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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors
The Remington Site
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Northern Soul Records
Source: Google News
Dancers climb aboard The SoulTrainCumbria Live, January 28th
However, on Friday, for one evening, the Brewery Arts Centre became Kendal's own Twisted Wheel, because with the arrival of The SoulTrain, Northern Soul came to town. Though of course Northern Soul has never really been away, last year's release of the ...Read more
Soul Club makes a noise at birthday bashChorley Guardian, January 27th
“There are three regular DJs – myself, Dane Perry and Janet Disley – and each month we have two different top class Northern Soul guest DJs from other soul clubs all playing original vinyl records. “We hold our events on the first Sunday of every month...Read more
Tewkesbury Northern Soul fans thrilled to meet film starsGloucestershire Echo, January 26th
Northern Soul fans in Tewkesbury were thrilled to meet some of their film heroes at a very special night in the town. Dozens of them met up in the Watson Hall for one of their regular sessions, when they dance to the American-style music from the 1960s...Read more
Night of Northern Soul and Motown to take place in NewcastleStoke Sentinel, January 20th
GUEST DJ Jez Jones will be in attendance for a night of Northern Soul and Motown at the end of the month. The DJ, from The Box, in Pedley Street, Crewe, will join residents mixers Sharpy and Jess for the evening on January 31. The New Trinity Soul Club ...Read more
Shredded Wheat Gets Down With Some Northern SoulCo.Create, January 19th
Most kids would rather curl into a small ball and cringe until the Earth swallowed them whole rather than go dancing with their dad. But Dave is a different sort of dad. He's into Northern Soul and isn't shy about breaking out the style and skills...Read more
A lass with a Northern SoulIrish Independent, January 11th
Here she comes - all of 5ft 3 inches of her - walking along High Holborn in the middle of the afternoon. London seems to be slightly down on a wet and dreary winter's day but the beautiful High Priestess of British Soul's exudes vivacity as she bounds...Read more
Northern Soul actress Claire Garvey enjoys escaping home to DerbyshireBelper News, January 9th
She was among the stars of hit film, Northern Soul last year. And as the leading lady in horror flick Parlor, she is looking forward to its release this year. “To see Northern Soul doing so well has been great,” she said. “It sold out venues in the UK...Read more
Clink Hostels expand into the northern soul of AmsterdamTravel Daily News International, January 8th
Set in the Northern heartlands of Amsterdam, just across the River IJ from Amsterdam's Central Station, in the fast-changing and light-filled Overhoeks district, ClinkNOORD will set new standards for the backpacker experience by bridging the gap...Read more