Thursday, 7 June 2018

Northern Soul Compilations

I am lucky enough to own around 1,200 Northern Soul songs digitally, lucky because to own some of these tracks on their original vinyl can cost thousands. this is the beauty of digitally accessible music - the whole wonderful world of Northern Soul rarities is available for (comparative) peanuts. So, instead of taking an Adidas bag full of singles to Wigan and hoping to do some trading of rare singles, as they used to in 1975, I can just press a few keys. Not as exciting? Maybe not, but Northern Soul is, at times, the music of the Gods, so to be able to listen to so much of it, is, for me, a huge pleasure. It was never about the dancing for me, just about the marvellous, inspirational, life-affirming MUSIC.

It is virtually impossible to review all the tracks on all the compilation albums, particularly as so many of the tracks are musically (and often vocally) quite similar. I would be writing "upbeat", "Motown-ish", "lively", "catchy", "singalong", "melodious", "beats per minute" and the like endlessly. So, what I will do is list my favourite Northern Soul compilations and recommend some of my favourites from each of them. I hope it inspires you to delve into this wonderful world yourself.

The Northern Soul Story : The Twisted Wheel



Highlights from Manchester's Twisted Wheel Club:-

Ride Your Pony - Lee Dorsey
No Sad Songs - Oscar Toney Jnr
Shake A Tail Feather - James & Bobby Purify
Look What You've Done To My Heart - Shirley & The Shirelles
Let Love Between Us - James & Bobby Purify
Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache - Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon
Right Track - Billy Butler
Soul Time - Shirley Ellis
You're Gonna Make Me Love You - Sandi Sheldon

The Northern Soul Story - The Twisted Wheel



Highlights from Stoke-On Trent:-

I Don't Want To Discuss It - Little Richard
Blowin' Up My Mind - The Exciters
Love On A Mountain Top - Robert Knight
He Who Picks A Rose - Carstairs
I Worship You Baby - The Glories
You Don't Want Me No More - Major Lance
Walk Like A Man - Johnny Moore
Angel Baby - George Carrow
Earthquake - Bobbi Lynn

The Northern Soul Story - Blackpool Mecca



Highlights from Blackpool:-

Turnin' My Heartbeat Up- The M.V.P.'s
Moonlight, Music & You - Laura Greene
Didn't Say A Word - Patti Austin
Soul Improvisations, Part 2 - Van McCoy
Hold Back The Night - The Trammps
Branded! - Robert Knight
I Can't Hold On - Lorraine Chandler

The Northern Soul Story - Wigan Casino



Highlights from the legendary Wigan Casino:-

I Can't Help Lovin' You - Paul Anka
I'll Always Need You - Dean Courtney
Panic - Reparata & The Delrons
It's All Over Me - Otis Blackwell
Ain't That A Lot Of Love - Taj Mahal
Don't Pity Me - Sue Lynne
Time Will Pass You By - Tobi Legend

Move On Up - The Best Of Northern Soul



Compiled by contemporary Northern Soul fan Levanna McLean (featured on the cover):-

Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - Frank Wilson
Here I Go Again - Archie Bell & The Drells
Seven Days Too Long - Chuck Wood
Girl Don't Make Me Wait - Bunny Sigler
Love Factory - Eloise Laws
The Night - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Back Street - Edwin Starr
Out On The Floor - Dobie Gray
I Got A Feeling - Barbara Randolph
Open The Door To Your Heart - Darrell Banks
Dance, Dance, Dance - The Casualeers

Move On Up - Volume Two



What - Judy Street
Helpless - Kim Weston
Come On Train - Don Thomas
Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy - The Tams
I'm Com'un Home In The Morn'un - Lou Pride
What More Could A Boy Ask For - The Spinners
Dr Love - Bobby Sheen
Exus Trek - The Luther Ingram Orchestra
Sister Lee - Sam Ward
So Is The Sun - World Column
Happy - William Bell
Sweeter Than The Day Before - Valentines

Northern Soul - The Soundtrack



Highlights from the excellent movie soundtrack:-

Tear Stained Face - Don Varner
Too Late - Larry Williams & Johnny Watson
I Really Love You - The Tomangoes
This Love Starved Heart Of Mine (It's Killing Me) - Marvin Gaye
Stick By Me Baby - The Salvadores
You Don't Love Me - Epitome Of Sound
I Just Can't Live My Life (Without You Babe) - Linda Jones
Please Stay - The Ivories
It Really Hurts Me Girl - Carstairs
I Surrender - Eddie Holman
Gone With The Wind Is My Love - Rita & The Tiaras

SoulBoy - The Soundtrack



Highlights from the movie starring Martin "Line Of Duty" Compston:-

Ain't That A Lot Of Love - Homer Banks
The In Crowd - Dobie Gray
Tainted Love - Gloria Jones
Our Love Is Getting Stronger - Jason Knight
You Didn't Say A Word - Yvonne Baker
I'm On My Way - Dean Parrish
I'll Turn To Stone - The Four Tops
Just A Little Misunderstanding - The Contours
Breakaway Pt. 2 - Steve Karmen Big Band
If I Could Only Be Sure - Nolan Porter

Wigan Casino 40th Anniversary



More highlights from the Casino:-

Run For Cover - The Dells
You're Gonna Love My Baby - Barbara McNair
Suspicion - The Originals
Landslide - Tony Clarke
I Go To Pieces - Gerri Grainger
Long After Tonight Is All Over - Jimmy Radcliffe
I Walked Away - Bobby Paris
I Got To Find Me Somebody - The Vel-Vets
More And More - Little Milton

Northern Soul - Keep The Faith



Crackin' Up Over You - Roy Hamilton
That's What I Want To Know - James Carr
Everybody's Goin' To The Love In - Bob Brady & The Con Chords
Too Darn Soulful - Morris Chestnut
Honest To Goodness - Herb Ward
The Cheater - Bob Kuban & The In-Men
Change Your Ways - Willie Kendrick
This Heart Of Mine - The Artistics
I'm Coming To Your Rescue - The Triumphs

The In Crowd - 50 Northern Soul Tracks



Getting Mighty Crowded - Betty Everett
I'll Do Anything - Doris Troy
Girls Are Out To Get You - The Fascinations
Have More Time - Marvin Smith
Just Like The Weather - Nolan Chance
Eddie's My Name - Eddie Holman
Bring Back Your Love - Linda Lyndell
The Girl Across The Street - Moses Smith
Let Her Go - Otis Smith
In The Long Run - Curtis Blandon

The Best Northern Soul Album In The World...Ever



There's A Ghost In My House - R. Dean Taylor
I'm Gonna Run Away Form You - Tami Lynn
25 Miles - Edwin Starr
Higher And Higher - Jackie Wilson
Green Door - Wynder K. Frog
Wade In The Water - Ramsey Lewis
Hit And Run - Rose Batiste
Our Love Is In The Pocket - JJ Barnes
Everything's Gonna Be Alright - PP Arnold
A Little Lovin' Sometimes - Alexander Patton
The Snake - Al Wilson
Bari Track - Don Burdon



Right, that's more than enough for starters. I have barely scratched the surface.

There are so many more compilations around. These listed are all pretty good, sound quality-wise, although there are variations from track to track due to the recording of the originals.

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