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MotownSoulMan

Motown or Northern Soul

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My first post, so here goes.

 

I've often thought this for years and years, and more so since those cheaper priced cd's started being marketed. You buy a cd marketed as Northern Soul, and they often contain several songs made by, and originally distributed by the Motown corporation, either on the main labels or on one of the many subsidiary labels. My question is simple, when do you consider a song to be just Motown, or both Motown AND Northern Soul. Where do you draw the line?.

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Personally, I would tend to agree with DaveNPete When you consider Motown on its own, it either is, or it isn't. When you consider Northern Soul, it covers a huge spectrum of artists, from out and out Soul singers, to the likes of Pop singers, Country and Western singers, Rock N Roll singers, Doo Wop singers, Gospel singers etc etc. The list is infinite  They've all played a part in the Northern Soul scene at one time or another. We've all heard them, we've all danced to them and most likely when you look through your collection, we all own them. I tend not to classify anything into one particular genre, with the exception of Motown

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3 minutes ago, MotownSoulMan said:

Personally, I would tend to agree with DaveNPete When you consider Motown on its own, it either is, or it isn't. When you consider Northern Soul, it covers a huge spectrum of artists, from out and out Soul singers, to the likes of Pop singers, Country and Western singers, Rock N Roll singers, Doo Wop singers, Gospel singers etc etc. The list is infinite  They've all played a part in the Northern Soul scene at one time or another. We've all heard them, we've all danced to them and most likely when you look through your collection, we all own them. I tend not to classify anything into one particular genre, with the exception of Motown

Ah... but do you include RicTic and Golden World/Revilot as Motown post buy-out? And what about the 'evil' Motown CW label? :) 
Dx

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Two extremes of Motown.  Both dancers in there own right and both played in so called Northern Soul venues. 

Bottom & Company.  Gotta find a true love. 

Marvin Gaye.  It's killing me ( love starved heart ) 

Both stunning yet so different.  One out and out 60,s uptempo dancer the other oozing 70,s class and sophistication. 

Both Motown.  

Steve

 

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24 minutes ago, DaveNPete said:

Ah... but do you include RicTic and Golden World/Revilot as Motown post buy-out? And what about the 'evil' Motown CW label? :) 
Dx

Dave.  Add Stateside to the mix which really stirs up the divide between the two. 

Steve 

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DaveNPete I knew this was going to stir some reaction when I posted it ha ha. In my opinion Ric Tic, Soul, Golden World and the rest of the purchased subsidiary labels are all Motown. As for Melody records, enough said the better. There are those that would only include, Tamla, Motown and possibly Gordy, as posted by The Tempest above. Zed1 has a point too, but then you look at monsters like The Night, by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, on Mowest, and it trashes the whole thing. Fair enough, on its first release in 1972 it fitted the mould by that definition, but when re-released in 1975 it charted, so no longer fits the bill. Winsford Soul also has a good point also. 

BabyBoyAndMyLass Thank you for that ☺👍

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I think there is quite a blurry line between the Northern Soul and Motown and probably will depend on each member's criteria. Here's one 45 with a Motown song on one side and a Northern Soul song  on the other - 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zed1 said:

Commercial/Chart = Motown.

Unreleased/Rare = Northern.

   Okay but what would you do with "This Old Heart Of Mine", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "I Can't Help Myself", "Stoned Love" , "Heaven Must Have Sent You" etc. ?

Edited by the yank

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the yank There are a few like that Bobby Taylor record. As for the other songs you mention, I would class them all as out and out Motown, but that's just my opinion.

Edited by MotownSoulMan
I pressed save too soon

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16 minutes ago, the yank said:

   Okay but what would you do with "This Old Heart Of Mine", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "I Can't Help Myself", "Stoned Love" etc. ? 

 

It all comes back to the what is Northern' thing? I got into the scene back in the day as an antidote to the Chart and Commercial sounds of the day, and that still applies with me now. Of course there will always be tracks which cross between the two, but on the whole if I hear 'I Can't Help Myself' played out I'd head for the Door - not the dance floor, even though I'd be happy to sing along to it in my Front Room.

Edited by Zed1

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Just now, David Meikle said:

Is that Up the Junction in Crewe? I had a membership there.

 

Yeah, I'm too young but my sister was reg there, cloakroom girl and all that, went for the duration, bit of a UTJ historian, hence my interest in the venue.

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David Meikle BabyBoyAndMyLass I never got to Up The Junction. I was in my 2nd full year in the Armed Forces and was having the pleasure of walking the streets of Northern Ireland. In fact, the first full "Soul night" I really got to attend was on April 14th 1977 and was an out and out Motown night at a club called The Maison Royale in Bournemouth. I remember because that's where I met Carrie, and we married 2 years later, and still are married.

Edited by MotownSoulMan

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10 minutes ago, BabyBoyAndMyLass said:

As did UTJ.

What about the flamingo club in Soho ?

 

18 minutes ago, David Meikle said:

Northern Soul is Soul Music danced to in the North of England.

That must therefore include the Motown Sound. 

The Twisted Wheel had a large playlist of Motown records.

 

 

11 minutes ago, BabyBoyAndMyLass said:

As did UTJ.

 

19 minutes ago, David Meikle said:

Northern Soul is Soul Music danced to in the North of England.

That must therefore include the Motown Sound. 

The Twisted Wheel had a large playlist of Motown records.

 

What about the flamingo club in soho?

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20 minutes ago, MotownSoulMan said:

David Meikle I totally agree with you as far as the ultimate definition coined by Dave Godin in '72 goes. 'er indoors summed it up in exactly the same way.

June 1970 to be precise in Blues and Soul.

Verbally by Dave Godin much earlier in London.

Edited by David Meikle
Added 2nd para.

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what do you all mean : Subsidiary labels ?                GORDY, TAMLA, VIP, MOTOWN, etc etc ....   we all know the Story.     they're NOT subsidiary labels,     they're MOTOWN labels ffs.  

  ANNA,  MEL-O-DY  ,    they are NOT Chuffing Subsidiary labels. ..  arghhhhhhhh

    

   

    

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IanP Ok. Well let me put it in a different manner. Although they've been known as subsidiary labels for years, what we meant are the record labels such as Ric Tic, that was originally set up and co-owned by Ed Wingate and someone else who's name I forget, that were purchased by Berry Gordy.

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1 hour ago, MotownSoulMan said:

 As for the other songs you mention, I would class them all as out and out Motown, but that's just my opinion.

Fair enough. What about these 2- is Sandy Wynns considered Northern and Patrice "out and

out Motown" ?

 

 

Edited by the yank

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If I was to classify them both I would put the Patrice Holloway version as Motown, because that's what it is, and the Sandy Wynns version as Northern Soul, but then that's just my opinion. What is your opinion of that?

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1 hour ago, David Meikle said:

June 1970 to be precise in Blues and Soul.

Verbally by Dave Godin much earlier in London.

As mentioned by someone earlier "Motown" is the overarching name of a number of record labels based in Detroit owned by Berry Gordy whereas "Northern Soul" is a term coined by Dave Godin, whilst at Soul City in the late '60's, to differentiate the current music buying tastes of London and South East soulies and soulies from up north. At this time the northern buyers would almost certainly have been buying records from the Motown stable of labels and Motown, as others have stated, would have been played at The Twisted Wheel.

As the '60's became the '70's the definition of Northern Soul evolved to describe a certain type of soul sound initially recorded in the 60's with a certain beat but which did not gain an official UK release at the time of its US release and was therefore unknown and so did not include more popular Motown sounds.   

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Soulfusion Thank you for that kind Sir. You are certainly right about people buying Motown in that era, because my late old dad was doing so from the mid 60s onward, and a lot of R&B previous to that. That's who force fed me the music from the age of about 6 or 7, and it stuck. OK, my knowledge of Northern Soul isn't as good as my knowledge of Motown, but one led to the liking of the other. I've certainly done my share of the All-Nighters and as for knowledge, you're never too old to learn, and while you nice folks keep putting me right, I will learn. 👍

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40 minutes ago, MotownSoulMan said:

If I was to classify them both I would put the Patrice Holloway version as Motown, because that's what it is, and the Sandy Wynns version as Northern Soul, but then that's just my opinion. What is your opinion of that?

  I don't have an opinion one way or the other- there is no wrong or right answer ! 

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the yank Now I come to think of it, a while back I heard or read something about Sandy Wynns both being an alias, or a fake if you will, and also possibly being the singer behind a well known Northern Soul tune, but for the life of me I can't remember it now.

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3 hours ago, MotownSoulMan said:

IanP Ok. Well let me put it in a different manner. Although they've been known as subsidiary labels for years, what we meant are the record labels such as Ric Tic, that was originally set up and co-owned by Ed Wingate and someone else who's name I forget, that were purchased by Berry Gordy.

Ed’s partner was JoAnne Bratton who was married to boxer Johnnie Bratton.

They had a child called Derek Truman  Bratton who died in an accident in 1962.

Derek’s nickname was Ric and to his Mother Ric-Tic.

JoAnne told me this sixteen years ago.

Sorry for digressing but Ric-Tic played a huge part in the early days of our scene.

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4 hours ago, MotownSoulMan said:

the yank Now I come to think of it, a while back I heard or read something about Sandy Wynns both being an alias, or a fake if you will, and also possibly being the singer behind a well known Northern Soul tune, but for the life of me I can't remember it now.

She is married to Greg Perry, Edna Wright another name of hers. 

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Hi Mike ,

Motown and Northern Soul are indelibly ,Historically and eternally linked! The artists the producers ,the arrangers and of course those Funk Bros musicians are inspirational ! People as diverse  as ,Ady Croasedale ,Dave Godin and RW, acknowledged the connection to the formation of the Northern Sound.

Its easy to knock Berry Gordy jnr. but he started in 1959 with $500 and in 1988 sold the largest Black owned  independent company for $88 million dollars from assembly line car worker to a current fortune of $350 million! Along the way he purchased Golden World to create DAF ,studio B,and also Stephanye, Maltese ,Impact lables using the production talents of NS legends Browner and Batemen etc ,etc,.

Welcome on board Motown Man ,you are in the company of some of the Worlds finest  Motown Experts ! { P.S. ,Talking of which ,Chalky ?.., Myself and some Spanish Motown /NS ,virgins Have booked for the February 2019 Benalmadena Weekender! Amongst the massive DJ Listing is one Chalky playing a Hitsville Set ,we look forward to enjoying, meeting and dancing to one of my S.S .Heroes Viva Karlos!!.LOL John Darrell Hart ,Malaga,Spain.

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15 hours ago, MotownSoulMan said:

the yank Now I come to think of it, a while back I heard or read something about Sandy Wynns both being an alias, or a fake if you will, and also possibly being the singer behind a well known Northern Soul tune, but for the life of me I can't remember it now.

        Edna Wright is Darlene Love's younger sister. She was also the lead singer of the Honey Cone.

        I'm not sure what Northern song you're talking about. 

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3 hours ago, John Hart said:

Hi Mike ,

Motown and Northern Soul are indelibly ,Historically and eternally linked! The artists the producers ,the arrangers and of course those Funk Bros musicians are inspirational ! People as diverse  as ,Ady Croasedale ,Dave Godin and RW, acknowledged the connection to the formation of the Northern Sound.

Its easy to knock Berry Gordy jnr. but he started in 1959 with $500 and in 1988 sold the largest Black owned  independent company for $88 million dollars from assembly line car worker to a current fortune of $350 million! Along the way he purchased Golden World to create DAF ,studio B,and also Stephanye, Maltese ,Impact lables using the production talents of NS legends Browner and Batemen etc ,etc,.

Welcome on board Motown Man ,you are in the company of some of the Worlds finest  Motown Experts ! { P.S. ,Talking of which ,Chalky ?.., Myself and some Spanish Motown /NS ,virgins Have booked for the February 2019 Benalmadena Weekender! Amongst the massive DJ Listing is one Chalky playing a Hitsville Set ,we look forward to enjoying, meeting and dancing to one of my S.S .Heroes Viva Karlos!!.LOL John Darrell Hart ,Malaga,Spain.

I’ve been called many things by some on this scene but never a hero 😳🤗 however I’m afraid that chalky is the other version, Hitsville Chalky, so you will have to wait a little longer I’m afraid, sorry.

Edited by chalky

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23 hours ago, IanP said:

Motown is a record company/label.

    i don't get the 'Soul & Motown night' thing ?   Soul is Soul , regardless of the label it was released on .

   Imagine someone advertising a 'Soul & RCA' night,    or a 'Soul & ABC' night,      somehow it doesnt work 

    You get the idea

Motown was label but it was also a sound - The Motown Sound"..  That particular sound reached its apex in  66/67. It's this largely on the fours beat that became the bedrock of Northern soul. When Dave Godin first used the term I'm guessing he was mainly referring to Motown or influenced records. I once  heard a  well known oldies dj refer to Motown as the foundation of Northern Soul and I'd agree.  

and let's face it. many of it's biggest hits are much better than the obscure things that  sometimes get raved about. Often the emperor has most definitely lost his clothes. The strange  thing is that many of the biggest and best Motown hits have never received any time at NS events. Yet other records not as good have. E.g The Tams chart-topping Hey Girl Don't Bother Me which must have been played at least once at every Wigan oldies night  I went to. . I bet there are people on the northern scene who've never danced to Get Ready or You Keep  Me hanging On. and would probably run off the floor if they were played. Very strange. In a sense their lack of airplay gives these records a kind of  rarity on the northern scene.  

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