January 8, 1977: Disco Poll

Disco Poll

Well, as you must have noticed, the Disco Page managed to get through Xmas and the New Year without having to resort to boring “Best of ’76” lists!  However, it might be nice to know which of the disco hits from the last 12 months have ended up as your most favourite dancing records.  This is NOT a Pop Poll, it is designed solely to discover which were the sounds that you (or, if you’re a DJ, your audiences) enjoyed dancing to the most.  That naturally includes every type of music . . . as long as it is danceable!

While the poll is open to everyone, there is a special section for DJ’s only.  Completion of this by as many DJ’s as possible will make the results of special interest to the disco industry, so please do take part.

Address your completed forms to DISCO POLL, Record Mirror, Spotlight House, 1 Benwell Road, London N7 7AX, so that they arrive by Thursday, January 20.

DISCO HITS (Singles or LP tracks, in order of preference)
1
2
3

SOLO SINGER

VOCAL GROUP

DISCO BAND

LIVE DISCO ACT

DISCO PRODUCER(S)

FAVOURITE DISCO MUSIC (Soul, Funk, Northern, Pop, Rock, Reggae, Bop, etc)

LEAST FAVOURITE DISCO MUSIC

NAME
 
 ADDRESS

DISCO DJ SECTION

NAME OF DISCO (MOBILE)
and/or
DETAILS OF RESIDENCIES (Venue and town names, nights worked)

TYPES OF MUSIC PLAYED

FULL OR PART TIME DJ?

HOW LONG AS A DJ?

FAVOURITE RADIO DJ

PERSONAL TASTE IN MUSIC

MOST EFFICIENT PROMOTION SERVICE (if you are on record company mailing lists)

SHOULD 12-INCHERS BE 33 OR 45RPM? (if you use them)

DO YOU USE MANY ALBUMS?

DO YOU USE MANY IMPORTS?

DO YOU USE JINGLES? (cart, cassette or disc?)

MOST RELIABLE EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS (if you can recommend any)

MOST RELIABLE EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS (ditto)

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (Disco hit that should have charted)

PET PEEVE OF THE YEAR

IS THERE ANY REGULAR FEATURE NOT ALREADY IN THIS DISCO PAGE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE?

New Spins

BAR-KAYS: ‘Shake Your Rump To The Funk’ (Mercury 6167417) (Billboard chart debut 10/9/76)
Big already, it’s a typical Ohio Players-style funker, complete with funny voices.

HEATWAVE: ‘Boogie Nights’ (GTO GT 77) (Billboard chart debut 4/23/77)
The UK funksters’ catchiest and best yet, this mixes beautifully out of Donna Summer’s ‘Spring Affair’.

DR. BUZZARD’S ORIGINAL SAVANNAH BAND: ‘Cherchez La Femme’ (RCA PB 0827) (Billboard chart debut 6/26/76)
Edited from the LP, their big US disco hit is a lovely subtle thudder with strange hypnotic vocals and offbeat appeal.  Continue reading “January 8, 1977: Disco Poll”

January 1, 1977: A Northern Bonanza – the Lorna label

A Northern Bonanza

The Loma label lasted from late ’64 to early ’69 as Warner Bros’ US outlet for strictly R&B product.

For most of its life it was run by Bob Krasnow, who hired such top producers as Jerry Ragnovoy, George Kerr, Van McCoy, Gene Page and even James Brown to build up its talent roster. Despite a number of hits, Loma never became a truly major force in black music, but with the passage of time its records have inevitably become much in demand with the Northern Soul fans in Britain. Now, in possibly an unprecedented move, WEA have given Loma its own label identity in the UK, and issued an incredible 7 albums which contain all the in-demand Northern oldies plus a lot of good soul music besides!

Titled ‘This is Loma, Volumes 1-7’ (K 56265/66/67/68/69/70/71), the albums tend to duplicate a lot of artists, making individual details difficult to give. But some of the acts are Bob & Earl, Lonnie Youngblood, Soul Shakers, Enchanters, Olympics, Roy Redmond, Ike & Tina Turner, Invincibles, Brenda Hall, Apollas, Frankie Love, Teen Turbans, Barry Beefus, Lukas Lollipop, Mighty Hannibal, Billy Storm, Dick Jensen, Carl Hall, Jammers, Ben Aiken, Little Joe Cook, G-Clefs, JJ Jackson and Linda Jones.

‘Volume 7’ (K 56271) contains 24 tracks, comprising one whole album from each of the last two: JJ’s ‘But It’s Alright’ classic leads off ‘The Great JJ Jackson’ side, while the superbly soulful (and sadly late departed) Linda is represented by both the title track and the whole of her incredible 1967 ‘Hypnotized’ set, produced by George Kerr at the same time as he was working with the O’Jays. An ungainly girl, Miss Jones had a goosebump-making singing style that was even better live, but still thrills today on wax.

Each album has excellent liner notes by a different leading soul expert and – even if their disco application is limited to Northern DJ’s – they make fascinating listening for collectors and soul fans alike.  Continue reading “January 1, 1977: A Northern Bonanza – the Lorna label”

December 25, 1976: Rose Royce, Archie Bell & The Drells, Stanley Black, Dee Dee Sharp, T-Connection

New Spins

ROSE ROYCE: ‘Car Wash’ (MCA 267)
Here it is, truly by DJ and public demand, the single of Norman Whitfield’s monster catchy clapper!

ARCHIE BELL & THE DRELLS: ‘Everybody Have A Good Time’ (from LP ‘Where Will You Go When The Party’s Over’, Philadelphia Int’l PIR 81567)
Absolutely sizzling 6:15 galloper simply loaded with verve and vitality, and a beat that don’t quit! The chunky ‘I Bet I Can Do That Dance’ has synthetics and funky appeal, while other disco cuts are ‘Nothing Comes Easy’, the title track and ‘Dancin’ Man’.

STANLEY BLACK: ‘La Cumparsita’ (from EP ‘Discover The Tango’, Decca DFE 8684)
Completely straight version of this quintessential Tango, already causing a stir in some gay discos . . . really! Good MoR, too.  Continue reading “December 25, 1976: Rose Royce, Archie Bell & The Drells, Stanley Black, Dee Dee Sharp, T-Connection”

December 18, 1976: Henhouse Five Plus Too, Van McCoy, Bobby Pickett & Peter Ferrara, Wild Cherry, Undisputed Truth

Imports

HENHOUSE FIVE PLUS TOO: ‘In The Mood’ (US Warner Bros. WBS 8301)
Oh dear, not again!  Yes, one year later it’s back with a bang, but sounding like Glenn Miller could never have imagined it.  This time, Ray Stevens has clucked along to it so that it sounds as if it’s done by a lot of chickens!  Great short-term novelty, no trends forecast.

VAN MCCOY: ‘Soul Cha Cha’ (from LP ‘Rhythms Of The World, US H&L HL 69014) (Billboard chart debut 10/9/76)
Terrifically zestful Latin salsa rhythms and some Spanish chat help to spark this happy bouncer that’ll be huge here too.

BOBBY PICKETT & PETER FERRARA: ‘King Kong (Your Song)’ (US Polydor PD 14361)
Telling the story of the blockbusting film that opens here on Boxing Day, the ‘Monster Mash’ guy returns with a good chugging disco beat, sound effects, funny voices and some amusing gags among all the noise.  Continue reading “December 18, 1976: Henhouse Five Plus Too, Van McCoy, Bobby Pickett & Peter Ferrara, Wild Cherry, Undisputed Truth”

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”