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Keeping The Faith 40 Years of Northern Soul A 4 CD Box Set : Review by Rachel Apr 2007

Keeping The Faith 40 Years of Northern Soul A 4 CD Box Set : Review by Rachel Apr 2007 cover

Keeping The Faith, 40 Years of Northern Soul (Sanctuary)

If someone asked you to do a compilation of Northern Soul, it'd be hard to know where to start. What to include - do you concentrate on the sort of tunes that the scene was founded on, or the ones that you'd hear out and about today? Keeping The Faith is a new CD box set from Sanctuary celebrating forty years of the Northern Soul scene, which has answered that question with a solid base of the former topped with a sprinkling of the latter.

I'll admit to wondering if there was really any need for yet another 'best of', but this one does it very well. The first thing that strikes you about the set is the fantastic presentation - a sturdy cardboard case in 'dancefloor' wood finish, record-style CDs, and a 58-page booklet packed full of history, quotes, interviews, and vibrant images of artists, dancers and record labels.

 

CD1 kicks off the set with a bunch of solid standards such as Sandi Sheldon - You're Gonna Make Me Love You, The Fascinations - Girls Are Out To Get You, The Formations - At The Top Of The Stairs, Major Lance - The Beat, and JJ Barnes - Our Love Is In The Pocket. If you've got a few compilations you probably already have most of these tracks, and like me, may well skip through quite a few, but they have their place in the history of the scene and so in this retrospective. In an unexpected change of tack, this CD finishes with the once controversial but now classic Carstairs, followed by the sweet swaying midtempo of New Sound - Don't Take Your Love From Me, and Beverley Hills - I Don't Care Anymore.

 

CD 2 brings us a healthy dose of girly tracks - Rose Batiste, Rita & the Tiaras, Gwen Owens, Dena Barnes and Marie Knight. Added to these are the clap-along classic Ever Again by Bernie Williams, the moody Paris Blues by Tony Middleton, the haunting Do You Love Me by the Masqueraders and recently popular dancefloor shuffler Continental Four - The Way I Love You.

 

CD3 has the emphasis firmly on the male side with such greats as Jock Mitchell, Jack Montgomery, Johnny Bragg and Edwin Starr. For me, the stand out track is the Jamaican Glenn Miller - Where Is The Love, which epitomises the Northern scene's ability to pick out tracks from anywhere and make them its own.

 

I found the fourth CD the most interesting in terms of track choice. It's good to see the latest 100 Club anniversary single - the previously unreleased Gigi & the Charmaines - I Don't Want To Lose Him - making an appearance, recognising the influence of this major club (it's a shame there's no mention of it in the accompanying booklet though). There's Crow - Your Autumn Of Tomorrow, a definite love it or hate it Northern oddity. There's the fabulous midtempo girliness of Ketty Lester - Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid, and the deep voiced despair of Roy Hamilton with Earthquake. There's a nod to the Crossover side of things with Chuck Cockerham - Have I Got The Right and the very lovely Voices by Willie Feaster. Also worthy of a mention is the beautiful bittersweetness of the Tangeers' Let My Heart And Soul Be Free.

 

From a personal point of view, it would have been nice to see a little more of a nod towards the present day, both in musical and written content (e.g as already mentioned re the 100 Club). But with today's scene being such a complex and disparate one, it would probably take considerably more CDs to cover all its angles and genres. And really, it seems right that the scene is still ahead of the compilers; that there are records which you have to go out to hear testifies to the spirit of discovery described by Colin Curtis in his interview in the booklet - "the buzz to play and turn people on to new tunes and new ideas."

 

Overall, as an introduction to Northern, or as a collection of memories, this box set certainly does what it says on the, er, box. The final track, Bobby Womack - So Many Sides Of You, seems to be well chosen - the scene has many aspects, and this compilation at least touches on most of them.

available at all major stockists at approx price range of £25.00 - £29.00

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Keep-Faith-Northern-Soul-Box/

Disc 1

  1. The Showstoppers - Ain't Nothing But A Houseparty
  2. Darrell Banks - Open The Door To Your Heart
  3. JJ Barnes - Our Love Is In The Pocket
  4. Chuck Jackson - These Chains Of Love (Are Breaking Me Down)
  5. James Carr - That's What I Want To Know
  6. Ronnie Milsap - Ain't No Soul (Left In These Ole Shoes)
  7. The Platters - Sweet Sweet Lovin
  8. Fathers Angels - Bok To Bach
  9. Moses & Joshua Dillard - My Elusive Dreams
  10. Inez & Charlie Foxx - Tightrope
  11. The Formations - At The Top Of The Stairs
  12. The Fascinations - Girls Are Out To Get You
  13. The Sapphires - Gotta Have Your Love
  14. The Parliaments - Don't Be Sore At Me
  15. Major Lance - The Beat
  16. Timmy Willis - Mr Soul Satisfaction
  17. Richard Temple - That Beatin' Rhythm
  18. The Superbs - I Wanna Do It With You Baby
  19. Sandi Sheldon - Gonna Make You Love Me
  20. The Detroit Executives - Cool Off
  21. Jimmy Soul Clark - (I'll Be Your Champion) I'll Be Your Winner
  22. Stemmons Express - Woman Love Thief
  23. The Carstairs - It Really Hurts Me Girl
  24. New Sound - Don't Take Your Love From Me
  25. Beverley Hills - I Don't Care Anymore

Disc 2

  1. Just Brothers - Sliced Tomatoes
  2. Rose Batiste - Hit & Run
  3. Rita & The Tiaras - Gone With The Wind Is My Love
  4. The Tomangoes - I Really Love You
  5. The Masqueraders - Do You Love Me Baby
  6. The Superlatives - I Still Love You
  7. Dena Barnes - If You Ever Walk Out Of My Life
  8. Gwen Owens - Just Say You're Wanted And Needed
  9. The Four Perfections - I'm Not Strong Enough
  10. Bernie Williams- Ever Again
  11. Tony Middleton-Paris Blues
  12. Michael & Raymond-Man Without A Woman
  13. The Glories-I Worship You Baby
  14. Marie Knight - That's No Way To Treat A Lady
  15. Porchy & The Monarchs - That Girl
  16. Shirley J Scott - Goose Pimples
  17. The Fuller Brothers - Time's A Wasting
  18. Little Johnny Hamilton/ Creators - Keep On Moving
  19. Virgil Henry - You Ain't Saying Nothing New
  20. Diane Jenkins - Tow Away Zone
  21. The Continental - 4 The Way I Love You
  22. The Festivals - Gee Baby
  23. Jimmy Helms - Romeo & Juliet
  24. Odds & Ends - Let Me Try
  25. The Whispers - Flying High

Disc 3

  1. The Precisions - Such Misery
  2. Donnie Burdick - Candle
  3. Rayal Five - Don't Stop
  4. Eddie Daye & The 4 Bars - Guess Who Loves You
  5. Terri Bryant - Genie
  6. Mel Britt - She'll Come Running Back
  7. Felton Burks - I'll Always Love You
  8. Jock Mitchell - Not A Chance In A Million
  9. Jack Montgomery - Dearly Beloved
  10. The Group feat. Cecil Washington - I Don't Like To Lose
  11. Ray Gant & The Arabian Knights - I Need A True Love
  12. Johnny Bragg - They're Talking About Me
  13. Otis Smith - Let Her Go
  14. The Fidels - I'm Giving You Notice Baby
  15. The Jades - I'm Where It's At
  16. Robby Lawson - Burning Sensation
  17. Ronnie Walker - Trouble
  18. The Whispers - You've Got A Man On Your Hands
  19. Willie & The Mighty Magnificents - Check It Baby
  20. Edwin Starr - Has It Happened To You Yet
  21. Andrea Henry - I Need You Like A Baby
  22. Dave Hamilton Orchestra - Who Are You Trying To Fool?
  23. Johnnie Taylor - What About My Love
  24. Glenn Miller - Where Is The Love
  25. Eddie Kool - Where There's A Will There's A Way

Disc 4

  1. The Swans - Nitty Gritty City
  2. Dynamic Siblings - I Bear Witness
  3. The United Four - Baby Don¿t Do It
  4. The Fiestas - Think Smart
  5. Roy Hamilton - Earthquake
  6. Bunny Sigler - Girl Don't Make Me Wait
  7. The Poppies - There's A Pain In My Heart
  8. Johnny Caswell - You Don't Love Me Anymore
  9. Don Ray - Born A Loser
  10. Shane Martin - I Need You
  11. Williams & Watson - A Quitter Never Wins
  12. The Ivories - Please Stay
  13. GiGi & the Charmaines - I Don't Want To Lose Him
  14. Tan Geers - Let My Heart And Soul Be Free
  15. Ketty Lester - Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
  16. Joey Delorenzo - Wake Up To The Sunshine Girl
  17. Larry Saunders - On The Real Side
  18. Stanley Mitchell - Get It Baby
  19. The Crow - Your Autumn Of Tomorrow
  20. Joe Hicks - Don't It Make You Feel Funky
  21. The Appointments & Others - I Saw You There
  22. Jimmy James & The Vagabonds - Hey Girl
  23. Willie Feaster & The Concrete Wall - Voices
  24. Chuk Cockerham - Have I Got The Right
  25. Bobby Womack - So Many Sides Of You

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