After two successful CD volumes, Kent’s look at the sort of R&B and club soul that could have been danced to by the original mods – if only they’d had the chance – arrives with a special vinyl edition.
For a group of hip kids who like to be ahead of the crowd, it is interesting to note that the preferred listening medium of today’s mods is still vinyl. Our “Modernists” and “Modernism” CDs were widely acclaimed by those who had heard too many Hot 100 sounds and were ready to dig some rarer grooves. Especially for them, here’s a new vinyl edition, featuring newfound staples from Bessie Banks, Bob & Earl and Mel Williams, the latter of whom likens the aspiring youth of 1966 to a T-Bird. Little Johnny Hamilton’s hip ‘Go’ instrumental was previously only available to kids with a few hundred to spill on its northern soul flip, and Troy Dodds’ sublime ‘The Real Thing’ had been hiding under the expensive ‘Try My Love’, while Clarence Daniels & Obie Jessie’s Oscar Brown Jr-influenced ‘Hard Working Girl’ has only just come to light as an incredibly rare vinyl artefact. Similarly, although Philly’s Swan imprint was known to the record collecting cognoscenti of the UK’s 60s scene, Leroy Harris’ mean and moody ‘I’m Gonna Get You’ somehow escaped their attention.
Mod was always an international movement. While British soul fans went off in search of faster beats, their French and Belgian counterparts continued with the cool on the popcorn scene. This is epitomised by Hank Jacobs’ ‘East Side’, a fabulous piano-led instrumental from one of LA’s finest. It was big inLos Angeleson release, inAntwerpin the later 60s, and has since returned home to the low rider scene of recent years.
Unissued in any format until recent years, ultra-hip jazzer Floyd White’s ‘Another Child Lost’, Teddy Reynolds’ mid-60s soul groove ‘Ain’t That Soul’ and R&B vocal group the Corvairs’ ‘A Feeling Deep Inside’ are perfect for mods of any vintage. Enterprising mod DJ Lee Miller picked up on an unissued at the time 1963 recording called ‘Sundown’ by the Merced Blue notes from an Ace CD. He had an acetate made up to play out at gigs, renaming the song and artist to heighten the mystery. Having created a demand, only then did he come clean. These and Chuck Higgins’ take on ‘All Around The World’ are enjoying their first vinyl outings here.
ADY CROASDELL & DEAN RUDLAND