Northern Soul

Not really knowing what to expect except that I was hopeful that since this film had Steve Coogan and his production company behind it, it would be half decent. (Having recently sat through the absolutely irritatingly cliched shite that is Woman in Gold) it came as a relief that despite the unflinching grittiness (think extreme Mike Leigh territory) the film was rather good. But it’s really all about the wonderful music and the loving appeal it had/has to kids of the age such as myself — bored with musty rock and left cold by insipid Abba. It was music that intricately combined a la Curtis Mayfield and Bobby Womack both the beauty and grim atmospherics of the early seventies urban landscape that was also captured by Bowie’s nihilistic Diamond Dogs, with its Isaac Hayes-like 1984 and beginning to morph into what came to be called plastic soul — i.e. Young Americans and in ’76 Golden Years. Speaking of the Northern soul phenomenon it was in 1995 that I saw (I think a BBC production) an entertaining two-parter called Soul Survivors. Ten years later on a plane from Boston to LA I happened to be sitting next to the show’s star Antonio Fargas (and his wife) in cattle class. He was on his way back to LA from a Starsky and Hutch convention in Paris. He was amazed that (a) I didn’t say “hey aren’t you Huggy Bear?” but that I knew his real name and (b) that I knew about Soul Survivors. Anyway, we talked at length about the music and his colleagues from S+H, notably Bernie Hamilton. Anyway, check out the trailer below: the track listing for the CD that accompanies the film listed below — so much to explore. (We are indebted to Tony Blackburn (as DJ) and Ian Levine for bringing us mainstream (TB) and rare soul to us (IL!))

Disk 1

1. Right Track – Billy Butler 2. Back Street – Edwin Starr 3. Soul Time – Shirley Ellis 4. I Gotta Find Me Somebody – The Velvets 5. If This Is Love – The Precisions 6. Seven Day Lover – James Fountain 7. You Don’t Mean It – Towanda Barnes 8. The Night – Frankie Valli 9. I’m Com’un Home In The Morn’un – Lou Pride 10. (Just Say) You’re Wanted And Needed – Gwen Owens 11. They’ll Never Know Why – Freddy Chavez 12. Tear Stained Face – Don Varner 13. Crying Over You – Duke Browner 14. Exus Trek – Luther Ingram 15. Too Late – Larry Williams & Johnny Watson 16. Your Autumn Of Tomorrow – The Crow 17. I’m Gone – Eddie Parker 18. I Really Love You – The Tomangoes 19. This Love Starved Heart Of Mine (It’s Killing Me) – Marvin Gaye 20. Stick By Me Baby – The Salvadores 21. Time – Edwin Starr 22. Come On Train – Don Thomas 23. Lonely For You Baby – Sam Dees 24. Gone With The Wind Is My Love – Rita & The Tiaras 25. Suspicion – The Originals 26. Turning My Heartbeat Up – The MVP’s 27. Time Will Pass You By – Tobi Legend

Disk 2

1. She’ll Come Running Back – Mel Britt 2. Little Love Affair – Patrinell Staten 3. You Don’t Love Me – Epitome Of Sound 4. I Just Can’t Live My Life (Without You Babe) – Linda Jones 5. What Good Am I Without You – Darrow Fletcher 6. I Surrender – Eddie Holman 7. I Don’t Like To Lose – The Group feat Cecil Washington 8. In Love – Tony Galla 9. I Was Born To Love You – Herbert Hunter 10. I Really Love You – Jimmy Burns 11. Blowing My Mind To Pieces – Bob Relf 12. Please Stay – The Ivories 13. The Chase Is On – Johnny Howard 14. You Left Me – The Admirations 15. Ain’t Gonna Run No More – The Royal Esquires 16. Love Slave – The Antellects 17. As Long As You Love Me (I’ll Stay) – Ronnie & Robyn 18. My Lonely Feeling – Milton James 19. Can You Win – Charlene & The Soul Serenaders 20. This Won’t Change – Lester Tipton 21. Love Factory – Eloise Laws 22. Under Your Powerful Love – Joe Tex 23. It Really Hurts Me Girl – The Carstairs 24. Hung Up On Your Love – The Montclairs 25. Baby Don’t You Weep – Edward Hamilton & The Arabians 26. The Magic Touch – Melba Moore 27. If You Ever Walked Out Of My Life – Dena Barnes