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"Strange Wordl Of Norther Soul" DVD

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Dear all,

just in case this has been discussed before: sorry for that! I have searched for information via the search engine, but have not found any posts.

I have been thinking about buying me "The Strange World Of Northern Soul" DVDs. So, has anyone seen this documentary? Are the DVDs advisable?

I believe that a lot of you have lived the whole thing, so there is no need to buy these DVD.

But there are a lot of cats, who are either to young or not from England, so the documentary might give a good insight, how the whole Northern Soul Scene started.

Best regards

YouYou

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It was in my opinion, a great idea, executed poorly.

It has great interviews, some great footage, but loads hours and hours and hours of stomach churning horror, as legend after legend are filmed miming to messed about with versions of their classic songs.

I have watched it from start to finish, on tape, and had to fast forward thru 90% of the songs. A great shame.

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Have to second Mikey's opinion. The sheer work and effort that went into getting all the footage for this DVD is amazing.

On the downside - I found the miming to casio organ backed tracks a real blinking shame AND the second rate and unneccessary video effects throughout were both tiresome and distracting.

That said, it's worth watching if you haven't seen it before but I'd borrow it from someone first before parting with your pennies.

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You You

Mikey is right about the video to a degree. However the DVD is a great improvement on the video although it stilll is chock full of really crass video effects and some of the artists just ain't very good it's true, but to be fair some are but what really makes it a worthwhile documentary IMO are the interviews with the punters and faces past and present from the UK scene. It was a hugely ambitious project and given the amount of artist footage you can see that the licensing costs alone would have been through the roof which i'm told is the reason why everything is re-recorded.

At the end of the day there is good and in parts very bad bits to this but on balance it's a potted history of the UK scene on a massive scale perhaps he should have renamed it "The War and Peace of Northern Soul" as he's certainly been involved in his fair share and the DVD makes the famous book seem like a short childrens story LOL.

The other good thing about the DVD is that you can skip and FF more easily ;o))

JoT

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In my opinion from a musical point it was dreadful , like one of those re mastered cds . I remember recieving it through the post and really looked forward that night to watching it , put it on and was horrified , skipped through it bit by bit for the next few nights and then sold it. Not recommended.

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Oddly enough I liked it, but then again I'm easily pleased. There is a load of codswollop in there but you can skip through bits that drone on too much. I thought some of the acts were corking, Bobby Hebb, The Gems, The Monclairs and Philip Mitchell spring to mind. I think you have to be heavily into the scene to enjoy it, but where else will you get to see these great artists performing their most obscure songs.

Ady

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'Keep The Faith' springs to mind here, i agree with the above comments, it was far too long and made the artists look foolish, it would have been far better to use original footage which is out there cut with straight interviews with artists, perhaps when you take a step back and look at the huge ego behind this project it's no wonder this possible epic turned out at best a very average 'B' flick.

So far there has been no TV/Film coverage thats ever really come close to the real story, far too much on 'The Keep The Faith' ethic and not enough depth on the fundimental importance of the people who made the music in the first place, instead the focus is often on baggie trousers, the 1970's, drugs, three before eight and all the other watered down aspects to this otherwise unique scene.

The only way we are ever going to 'tell it like it is' is to commission an independant

proffessional film maker with the guidence of people connected with the scene and tell our story our way, 'The Strange World Of Northern Soul' had the chance to do this but i feel it failed by miles, a shame but fact.

Yes there are very good parts and if your prepared to watch the re recorded nightmare then it's worth a look, as for the comments 'Johhny' made regarding the high cost of licencing original tracks perhaps it would have been better to have included a backing track of a few tunes to give the flava then at least it would have been authentic, i'm sure if the film maker had have contacted some of the re issue labels then a reasonable deal could have been struck. But again ego and i know better would have been the issue here.

Still whats done is done and maybe in time we will look back on this package and reflect and say at least he had a go, for that you can't fault him as no one else so far has attempted to do this, so really do we have the right to down his efforts.....

Just to say it could have had more impact and importance if it had been shorter by a third, more detailed on certain clubs etc. When this was first screened a few years ago in Blackburn, the antisipation was vast but as the day went on and the hours rolled by people there became restless and their attention was gone,loud cheers and thunderess claps at he start of the day were replaced by polite auidence partisipation towards the end, infact most people just wanted the gig to start so they could get down and party to authentic tunes, i went away with a headache and just wanted to get home and i've never seen it since.

Still i guess the only way to judge this is to have a look yourself, it's still available and i'm sure it's sold well, as with most Northern related products Soul fans will invest in such things but it would be interesting to know how everyone rated this one.

6 out of 10 for effort and having the balls to tackle such an imotive subject.

Regards - Mark Bicknell.

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The only way we are ever going to 'tell it like it is' is to commission an independant

proffessional film maker with the guidence of people connected with the scene and tell our story our way, 'The Strange World Of Northern Soul' had the chance to do this but i feel it failed by miles, a shame but fact.

It would be nice to think that this could be done intellegently and with credibility but i personally think that the cost would be prohibitive and to add to that the number of artists available to interview are declining by the year which is sad.

It may well be that SWANS as flawed as it is will be the only one of it's kind. At the end of the day it is very difficult to do justice to 40 odd years of soul output and what 38 ish of a soul scene.

John

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. I thought some of the acts were corking, Bobby Hebb,

Ady

I only saw this clip on the extra DVD, thought it was one of the best as he was on the beach with his guitar......... now the words to the song, does he sing "melt like candy jam" in it?

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YouYou ......... I've got the video version of this. As others have mentioned the mimed singing is a bit cheesy but the interview footage is good and very interesting.

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Truly awful video production. Great idea as has been said, and at least someone has had a go at doing something, but any sense of what makes a programme watchable as a piece of TV or film has been totally lost or more probably was never there. I don't know what film / TV making advice Levine took while making this but I would imagine from looking at the final job that it was either none at all or any that was given was totally ignored. It's cheap and nasty to look at, nausea inducing most particularly during the 'pop' videos by the artists. I couldn't imagine a worse way of showing these artists. Obviously not enough footage was shot at the time of these guys miming, so he relied on the worst wedding video / 70's Dr. Who effects to diguise this fact. I could go on at length about this video but it's pointless. The whole thing would have been a better job if he hadn't used these ultra dated and cheesy effects, if the backing tracks to the artists songs weren't Levine re recordings featuring a Tamla drumroll that appears at least 30 times in each song with bontempi keyboard brass sounds etc, and if it had been no longer than a couple of hours long. A proper documentary needs to be made on this subject.

Jordi

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Hello You,You, read all the above comments then avoid it, instead if you wanna see artists in their era go to the New Century Soul site and have a look at their DVD's.

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I bought it when it first came out

Fast forwarded through most of it and havent had the heart to watch it again.

But for some strange reason i wouldnt sell it or bin it.

strange world

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Quite dreadful and tacky and overall very 80's in feel (the main decade of all things tacky) for some reason. However some of the vocal performances were very good, James Fountain for instance, and I would say it is better to watch some of the artists with a tacky synth backing and star wipes than not watch them at all. What really made me almost pull out my hair in frustration was that an impressive array of original artists were gathered (in one scene several including Emanuel Laksey etc. are in the same room) and no questions of any real depth were asked about how it was back in the day in the U.S. So many questions that need answers and few were asked. Some of these artists might even have died since the film was made and I doubt as many will ever be gathered again.

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My comments are the same as Darrens, we got it when it came out. Strangely enough it is interesting to listen to the fans and hear what they got up to at the time. Personally I would rather remember most of the singers when they were in fine voice rather than listen to them now trying to recreate the same sound with a mediocre backing. Mind you we still have not watched it all.

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Hello You,You, read all the above comments then avoid it, instead if you wanna see artists in their era go to the New Century Soul site and have a look at their DVD's.

The NCSoul DVD's are excellent. The Strange World release goes into a lot more depth but if you just want to see the artists in their prime, giving it their all, you should check out the NCSoul DVD's.

Shane

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Thanks to all for recommending the NC Soul DVDs, have seen the previews on the website but now muist definately get them as soon as possible.

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To me the biggest plus of the film is the vast amount of time dedicated to interviewing punters, djs, promoters and lots of people who lived it. I fast forwarded through some of the songs whilst watching it for the second time but the interviews are great. Some very funny anecdotes and some very interesting tales.

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Realistically, good or bad, who else will get the chance to get those acts to appear in the future. Ian Levine went beyond the call of duty, and REALLY must be a Northern Soul Freak, amongst other things.

Kev Roberts 'Trip to LA' was a kind of real time version, and the one to NY could be just as good.

Buy the DVD, go to NY, LEARN AND KEEP THE FAITH.

Ed

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Bloody awful. Absolutely appalling (unless you just want to see how many of your mates you can spot in it)

Don't buy it. And as for it bringing young or foreign people into the scene it'll just make them run a mile.

That said when I tried to sell mine on Ebay I got a bid of over £1000,000! (and some moody threats, tsk tsk). Actually I think an Ebay bid is binding, if anyone can get my mill you're on for half.

BB

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