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A History and Geography of Northern Soul from the late 1990s

A History and Geography of Northern Soul from the late 1990s cover

A heavy Monday morning here and so to keep with the mood here's a heavy article highlight...

While doing some research recently I stumbled across the below on Google Books. It's a Google Books preview of a book titled 'The Place of Music' that was written by Andrew Leyshon, David Matless, George Revill and was published by Guilford Press back in 1998.

The book at first look is quite serious content wise with opening statements such as  'Music is omnipresent in human society, but its language can no longer be regarded as transcendent or universal' and later  'Covering rich and varied terrain—from Victorian England, to 1960s Los Angeles, to the offices of Sony and Time-Warner and the landscapes of the American Depression—the volume addresses such topics as the evolution of musical genres, the globalization of music production and marketing, alternative and hybridized music scenes as sites of localized resistance, the nature of soundscapes, and issues of migration and national identity'

However amongst the chapters In the book, the third one in fact, there is a chapter title that did catch the eye...

This third chapter is titled 'Welcome to Dreamsville: A History and Geography of Northern Soul' and is credited to Joanne Hollows and Katie Milestone. This chapter examines fairly heavy aspects of 'northern soul' with it seems its main reference being 'Long After Tonight Is All Over' by Stuart Cosgrove. Its quite long and serious - 20 pages and three of them are listing references, and while maybe not something for a casual read it may be for some something to bookmark for later reading

The book itself is available for purchase (the details follow below), though the chapter in question is available to read online via the Google Book preview which is embedded below 

 

The Place of Music
Andrew Leyshon, David Matless, George Revill
Guilford Press, 1998 - Social Science - 326 pages

Welcome To Dreamsville: A History and Geography of Northern Soul






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Looks interesting thanks for this. I remember Eddie Hubbard talking about a person (or perhaps couple of people) doing an academic piece about Northern Soul and asking people to contribute. Maybe it was this? Anyway, got it bookmarked now.

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Interesting how each aspect of why 'the Northern Soul scene is what it is' gets the microscope treatment, and its more predictable due to circumstance than unique due to the product.

Somehow spoils the concept that it was just a series of unintentional coincidences that brought it all together!

I'm sure they are right, and I am wrong, but I prefer my theory.

KTF

Ed

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Mr. Searling and myself gave a lecture on northern at the Manchester Metro University back in the early 1990's. The audience did go rather pale when Richard jokingly proposed a dance contest! Anyway I did have a transcript of this, including the tunes played to illustrate the development of the scene, but I let some middle class t**t have it for his Phd...and of course never got it back.

dean

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Cracking read, thankyou!

Interesting points about DJs I'm sure they will love being referred to as 'intellectuals'...

Interesting reference to 'Rust belt cities' too, not heard that one before!

ps: you'll have to speed read it as the free book view runs out fairly quickly!

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Wow. Reading that took me back to my studies in the 90ts for my HR degree! I really like the comparison drawn to an almost religious experience.  Possession whilst dancing, clubs as shrines, records as relics, travelling to clubs as a pilgrimage. 

I also liked the reference to the north sticking with rare soul, when the south was fickle and liked to change musical trends.

An excellent read, if as said, a bit heavy in places, but very accurate, which hasn't always been the case on our scene. 

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To be honest, as an academic paper (if that's what it's aim is) I found it pretty poor. It's full of supposition. Nothing is clearly explained. The intro section on "music sub-culture", which should provide the basis of what's to come, is vague and rambling. For example, the authors talk about "music subculture" yet there's no real definition of what they mean. No clear examples.  This leads to problems from the start: For example "music sub-culture" suddenly becomes "youth sub-culture". The two are not the same thing,

In fact to give a real critique would take a long time. Almost every paragraph yields something that is contentious.

Edited by maslar
typo

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On ‎08‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 11:03, dean jj said:

Mr. Searling and myself gave a lecture on northern at the Manchester Metro University back in the early 1990's. The audience did go rather pale when Richard jokingly proposed a dance contest! Anyway I did have a transcript of this, including the tunes played to illustrate the development of the scene, but I let some middle class t**t have it for his Phd...and of course never got it back.

dean

Dean

Wasn't it reproduced in Shades of Soul by DP ? I remember re-reading it a couple of years back.

Maybe someone can scan it for all to view.

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Well Derick is an international man of mystery but my addled brain seems to think that was a separate project for Shades...in The Britons Protection for those who know your Manchester pubs.

dean 

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