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Discoveries-They Would Have Happened Anyway

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Following on from the Soussain thread, it got me thinking that the records he and others are credited as having discovered would have been discovered by someone else down the line anyway. Yvonne Baker, Checkerboard Squares, Dean Courtney are rareish but not rare enough that some other collector/DJ/dealer wouldn't have come across them at some stage in the ensuing decades.

I'm sure there are examples of ones that would either have not been found (thrown in a dumpster like several acetates I know of) or maybe would not have been played without the dedication of a DJ that got behind them for some time before they "broke". But I bet there aren't that many when you look at the scene over the past 45 years.

Discuss.

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It's an odd equation isn't it, the size of the states, obscure ad-hoc distribution networks and discovering rare records that retain that "northern" appeal. Are the records hidden gradually deteriorating? I do think the early diggers discoveries would have been discovered. I also think it's a key part of the scene who champions the tune. Because of the vagaries of defining NS I think to some extent we have always looked to some DJs to tell us what it is at the moment.

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Following on from the Soussain thread, it got me thinking that the records he and others are credited as having discovered would have been discovered by someone else down the line anyway. Yvonne Baker, Checkerboard Squares, Dean Courtney are rareish but not rare enough that some other collector/DJ/dealer wouldn't have come across them at some stage in the ensuing decades.

I'm sure there are examples of ones that would either have not been found (thrown in a dumpster like several acetates I know of) or maybe would not have been played without the dedication of a DJ that got behind them for some time before they "broke". But I bet there aren't that many when you look at the scene over the past 45 years.

Discuss.

 

It's a good point and one that I've heard previously leveled @ Ian Levine, i.e. if ANY of us knowledgeable guys back then could have gone to Miami on holiday 4 times a year, then surely WE'D have found the same records? 

 

My argument has always been, well, sure, we'd have found a lot of records without a doubt, but Ian Levine was always ballsy and passionate enough to hammer his choices home as a DJ and his choices were always top-range for most of us. So knowledge, good taste, plenty of dosh, good luck, the ability to 'big-up' your discoveries, impress your peers and get 'em to an audience are all factors too.

 

You could argue that Soussan's enthusiasm, great ears (and he unquestionably has great ears) and his ability to hype up and promote his discoveries played a large part at the time. Likewise yourself throughout the last 30+ years. 

 

I think most stuff would have been unearthed by someone or other eventually 'cos post '75 there were more and more of us at it. 

 

Ian D  :D

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Following on from the Soussain thread, it got me thinking that the records he and others are credited as having discovered would have been discovered by someone else down the line anyway. Yvonne Baker, Checkerboard Squares, Dean Courtney are rareish but not rare enough that some other collector/DJ/dealer wouldn't have come across them at some stage in the ensuing decades.

I'm sure there are examples of ones that would either have not been found (thrown in a dumpster like several acetates I know of) or maybe would not have been played without the dedication of a DJ that got behind them for some time before they "broke". But I bet there aren't that many when you look at the scene over the past 45 years.

Discuss.

 

a theory ive often thought about..and i agree. Not to dilate what the Dj's/dealers/collectors did discover and promote in what i refer to as the golden era 73-75, but much of those would have surfaced anyway.Also there were numerous 45's which were discovered simultaneously and sometimes c/u with different titles..in particular Ian Levine undoubtably had a massive advantage in order to find 45's plus he had a major venue in which to play them..and SS was in LA where i guess in 73/74 you were literally falling over stuff..

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Before the internet gave us the sounds records were chosen blind by their artists/labels/producers (the latter to a lesser extent) even a ZTSC no. stamped in the runout groove gave the vinyl a "pedigree" or so we thought, Buy them, Play them and compare them to popular sounds already discovered was what I and my mates did.

 

 

1000th post coming up , do I get a prize?

Edited by sjclement

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I guess a lot of these things may of already been in collections - it was just a matter of lining them up with the outlet i.e. venue and DJ.   A lot collectors maybe didn't go to  Wigan or the Mecca and maybe were not Northern soul fans per se.     A good example is Cajun Hart - Bob Slater from Middlesbrough bought two copies as a new release - because he went to Wigan and knew Searling he gave him a copy.  But others will have bought it that didn't have connections or any interest, their copies will have surfaced at some stage.   At the end of the day most big DJ's had suppliers who fed them records one way or the other (not discounting the fact that one or two did go digging themselves).

 

I also think records like Yvonne Baker are a million miles away from say the Mello Souls for example - any Soul fan back in the day would of recognized Cameo Parkway and picked it up and bought it - at some point it would of have surfaced.

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Interesting topic.  Without the early pioneers like Levine or Soussan, would countless others have followed, crossing the pond to track down the records at source?  Without the interest from UK collectors at that time, certainly kindled by Levine and Soussan, wouldn't a lot of this "unwanted" vinyl have found its way to landfill, thus denying others the chance to discover it at a later date?  Obviously the archived stuff in the record company vaults would remain, but how long would the Northern Soul scene have lasted if solely reliant on British releases and the odd import?

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Interesting topic.  Without the early pioneers like Levine or Soussan, would countless others have followed, crossing the pond to track down the records at source?  Without the interest from UK collectors at that time, certainly kindled by Levine and Soussan, wouldn't a lot of this "unwanted" vinyl have found its way to landfill, thus denying others the chance to discover it at a later date?  Obviously the archived stuff in the record company vaults would remain, but how long would the Northern Soul scene have lasted if solely reliant on British releases and the odd import?

without doubt many record hounds have saved an awful lot of 45's from destruction..but..i dont think Levine/SS were the first to travel to the US in search of the blackstuff.Some  would have already beaten a path however small..Graham Warr? and no doubt others  unknown to me..

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without doubt many record hounds have saved an awful lot of 45's from destruction..but..i dont think Levine/SS were the first to travel to the US in search of the blackstuff.Some  would have already beaten a path however small..Graham Warr? and no doubt others  unknown to me..

 

But Levine, while not being totally unique in doing so, not only discovered the records, but played them to a large audience.  Also, a lot of the first Northern sounds I was exposed to in the early 70's, being too young to attend venues, were on the Black Magic label.

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But Levine, while not being totally unique in doing so, not only discovered the records, but played them to a large audience.  Also, a lot of the first Northern sounds I was exposed to in the early 70's, being too young to attend venues, were on the Black Magic label.

 

yeah..but imo IL had an outstanding advantage..and i still think most of the classic sounds from that era would have surfaced anyway..not sure of the relevance of the Black Magic comment...

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yeah..but imo IL had an outstanding advantage..and i still think most of the classic sounds from that era would have surfaced anyway..not sure of the relevance of the Black Magic comment...

 

That was Soussan's label, wasn't it?

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without doubt many record hounds have saved an awful lot of 45's from destruction..but..i dont think Levine/SS were the first to travel to the US in search of the blackstuff.Some  would have already beaten a path however small..Graham Warr? and no doubt others  unknown to me..

 

Soul Bowl for one. JA's parents council flat was full of records by the end of the 60s, before IL and SS went over. Dave Box also told me he went in the 60s too, and there were plenty of others. As for discovering the sounds, I am sorry to burst people's bubble but most of those big finds from the early 70s aren't the true rarities. I know people like to say they are, but most of them are around in quantity compared with many of the later discoveries, and that's logical when you think about it. So yes those big sounds would have been discovered, just maybe a bit slower.

Edited by Steve G

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That was Soussan's label, wasn't it?

 

i'm unsure of the connection between the two..i seem to think it was a UK label/outlet to release popular northern sounds with some of SS remixes/tailor mades..a partnership of sorts between Selectadisc & SS..it did little to enhance the northern scene save perhaps to introduce younger crowd to the established scene..Pye disco demmand despite a few turkeys released better songs..

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i'm unsure of the connection between the two..i seem to think it was a UK label/outlet to release popular northern sounds with some of SS remixes/tailor mades..a partnership of sorts between Selectadisc & SS..it did little to enhance the northern scene save perhaps to introduce younger crowd to the established scene..Pye disco demmand despite a few turkeys released better songs..

 

Well that younger crowd included me at the time.  Considering my only income was from a job as an errand boy, Black Magic, Pye Disco Demand and Contemporaries were all I could afford.

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Well that younger crowd included me at the time.  Considering my only income was from a job as an errand boy, Black Magic, Pye Disco Demand and Contemporaries were all I could afford.

 

yeah i get that..but when i started it was the same only earlier..imports were expensive so UK releases were the affordable option, soul city,mojo,Tamla, atlantic/stax..with re to SS..his motivation was money..simple, and at a certain point flooded the scene with crap..

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First up i was not about in the old days.... way too young to be dancing and collecting in the 7ts. My experience is mainly mid 8ts onwards and some of the real rare records are from this period. Yes Eddie parker is rare (thought to be) but John Anderson had a fare few at one stage back in the day along with many others now considered rare. My hat goes off to  the collectors who turned up  the unissed material, can you imagine a few hours of dj sets of unissued tracks. Always wanted to do that at The Capitol Soul Club but never got round to gathering the troops ( Andy Rix, Ady C., Fortnum etc). An RCA hour of unissued material back to back, Detroit unissued hour.

 

By the end of the 8ts and early 9ts rare tunes were getting found and for me the best period of music. Mid tempo had taken hold and no baggie clowns in sight. Smart sussed people who an ear for a tune and had the attitude to back up the egos lol.

 

Greg

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I also think records like Yvonne Baker are a million miles away from say the Mello Souls for example - any Soul fan back in the day would of recognized Cameo Parkway and picked it up and bought it - at some point it would of have surfaced.

 

Agree with your point, Mike...but disagree that a Soulie from any era of the scene would've passed by a disc with a group name including the word "Soul" on it...curiosity and a potential increased % that it may be a Soul recording surely would've made the gamble strong.

Off on a tangent, I must admit I once contemplated as to whether the early collectors left plain looking labels in favour of taking the ones with fancy logos/fonts, as quite a few of the later rarities seem to be on plain "boring" looking labels!

:g:

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Agree with your point, Mike...but disagree that a Soulie from any era of the scene would've passed by a disc with a group name including the word "Soul" on it...curiosity and a potential increased % that it may be a Soul recording surely would've made the gamble strong.

Off on a tangent, I must admit I once contemplated as to whether the early collectors left plain looking labels in favour of taking the ones with fancy logos/fonts, as quite a few of the later rarities seem to be on plain "boring" looking labels!

:g:

I was looking for an example Dave....figured it wasn't perfect but the drift was it was a total mega rare record that did not offer a big clue like Cameo Parkway!  

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The early bird catches the worm as they say.  Soussan, Koppel, Levine, right place right time.  As said others followed and would have undoubtedly found the very same records given time.

Edited by chalky

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And although I'm thankful for these gents discovering these peak time classics and perhaps bringing them to our ears earlier than might have been the case without their endeavours - I reserve a bit more esteem for those that followed who had to dive deeper in discovering as good, if not in some cases better records from a pool that had been trawled previous. 

 

 

The early bird catches the worm as they say.  Soussan, Koppel, Levine, right place right time.  As said others followed and would have undoubtedly found the very same records given time.

 

Edited by Byrney

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And although I'm thankful for these gents discovering these peak time classics and perhaps bringing them to our ears earlier than might have been the case without their endeavours - I reserve a bit more esteem for those that followed who had to dive deeper in discovering as good, if not in some cases better records from a pool that had been trawled previous. 

 

Well that pool really hadn't been trawled Byrney. We were looking for a specific sound within a pretty specific set of parameters in the mid 70s. There was no demand for many of the future biggies back then. They'd have too slow, too messy or not Northern enough. You actually couldn't give 'em away at the time. A lot of the stuff that broke in the 80s was just laying around in collections until Stafford brought in a new era. Guy and Keb were plundering 70s collections looking for unexploited gems and I guess the time was right for the sound to change, so it worked out OK 'cos it evolved the scene at the right time. I think Guy got Johnny Bartel off me which I always loved but it was just too slow and moody for the mid 70s......

 

Ian D  :D

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Notwithstanding the fact they would have been found, they might have been found post the heyday of 1973 to 1975. Imagine if some of the now classics like Checkerboard Squares weren't found until the late '80's, they might, just might have been popular then, but in reality might never have garnered the adulation with which we hold them today. 

 

There are so many variables that were in the right place at the right time In the 1970's, it is impossible to have the what if discussion. It was a perfect storm. A scene hungry for new records, fuelled by the energy of youth, driven by need to fill dance floors and along comes a street wise entrepeneur who feeds the beast and exploits it at the same time.

 

it was what is was. 

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As JA said in the Odyssey doc a lot of these sounds aren't rare and he certainly doesn't like trophy hunters.   So yes they would have been found eventually. But that shouldn't detract from those that sought them out and gave then a play.

 

 

 

Soul Bowl for one. JA's parents council flat was full of records by the end of the 60s, before IL and SS went over. Dave Box also told me he went in the 60s too, and there were plenty of others. As for discovering the sounds, I am sorry to burst people's bubble but most of those big finds from the early 70s aren't the true rarities. I know people like to say they are, but most of them are around in quantity compared with many of the later discoveries, and that's logical when you think about it. So yes those big sounds would have been discovered, just maybe a bit slower.

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Well that pool really hadn't been trawled Byrney. We were looking for a specific sound within a pretty specific set of parameters in the mid 70s. There was no demand for many of the future biggies back then. They'd have too slow, too messy or not Northern enough. You actually couldn't give 'em away at the time. A lot of the stuff that broke in the 80s was just laying around in collections until Stafford brought in a new era. Guy and Keb were plundering 70s collections looking for unexploited gems and I guess the time was right for the sound to change, so it worked out OK 'cos it evolved the scene at the right time. I think Guy got Johnny Bartel off me which I always loved but it was just too slow and moody for the mid 70s......

Ian D :D

I'd suggest it was the same pool but perhaps those fishing it and / or the scene at that time didn't have the maturity of taste to realise the quality of that messy, mid tempo or (in 73 - 75 terms) 'not northern enough' gems and thrown them back or stored in a whopping great barn, that's fair enough - your eras diggers turned up some crackers.

It's your Guys, Kebs, Butch's who I refer to who could spot a record in say Ian Levine's barn and see the quality and proactively push it. A harder task in my view.

All part of the 45+ year development of this Northern Soul thing :)

Edited by Byrney

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Soul Bowl for one. JA's parents council flat was full of records by the end of the 60s, before IL and SS went over. Dave Box also told me he went in the 60s too, and there were plenty of others. As for discovering the sounds, I am sorry to burst people's bubble but most of those big finds from the early 70s aren't the true rarities. I know people like to say they are, but most of them are around in quantity compared with many of the later discoveries, and that's logical when you think about it. So yes those big sounds would have been discovered, just maybe a bit slower.

 

Agree with that - it would only have been a matter of time before John Anderson picked those records up

 

Also agree on the point about rarity. There are probably hundreds of copies of records like Yvonne Baker and Four Perfections in this country sat gathering dust in collections. As people get older or pass away they will all resurface.

 

It'll be interesting to see where they end up, whether they stay in this country or not - I guess quite a few of them will end up back in the US.

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I'd suggest it was the same pool but perhaps those fishing it and / or the scene at that time didn't have the maturity of taste to realise the quality of that messy, mid tempo or (in 73 - 75 terms) 'not northern enough' gems and thrown them back or stored in a whopping great barn, that's fair enough - your eras diggers turned up some crackers.

It's your Guys, Kebs, Butch's who I refer to who could spot a record in say Ian Levine's barn and see the quality and proactively push it. A harder task in my view.

All part of the 45+ year development of this Northern Soul thing :)

Yep. Don't really disagree with any of that Byrney. I can remember Guy going out of his way to check both the obvious and less obvious. He was trawling what I would call big beat ballads but ones that sounded great loud. He was deffo trawling a different trench and proud of it.

Ian D :)

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I'd suggest it was the same pool but perhaps those fishing it and / or the scene at that time didn't have the maturity of taste to realise the quality of that messy, mid tempo or (in 73 - 75 terms) 'not northern enough' gems and thrown them back or stored in a whopping great barn, that's fair enough - your eras diggers turned up some crackers.

It's your Guys, Kebs, Butch's who I refer to who could spot a record in say Ian Levine's barn and see the quality and proactively push it. A harder task in my view.

All part of the 45+ year development of this Northern Soul thing :)

But don't underestimate Levine - he may well have spotted a record in his 'barn' but it was just not right at the time - it is a pretty short timescale we are talking about at the Mecca - and he went from traditional Northern to disco in no time at all.   He couldn't have possibly played and redefined everything.  I do remember him in Frank Elson's Blues and Soul column talking about some records he couldn't play 'out' and it was things like 'Nobody But You' by Esther Phillips which finally got accepted years later.   His knowledge of all forms of Soul inc Deep was encyclopedic  - the records got into his barn for good reason!  When you think of the times he was operating in he's second to none really.

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But don't underestimate Levine - he may well have spotted a record in his 'barn' but it was just not right at the time - it is a pretty short timescale we are talking about at the Mecca - and he went from traditional Northern to disco in no time at all.   He couldn't have possibly played and redefined everything.  I do remember him in Frank Elson's Blues and Soul column talking about some records he couldn't play 'out' and it was things like 'Nobody But You' by Esther Phillips which finally got accepted years later.   His knowledge of all forms of Soul inc Deep was encyclopedic  - the records got into his barn for good reason!  When you think of the times he was operating in he's second to none really.

 

A huge amount of records came from his original collection including some of the bigger discoveries of the 80s. I remember one trip over to Blackpool where I got "Look At Me Now" - Terry Callier and Wendell Watts and Pat Brady got Herb Ward "Strange Change" amongst others..........all of which would have been considered to be too slow a few years previously.

 

Ian D  :D

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But don't underestimate Levine - he may well have spotted a record in his 'barn' but it was just not right at the time - it is a pretty short timescale we are talking about at the Mecca - and he went from traditional Northern to disco in no time at all. He couldn't have possibly played and redefined everything. I do remember him in Frank Elson's Blues and Soul column talking about some records he couldn't play 'out' and it was things like 'Nobody But You' by Esther Phillips which finally got accepted years later. His knowledge of all forms of Soul inc Deep was encyclopedic - the records got into his barn for good reason! When you think of the times he was operating in he's second to none really.

Your right and I would give my left nad for Ian's knowledge but its also an issue of personal taste as well as what fits the dance floor.

I've read Ian being quite critical of records played in the 80s and 90s that went massive including the label Shrine (comparison against Thelma and Mirwood I recall) and utter Northern Monsters like Walter and the Admirations being far to gritty.

its the many players, diggers and dealers across the decades that have created the rich tapestry we have today.

Edited by Byrney

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A really interesting question. I think the essence of the scene isn't necessarily even finding the records in the first place—that is mainly down to happenstance and logistics—it's knowing when exactly to unleash them in the right venue to exactly the right crowd. This also applies to reactivations and revivals.

 

Bear in mind that when the scene first coalesced it was almost entirely made up of very young people. Now the age range goes from the relatively young right up to OAPs. The same records are not going to appeal to everyone and never could.

 

I hear a record like Billy Joe Royal's 'Heart's Desire' today and wonder if it could possibly be taken seriously as 'rare soul' in 2015 had it by some miracle lay undiscovered until now. But to a load of teenagers in the early seventies it obviously had some resonance. There are thousands of examples of this phenomenon including  more than a few of what are considered real classics. Many of them are just too trite or instant to cut it with people whose listening experiences have now encompassed a lifetime of music of all kinds. The first wave of records to go big tend to be the most accessible, then other imperatives become more important.

 

It's not necessarily about quality (the constant knock from old-timers from about 1977 was that the quality was no longer there from the Mecca/Torch/Early Casino period) it's about texture and a changing set of circumstances which over time can give a particular piece of music a very different set of meanings.

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Your right and I would give my left nad for Ian's knowledge but its also an issue of personal taste as well as what fits the dance floor.

I've read Ian being quite critical of records played in the 80s and 90s that went massive including the label Shrine (comparison against Thelma and Mirwood I recall) and utter Northern Monsters like Walter and the Admirations being far to gritty.

its the many players, diggers and dealers across the decades that have created the rich tapestry we have today.

Not sure about  being critical of Shrine - the first mention of the label I ever came across was when Ian played the DC Blossoms at the Mecca circa '75  - that's way way before the label gained the status it did.  He even reviewed it in his Black Music column at the time.  Sure he moved on got into different things but his love of Northern seems to have returned with a vengeance.

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It wasn't Ian's barn btw, it was Bernie Golding's wasn't it.  Keb would tell about records strewn all over, no sleeves, covered in dog sh*t.  Some real goodies in there though for sure but the remnants of the collection didn't keep the scene alive in the 80's as some say, there was plenty of other sources as well.

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A really interesting question. I think the essence of the scene isn't necessarily even finding the records in the first place—that is mainly down to happenstance and logistics—it's knowing when exactly to unleash them in the right venue to exactly the right crowd. This also applies to reactivations and revivals.

 

Bear in mind that when the scene first coalesced it was almost entirely made up of very young people. Now the age range goes from the relatively young right up to OAPs. The same records are not going to appeal to everyone and never could.

 

I hear a record like Billy Joe Royal's 'Heart's Desire' today and wonder if it could possibly be taken seriously as 'rare soul' in 2015 had it by some miracle lay undiscovered until now. But to a load of teenagers in the early seventies it obviously had some resonance. There are thousands of examples of this phenomenon including  more than a few of what are considered real classics. Many of them are just too trite or instant to cut it with people whose listening experiences have now encompassed a lifetime of music of all kinds. The first wave of records to go big tend to be the most accessible, then other imperatives become more important.

 

It's not necessarily about quality (the constant knock from old-timers from about 1977 was that the quality was no longer there from the Mecca/Torch/Early Casino period) it's about texture and a changing set of circumstances which over time can give a particular piece of music a very different set of meanings.

 

Very eloquently put Gareth.  :thumbsup:

 

And very true. It's been a while since I've heard the likes of Larry Santos, Shane Martin, Spiral Staircase, Billy Joe Young, Billy Jo Royal and any other Billy Joes from back then....... :lol:

 

Ian D  :D

Edited by Ian Dewhirst

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As Ian says the 70's, one tempo and one style practically whereas the 80's up to today everything is in the mix.  Matters little to me that records in Levines haul were overlooked at the tiem, and other finds for that matter, but the fact that they were eventually given a chance by enterprising DJ's and more to the point accepted by the dancefloor.

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It wasn't Ian's barn btw, it was Bernie Golding's wasn't it.  Keb would tell about records strewn all over, no sleeves, covered in dog sh*t.  Some real goodies in there though for sure but the remnants of the collection didn't keep the scene alive in the 80's as some say, there was plenty of other sources as well.

 

Absolutely right.

 

The other thing is as Gareth said, tastes evolve. Ian (D) summed it up on the Soussan thread - without being nasty he was creaming himself over those instrumentals which were massive in his heyday. You wouldn't dare play them today they sound awful, but he remembers them from a packed Leeds do or wherever, 1500 in, dance floor rammed, everyone pilled up etc. Ian also mentioned finding Terry caller etc in Bernie's barn and they were too slow for IL's taste (or the scene)….When you think about it the northern scene has changed enormously from the early / mid 70s. Evolved for the better I like to think.

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Absolutely right.

 

The other thing is as Gareth said, tastes evolve. Ian (D) summed it up on the Soussan thread - without being nasty he was creaming himself over those instrumentals which were massive in his heyday. You wouldn't dare play them today they sound awful, but he remembers them from a packed Leeds do or wherever, 1500 in, dance floor rammed, everyone pilled up etc. Ian also mentioned finding Terry caller etc in Bernie's barn and they were too slow for IL's taste (or the scene)….When you think about it the northern scene has changed enormously from the early / mid 70s. Evolved for the better I like to think.

 

which instrumentals are you referring to?

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I get Ian D's point about pretty strict parameters when assessing a potential northern record back in the 70's and I get how it changed in the 80s, however as much as I hear stories of The Seven Souls clearing the dancefloor in the 70s things like George Kirby, Ray Pollard, Gene McDaniels etc all did well at Wigan so some tracks that were slower than the norm made it. Cool Off isn't exactly 100 mph so who was championing the exceptions?

Its starting to sound like the 80s changed everything but to my ears that change had already started. The 80s wasn't a overturning of the 70s just a progression of a wider range of tempos, productions etc that had already started.

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Absolutely right.

 

The other thing is as Gareth said, tastes evolve. Ian (D) summed it up on the Soussan thread - without being nasty he was creaming himself over those instrumentals which were massive in his heyday. You wouldn't dare play them today they sound awful, but he remembers them from a packed Leeds do or wherever, 1500 in, dance floor rammed, everyone pilled up etc. Ian also mentioned finding Terry caller etc in Bernie's barn and they were too slow for IL's taste (or the scene)….When you think about it the northern scene has changed enormously from the early / mid 70s. Evolved for the better I like to think.

herb ward strange change spun at the casino by RS. 78ish.? still playin my boot leg copy out when i can . simple.

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Absolutely right.

 

The other thing is as Gareth said, tastes evolve. Ian (D) summed it up on the Soussan thread - without being nasty he was creaming himself over those instrumentals which were massive in his heyday. You wouldn't dare play them today they sound awful, but he remembers them from a packed Leeds do or wherever, 1500 in, dance floor rammed, everyone pilled up etc. Ian also mentioned finding Terry caller etc in Bernie's barn and they were too slow for IL's taste (or the scene)….When you think about it the northern scene has changed enormously from the early / mid 70s. Evolved for the better I like to think.

 

It's expanded it's original remit is the way I'd put it. And quite right too. It's managed to organically evolve because of the changing styles.

 

I didn't even realise that instrumentals didn't get played anymore until someone told me that they didn't. That was a shock because instrumentals were a massive part of the Northern scene back then plus they broke up the night really nicely too. Many instrumentals were bigger than the vocal sides. I think it's weird that doesn't happen anymore. But I'm not gonna complain too much. It's a miracle that the scene has survived so long and it's probably done that by evolving with the wider tastes of the subsequent decades. 

 

Ian D  :D

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What people seem to overlook is that ´71 to ´75 to be honest/realistic there were only maximum (pushing it)twelve years of records to trawl through,not so many variations in styles on the scene anyway,

surely diggers/collectors would/did look at Detroit lables first and then pick up on producers ,arrangers writers etc next.

 

Collectors passed information to broaden knowledge, nowadays its more dog eat dog looking to unearth the gold :yes:

 

Many years ago at a record fair ,i recall an old guy coming with a list of Detroit lables hand written numbers titles etc ,many of the obvious big titles plus gaps ,when asked about the gaps :ohmy: he looked as if to say dimwit !said  those are the ones i need :rofl:

 

I personally don´t have the patience or interest anymore to trawl through dusty records like i used to ,so good luck to anyone who does :hatsoff2:

 

Steve

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That was Soussan's label, wasn't it?

Black Magic was a division of Selecta Disc( Brian Selby) and distributed in the UK at the time by CBS(Sony). John Brattan was label manager and although short lived, they had pretty heft sellers including The Sharonettes(60,000), Dobie Gray(10k plus)

and various similar follow ups all achieving healthy numbers.

The scene had peaked by around 77 with the label trying different things ie Jill Baby Love and The Funkees.

The label folded but the record store flourished in the new emerging indie market and stayed at the forefront, until the untimely death of founder and owner Brian Selby.

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Black Magic was a division of Selecta Disc( Brian Selby) and distributed in the UK at the time by CBS(Sony). John Brattan was label manager and although short lived, they had pretty heft sellers including The Sharonettes(60,000), Dobie Gray(10k plus)

and various similar follow ups all achieving healthy numbers.

The scene had peaked by around 77 with the label trying different things ie Jill Baby Love and The Funkees.

The label folded but the record store flourished in the new emerging indie market and stayed at the forefront, until the untimely death of founder and owner Brian Selby.

 

Thanks for that Kev.  When I said Black Magic was Soussan's Label I didn't mean he owned it, but that was the outlet for some of his stuff.

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No mention yet of the Japanese in all this digging history. As we know they trawled the States hoovering up just as much vinyl if not more, than we did, albeit they were probably not going for quite the same '73-'75 uptempo pop/soul that we were. However as musical tastes have changed, and slowed down, got groovier and funkier, then surely we are still likely to see many more great tunes and discoveries coming from Eastern warehouses/barns rather than Western ones.

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I think you are over estimating the size of the Japanese market there Jordi. There are some prolific collectors of course, and loads of records went there. But I don't think anywhere near as many as have come to Britain over the years….But we know there are some good finds in Japanese collections.

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I think you are over estimating the size of the Japanese market there Jordi. There are some prolific collectors of course, and loads of records went there. But I don't think anywhere near as many as have come to Britain over the years….But we know there are some good finds in Japanese collections.

 

Yes, probably overestimating the market Steve, but I still bet there are some killer discoveries to come from there yet.

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Yes, probably overestimating the market Steve, but I still bet there are some killer discoveries to come from there yet.

 

Absolutely, they often bought things that couldn't be sold in the UK. Which brings us full circle to the mysterious "Japanese lists" at Soul Bowl. I asked to be put on "the list" at the time, but never saw it :lol: . 

 

But I am drawing my comparison with the container loads of stuff that has been coming here since the end of the 60s. When I was growing up in London there must have been at least 50-100 shops in London selling imports. Not so much the rare stuff, but imports nonetheless. Loads of overstocks ended up at places like Black Wax in Streatham, Bluebird, Chequers (Croydon) and so on. It's well known that in the late 70s / early 80s I picked up Brand New in Petticoat Lane, Wil Collins x 2 (Bareback) in Mile End, Alfie Davison in Croydon, Bill Brandon "Streets" in Streatham, Bobby Hutton (ABC) (Walthamstow), Living Color in Leytonstone and a host of others for 10p-30p, all of which had come in as new imports.  Fabulous days I'd just walk around all day looking for records.  :thumbsup:

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