Saturday, November 7, 2009

I'll give you vim ...

I mentioned over on the mothership that this could be a good week for Northern Soul and associated genres (by which I meant Stax and other classic (mainly sixties) soul labels). I recently (but rather belatedly) put a selection of my favourite floor fillers into the Northern Social dropbox (under the title Northern Soul-cial - witty or what?) but I suspect that most of you missed that. So here's your chance to catch up on some of the most vimmulous highlights of said selection.

Jackie Wilson - Higher & Higher
The Jackson Sisters - I Believe In Miracles
Lindy Stevens - Penny Gold
Margie Joseph - Nobody
Patti & The Emblems - I'm Gonna Love You A Long Long Time
Side Effect - Always There
The Esquires - Woman
Jeanne & The Darlings - Standing In The Need Of Your Love
The O'Jays - Working On Your Case
Betty Moorer - Speed Up
The Charmells - I'll Never Grow Old

And there's also this:


tincanman said...

I'm still wrestling with this whole northern soul idea. Basically it's less polished and commercial American soul than Motown was churning out? More of the Philadelphia soul or Muscle Shoals?

ToffeeBoy said...

@ tinny - OK, you've rumbled me. The truth is that I don't really know and quite possibly genuine Northern Soul officianados would take issue [Bless you. Ed.] with my selections and/or my description of them as Northern Soul.

This wikipedia link may help. Or not. Who knows?

ToffeeBoy said...

... or indeed cares. As long as you like it (and I do) it doesn't really matter. Perhaps we lack the critical vocabulary to engage with it ...

tincanman said...

I lack the critical vocabulary to deal with most anything. Like that, oh you, what do you call it, the one with the....

bishbosh said...

Ooh, reminds me of Monie Love. Rather unsurprisingly.

I very nearly nommed the Spinners' "Sweet Thing" as a song with vim, but seeing as by that point I'd suggested getting on for 50 songs, I thought I ought to show a little restraint. Which the song certainly doesn't - it's a corker. As is this one.

May1366 said...

Just cottoned onto this thread and the brilliant selection, TB.

In terms of a summary, tin, you're not far off. Northern Soul, because it grew out of the clubs, made the DJs the stars and placed the onus on fresh and preferably undiscovered sounds. So I'd say it wasn't really a rejection of Motown because of the sound per se but because there were no kudos to unearthing a Motown record that was already troubling the Top 40. While it's true that the rougher and fiercer cuts you'd find on Stax, Kent, Okeh and the like were more highly prized, it's also fair to say that Motown's production values were what these other labels would have aspired to. Your 7-inchers came highly prized on import, not for a few pence in Woolworth's and since the scene didn't move on when the music did, the later onus was on recovering old rarities. So it was both the precursor of the culture of pre-release 'white labels' I remember from the early 90s rave, hip hop and acid jazz scenes, and of the rare groove culture from the mid-80s onward. But since it's always been about the aficionados and the dancers, I'd say that whatever gets you on board that driving beat and keeps you there fits the bill.