Born OTD in 1953, English singer-songwriter of Irish descent and frontman for the Dexys Midnight Runners, Kevin Rowland. ‘Searching for the Young Soul Rebels’ is the debut studio album from Dexys. Recorded during April 1980, the album combines the aggressiveness of punk rock with soul music, particularly influenced by the Northern soul movement.

During their time with EMI Records, the band consistently experienced troubles with their contract: upon their initial negotiations only three … More

Known primarily as the label of soul groups the Superbs, Whispers and Entertainers IV, it has taken at least 40 years for Dore’s fluttering feather on the light blue background to reveal its full Northern Soul content. The Entertainers IV’s ‘Gettin’ Back Into Circulation’ was soon noticed, as it shared the same backing as the Whispers’ original of ‘Doctor Love’. Kenard Gardner was Lew Bedell’s right-hand soul man and his ‘Do The Skin’ also crossed the Atlantic in the 70s; the raucous dance-craze oozed soul and sported an irrepressible beat. Then came the Northern Soul behemoth – Rita & the Tiaras’ ‘Gone With The Wind Is My Love’. Released in 1967 in very small numbers, it took a decade to be discovered by the rare soul scene. It grew from a Wigan Casino floor-filler into a byword for all that is best in uptempo US soul. Plaintive vocals, atmospheric, imaginative production, a relentless beat and a melody and lyric like no other.

By the early 70s, the Fidels already had the classic stomper ‘Try A Little Harder’ under their belt, so it … More

Out tomorrow. In association with Soul Shack DJ’s, Club Soul present the “Time” and the “Place” to Shake the Shack! The Soul Shack manifesto is stark – let your body take the place of your mind, and this new compilation on the Club Soul label is a tough-as-nails route to keeping the groove. The popular Soul Shack sessions in the Midlands being run by Neil Rushton are a homage to mind-blowing and spine-tingling black music gems. They encompass the preciseness of cerebral jazz fusion, the simple rawness of New Orleans funk, Nuyorican Latin Strut frenzy, the rhythm-driven angry polemics of Gil Scott-Heron, the sheen of Philly Soul, Big Apple Soul Disco and the Soul and Funk of Detroit’s many music alchemists. These are all integral parts of a time and place called Soul Shack – and this record is the soundtrack.

This LP edition of ‘Time & Place’ is presented on heavyweight audiophile 180gm vinyl in a single sleeve with Club … More

Out Friday. The All-Nighter has been an integral part of “the scene” since the phrase Northern Soul first came into popular use following the now legendary Blues & Soul article entitled “The Up-North Soul Groove” in June 1970 by journalist Dave Godin. During the heyday of the Northern Soul scene the ‘All-Nighter’ was the preferred format for the travelling soul fan. It separated the scene’s top venues from the hundreds of regional soul nights in pubs, clubs and community halls across the land. The All-Nighter was the ultimate experience and the only place to hear the best, the rarest and the breaking sounds spun by the leading DJ’s.

All 16 ‘All-Nighter’ tracks on this newly curated compilation have been remastered from analogue tapes and original vinyl. It is … More

Mary Love’s vocals topped and tailed the first two groundbreaking UK Kent LPs in 1982 and she has had a place in the hearts of Kent collectors ever since. Her recordings for Los Angeles’ Modern label covered the golden age of soul music, 1965-1967, and ranged from Motown-inspired dance tracks to beautiful ballads, raunchy blues-based numbers and even a gospel-tinged rave-up on ‘Dance Children Dance’. We have collected them all on to a vinyl LP for the first time and added two highlights from her self-produced soulful gospel tracks, recorded in the 80s. That era was indeed her second coming, musically as well as spiritually, with ‘Come Out Of The Sandbox’ taking on anthemic status among European soul fans. ‘You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet’, ‘Lay This Burden Down’ and ‘Let Me Know’ had already achieved that standing among Northern Soul fans, who have danced along for many years. The more tender side of her work can be heard in Ashford & Simpson’s ‘Baby I’ll Come’, while her only Modern hit, the sensual ‘Move A Little Closer’, is another show-stopper.

Mary loved the family atmosphere that Modern Records created at their South Normandie Ave complex. Los Angeles soul was booming … More

One for the Northern Soul collectors, what a voice! Blown away by this album. “In the last two decades, Little Ann’s music has gone from being almost unheard to celebrated widely across the world. Initially known only as a footnote for having one side of one Ric-Tic single in 1968, the discovery and playing of her acetate of ‘What Should I Do’ at Wigan Casino in the late 70s meant her name become important to rare soul fans (when it was revealed that Little Ann was the real singer of the song erroneously attributed to Rose Valentine at the time).”

Once Ace Records acquired Dave Hamilton’s Detroit studio tapes, through the auspices of researcher Richard Gilbert, more previously unheard gems … More

A vinyl-only 14-track collection of the Cincinnati trio’s best Fraternity recordings. A brief appearance on Billboard magazine’s Bubbling Under chart belies the fact that the Charmaines were Cincinnati’s leading 1960s girl group. Formed by Marian “Gigi” Jackson, Dee Watkins and Irene Vinegar, the group was awarded a contract with Fraternity Records for winning a talent show in 1960. Gigi’s sister Jerri sang on many of the group’s records but was too young to perform in nightclubs. When Dee left to get married, Jerri joined as a full-time member.

By the time the Charmaines’ contract with Fraternity had run its course, the group had relocated to Canada. “We’d had … More

Maxine Brown has been popular in the black music world since 1960. ‘All In My Mind’, her hit debut, is cited as one of the first soul records but it was not until she moved to the Wand label in 1963 that her career really took off. Maxine’s golden period included her signature hit ‘Oh No, Not My Baby’ & beautiful ballads such as ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ & ‘Gotta Find A Way’. These are loved in the UK but it was her less familiar, uptempo Wand releases that turned her from an admired artist to a soul goddess on the Northern Soul scene. The hard-to-find ‘One In A Million’ and ‘Let Me Give You My Lovin’’ were played at rare soul dances for many years, attaining classic status on the scene, despite not selling enough to chart in the USA at the time of release.

Interestingly, when her run of solo R&B hits dried up Maxine continued to reach the pop charts with ‘One Step … More

Our “Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities” CDs have showcased high quality 60s and early 70s records beloved of collectors and dancers. The series has proved much appreciated by the soul cognoscenti, making this new vinyl edition a necessity. Tracks such as Marva Holiday’s ‘It’s Written All Over My Face’ and Darrow Fletcher’s Detroit-produced ‘What Good Am I Without You’ were played at the famous Northern Soul venues of yesteryear but got lost in the waves of 70s discoveries. They have improved with age. Later discoveries are just plain elusive or horrifically expensive. Salt & Pepper, a multiracial group of US GIs stationed in Bangkok, pressed the 250-500 run of ‘A Man Of My Word’ in Thailand in 1970 – an extremely scarce record that took many years to find before becoming a rare soul standard. The Antellects’ ‘Love Slave’ was played by 100 Club DJ Shifty in the 90s and very few copies have found their way into the hands of collectors.

Vinly LP available in store and online.

“I stopped the music at the Mecca and made an announcement; ‘This is a very special record that I heard on the radio in Miami and it’s taken me 7 months to find it. You have to trust me, it’s not like your normal Northern Soul record, its got something special. Give it a chance and you’ll love it like I do.’ So, I played it and a few people danced to it. Within an hour I had over 100 requests to play it again and I played it 3 times that night. Inside two weeks it stood to epitomise the sound of Blackpool Mecca and paved the way for other, similar sounding records to follow.” Ian Levine.

The record in question is, of course, our opening track “It Really Hurts Me Girl” by the Carstairs and the … More