So what really are the TOP 100 NORTHERN SOUL CLASSICS of all time? Or more accurately, what are they according to the membership of SOUL SOURCE, a particularly passionate and active section of the UK Soul community?
PETE SMITH'S personal TOP 100 and the recent accompanying webcast was the original inspiration for the idea and the response to the opening week of the poll has been fantastic. Now, we are running an ongoing poll of the SOUL SOURCE membership, with the last date for registering of Charts being 25th February 2010.
Way back in the late 70s, BLUES AND SOUL and BLACK ECHOES both published All-time Charts and in more recent times Kev Roberts 'Northern Soul Top 500' books have been the topic of much debate and discussion amongst Soul fans. But for SOUL SOURCE members in the year 2010, what records have really passed the test of time? Is there any chance of 'The Snake' appearing at Number 4 in an SS Poll? Could DOBIE GRAY sit as a proud runner up to FRANK WILSON in the eyes and ears of the SS membership? 'What' chance for JUDY STREET when 350/400 SS Members get their thinking caps on and submit their All time favourite classics? As a boundary, we have limited the choices in the poll to recordings made in the 60s and 70s. Although some people have questioned this, we feel it is a sensible timescale for the current objective. Widening the net to include records from the 60s to 2010, may well have been interesting, but the huge amount of titles that the scene has turned over in those years may well have made such a poll numerically invalid.
Thus for this poll we are concentrating on the original 'Golden age' of Northern Soul recordings. The poll is open to records that have broken on the scene, at any time in the last 40 years as long as they were recorded in the decades described. Indeed, given the length of time since for instance the BLUES AND SOUL chart, it will be very interesting to see how many Post-Wigan records (Discoveries) feaure highly in the Top 100.
As regards individual selections, we are asking that people do concentrate on records that are/have been reasonably well known on the scene. The poll is for the Top 100 Northern Classics, not our own individual All-Time Soul Top 30's. There is a subtle difference there, and it is an important one, which the vast majority have so far appreciated.
As stated, we hoping around 400 members will contribute, if the number is more, great, but if we can get a poll that takes on board the opinions of that many people, we feel the final chart will be a credible and valid excercise. The fact that this chart will come straight from the selections of the membership, i.e Soul fans, gives the project a sense of genuine collective input and hopefully a final Top 100 that most people will find fairly representative!
To post your TOP 30, please visit the 'All about the Soul' Forum and post your chart in the relevant thread i.e 'TOP 100'. There is also an accompanying Discussion and Debate thread, hosted by DAVE THORLEY. We are asking members to post any comments they wish to make regarding the progress of the poll, in this section. This to both encourage ongoing discussion and to ensure that the chart thread remains as clear as possible for those collating the results.
As DAVE has pointed out in the discussion thread, SOUL SOURCE is indeed an International Forum, with members representing the Soul scene across the world. We are particularly keen to see charts submitted from Europe and further afield and welcome members outside of the UK to add their charts to the poll.
The final results will be published around February 26th-27th and hopefully there will then be an accompanying podcast featuring the 'SOUL SOURCE TOP 100 NORTHERN SOUL CLASSICS'! in the meantime, get thinking and submit those charts! It's not as easy as it sounds when you set your mind to it!