Elaine grew up in Bury and moved to London in her twenties where she became one of the most successful fashion photographers in the world; even getting our compiler Ady Croasdell into Italian Vogue as a model. She branched into video making for the music industry for likes of Moloko and Richard Hawley. The labour of her life has been in writing and directing the film Northern Soul which took many years but was finally released to great acclaim in October 2014. Our soul compiler Ady Croasdell assisted with the licensing and several Ace-controlled tracks feature in the film.
Mary Love ‘Lay This Burden Down’
I bought both the ground-breaking Kent “For Dancers” LPs when they came out and there was a great buzz about them in my scooterist crowd. Of the two big Mary Love tracks ‘Lay This Burden Down’ appeals the most with its gospel intonations and passionate vocals.
Also available on acerecords.co.uk/for-dancers-forever
Little Ann ‘What Should I Do’
Wigan Casino DJ Richard Searling had played this track covered up as ‘When He’s Not Around’ by Rose Valentine in the late 70s. It was not until the 90s that friend and collector Gilly discovered that the cover-up recording was actually ‘What Should I Do’, a Dave Hamilton Detroit production on Little Ann. Ace acquired the tapes and Ann ended up as a cult figure with other tracks like ‘Who Are You Trying To Fool’, ‘Lean Lanky Daddy’ and ‘Sweep It Out In The Shed’ all of which she eventually performed at the 6TS Cleethorpes Weekender.
Also available on: acerecords.co.uk/dave-hamiltons-detroit-dancers
Melba Moore ‘The Magic Touch’
This was Wigan’s greatest loss. Not discovered until the mid 80s it was a massive record across the Northern, scooterist and European soul scenes. I was chuffed when Ady asked if he could use my photo of our friend Soulie, suspended in mid-air above the 100 Club dancefloor, for the CD cover shot.
Darrow Fletcher ‘What Good Am I Without You’
Chicago singer Darrow Fletcher was only a teenager when he recorded his great 60s sides for Groovy and Jacklyn. ‘What Good Am I’ was a Detroit production by Don Mancha and Mike Terry and is a classic Northern sound.
Carla Thomas ‘I’ll Never Stop Loving You’
“Anthemic” does not do this justice. It’s another 80s master tape discovery on a terrific soul singer that was broken at the 100 Club and became one of that legendary venue’s “three before eight”. It has been very special to all the regulars over the years.
Also available on: acerecords.co.uk/the-100-club-anniversary-singles-6ts-1979-2009
I'll Never Stop Loving You
Spencer Wiggins ‘Let’s Talk It Over’
This is a blood and guts stomper that was discovered on a Japanese CD of unissued material in the 90s. It has a stunning intro, piano break and a relentless pace augmented by Spencer’s wonderful southern soul vocals.
Also available on: acerecords.co.uk/goldwax-northern-soul
Let's Talk It Over
Maxine Brown ‘It’s Torture’
One of my first video efforts was to film a Cleethorpes Northern Soul Weekender and I was introduced to soul legend Maxine Brown who was appearing in the UK for the first time since the 60s. I happened to be working in New York shortly afterwards and got to meet up with this utterly lovely lady again and filmed some extra footage to add to the video I had. The results were visually successful and we had such fun doing it.
Also available on: acerecords.co.uk/best-of-the-wand-years
The Magicians ‘(Just A Little) Faith And Understanding’
After having heard ‘Double Cookin’’ by the Checkerboard Squares as an instrumental for so many years, we never thought we’d have a vocal to it. It is so good with such pertinent lyrics to the Northern scene, that some doubting Thomases thought it was a recent overdub. We know Kent would never take that road.
(Just A Little) Faith And Understanding / Rising Higher
Various Artists (Kent singles)
(Just A Little) Faith And Understanding
Salt & Pepper ‘A Man Of My Word’
This was a discovery and a big record for my friend Butch who is widely considered to be the best rare soul DJ and collector in the world. The record has a great story to it, which of course you get in all the Kent CD booklets.
Also available on: acerecords.co.uk/northern-souls-classiest-rarities-volume-4
The Superbs ‘Wind In My Sails’
I know this one from my husband Marco blasting it out in our house at ungodly hours. Like Salt & Pepper, it’s a very rare record and is one of the recent funk-edged plays on the scene that have attracted so many younger fans.