Loose Ends - Slow Down
This performance is brilliant for so many reasons. Gone are the bright saturated colours and afros of the '70s, replaced by the sleek suits, neon cityscapes and drum machines of the '80s. Compare this clip to one from Soul Train a decade earlier and you can see how far fashion and music had come. The interview after where the group chat about the UK soul scene is a nice little peek into the past too, and Don shows why he's one of the coolest men in music history.
Rick James - Love Gun
If Rick James doesn't make you dance you're probably stone cold brown bread. This is my favourite track of his, and he performs it in a way only a man with a lorry load of chisel up his hooter can. The costumes, the crowd, the sunglasses are all pure party, nobody's standing around watching him or recording it on their phones, and the intensity still comes across thirty years later. I'd be prepared to bet he banged all of those dancers that night.
Colonel Abrams - Not Gonna Let (1986)
The Colonel is having so much fun in this clip it's difficult not to end up dancing round the front room along with him. Look at him go. Jumping up and down, dishing out hi-fives, it looks like any minute he's about to strip off and jump into the crowd. Look at that baggy pants and silk shirt combo too. Another great interview at the end where he talks about the UK/US audience. By the way, Colonel Abrams is his real name.
Evelyn Champagne King - Betcha She Don't Love You
Just look at that outfit. How can you argue with a woman in thigh high boots, a gold catsuit, and space age wraparound sunglasses? She looks like she's just been beamed down from the planet Fucking Ace and is about to zap Don Cornelius into oblivion. Good interview about her 'Get Loose' album too.
Thelma Houston - You Used To Hold Me So Tight
So much love for whoever designed the set for '80s soul train. We'd have our front room like it. Despite being dressed in some questionable garms, Miss Houston still commands a stage as though she was performing in front of thousands in a NY club. In the interview she chats about recording with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in Minneapolis