February 18, 1978: Philadelphia Classics, Bob Marley, Donna Summer, Jimmy Lindsay, Commodores

Brixton’s Clouds club was invaded by television cameras last Tuesday to record what promises to be but the first of several TV shows in 1978 that will revolve around a disco setting. However, although the smash US ‘Saturday Night Fever’ disco-set movie has inspired the other planned shows, this particular BBC 2 programme (possibly the pilot for a series) is a straight musical showcase that could just as well have been shot in a studio. The only difference is that the black kids outnumber the white in the dancing audience, and all the performers are black, too.

Called ‘Blackcurrent’ (ho ho), it features Billy Paul, the Real Thing, Desmond Dekker, and an excitingly young Brass Construction-ish band called High Tension. Capital Radio’s Soul Spectrum jock, Greg Edwards, is the compere. Unseen by the cameras but incongruously obvious at the taping, jammed as they were between the bar and the dance floor, a 15 piece orchestra of session musicians began by being in danger of demolishing the Musicians’ Union agreement against discos with one stroke – but, it must be said, by the time they’d got into the rhythm break in Billy Paul’s ‘Only The Strong Survive’, they were really cookin’!

Somehow the kids kept on dancing, and doubtless it’ll all sound (and look) all right on the night – which, incidentally, is next Friday, February 24, on BBC 2.

Hot Vinyl

VARIOUS: ‘Philadelphia Classics’ LP (Phil Int’l PIR 88274) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
Here at last, the double album of elongated and remixed oldies, of which ‘I Love Music’, ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ and ‘Love Train’ have had most import action.

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: ‘Is This Love’ (Island WIP 6420)
Typically good typical Marley, slinkier dub flip.

DONNA SUMMER: ‘Rumour Has It’ (Casablanca CAN 122) (BNDA debut 11/12/77)
Her newest LP’s most obvious – and already proven – disco hit, a fast sparse stomper.  Continue reading “February 18, 1978: Philadelphia Classics, Bob Marley, Donna Summer, Jimmy Lindsay, Commodores”

February 11, 1978: Blondie, George Duke, Peter Brown, Dooley Silverspoon, Cerrone

Easter Monday’s Reading all-dayer has had to change venue due to a new fire limit at the Top Rank. Billed as “the biggest soul disco in Europe” and with the registered trading name of the “National Soul Festival”, the funky all-dayer will now be held at Mecca’s Tiffanys in Purley, on the Brighton Road. In fact Purley Tiffanys will be the venue for all future festivals featuring DJ’s Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards and Chris Brown – so beware of imitations!

With a capacity of 3,000 and allegedly better food than the Top Rank, Purley will also have many stalls selling discs, T-shirts and the like. However, tickets now cost £2.25 in advance or £3.00 on the door (but are likely to be sold out long before the day), although tickets already bought for Reading are still valid for Purley at the old price.

Coach party discounts are available from Pete Matthews on Bracknell 21880. As last bank holiday’s festival was virtually the Nuremburg Rally of soul, this Easter you really had better be there or be square!

Hot Vinyl

BLONDIE: ‘Denis (Denee)’ (Chrysalis CHS 2204)
Dynamite revival of Randy & The Rainbows’ ‘Denise’ – their 1963 Four Seasons-ish original is on Philips 6146706 – but Blondie adds French bits and punk attack.

GEORGE DUKE: ‘Reach For It’ LP (Epic EPC 82216)
Superb full length 4:54 ultra-heavy slow funk title track is a US soul smash but unissued here on 45.

PETER BROWN: ‘Dance With Me’ (from LP ‘Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me’, TK TKR 82514) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
Exceptionally good album includes the full length title track (in the US the LP title is ‘Fantasy Love Affair’), but this sparse funker is the brilliant new import hit track.  Continue reading “February 11, 1978: Blondie, George Duke, Peter Brown, Dooley Silverspoon, Cerrone”

February 4, 1978: Manu Dibango, Roy Ayers, Al Hudson, Billy Preston, Linda Clifford

Disco News

Ian Levine, Blackpool’s celebrated “New York” DJ/producer, seems to be handling discos promotion now for United Artists!  Both Arista and Chrysalis are revising their DJ mailing lists under new disco dept heads, too: send full work details to Tony Berry, Arista Disco Dept, 49 Upper Brook Street, London W1Y 2BT, and to Gill Watkins, Chrysalis Records, 12 Stratford Place, London W1N 9AF.

DJ Chris Archer’s gig at March Cromwells got gutted by fire recently so he’s helping Jon Taylor at Norwich Cromwells for the time being.

Capuchino from Bromley has won the audition to jock at Radhill’s plush Busby’s, Wednesday through Saturday. South Harrow Circles’ Tory Barnfield now has the prestigious post of musical director at Mayfair’s Saddle Room, the very first of the French-inspired “discotheques” to open in London just prior to the Twist boom.

Both the Strathclyde and South Eastern Disco Assns have had committee shakeups, with Mike McLean and Theo Loyla being voted chairman of their respective associations.

New Spins

MANU DIBANGO: ‘Big Blow’ / ‘Aloko Party’ (Decca FR 13755)
Already huge on import alone, it’s a happy fast Afro-funk-jazz leaper which may be too subtle for pop dancers but has funky fans freaking! 5:40 long on 7 in, with a new even faster flip.

ROY AYERS: ‘Freaky Deaky’ (Polydor 2006896)
War-like jerky fast funker, hot on the heels of ‘Running Away’ (possibly London’s biggest-ever non-hit disco smash?).

AL HUDSON & THE SOUL PARTNERS: ‘If You Feel like Dancin’’ (ABC 4203)
Great infectious funky chugger, due on 12 in next week, too!  Continue reading “February 4, 1978: Manu Dibango, Roy Ayers, Al Hudson, Billy Preston, Linda Clifford”

January 28, 1978: Peter Brown, Raydio, Andrea True Connection, Chic, New Marketts

New Spins

PETER BROWN: ‘Do Ya Wanna Get Funky With Me’ (TK TKR 6009) (BNDA debut 4/23/77)
Sensational strange US smash funky jiggler from last summer, finally out here in its hit 12in form – but it’ll have trouble from his hot new import album.

RAYDIO: ‘Jack And Jill’ / ‘Get Down’ (Arista ARIST 161)
Much imported catchy slow pop soul chugger and an ultra-funky flip, could be big.

ANDREA TRUE CONNECTION: ‘What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number’ (Buddah BDS 467) (BNDA debut 11/12/77)
Coolly thumping builder with rock touches, huge in US and on import.  Continue reading “January 28, 1978: Peter Brown, Raydio, Andrea True Connection, Chic, New Marketts”

January 21, 1978: Veronica Unlimited, Bee Gees, Real Thing, Eruption, Candi Staton

New Spins

VERONICA UNLIMITED: ‘What Kind of Dance is This’ (EMI INT 546)
Long awaited Continental hit medley of the Beatles’ ‘Hard Day’s Night’, Sensations’ ‘Let Me In’ and Byrds’ ‘Mr Tambourine Man’, all taken lickety-split in best Europop style – in fact, it may be too fast!

BEE GEES: ‘Stayin’ Alive’ (RSO 2090267) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
Easy-paced squeaky chugger from their disco-set ‘Saturday Night Fever’ soundtrack.

REAL THING: ‘Whenever You Want My Love’ (Pye 7N 46045)
Hurrah, they’re back in their jaunty jog-along style, and should smash again!  Continue reading “January 21, 1978: Veronica Unlimited, Bee Gees, Real Thing, Eruption, Candi Staton”

January 14, 1978: Lenny Williams, Kellee Patterson, Stargard, Rokotto, Linda Clifford

Howard Huntridge, head of the British Associated DJ Alliance, 5 Thorne Road, Doncaster, seems to have read into my piece about BADJA’s promotion of Amanda Lear’s ‘Blood And Honey’ (RM Dec 31) exactly what I did not write!

Far from accusing him of getting his member DJ’s to hype the record into the Disco Chart, I was inviting BADJA members to contribute truthful dancer reaction charts to help make the Record Mirror disco chart even more representative . . . a point he seems to have missed entirely in his reply.

He had asked his member DJ’s to let RM know about the record, intending this info to be used in the DJ Hotline, but as must be obvious the DJ Hotline is intended for records not already among the places the chart contains.

It is also a small way of rewarding regular chart contributors with name checks.

As Amanda Lear was already way up the chart, his action – and the resultant pile of mail – was redundant if well intentioned.

It was Ariola Records’ press officer who described their arrangement with BADJA as being with a promotion company.

Anyway, all BADJA members and DJ’s everywhere are still needed to contribute regularly to the Disco Chart, so please send your reaction-based Top 10 (and three breakers) to James Hamilton, Record Mirror, 40 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JT. The more we get, the more accurate the chart!

Robbie Vincent’s lunchtime Saturday shows on BBC Radio London are now nicking some of our Hot Vinyl contributors to present their three top disco hits. The rota of funky club jocks, one a week, is Chris Hill (Ilford Lacy Lady), Graham Canter (Mayfair Gullivers), Dave Royal (Southgate Royalty) and – this Saturday – Chris Brown (Camberley Frenchies). Later in the year Robbie hopes to add an influential US jock too.

New Spins

LENNY WILLIAMS: ‘Choosing You’ (ABC 4198) (BNDA debut 7/30/77)
Big for months as an LP track and then import, the fantastic fast flier’s finally out on limited 12in . . . and selling fast!

KELLEE PATTERSON: ‘If It Don’t Fit Don’t Force It’ (EMI INT 544)
Sensational slinky slow chugger from the US soul chart, could even hit here.

STARGARD: ‘Theme From ‘Which Way Is Up’’ (MCA 346) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
Norman Whitfield-penned clapper in the ‘Car Wash’ bag, already big on import.  Continue reading “January 14, 1978: Lenny Williams, Kellee Patterson, Stargard, Rokotto, Linda Clifford”

January 7, 1978: Heatwave, T-Connection, El Coco, People’s Choice, Alvis Wayne

New Spins

HEATWAVE: ‘The Groove Line’ (GTO GT 115)
Terrific powerhouse follow-on to ‘Boogie Nights’, with a ridiculously catchy “whoop-whoop” hook that’s an immediate audience-grabbing gimmick for singalongs!

T-CONNECTION: ‘On Fire’ (TK TKR 6006) (BNDA debut 11/5/77)
Already a hit on import alone, the frantic fast flier’s dynamite rhythm (very different from before) is really exciting, especially on the full 7:22 commercial 12-inch.

EL COCO: ‘Cocomotion’ LP (Pye NSPL 28237) (BNDA debut 8/20/77)
The full 10:30 version that started it all – and in fact the edited single only came late in the day after this was already a disco monster in America.  Continue reading “January 7, 1978: Heatwave, T-Connection, El Coco, People’s Choice, Alvis Wayne”