In Ace Records own words - "Never before has Kent released such an unashamed "All The Hits" Northern Soul package. The excuse that we needed was being asked to produce the soundtrack CD for the new play Once Upon A Time In Wigan." This month (Feb 04) sees the release of ONCE UPON A TIME IN WIGAN (CDKEND 227 Kent/Ace Records); the soundtrack to a the play based on the lives of four 70s teenagers who spend their adolescence growing up at the shrine to Northern Soul, the Wigan Casino Tracklisting:- BREAKAWAY Pt 1 - STEVE KARMEN BIG BAND featuring JIMMY RADCLIFFE IM COMUN HOME IN THE MORNUN - LOU PRIDE IT KEEPS RAININ - FATS DOMINO ELIJAH ROCKIN WITH SOUL - HANK JACOBS CAN IT BE ME - MEL WILLIAMS TRY MY LOVE - TONI and the SHOWMEN SO IS THE SUN - WORLD COLUMN ITLL NEVER BE OVER FOR ME - TIMI YURO ID THINK IT OVER - SAM FLETCHER I SURRENDER - EDDIE HOLMAN THE NIGHT - FRANKIE VALLI&THE 4 SEASONS SWEET SHERRY - J J BARNES OH, MY DARLIN - JACKIE LEE IT DIDNT TAKE MUCH (FOR ME TO FALL IN LOVE) - PERCY WIGGINS I WAS BORN TO LOVE YOU - HERBERT HUNTER YOU HIT ME (RIGHT WHERE IT HURT ME) - ALICE CLARK THERES NOTHING ELSE TO SAY BABY - INCREDIBLES IN LOVE - TONY GALLA&THE RISING SONS A CASE OF LOVE - SEQUINS THAT BEATIN RHYTHM - RICHARD TEMPLE MY LITTLE GIRL - BOBBY GARRETT IM ON MY WAY - DEAN PARRISH LOVING BY THE POUND - OTIS REDDING ILL NEVER STOP LOVING YOU - CARLA THOMAS The following write up is by Ady Croasdell. Never before has Kent released such an unashamed "All The Hits" Northern Soul package. The excuse that we needed was being asked to produce the soundtrack CD for the new play "Once Upon A Time In Wigan". Early last year director Paul Sadot kindly invited me up to Leeds for the opening night at its second venue, having been enthusiastically received in Manchester the previous week. After hearing good reviews I was keen to attend to see if at last someone had represented the Northern Soul scene to its credit, rather than as an odd spectacle as is normally the case. I was delighted to find a packed house, in a great theatre and was honoured with the company of Tommy Hunt in the adjacent seat. By the time we left the auditorium I was even happier and the warm glow of nostalgia indicated that at last the Wigan Casino, as I remembered it, had been represented accurately, with affection, and a great deal of honest humour. As a regular all-nighter goer you can get over-exposed to records like Timi Yuros Itll Never Be Over For Me or Dean Parrishs Im On My Way, but when you hear them in the context of the play, you realise that is only because they are such marvellous records that DJs and punters demand to hear them time and time again. The play will serve as an introduction for some and as a reminder to others of what theyve been missing. Therefore stone classics are exactly whats required and thats what weve come up with on this CD. Lou Prides Im Comun Home In The Mornun (I have no idea why its spelt like that) has an absolutely original sound that no-one ever tried to copy. Its one of those ultra-rare records that could have been made just for the Northern Soul scene, and has flourished thousands of miles from its home. Similarly World Columns So Is The Sun and Steve Karmens Breakaway are edgy, turn of the decade, psycho-soul stompers. They also found their audience of speeding working class youths, spinning and back-dropping on the dancefloors of northern England, belatedly. Wigan Casino started out playing mainstream discoveries and weve featured a trio from the ultimate, Northern label, Mirwood. Jackie Lee and Bobby Garrett, aka Bob Relf, were the Bob&Earl who appeared on Harlem Shuffle and all subsequent recordings by the duo. They also shone as solo performers on Oh My Darlin and My Little Girl respectively, which are pure Northern Soul classics. As is Richard Temples That Beatin Rhythm also released on the same label. Frankie Valli&The 4 Seasons The Night was such a monster record when Wigan ruled the soul world, that it eventually made it to #7 in the UK. That was three years after its initial Motown subsidiary Mowest release, and it never even got a 45 release in the States. The Yanks were, and still are, bewildered by the NS phenomenon. Other tracks featured in the play like the Incredibles Theres Nothing Else To Say and Fats Dominos It Keeps Rainin were responsible for starting the whole Northern Soul thing off in the late 60s before the Casino had opened its doors. These tracks were later played in the hugely popular Mister Ms oldies room within the vast building, and its popularity meant that eventually the venue would host the first "Oldies" nighters which were often better attended than the regular dances. Northern Soul has progressed and widened its boundaries since the Casino closed in 1981, and the show reflects this. Included are tracks such as Sam Fletchers moody Id Think It Over and early 90s Stax discovery Otis Reddings Loving By The Pound, which gets a second Kent release due to its recent popularity in the R&B stomper-loving community of the North-West. The equally gritty soul sound of Toni&The Showmens Try My Love is also given a second airing to a bigger audience and shows how theres plenty of rare soul vinyl out there to be resurrected too. The booklet contains pen-portrait reviews of the tracks and stills and reviews from the play itself to link the music to its audience. It also contains wise words and reminiscences from Northern Soul luminaries Russ Winstanley and Richard Searling and thats a first in recent years.