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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wicked Weather for Walking (Driving Away From Home) IT'S IMMATERIAL

Lyrics to Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune) by It's Immaterial:

Hey, now just get in
And close the door
And put your foot down
You know, I like this suburb we're going through
And I've been around here many times before
When I was young we were gonna move out this way
For the clean air, healthy, you know
Away from the factories and the smoke
I like that shop, too
You can get anything there
So just get in
And we'll go for a ride

'Cos we'll go driving away from home
Thirty miles or more
And we'll go moving away from home
Without a care

I'll tell you what
Why don't we cross the city limit
And head on down the M62
It's only thirty nine miles
And forty five minutes to Manchester
And that's my birth-place, you know

Driving away from home
Thirty miles or more
And we'll go moving away from home
Without a care in the world

Driving away from home
Thirty miles or more
Yes, we'll go moving away from home
Without a care

Some of my friends live up North, too
If you like a longer trip
All you've got to do is put your foot hard down to the floor
And we can call on people I know in Newcastle
Or maybe even Glasgow
There's a lot of nice places to see out there
So just don't worry

Moving away from home
Without a care in the world
Driving away from home
Thirty miles or more
Yes, we'll go moving away from home
Without a care in the world

Move-em on, move-em out, move-em up
King of the road, knight of the road
It's all the same to me
I mean, after all
It's just a road

Driving away from home
Driving away from home
Driving away from home

1986 Virgin Records U.K.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I do like the Warm Weather. I do like a jazzy funky groove too. This Pieces of a Dream classic featuring Barbara Walker combines it just right. Produced by Grover Washington Jr. how could you expect less then smooth?


This Philadelphia based jazz fusion group first broke with the sublime Mt. Airy Groove, 1982.
Mt. Airy is a break dance classic. Combining Jazz, Funk, Electro and Disco it became a track that was sampled often for it's funky breaks.

I've posted this blog again adding a couple more tracks for your listening pleasure.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I don't know a lot about Nigerian revolutionary Fela Anikulapo Kuti but I do know that he is one of the most important afro music luminaries of the twentieth century. A buddy of mine at university back in the mid 80's told me that his music was very influential on dance floors in Ibiza. This buddy who was one of my first introductions to the "jet set" was likely telling it like it is. Italian dj Daniele "Cosmic" Baldelli used to play Fela in his sets at baia degli angeli the seminal 70's Italian disco near Pesaro. Cosmic often played sets of Afro and World music. Afrobeat which was Fela's style of music is a mixture of jazz, funk, rock and traditional African chants and rhythms. Now that's a mouthful!

My two copies were sold in my Ebay store. They sold for a lofty price so it could safely be noted that this 1976 12" release is rather scarce. Fela Ransome Kuti recorded under a multitude of names. This release was under the moniker Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Africa 70.

flipside edit

Here's a fascinating documentary.

Fela Kuti died of Kaposi's Sarcoma on August 2, 1997.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Tony Valor had been around for a while. A disco luminary he was a part of Salsoul's Soccer, Brunswick's The Tony Valor Sounds Orchestra, Brunswick's Touch and Pavillion's Fantasy. Just to name a few of his contributions as either producer, arranger, or writer. His edits in this track are part of the reason why this record is the holy grail that it has become.

Test Drive was actually Joe Coleman's follow-up to Get it off The Ground on Italy f1 Records. They are both Killer Modern Soul boogie classics. Which always inspire massive bidding wars on Ebay.


They are the types of records that once you hear them for the first time you can't wait to lift the needle and put them on again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bobbi Humphrey LOVE WHEN I'M IN YOUR ARMS and more

Produced by Ralph MacDonald of Calypso Breakdown fame, Love When I'm in Your Arms Bobbi Humphrey's 1979 disco 12" release is a disco joyous romp. Lots of tasty percussion and breaks. A real zippy funky throw-down.

Bobbi Humphrey is actually know for her jazz work as a flautist who worked with Stevie Wonder and Duke Ellington among others. She performed on Another Star, one of the best tracks on the Stevie Wonder double l.p. Songs in the Key of Life. She was also the first female signed to the seminal jazz label Blue Note.



Her next 12" single effort came in 1982 with the mighty production by Roy Ayers for the seminal underground funky disco label Uno Melodic. The one which brought us Ladies of the 80's and the illustrious Sylvia Striplin. This time Bobbi wrote, arranged and co-produced the number, Baby Don't You Know.


I've just posted my 12" for Love when I'm in Your Arms on Ebay. You can get to the link just by clicking the title of this blog.   It was released in 1979  on Epic. Here's her song Sunset Burgundy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I finally got my hands on Vince Aletti's amazing book The Disco Files. It was originally only available via but now can be found in better bookstores. I got mine at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. Kinda pricey for a paperback at almost $40.00 but it's chock full of information. A veritable disco bible.

Disco Files was edited by Frank Broughton & Bill Brewster who brought us their own phenomenal disco history book Last Night a DJ Saved my Life which I reviewed in a blog quite a while back. Vince Aletti is currently the Photography editor of New Yorker magazine but back in the day he wrote a column for Record World magazine entitled Disco File. In this column he wrote about new releases not unlike the dance column in Billboard magazine later written by Brian Chin, Bill Coleman, Larry Flick and others. He also was in regular contact with many of the most important d.j.'s of the period and printed their Top 10 lists and a national Top 20 compiled from these lists.

Some of the early contributors include John Luongo reporting from various clubs in Boston, Larry Levan from when he was spinning at Reade Street, Walter Gibbons from Galaxy 21, Bobby Guttardo from Infinity, Tom Savarese from 12 West, Jay Negron and Paul Salari from The Playhouse in the Bronx and many other important early Disco pioneers.

The early part of the book is particularly interesting because it documents how the 45 rpm 7" single was first used by DJ's. Some had the vocal versions on side A and the instrumental on side B or Part I on one side and Part II on the other. So DJ's had to be creative with two copies to extend the dancing experience. Album tracks started to be replaced by the first PROMO 12" singles in 1975. As these wider grooves provided for better and louder sound. There were even a few, now rare 45 rpm singles without the large hole in the middle like in this otherwise unavailable extended mix of Tavares classic from 1975 It Only Takes a Minute which I have in my Ebay store. Click the title of this blog to have a look.

Use of imports were also quite prevalent by DJ's always prepared to wow an audience with something fresh. Now it's simply become the standard for all successful DJ's to spin a great deal of imports. Also the first dj record pool in New York started by the Loft's David Mancuso began in June 1975 and featured Vince Aletti on it's board of directors. Many artists actually performed for these DJ's or did a meet and greet in the office. Some included Faith, Hope and Charity, The Ritchie Family and the then new artist Donna Summer.

One of the crucial disco records of 1975 was The Jacksons Forever Came Today which has remained virtually unknown to their pop audience. Between their 1974 smash Dancing Machine and their first singles on Epic in 1976 the Jacksons had a dry period on the U.S. pop charts.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

When's your next Candlelight Afternoon?

Phyllis St. James had full control of her 1984 l.p. Ain't No Turnin' Back. A feat for a Motown artist. She wrote and arranged in collaboration on some cuts with Velton Ray Burch.

The single Candelight Afternoon got the most attention. But not very much attention, surely not as much as it deserved. Now boogie and modern soul collectors know to make a beeline for this 12" when it's offered.

This is an extended mix which is found only on the U.K. 12", not even the U.S. white label Promo has this version.

Phyllis St. James - Candelight Afternoon

He left me sleeping this morning
and his kiss was just a tease to my face
he said i'm gonna be late this evening darling
so don't wait up but have a good day

but noon he calls me on telephone
he says my love is reaching out for you
i need to hold you & kiss you before i come home
can we meet somewhere this afternoon ?

i got to have a candelight afternoon to be with you
embracing you in the shadows
i got to have a candelight afternoon can't wait til midnight
to hold you in my love

we keep no limits on the romance
we do everything to keep love alive
we're two lovers married to a life time of chance
where freedom is our bottom line
we hide & seek through the pillows
and play charades through our glasses of wine
we find pleasure that true love can give
and we don't have to wait til midnight


this is how we can keep the fire burning
yes this is how we can keep our love brand new
the timing is right, if day or night
we'll always make love even in the afternoon

embracing you in middle of the afternoon

refrain *2

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Saint propels the pretty disco sound

I'm opting for a real lightweight number to kick-off the end of summer. Can He Find Another One by Double Discovery. A record which has Boris Midney's magic stamped all over it. In fact he produced it, plays keyboard on it, conducted and produced it.

I sense a real Bobby O influence here. By 1982 when this was released Hi NRG was becoming very prominent in the clubs. It's got a real tea dance feeling. Makes me wanna sip a Cape Cod and sway to the beat. Calling this record cheerful would be an understatement. "De de de de diddi dee!"

Boris Midney seemed to specialize in this type of cheery, soaring vocal, orchestral type disco epic. Often just managing to land somewhere between cheese and brilliance. His most important projects included Beautiful Bend, Festival the U.S.A.-European Connection and the Pinocchio disco opus recorded as Masquerade. All of which were highly revered by legendary SAINT d.j.'s like Robbie Leslie and Michael Fierman.

The Saint's fantastic dome.

It actually didn't open until 1980, so there! The media was calling disco dead but some of us truly knew otherwise.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Mechanic Sense
Chinese Revenge
Japanese War Game

Friday, August 7, 2009

ALWAYS THERE the disco holy grail

The original 12" of Always There came out on Fantasy Records in 1976. It was by Side Effect and has become one of the major disco holy grails often fetching hundreds of dollars on Ebay, discogs, musicstack, etc. if you can even find it.

In 1978 it was covered by latin jazz percussionist Willie Bobo. This is the version that is now even more coveted then the Side Effect original.

I'd have to admit that I discovered these versions working backwards cause when I was in New York clubbing and partying we had the fabulous version by Incognito featuring Jocelyn Brown which came out in 1991 and then was re-visited with re-mixes in 1996. Those were posted in old night by the way.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There's a Monsoon blowing in and it's not even scary or dangerous (ever so lonely)


Monsoon was a tasty melding of alternative, Indian and experimental music. Developed in 1980, their first release in 1981 featured the vocals of a young U.K. soap actress Sheila Chandra. Ever So Lonely was originally ignored but later picked up steam being re-mixed and added to other songs to form an ep. The Indy pop act only lasted just over two years but had several enjoyable releases. I suspect they were embraced by the same audience that would later embraces genres like trip-hop and ambient. Real college dorm light an incense stoner music.

There is a 1995 cd re-release which featured all the singles and a couple remixes.

01. Wings Of Dawn (Prem Kavita)
02. Tomorrow Never Knows
03. Third Eye And Tikka T.V.
04. Eyes
05. Shakti (The Meaning Of Within)
06. Ever So Lonely
07. You Can't Take Me With You
08. And I You
09. Kashmir
10. Watchers Of The Night
11. Indian Princess
12. Sunset Over The Ganges
13. Ever So Lonely (Hindi Version)
14. Wings Of Dawn (Prem Kavita) (Hindi Version)
15. Ever So Lonely Remix
16. Ever So Lonely Instrumental Remix

Sheila Chandra has also had several solo releases. The song I included below Sacred Stones is one of her solo singles. It's from her 1992 release Weaving my Ancestors Voices.

If you click the title of this blog it will take you directly to my ebay listing for the 12" of Ever So Lonely. Their first hit which shot all the way up to #9 in the U.K. pop charts.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Yvonne Elliman, Liza Minnelli and their Love Pains

Don't call Yvonne Elliman a one hit wonder. I'm sure she doesn't appreciate it and neither would I. It's not her fault one of her songs was included on the soundtrack to the most important disco movie of all time.

Years before that she was playing Mary Magdalene in the stage version of Jesus Christ Superstar. Prior to the SNF explosion she had a couple hit singles on RSO. Both Hello Stranger and Love Me made it to #13 on the U.S. Pop Charts. I know I remember cause I bought both 45's at the time and I used to write Casey Casem's American Top 40 down on paper, painstakingly listening to the entire four hour show every week.

Freddie Perren, who also worked with Tavares, among others produced her swan song If I Can't Have You one of the stunning tracks off the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and incidentally a #1 pop hit.

It was followed up by Love Pains in 1979 which barely dented the Billboard Disco Charts but was well known and liked enough to be re-hashed by Hi NRG disco San Francisco Label Moby Dick in 1982. There it was promoted to the hilt and got a little more attention but didn't exactly bring Yvonne into the nations living rooms.

The Pet Shop Boys produced a fabulous cover version for Liza Minnelli in 1989 but it didn't achieve the success of the albums first 12" Losing My Mind which they produced. It was originally written by Stephen Sondheim from the 1971 musical Follies. Here included in both 12", dub and Vision re-mix.

This zip includes three version of Love Pains. Enjoy it and patronize my Ebay vinyl store if you can. All you need to do is click on the title of this blog and it will deliver you to my shop. I've got over 1,000 items on offer at the moment and a new category called BARGAINS! where you can find hundreds of records priced at below $5.00. How's that for catering to the crappy world economy at the moment!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Paul Simpson, Barbara Roy, and the sound of the Paradise Garage

The 1982 12" release on on StreetWise Records by the Paul Simpson Connection, Use Me, Lose Me is a Garage classic. So is the Paul Simpson remix of Barbara Roy's Gotta See You Tonight from 1985.

Barbara Roy was a prominent vocalist in the 70's R&B group Ecstasy, Passion and Pain who had a string of hits including Ask Me and the Garage classic Touch and Go.

Paul Simpson had a fruitful career including working with the legendary Vince Montana on a Goody Goody record, "Let Me Work on You," R&B groups Deja and Surface, and even Rick James. Later he went on to produce and mix house music too. A couple noteworthy releases were collaborations with Adeva (Patricia Daniels). Musical Freedom (Free at Last) by Paul Simpson featuring Adeva and Adeva's house anthem Respect from 1988 which were highpoints in her dance output. Adeva later worked most often with Frankie Knuckles quite often but she never really broke big other then in the club scene.

As usual I invite you to come check out my Ebay store. It's going through all sorts of changes as I lower some prices, add a make an offer tab to almost every listing and constantly refresh the inventory. Help keep Vinyl alive!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

When is the Luther Vandross version not the best one? Georgy Porgy perhaps.


zip o Georgy

In 1978 Cheryl Lynn dropped from the heavens onto the stage of the Gong Show. She won and was soon in the studio with the brothers from Toto, David and Marty Paich who produced, arranged and played on her debut album. Which incidentally is one of the most impressive debuts in disco history.

They also brought Cheryl in to record the vocals for Georgy Porgy which David Paich incidentally wrote and included on their own debut l.p. This version remains the definitive version. An out and out disco classic. The mesh of the smooth vocals and the vocal supremacy of Cheryl Lynn is disco history on the jazz tip.

The next version by Charme with uncredited vocals by Luther Vandross was released in 1979 on RCA Records. Luther's voice is as always a rich cup of hot chocolate and the accompaniment of Deborah McDuffie is under-stated. But the package simply sounds flat and tame when held up against the Toto and Cheryl Lynn original. But this didn't stop the label from re-releasing it in 1982 with a Jonathan Fearing mix. At this point Luther Vandross had become a bona fide star in his own right.

A year later in 1980 Side Effect, best known for their own 1976 seminal disco classic, Always There, recorded their own version. It was produced by Wayne Henderson, another name for Roy Ayers. This solid version was released on Elektra and so therefore is not included on their Fantasy records greatest hits release. It too features over the top screaming female vocals but is a bit more R and B then Toto's disco version.