July 9, 1983: Herbie Hancock, Michael Wycoff, Brass Construction, LaFleur, Bob Andy

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

HOT POP — Polydor and WEA will be merging worldwide in the next few months, this however is not the reason for last week’s unexpected appearance of Al Jarreau and Serge Ponsar on WEA International, as Al is signed direct to that label anyway and now gets properly identified, while Serge although black is actually French and an international signing in his own right . . . Island picked up the ultra-hot Italian-recorded Club House medley for rush release next week, and put out a remix of Gwen Guthrie ‘Hopscotch’ a week later — but confusingly follow it with a Larry Levan remix another two weeks after that (more fuss than the song warrants, I reckon) . . . Skratch Music’s new PRT-distributed Passion label is rushing out Electric Mind ‘Zwei‘, one of the best mixers of the moment . . . South African jazzers Sakhile’s eponymous ‘Sakhile‘ 99bpm hotsie is now on white label 12in prior to their album’s release next week on the new Jive Afrika logo . . . Phil Fearon & Galaxy get the moody advance white label treatment again for their new 120bpm ‘Wait Until Tonight (My Love)‘, which doesn’t have as good a beat or strong a hook as their hit . . . Y Records new NYC (New York Connection) label has licensed a whole bunch of rappers from Enjoy to put on a twin-pack album made up of two 4-track 12in singles next week . . . 21 Records here go back a release to ‘Space Cowboy‘ for the next Jonzun Crew 12in, presumably hoping for pop crossover success . . . New York Citi Peech Boys are currently in this country purely to do club gigs, and are still looking for suitable venues with enough stage space (book ’em on 01-221 6136 from Neil Brett at Wasted Talent) . . . David Emery, currently ferrying Helen Shapiro around Northern radio stations for his new Pacific Promotions service, still needs jocks in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a few dolly birds for occasional promotional work persuading shop owners to put up posters, etc — plus, David wonders where all the vivacious out-going young people are in Middlesbrough, as a mate’s singing telegram service can’t find any there (call 0632 814001) . . . Oldham-born Tony Prince of Radio Luxembourg and Disco Mix Club fame has been made honorary president of the North West DJ Association and in that capacity heads home to speak at a NWDJA meeting this Sunday (10) in Oldham’s Belgrade Hotel, Manchester Street, at 2pm (free admission, non-members especially welcome) . . . Alan Coulthard’s featured megamix on July’s Disco Mix Club cassette is of Human League . . . Nick Heyward lookalike John Osborne starts weekly upfront hot funky vinyl at Bletchley Peaches this Wednesday (6) — which was yesterday for most people outside central London, but maybe he’ll get some commuters who bought RM for the train! — plus Nick sorry, John still has upfront Tuesdays at Ilford Room At The Top and joins David Rodigan ‘n’ Steve Walsh Sundays at Streatham Cats Whiskers . . . Nick Ratcliffe and Steve Walsh are currently teamed for the next few Tuesdays at Guildford Cinderellas Rockerfellas — and speaking of big Steve, it was he who at their Capital Radio recorded London concert introduced Mezzoforte as “possibly the best band to come out of Iceland”! (think about it) . . . Robbie Vincent is Martin John’s special guest this Thursday (7) at Croydon Laurels (ex-Scamps), the same night as Jeff Young joins Joe Field & Mike Allin to kick off Thursdays at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar . . . Paul & Robin Wheeler’s Jacksons Nightclub in Staines re-opens Thursday (alternative music), Friday (jazz-funk), Saturday (disco) in a triple-pronged ceremony . . . Tony ‘Flanger’ Glass now does Fridays at Rayleigh Croc’s, with 10 foot video screens and civilised sound equipment . . . “Disco is dead” says Shalamar singer Howard Hewett (the uncharismatic one without a haircut), who can’t have done badly out of disco before switching to pure pop — still, presumably now I won’t have to review any more of their boring records . . . Tavares play Watford Baileys from next Monday (11) for six nights . . . Heatwave’s Keith Wilder at Mayfair Gullivers last weekend was non-plussed by LaFleur’s remake of ‘Boogie Nights’, which he’d never heard of . . . Flash Gordon’s new Bedminster (Bristol) residency is spelt McLouds — which is why if the neighbours complain it’s all down to the name — while as you probably realised, Richard Jon Smith’s free megamedley cassette is with the first 5,000 of his new 12in . . . South Eastern Discotheque Association next year change their annual exhibition to a later date in June and at Gravesend’s Woodville Halls, tied in with a celebration of their tenth anniversary (don’t panic, you’ll get full info nearer the date!) . . . Bob Heather (Southampton Top Rank Ice Rink) mixes Forrest ‘Rock The Boat’/Man Parrish ‘Hip Hop’/Indeep ‘When Boys Talk’/’Last Night A DJ’/Toto Coelo ‘Milk From The Coconut‘ . . . Pete Haigh, mixing urban contemporary at (deep breath) Caton Scarthwaite Hall (Sun)/Standish Cassinellis (Thurs)/Heysham 42nd Street (Mon)/Standish Hartley Hall (Fri) — can’t he go back to being just Pete Haigh & Frenchie (Blackpool)? — wants to identify the UK white label of Night Moves ‘Trans Dance‘, a c.118bpm “great mixer with loads of current faves” . . . Tom Robinson is evidently re-recording the superb ‘War Baby’ for 12in . . . Mark Clark, nattering in the current Thames Valley DJA newsletter, is upset in his Mark One record shop by the DJs who stick to chart hits without buying anything new, no matter how hot it obviously sounds, concluding very realistically that they could improve their reputation no end if punters were able to remember that they first heard the next number one played by that particular disco . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes in his West End record shop natters to boys town jocks from around the country and reckons most think the use of Hot Tracks remixes of older faves is short sighted as well as selfish because punters can’t then buy what they hear — better tell that to the Disco Mix Club too! . . . Alan Jones has some side deals going with our Nightclub chart and so offers record tokens “out of the hat” as inducement to contributing jocks — however, the same address applies for all charts, and it’s only when he’s opened the envelopes that he divides the charts into the different types, so anyone stands a chance of winning . . . James Brown has remixed and extended ‘Bring It On . . . Bring It On’ for UK 12in pressings, making it sound much more tidy and useable (although I still think it’s a shame that only the current chart system has made this a hit when so many of his monster classics missed having a fair shot at the chart in the old days) . . . Diana Ross’s new ‘Ross’ LP is largely with the same team as on Donald Fagan’s ‘The Nightfly’, but not aimed at our market . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Northumberland Hotel), evidently the marrying kind, is reminded by Central Line ‘Surprise Surprise’ of Funkapolitan ‘As The Time Goes By’ . . . TV-AM’s Saturday morning Space Watch slot last week had a mind-blowing sequence which in one continuous shot went ever-outwards from the open palm of a guy sunbathing in Chicago to the furthest reaches of space before zooming back and on into the guy’s hand until reaching the inner space of one of his atoms — what a video that would make! . . . I got my disco console plus two record boxes under the closed luggage lid of my Datsun Cherry 1.3GL hatchback, without putting the seats down, so yah-boo and sucks to you, Jim Kershaw! . . . PHEW, WHAT A SCORCHER!


HOT VINYL

HERBIE HANCOCK: ‘Rockit’ (US Columbia 44-03978)
The sensation of the weekend, the hottest record of the decade! You won’t believe it until you’ve heard it, but Herbie’s gone electrophonic with an incredibly powerful 111bpm 12in explosion co-produced by Material which began as an ultra-funky instrumental before Grand Mixer D.S.T. then took two copies and scratched them into the hottest pool of melted vinyl you’ll ever hear this or any heatwave. Phew!

MICHAEL WYCOFF: ‘(Do You Really Love Me) Tell Me Love’ (RCA RCAT 348)
Huge on import LP and now on UK 12in with its dead catchy hook sensibly added to the title, this Webster Lewis-produced brilliant classy 105-106bpm soul jogger after an acapella title chant intro builds cumulatively (through enough instrumental to let mixers vari-speed back up out of the slower Mary Jane Girls/Funk Masters/SOS Band/etc), ending up a real mind nagger . . . not a crossover maybe, but a soul must!

BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘We Can Work It Out’ (Capitol 12CL 299)
Hopefully not now too late on 12in, this infectious socking jittery 117-119-118-117-116-118bpm (acapella fade) groove in the ‘Movin’ tradition is their best since in fact that classic and to rekindle interest has a 2-track flip of last year’s sparser 117-118-119-120bpm ‘Do That Thang‘ and 1976’s speeding 126-127bpm ‘Ha Cha Cha (Funktion)‘. Continue reading “July 9, 1983: Herbie Hancock, Michael Wycoff, Brass Construction, LaFleur, Bob Andy”

July 2, 1983: Gary Byrd & The G.B. Experience, Aretha Franklin, Club House, Serge Ponsar, Lonnie Liston Smith

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CHI-LITES ‘Changing For You‘ has been picked up for UK 12in release by R&B . . . Aretha Franklin’s UK 12in of ‘Get It Right’ (due next week) has the instrumental flip plus her old ‘Jump To It’ . . . George Benson will evidently follow up here with ‘Feel Like Making Love‘ (sensible!), then ‘Inside Love (So Personal)‘ after that . . . Bluebird Records this coming month re-release Lonnie Liston Smith ‘Expansions‘ — which is inspired timing, as next week’s newie from Atmosfear, ‘What Do We Do‘ is basically ‘Expansions’ set to a 117bpm rhythm box instead of their old inconsistent drummer (and rumours of law suits are already flying!) . . . Steve Harvey, off to the States to negotiate deals for ‘Something Special’, tells me his follow-up will be “heavier and not so commercial maybe”, with Carol Kenyon and Billy Ocean amongst backup singers . . . Katie Kissoon has resurfaced on a mystery white label promoed Jive 12in, ‘You’re The One (You’re My Number One)‘, a Darryl Payne-produced formularized plodding creaky 119bpm lurcher with electronic handclaps and bass synth, in four versions . . . Ghanaian Band Kabbala, currently on a short tour, in a fortnight release ‘Yemo Osee (Rejoice)‘ on Red Flame — they’re at the Bracknell Jazz Festival this Sunday (3) . . . Leatherhead’s “all star garden party” last Saturday was in a field fifty times too big for the crowd who turned up, mainly comprised of Gary Crowley & Mick Brown punters who were happy to jump up and down to ‘Contact’, ‘Instant Replay’ and ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag’ while being showered with T-shirts and Capital stickers — which left a little knot of black funkateers in their midst defiantly trying to get down to some insufficiently amplified hard jazz on a ghetto blaster! . . . I had a good time, actually, with plenty of people to talk to, but if I hear ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ again I’ll scream! . . . Showstopper’s recent South of France trip turned out to be based in a half completed new town, with the disco miles away down unlit streets and hostile natives who still reckon we’re fighting Napoleon — and I do hear there was a certain amount of fighting between various husbands and wives in the DJ team, too! . . . US cable TV will soon step up play of black music videos via Black Entertainment Television (with four million national subscribers) and Warner Amex’s Qube system (in just five cities) — the more coverage they get, the more will be made, and available for club use here . . . New York record mixer/producer John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez is due to make his own recording debut on Streetwise . . . Keith Jonas (Sale) has again compiled a list of the top as yet unissued imports for the last three months (including this week), which in order are the Chi-Lites (due soon) Lavias, Advance (due soon), Leon Haywood, Tania Maria, Paul Simpson Connection, Charles Earland, Muscle Shoals Horns, Burgess Gardner, Vaughan Mason & Butch Dayo. Keith also reminds us the US group called Galaxy had an import album on Arista in 1979 containing the single ‘You And Me‘, plus Keith suggests as the fourth track on my hypothetical ‘Philly Hits’ 4-track 12in Jean Carn ‘Don’t Let It Go To Your Head‘ . . . I thought it had to be Jean Carn myself, but like Freddy (“a punter” from Marlow) I’d go for ‘Was That All It Was?‘ . . . Freddy incidentally wonders, “are companies promoting properly if songs like Gwen McCrae ‘Keep The Fire Burning‘ fail to sell?” — that was certainly one that got away . . . Tom Holland, back on the buns, is having fun rooting out material for his alternative soul Sunday midnight-2am show on Radio Horizon 94.4FM . . . I broke my annual diet after discovering Messrs Walls’ horribly addictive new big Feast — I wish they weren’t so good! . . . Warner Bros as a label in the States seems to be mutating into WEA, to judge from the brand new import by Serge Ponsar and UK release by Al Jarreau, both on WEA . . . Flash Gordon (who in an unguarded moment reveals he’s really called Gordon Viney!) now has a day job managing the Plastic Wax Records shop in Cheltenham Road, Bristol, but still jocks at a new local club in Bedminster called McClouds (if the neighbours complain it’s all down to the name!) — he also mutters that pluggers Eyes & Ears don’t seem to appreciate a bad record can’t be pushed in a club because the reaction is face to face . . . Cleveland Area DJ Association invites any bona fide DJ to join members at their meeting the first Sunday every month (ie: this Sunday 3) at 7.30pm in the Odd Fellow Arms, Thornaby . . . Mark Barker (Brighton) reckons Morgan Khan should try a one-off ‘Street Sounds’-style compilation of Boys Town hits, — he suggests Norma Lewis, Hazell Dean, Menage, American Fade, Sylvester, Bobby ‘O’ and more — which could actually be a surprisingly big seller as it’s all just pop music, but possibly more up Marvin Howell’s street at ERC? . . . Friday (1) is the grand final at Haringey Bolts of the National Gay Disco Dancing Championships 1983 . . . Soul To Soul do a funky get down (part 5) at Haverstock Hill’s Hampstead Country Club this Friday . . . Dundee’s Barracuda (great decor if it’s still like it used to be) this Sunday (3) has a Scotland & England jazz-funk alldayer (noon-midnight) with Bill Davidson, Bob Jeffries, John Courtney, Colin Curtis, Kev Edwards, Baz Williams, Alex Lowes . . . Boscombe’s Academy celebrates American Independence Day, July the 4th (Monday), with those well known Americans Central Line live (plus a £1000 motor boat raffle) . . . Tuesday (5) the mixing and rapping Mastermind Roadshow starts weekly at Soho Ronnie Scott’s Maze . . . Lyndon T & Gordon Mac funk it just around the corner at Jean Pierre’s in Soho’s Greek Street every Monday & Tuesday, £3 admission with first drink included, Tuesday cryptically dubbed ‘Flashdance Nite’ . . . Gary Raymond is now the sole DJ (that’s sole, not soul!) at Leicester Square’s Maximus Club, which should interest tourists . . . Dave Higgins is still after versatile jocks for Scottish “lounge” work, on Helensburgh (0436) 83261 . . . Chris Cole (Cranleigh) says a great mixer though not outstanding in its own right is Brilliant ‘Colours‘ (Risk 12in, via Rough Trade) — no, I haven’t had it . . . Roger Davis (Birmingham Boogies) is in luck, his club’s unobtainable monster sound has just been twin-packed as a US remix, the 122bpm ‘Kiss Me‘ by Tin Tin now packaged with the new 128bpm ‘Hold It‘ 12in (WEA X9763T) for pop fans . . . Mecca’s Nottingham regional director John De Holton reminisces in the current Mecca house-mag that in his days as head DJ at the Leeds Locarno, none other than Jimmy Savile OBE used to time all his records by a Beats Per Minute system . . . Pete Tong may be interested to know that Monk Higgins originally recorded ‘Who-Dun-It?‘ in 1966 on the St Lawrence label . . . Jim Kershaw (Sheffield), in our New Cars Section, is dead impressed by his new Vauxhall Nova SR 1.2 L Hatchback, £4,273 on the road, average 47.5mpg, appreciably cheaper and yet a size bigger than the BL Metro — and adds Jim, with a bumper level hatch and enough space for a standard size disco console and six boxes of records (presumably someone follows on a bike with the speakers?) . . . hey, hey, LET’S DRIVE CAREFULLY OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

GARY BYRD & THE G.B EXPERIENCE: ‘The Crown’ (US Wondirection 4507WG)
Produced, co-penned, played on and partly sung by Stevie Wonder, this marathon 10½ minute ‘Good Times’-type 108½bpm 12in rapper will obviously be huge and really trucks with a continuous lyric that makes out civilization as we know it actually began in a mythical black kingdom called Alkebu (yeah, say it loud, I’m Alkeban and I’m proud!), Stevie’s vocal halfway being retained on the instrumental flip.

ARETHA FRANKLIN: ‘Get It Right’ LP (Arista 205544)
Aretha’s latest Luther Vandross-produced set (largely co-penned by Luther with Marcus Miller) contains two strong dancers, the rolling beefy 120-121-123(break)-122-124bpm title track thunker already being on US 12in (with a new instrumental flip) but the real killer is the much cleaner 114(very start)-117½bpm ‘Every Girl (Wants My Guy)‘ strutting smacker. A sultry 0-41½-84bpm revival of The Temptations ‘I Wish It Would Rain‘ doesn’t really cut through on the floor, while other slowies include the jogging 97bpm ‘Pretender’, 102bpm ‘When You Love Me Like That’, and swaying 99bpm ‘I Got Your Love’.

CLUB HOUSE: ‘Do It Again medley with Billie Jean’ (Italian Many Records MN 501)
At the exact same 116½bpm 12in speed as Michael Jackson, this brilliant blending of his tune and the Steely Dan classic weaves the bass lines together and swaps vocals as it progresses (re-recorded, not the original versions of course). Likely to be a massive crossover smash, and the start of yet another medley trend! Continue reading “July 2, 1983: Gary Byrd & The G.B. Experience, Aretha Franklin, Club House, Serge Ponsar, Lonnie Liston Smith”

June 25, 1983: Isley Brothers, Mary Jane Girls, Victor Tavares, The O’Jays, “D” Train

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

SOUTH AFRICAN jazzers Sakhile somehow are tied in with Jive, who will release the thus far extremely hard to find ‘Sakhile‘ here — which is good news! . . . PRT picked up Lonnie Liston Smith, his album being due soon but ‘Never Too Late‘ on single even sooner . . . Aretha Franklin’s latest Luther Vandross-produced set is intended to be a simultaneous US and UK release on July 1, if Arista can ‘Get It Right‘ (the name of the album) . . . James Brown follows up his ‘Blues Brothers’ movie appearance in the new Dan Ackroyd flick, ‘Doctor Detroit’ — which explains why the 7in copy of Devo’s ‘Theme From Doctor Detroit‘ (MCA 822) is selling better than the 12in, as only the 7in flip features Mr Brown’s archetypal 125bpm ‘King Of Soul‘ (far better than his official new release!) . . . Phonogram’s ‘Wired For Clubs‘ compilation has finally surfaced, now so late it looks like an oldies album . . . I’ve done some gigs in my time but last Friday’s Grenadier Guards regimental ball was a mind blower: I was in an authentically decorated Arabian tent next to a Tudor palace amidst rolling parkland in the middle of West London, with Allan Bailey’s New Collection plus two other regimental dance bands playing simultaneously in the house, after 1,060 people had sat down at circular tables in the biggest tent I’ve ever seen (a 14 poler!) to eat fresh seafood (bits of crab, lobster, scallop, mackerel etc) and a whole not-so-baby chicken each . . . I went on until 6.30am (par for the course) after in fact the waltz from ‘Swan Lake’ had been even more of a show stopper than usual — in all the excitement (yes, I know it seems unlikely) a glass got emptied all over my console’s mains input and I had to cut short the ensuing Busby Berkley tap-dancing session as all the metal was giving me electric shocks for a while! . . . Honi Coles, veteran 1930’s tap dancer, won a Tony award as best actor in a musical for his role in ‘My One And Only’ on Broadway — back in the ’60s he used to compere the Thursday night amateur contest at Harlem’s Apollo . . . James Lewis, mixing for years, reckons he’s presenting the only soul/disco radio show in the whole of Wales — on University Radio Abertawe in Swansea, Saturday mornings 9-11am on 312m MW (if you park near the campus walls!): anyway, he’s after mailing list recognition and offers of proper radio or club gigs on 0792- 896928 . . . Greg Parrott (Oxford 730529) recently opened Oxford’s Boodles on Sunday afternoons 4-7pm for a kids disco and may still be looking for a DJ under 18 who’d like to use the club’s equipment and records at the gig . . . Martin John is trying to revitalise Croydon by funking Laurels (ex-Scamps) on Thursdays — Robbie Vincent guests on July 7 and live bands are planned eventually, but meanwhile Martin would like to hear from artists for PAs on 01-464 4719 . . . Southend’s Zero 6 gives free admission to everyone dressed for the beach at this Thursday’s (23) beach party . . . Trevor Hughes this week starts fortnightly Fridays (24) at Stirchley Studios (Telford), hoping to feature a mixture of funky vintages as not only “early funk” but even current Brass Construction, Kashif and Booker Newberry III are considered as Northern Newies locally . . . John DeSade now funks Bearsted’s Tudor House near Maidstone every Friday, promising plenty of PAs and promotions . . . Les Knott, still getting a great atmosphere Sundays, has added Fridays at Old Harlow Joseph’s — which you need to reach early to get in . . . Saturday (25) sees Greg Edwards, Robbie Vincent, Steve Walsh, Gary Crowley, Phil Allen, Mick Brown, Al Matthews plus Push, Midnite “live” and PAs including Galaxy at an ‘All-Star Garden Party’ in the grounds of Leatherhead Leisure Centre from 3pm-midnight — mmm-hmm, put my name on the gate, lads, I might come to that if it’s fine! . . . Paul James, regularly Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun at the Hamilton Club, moves across Birkenhead to Stairways Nightclub just next Wednesday (29) for a mixing session . . . Kelly has transported his ‘Midnight Motown Fandango’ to Bournemouth’s Academy on Friday nights for a few weeks — ie: he revives all the Motown oldies that Tommy Boy’s target audience is too young to remember! . . . Dave Chadwick currently just charts the hits at Catterick’s The Scorpion but reckons his weekly 1,500 punters are into upfront disco and futuristic so what about some mailing list recognition then? — yes, what about it indeed, sir? . . . Michael Wycoff’s US single is ‘There’s No Easy Way‘, penned by Richard Jon Smith . . . The SOS Band ‘Just Be Good To Me‘ (US Tabu) were due after my weekly import-buying visit to Rayners Lane (on 7in it sounded a good purposeful Y & P-ish jogger), while the Zapp-produced New Horizons LP (US Columbia) in ‘Reaching For New Horizons‘ has potentially another ‘Do You Really Want An Answer?’ . . . Neil Fincham (Edinburgh Mad Hatters Speakeasy) after much trial and error has decided that East Scotland’s best import stockist is The Other Record Shop at 46 High Street, Edinburgh (discounts for regular spenders) . . . Nick Davies was recently visited at Watford’s New Penny by George ‘n’ Andrew of Wham, with acetates of their LP from which the Latin flavoured next single ‘Club Tropicana‘ and a revival of the Miracles ‘Love Machine‘ stood out . . . Brother to Brother (Stanmore Chevaliers) say an all-time killer mix is the Jacksons ‘Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)’ into Mongo Santamaria ‘Watermelon Man’ (Tappan Zee 12in version presumably?), while Michael Jackson ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ synched at the unaccompanied “mama see mama sa, mama makossa” into the opening handclaps of Weeks & Co ‘Knock Knock’ kills John Dene (Dunstable Tiffany’s Sat/Sun, Harlow Tiffany’s Fri, Guildford Cinderella Rockerfellas Mon, open to offers for the other nights!) . . . ‘Street Sounds —Edition 4’ makes a mockery of the chart I supplied for the inner liner, and contains only the 7in edit of C.O.D./Brunson . . . Arrow ‘Hot Hot Hot’ turns out to be on Chrysalis AIR label, while last week Newtrament became Nutrament and Malaco came out as Malco (again) . . . Breakers are missing this week as there are hardly enough hot records to compile even a full Disco 85, and apart from a few fast sellers it seems overall soul sales are quiet too at the moment . . . Boys Town Disco chart movements slowed up again after the inclusion of some less than upfront new contributors — with such a small sample, if this is to be an up to date shopping list we do need to know about the newies as well as Norma Lewis, you guys! . . . Adrian Dunbar specifically on Wednesdays at Southampton Warehouse is getting buses of boys from all over the mid-South, but has already stopped Sundays at Birmingham Millionaires . . . Tricky Dicky at Stratford (East London) boys venue The Pigeons this Saturday (25) is puttin’ on The Ritz, who take it all off . . . I see 12 guys got expelled from my old school for smoking pot last week — in my day there, you were more likely to be given the shove for being caught with a woman! . . . hey, hey, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

ISLEY BROTHERS: ‘Between The Sheets’ (Epic TA 3513)
Marvin Gaye/Mtume style sexually healing superb sensual 83bpm smoocher, their biggest import seller in ages as a 7in, now in the UK on 5-track 12in followed by its 84bpm instrumental and flipped by — not a medley, as previously misinformed — three separate oldies, the yowling guitar climaxed 34/69-75-77-78-74-79bpm ‘Summer Breeze’, ever accelerating 122-128bpm ‘That Lady (Parts 1 & 2)’ and ditto c.116(intro)-28-133-0bpm ‘Harvest For The World’.

MARY JANE GIRLS: ‘All Night Long’ (Gordy TMGT 1309)
Now here’s the hit from the Rick James Girls’ set … and if you can’t sing along to it already, you obviously haven’t been to a soul club since Easter! The next Sunfire/Billy Griffin, it’s a dynamite slinky sensuous 98bpm 12in groove with husky muttering and cooing over heartbeat bass before the sax finale — and this is where La Famille’s UK cover version will benefit, as stupidly there’s no instrumental flip!

VICTOR TAVARES: ‘Show Me’ (Malaco MAL 120010, via Pinnacle)
Extremely effective dead simple 110½bpm 12in smacker with chix-answered catchy title line chanting repetitive lyrics over a phased backbeat (instrumental flip), only ever about in eagerly sought limited numbers on import and now out here. Continue reading “June 25, 1983: Isley Brothers, Mary Jane Girls, Victor Tavares, The O’Jays, “D” Train”

June 18, 1983: Oliver Cheatham, Manhattans, Bohannon, Terri Wells, La Famille

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS WEEK Motown rush Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’ on 12in ahead of schedule to counteract the cover by La Famile . . . Karen Young ‘You Don’t Know What You’ve Got‘ has been repressed on Firebird/Pinnacle (FLAME 40T) with the superior 124bpm import ‘Party Mix‘ as flip . . . Pagoda ‘Finders Keepers’ / ‘We’re Alright Tonight’ has been belatedly picked up by Chrysalis . . . Status IV does not have any Toney Lee spliced into it on UK pressings — who told me it did? — and also please note the ‘Street Sounds — Edition 4’ dealer price was quoted last week, you’ll have to pay a crippling £3.99! . . . Bermondsey Dun Cow resident Ron ‘Spider’ Baker in his quest for copyright-cleared video material now finds himself able to supply it himself, hour long tapes containing around 18 bands (mainly pop acts to start with) with a weekly charge to cover copyright fees, full details on 01-674 3301 . . . David Emery is launching his own Pacific Promotions independent plugging service for Scotland and the North East, covering radio plus wine bar and other listening-type DJs as well as just disco, with a few more really upfront product-breaking jocks needed from Edinburgh/Glasgow/Dundee/Perth/Teeside/Tyneside (no other areas) — apply to Avenue House, 31 Fern Avenue, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (0632 814001) . . . Carl Kingston, a veteran from 1977 of the Israel based The Voice Of Peace offshore commercial radio station, is now its UK representative and looking for experienced presenters (any Sunday pirates fancy a real life on the ocean wave?) — send audition tapes and CVs to Carl at 187 Chanterlands Avenue, Hull, North Humberside, HU5 3TL . . . Paul & Robin Wheelers Jacksons nightclub in Staines reopens with air-conditioning and new decor early next month in a three pronged celebration for which free (before 9.30pm) invitations are available on Staines 53193 to cover Thursday July 7 alternative music, Friday (8) jazz-funk, Sat (9) disco — take your pick! . . . Booker Newberry III is very apparent, though younger sounding, on Sweet Thunder’s 111bpm ‘Everybody’s Singin’ Love Songs‘ and — especially, though it’s less danceable — the ‘Sweet Thunder’ flip from ’78 (US Fantasy WMOT 12in) . . . Roger Davis (Birmingham Boogies) says following ‘Love Town’ the popularity of McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ has increased to the extent that what was always a floor-filling oldie, is now requested like a newie . . . Philadelphia International being about to wind up, or at any rate re-cycling old product at the moment, couldn’t CBS step in with a killer 4-track 12in containing McFadden & Whitehead, Billy Paul ‘Bring The Family Back’, O’Jays ‘I Love Music’ and — any suggestions? . . . ‘Philly’s Hits’ could clean up the ghetto right now, as there’s a whole new generation out there who missed ’em first time . . . Stateside Irene Cara is top Dance/Disco, Mtume top Black hit — and to avoid confusion with another act, Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon in the USA is listed as just Fearon . . . Nicky Holloway & Sean French this Thursday (16) kick off weekly jazz-soul at Watford Odeon Film Centre’s Gema’s (Sean had better keep clear of the Ponderosa if he wants to stay slim!) . . . Tony Simmons, at Luton Dance Centre every Thursday, starts Friday (17) spinning “sophisticated music” weekly at Luton Mirrors, in Doublets Nightclub . . . Brother To Brother at Stanmore Chevaliers this weekend feature northern visitors Baz Williams on Friday (17), Kev Edwards on Saturday (18) . . . Brian Mason as well as Saturdays at St Albans Adelaide Disco Wine Bar has added Mon/Tues/Wed with free admission those new nights . . . Sean Brett emphasises jazz at his Heywood Vickys (Sun)/Bury Peelers (Mon) gigs, and slips “some heavy tackle” into the commercial fund whenever possible at Rawtenstall’s The Royal (Thurs/Sat) . . . Guildford Cinderellas Rockerfellas has a midsummer Xmas Eve party next Wednesday (22) . . . I’m doing the Grenadier Guards regimental ball at Syon House this Friday, guest of honour the Colonel in Chief, HRH Prince Philip — now let’s face it, those are the sort of gigs to get! . . . Ray Carter “and friends” (considering who he produces these days there should be some surprises!) are at Mayfair Gullivers on Wednesday (22) . . . Miquel Brown finishes her boys town tour Thur (6) Oxford Coven, Fri (17) Bournemouth Cabaret, Sat (18) Southampton Magnum . . . Brighton Bolts returns to Sherrys this Sunday (19), except Sherrys is now called the Pink Coconut . . . Adrian Dunbar’s first boys town venture at Birmingham Millionaires went so well he’s now repeating the exercise every Sunday . . . I was exploring the sunny South Wales coast last Sunday and spotted a signpost to Boy’s Village — full of cottages, no doubt! . . . Alan Coulthard’s special mixes are of Wham and a late ’70s medley on the current Disco Mix Club cassette pack — Tony Prince says membership is now 360 and growing . . . Pete Haigh’s current “urban contemporary” fave on Thursdays at Standish Cassinelli’s is Yazoo’s “alternative B-side” ‘State Farm‘ . . . John Tracy (Sheffield) mixes Prince Charles ‘Jungle Stomp’/Sinnamon ‘Fierce Remix’/Shirley Lites/Freeez ‘I Dub You’ for a 20 minute floorfiller . . . The Jonzun Crew ‘We Are The Jonzun Crew‘ / Instrumental (US Tommy Boy 12in) has been slightly remixed . . . Labour’s Denis Healey amongst other indiscretions recently gave a whopping plug on telly to the Japanese Datsun Cherry, saying how much better value it is than the British Maestro — I have to agree, as since the end of April I’ve been driving a 3-door Cherry 1.3GL which with extra rust proofing, stereo and full year’s road fund all included cost £4,500 at Datsun Acton, gives me a hard-driving average 42.2mpg, and somehow feels like an expensive large car inside a small car’s body . . . Chris Ellis, a fellow Soul On Sound defector (he didn’t get paid anything!) really has landed in Corfu, where if you don’t want ‘Disco Bouzouki’ every other record the more soulful clubs are La Boum (Corfu Town), Atalaya (Dassia), Albatross (Ipsos), Spiros Disco (Paleokastritsa) . . . Paul Haig’s label Les Disques De Crepuscule translates as The Records Of Dusk — I happen to know as while growing up in Paris I was intrigued by the French title for Elvis Presley’s film ‘Love Me Tender’, ‘Le Chevalier Du Crepuscule’ (‘The Horseman Of The Dusk’ — although ‘Twilight Rider’ sounds less literal!) . . . Eyes & Ears Nicky McKenzie has now caught mailing list jocks ticking off on reaction forms that their local record shop is stocking a title that’s not yet been released — come on, there’s enough paperwork without having to worry about niggling details like that! . . . LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

OLIVER CHEATHAM: ‘Get Down Saturday Night’ (MCA MCAT 828)
Newly extended after the great rhythm break for UK 12in, this dynamite compulsive 116¾bpm soul trotter is simplicity itself with uncluttered lean beat and virtuoso vocal work combining into perfection. A smash!

MANHATTANS: ‘Crazy’ (US Columbia 44-03940)
Hotter than they’ve been for years, penned/produced by John Anderson & Steve Williams for Mighty M Productions this chunkily tripping 112½bpm 12in floater has soulful feathery vocal lightness and nice sax woven into a slick sparse modern tugging rhythm (instrumental flip).

BOHANNON: ‘Let’s Start The Dance III’ (US Compleat/Phase II CPD-204)
Oh well, with the hits drying up Hamilton B returns yet again to revamp his classic — and who’s complaining? Now remixed and overdubbed by Francois Kevorkian it’s still the basic hard driving original but given a brand new 120(intro)-119-118-119-118bpm 12in veneer, very different from ‘Let’s Start II Dance Again’, great out of ‘Zwei’. Continue reading “June 18, 1983: Oliver Cheatham, Manhattans, Bohannon, Terri Wells, La Famille”

June 11, 1983: Canute, George Benson, Michael Wycoff, Wickett, Electric Mind

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ISLEY BROTHERS ‘Between The Sheets’ on UK 12in hopefully in a fortnight will have vocal and instrumental versions on the A-side, flipped by a medley of the old ‘Summer Breeze/That Lady/Harvest For The World’ — is that hot?! . . . Fatback’s fabulous ‘Is This The Future?’ is now on import 12in (US Spring SPR-12-411) in its original album form, flipped by a drastic remix which to accustomed ears ruins the track with sax spoiling the intro and all sorts of other groove disrupting stuff . . . Shalamar take their admiration of all things Anglo to ludicrous lengths on their ‘Dead Giveaway‘ newie, which is 149bpm pure pop and not disco or soul at all . . . Phonogram have put on promo only a Kool & The Gang ‘Ladies Night — ’83 Remix‘ to help plug the ‘Twice As Kool’ album — with a brand new intro and some “hey hey lady” additions it’s now a significantly different 113(intro)-110-111-112-115-112-115-114-117bpm . . . Polydor plan to release Advance in July — question is, will anyone even remember it then? . . . TMT have spiced into Status IV a bit of Toney Lee ‘Reach Up’ for 12in release soon — hopefully it’ll strengthen floor response as excellent vocals apart and chart placing notwithstanding, the beat at the moment doesn’t in honesty really grab ’em . . . Richard Jon Smith’s newie later this month will have a free cassette given with the first 5,000 copies, containing a 28:20-long medley of all his singles which I put together last week — ‘Baby’s Got Another/Stay With Me Tonight/Keep On Walkin’ Out That Door/Don’t Go Walkin’ Out That Door/She’s The Master (Of The Game)/This Is The Moment/Love Is What I’m After’ — the actual 4-track 12in being three versions of the 113bpm ‘She’s The Master (Of The Game)‘ (stupid title and, although it grew on me with familiarity, weakest of them all to my mind) plus the much stronger “ooh aah” punctuated 112¾bpm ‘Love Is What I’m After‘ (Jive JIVE T 38) . . . Alan Coulthard as you may have gathered has been busy creating special superstar megamixes for the now flourishing Disco Mix Club, brainchild of Tony Prince who actually quit his executive role at Radio Luxembourg to concentrate on this new concept, which as a recent advertisement revealed, supplies subscribing DJs/club managers (no general public allowed) with monthly packages of three cassettes and a good little DJ magazine, the cassettes (every individual track pre-cued by a jingle stab) divided up with one containing the Coulthard material — a superstar megamix (Michael Jackson, Imagination I’ve heard so far), a pop dance mix, and a funk disco floorfiller mix marathon — and then two containing a wide range of brand new dance records verbally identified by Prince: so, given a brace of cassette decks and your own microphone to cover any hiccups, you need never buy an actual record again! (details on 06286-63227) . . . I only recently was given the Disco Mix Club packs, and had held back on commenting about the scheme obviously until having the chance to judge it myself . . . Alan’s Michael Jackson mix was recently pressed in vinyl by CBS for distribution to record dealers as a promo only, one copy each, definitely not for sale — which seems pretty silly, as there’s guys out there forcing their grannies into white slavery to raise enough money to maybe bribe their local shop manager into slipping it under the counter (£50 is the oft quoted going offer, in fact)! . . . CBS’s distribution/pressing set up was on strike last week, causing aggro for record dealers and all the other CBS-distributed/pressed labels like Virgin and WEA — with shortages in the shops, a lot of hits will appear to dip in this week’s pop chart, and newies like I Level won’t even get started . . . Morgan Khan’s ‘Street Sounds — Edition 4‘ has been another worry for record dealers, as customers have stopped buying the featured singles while waiting for the budget priced album’s release — it’s got Sunfire ‘Young Free And Single’ / Mtume ‘Juicy Fruit’ / Gladys Knight ‘Overtime’ / “D” Train ‘Music’ / Maze ‘Love Is The Key’ / First Light ‘Daybreak’ / Class Action ‘Weekend’ / Forrest ‘Feel The Need’ / Luther Vandross ‘Sweetest One’ / Lenny White ‘Didn’t Know’ / Ingram ‘Groovin’ On A Groove’ / C.O.D. ‘Bottle/Smurf Megamix’ all full 12in versions, all for £2.43 (STSND 004) — could it be just too good for its own health? . . . Soul On Sound were still only paying me the same as when they started for my preview mix medleys and I decided for the amount of work involved it really wasn’t enough — so on the latest edition you’ll find a lot of rhythm breaks strung together by Xenon’s Peter Romer instead . . . Edgbaston’s Faces French club chain looks like adding two new venues later this year, and DJ boss Steve Dennis is checking out potential jocks by giving them guest spots at Faces — apply to him on 021-643 9433 weekday afternoons . . . Al Jarreau’s ‘Mornin’ video must’ve cost a fortune, he’s totally incorporated into a brand new but nostalgically old fashioned fully animated cartoon! . . . Tania Maria returns to London with her own group for a show at the Dominion on July 17 (box office 01-580 9562) . . . Chris Bangs revives the legendary Rio venue at Didcot Hadden Hill) this and every Friday now, promising a jazzy bias, aided by Gino . . . Martin Collins, Brother Louie, Ralph Tee & Shaun James get out the tackle this Friday too (10) at Aylesbury Civic Centre (Aston Hall), in aid of spina bifida . . . Fatman Graham Canter, now manager at Soho’s Le Beat Route, starts from this Friday selling all standard spirits for 50p a shot, all night every night! . . . Haringey Bolts annual National Gay Disco Dancing Championships currently through June has heats at boys town venues all over mainland Britain, culminating in the final at Bolts on July 1 . . . Miquel Brown meanwhile continues her boys town tour through Derby Gossips (Thur 9), Newcastle Rockshots (Fri), Edinburgh Fire Island (Sat), Birmingham Nightingales (Tues), Bristol Oasis (Wed), Oxford Coven (Thur 16) . . . Mary Wells is live at Mayfair Gullivers on Wednesday (15) . . . Millie Jackson on telly last week certainly showed fitting contempt for the candyfloss sentiments of ‘My Man A Sweet Man’, her only UK hit (for one week at 50 in 1972) — so why did she feel obliged to perform it (funny though her treatment was)? . . . I was watching at home, unfortunately with my mother, who kept saying “She isn’t black, I mean not really BLACK”, and “This isn’t soul music is it?” — no, not much, Ma! . . . Russ Winstanley has compiled a little ‘Wigan Casino Story’ booklet, available by post for 56p from him at Tiffanys, Standishgate, Wigan — or for 40p over the counter there at the allniter this Fnday (10) . . . North West DJ Association’s mobile-orientated disco exhibition is this Sunday (12) at Stockport’s Belgrade Hotel, Dialstone Lane, 11am-5pm . . . Maurice Bransfield of Moonfleet Records at 169 Clapham High Street, London SW4 infos that the recently mentioned Lee Lynch ‘Famous Shamus‘ is on Blue Angel (BA 001) and available from the shop’s huge stock of Irish records — they also do lotsa oldies, party stuff for mobiles, and all the current funk/dance stuff including imports . . . Huddersfield’s group called Galaxy have become Brazelia, with a self titled ‘Brazelia’ fast c.128bpm percussive instrumental samba flier on Broad Star 7in — however, Tony Monson on the radio said he had a 12in, so could someone get one to me please? . . . Paul Major, now ensconced at Hinckley Bubbles, has finally found an outlet for his voluminous jottings by turning them into a ‘Polly Promotions’ house mag for the Mecca disco chain . . . Gary Oldis dropped his Bee Jays nights in Darlington to concentrate on just the Bee Jays Country Club at Aycliffe . . . Cosmic seems increasingly busy with gigs now including three nights at Basildon New Yorker/Liberties, where for some reason he calls the Monday teen scene “Zit Night”! . . . Sean Brett, at Heywood Vickys every Sunday, has just added Mondays with Ricky Patrick at Bury Peelers . . . Kev Edwards & Baz Williams now soul Preston Clouds Tudor Room every Tuesday . . . Manchester’s Mike Shaft apparently hasn’t the necessary to launch his new mag ‘Groovin’ just now — or is that ‘NOW’? . . . Arthur Baker, hot New Yorker producer/mixer, turns out against probably most peoples mental image to be white, short, 26, with long dark hair and beard — not that there’s anything wrong with that! . . . Michael Jackson’s new 12in is not flipped by his original ‘Rock With You’ but disappointingly by The Jacksons’ live 121-120-0bpm version — which is OK in fact . . . Finis Henderson ‘School Girl’ ain’t as fast as all that (1125bpm printed last week!), it’s only 115bpm, while soul stars visiting Anglesey’s Minnies can probably double-up PAs at Bodelwydan Poppeys, 40 miles away (any week!) . . . 12in imports in the past fortnight that seemed less than essential were by Stone (be warned!), Skyy, Futura, Attitude, Brutus, Newcleus, Earons, Pamela Nivens, electro ones by Midnight Star, Private Sector, Brian & Zan, Little Toni Marsh, and an interesting sort of ‘Let’s Twist Again’ idea in the shape of Chase ‘Back To Funky Town‘ (US Central Park 12in) by ‘Funky Town’s original Lipps Inc producer; LP imports included soulful Anita Baker (Beverly Glen Music), GC Cameron (Malaco), plus disappointing Phyllis Hyman (Arista), predictable Chuck Mangione (US Columbia), duff One Two Three (Prelude), Strangers (Salsoul) . . . Gullivers resident Graham Gold about turns on I Level, he thinks the B-side is nice but this time rates the new A-side as “awful” — ooh, what will Pete Tong say? . . . Phil Mitchell at Newcastle Julies was surprised that visiting Harlem Globetrotters hadn’t even heard of Maze . . . Camberley’s Frenchies club incidentally had its 6th birthday last week . . . Midnite not surprisingly now want paying for PAs: while leaving a PA at Epping Forest Country Club a huge fight broke out in the car park and their van was badly damaged — and then at London’s Busbys new singer Carla suddenly realised that the dance troupe on stage were using her handbag as a prop, minus her purse and 50 quid . . . remember, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

CANUTE: ‘Turn It Up’ (Loose End Records LET 106, via MCA)
Linx’s one-time guitarist has an unusual husky sorta shouting vocal style which sounds distinctively different (slightly “D” Train) on an incredibly infectious pounding remorseless 118½bpm 12in smacker — all about turning up the music as loud as it’ll go in defiance of authority! — set to this great driving beat that just don’t quit, and which is more blatantly electronic on the (co-writer) Roy Hamilton-ish instrumental flip. This really struts!

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Feel Like Making Love’ (LP ‘In Your Eyes’ Warner Bros 92-3744-1)
The quality laden Arif Mardin-produced set starts with its immediate smash killer, Roberta’s classic taken at an easy 112bpm backbeat (great with Dick Smith ‘Sunny’), the other instant standout being the acappella harmony introed creamily thrumming 102bpm ‘Never Too Far To Fall‘ (with trick pause towards end), there being further news of the Kashif-penned speedy 117½bpm ‘Inside Love’ US single in the review below, while other cuts include the gently harmonised steadily ticking 105bpm ‘Love Will Come Again‘, lush old-style smoochy instrumental 0-68/34-0bpm ‘Being With You’, gradually unfurling delicate 103bpm ‘Use Me’, and a couple of Lionel Richie-ish pop radio ballads.

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Inside Love (So Personal)’ (US Warner Bros 0-20110)
Keeping tabs on Benson’s vinyl configurations gets harder! Here’s the Kashif-penned/co-produced US single now on 12in with — just for a change — a much extended dynamite tripping scat ‘n’ guitar filled 117bpm instrumental remix as A-side, flipped by the suddenly less effective LP length vocal version (plus of course ‘In Search Of A Dream’!). It’s hot! Continue reading “June 11, 1983: Canute, George Benson, Michael Wycoff, Wickett, Electric Mind”

June 4, 1983: Ingram, The Style Council, Smokey Robinson, Supa-Rap ft T.C. Anderson, Bill Wolfer

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

GEORGE BENSON’s new ‘In Your Eyes’ album is due today but no review copies were allowed in advance . . . Maze follow up with ‘We Are One’ / ‘Right On Time’ in a fortnight . . . Creole picked up Natasha King ‘AM—FM’ for imminent release . . . Bank Holiday deadlines (yet another) only two days after last week’s column was written mean I’ve had no new records in the mail, and not enough new imports to bother buying . . . Ingram’s ‘DJ’s Delight Medley’ has inevitably ended up a draggy 2½bpm slower than I recorded it, instructions to speed up the cut having been ignored —ideally I’d wanted it at around 111-114bpm . . . Hereward Radio’s Steve Allen has in fact just closed his Discoasis record shop in Peterborough as the lease expired, but is starting up a mail order service specializing in imports and white labels on 0733-69589/64109 . . . David Higgins runs nine disco units around the West of Scotland with six full and four part time jocks working a “lounge” circuit, 40-50 gigs a week, and is always looking for more good intelligent DJs on Helensburgh (0436) 83261 . . . Basingstoke Martines preliminary heats for the Miss Martines competition run every Friday until the final on July 1, the eventual winner getting automatic entry into the Miss UK contest — meanwhile, Reading Rebeccas has become a Martines too, following redecoration, DJ John Sinclair saying the latest craze there is people queueing to get in! . . . Nick Ratcliffe, marrying Fay next Saturday and then moving house, has a mint condition stereo Hawaii mark III console on offer at £300, call 0344-882535 before the wedding — oh, and Tuesday (4) Nick’s “creamy capers” night at Guildford Cinderellas Rockerfellas has free admission with a cream cake (hmm, naughty but nice!) . . . Charlie Brown shares Friday with Phil Jay and solos Wednesday at the revamped and reopened Godalming Grapevine, latterly Secrets, now confusingly rechristened Visions Nightspot . . . Chris Brown pulled out of the Lyceum Bank Holiday alldayer as the advertising didn’t comply with his reasonable stipulations (which so long after the event hardly matter now) . . . Adrian Thomas’s funky Fridays at Anglesey’s Minnies, Red Wharf Bay, are so successful that Saturdays are getting soulful too — and, as the only pure soul venue in the area, Adrian’s after appropriate PAs (which could double-up with a visit to Al Taylor at Bodelwydan Poppeys this week) so call 0248 723054 . . . Mezzoforte play Watford Baileys this week followed on Monday (6) by Shakatak for six days . . . Boys Town fave Miquel Brown kicks off a lengthy UK club tour Fri (3) Haringey Bolts, Sun (5) Brighton Bolts, Wed (8) Manchester Heroes, Thur (9) Derby Gossips . . . Megatone’s profits from the Patrick Cowley ‘Megamedley‘ / ‘Menergy’ / ‘I Wanna Take You Home’ 12in are going to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis campaign for further research into AIDS, the now widely sensationalized incurable disease from which Cowley recently died . . . Gary Allan is now back full time at Liverpool’s Concert Street Wed-thru-Sun as his guesting venue The Warehouse was burnt to the ground after an electrical fault — ‘Burn This Disco Out’, indeed! . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson has indeed replaced Alan James Jewell in Bangkok at the Oriental Hotel’s Diana’s, where the music is very fast and basically gay with everyone getting very excitable, AJJ himself moving on to Hong Kong for a year to open the new Hollywood Boulevard club . . . Dave Thomas has switched his jazz-funk night in Shrewsbury from Wednesday at Tiffany’s to Sunday at the Oak Hotel (8-12pm, 50p) as of this weekend . . . Nicky Holloway, doing under 18s at Lewisham’s new Paradise Garage (in the old Odeon — ah memories!) every Wednesday, has started free admission laid back jazz ‘n’ soul on Sunday lunchtimes at Bermondsey’s Swan & Sugarloaf (in Dockhead), where his regular Monday night guest next week is Bob Jones . . . Mark Franklin also funks the Swan & Sugarloaf Sat/Sundays, Tooley Street Royal Oak (London Bridge) Thurs/Fridays, Old Kent Road Green Man Wednesdays . . . Paul Clark has left the declining Brighton Busby’s soul Sundays to join Chris Hill at the Sheffield Arms Music Room weekly, and he’s also with Chris at Canvey Goldmine this Saturday (4) . . . Neil Fincham’s new co-jock at Edinburgh Mad Hatters Speakeasy, Jimmy Combe now features 90 minutes of jazz from 8pin Fridays . . . Mike Page having moseyed along, Pat Taylor took over Fri/Sat at Shifnal’s Nell Gwyn — how quick on the draw is he? . . . Mark Millar, busy around Telford with his Double M Mobile, bows out of the area this Friday (3) at Donnington Community Centre to move to Wells in Somerset, and would welcome calls from friendly jocks down there on 0952-583906 in the next fortnight . . . Tony Kelleher is a BSc — which sounds impressive until you see it means Burford Sound Controller, at Stratford’s Burford Arms in East London! . . . Gladys Knight & The Pips ‘Overtime’ replaced Michael Jackson ‘Beat It’ as top US Black single after just one week, New Edition having been there before Michael — and David Bowie continues to keep David Joseph off the top US Dance/Disco slot . . . Billboard’s Dance/Disco Top 80 is, apparently, compiled from only fifteen clubs’ charts — Record Mirror uses 60-70 or so for Disco, 6-10 for Boys Town, and a whole heap for Nightclub . . . Art Allen (Guernsey Renoir’s), please note we don’t usually use charts from outside mainland Britain, to keep things consistent . . . Richard Searling starts a brand new weekly ‘Soul Sauce’ show this Friday (3) in Preston on Red Rose Radio (301 MW) 8.10pm . . . London Town is yet another skull ‘n’ crossbones soul station Sunday evenings on 91FM . . . Nino at Bristol’s Radio West is currently presenting a funk ‘n’ soul party programme every Saturday night 10pm-1am, amongst other shows . . . Steve ‘Stephan’ Phillips souls Bristol’s Prince Rupert Thurs/Fri/Sat, the Smugglers bar Wed/Sun . . . Nick De Haan has moved to Watford New Penny (Thurs), Slough Studio 1 (Fri), Mortlake Rumps (Sat) — he shops in Rayners Lane too! . . . Ron ‘Spider’ Baker, resident at the Old Kent Road’s famous Dun Cow (which is due for a massive video/laser/lighting refit to turn it from fun pub to ultratheque), reckons ‘Beat It’ got over with his punters purely because of the video — and then makes the pertinent point that record companies can only gain by making promotional videos freely available to similar venues, where the good videos are greeted like film premieres and help to sell hundreds of records . . . Rob Byron writes from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to tip that Jesmond’s Carriage pub shows great funk videos like George Clinton, Grandmaster Flash, Al Jarreau and others he’d never seen before . . . Brian Cardno at Berwick-on-Tweed’s Red Lion with new video screens is, guess what, after promo videos . . . Darryl Hayden’s Videotheque with 13 ft screens is at West Kensington’s Sunset Club Fridays/Tuesdays . . . Adrian Martin sent the grill room’s menu from Abergele’s Jollie Nites, which includes frogs legs — um-yum, I’ll have to check it when next in North Wales . . . Walthamstow’s Steve Day, reduced to just Tues/Sat gigs, wants more on 01-531 8948 (evenings) — but does he know there’s another Steve Day down Dover way? . . . Shirley Lewis ‘Love’s Warming Up’, recently reviewed, is in fact on 98.7 Records via CBS . . . Frenchie (Blackpool) revives Jerry Bell ‘Falling In Love With You Again‘ off the 1981 US MCA ‘Winter Love Affair’ LP and Joe Bataan ‘Latin Lover‘ from 1980’s US Salsoul ‘Mestizo’ album, while his erstwhile partner Pete Haigh (Standish Cassinellis/Caton Scarthwaite) revives The Time ‘Cool‘ (Warner Bros 12in) . . . Brian Brindle (Chelsea Alibi) finds Grover Washington Jr ‘Jamming‘ goes great out of Ingram ‘Smoothin Groovin‘ . . . Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana) finds a varispeed mix between Forrest and Bill Fredericks a doddle, but Adrian Dunbar (Bournemouth Adams/Southampton Warehouse) doesn’t, although he says Bill’s great with Michael Jackson ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ and Mannys ‘I Love You So’ . . . Polydor finally got the hang of Booker Newberry III — at one stage they thought he was Booker T. Newbury III! . . . Whodini appears to be big with Pakistani’s, I’m reliably informed, as is all the electro stuff . . . Bryan O’Connor’s rumour about Orin ‘Ladies Man’ Cozier’s impending marriage did indeed upset a lot of young things, and was totally fabricated, much to their relief! . . . LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

INGRAM: ‘Smoothin Groovin’ (Streetwave WAVEL 3)
The Ingram Family’s superb sophisticated gently flowing yet punchily pulsating 115(intro)-113-114-115-116½(outro)bpm semi-instrumental shuffler has indeed been a jazz-funk smash on import but now as a 3-track UK 12in it’s got not only its original more moronically monotonous jiggly 108½bpm ‘DJ’s Delight‘ flip but also a brand new four song medley mixed by myself (and subsequently spoilt by Morgan Khan who snipped out the climax — which will be reinstated if there’s a second pressing!), this 108½-107½-111-112-111-111¾-0bpm ‘DJ’s Delight Medley’ blending ‘DJ’s Delight’, ‘We Like To Do It’. ‘Smoothin Groovin’ and — the now mandatory “piggyback”! — Greg Henderson’s ‘Dreamin’. I think you’ll like it.

THE STYLE COUNCIL : ‘Money-Go-Round’ (Polydor TSCX 2)
Paul Weller surprisingly ships up a good jittery driving almost David Joseph-ish 117-118-119-117-118-117bpm 12in disco beat with a long strong jazz-funk brass and piano break, reminiscent of Ian Dury & The Blockheads, while 6T’s dancers should appreciate the flip’s ‘Billy’s Bag’-type 155-154bpm organ and piano ‘Mick’s Up‘ instrumental by Mick Talbot. I’m impressed!

SMOKEY ROBINSON: ‘Touch The Sky’ (Motown TMG 1307)
Overdue release and only on 7in of his recent album’s best (title) track, a lovely tremulously whinnying 112bpm steady pulsator built around a rolling piano and walking bass, flipped by the gorgeous 108bpm ‘All My Life’s A Lie‘ — good value vinyl for quality rather than thrill seekers. Continue reading “June 4, 1983: Ingram, The Style Council, Smokey Robinson, Supa-Rap ft T.C. Anderson, Bill Wolfer”

May 28, 1983: Oliver Cheatham, The Funk Masters, Mary Jane Girls, Terri Wells, Imagination

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

YES INDEEDY — Greg’s back . . . Streetwave’s next “JH piggyback” is a mixed medley of Ingram ‘DJs Delight/We Like To Do It/Smoothin’ Groovin’ AND Greg Henderson ‘Dreamin’, on 3-track 12in this weekend with the two normal tracks — however the first 10,000 will leave out to my mind the climax of the whole mix thanks to meddling Morgan Khan thinking he knew better while my back was turned — bah! . . . Ingram’s UK LP will include the old ‘Mi Sabrina Tequana‘ and ‘Music Has The Power‘ — and while still in West Acton ‘Street Sounds Edition 4‘ will include Mtume/Gladys Knight/’D’ Train/C.O.D. megamix/First Light ‘Daybreak’/Class Action/Lenny White/Luther Vandross ‘n more — phew! . . . First Light’s 7in doesn’t include ‘Daybreak‘, the hot track! . . . Motown invite all jocks to send in for a mailing list application form, from Disco Mailing List, c/o Motown Records, 1 Bedford Avenue, London WC1 . . . Tony Monson unearthed a South African jazz LP by and called ‘Sakhile’ (SA Moonshine LP), only a few about at the moment, the title track being a delicately pulsing relaxed sinuous slow 99-100-99bpm tapper with gentle sax and some languid title chanting, hot for them that have it . . . Victor Tavares ‘Show Me‘ (US Malaco 12in) is another hot rarity so far . . . Vince Montana is re-recording lots of his oldies especially for the UK . . . Indeep’s US LP is a real old-fashioned “follow-up to a hit” rip-off, the only main new ‘Buffalo Bill‘ disco cut being heavily influenced by Malcolm McLaren . . . Jonny Chingas’ follow-up US 12in is the unbelievably awful fast c.130bpm ‘Ghandi’ Anglo (Anglo-Indian?) galloper . . . Hazell Dean PAs at Haringey Bolts this Friday (27), while incidentally Brighton Bolts has been at Coasters every Sunday during Sherry’s renovation . . . I Level PA at Edgbaston Faces French on Saturday (28), when at Charing King Arthur’s Court residents Kev Ashman & Nicky Peck wear everything white including their hair for a silly “white (k)night”! . . . Jonathon, Steve Allen, Paul ‘Jazzbo’ Murphy ‘n more plus a video room funk Peterborough Cresset Centre Slickers alldayer (4pm) this Sunday (29), when Adrian Dunbar and chums try out a Boys Town one-niter at Birmingham Millionaires . . . Bank Holiday Monday events include Greg Wilson, Mike Shaft, Colin Curtis, Simon Walsh ‘n Chad at Wigan Pier alldayer (2pm), Nicky Peck, Chris Kaye, Kev Ashman, Tom Holland, John DeSade etc etc at West Malling Greenways 6th Kent Soul Fest (6pm), Chris Brown, Paul Clark & Thomas Felton Esquire at Leysdown Stage 3 (6pm), Capital’s Phil Allen, JFM’s Graham Gold, Gordon Mac & Lyndon T plus star PAs at Peckham Kisses (4pm), ‘Top Club DJ 1983’ Franklyn Hughes, Ian White & Lloyd Earl at Oxford Boodles (3pm), Phil Jorge & Two Counties Radio’s John Terrett (playing all sorts) at Bournemouth Moat House Hotel (1pm) . . . Capital’s “wide boy” Gary Crowley starts a regular ‘Tuesday Club’ with Chris Paul next week (31) at South Harrow Bogarts, lotsa real star PAs — trumpet tootlin’ Chris Paul is at Paddington Morgan’s on Fridays too . . . Martha Reeves plays Mayfair Gullivers on Wednesday (1), followed in 2 and 3 weeks by Mary Wells and Jimmy Ruffin . . . Steve Harvey (no, I don’t think THAT one, he’d have told me surely?) upfront funks Hatfield Woodside Place Country Club, Bell Bar, every Thursday . . . Soho Fooberts (off Carnaby Street) in conjunction with Wrangler Jeans and Rockafellas eaterie are adding £750 of prizes for winners of the Malibu dancing heats at the club, between June 2-July 14 . . . Chris Hills quote at the opening Maze night said it all, “If Frankie Beverly could write a song as well as a killer rhythm track he’d have a hit!” . . . LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

OLIVER CHEATHAM: ‘Get Down Saturday Night’ (LP ‘Saturday Night’ US MCA MCA-5410)
From the same production stable as Al Hudson (like everything else on MCA these days!) and full of songs not to be confused with any others of the same title, the gruff soulster’s set has immediately smashed into the chart thanks to this superb quietly stated jauntily tripping 116½bpm chunky finger snappin’ killer of a cut — which is not to overlook the Vandross-ish tugging 109bpm ‘Bless The Ladies‘ and 104bpm ‘Just To Be With You‘ (the 122bpm ‘Make Your Mind Up‘ is less good), while soulful slowies include the 66bpm ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, 71½bpm ‘Do Me Right’, 70½bpm ‘Through It All’. Rec-o-mmended!

THE FUNK MASTERS: ‘It’s Over’ (Funk-Master MF 004)
Streaking out of left field, a particularly attractive lazily jogging 101bpm 12in swayer with catchy strong melodic hook, soulfully wailed and groaned by (I believe) a Julie Roberts (rather than, as initially rumoured, US jazzer Judy Roberts!), with Gonzalez on horns, the whole thing having a lovers rock flavour but the beat of sophisticated soul (dub flip). Superb.

MARY JANE GIRLS: ‘All Night Long’ (LP ‘Mary Jane Girls’ Gordy STML 12189)
Already a singalong anthem for the real soul crowd and an absolute monster, this sultry cool whispering and wailing 98bpm rolling jogger (similar to Keni Burke’s ‘Risin’ To The Top‘) should be another ‘Young Free And Single’ / ‘Hold Me Tighter In The Rain’ once on single here, and meanwhile dominates an excellent Rick James-produced set that’s otherwise split between fast ‘Candy Man’ clones or superb Shirelles-ish slowies. Continue reading “May 28, 1983: Oliver Cheatham, The Funk Masters, Mary Jane Girls, Terri Wells, Imagination”