Racing For Pink Slips Volume 17

17. James Carr – That’s What I Want To Know

I’ve always favored James Carr’s deep soul material over his more upbeat stuff. “That’s What I Want to Know” being the exception. This one is from Carr’s earlier work for the now legendary Goldwax label (1964-66), and what a scorcher it is! Unreal that this was deemed a b-side at the time. This is the original 45 pressing and is not easy to find at this point.

james-carr

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18. Tony Clarke – Landslide

Tony Clarke died young, age 31, and never was alive to realize how big a hit this would become in Northern England. This 45 was originally released by Chess after his death, this pressing is a dodgy white label from the 1970s on “Out Of The Past”. Number 15 on the Northern Soul Top 500.

landslide

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19. Joe Tex – Show Me

I agree with the logic that Missouri should make this their state song. I’ve never understood how this song only went to #27 on the charts in the US upon its release but is now a staple on oldies radio. This song should have sold millions of units like Tex’s other hits “Hold What You’ve Got” and “Skinny Legs and All” It has always been a huge tune on the Northern all-nighter scene for good reason, it is a classic. Dial released a solid handful of Northern soul from the Southern portion of the United States, but this is the most enduring.

showme

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20. Larry Williams – Too Late

Larry Williams got his start working as Lloyd Price’s valet. Price at the time had a few massive hits with Speciality as did Little Richard who became Larry Williams’ good friend. In 1957 when Little Richard left rock and roll to become a minister, Williams was his intended replacement. Williams had a few big hits like “Short Fat Fannie” , and some of his songs were later covered by the Stones and Beatles. By the time this was happening though he had already fallen into a downward spiral of jail time and drug problems as had Little Richard, both were addicted badly to cocaine and heroin by the mid 1970s. They did manage to record some music for Okeh of which this northern favorite, “Too Late’, came about, before Williams blew his own brains out. This is not the original pressing on OKeh, its a reissue from the past few years. It’s very fast and not an easy song to dance to.

larry

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21. Just Brothers – Sliced Tomatoes

One of the top Northern soul staples, heavily played instrumental badness by the Bryant brothers. A dance floor hit in both the United States and England since its release. The record has been repressed officially and unofficially various times over the years, this is a 2013 repressing by Outta Sight.

sliced-tomatoes

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22. Gloria Jones – Tainted Love

My second favorite northern soul song of all time. I couldn’t tell you how may parties I’ve crushed over the years with this, it is a floor filler to the maximum degree. This is the original 1964 version later a massive 80s hit for Soft Cell. A sure shot if there ever was one by Marc Bolan’s girl. Jones career took a odd turn after she was the driver in the crash that killed Marc Bolan, moving back to Los Angeles with their son and recording some disco material, nothing ever coming close to “Tainted Love”. Many bootlegs of this song have resurfaced over the years, take your pick of which sounds best to you. The original pressing on Champion usually goes for at least 50 bucks.

tainted-love

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23. R. Dean Taylor РThere’s A Ghost In My House

A really interesting and unique production from famed Motown production trio, Holland-Dozier-Holland, that never went anywhere at least in the states. Later picking up a cult following in Northern England. Even going as far as #3 on the UK singles chart in 1974! A long time favorite of mine. This is the original UK pressing.

ghost-house

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24. The Radiants – Hold On

A nice 7 inch box set of rare northern soul favorites released by Chess just got reissued overseas. It reminded me how I needed this song by the Radiants in my collection. I didn’t want to buy the whole box set as I had a lot of it already, so I scored this original US pressing very affordably on Discogs. An all time stomper that never did anything in the United States.

holdon

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