Northern Soul does not refer to a music genre per se. Rather, it is the phrase used to describe the late-1960s-though-1970s dance club and music scene in northern England. The kids at clubs like The Twisted Wheel and Wigan Casino would dance all night long (literally) to fast-paced 45s of Detroit and American soul.

Unlike most types of collectible vinyl records, the Northern Soul 45s that are generally worth the most today are not necessarily the ones by the best-known artists. Gloria Jones, Jackie Wilson, and the Imperials were all popular in the clubs, but when it comes to Northern Soul 45s, the more obscure the artist, song, and label, the better.

The reason for the focus on the lesser-known 45s is the scarcity of the discs that were played, and subsequently popularized, at these clubs. In some cases, each club had its own playlist, if you will, based on the prized 45s in its DJs collection. Today, serious collectors attempt to replicate not just the sound of the Northern Soul experience, but also the sound of particular clubs by searching for the 45s that were their signatures.

For example, according to former Wigan Casino DJ Kev Roberts, back in the day the most popular Northern Soul 45 at his club was an unreleased single by Frank Wilson called "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)." Wilson, who worked for Berry Gordy at Motown, had recorded the song in 1965. Of the 250 or so demos that were pressed, only two are known to have survived. Yet this arcane track was a monster on the Wigan dance floor. In May of 2009, one of the copies sold at auction in England for £25,742.

Other collectible Northern Soul vinyl 45s include "Because of My Heart" by the Butlers with Frankie Beverly (Rouser); "No One Else Can Take Your Place" by the Inspirations (Breakthrough); "Lady in Green" by the Magnetics (Bonnie); "Show Stopper" by the Cashmeres (Hem); "Let Me Make You Happy" by Billy Woods (Sussex); and "Can’t Get Over These Memories" by Jon & the Weirdest (Tie).

One of the many interesting aspects of Northern Soul was the belated popularization of songs that had languished for years in the States only to find new life in Great Britain. The most illustrative example of this phenomenon was "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me," which was recorded by The Tams in 1964 and reached number 41 on the U.S. charts. Seven years later, in 1971, that same song charted at number one in the U.K. for three weeks, thanks exclusively to its popularity with Northern Soul enthusiasts and club DJs.

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Recent News: Northern Soul Records

Source: Google News

The Socialist Soccer Fans Who Saved MLS From Neo-Nazis
VICE, November 29th

"We had skinheads, Marines, Latinos, Polski hooligans, families with kids, Jersey guys, and ska, northern soul, and punk folks." "I think for the most part the thing that everybody could agree on was to make MetroStars and the supporters section...Read more

Pope brings peace message to Central African Republic
9&10 News, November 29th

In a nod to Francis' appeal for personal soul-searching, she offered a public confession. "In the name of the entire governing class of this country and also in the name of all those who have contributed in some way to its descent into hell, I confess...Read more

Mods descend on Redcar for Northern Soul festival
Gazette Live, November 28th

Redcar has reverberated to the sound of two-stroke engines as mods descended on the town for a music festival. Fans of mod and Northern soul music have scooted along to the Coatham Memorial Hall in Redcar for a fundraising event held in honour of ...Read more

Northern Soul Girl releases album
Bristol24/7, November 23rd

Winterbourne-born Levanna Mclean is fast becoming the face of a modern northern soul movement, with her face now gracing two compilation albums dedicated to the genre. The 19-year-old rose to international fame when a YouTube video of her dancing ...Read more

Northern soul: The Bay of Islands' hidden gems, November 22nd

Several days – and several showers – after my visit to Ngawha Springs, the faint pong of sulphur remained on my skin. I think it's gone now, but then again, maybe I've just got used to it in the same way residents of Rotorua no longer notice their town...Read more

Emmerdale Soap Spoiler (Friday Nov 20): Cain and Kyle bond, November 20th

Belle accompanies Zak and Joanie to a Northern Soul night. The evening is fun until Joanie jokingly poses as Zak's wife and suddenly Zak's attitude changes the he makes a decision which shocks her. Bernice offers to get a pre-nup to prove she's not...Read more

High Contrast Northern Soul Alter Ego Set
Mixmag, November 13th

High Contrast recently returned to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to throw down an impeccable selection of classic and rare Northern Soul. Armed with a mighty fine looking 45" record holder, he stormed his way through grooves that soundtracked an ...Read more

Emerald City Soul Club Hails 10 Years of Northern Soul Parties, Plus 12 ... (blog), November 12th

Emerald City Soul Club—the northern soul dance party that happens monthly at Lo-Fi—will mark 10 years of making sophisticates shake their asses to rare 45s cut during the '60s and early '70s with a weekend-long celebration. Any event lasting a decade ...Read more