The In Crowd – The Story Of Northern Soul
I got an email recently from someone who had visited my web site asking me to recommend some CDs to someone who knew very little about Northern Soul but wanted to know more.
That’s a pretty tall order really as there are so many Northern Soul CDs on the market and a lot of them are truly awful or only have 10 tracks for ten quid!
So after rummaging through my CD collection I decided that the first one I would recommend without reservation is this one. It is a double CD containing 50 tracks compiled by those lovely people at BeeCool publishing; Mike Ritson & Stuart Russell.
The thing I really like about this CD is that it is what it isn’t that determines what it is; if you get my drift. It isn’t a lazy compilation of Northern Soul classics, it isn’t a compilation of tracks from Wigan Casino, it doesn’t have the words Wigan Casino on the cover, it hasn’t been thrown together in 5 minutes just to make some money and it isn’t just a compilation of obvious rarities.
It was originally released to accompany a book of the same name (now quite hard to find) which charts the the story of Northern Soul from the early 60’s club scene through Wigan Casino and The Blackpool Mecca to what was then considered “the end” in about 1980. The tracks on the CDs reflect this and so there is a wide range of genres and styles here from “Little Johnny Taylor – Zig Zag Lightening” to “The Carstairs – Really Does Hurt Me Girl”, from “Bobby Bland – These Hands (Small But Mighty)” to “Cody Black – Mr Blue”.
This compilation is not just for those new to the scene, it is also a great record of the tracks that were played “back in the day” so if you just want to hear your favourites again; a good selection will be here. The connoisseurs and cogniscenti should also take note of this compilation set because the sleeve notes are excellent.
So; great value, great music, great sleeve notes. What more could you ask for!