Monday 18 May 2015

My Northern Soul Top 50, 35 - 31

Ranking the tracks that are included from thirty five to twenty one was probably the most difficult batch to put in order as there isn't much between any of them for me they are all of a similar quality and if I were to listen to them all again then the order may be different but not by much.

35. Debbie Taylor - Don't Let It End

For me Ms Taylor has two outstanding northern singles this and Don't Nobody Mess With My Baby and until very recently that was the one for me, however over the last wee while this furiously paced stormer has been the one. Not sure why. Released in 1969 on the New York based GWP records.

34. Bobby Paris - I Walked Away

The first of two "blue eyed soul" records within this batch. Paris is probably best known for his song Night Owl which was huge with the scooterists in the mid to late 80s. I Walked Away is a different song, a perfect last tune of the night for me. There is so much emotion in the track, it's incredible and when it reaches the crescendo any doubts of Bobby's soul credentials are well and truly dispelled. Paris as with quite a few of the artists featured is no longer with us. He was unaware that his music which bombed in the US  had a following in the UK until Ian Levine contacted him in the late 90's.

33.  Barbara McNair - You're Gonna Love My Baby

Another belter of a Motown track that absolutely bombed Why? Maybe because it was a feckin' b-side to begin with! The more I find out about the songs that were never released or not deemed good enough to be the plug side and artists who were sidelined in favour of others within the Motown organisation the more it looks to me that Gordy's luck was better than his judgement and that if there hadn't been such a deep wealth of talent in Detroit things may not have turned out as well as they did for the label. This is another of those tracks that as soon as I hear the opening bars I get goose pimples that are stil there long after the song is over. McNair's vocal just seems so effortless and classy. McNair couldn't just sing, she could act as well, with her own TV series parts in loads of TV series in the late 60s and 70s and starring alongside the likes of Sidney Poitier and Elvis Presley. She was also quite stunning.

32. Tony Gala - In Love

The second of our "blue eyed soul" singers in this batch. In Love was released on the Swan label in 1967. Gala is still performing today and on his website he states that In Love became "a national cult hit" in the US and throughout Europe". If he means that it was championed by the northern soul fraternity he is correct with the track receiving a lot of attention over the past few years. However,  I'm not quite sure that that is the impression Mr Gala is trying to put across. No matter what it ls a great track to jig to.

31. Bobby Womack - Home Is Where The Heart Is

What's that on the intro a solo electric guitar? This can't be northern soul and it was released in 1976, surely your taking the piss! Well no, just listen to it and tell me that this does not deserve to be in anybody's top northern soul tracks. This is one of those that always reminds me of the Calla Grand Togetherness weekenders back at the turn of the century, good times indeed.


Anonymous said...

This is becoming the highlight of Monday morning for me You should have started with 100- it would have lasted twice as long.
Swiss Adam

Anonymous said...

I can't see any links. How do I listen to the tunes?

drew said...

Sorry guys, all links now present.

Not sure what happened to your comment George but what do you think of the Fall album?

Scott said...

Love that Barbara McNair track. Such a classy lady...