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
Here's a solution: Merge Miss. with British ColumbiaJackson Clarion Ledger, September 1st
The Hospitality State is able to merge with British Columbia at a bargain-basement price due to the economic devastation of America's northern neighbor — precipitated by Burger King's 2014 purchase of Canada's beloved Tim Hortons, a blow from which...Read more
Way We Were: Leek Soul Club founder Stef Callear remains determined to keep ...Stoke Sentinel, August 25th
Of all the niche musical avenues, perhaps the one gaining the most persistent interest in North Staffordshire and the Potteries is Northern Soul. Its fans scoured the world for hidden gems that somehow failed to meet the same levels of success as other...Read more
Fashion: Northern SoulYorkshire Post, August 24th
Blame it on The Bridge, the Nordic Noir TV drama series that helped inspire a revived obsession with all matters Scandinavian, from its psyche to its style and design – and not least, its knitwear. Northallerton-based designer Needle has looked across...Read more
Northern Soul fans raise £1100 for charityexpressandstar.com, August 20th
Northern Soul attracts fanatics who travel far and wide to dance the night away - and an event in Wolverhampton was no different. Fifteen DJs dug into their vinyl collections to unearth enough classic records to keep the crowd pleased for almost 12...Read more
Tracey Thorn: With music, we often only hear the side of the story told by menNew Statesman, August 15th
I settled down the other night to watch a TV documentary on northern soul. It was interesting in many ways, if a little predictable in its format, which mostly consisted of a series of talking heads. But as it went by I couldn't help noticing that all...Read more
At last, the true history of Northern Soul and Wigan Casino is out thereLancashire Evening Post, August 9th
The programme refreshingly also focussed on the split in the Northern Soul scene, when Ian Levine and sidekick Colin Curtis started playing 70s stuff at the Blackpool Mecca. These guys were mixing 12 inch singles in the mid-70s, influencing a...Read more
Blue Front Brings BBQ Back with a Side of Jazz, Pop, and Northern SoulNew Times Broward-Palm Beach (blog), August 8th
Given URL is not allowed by the Application configuration.: One or more of the given URLs is not allowed by the App's settings. It must match the Website URL or Canvas URL, or the domain must be a subdomain of one of the App's domains...Read more
Northern Soul: first pictures of new British filmTelegraph.co.uk, August 4th
The Northern Soul movement began in the late 1960s and was at its height in the mid-1970s. The most famous all-nighters were held at the Wigan Casino, with other towns and cities across the north and the Midlands hosting their own nights. White...Read more