How does one explain the musical phenomenon known as Northern Soul?
Northern Soul music can best be described as danceable, Motown-ish tracks from the 1960’s and 1970’s that regularly pack the Northern England dance clubs. These are songs that are extremely rare – some of them were pressed in limited quantities and never sold well in the States – but collectors today can pay thousands of dollars for a rare Northern Soul record.
But it’s really the groove that counts.
So today on K-Chuck Radio, here are ten different Northern Soul tracks that will get you out of your cubicle and onto the dance floor. Hope these tracks get you through your day.
My Smile is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down)
At about 2:05 of this song, you might recognize a certain lyric. That’s because a few years later, the songwriter – Smokey Robinson – re-used the lyric in a Miracles track that went all the way to the top of the charts.
Where do you think Soft Cell learned this track? Marc Almond and David Ball were aficionados of the Northern Soul scene, where this Gloria Jones track could be heard every night.
An absolute smash dance track. This song should have been a Top 10 hit.
So this record exists in two versions… one on the rare Desperanza label, and this version on the nationally-distributed Wand label. Both are fantastic.
THE 7TH AVENUE AVIATORS
FRANKIE CARLE AND THE CHEVRONS
You Should O’ Held On
Despite the two different band names, this is the same recording. And they didn’t change a thing. Which is just fine.
THE SEVEN SOULS
I Still Love You
How cool is it that the intro to this song has the funkiest version of Percy Faith’s “Theme From A Summer Place” ever heard?
CANDY AND THE KISSES
This song still gets played on oldies stations in Philadelphia, where “The 81” was a popular dance craze in the 1960’s.
FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS
This was a monster hit in England for the Four Seasons – in America, however, it never got any airplay. What tin-eared radio DJ’s missed this track?
YVONNE BAKER AND THE SENSATIONS
You Didn’t Say A Word
This song used to pack every Northern Soul dance club from the Wigan Casino to the Twisted Wheel.
Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
If you have $25,000 laying around, you can actually buy one of the two surviving copies of this record. Or you can just listen to this Northern Soul classic for free right here.