is disco for most it should therefore at least be allowed into the Disco 90: well, if it had been included it would have peaked last week at 43 and now ties at 56 – so surely its DORC position better reflects its true stature? . . . Billboard’s Disco Top 100 now features a lot of new wave/DOR titles at the bottom end – of the nineteen last week none got higher than 40 (the Clash ‘London Calling’) and most being below 70, this latter being where our DORC entries would figure if incorporated into the UK Disco 90, so isn’t it still better to separate ‘em out? . . . Theo Loyla should note that as a 12 year veteran of mobile gigs I don’t need his advice, the sad fact being that today’s pop hits have a narrower appeal than say five or more years ago, making MoR mobiles less easy to do using current records (hence the occasional change of “rock” to “rubbish” in DOAC!) . . . Britain interestingly seems to be returning to the once dated-seeming though still popular in the US heavy funk soul sound, what with Tom Browne, Cameo, BT Express and Gap Band being so big here . . . 2-Tone’s decline and the lack of TOTP has reaffirmed the steady sales power of black music, making the chart funkier than when disco was “alive”! . . . UK record companies are such sheep, slavishly following every trend – be it disco, mod, heavy metal; right now they’re all into sacking people . . . Nick Bardeil (Buckdefl) says, yes, he does write a good paraphrase! . . . Gullivers had its best night ever with record entry and takings last Friday – who said disco was dead? . . . KEEP IT FUNKY!
It’s been an “excruciatingly dull” week for imports, to quote Groove’s Chris Palmer, with nothing new worthy of review, but meanwhile back in Britain . . .
GEORGE BENSON: ‘Give Me The Night’ LP (Warner Bros. K56823) (‘Give Me The Night’ BNDA debut 7/12/80)
Quincy Jones-produced sensational set, largely penned by Rod Temperton and featuring Lee Ritenour on second guitar, the monster 110bpm title track (like a slower ‘Stomp!’) being due on 12in next week, others being the subduedly angry 124bpm ‘Off Broadway’ instrumental skipper, lushly jogging 114/57bpm ‘Love X Love’, scatting 118bpm ‘Dinorah Dinorah’ instrumental, lovely 30/60bpm smooching of King Pleasure’s classic ‘Moody’s Mood’, AWB-ish 51/103bpm ‘What’s On Your Mind’ slowie, swaying 39/79bpm ‘Midnight Love Affair, and a brace of atmospheric old Heatwave smoochers, the 0-22-44-bpm ‘Star Of A Story (X)’ and 37bpm ‘Turn Out The Lamplight’.
JERMAINE JACKSON: ‘Burnin’ Hot’ (Motown 12TMG 1194) (BNDA debut 4/5/80)
Simpler than ‘Serious’, this powerfully smacking 119bpm 12in smash has as you surely know been huge on LP for months.
BABY ’O: ‘In The Forest’ (Calibre CABL 505) (BNDA debut 4/26/80)
Thunderously rattling and jumping 126bpm 12in Latin party leaper is already huge on import and should be another Odyssey as it’s well established especially with MoR and Wally crowds. Continue reading “July 19, 1980: George Benson, Jermaine Jackson, Baby ‘O, Teena Marie, Narada Michael Walden”