Monday 1 June 2015

My Northern Soul Top 50, 25 - 21

More than half way through this now and I'm already thinking that there are tracks that I have forgotten about that should be in this run down but I am at a loss as to any that I now feel no longer warrant a place in the fifty.

25. Human Beinz - Nobody But Me

Surely that wouldn't be the garage rock band from Youngstown, Ohio, the Human Beinz? Yes it is. Then why you may be wondering are they included in a soul run down? Well, northern soul is a broad church with room for many different styles of music and besides I defy anybody at a soul night to not sprint onto the dance floor when you hear the opening bars of this major label US hit from 1968.

24. Frank Beverly and The Butlers - If That's What You Wanted.

I am really surprised at the placing of this track at number twenty four as if somebody had put me on the spot and asked me to name some of my favourite soul songs before I started this endevour this would have been one of the first tracks I would have mentioned as my relationship with this track goes back a long way . This was also on that first Inferno compilation that I bought that was so influential in the shaping of my musical listening and collecting habits. I think that Beverly has a great voice. My copy is the Inferno released 7" that came out in 1979. I love clear vinyl it looks great but here it just looks totally incongruous which is probably why subconsciously this doesn't grace my turntable as often as it should.

23. Dee Dee Sharp - What Kind of Lady

The smell of two-stroke and the very tangible threat of violence, the memories of scooter club do's in the back room of dodgy pubs in Lanarkshire and other parts of Scotland come rushing back when I play this record more than any others however I am not sure that this was played any more than say The Magic Touch or The Snake . Written by Gamble and Huff and sung by the former Mrs Gamble this track has everything a pounding beat a nagging piano line and incredible vocals. Quality soul.

22. Connie Clark - My Sugar Baby

For years it was thought that Connie Clark was in fact Chris Clark, the first white woman on Motown and mistress of Berry Gordy but in fact she was a not very famous ex opera singer. The track was written and produced by the legendary Frank Wilson and like many of his songs it has a joyous feel about it, No moaning here about useless cheating men just an out and out love song proclaiming one person's desire for another. Frank Wilson recorded a version of this song himself which languished in the vaults at Motown until exhumed and released on the first Cellar Full of Motown cds in 2002.

21. Sam Williams - Love Slipped Through My Fingers

Up until five minutes ago I had the versions by Sam Williams and The Ohio Players sharing the number twenty one spot, however after playing both for the 5th time today I have finally come down in favour of the Williams version, it's just that little bit better. From the piano intro, the brass stabs and then that vocal and the choral backing vocals,  it's shivers down the spine from start to finish. I love it ! The whole performance just stays the right side of melodrama. One of those tracks that sound best in a huge hall filled with people dancing and enjoying themselves.


Dirk said...

As another commentator on Part 1 of this series suggested, I will also not listen to any of these before all 50 are thru.

This task becomes harder with every new part, I'm VERY MUCH looking forward to the whole thing!!

drew said...

I hope you won't be disappointed Dirk.

Simon said...

Nobody But Me is marvellous. In my top ten Northern I'd say. Can't think of a more infectious tune that doesn't irritate me.