Monday, 15 February 2016


My introduction like the majority of people who have heard What was via the synth pop cover by Soft Cell as in 1982 I was yet to discover northern soul. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't taken to northern, I would probably be financially better off but less of a person I think. Anyway, I digress, when I did eventually discover the northern Judy Street's cover of the song which was originally recorded by Melinda Marx was one of the tunes that I would listen to as it was on one of the early compilation albums I bought but it was only relatively recently that I owned the track on 7" firstly on a Goldmine split seven from around the millennium and then a couple of years ago on an outta sight repress with a further version of the song by Tina Mason which though not without merit for me is not half as good as Street's version. Interestingly both versions were produced by HB Barnum. What is another of those tunes that was not the plug side when first released, You Turn Me On is quite a forgettable ballad which certainly doesn't do it for me.

Judy Street - What 


Swiss Adam said...

'I would probably be financially better off but less of a person '. Motto/mission statement/raison d'etre for all of us.

Anto said...

Do you ever go out to hear the music in an appropriate setting? Note that I didn't say dance. Not to be presumptuous but just a shot in the dark. Sorry for the digression, what I mean is, what are your views on the scene. The reason i ask is that I was in Dublin recently and happened across a soul night which me and my mates thought would be spot on but it was unfortunately filled with the worst brand of twats doing the self-conscious shuffle. We, pissed and in Christmas mood looked rather out of place with our jumpy uncoordinated mosh. We were kind of told to leave. Not cos of any trouble caused, just that we weren't apparently cool enough. Bizarre. Like something out of the 1908s in a hit man and her place in reverse. I wondered was the UK 'scene' ,as I assume has been self applied, was anymore welcoming?

Brian said...

Just about my favorite from Soft Cell but had never heard this version before today. Thank you. Have really missed out all these years.

drew said...

Anto - I used to go to quite a lot, went to a few of the Togetherness weekenders around the turn of the century and there has always been a lot of wankery about, although I thought that it was changing a bit with the younger generation getting into it. All this original vinyl only nonsense really does my head in i'm not for mp3s and that but the elitist pish does my head in. It has always been there tho'. My first all-nighter 1986/87 in Allanton I asked the dj what a certain record was as it was brilliant only to be told that "if I didn't know what that song was I didn't deserve to be there". Scooter dances were a lot less up there own arses but then again they invariably ended in violence.

Brian - I always forget that most people haven't heard even the really well known northern numbers if they were not into the scene or scooters.

Swiss Adam said...

Northern nights in out of the way places eg Preston and the like, tend to be pretty welcoming. Not that that's any use to you Anto.

Anonymous said...


Been following your Blog for a couple of years & LUV the N.S. sound! Did NOT know how "far" beyond Motown it really stretches until expanded musical fields of sound.
Never heard this song either, or Maxine Marx's version (Groucho's daughter = cool!)Do you have it to upload? Much appreciated.


Ciao! For now.

drew said...

Hi rntcj - thanks for commenting. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the Melinda Marx version and was unaware that she was Groucho's daughter.