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THE BLUE SHARKS: THE SOUL SCENE'S LONGEST EVER 'COVER-UP'?

Look At Your Box Gene-R

 
Posted (edited)

Previously discussed at length on a thread here in 2008, but this should put all past rumours and conspiracy theories surrounding 'The Blue Sharks' to bed.

Those of you who have been on the Northern Soul scene long enough to even care to remember will, no doubt, remember a cover version of the Velvelettes' "These Things Will Keep Me Loving You" being played by Soul Sam and the late Nev Wherry around 1978. Known as an Italian-only release by an unknown Italian group called The Blue Sharks, on the Gran Prix label, only a few copies are said to be owned by collectors on these shores, and can now fetch anything up to around £700.

Oh dear - time to let the cat out of the bag!

This version of "These Things Will Keep Me Loving You" is NOT by The Blue Sharks but is, in fact, none other than The Mike Morton Congregation, with Barbara Kay and Sharon Winters on lead vocals, and is a track on the budget "Nonstop Top 20, Volume 3" LP on UK Plexium (PXMS 1004), released in 1971 (Track 7 on Side 2, to be precise). Each of the tracks on the LP are budget cover versions of UK chart hits of the time, with this LP believed to be released in August 1971. The B-side of the Italian single is a cover of Blue Mink's "The Banner Man", also by the Mike Morton Congregation and, of course, credited to The Blue Sharks. Incidentally, "The Banner Man" can be found on Nonstop Top 20, Volume 2".

It's believed that the Italian single on Gran Prix was given out free to shoppers of a large chain of Italian supermarkets as part of a special offer. Now we know that both sides were leased from Plexium in the UK, and are both actually by The Mike Morton Congregation. Therefore, a UK recording on a UK release, on a UK label.

£700 for an Italian 45? Thanks, but I've just found the 'original' for a quid!

PLEXIUM 1.JPG

PLEXIUM 2.jpg

Edited by Gene-R

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Posted

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You'll be telling me next that Lenny Gamble wasn't really Lenny Gamble.:ohmy:

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Posted
13 minutes ago, bo diddley said:

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You'll be telling me next that Lenny Gamble wasn't really Lenny Gamble.:ohmy:

Who? :rofl:

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Posted

Amazing it has taken so long for someone to point this out - how did you discover it?

Wonder who decided to call it Blue Sharks? 

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Posted
18 minutes ago, Chris Turnbull said:

Amazing it has taken so long for someone to point this out - how did you discover it?

Wonder who decided to call it Blue Sharks? 

I was junkshopping yesterday afternoon Chris, and I came across a few of these Mike Morton Plexium LPs in the same box.  I found this one, and also the LP with its B-side, "The Banner Man" on it.   Putting two and two together, and hoping I'd done the maths right, I bought Volume 3 (the one you see here in the pic), got it home and played it against the Blue Sharks version, and lo and behold - the very same version!

A bit of digging also helped me to find the 2008 thread from here, where this version was mentioned, but I don't think any concrete evidence had been provided at the time.

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Posted

Well done on your digging !!!! I am of course saying this from the point of view of someone that hasn't just shelled out £700 on a record !!!!!:lol:

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Posted

Not been a £700 record for a long time.....

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Posted

€150-200 max these days.

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Posted (edited)

Brilliant work from Gene , so ...  is it the same Plexium label as Soul Joe Clements ?

 

SOUL JOE CLEMENTS.EVER EVER.. NORTHERN SOUL.45..1969

 

Edited by sunnysoul

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And you're going to tell me next that they were from Skeggy. 

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2 hours ago, sunnysoul said:

Brilliant work from Gene , so ...  is it the same Plexium label as Soul Joe Clements ?

 

SOUL JOE CLEMENTS.EVER EVER.. NORTHERN SOUL.45..1969

 

Same one .

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sunnysoul said:

Brilliant work from Gene , so ...  is it the same Plexium label as Soul Joe Clements ?

 

SOUL JOE CLEMENTS.EVER EVER.. NORTHERN SOUL.45..1969

 

Thanks Sunny!  It is indeed one and the same label.  They changed their logo to the red label 'angel' design in 1970.

Edited by Gene-R

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Posted

Any more northern  sounds hidden in the Plexium catalogue ?

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Posted
9 hours ago, Dave Fleming said:

Not been a £700 record for a long time.....

I struggled to get £200 for mine.

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Posted (edited)

I've always liked this and it still retains it's mystique for me. Good job - I only recently bought one!

:thumbup:

 

Good work though Gene.

 

Pete

Edited by Peter99

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Posted

The strange, weird ,offbeat, murky, edgey ,wonderful world of northern soul :shhh::wink:

Quote

 

 

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Posted

The 2012 thread.

 

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Posted

This from Mick Holdsworth 28 December (my birthday;-) 2011 quote :

You probably mean one of the many Mike Morton LP

There was a rumour about 2 years ago that this LP version by Mike Morton was the exact same recording as Blue Sharks. It wasn't.

I did get both the LP's at the time, one with "These Things", and a second LP with "Heaven Must Have Sent You" (coincidentally, this second LP also had "Banner Man" on it).

Neither "These Things" nor "Banner Man" were anything like the Blue Sharks recordings. All 3 Mike Morton Recordings were pretty poor. I also seem to remember all the tracks were faded together.

Cheers

Mick

Edited December 28, 2011 by Mick Holdsworth

 

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Posted

why on earth would you pay £700 for a re hashed motown record if you are daft enough to pay £50 crack on £700 would buy you a hell of a lot better tunes pure madness

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Posted

I did get very good money for mine about 8 yrs ago......way more than the £700! :D

And Banner Man is actually the A side!

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Chris L said:

This from Mick Holdsworth 28 December (my birthday;-) 2011 quote :

You probably mean one of the many Mike Morton LP

There was a rumour about 2 years ago that this LP version by Mike Morton was the exact same recording as Blue Sharks. It wasn't.

I did get both the LP's at the time, one with "These Things", and a second LP with "Heaven Must Have Sent You" (coincidentally, this second LP also had "Banner Man" on it).

Neither "These Things" nor "Banner Man" were anything like the Blue Sharks recordings. All 3 Mike Morton Recordings were pretty poor. I also seem to remember all the tracks were faded together.

Cheers

Mick

Edited December 28, 2011 by Mick Holdsworth

 

Mick Holdsworth is completely incorrect in what he says here, and I challenge him to prove to me otherwise.

He is also factually incorrect in saying that the tracks are faded together.  To be more precise, each track is separated with about 3 seconds of "canned" applause, to make it sound like the whole session was recorded live.

Edited by Gene-R

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The "cat was out of the bag" in 2008 if not earlier so can't quite see the point in this ... :g:

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Posted (edited)

It was mentioned on another forum back in 2008 where they were discussing The Mike Morton Congregation LP's . Seemed to cause some amusement that it was released as the Blue Sharks in Italy and fetching big money .

Edited by surfcity

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, WoodButcher said:

The "cat was out of the bag" in 2008 if not earlier so can't quite see the point in this ... :g:

Erm........no, not quite.  It was suggested then that it was the Mike Morton Congregation by someone else who had the LP, but no one believed him, despite him saying that he'd played them side by side and knew it was.  Of course, every know-it-all and their aunt came up with completely different theories contradicting this.   I own the LP and have played both versions alongside each other, and therefore my post should finally confirm this as true

It was also coupled with the idiotic phoney folklore that Italian copies on "Grand Prix" (sic - it's actually Gran Prix) exist with a chequered flag label.  Obviously the rumour-monger who started it failed to realise that "Gran Prix" means more than just car racing!  Can anyone prove to me that the "chequered flag" label exists?  I don't think so, somehow!

 

Edited by Gene-R

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Posted

Just come across this on the youtube comments from Dave Ward - interesting about Soul Sam not being popular with the Wigan crowd at the time - if so why was that?

"I'm sure this was first played by the Cleethorpes DJ Soul Sam in the UK, who for some reason, lost in the amphetamine mists of time, wasn't popular with us Wigan Casino souls. But, this blows the Velvelettes original off the dance floor, shimmering production, careful vocals and more danceable. A cracking atmospheric dance record."

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Posted
7-11-2008, 01:45 PM #13
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The Blue Sharks - Banner Man / These Things Will Keep Me Loving You - Grand Prix
which just sold for 400 quid
(http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BLUE-SHARKS-45...1%7C240%3A1318)

is actually two tracks from Mike Morton Plexium LPs biggrin.png

(it's the Velvelettes cover that is the Northern side of course)

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Posted (edited)

Can someone post a sound file of Mike Morton version ? There were a couple of release under the name Blue Sharks on Gran Prix.

 

Blue Sharks.JPG

Edited by Chris L

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Blue Sharks.JPG

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Whoops !

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Posted
15 minutes ago, Chris Turnbull said:

Just come across this on the youtube comments from Dave Ward - interesting about Soul Sam not being popular with the Wigan crowd at the time - if so why was that?

"I'm sure this was first played by the Cleethorpes DJ Soul Sam in the UK, who for some reason, lost in the amphetamine mists of time, wasn't popular with us Wigan Casino souls. But, this blows the Velvelettes original off the dance floor, shimmering production, careful vocals and more danceable. A cracking atmospheric dance record."

Sam wasn't popular at Wigan because of the new records he played. Infamously, culminating in the Keep The Faith Not The Funk Banner night. Sam's last night. Couple of long running threads on here Chris. I'll have a look later.

Pete

:thumbsup:

 

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Posted

Chris, I'd be more than happy to post the Mike Morton soundclip, but I'm unable to do so for some reason at the moment (probs with uploading it once burnt to CD).

The other Blue Sharks single you've posted here is interesting.  "Chicago" was originally by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, so I wonder if this (and whatever its B-side is) are a couple more Mike Morton budget covers?  Do you know what the flip-side to Chicago is, Chris?

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41 minutes ago, Gene-R said:

Mick Holdsworth is completely incorrect in what he says here, and I challenge him to prove to me otherwise.

He is also factually incorrect in saying that the tracks are faded together.  To be more precise, each track is separated with about 3 seconds of "canned" applause, to make it sound like the whole session was recorded live.

Gene,

Yes, I know I was wrong about "These Things", and 'thought' I'd updated the post soon after, apparently not. However I was being a bit basic in the comment about fading, I meant fading music to canned applause to music.

 

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1 hour ago, 1 huskyvan said:

why on earth would you pay £700 for a re hashed motown record if you are daft enough to pay £50 crack on £700 would buy you a hell of a lot better tunes pure madness

In your opinion.

 

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Posted
3 minutes ago, Peter99 said:

Sam wasn't popular at Wigan because of the new records he played. Infamously, culminating in the Keep The Faith Not The Funk Banner night. Sam's last night. Couple of long running threads on here Chris. I'll have a look later.

Cheers Pete :thumbsup:   

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Posted
9 minutes ago, Gene-R said:

Chris, I'd be more than happy to post the Mike Morton soundclip, but I'm unable to do so for some reason at the moment (probs with uploading it once burnt to CD).

The other Blue Sharks single you've posted here is interesting.  "Chicago" was originally by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, so I wonder if this (and whatever its B-side is) are a couple more Mike Morton budget covers?  Do you know what the flip-side to Chicago is, Chris?

"Toast and marmalade for tea"

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Posted (edited)

Only owned this once bought in Italy, think I paid + - £150.00 really, really struggled to get £200.00 for it (thik sold it on here) in spite of who it is or not it is a good version. Interestingly enough there was a 70/80s group Belgian group called Blue Sharks who recorded stuff in Italy, I used to have an album from them.

Blue Sharks.jpg

Edited by Chris L

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Posted
40 minutes ago, Gene-R said:

Erm........no, not quite.  It was suggested then that it was the Mike Morton Congregation by someone else who had the LP, but no one believed him, despite him saying that he'd played them side by side and knew it was.  Of course, every know-it-all and their aunt came up with completely different theories contradicting this.   I own the LP and have played both versions alongside each other, and therefore my post should finally confirm this as true .

 

So we had to wait another eight years for someone else (your good self) to do , by your own admission , exactly the same ... the post in 2008 did the confirming , all you're doing is crowing about finding a £1 record for £1 ... congratulatons ... :lol:

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Posted

Discography:
made by these two bands ar

Discography:
45 - Chicago/Gipsy (Thuban Six CPI 7010 - 197?)
45 - Chicago/Toast and marmalade for tea (Gran Prix CPI 7010 - 197? - jukebox)
45 - Lady in black/And the day will be so kind (Thuban Six THS 16001 - 197?)
45 - Gipsy/Lady in black (Thuban Six THS 16001 - 197? - jukebox)
+ LP

Two singles (and two others probably only released as jukebox promo issues) appeared for this group, all covers of popular songs played rather well, and both were probably issued around 1971. 
Among the songs they recorded, And the day will be so kind is an original, while there are two Uriah Heep's covers and one by Graham Nash. Their style is hard prog with a good use of organ.
Two instrumental LP's were also issued under the name Blue Sharks, and some say that behind this name hid the composer Stelvio Cipriani, as many of the tracks are credited to his nickname Ipcress. The albums are Funny walk (Leonardi L 20) and It became crystal (Leonardi SL 27), and both came out in the early 70's.
It's likely that Blue Sharks were the same musicians also known as Dirty, because the versions of And the day will be so kind made by these two bands are identical.

e identical.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, WoodButcher said:

So we had to wait another eight years for someone else (your good self) to do , by your own admission , exactly the same ... the post in 2008 did the confirming , all you're doing is crowing about finding a £1 record for £1 ... congratulatons ... :lol:

Got a problem with it?  PM me then.

Sarcasm, trolling and childish envy will get you nowhere - it only serves to make you look even more of a jealous twat than you already are.  :dash2:

Edited by Gene-R

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So enlighten me , what exactly have you added to the 2008 story regarding Mike Morton/Blue Sharks ... ?

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Posted
14 minutes ago, Chris L said:

"Toast and marmalade for tea"

A UK release for "Tin Tin" on Polydor in 1971.  I guess both sides were budget cover versions which were probably big hits in Italy at the time.

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Posted
1 minute ago, WoodButcher said:

So enlighten me , what exactly have you added to the 2008 story regarding Mike Morton/Blue Sharks ... ?

More than you ever could.........next question?

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There were 1 or 2 copies for sale at the Rimini weekender last July, from what I remember €200 each.

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No , exactly the same amount as I could ... :)

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12 minutes ago, WoodButcher said:

So enlighten me , what exactly have you added to the 2008 story regarding Mike Morton/Blue Sharks ... ?

That they are identical recordings ? Unless there was another thread at the time I seem to remember it being left as '2 different recordings' with nothing conclusive ? Maybe a different thread ?

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I've recorded all four songs, just for comparison and future ref,

BlueSharks-TheseThings.mp3

MikeMorton-TheseThings.mp3

BlueSharks-BannerMan.mp3

MikeMorton-BannerMan.mp3

I have already conceded that "These Things" are the same as each other, however Banner Man is clearly different. It sounds like the same Female vocalist, but the Male is different, could be same singer but a different take.

One obvious difference is the phrasing of "and the tubas oompahed all the way" in the first Male vocal at about 25/30 seconds in.

Cheers
Mick

 

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Posted
39 minutes ago, Chris Turnbull said:

Cheers Pete :thumbsup:   

Hi Chris

Bit tongue in cheek this but interesting non the less. Although I'm bound to say that!

Pete

:thumbsup:

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for a great article.

I never read the previous posts so the debate was new to me.

Either way as far a genre goes, the "These Things" is a great recording of great tune.

Whether the content is soulful or not is irrelevant to the Northern Scene, I like the tune

which obviously sounds better without the canned applause.

Thanks for elucidating.

PS does anyone have a sound file of the Move On Up track??

 

Edited by Mick Sway
PS added

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Guest randy\
Posted

Good detective work who ever wants to take the credit, to most people this is a real revelation and possible will effect the value of the Blue Sharks 45

Could never understand the fuss about this record I personally have never liked the Blue Sharks version and sold a nice copy few months ago for £300

The one thing I cant really understand is the poor phrasing of the female singer, to my ears its does sound like some one singing in a second language as with lots of mainland European recorded disks. Is the singer British?

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1 minute ago, randy said:

Good detective work who ever wants to take the credit, to most people this is a real revelation and possible will effect the value of the Blue Sharks 45

Could never understand the fuss about this record I personally have never liked the Blue Sharks version and sold a nice copy few months ago for £300

The one thing I cant really understand is the poor phrasing of the female singer, to my ears its does sound like some one singing in a second language as with lots of mainland European recorded disks. Is the singer British?

Apparently so, Randy (the sleeve notes lists the female vocalists as Barbara Kay and Sharon Winters).

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