Best Soul Books of 2016



Best Soul Books of 2016article image

Happy New Year

I think it's been a vintage year for books on the history of soul music.  As the original soul music generation mature some of them are using their knowledge and passion to produce some fantastic, well written books that have all ready provided me with hours of enjoyment.   I've chosen four so plenty of scope for others to add their preferences.

1.  Spinning Around - The History of The Soul LP  A-K by  John Lias.  

Lias emerges as a major writer on soul music and by focusing on the Soul LP fills a significant gap. The ambition and hard work in listening to every soul LP in what must be a vast collection really paid off impressively. Lias is opinionated, witty and above- all knowledgeable.  The list of acknowledgements includes doyens of writing such as Sirshambling and David Cole . It's a tour-de-force on the subject and at £20 quite honestly a snip.

2. That There's That Beat! Guide to the Philly Sound by Dave Moore and Jason Thornton

At 700 plus pages this is surely the most comprehensive book ever published on the subject of the Philadelphia music. It also takes an historical perspective before focusing on soul music as it charts the city's soulful journey from the churches to the charts and dance-floors. Beautifully designed, lavishly produced and meticulously researched with numerous entries on artists, producers, musicians, DJs and even a few dealers its surely a must-have for soul music fans especially those who favour northern soul.  Its not a cheap publication though.

3.  Scepter Wand Forever : The History of Scepter Records - Steve Guarnori

I've not had this book long but all ready its well thumped. Another fine achievement from a respected writer. It follows Scepter from the beginning to its demise in the mid 70s more or less chronologically. Its packed with so many facts about the artists that its almost overwhelming. Hardly anyone is omitted and even labels associated or distributed by Scepter are included. There's lots of new research and fascinating pictures. I do get the impression that Guarnori almost lost control of the project such is its ambition but what he's produced is quality. A superb effort.

Also enjoyed:

4. Travelling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield by Todd Mayfield and Travis Atria - An excellent insight into the life and music of a soul maestro.

Please feel free to add your choices

Stormcock

 



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Excellent list to which I add Keith Rylatt's 'The Birth of Motown' which is a UK fan perspective on how it was supported here in the early days.

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Would agree with all the choices above regards quality, can recommend them all and most of them have have been best sellers at A Nickel And A Nail. Quality material out in 2016 indeed. It doesn't stop there either, and I've got some more in the offing for 2017, including something up my own sleeve...

 

Mark.

 

Edited by Windlesoul
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Yes I am looking forward to getting some of the other books at your site during 2017.

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Agree with ThinkSmart - Keith Rylatt's  Hitsville ! The Birth of Tamla Motown is a fantastic record of never before seen photos from Clive Stone's estate and the work of Dave Godin and the Tamla Motown Appreciation Society working in the UK in conjunction with Berry Gordy's in his efforts and desire to break Motown into the UK market.

Published by Modus The House of Soul and available from their website www.house-of-soul.co.uk

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'young soul rebels' stuart cosgrove added further detail to the story of NS, a great personal perspective.

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Yes the Stuart Cosgrove book was very good I thought.  I haven't read it but Gethro Jones' 'They Danced All Night' was also published last year.

In a different way, the Dave Rimmer Rare Soul Bible reissued books were invaluable too.

Checking my shelf I also got the 'Motown - Sound of Young America' by Adam White in 2016 as a new book.  It was a lavish book that while great had odd omissions.  Some major artists are not featured at all while others get too much attention.  Still, a great book that is excellent to dip into.

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Thought Spinnin Around by John Lias was a great read and essential for reference purposes.

Half way through Steve Guarnori's Scepter Wand book and it's fascinating stuff , jeez you need your wits about you in the record business , another essential buy.

Enjoyed both Gethro Jones and Stuart Cosgroves coming of age on the allnighter scene books and will certainly reread them soon.

Must pick up a copy of Keith Rylatt's book.

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I liked Manship's seventh edition but had to buy a coffee table to put it on. Quite enjoyed Jethro's book and would recommend it. Mightily impressed by Dave Moore's Philadelphia volume, but so far, have just dipped into it. Got Stuart Cosgroves book for Christmas and am looking forward to reading it cover-to-cover. After listening to good soul records, the next best thing is reading about good soul records.

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  Just finished  They danced all night by Gethro jones .A very honest & incredibly open recount of his childhood & way of life .As I have known Jethro

  since a teenager I did not know any of his back ground .not something you verbal about  at nighters  .The detail he has gone to is very revealing  ,good to read at last a story that I can relate to & say " that's exactly what it was  like . Not often I am impressed with stories told by people on the scene but the facts & records where well placed in the storyline .A great read its the best I've read about our scene . Cracking dancer as well .:hatsoff2:

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I haven't read Dave Moore's Philly book or Steve G's Scepter book yet (dipped into both), both superbly done and worthy of book of the year...

Of the books I have read both of Stuart Cosgrove's are the best of 2016 for me, Detroit '67 and Young Soul Rebels, two fabulous but very different accounts of the music that has lit up our lives.

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rec'd Stuart Cosgrove's 'young soul rebels' and looking forward to reading it. A different kind of book was Tony Ellis ' how to do northern soul properly'  - really funny take on the northern scene = well worth getting a copy.

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Not one yet read as it's not been published.

So on that note, any news on Andy Dyson's tome?

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3 hours ago, chalky said:

I haven't read Dave Moore's Philly book or Steve G's Scepter book yet (dipped into both), both superbly done and worthy of book of the year...

Of the books I have read both of Stuart Cosgrove's are the best of 2016 for me, Detroit '67 and Young Soul Rebels, two fabulous but very different accounts of the music that has lit up our lives.

Detroit '67 was superb. I learnt a lot of new things musically and also found the description of how the whole political and social climate was at that time in Detroit really interesting.

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48 minutes ago, Jaco said:

Not one yet read as it's not been published.

So on that note, any news on Andy Dyson's tome?

July ish so Andy tells me

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11 minutes ago, chalky said:

July ish so Andy tells me

Thanks Chalky. This is eagerly awaited.

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Hope this doesn't sound like a sales pitch, because that's not the intention at all, but A Nickel And A Nail is always on the look-out for new or established authors of soul and blues historical reference or northern / popcorn scene related texts. As well as being a platform for sales, we invite reviews of new books, chapter abstracts and author-written summaries of their work which all help support and promote their work.

Cheers,

Mark.

Edited by Windlesoul
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and of course...

all are most welcome to make use of this sites news and articles features to let other members know whats up and about

just look right and up (if on the article page) and hit that 'submit news' link (members only of... course)

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Dave Moore and Jason Thorntons Philly book is a treasure. Ploughing lovingly through it at the moment. 

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