Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

Column

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, weâve decided to present it now on a monthly basis. Believe me, itâs great fun rummaging through the back copies â although some of the magazines are now in an appalling condition due to their great age, and the fact that theyâve moved with me several times before settling in East Sussex â and what comes to light is amazing. Itâs only in retrospect that you realise, this is soul musicâs history. At the time, it was fun and the significance of its place in the future wasnât 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.

B&S ISSUE 726 OCTOBER 1996

Flicking through these pages from October 1996, we hit Headliners where among the news items thereâs details of the Giants Of Motown] â96 tour, featuring the Four Tops, The Temptations, Mary Wilson, Billy Preston, Syreeta and Edwin Starrâ¦. 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, Londonâ¦â¦

R&B/soul stirrer Maxwell continued to pound his silver hammer of success with a new single titled Sumthinâ Sumthinâ from his Urban Hang Suite albumâ¦â¦..Tony Rich was added to the bill for Tina Turnerâs three dates at Londonâs Wembley Arena in Novemberâ¦â¦ 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 âCruisinââ to the soundtrack of Spike Leeâs new film Get On The Bus. â¦â¦

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 producingâ¦. â¦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 â Beverley had been courted by several major record companies anxious to get her signature on a new recording contract â the singer/writer would actively become involved in promoting the new singleâ¦â¦..

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 Croasdellâ¦â¦Talk about misinformation. Despite the rumours that flew around the internet, the Fugeeâs Lauryn Hill was in perfect health. As the classic novelist Mark Twain commented after reading reports of his own death â âreports of my death have been greatly exaggeratedâ!.. â¦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 Novemberâ¦. Then we had Pete Lewis chatting to Montell Jordan, Babyface and Luther Vandross; Susie McClelland spoke to Dina Carroll, while Alexander OâNeal spoke to Jon-Andre Holley. All interesting readsâ¦..

Music-wise there were reviews of Thelma Houstonâs All Of That, Michael Jacksonâs Stranger In Moscow, Mark Morrisonâs Trippinâ, Paul Johnsonâs Copasetic, Ice-Tâs The Lane, and Nicoletteâs Nightmare. Of the albums, there were words about Luther Vandrossâ Your Secret Love, Kool & The Gangâs Greatest Hits Live, Blaxploitation: Soul, Jazz & Funk From The Inner City; Ce Ce Penistonâs Iâm Movinâ On, Below The Bass Line from Ernest Ranglin, and compilations like âThis Isâ¦Rapâ and âBig In Wiganâ. Meantime, LL Cool Jâs Lounginâ was number one in the UK singles chart, with Ready Or Not by The Fugees and Gabrielleâs If You Really Cared at two and three. On the other hand, the top three albums were Jamiroquaiâs Travelling Without Moving, Fugeesâ The Score and the compilation Boyz Of Swing.

B&S ISSUE 725 OCTOBER 1996

Lewis Deneâs Between The Tracks column, among the masses of one liners, he reported â 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 â96 remake of Soul Finger â¦â¦. 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 Rossâ Work That Body was included in the collection of disco dittiesâ¦....

On the hip hop front, No Time from Lilâ Kim and Puff Daddy was described as a low-down raw ânâ rugged dope jam set to a Lyn Collins breakâ¦..Leaving Lewis and moving onâ¦there was also mention of Motownâs latest young bloods, the female trio 702, who aimed to bring some hit records the labelâs way. Their album No Doubt was based on â what Jeff Lorez called â âbasic hip-hop beats and quirky, simplistic sing-along melodiesâ. He did, however, rave about two tracks: âthe sultry, suggestive Donell Jones penned and produced ballad âGet It Together âand Malik Pendletonâs âFinding My Wayâââ¦.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 1992â¦.En Vogue and Monica were in the studio putting the finishing touches on their album projectsâ¦The Jackson 5 and Parliament/Funkadelic were due to be inducted into the Rock ânâ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohioâ¦..

In his column, Tony Monsonâs lead review was of Curtis Mayfieldâs New World Over. He wrote âthe 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 â in fact some of the time he sounds like heâs almost cryingâ¦All told, not too many notable hooklines, very little for the rare groove brigade â but bearing in mind Curtisâ personal tragedy, a brave effort and extremely thought-provoking.â (Curtis was paralysed from the neck down in an accident in 1990). â¦. And finally, there was a picture of Rodney Mannsfield with his hand down his trousers. (whatâs that all about?!)

SHARON DAVIS

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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