I still have some records at my Mum’s. (in fact I may be filing some more there soon as space is rapidly running out here). This record – “Fuse One” - relocated to chez Darcy a few days ago after spending its entire life at my Mum’s. So be gentle with it, it is still getting used to its new environment.
Back in 1980 Jazz-Funk was very much my bag and I used to spin a lot of it at a club in Bath. Back then Saturdays were often spent thus: jump on the train to London (65 minutes Bristol Parkway-Paddington non stop for £4.50 I think, chance would be a fine thing now); tube to Fulham Broadway; walk to the wiggle at the bottom end of King’s Road; listen to latest imports at Disc Empire and buy a few; grab something to eat; watch Chelsea (then often to be seen in the 2nd Division); tube and train back to Bristol by 7.30pm; drive over to Bath; wheels of steel ‘til 2am.
I always thought I had bought this record at Disc Empire. Well I did, but I have just found a letter tucked into the sleeve that tells me I must have tried to but it wasn’t in stock so I must have ordered it and had it mailed. The very nice letter (from Mandie) was dated 15th December 1980 and apologised for the more than 3 week wait for the delivery of the record from Japan.
Hmm, I thought, roll back a little over three weeks from that date and who would Chelsea have played then? Sheffield Wednesday it turns out – a “big” Second Division game 3rd v 4th. A quick dive into my stash of football programmes, and yes, I have it. So I probably ordered this record the day I watched Chelsea beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 – 22nd November 1980 (as good as it got that season for Chelsea, they failed to score in any of their last eight games of the season! Also, coincidentally, that season I notice Chelsea were drawn away to Southampton in the FA Cup, as they are this season).
Back in the day this album’s attraction would have been all about the two dancefloor friendly tracks “Grand Prix” and “Double Steal”, and I probably never really settled down to appreciate the rest of the album. Listening to it again now after all these years I’m really liking the whole thing, and it has great fidelity.
I remember thinking the group were known as Fuse. Received wisdom (not just Wiki actually) tells me the group were in fact Fuse One, and their first album was eponymous. But I’m not so sure, the label and inner sheet both quote FUSE as well as FUSE ONE so it seems the either the group or the album were at least originally intended to be called Fuse.
PS: Disc Empire is sadly no more, gone the way of many independent record shops. The address is now home to The ChelseaTeapot.