Our latest instalment of scarce dancefloor-fillers, including five previously unissued.
A new volume in this series is eagerly anticipated and always “on the go”. Northern Soul is a sufficiently broad field to make various styles of records potential contenders. The R&B and modern ends of the spectrum tend to get covered on our “New Breed” or “Masterpieces” compilations, but if the sound has made it onto mainstream Northern dancefloors, it wins its place on “Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities”.
Our latest collection reflects the continued popularity of funk-influenced dancers on the scene. The obscure New Orleans-based Sho-Biz label provides ‘Lover Man’ by the Soul Brothers, by far the rarer of their two singles. Mel Davis’ ‘Just Another Smile’ first found favour with funk fans but the solid beat enabled it to crossover to forward-thinking Northern venues, as has the Webb People’s Dave Hamilton-produced ‘I’m Sending Vibrations’, featured here in an extended version from multi-track tape for the first time.
Other tape finds come from Nashville’s most important girl group the Avons, whose original 60s version of Peggy Gaines’ ‘When The Boy That You Love’ is femme soul unsurpassed. The Bay Area’s Jeanette Jones had yet another unissued soul stomper in the can at GSR studios and ‘Break Someone Else’s Heart’ will please her followers. J.J. Barnes has devotees stretching back over 40 years and the discovery of an unreleased track from his Ring 45 session will set Detroit collectors’ hearts aflutter.
Big Northern hitters include Terri Goodnight’s ‘They Didn’t Know’, a super-rare stomper that has evaded collectors for decades. Mary Saxton’s ‘Losing Control’ also commands top dollar, while classy Chicago numbers by the Steelers and Roy Wright aren’t remotely cheap. The relatively common ‘Wrong, Wrong, Wrong’ by Ray & Dave is flavour of the year again, as is the Ballads’ ‘Butterfly’. ‘That Same Old Feeling’ is a quality Detroit 45 by the Volumes which could have been conceived for this compilation, like the less-pricey but equally wonderful ‘Two Loves Have I’ by R&B giant Big Joe Turner. Also included are vocal groups, a hint of modern (Darondo’s brilliant debut single appears on CD for the first time), a Wheel classic and piles of soul for collectors who appreciate the good stuff.