Racing For Pink Slips Volume 17

01. Bobby Paris – I Walked Away

Northern soul had no bias towards black singers over white soul singers, no question of authenticity that always lingers in the United States. A big part of it was the records were so obscure a lot of the heads in England (think pre internet) had no idea about the singers backgrounds at all! Take for example Bobby Paris was a “blue-eyed” soul singer from NY city raised by a Puerto Rican family who is best known for producing Bobbi Gentry’s country hit “Ode To Billie Joe”. His last hurrah in the 1970s was recording a series of singles for Capitol, including “Walk Away”.

bobby-paris

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02. Al Kent – You’ve Got To Pay The Price

Instrumentals were always a key part of the Northern scene, which years later makes for some prime versioning! This song from its initial release in 1967 was popular in the United States and abroad, charting on the Pop and R&B charts, later becoming an anthem in Britain. Years later we find that the one Dennis Coffey was on it, no wonder this shit is so hot. This is the original US pressing, it was also pressed on Track in the UK.

alkent

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03. Christine Cooper – Heartaches Away My Boy

A delightfully cheese ball version (rip off?) of the Supremes “Stop In The Name Of Love.” The similarities probably aren’t a coincidence as Bernie Lowe, the head of Cameo-Parkway, was “insanely jealous” of Berry Gordy and Motown’s massive success. He essentially tried to create his own version of Motown in Philly, whatever he did it might not have been the most original but this song is a beloved Northern Soul anthem, some consider it the epitome of the style, an absolute belter!

christine-cooper

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04. Commands – Hey It’s Love

If this isn’t Northern Soul I don’t know what is. A 4-piece harmony group from Texas, who were very popular locally but not much happened beyond that. This song was anthologized on Numero’s LP of the Dynamic label. I have always wanted this record on 45 as it was by far the best song on the Dyanmic label. This is a reissue pressing, I’m not sure what year it was pressed, as the label Wax Museum appears to be short lived. There is also a 60s pressing on Back Beat that rarely surfaces.

commands

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05. Darrel Banks – Open The Door To Your Heart

My number one northern soul record of all time. Big ups to Rookie Ricardo in the lower Haight, for putting me onto this song years ago and selling it to me for 15 bucks! It has been a fixture in my crate ever since. Not only a northern soul anthem but an asiwouldsay anthem if there ever was one! Darrell Banks story is pretty crazy, he was shot dead when he tried to step to a cop who was sleeping with his girlfriend ending his career prematurely in 1970. A nut job (wanker) recently paid 11,000 pounds for a copy of this record on London Records…

open-door

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06. Tangeers – Let My Heart and Soul Be Free

As good as a mid tempo soul tune can get. Incredibly popular in the 1970s but sadly neglected at most of the revive parties these days. The Tangeers only released a few singles on one of the key sources for northern style floor fillers, the Okeh label. This is a 2012 reissue on Soul Tribe, the a side is pretty good too “What’s The Use Of Me Trying”.

tangeers

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07. Doris Troy – I’ll Do Anything

How can you fuck with “Those Gamble & Huff-style strings blend with female backing vocals, a harp-like instrument, sax, keyboards, bass, and drums all swirling around in an elaborate blend”. How this song wasn’t a major smash at the time makes no sense to me. A total home run. Originally released in the Us on Calla which makes a lot of sense stylistically. This is a UK reissue from 1971.

doris

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08. Barbara Randolph – I Got A Feeling

One of the hardest Holland-Dozier-Holland productions to source on 45, a real hidden gem, highly rated in the North Wales scene since its release in 1967. A rather brilliant singer who unfortunately only released one other single for Motown. This is the original pressing on Motown subsidiary “Soul”.

igotafeeling

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