The best way to describe “Northern Soul” music is that it sounds like a 1960’s Motown record, it’s danceable, and it’s rare. In most cases, Northern Soul tracks were songs that never made it to the pop or R&B charts, but some astute collectors snagged copies, and played those copies all night in the dance clubs in Northern England. And thus, “Northern Soul” was born.
Want to hear some Northern Soul music? OF COURSE YOU DO!
So let’s start with …
Bok to Bach
The Father’s Angels were actually an Allentown, Pa. rock and soul band that had their only hit, “Don’t Knock It,” produced by Philadelphia music legend Jerry Ross. But it’s the B-side, “Bok to Bach,” that became a Northern Soul classic.
Apparently another producer got a hold of the instrumental track, added lead singer Suzy Parker to the music, and look – another Northern Soul hit.
What About the Music
This is a unique Northern Soul pressing. The song was a monster track as an import in the Northern Soul clubs, so the British partner label of Kama Sutra Records pressed copies for the U.K. market. Unfortunately, they used the wrong master tape – and pressed an instrumental version of this song. I’ve got both versions here on K-Chuck Radio, first the original, then the instrumental.
This classic Northern Soul stomper was later covered by the British synth-pop group Soft Cell and became a big international hit for them.
Oh yeah, I should mention this was Soft Cell’s SECOND Northern Soul cover. Maybe you’ve heard of their first Northern Soul track… Does this sound familiar?
Yes that’s THE “Tainted Love” you might know.
DEREK AND RAY
Derek Smith and Ray Cohen had several LP’s of funky harpsichord music, and you can even hear some of their tracks as background music on some 1960’s drama shows. This track, “Interplay,” was later a big Northern Soul club hit.
I Can’t Stop Loving You
What, you don’t think Paul Anka has soul in him? This sounds like he spent the weekend in Detroit and hung out with the Funk Brothers. And I bet you he told the Funk Brothers, “You guys all get shirts. And when I slice, I slice like a hammer.” 😀
YVONNE BAKER AND THE SENSATIONS
You Didn’t Say A Word
I swear, this sounds like someone took the soundtrack to a James Bond film and gave it a Motown stomp. Wow. The horns, the drums, the flowing bass… totally awesome.
I’ll Do Anything (He Wants Me To Do)
You might remember Doris Troy for her classic hit “Just One Look.” Why this song didn’t punch its way to the top of charts … is a mystery to me. It’s an awesome track and it should have gotten more love than it currently does.
THE CHECKERBOARD SQUARES
One of the bgeauties of Northern Soul music is the fact that many of these artists have disappeared into the mists of time. Anonymous band members, tiny regional record labels … just amazing song after song to let us all know that yes, they were here and they were fabulous.
THE SHOW STOPPERS
Ain’t Nothing But A House Party
This actually hit the Top 5 in the U.K. in the late 1960’s, which just goes to show you that you can be a massive hit and STILL be a Northern Soul blast.
Ain’t this stuff great? And you can dance to it all day and night … right here on your station for the greatest songs of all time … K-Chuck Radio!!!