Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



BACK IN THE DAY 'OCTOBER 1996' (Issue's 725/726)

B&S - Back in the day...
B&S - Back in the day...

Following the success of this series in the recent Vintage magazine, we’ve decided to present it now on a monthly basis. Believe me, it’s great fun rummaging through the back copies – although some of the magazines are now in an appalling condition due to their great age, and the fact that they’ve moved with me several times before settling in East Sussex – and what comes to light is amazing. It’s only in retrospect that you realise, this is soul music’s history. At the time, it was fun and the significance of its place in the future wasn’t even given a second thought. OK, so not everything that happened was included in detail between the pages, but there was an overview on most happenings. Enjoy the visit.


Flicking through these pages from October 1996, we hit Headliners where among the news items there’s details of the Giants Of Motown] ’96 tour, featuring the Four Tops, The Temptations, Mary Wilson, Billy Preston, Syreeta and Edwin Starr…. Visits pending by jazz giants James Moody and Greg Osby to play at Ronnie Scotts Club, while Gil Scott Heron returned for a session of soft spoken free-jazz and socio-political verse at Subterania in Ladbroke Grove, London……

R&B/soul stirrer Maxwell continued to pound his silver hammer of success with a new single titled Sumthin’ Sumthin’ from his Urban Hang Suite album……..Tony Rich was added to the bill for Tina Turner’s three dates at London’s Wembley Arena in November…… Earth Wind & Fire signed an exclusive four-album agreement with Pyramid Records via WEA, kicking off with a Greatest Hits Live package. Maurice and the boys had also contributed a track “Cruisin’” to the soundtrack of Spike Lee’s new film Get On The Bus. ……

Janet Jackson planned to return to the studio in December to record a new album earmarked for August release on Virgin. She was to provide all the material, with Jam & Lewis producing…. …B&S Poll award winner Beverley Knight joined forces with London hip hoppers Blak Twang on her new single Mutual Feeling released by Dome Records. Despite some recent difficulties with Dome – Beverley had been courted by several major record companies anxious to get her signature on a new recording contract – the singer/writer would actively become involved in promoting the new single……..

Channel 4 screened Starring In Cleethorpes, an episode in their Short Stories season, focusing on three Northern Soul fans attending the 4th Annual Northern Soul Weekender in Cleethorpes featuring deejay Ady Croasdell……Talk about misinformation. Despite the rumours that flew around the internet, the Fugee’s Lauryn Hill was in perfect health. As the classic novelist Mark Twain commented after reading reports of his own death – “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”!.. …Soul Survivors:The Wigan Casino Story written by the founder of the Casino all-nighters Russ Winstanley and former Casino regular, David Nowell, planned for publication in November…. Then we had Pete Lewis chatting to Montell Jordan, Babyface and Luther Vandross; Susie McClelland spoke to Dina Carroll, while Alexander O’Neal spoke to Jon-Andre Holley. All interesting reads…..

Music-wise there were reviews of Thelma Houston’s All Of That, Michael Jackson’s Stranger In Moscow, Mark Morrison’s Trippin’, Paul Johnson’s Copasetic, Ice-T’s The Lane, and Nicolette’s Nightmare. Of the albums, there were words about Luther Vandross’ Your Secret Love, Kool & The Gang’s Greatest Hits Live, Blaxploitation: Soul, Jazz & Funk From The Inner City; Ce Ce Peniston’s I’m Movin’ On, Below The Bass Line from Ernest Ranglin, and compilations like “This Is…Rap” and “Big In Wigan”. Meantime, LL Cool J’s Loungin’ was number one in the UK singles chart, with Ready Or Not by The Fugees and Gabrielle’s If You Really Cared at two and three. On the other hand, the top three albums were Jamiroquai’s Travelling Without Moving, Fugees’ The Score and the compilation Boyz Of Swing.


Lewis Dene’s Between The Tracks column, among the masses of one liners, he reported – Blast from the past time: The Bar-Kays return to the recording arena with the seductive slow-jam Everybody Wants That Love which is backed by a ’96 remake of Soul Finger ……. RuPaul continued to walk tall in those high heels with the release of his sophomore album Foxy Lady where a camped up remake of Diana Ross’ Work That Body was included in the collection of disco ditties…....

On the hip hop front, No Time from Lil’ Kim and Puff Daddy was described as a low-down raw ‘n’ rugged dope jam set to a Lyn Collins break…..Leaving Lewis and moving on…there was also mention of Motown’s latest young bloods, the female trio 702, who aimed to bring some hit records the label’s way. Their album No Doubt was based on – what Jeff Lorez called – “basic hip-hop beats and quirky, simplistic sing-along melodies”. He did, however, rave about two tracks: “the sultry, suggestive Donell Jones penned and produced ballad ‘Get It Together ’and Malik Pendleton’s ‘Finding My Way’”….Jeff also reported that Wilson Pickett was sentenced to a year in prison for using cocaine while serving a five year probation for hitting an 86 year man whilst drunk driving in 1992….En Vogue and Monica were in the studio putting the finishing touches on their album projects…The Jackson 5 and Parliament/Funkadelic were due to be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio…..

In his column, Tony Monson’s lead review was of Curtis Mayfield’s New World Over. He wrote “the fact that Curtis was able to record this at all is a miracle in itself. As to whether he still cuts it as a vocalist, the answer is that his voice may have lost some of its strength but the distinctiveness is still there, although, not surprisingly, he sounds more poignant than ever – in fact some of the time he sounds like he’s almost crying…All told, not too many notable hooklines, very little for the rare groove brigade – but bearing in mind Curtis’ personal tragedy, a brave effort and extremely thought-provoking.” (Curtis was paralysed from the neck down in an accident in 1990). …. And finally, there was a picture of Rodney Mannsfield with his hand down his trousers. (what’s that all about?!)


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