Northern soul best ballads

We are removing our fees for every Select subscription for 3 months to help support creators. And the worst part about it was I used to own the blooming thing on the old Soul Galore pink pressing Great work buddy! A much neglected soul genre Pete since the Stafford days when it was properly encompassed and given the credit that that the midtempo tunes had always deserved.

Sadly not the case generally these days unless you go to the right venues wink emoticon. Yes not for young girls dancing in the street, circle skirts and baggy pants - the best stuff save Richard's late sets came after Wigan for me. As we enter a new reality where events are cancelled for a significant period of time, many of the creators and institutions that we love face an extremely challenging financial future.

Support Pete Smith Planet Records by subscribing directly to this channel and get access to exclusive rewards. We are removing our fees for every Select subscription for 3 months to help support creators Read More. Keep up to date with every new upload! Read more. Comments Post comment. TopCookie 1y ago.

Emanuel Laskey Killer tune Pete, thanks for the memories Dave Redshaw 4y ago. Jimmy Mack - Go On Fantastic tune! Rich McGarvey 4y ago.

John Durant 4y ago. Chris Thompson 4y ago. Fabulous set Diamond geezer 4y ago.

northern soul best ballads

Really nice Pete. Long time amigo xxx. Mark Jones 4y ago. John Grosvenor 4y ago. Brilliant set Pete, thanks. Support Pete Smith Planet Records As we enter a new reality where events are cancelled for a significant period of time, many of the creators and institutions that we love face an extremely challenging financial future.One of the many beauties of northern soul is its sheer unknowability.

Since it first emerged in the dancehalls of northern England in the late 60s, it has existed in direct opposition to the very concept of greatest hits. Northern soul is a culture based on chance finds, crate-digging and word-of-mouth recommendations. In Dobie Gray, a versatile old pro who was equally as comfortable singing country as cabaret, recorded a celebration of nocturnal kicks whose lyrics seemed to uncannily anticipate the northern soul scene. Even the fairy-dust twinkle of its piano topline evokes the heart-racing amphetamine thrills of the all-nighter.

The perfect anthem for the movement. Many of the feather-cut kids in their three-star tops, flare-flapping Oxford bags and slippery Solatio shoes would have known this as the James Bond song.

Top 20 Classic Northern Soul Songs

One of the ironies of northern soul is that the modern dilettante has access to more information about the artists and records than even the most obsessive fan at the time, when the identities of highly localised dancefloor hits, sometimes associated with just one venue, were jealously guarded by DJs who stuck plain white paper over the labels in order to prevent rivals from stealing their set.

The James Bond song was so nicknamed because its underlying melody bore a pronounced resemblance to the gun-barrel theme. For years, mystery surrounded the identity of the band, thought to be named after slave rebellion drama Tamango. A standout track on the Wigan Casino Story compilation, itself as good a northern soul primer as any. By the early 70s, northern soul had the power to turn little-known oldies into hit singles. Despite that impressive pedigree, it made little impact at the time.

However, its euphoric woo-oos and concise gone-inseconds punch made it a floor-filler on the scene. It was opportunistically re-released by Polydor subsidiary Mojo inpropelling it into the UK Top 40 and prompting the Fascinations, who had disbanded two years earlier, to briefly reform for live performances. Northern soul was christened by London-based Blues and Soul writer Dave Godin after a visit to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, but many of its most popular tunes were not soul at all.

The scene was spectacularly omnivorous and utility-focused: as long as you could dance to it, nobody cared where a track came from. After one of these biennial humiliations, however, something extraordinary happened. The inspirational, life-affirming message of his single Ordinary Joe was a perfect choice for the occasion.

Its exquisitely gentle, sophisticated arrangement also makes it perfect for the first — or last — section of any soul all-nighter. In many senses, the subculture anticipated the rave movement by two decades. The typical all-nighter was fuelled by popping pills rather than swigging pints, facilitating hour upon hour of non-stop dancing.

As dawn broke over the Wigan Casino, and the time approached for dancers to grab their bowling bags, change out of their perspiration-drenched gear into fresh clothes, and think about bunking onto the milk train back to normality, the same three songs would herald the end of the all-nighter. The famous Three Before Eight, which charted when released together as a commemorative EP, shared a common theme of the ebbing sands of time.

Written by Englishman John Rhys Eddins of Saxmundham, Suffolk and later covered by Kylie Minogue, this single was an elegant and poetic memento mori to live fully in the moment and be cognisant of the fleeting nature of existence. Anything with a suitably emotional vocal or a suitably driving backbeat was ripe for plundering, no matter who the singer was.

The 50 best soul songs

Under My Thumb is a perfect instance of accidental soul. It got lost in the noise of the 60s beat boom, and flopped. Almost a decade later, it finally hit the charts when northern soul DJs discovered that its heartfelt delivery and insistent drum beat were perfect for the floor, and an opportunistic re-release from Pye Disco Demand pushed it into the Top 20 in The single enjoyed a third life in the early 80s, when the Soul Supply label reissued it at a crucial moment.

The Wigan Casino had closed inand despite regular meets in Rotherham and Stafford for the staunchest keepers of the faith, there was a sense that the original movement had entered a decade-long slump.

However, a new generation, too young to have frequented the Casino themselves, were curious to find out about the scene that had inspired 80s pop heroes like Soft CellDexys Midnight Runners and the Style Council. He coaxed long-retired soul singers into re-recording their biggest tunes over cheap backing tracks for compilations on his Motor City label, then lip-synched even cheaper videos, shot in a hotel lobby, for a DVD.

However, there can be no disputing his importance to the development of northern soul. One of his finest finds was Love Factory by Eloise Laws. The most exciting northern soul tune is always the next one you discover.

The present-day dabbler, with no memories of sweat-soaked 70s Saturday nights, is freed from the shackles of nostalgia or historical accuracy, with no obligation other than taking a wild punt and seeing where it leads. The knowledgeability of hardcore devotees can be daunting, but northern soul is too glorious to leave to trainspotters.Regular all night 'raves' saw the introduction of rare soul 45's being played to a youthful 'fed up with the UK pop hit' syndrome.

Soon, this bizarre youth culture turned the North of England into 'the place to be' every Saturday night, and following the closure of 'The Wheel' in saw a plethora of hip clubs such as 'The Catacombs' Wolverhampton'The Golden Torch' Stoke-on-Trent and the daddy of them all - 'Wigan Casino'.

The latter was the scenes most famous all night venue from where the most popular singles emerged. Edited By: Kev Roberts.

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Barnes Come on Train - Don Thomas Dance, Dance, Dance - Casualeers Dearly Beloved - Jack Montgomery My Sugar Baby - Connie Clark Cashing In - Voices of East Harlem That's My Girl - Dee Clark Lend a Hand - Bobby Hutton Just Loving You - Ruby Andrews Cause You're Mine - Vibrations Just Like the Weather - Nolan Chance Night Owl - Bobby Paris Bari Track - Doni Burdick Newly added names are in Red.

Al Wilson - The snake

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Maybe - The Chantels Help Me Somebody - The "5" Royales If Frank Wilson is number one in the mythical Northern Soul topwhat would be the crossover equivalent? Would make a great podcast. I was just about to say Chris had got the ethos of Crossover spot on with a good selection to start off with. IMO i would not put Buddy Smith as crossover.

Great 60,s Detroit beat ballad that it is. Hope that reply didnt look like i was having a dig at Peter. I wasnt. Just that there is a difference in peoples understanding of Crossover and this is shown in the first two replies. It can be a minefield. I'd would call this Crossover. In the middle of said minefield. Forgot about Darrell Banks 'I'm the one who loves you' Volt which would have to be well up there.

It's an interesting question, but also as a couple of friends on mine in Germany have said on more than one occasion 'Why do the British need to make list of every thing? Also once a list is created, will that mean the prices of these will go through the roof as trophy hunters try to complete the set. Will you start to hear carbon copy sets at venues around the country as those DJ's with little imagination just pluck from the list?

Finally the worst out come, as some northern promoters already do, imagine walking up to the decks to start your set and some idiot promoter saying 'Top records only please'. That all said Johnny Gilliam - Room full of tears, has to be in there. And there Adam lies another problem, 'definition'. Agreed Dave - but definately has the right sound to my ears. A lot of those records on the list are great, but I would consider them to be part of Northern Soul!

Surely if its good, soul and danceable, it dosen't really need a sub-category!? Flowers For real - the most overplayed of them all. But surly that is a modern soul track. Great choices from previous posts, although many leaning towards the northern side of things. As for a topi'm sure that could be done just out of lp tracks. Fair points Dave - hadn't thought of any of this. Where would we be without a list though. But as Dave said many were around before the term came into being.

But over the years the term crossover has simply evolved into anything of a similar tempo regardless of the year.

northern soul best ballads

Some great records mentioned though. Forgot about Fantastics 'Where there's a will' Impresario - sold in a weak moment and regretted ever since. Some seriously good tunes mentioned. Never really understood the crossover nomenclature. Lots of tunes I love listed above but not sure why they are classified as crossover.

northern soul best ballads

How about Quiet Elegance - or is this just Southern Soul?Great Northern Soul refers to obscure American soul music of the late s that enjoyed a renaissance beginning in the north of England that lasted into the '80s. This is the only single Wilson recorded, and just copies were made, most of which were destroyed. A decade later a copy surfaced and the enthusiastic reaction encouraged Motown to rerelease the song.

This wasn't Gray's biggest U. The versatile Texan performed soul, pop, and even musical theater in a production of "Hair" before tilting toward country. Earlier she had performed with the Sensations, a group that attracted attention because it was one of the first to include a female lead vocalist and male background singers. Wilson got his break when early pop icon Johnny Rivers signed him to his new label, Soul City Records.

It's said to have been responsible for shifting Northern Soul from the Motown sound and for helping to found the modern soul movement. Mimms started with gospel and doo-wop groups and then helped lead the growing sophistication of soul music, later opening shows for Jimi Hendrix.

Butler finally found success with the band Raw Soul, later named Maze, which opened for Marvin Gaye and began selling records. Though he recorded some well-regarded Chicago soul music, he was mostly known as the younger brother of soul great Jerry Butler. The band is largely forgotten except for this Northern Soul gem. The group isn't known for much other than this song and their catchy name.

The song is described as "anguished, hurting and rough around the edges," but the emotion, bass, drums, and horn section are said to make up for the lack of polish. Legend's real name is Bessie Grace Upton, daughter of a gospel singer and backup singer to some of the biggest names in music. This song, once thought to be lost by its writer, John Rhys, has been compared to Shakespeare's Sonnet Their soul music from the late '60s is described in terms ranging from "upbeat" to "frenetic" and said to be similar to the Chicago and Detroit sounds.

This song is an odd choice for a Northern Soul classic, having been written by Paul Simon and performed by a white Italian former actress. It's been said that Simon sings backup on Valery's version. Through his involvement with the Wild Magnolias, he introduced the Mardi Gras Indians' "street-beat funk" to the world.

Though the song's a cult classic, Taylor was better known as one of the most successful white songwriters for historically black Motown Records.

The 100 Greatest Soul Songs of the 70s

Robert Fontenot.By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions. Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

Soul music is all about punch-you-in-the-gut emotion, which is why it never really goes out of fashion. From Stax and Motown to Northern Soul and neo-soul, it's a timeless genre that's gripped us for decades.

Happy listening, soul mates! Missing Time Out magazine? You can still read our latest issue from the comfort of your couch. The first song on our list is also the longest allow a full 19 minutes to enjoy this one, kids and also perhaps the most experimental. Oliver Keens. Amy Smith. Quite possibly the sweetest four minutes ever recorded. The brothers Emerson self-produced the track in to little success but this soulful ballad has since become a cult gem after Ariel Pink covered it in The soft, hazy harmonies combine with heartfelt lyrics so utterly devoid of artifice or florid touches that they could melt already-melted ice cream.

This Northern Soul favourite of Wigan Casino is a lush shimmer of gorgeous harmonies and ideal for spinning on a waxed floor covered in talcum powder. At no point do you ever doubt that McCrae is the real deal, her powerful vocals have the air of someone who has found herself inescapably in love. His voice is barely a velvety whisper at times, as he coaxes and cajoles us all into a wet mess.

This rare track — made famous after being covered by Dexys Midnight Runners — ticks all the boxes for a Northern Soul classic. This Bobby Womack track was sampled on a really obscure Dogg Pound track and I love them both equally.

This throwback ballad represents the late, great Amy Winehouse at the peak of her powers. Flanked by Mark Ronson's sumptuous Motown-influenced production, her vocals are loaded with heartbroken emotion as she mourns the end of a messy relationship.

What a singer — but also, what a songwriter. Nick Levine. I also love the song structure and phrasing, I can listen to this on loop for hours and still not get bored. From the opening trickle of piano, you know this will be a heartbreaker. When the bluesy soul of her voice meets the aching trombone, it actually hurts in its perfection.

Released inat a time when soul music was being hijacked by lightweights like Michael Bolton, D'Angelo created a slow revolution with this title track from his breathless, devastating debut album.

Thank you, Matilda Egere-Cooper. With his customary orchestral flare, Hayes manages to make a broken heart sound very classy indeed. Martha and her Vandellas make it look all too easy, with vocals that tip perfectly between sassy and sensual. The backstory to this delightful, sonic smile is a lesson in the machinations of Motown. But the less-than-perfect vocals makes this a truly joyous burst of romance.

Today only a couple of the highly collectible original pressings exist. Everyone knows the late Luther Vandross had the sort of voice that could save marriages, make a baby or win back an ex. My boyfriend brought me back a bunch of records from a trip to Miami, and one was this track on a 7-inch. It was originally intended for The Supremes but the brothers scored with this slice of pure Motown magic.


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