Racing For Pink Slips Volume 17

09. Billy Joe Royal – Hearts Desire

This is one of my favorite discoveries digging in a while. I went through a ton of old Northern Soul compilations, lists online, Kev Roberts Northern Soul 500, dollar bins all over both coasts of the United States and its all worth it to find a tune like this. I love that this was a country song that sounded like a soul song, no one gave a shit and the northerners embraced it whole heartedly nonetheless. This is the original 45 that I bought from a cool little record store in Niagara Falls, upstate New York.

hearts-desire

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10. Chuck Wood – Seven Days Too Long

Number 11 on the Northern Soul Top 500. “Seven Days Too Long” was originally released in the US on Roulette and for whatever reason was deemed a “regional breakout” and charted in Billboard magazine but then two weeks later disappeared without a trace. No one has ever been able to dig up much about the song’s history or even its composers? No one even knows if Chuck Wood is dead or alive. Never an easy record to find given its dodgey past, I bought this bootleg which looks like some anniversary product for famed Northern soul venue Wigan Casino.

chuck-wood

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11. Ramsey Lewis – Wade In The Water

A long time dancing favorite in Northern England, still highly favored decades later. One of my favorite instrumentals associated with the Northern Soul scene of all time. The original U.S. pressing.

wade-water

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12. Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

A classic way beyond the scope of Northern Soul. One of the best soul songs of all time, perhaps Curtis Mayfield’s finest work. A party starter guaranteed. A textbook floor filler. I never understood how this song was released in the United States and didn’t even chart! The original version is 9 minutes and has a really bad ass extended jam on it. This is the shortened single version, originally released on Curtom (Mayfield’s label) appearing here via the original UK pressing from 1971.

curtis

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13. Lou Pride – I’m Comin’ Home In The Mornin’

Uk label Outta Sight is pretty much reissuing every obscure soul record I have never been able to afford. Shelling 12 bucks out for the import reissue feels good when the original goes for 1500 pounds. Lou Pride “smooth, uptown southern voice” was perfect for the tastes of the Northern English crowds. Add in a stomping backdrop and its not a surprise this is one of the most highly revered Northern Soul tunes. You are unlikely to ever even see the original on Suemi so get this 2011 UK reissue before it’s too late.

lou

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14. Bunny Sigler – Let The Good Times Roll

I’ve never DJed a soul party without this record. This is a dance floor smasher, a real barnstormer. Bunny Sigler is one of the cornerstones of Philly music working with everyone from the Ojays to the Roots. This was really his only hit as a singer, making the charts upon release in 1967. His version is actually a cover but its the definitive version nonetheless.

bunny-sigler

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15. Little Richard – I Don’t Want To Discuss It

Little Richard to me really hasn’t stood the test of time with the exception of “I Don’t Want To Discuss It”. He certainly has not marinated over time ,even his songs that were enormously popular are pretty garbage. If I ever drop “Tutti Frutti” come up and slap me please. I’ll appreciate it. His later work for Okeh, thanks to boss Larry William’s obsession with “manic, stomping, uptempo soul” was needless to say very well received in Northern England. He had other songs that were favored on the Northern scene like “Poor Dog” and “Little Bit of Something” but none are as good as this tune. This is by far his best record from any time period.

little-richard

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16. Reperata & The Delrons – Panic

Holy fuck this song is progressive, especially considering the bulk of Reperata & The Delrons recorded output is mediocre doowop. Where the hell did this song come from? It sounds like proto 80s music, like Fleetwood Mac 10 years before they knew who the fuck they were. Good lord. By the late 1970s “Panic” was so popular in Northern England it was repressed to meet demand. The original Mala pressing is scare and really expensive so this 1970s reissue is the best I’ll probably ever do.

panic

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