Odds ‘N Bods
Funk Mafia “family” members Chris Hill, Sean French, Chris Brown, Jeff Young, Tom Holland & Froggy head North on Sunday (2) to steal the bread out of local jocks’ mouths at an all-dayer in Oldham Romeo & Juliets – resentment seems to be running high amongst provincial DJs unable to make a national name for themselves! . . . Elton John ‘Johnny B. Goode’ (Rocket XPRES 2412) and Village People ‘Ready For The 80s’ (Mercury 9198505) are on 12in, the latter also on promo only 12in remix with overdubbed simple Xmas message from VP Ray Simpson . . . O’Jays ‘Sing A Happy Song’, Deniece Williams ‘I Found Love’ are now on US 12in . . . Pye’s R&B Division have done a promo only strawberry shaped and scented 7in of Rufus & Chaka . . . Mecca needs a dozen DJ’s for European work from February onwards using their own records – send demo tape and photo to Paul Casson, Mecca Agency, 14 Oxford Street, London W1N OHL . . . Honey Bee Benson awarded a six month £3,500 IDEA contract for Norwegian work to Jeff Slater (Chesham), who came third in the recent Gloucester Tiffanys mobile disco competition organized by Barry’s Disco Shop, which was won by lively newcomers Paul & Sam of Atmosphere II, Little Ian’s Creation Roadshow being 2nd . . . Billboard’s Disco International Forum in Monaco has been postponed until next autumn due to poor response . . . Radio London’s charity marathon in aid of Caribbean relief this Saturday will include a live link up with Mayfair Gullivers – I hope Fatman stays sober! . . . Greg Lynn has been promoted to product manager at CBS, prompting Mark Clark (Wokingham King Of Clubs) to comment “now that CBS is almost the same size as the Civil Service presumably they’re starting to copy their practice of pushing troublesome people upstairs!” . . . Lorraine Trent is now CBS Disco Pool chief, while at Phonogram with John Waller also promoted like Greg the disco plugger is Orin “Ladies Man” Cozier . . . Newcastle upon Tyne’s swank new Reflexions 2 in the Cloth Market (the old Inn Cognito site) is funkily import-orientated with regular jocks being Martin Urwin, Akin Oni, David Emery . . . Sunday next (9) Pete Tong, Tony Monson & Bob Jones funk the Thames with a riverboat all-niter leaving Westminster Bridge at 12:30am, £5 tickets from the jocks’ gigs or Disc Empire and Blues & Soul record shops . . . Chris Dinnis’s recent Perrin Sands Reunion at Sidmouth Winter Garden upped his funk nights’ normal prices, attracted fewer punters and thus lost the venue as a gig – which shows how much into the music South Devon fans are! . . . Ernie Priestman, partner/DJ at Whitehaven’s Whitehouse and a secret Genesis fan, restricts the club’s capacity to just 500 regardless of queues left outside so that there’s still a comfortable space to move and groove in – an enlightened policy surely? . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) reports the amazing fact that Liverpool currently lacks an import-stocking record shop despite the local DJ demand for one . . . Lowrell, a top seller in London, is still evidently not suitable for Capital Radio’s playlist . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry Rugby Club), recovering from a “Welcome Back The Mini” party, wants my remedy for cold-suffering jocks – well, my own cure is to OD on Vitamin C and go to bed with some sleeping pills, which sometimes is enough to dry me up for the following night . . . Chris Hill, who taught ‘em how to “silly” (not Philly) has a nifty mix of One Way ‘Music’ into George Duke ‘I Want You For Myself’ into Detroit Spinners ‘Body Language’, as well as Dazzle ‘You Dazzle Me’ into Patrice Rushen ‘Haven’t You Heard’.
POSITIVE FORCE: ‘We Got The Funk’ (Sugarhill SHL 102) (BNDA debut 1/12/80)
Immensely catchy chick-sung jittery 112bpm 12in “rock” jiggler has mind-knawingly nagging guitar jangling away and has been completely restructured for UK release so that the chant part that originally came in near the end is now spliced in all over the place for added impact. Oh, it mixes superbly both into and out of Sugarhill Gang!
ROY AYERS: ‘Don’t Stop The Feeling’ (from LP ‘No Stranger To Love’, Polydor 2391438) (BNDA debut 12/22/79)
Far more UK-style disco than his last self-consciously “disco” effort, the set’s strongest cut so far (it’s also on US promo 12in) is this incredibly repetitive jiggling 114-115bpm “rock” thudder with chanting Roy and wailing chick, which actually build up power through its monotony, while the formula repeats with slightly more vocal variation on the similarly sparse 120-119bpm ‘Shack Up, Pack Up, It’s Up (When I’m Gone)’ jitterer. ‘Slyde’ is a great simple fast leaping 129-128-130bpm bounder, ‘No Stranger To Love / Want You’ a lovely gently jogging 42bpm vibes instrumental that becomes a huskily multi-tracked vocal smoocher, ‘Don’t Let Our Love Slip Away’ a pretty Sergio Mendes-type 119-123bpm easy listening duet, ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’ an emphasis-shifting gentle yet tensely tugging 114/57-116/58-117bpm tempo switcher, and just the zingy 130-132-133bpm ‘Don’t Hide Your Love’ as his sole concession this time to dreaded US-style “disco”.
KURTIS BLOW: ‘Christmas Rappin’’ (Mercury BLOW 12)
‘Rapper’s Delight – Part Two’, except the tune is original and the DJ rap gets more varied, bringing in some call-and-answer audience participation towards the end. Starting with a 14 beat acappella “it was the night before Christmas” intro, the 112-113bpm 12in (not even out in the US yet!) mixes perfectly with Sugarhill Gang, of course! Continue reading “December 1, 1979: Positive Force, Roy Ayers, Kurtis Blow, Brass Construction, Narada Michael Walden”