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Keeping the faith: A History Of Northern Soul - Kindle


Keeping the faith: A History Of Northern Soul - Kindle magazine cover

A Sunday morning read sort of post, a highlight of a recent book titled 'Keeping the faith: A history of northern soul' by Keith Gildart and Stephen Catterall. Published in August 2020 this book is now available at approx. £60 for the hardback edition and £50 approx for the Kindle edition at Amazon

Is this now the third university press related book in current times? Have to say am losing count/track of such going ons and the price does make me wonder about the aim/market of these 'University Press' books.

But anyway the purpose here is to inform and share and as with various past soul related kindle releases we can offer you below the chance to read the kindle preview of this book all from within the comfort of Soul Source and at no cost

Amazon Blurb

Drawing on an expansive range of sources, including oral histories, magazines and fanzines, diaries and letters, this book offers a detailed and empathetic reading of a working class culture that was created and consumed by thousands of young people in the 1970s. The authors highlight the complex ways in which class, race and gender identities acted as forces for both unity and fragmentation on the dancefloors of iconic clubs such as the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, Blackpool Mecca, the Torch in Stoke-on-Trent, the Catacombs in Wolverhampton and the Casino in Wigan.

Marking a significant contribution to the historiography of youth culture, this book is essential reading for those interested in popular music and everyday life in in postwar Britain.

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Tap the cover below to read a fairly lengthy preview of 'Keeping the faith: A history of northern soul' 

 





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I enjoyed the books written by people who were actively involved with the scene and who also pulled together stories from others.  

 

I would say this era has been more than covered now so not sure what else it can say.

 

and as for the price it’s way too high.

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Looks like more academics trying to justify their whatever it is they get. I definitely won't be buying a copy at those ridiculous prices. Is it aimed at the middle class punks who can say I used to go Wigan pier 🤣 

The only thing that stood out for me was the chapter  regarding the real names of the DJs   

Who did they ask in these face to face interviews? People still attending venues, nighters, soul nights,  dayers ? No doubt someone on here more knowledgeable than me will have a answer or two 

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It seems very well written, but I am struggling to see a justification for charging £52 for a kindle edition. I buy a lot of music books but couldn't bring myself to stump up that kind of cash for covering ground that's been pretty well covered previously.

Edited by Soulfinger
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As someone who reads a lot and hasn't bought any vinyl for at least 10 years, i'd rather pick up some cheap singles. The price is ridiculous and has been said by everyone, if you weren't there or at least have a real love of the music what can you add.

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It's unlikely that this book is aimed at the typical punter (at least by its publisher). It's a study by academics for academics, and written to current academic standards/fashions, published by an academic press and priced (somewhat optimistically these days) for academic library budgets.

In a way it's a pity because it looks decently written and not overly stuffed with pretentious jargon. A paperback edition at 20ish quid would likely increase the total sales by a few hundred percent. The pricing policy belongs to the publisher however. And given the likely sales numbers for these editions, the authors won't be getting much in return for their efforts, so it was probably a labour of love, which is pretty much how it should be given the subject matter. It's unlikely to do much for the authors' academic career prospects because it is a book, rather than a series of high falutin articles in journals that nobody reads but which are used as indicators of "research excellence".

Sadly the academic world is driven by all kinds of strangely twisted commercial logic these days, which forces academics to spend more time thinking about performance targets rather than helping their students actually learn. It's ironic in a way because the focus on targets and income generation means that a lot of stuff is produced that is of little use or interest to anyone except the bean counters appointed to various government quangos that decide who gets what. Aim your fire at successive governments, Tory and Labour, for turning learning into a giant bureaucracy that's good at talking business lingo while stifling as much as possible real creativity and originality - unless someone else agrees to pay for it, of course.

Plenty could be said about pretentious academic twats in many places and subject areas, but this looks like a worthy project, let down rather badly by Manchester UP's decision to treat it as a highly specialised (and therefore expensive) research monograph, rather than an interesting, worthwhile and accessible piece of research suitable for a more general audience.

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I realise who it is aimed as is not the man or woman in th street and it is for other academics.  Hower given that the market it is aimed at would I imagine be very limited you think they would make it more accessible for all.  Especially given the fact that the culture is pretty popular right now.  £30 I might have stretched my budget and bought one.

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2 hours ago, Mickey Finn said:

It's unlikely that this book is aimed at the typical punter (at least by its publisher). It's a study by academics for academics, and written to current academic standards/fashions, published by an academic press and priced (somewhat optimistically these days) for academic library budgets.

In a way it's a pity because it looks decently written and not overly stuffed with pretentious jargon. A paperback edition at 20ish quid would likely increase the total sales by a few hundred percent. The pricing policy belongs to the publisher however. And given the likely sales numbers for these editions, the authors won't be getting much in return for their efforts, so it was probably a labour of love, which is pretty much how it should be given the subject matter. It's unlikely to do much for the authors' academic career prospects because it is a book, rather than a series of high falutin articles in journals that nobody reads but which are used as indicators of "research excellence".

Sadly the academic world is driven by all kinds of strangely twisted commercial logic these days, which forces academics to spend more time thinking about performance targets rather than helping their students actually learn. It's ironic in a way because the focus on targets and income generation means that a lot of stuff is produced that is of little use or interest to anyone except the bean counters appointed to various government quangos that decide who gets what. Aim your fire at successive governments, Tory and Labour, for turning learning into a giant bureaucracy that's good at talking business lingo while stifling as much as possible real creativity and originality - unless someone else agrees to pay for it, of course.

Plenty could be said about pretentious academic twats in many places and subject areas, but this looks like a worthy project, let down rather badly by Manchester UP's decision to treat it as a highly specialised (and therefore expensive) research monograph, rather than an interesting, worthwhile and accessible piece of research suitable for a more general audience.

I read some of the blurb.

I quite liked the notion that the reason NS never got the coverage, unlike punk, was because we had no intellectuals with access to the media shaping the musical narrative.

I mean, I've read your posts and you're trying.

And what about Stuart Cosgrove. He wears glasses FFS !  

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57 minutes ago, Chalky said:

I realise who it is aimed as is not the man or woman in th street and it is for other academics.  Hower given that the market it is aimed at would I imagine be very limited you think they would make it more accessible for all.  Especially given the fact that the culture is pretty popular right now.  £30 I might have stretched my budget and bought one.

Exactly. Looks like Manchester University Press is sharing the same marketing text book with the people responsible for Motown UK.

 

19 minutes ago, Modernsoulsucks said:

I quite liked the notion that the reason NS never got the coverage, unlike punk, was because we had no intellectuals with access to the media shaping the musical narrative.

I mean, I've read your posts and you're trying.

And what about Stuart Cosgrove. He wears glasses FFS !

Dave Godin was a much better intellectual than most, as was John Anderson. There's plenty of amazing archive work on this site and in releases by e.g. Kent that ranks with any academic history or social science re popular culture (and is often much better written).

Glasses are cool.

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34 minutes ago, Mickey Finn said:

Exactly. Looks like Manchester University Press is sharing the same marketing text book with the people responsible for Motown UK.

 

Dave Godin was a much better intellectual than most, as was John Anderson. There's plenty of amazing archive work on this site and in releases by e.g. Kent that ranks with any academic history or social science re popular culture (and is often much better written).

Glasses are cool.

I completely forgot about DG.

He wore glasses.

A pattern developing.

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15 minutes ago, Modernsoulsucks said:

I completely forgot about DG.

He wore glasses.

A pattern developing.

Perhaps you'd have seen it sooner if you got a pair yourself.

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

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I know we're in the middle of a pandemic and everyone's wearing a mask but this is no excuse for daylight robbery! £52??? An academic study into Northern Soul. Oh dear, pretentious nonsense where academic overlay their own narrative over the facts and draw all sorts of silly conclusions on flimsy "evidence" to support their viewpoint. The truth? It was all about mainly white working class kids in the North of England having a good time dancing to and collecting rare records. Morphed into middle aged and then elderly folks waiting on hip replacements who still enjoy the music and who reminisce 'bout "good old days"

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4 minutes ago, Mickey Finn said:

Perhaps you'd have seen it sooner if you got a pair yourself.

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

I'm sticking with my lorgnette.

I'd just been over the road for my fags and paper. Wearing a mask so popped glasses on top of head. Bent over to pick up paper and glasses fell off. Lens came out so I'm scrambling on the floor for ten minutes looking for lens. How it got under the ice cream fridge I'll never know.

Hence preoccupation with glasses. Cool my a**e !

 

 

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 Professor Andrew (Andy) Wilson from Harrogate published his educational masterpiece: Northern Soul - Music, Drugs and subcultural identity about 15 years ago. If you want a copy Amazon want a cool £263 so I'd say this book sounds like a bargain!

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Funny I wrote my dissertation on Mod, Skinhead and Northern Soul culture and was thought daft to do it (and suffered from the extreme lack of published material about back in 85/6 - about the only relevant book at the time was George Melly's tedious 'Revolt Into Style') - strange how youth culture is suddenly a legitimate target for academic study.

Dx

Edited by Davenpete
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Having met both authors my impression is that they were not trying to jump on the bandwagon or make money from the scene. As academics part of their remit is to produce books in line with their area of study by extensive research of archive material and interviewing people who were there. Keith Gildart posted on Soul Source three or four years ago requesting old magazines and help with his research . Along with others, I lent him some magazines and spoke to him about my early days. If the book doesn't reflect everyone's experience it won't be down to the authors. Keith has published many other studies of social history , which I very much doubt have made any profit for the publishers. 

I can't comment on the contents of the book yet but just looking at the references and notes to the sample text it's obvious how much reading and study has been done to produce it. Whilst I've enjoyed some of the books of recollections from people who were around back then they are just their own experience. Maybe this new book, despite it's terrible title and cover photo, will be a more truthful account, even if we don't like it.

As to the price, this is about normal for this type of book that will never sell in large numbers. Most copies will be bought by university departments and libraries in large towns. The print run is probably quite small making cost per book high compered to large runs of paperbacks. I've bought books on other stuff I collect for similar cost and have never lost out by seeing loads of the same title going cheap. A few seem to be priced at ten times what I paid for them, however I doubt they actually sell for these prices. Maybe this book could be a shrewd investment. 

 

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On 16/11/2020 at 16:11, Souljer6 said:

 Professor Andrew (Andy) Wilson from Harrogate published his educational masterpiece: Northern Soul - Music, Drugs and subcultural identity about 15 years ago. If you want a copy Amazon want a cool £263 so I'd say this book sounds like a bargain!

Jesus Christ, how much! Anyone wanting a copy can buy mine for a fifth of that. Read once.

Or download a copy here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280231711_Northern_Soul_Music_Drugs_and_Subcultural_Identity

Edited by Illusive
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Well, I must say it’s good see my alma mater is publishing books, a worthy pursuit and much more worthwhile than caging up students behind fences at Owens Park. Academic books can be a hard read, even for academics, but they serve a purpose - this work could be the definitive text in decades to come. It is nice to know that someone’s interested in writing about our underground cult 45-50 years down the ages - also pleasing that someone with brains and a liking for books might just find the contents of interest. Studying society and it’s cultural aspects has become a growth area in Further Education - great that a music-scene can stand alongside a plethora of obscure academic topics.

I hope people buy the books not destined for university libraries, and avoid the Kindle version. Record room shelves should be stacked with books to stop the records slipping over.

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1 hour ago, Chalky said:

Think you can only download a segment but read it all online?

It’s all there Chalks.

Wouldnt tecomend it in truth as it’s very very heavy going.in parts.

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27 minutes ago, Illusive said:

It’s all there Chalks.

Wouldnt tecomend it in truth as it’s very very heavy going.in parts.

Let’s call it a coffee table book then. Something to flip through and look at the pictures (if there are any). Leave it lying around to impress people or inspire celebrities destined to feature on Desert Island Discs.

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2 hours ago, Illusive said:

It’s all there Chalks.

Wouldnt recomend it in truth as it’s very very heavy going.in parts.

having just read through it online am now reaching for the paracetamol........my head hurts !!

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7 hours ago, Illusive said:

Jesus Christ, how much! Anyone wanting a copy can buy mine for a fifth of that. Read once.

Or download a copy here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280231711_Northern_Soul_Music_Drugs_and_Subcultural_Identity

 

5 hours ago, Illusive said:

It’s all there Chalks.

Wouldnt tecomend it in truth as it’s very very heavy going.in parts.

As someone with an interest in 'Northern Soul' and who has edited more than my fair share of academic papers and books, I look forward to reading.

By the way, I do believe another PhD dissertation/thesis is due very soon.

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14 hours ago, Illusive said:

It’s all there Chalks.

Wouldnt tecomend it in truth as it’s very very heavy going.in parts.

I’ve read extracts I downloaded, not much mind. As you say heavy going, they aren't for the enthusiasts really. 

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