June 2, 1979: Joe Thomas, Hi-Tension, Jackie McLean, Third World, Dynasty

Disco News

Amii Stewart ‘Light My Fire’ is due imminently on Atlantic 12in and picture-disc 7in despite ‘Knock On Wood’ riding high still . . . Sylvester ‘Stars’ is on Fantasy 12in next week with ‘Body Strong’ flip or on pink vinyl 7in with different coupling, while Gino Soccio ‘Dance To Dance’ follows-up ‘Dancer’ as it was only the 12in flip before . . . Paul Brett ‘1999’ should be promoed prior to RCA 12in late June – a Sea Level-meets-Ian Dury 105bpm jazz-funk instrumental, it’s worth looking out for . . . Five Special and Dee Dee Bridgewater are due soon on Elektra 12in . . . Sandy Mercer ‘Now That You’re In’ has been remixed for UK 12in via Phonogram in July . . . Nytro ‘Nytro Express’ is now on freshly edited 8:00 US 12in that’s evidently tighter than the longer original . . . Gabor Szabo is currently recording for Atlantic . . . Brainstorm and Anita Ward 12in reviews last week should have had the £1.99-indicating 13- prefix, while of course Eddy Grant is 140/70bpm and Hot Chocolate is 118bpm (and not as printed!) . . . Pointer Sisters ‘Happiness’ turns out to be on clear red vinyl 12in packaged like Kleeer was . . . NRG ‘Get It Right’, reviewed last week, is also on 12in (MCA PSLP 288) . . . Mick Jackson ‘Married Men’ (Atlantic) is rivalled by Bette Midler (US Atlantic 12in) and Bonnie Tyler (RCA), but while Bette’s sounds good I still haven’t heard Bonnie (how about it, RCA?) . . . Mecca have the first-ever “Ladies Only” disco dancing competition starting at Hinckley Bubbles this Saturday (2), with further heats on June 8th, 14th, 18th and grand final on Monday 25th, the one prize of £100 for the overall winner . . . Ilford Room At The Top actually lost its Music and Dancing Licence appeal but can carry on pending a further appeal to the Crown Court . . . BADEM’s disco equipment exhibition at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel during September 11-18th this year seems likely to coincide with a nearby DJF forum plus a lavish DJ Gala night at the Cafe Royal . . . Roger Squire’s Glasgow Disco Centre has a travelling disco exhibition currently visiting various Scottish hotel venues, advertised in RM’s Disco Scene last week (and this?) . . . Sandy Martin, voted Tayside’s top DJ two years running, has left Dundee Bloomers to start this last Monday at Swindon Brunel Rooms (thinks: at last, a chart contributor in that area!) . . . Chris Brown, Sean French, Jeff Young, Robin Nash and Pete Tong have a “funky pirates” voyage around the Isle Of Wight on Sunday, July 22nd, limited £5 tickets (plus SAE) from Outfront ‘78, c/o 153 Praed Street, London W2 . . . Chris Brown’s recent Tuesday opening night at Slough Blues in Cippenham saw the triumphant return of appalling dancer Ian Moore (mobbed by a screaming crowd!) and a flooded dance floor for Aqua Boogie water sports (not intentional but much appreciated by Let’s Get Wet fans!)

UK Newies

JOE THOMAS: ‘Make Your Move’ (TK TKR 13-7544)
Dynamite 6:56 Brass Construction-ish churner suddenly hits an ear-splittingly compressed and phased 130bpm clapping percussion break that’s great on its own, and terrific fun for mixers. Huge on import for ages, it’s now a 12in and could really explode.

HI-TENSION: ‘Latin Inspiration’ (Island 12XWIP 6489)
Totally rhythm orientated 131bpm instrumental throbber on 5:02 12in (and that’s all – no 7in!) is actually the B-side but looks like being much bigger with dancers than the monotonously repetitive jittery 128bpm ‘Funktified’ charter, which is in their expected but less exciting than usual style.

JACKIE MCLEAN: ‘Doctor Jackyll And Mister Funk’ (RCA PC 1575)
Stolidly thumping 116bpm driver remixed for 6:00 12in features wailing jazz sax with guys ‘n gals chanting through the first half, and again for much of the jazzier second part after a rattling break. A personal fave, it’s great in front of Richard Evans ‘Burning Spear’.  Continue reading “June 2, 1979: Joe Thomas, Hi-Tension, Jackie McLean, Third World, Dynasty”

May 26, 1979: Anita Ward, Sister Sledge, Slick, Eddy Grant, Pointer Sisters

Disco News

Billy Paul and The Jones Girls are now scheduled for UK release, but still no definite plan for The Force . . . Pye persevere with Poussez ‘Never Gonna Say Goodbye’ as their 12in choice despite it being the LP’s coldest cut; however, there’s a 12in remix due of Bennoit ‘Life Is Like A Samba’ . . . EMI’s Pete Dyos follows WEA’s Fred Dove by installing a 24hr ansaphone for use by mailing list jocks to register reaction reports, LP requests, etc . . . Salsoul and even Fantasy Records are rumoured as possible new neighbours for the YMCA, though it’s a tall tale to swallow . . . Heatwave’s Johnnie Wilder was hurt worse than was first thought in his Dayton, Ohio, car crash and is now suffering from paralysis: brother Keith and the band are meanwhile with him in Dayton, routining a stand-in for their US tour until Johnnie hopefully recovers . . . Watneys and Rank are promoting Schlitz malt liquor with a solo disco dancing competition, starting on June 7th with a heat and then local final at nineteen Rank venues, the winner of the final at Bournemouth’s Stateside Centre on Jul 5th getting a ten day US trip for two (including a visit to the Schlitz brewery in Milwaukee – hi, LaVerne and Shirley!) plus £250 spending cash, the finalists and even local runners-up all copping for a share of £3,000 total prize money . . . Dartford Flicks celebrates VE night (that’s Victory in Europe) on June 14th with a wartime fancy dress party, uniformed punters with the correct vintage coinage getting 200 pints of Charringtons beer at 1945 prices – er, wanna borrow my Winston Churchill records, Robbie? “This is YOUR victory, etc etc” . . . Vanguard Hand Tally Counters (or BPM Counters) are rubbish – mine broke after just three weeks! . . . Greg Edwards hasn’t stopped laughing since! . . . Wally Webb (Norwich Scamps) says he wishes he had a quid for every time his Christian name’s been mentioned on this page – but how often do we mention a Walter? . . . Paul Anthony (Birmingham Rum Runner/Sloopys/etc) is fed up with “student” types who “demand” Ferry and Bowie all night while he’s working out mixes like The Force into Anita Ward.

New Spins

ANITA WARD: ‘Ring My Bell’ (TK TKR 12-7543) (BNDA debut 4/14/79)
Smash-bound compulsively catchy little ditty on 8:08 12in gets everyone going ‘‘pwoo’’, “pwoo’’, “pwoo’’ along with the syndrum sound while fragile-voiced Anita innocently wails a perfect pop song (with some subdued bell chimes, of course), all skipping along at 127bpm. How could I have thought it dull the first time I heard it!?

SISTER SLEDGE: ‘We Are Family’ (Atlantic K 11293) (BNDA debut 2/10/79)
Immediately identifiable as the catchy companion to their ‘Greatest Dancer’ hit, this similar yet different 117bpm rolling jiggler is on limited 8:06 12in.

SLICK: ‘Space Bass’ (Fantasy 12YFTC 176)
Unavailable elsewhere in 7:05 12in form, this coolly pounding 130bpm bass churner originally appeared in edited form on a special Midem sampler LP, to be snapped up by UK jocks for its simple drive (with rattling rhythm, slick strings ‘n cooing chix) and – especially – a sizzling, searing electronic siren-type effect . . . which could do with some repetition.  Continue reading “May 26, 1979: Anita Ward, Sister Sledge, Slick, Eddy Grant, Pointer Sisters”

May 19, 1979: “Tory rule should improve bookings for up-market mobiles”

Disco News

Isley Brothers ‘Shout’ is getting so popular as a silly singalong at Chris Hill-type Funk Mafia gigs that RCA plan a 12in reissue of Parts 1 and 2 spliced together, their classic 1959 original version having been produced by none other than England’s own Mike Collier, of current Carlin Music/Flamingo Records fame! . . . Ian Dury backing tracks may well be remixed for an instrumental jazz-funk LP . . . Michael Jackson ‘You Can’t Win’, due on picture-disc 12in, has had to be withdrawn by Epic for legal reasons . . . Ashford and Simpson ‘Flashback’ is on Warner Bros. picture-disc 7in, though . . . Hudson People ‘Trip To Your Mind’ has definitely been remixed and restructured for future Ensign 12in . . . Tory rule should improve bookings for up-market mobiles – certainly, I’ve had lots since the election! . . . Edwin Starr was superb live last week at Watford Baileys, while Light Of The World lived up to high expectations despite playing nearly everything at 132bpm . . . Bournemouth’s recent all-dayer saw a stoical crowd suffering appalling sound, poor bar service and steam heat (though the “let’s get wet” water pistol brigade helped a bit!), the much-vaunted Village refit into the Stateside Centre apparently amounting to little more than new carpets and a sign over the burger serving hatch saying Walt’s Diner! Promoter Peter Matthews is now scouting for new non-Mafia jocks for future Purley fests . . . Dorset doesn’t have local radio so my brief holiday there meant listening to awful Radio One “new wave” (?) caterwauling and a repetitive rota of Ironhorse, Amii Stewart, Linda Clifford, Melba Moore, Pointer Sisters – who seemed to be on every show: if that’s what a lot of you have to put up with, no wonder the chart’s the way it is! . . . Chris Browne’s recent DJ contest at Elephant and Castle Charlie Chaplin’s was won by Jude Wolfe, now of Marble Arch Queen of Hearts, runners-up being Ian King and Larry Foster, the event attracting liggers Chris Brown (no “e”), Robin Nash, Sean French, John DeSade and various disco pluggers – but next to no punters! . . . Nikki Peck (Chatham Scamps) now writes the ‘Discopekin’’ [sic] page every Friday in the Kent Evening Post, and does the opening night next Thursday (24) at Oxford’s new Bogarts, St Clements . . . John Lewis, ever controversial, now says that jeans ARE allowed during the summer season at Brighton Metro! . . . Paul Anthony (Birmingham Rum Runner/Sloopys/Zoo) says he’s heavily into mixing at the moment despite obsolete equipment . . . Graham Bond and Martin Gibbon of the Ormesby (Middlesbrough) based Teesvalley Roadshow report an upsurge of interest in the North, yet again, for old Motown and 60’s soul.

UK Newies

Hot weather, sleepless nights, mobile gigs, radio programmes and a summer cold have prevented me from catching up with the large backlog of UK releases this week, sorry, but ones to look out for include:

REAL THING: ‘Can You Feel The Force (remix)’ (Pye 12P 105)

SISTER SLEDGE: ‘We Are Family’ (Atlantic K 11293) (BNDA debut 2/10/79)

EDDY GRANT: ‘Living On The Frontline’ / ‘The Frontline Symphony’ (Ensign ENY 26)

DANCE PEOPLE: ‘Dance People’ (Satril SAT 144T)  Continue reading “May 19, 1979: “Tory rule should improve bookings for up-market mobiles””

May 12, 1979: McFadden & Whitehead, Light Of The World, Ashford & Simpson, Edwin Starr, ABBA

Disco News

Donna Summer is on red vinyl 12in this week, while also on 12in now are Herbie Hancock (really!), Cher and evidently Barry White ‘Sha La La’ . . . Leif Garrett is on US 12in at 5:39 . . . The Force is, amazingly, not scheduled for UK release – the CBS thinking being that if people want it they can always buy it on import . . . Joe Thomas will be out here though, as will LP’s by B. Baker Chocolate Co, John Tropea, Hubert Laws – but unscheduled are Billy Paul, Jones Girls, Splendor, Tyrone Davis . . . May 18th release includes Gary’s Gang ‘Showtime’ 12in, Brainstorm ‘Hot For You’ 12in, Skyy ‘First Time Around’ 7in; May 25th includes the badly delayed Carrie Lucas ‘Dance With You’ 12in, Michael Jackson ‘You Can’t Win’ picture-disc 12in, Patti LaBelle ‘Music Is My Way Of Life’ 12in, Anita Ward ‘Ring My Bell’ 12in, Slick ‘Space Bass’ 12in (not actually available anywhere although hot on promo already); June 1st includes Joe Thomas ‘Make Your Move’ 12in, Jackie McLean ‘Dr Jackyll & Mr Funk’ remix 12in, Teena Marie ‘I’m A Sucker For Your Love’ 12in, Manhattans ‘Here Comes The Hurt’ 7in . . . ELO ‘Shine A Little Love’ (Jet), currently out but unreceived by press time, combines their usual sound with a positive disco beat rather effectively . . . Fred Dove’s disco dept is now at WEA Records, PO Box 59, Alperton Lane, Wembley, Middx HAO 1FJ (01-998 8844) – which may be alright for West London jocks but I for one will miss my weekly Southern Comfort! . . . Martin Starr and other Bristol jocks are forming a DJF-affiliated Bristol Disco Pool aiming its membership towards the more adventurous DJ’s who can break records without radio play (this policy being the Pool’s priority), so Avon hipsters should contact Bristol Disco Pool, c/o Smiths, Prince Street, Bristol 1 . . . Southgate Royalty start a special Teenage Soul Boogie night next Wednesday (16) with Froggy funking the 14-18 age range from 7:30-10:30pm weekly, soft drinks only – Froggy by the way, so taken by my BPM stopwatch, tried drilling holes in his so that he could hang it round his neck, and it hasn’t worked since! . . . Wally Webb (real name Walter) has had to change his Tuesday Heavy Rock night at Norwich Scamps over to his normal disco format due to a total swing in even the Heavy fans’ taste . . . Terry Hooper is now joined by Steve Price at Ilford’s Room At The Top, with Curia Sorrell in the Penthouse Suite, the funk oldies currently being featured every night . . . Polystar’s “Boogie Bus” Dancers cavort this week at Manchester Civic Hall (Thursday), Liverpool Hollywood (Friday), Southport Tiffanys (Saturday) . . . Dave Rawlings (Basingstoke Maxwells) is plagued every Saturday Funk Night by a Record Mirror-reading regular called Robbie Vincent (real name – with birth certificate to prove it) who insists every week on “helping” with the club’s lighting: Dave politely wonders if he could go and bother some other jock on a Saturday night! Dave also wonders how many other namesakes of Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards, Chris Hill or even James Hamilton (gee, thanx!) there are in discos throughout the country – the mind boggles!

UK Newies

MCFADDEN & WHITEHEAD: ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ (Philadelphia Int’l PIR 13-7365) (BNDA debut 4/7/79)
Well, here on unlimited £1.99 10:45 12in it is, the irresistible happily swinging and swaying 113-116bpm singalong smash which snuck up on everyone to become the biggest import that our UK Disco chart has ever seen!

LIGHT OF THE WORLD: ‘Midnight Grooving’ (from LP ‘Light Of The World’, Ensign ENVY 133)
Sexy soft “don’t stop – keep on” intro soon hits a rapidly jiggling 133bpm 6:17 groove that keeps the same simple lyric idea and is so similar to ‘Swingin’’ that it chop mixes in and out perfectly – as witness the antics of all the lucky funk jocks who’ve had this on promo for weeks!

ASHFORD & SIMPSON: ‘Flashback’ (Warner Bros. K 17345T)
Solidly thudding but lightweight 114-120bpm comes-and-goes hustler with Bee Gees/AWB-like squeaky harmony sound (almost!), flipped by the funkier lurching sparse 124bpm ‘Get Up And Do Something’ on limited colour-sleeved 12in.  Continue reading “May 12, 1979: McFadden & Whitehead, Light Of The World, Ashford & Simpson, Edwin Starr, ABBA”

May 5, 1979: “I am not condemning anyone for being a Wally”

Several mobile and pop-orientated jocks have been commenting that this page is neglecting their needs by concentrating so much on records which will only appeal to a limited number of urban club-goers. Let me set the score straight.

Back in 1975 when this page took on its present shape, I concentrated more on the mobile and MoR side of the music than on the club type of funk, because that was obviously an accurate reflection of its readership then.

This approach was largely misunderstood, although several notable successes were scored (such as the revival of ‘Let’s Twist Again’ and ‘In The Mood’) which I like to think we influenced. At the time I was still heavily involved in doing MoR-type mobile gigs (despite starting out in the ‘60s as a soul pioneer), but I got tired of passing on my own well-proven MoR tricks to zilch response from other jocks.

Something else also happened – the disco boom exploded, to the extent that so much outright “disco” product was released each week that there physically wasn’t room to cover the normal pop material too. But, as we all know, MoR jocks usually only play pop material once it’s become well established, so why bother to predict the pop hits ahead of time? Oldies (depressingly, always the same old oldies at that) and the pop biggies seem to be the mobile and MoR merchants’ tools of trade.

Happily a new breed of disco DJ has appeared over the last few years, ready to experiment with jazzier music which as yet may still be a minority taste but is consistently making its force felt even in the pop charts.

However, to turn to last week’s UK Disco chart (this being written prior to compiling the current chart), it is possible to see some amazing developments. Although compiled from about 200 DJ returns, last week’s chart shows perfectly the range of those returns.

McFadden & Whitehead, top of most import-orientated DJ charts, reached number 24 while – as usual – the first 23 places were dominated (with just two exceptions) by pop crossover disco hits. Fine, in itself, but those 23 records were virtually the only records that the majority of non-import-orientated DJs appeared to be playing! Even such obvious Wally fodder as Boney M, Eruption, Peaches & Herb, Kandidate and Bee Gees were barely represented in the Breakers below number 90.

No, instead of playing even the new pop hits, the bulk of Britain’s DJs seemed happy to go droning on with the same records they’ve been using for weeks . . . to the extent that Chic, Village People and Gloria Gaynor actually went UP again!

This evidently narrow spread of DJ interest has left the rest of the chart wide open for the more adventurous jocks to have a field day. There are enough of these jocks to make a very relevant contribution (Spyro Gyra at number 90 was in 12 DJ charts, for instance, while Eugene Record at 30 had 31 DJs – not a very wide gap, really), especially as this minority group of jocks are actually playing a larger selection of records than the pop DJs.

To be sure, the top 25 or 30 places in the disco chart show what are the genuinely big hits, but apart from Village People, Gloria Gaynor, Three Degrees, Beach Boys and (possibly) Sylvester, all of these hits made their initial impression in the disco chart due to the import-orientated jocks. It was then a slow drawn-out battle while the Wally jocks upcountry gradually dropped the previous set of dated disco hits and added these – at the same time the import jocks were finding the next generation of hits.

OK, so your audiences are slow to respond to new sounds, and your local shops don’t stock anything that’s not been on Top Of The Pops, BUT . . . don’t dare say that this page neglects your interests. The mainstream type of DJ, playing a general range of music to a musically unsophisticated audience, is still in the vast majority and in many cases is doing a demanding job extremely well.

I am not condemning anyone for being a Wally, ‘cos Wallys are just nice, totally ordinary, unimaginative, regular people like nearly everyone else. We’re a nation of Wallys. Wallys have the power. Some of the music mentioned on this page today will be the Wally music of tomorrow . . . or the day, if not month or two, after! However, please don’t blame us for being ahead, and interested in a more adventurous audience too.

Disco News

John Luongo’s Real Thing remix reviewed last week is NOT actually available in the new A-side vocal version yet, the import US Epic 12in only featuring his instrumental flip – but Pye are doing a double-A UK 12in next week with both vocal and instrumental remixes back-to-back! . . . Pye’s new disco plugger is Sue Winter, while at Motown the new disco girl is Noreen Allen as Les Spaine is now Head of Promotions (off hats!) . . . Fred Dove fans will soon have to trek out to Alperton when WEA’s disco dept moves offices . . . RCA’s recent advertising jumped the gun (and may actually have lessened some DJs’ interest in imports supposedly out here), but now finally available on UK 12in with full colour sleeves are the already reviewed Richard T Bear, Vicki Sue Robinson and – imminently – Carrie Lucas . . . EWF/Emotions ‘Boogie Wonderland’ is confirmed at 129-131 bpm . . . BPM freaks may find the Vanguard-made Hand Tally Counter a useful way of clicking off the beats in time to their stopwatch – it gives a four digit read-out (set it to 9999 so that you then hit 0000 at the same time as starting the watch), available at stationers (though surprisingly not Rymans) for about £5.31 . . . Nick Halliday is starting a mail order service for current imports, sent return of post where possible on receipt of payment, the £4.75 LP and £2.75 12in prices including both VAT and postage – cheques made payable to him at Down Grange Farm, Winchester Road, Basingstoke RG22 4ET . . . DJ Federation officers continue as Theo Loyla (Chairman), Tony Holden (Secretary), Dougall DJ (Treasurer) and newly elected Mike McLean (PRO) . . . Polystar’s continuously mixed ‘Boogie Bus’ album is being promoted by a troupe of spectacular Boogie Bus Dancers, this week at Wigan Tiffanys (Thursday), Manchester Rafters (Friday) and Rochdale Tiffanys (Saturday), the campaign eventually moving South along with the TV ads . . . Liverpool’s Timepiece returns to funk with Eric Hearn at the helm on Fri/Sat/Sundays, and all-nighters every last Saturday in the month . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) played Easter bunny (randy rabbit?) recently by dressing like Bigwig and hopping about to ‘At The Hop’, much to the delight of his regulars (now known naturally as Gary’s Gang!), while Honey Bee Benson (Gloucester Tiffanys) donned a bunnygirl suit – to find the Easter Monday male funkers were more into her pom-pom tail than the music . . . Paul Stewart reports that jazz-funk is alive and struggling at Belfast’s Glenmachan Hotel every Friday, but he needs a better crowd . . . Dave King spins the hits amidst choking smoke and exciting lighting (pin-spots and helicopters) every Thurs/Fri/Saturday at Blackpool’s new Top Floor Disco, above Jenks Bar in Talbot Square . . . Terry Hooper, busily auditioning DJs, says Ilford Room At The Top has its liquor licence for another year but there’s an adjourned hearing for its music and dancing licence on May 16th . . . Gary Glitter ‘Superhero’ (GTO) is now on 12in (gasp!).

UK Newies

HUDSON PEOPLE: ‘Trip To Your Mind’ (Hithouse HIT 1)
Out a while, this privately pressed limited edition 9:58 12in has created a stir among rarity-minded jocks and really is worth finding as it’s a good solidly professional fast grooving 133 bpm UK funk racer with booming bass, jazzy guitar and brass and a bit of cool singing to start with before the instrumental excitement builds up power. There’s now talk of Ensign releasing and possibly remixing it.

HEATWAVE: ‘Razzle Dazzle’ / ‘Birthday’ (GTO GT 248)
‘Ain’t No Half Steppin’’-type 95 bpm lurching jiggler on 7in, completely overshadowed by the lovely semi-slow 58 bpm flip which has a jazzily tripping sophisticated lilt and a wailing harmony climax.

DONNA SUMMER: ‘Hot Stuff’ (Casablanca CAN 151) (BNDA debut 4/21/79)
On 12in in the States but I don’t know about here, this is the stolidly thudding 121 bpm chugger reviewed as an import last week. It’s certainly a welcome style switch, though still kinda pop.  Continue reading “May 5, 1979: “I am not condemning anyone for being a Wally””

April 28, 1979: Caister Weekender report, Earth Wind & Fire with The Emotions, GQ, Tata Vega, Raydio, Gino Soccio

Showstopper Promotions’ trail-blazing All-Weekender at Caister’s Ladbrokes Holiday Camp in Norfolk this last weekend was a seaside frolic that will linger fondly and funkily in many people’s memories for a long time . . . at least until the next one, in October! The brain-child of Robbie Vincent (who, appropriately as it turned out, sported a witty ‘Caister Escape Committee’ sweat-shirt), the funky fun began on Friday evening and continued with silly games and competitions right through to Sunday afternoon.

Something between 3,500 to 4,000 kids arrived ready to boogie, and the atmosphere was incredible. This was real escape, with virtually anything goes being the order of the day. Music was split between two large halls and a smaller retreat (which I never actually got to!), with a rota of star jocks doing alternating sets.

Obviously there was the strawberry-blonde dyed Chris Hill, but for many the high spot was Greg Edwards’s expert mixing session on the final afternoon. Hill’s rabble-rousing almost got out of hand when two nice young girls were shy about airing their breasts on stage and he literally threw them back into the crowd. If you must have nudity, Chris, how about employing a professional next time, so everyone’s happy? That nasty moment apart, he did his usual Funk Party rally act, rapping this time over McFadden & Whitehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ . . . which was played so often it was silly.

Sean French proved to be the dark horse among the DJs assembled there – an endearingly ungainly mover, Sean has been growing in stature as a crowd-pleasing funk jock and was much talked about over the weekend. This is not to belittle the fine funk jocks like Chris Brown, Tom Holland, Jeff Young, Froggy, and of course Robbie Vincent himself, all of whom lived up to their reputations.

Robbie’s special Wally contest was won by a guy in stacked heels, flares, satin jacket and curly wig, who fell about in Ian Moore style – but for me the winner was the truly obnoxious Glen Crimmens (17) of Ilford’s Lacy Lady, who poured beer all over himself, threw chairs, flashed porno pix and actually ate two Village People records! Wot, no piss drinking? The Lacy’s Funky friar did well though, he stood still to begin with, really dumb, thinking about it, then smeared the judges with snot!

Despite this free and easy atmosphere, there was no real trouble until the last day, when a security guard thought some kids from Hemel Hempstead were misusing a fire extinguisher and got clobbered for his trouble. This led to the police setting up roadblocks for the kids’ minibuses, and then started a great exercise in public relations whereby anyone with out-of-date tax disc or dodgy tyres got pulled in by the police as they left the camp to go home. Escape Committee, indeed! All those going by bus congregated around the gate and cheered everyone getting nicked, which in time defused the well meant but stupidly conceived situation.

With so many kids on the loose it was an amazingly well-behaved gathering for the whole weekend, everyone being there for fun, music and the company of kindred spirits. The real holiday camp spirit was raised by such silly contests as digging up buried treasure on the beach, a “Soul jog”, “drag race” (yes, nothing to do with street machines!), and the usual fancy dress dances.

Saturday’s big fancy dress ball ended with a mass side-to-side shuffle and unaccompanied chanting to ‘Now That We Found Love’ segued into ‘I Love Music’ . . . though at other times it was decidedly ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ that became the new anthem. The final Sunday afternoon farewell ended with Sections One, Two and Three of the crowd competing against each other in the usual way – except the team work is really sophisticated now, each section capable of doing something different in counterpoint to the others. Suddenly it was ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and the Monty Python theme, ‘Liberty Bell’, and everything was over.

Why, you may ask, didn’t I plug this amazing event in advance? Quite simply, the word had spread so fast on the grapevine when it was first announced some months ago that there were no tickets left, even then. The planned Caister Reunion All-Nighter at London’s Empire Ballroom (the previously hinted-at venue) has been refused a licence by the police at Whitsun, but now Showstopper Promotions hope to get one for the August Bank Holiday. Meanwhile, with a warning to CBS’s Greg Lynn to stay clear of Irish rock stars, and a big hi to Dee, I leave you with the weekend’s catchphrase . . . Gertcha!

Disco News

CBS Records are very grudgingly introducing unlimited 12in editions at £1.99 but still think the format is merely a chart-place gimmick of no real value, their sales director even going on record saying “I’d rather it would all just go away and we could sell small black things with holes in the middle for the sake of the music on them” – Dear John Mair, it’s for the sake of the music (like bass response and clarity) that the 12in came into being . . . Billy Preston & Syreeta ‘Go For It’ (12TMG 1139) is due this week on brown vinyl 12in for a Motown first – it’s also in the new US-style 12in sleeve which features the US Motown label’s map of Detroit . . . RCA start releasing 20th Century product this week, with Edwin Starr’s ‘H.A.P.P.Y. Radio’ (very ‘Headline News’, Northern fans!) due on 12in any day now . . . Chris Michael Browne’s DJ contest finals are next Tuesday (1) at Elephant & Castle Charlie Chaplin’s, with judges set as disco pluggers John Waller, Fred Dove, Ray Edwards, plus Capital producer Mo Stone (really?), DJ Gavin Breck and probably myself . . . Nick Halliday (Basingstoke) kindly sent me Meco’s ‘Superman’ on 12in – having tried to get rid of it twice as a spot prize! . . . Graham Gold (01-570 7531) has funk, will travel – and needs more residency nights.

New Spins

EARTH, WIND & FIRE WITH THE EMOTIONS: ‘Boogie Wonderland’ (CBS 12-7292) (BNDA debut 6/2/79)
Given an exclusive UK preview at Caister (where unchecked turntable speed makes my provisional reading of 129-131bpm approximate only), this 8:20 12in finds the guys n’ gals joining forces for an urgent fast strutting full-tilt stamper with staccato chanting from the chix and smoothing strings over the chugging brass, all very exciting and enthusiastically received.

GQ: ‘Make My Dream A Reality’ (from LP ‘Disco Nights’, Arista ARTY 169)
Actually proving to be far from watered-down in comparison with the title track hit, this great 122bpm soul stormer has indeed got similar elements but is a much more powerful song . . . rather than just a disco workout. Due on full 6:22 12in in a fortnight, it’s here joined by the also hot 130bpm ‘This Happy Feeling’ and a dynamite revival of Billy Stewart’s ‘I Do Love You’ smoocher.

TATA VEGA: ‘Get It Up For Love’ (Motown 12TMG 1140) (BNDA debut 4/14/79)
Now indeed on 5:56 12in with the annoying slow centre section edited out, this intensifying 122bpm jittery swayer hangs together better than the LP version and should get even bigger. It’s double-A flipped by the 6:01 churning 124bpm clomper ‘I Just Keep Thinking About You Baby’.  Continue reading “April 28, 1979: Caister Weekender report, Earth Wind & Fire with The Emotions, GQ, Tata Vega, Raydio, Gino Soccio”

April 21, 1979: Poussez, Players Association, Dalida, Sly Dunbar, Herbie Hancock

The UK Disco Chart is currently being compiled by myself alone again, as in practice the RB Research computer system was far too complicated and actually took longer than doing it all by hand! Radio Luxembourg don’t seem to realise this yet, though. Anyway, contributors, please always include the label details when listing anything on import as many of you are missing out on the chance of a Hot Vinyl feature by not giving enough import info. Oh, and EMI LRD postcard users, please note that your cards do NOT get forwarded to EMI afterwards, contrary to whatever you may have been told.

Disco News

Rose Royce ‘Angel In The Sky’, due out this week, has been scrapped from the schedule . . . Heatwave’s new ‘Hot Property’ LP is set for May, while their ‘Razzle Dazzle’ single is out next week and Johnnie Wilder, recently in a car accident while visiting his parents, is OK and recuperating with them in Dayton, Ohio . . . Mass Production ‘Can’t You See I’m Fired Up’ 12in, reviewed last week, is now out here (Atlantic LV 27) . . . Voyage ‘Let’s Fly Away’ is finally on 12in (GTO GT 12-245) . . . CBS’s Tappan Zee funk-jazz 12in EP has been postponed until June 1st, but Hilary and Brainstorm are due on 12in in three weeks, with Michael Jackson on picture-disc 12in and Gary’s Gang ‘Let’s Lovedance Tonight’ / ‘Showtime’ on 7in in a fortnight . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meet Satril’s Greg Gregory at lunchtime this Sunday (22) in Abingdon’s Charters Night Club, new members welcome . . . Cleethorpes’s Clouds Nitescene re-opens after alteration this Thursday (19), with resident DJ Ian Hay inviting South Humberside jocks interested in forming an association to contact him either there or at his home, 62 Winchester Avenue, Grimsby DN33 1HR . . . East Midlands DJ Assn secretary Carl Horsley (Derby 761530) wants to hear from manufacturers and promotion people interested in a planned EMDJA disco exhibition . . . Rus Phillips of Manor Park’s Ere For Music disco dept (open Saturdays) offers rather substantial discounts on imports to DJ Assn members spending at least £10 a week there . . . John “No Jeans” Lewis (Brighton Metro), controversial – argumentative? – as ever, now says “Younger’s beer is awful”; well, as a non-beer drinker, all I know is that it’s the only one that I ever do choose to drink, so stick that on a slipmat and mix it!

New Spins

POUSSEZ: ‘Come On And Do It’ (from LP ‘Poussez!’, Vanguard VSLD 79412) (BNDA debut 4/14/79)
Just made to mix out of Gino Soccio and huge on import, this simple 122bpm pounder trucks along for 7:38 with squealing and cooing chix repeating the “do it to me” title line and a great “where’d ya learn to funk like that, c’est bon” hook: however, Pye still seem to think the lightweight 130bpm ‘Never Gonna Say Goodbye’ should be the single. French for “push”, the group’s name is pronounced “Poo-say” . . . or “Pussy”?!

PLAYERS ASSOCIATION: ‘Ride The Groove’ / ‘Everybody Dance’ (Vanguard VSL 5012)
Their LP’s other two big dance tracks make a dynamite 12in coupling, the 122bpm insistently driving 6:55 topside chugger keeping up a weird fluttering electronic effect (which mixes with CHA ‘The Rock Is Hot’), while Chic’s 132bpm oldie on the 7:03 flip seems bland without the vocals until it hits a rattling long Latin rhythm break.

DALIDA: ‘Lambeth Walk’ (EMI 2937)
Cairo-born Italian songstress has been a superstar in France since the ‘50s and is currently wowing Continental discos with an irresistibly silly revival of this catchy old World War II dance craze hit! A must for MoR jocks – but instead of this English language version (which misses the whole point), try to get the livelier French-sung original (Orlando IS 49.447). Be warned, it’s so madly infectious you’ll be whistling in no time!  Continue reading “April 21, 1979: Poussez, Players Association, Dalida, Sly Dunbar, Herbie Hancock”