Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Back In The Day - February 1988 Issue 503

Back In The Day - February 1988 Issue 503
Back In The Day - February 1988 Issue 503

Mr Jackie Wilson graced the front cover of the magazine to coincide with the piece yours truly had written about him. Jackie had died in January 1984, a few months before his 50th birthday, but was riding high in the UK with 'Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl In Town)' thanks to a tv advertisement. It was generally a struggle to know what to come up with in the January editions because of the aftermath of Christmas, artists were still in hibernation, and of course, record companies were just gearing up for New Year releases. So Mr Wilson it was! Let’s go...

The news of the day was sad because one of R&B’s most engaging artists, Lee Dorsey, died in December in New Orleans after a year long battle with emphysema. He was 59 years old……On the upside - Tina Turner announced that, after a two year hiatus, she was returning to live action by launching her 'Break Every Rule Tour' in Germany in March, followed by 64 concerts in 13 European countries. The UK part of the tour was planned for June with an opening concert at Glasgow’s SECC, followed by two dates at Birmingham’s NEC and three at Wembley Arena. For the first time ever in the UK, giant Diamond Vision screens were to be installed at all the venues, enabling everyone to enjoy the full excitement of her performances. Another first for the tour were the tickets. They were to be printed in full colour, featuring a special Tina photograph which could be retained as a souvenir postcard..

…Included on his upcoming debut album for Warner Brothers, titled 'Mutual Attraction', Sylvester had recorded a version of the classic 'Summertime'. This and other tracks from him led his record company to state he was responsible for “pioneering a look, an attitude and a sound that moved dance music beyond the dance floor”…..Luther Vandross’ 'Give Me The Reason' album on Epic passed platinum status in the US which made it five such awards for the singer who was due to visit the UK…… The best selling UK soul single was 'Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl In Town)', followed by the Gap Band’s 'Big Fun' and Oran “Juice” Jones’ 'The Rain', while the top three UK soul albums were 'Silk And Steel' by Five Star, 'Motown Chartbusters' and Lionel Richie’s 'Dancing On The Ceiling.'

……It was reported that singer/songwriter Randy Newman suggested in a Playboy interview that Bruce Springsteen wasn’t fit to “shine Prince’s shoes as a songwriter” and “not in the same league musically as Stevie Wonder”. …..In Graham Gold’s review of Lionel’s 'Ballerina Girl', he wrote – “no matter how slushy this fella gets, there’s no denying his haunting style. Although it probably can’t be described as real soul, it’s so unique and inoffensive that you can’t dislike the type of love songs he sings”…..The magazine’s editor Bob Killbourn asked his contributors to list their “Boom Sounds Of ‘86”. As it’s me who’s writing this column (hah!!!) will mention a few of my top twelve - Taka Boom’s 'Middle Of The Night', Marvin Gaye’s 'The World Is Rated X', Jaki Graham’s 'Set Me Free', Melba Moore/Freddie Jackson’s 'A Little Bit More', People In Progress’ 'This Is My Song' and Patti LaBelle’s 'America Silly Little Man.'

...Roger St Pierre caught up with Isaac Hayes. He’d been from the top of the black music tree to the pits of financial ruin but had now bounced back with a new label deal, new album and new movie ……. Mark Webster reviewed Teena Marie’s 'Greatest Hits' album which served as a vehicle for three previously unreleased tracks which were brilliant, he gushed. “First choice is the Ronnie McNeir written and produced soul swayer 'Love Just Wouldn’t Be Right', closely followed by the funky groove of 'Why Can’t I Get Close To You' which is tailed by the grinding ballad “Co-Pilot To Pilot”. Who cares if you’ve got the old stuff – you need this album! ……”Personnel changes and the demands of big business (remember the storm when they posed for pix in the ghetto wearing $200 aligator shoes?) could easily have buried the whole group, but they’re back and flying” wrote Frank Elson about The Temptations’ 'To Be Continued' album. “Seriously though, let’s look upon this album as being by a new group (it just ain’t The Temptations we used to know, now is it), and we’re still talking superb music, faultless vocals and a record package to delight the long nights.”…..Kool & The Gang’s show was reviewed at Wembley Arena, while Hank Ballard & The Midnighters played Hammersmith Palais

...John Abbey’s 'Inside America' page was crammed with goodies like - a new set from The Crusaders titled 'The Good And Bad Times', their first for three years… station KDAY arranged a 2 hour talk session – with Barry White acting as moderator. And it worked! The weekend prior to the experiment, there were 12 gang-related killings and 9 serious injuries. On the Day Of Peace, there were none! …… Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder both approached Run-DMC to write and perform an anti-crack song for each’s upcoming album..……..And finally, there were no dodgy visuals this time which means the magazine designer was sober!


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