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How many northern soul recods


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I remember Tim Brown speculating on this point in his magazine, early 2000's. Think he estimated around 10'000 known uptempo soul tunes from the 60's, obviously that would widen massively if we include modern and other sub genres such as R and B.  Personally I always thought that estimate was on  the high side, especially if your just looking at uptempo 60's soul. what do you reckon? 

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12 hours ago, Amsterdam Russ said:

Before looking for an answer, can you define 'uptempo soul'? And how do you differentiate between 'sub genres'?

Asking for a friend...

Fair point, that's the rub, really. 

4 hours ago, Leicester Boy said:

500. 🤔😉

Seems like it nowadays. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Geeselad said:

I remember Tim Brown speculating on this point in his magazine, early 2000's. Think he estimated around 10'000 known uptempo soul tunes from the 60's, obviously that would widen massively if we include modern and other sub genres such as R and B.  Personally I always thought that estimate was on  the high side, especially if your just looking at uptempo 60's soul. what do you reckon? 

From what I remember he said his aim was to own every US soul 45 released in the 60s covering all tempos not just uptempo/northern. And that's how he came up with the 10k estimate.

Just a gut feeling but I'd say that "classic" 60s northern on US 45s are in the very low 4 digits. 3000 maybe? Include other 60s 45s from other genres that "crossovered" over the decades and you may add another 1.000?

Please note: I focused on the 60s 45s.

Edited by Benji
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Most must be on you tube....if there was a way of counting them.

I bought jm price guide about 18 years ago. About 28000 listed, and some defined as not particularly best known as NS, but also plenty have playable b sides.

LP only tracks missing.

In reality, I did not, and do not, know reams of titles listed, and plenty I do know, not listed.

I think 50,000 would be a Conservative estimate of tracks between 1963 and 1975 I would dance to.

1975 to present? Probably the same again.

Dazz might not be far away..

Ed

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Some excellent post thanks folk, keep them coming. It is a ' how long is a piece of string discussion', but very interesting non the less.  I don't really want to  pin the to thread to either that narrow definition of uptempo, black or at least black  sounding soul records or the wider definition mentioned above, I'm interested in both and to throw another idea into the fore;

how many have been played on the scene from Rodger Eagle to the current day? 

 

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Why Roger Eagle?

Reason I ask is that in the "development years" of the eventual scene known as Northern Soul...there were 'events' all over the place, not just Manchester, introducing these tunes.

Plenty of books written about the Northampton area, Yorkshire, and even the smoke.

Probably safer to use a year rather than a dj, even though RE is highly respected as a stalwart of the early scene.

Ed

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58 minutes ago, Tomangoes said:

Why Roger Eagle?

Reason I ask is that in the "development years" of the eventual scene known as Northern Soul...there were 'events' all over the place, not just Manchester, introducing these tunes.

Plenty of books written about the Northampton area, Yorkshire, and even the smoke.

Probably safer to use a year rather than a dj, even though RE is highly respected as a stalwart of the early scene.

Ed

Just plucked out of the air, should have said Guy Stevens maybe?  although there of course many other worthy candidates. I'd propose '63 as the start date, the year he started his r and b night at the scene club. 

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If you look at the 100+ Goldmine CD’s, there are probably 2,000 or so uptempo classic Northern tracks compiled - subtract a few hundred as they’re duplicated then add on well known tunes not compiled and that pushes the figure closer to 2,500. This figure excludes classic Motown tracks that were the template for the uptempo sounds to follow in the prime years of 1966-1969. There are many poor uptempo tracks on the B sides of classic records but I would be inclined to ignore them as we’re really trying to enumerate excellent/very good/good/fair sounds that would be collectable. You sometimes hear about collections of 50,000 or 100,000 records but these will have RnB, crossover, Modern, beat ballads, mid-tempo etc but classic uptempo Northern will only constitute a small proportion of these mighty large collections.

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I would like to vent my feelings again, using the original post in an unintended way by saying that because we all agree that their are tens of thousands of upbeat tracks out there. And most of them would be great to hear on a night out, if only to break the endless cycle of tracks that DJ's regularly carry. Well for me, this scenario is the perfect time to say once more that I really don't care if what's played out is on vinyl. It would just be fantastic if you could actually request something and get it played......I wouldn't sniff at all if a digital version blasted out across the floor. Their are just so many titles that could radically change the feel of nights out. Get us out of the deep rut we find ourselves in these last years. I know this won't be a popular thought with most DJ's, but even I have a folder with nearly 7000 superb tracks, of which 90% will never get played at a venue. But it sure would be great to head up to the decks with a track in mind, knowing that you are going to hear it. Like I said, I think it would vastly improve our stale scene.

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3 hours ago, Ratt said:

I would like to vent my feelings again, using the original post in an unintended way by saying that because we all agree that their are tens of thousands of upbeat tracks out there. And most of them would be great to hear on a night out, if only to break the endless cycle of tracks that DJ's regularly carry. Well for me, this scenario is the perfect time to say once more that I really don't care if what's played out is on vinyl. It would just be fantastic if you could actually request something and get it played......I wouldn't sniff at all if a digital version blasted out across the floor. Their are just so many titles that could radically change the feel of nights out. Get us out of the deep rut we find ourselves in these last years. I know this won't be a popular thought with most DJ's, but even I have a folder with nearly 7000 superb tracks, of which 90% will never get played at a venue. But it sure would be great to head up to the decks with a track in mind, knowing that you are going to hear it. Like I said, I think it would vastly improve our stale scene.

I totally understand your sentiments but changing the format, to mp3's,  wouldn't necessarily mean that a DJ would play a request at an event, you'd have to find a selection from the 7'000 that the DJ supported and would be convinced that people might dance to. They might hate it, and it might clear the floor. 

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On 08/06/2022 at 22:31, Benji said:

From what I remember he said his aim was to own every US soul 45 released in the 60s covering all tempos not just uptempo/northern. And that's how he came up with the 10k estimate.

Just a gut feeling but I'd say that "classic" 60s northern on US 45s are in the very low 4 digits. 3000 maybe? Include other 60s 45s from other genres that "crossovered" over the decades and you may add another 1.000?

Please note: I focused on the 60s 45s.

I see where you're coming from but I'd say look at it from the opposite perspective. Assuming a start date of '63 and up to '69, that's 7 years, assume the major centres Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Memphis, Philadelphia, Texas, New Orleans plus some other southern states that's about 49 city-years for production of utptempo soul.  Dave Rimmer's book for New York alone lists 64 record labels, some of the more recognisable ones of those I could pick half a dozen tracks. That's 3,136 city-label-years.

If that resulted in as few as 3,000 tracks it would be on average 1 song per label per year. OK so some labels were small and didn't last long and from '68 onwards there were probably more slow and funky tracks but since there were 10's or 100's of clubs with bands on every night particularly at weekends and a great many of these got a stab at making a record I'd say that an assumption of 10 uptempo per label is safe, thereby giving 31,360. 

Or am I just being a stats nerd 😉

 

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22 hours ago, Ratt said:

I would like to vent my feelings again, using the original post in an unintended way by saying that because we all agree that their are tens of thousands of upbeat tracks out there. And most of them would be great to hear on a night out, if only to break the endless cycle of tracks that DJ's regularly carry. Well for me, this scenario is the perfect time to say once more that I really don't care if what's played out is on vinyl. It would just be fantastic if you could actually request something and get it played......I wouldn't sniff at all if a digital version blasted out across the floor. Their are just so many titles that could radically change the feel of nights out. Get us out of the deep rut we find ourselves in these last years. I know this won't be a popular thought with most DJ's, but even I have a folder with nearly 7000 superb tracks, of which 90% will never get played at a venue. But it sure would be great to head up to the decks with a track in mind, knowing that you are going to hear it. Like I said, I think it would vastly improve our stale scene.

With you 100% there, there's a load of stuff on the Kent and associated re-issues that are uptempo and never heard. Personally couldn't care less wheat format it was on. On the other hand I guess it could just mean anyone could rock up with Spotify on their phone, select a Northern Soul playlist and plug it in! Although some nights just sound like that anyway.

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10.000 easy IMO. Just look at the output of Detroit without even looking at Motown.  100s of labels in one city alone during the peak in the 60s. Then you have the major cities such as Chicago, Philly, LA, Washington.  The number of labels alone must run well into 4 figures. 

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I havent been clubbing for ages, but have still listened to lots online and I have no idea what the total is.  The one thing I would say is trying to come up with an accurate figure now seems near impossible given the different genres that now, whether rightly or wrongly, fit under the Northern heading.  I don't necessarily buy into it was played at a Northern do, therefore it is Northern.  If that is true, Glenn Miller recorded Disco/Jazz/Funk way ahead of its time.

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On 09/06/2022 at 14:57, Ratt said:

I would like to vent my feelings again, using the original post in an unintended way by saying that because we all agree that their are tens of thousands of upbeat tracks out there. And most of them would be great to hear on a night out, if only to break the endless cycle of tracks that DJ's regularly carry. Well for me, this scenario is the perfect time to say once more that I really don't care if what's played out is on vinyl. It would just be fantastic if you could actually request something and get it played......I wouldn't sniff at all if a digital version blasted out across the floor. Their are just so many titles that could radically change the feel of nights out. Get us out of the deep rut we find ourselves in these last years. I know this won't be a popular thought with most DJ's, but even I have a folder with nearly 7000 superb tracks, of which 90% will never get played at a venue. But it sure would be great to head up to the decks with a track in mind, knowing that you are going to hear it. Like I said, I think it would vastly improve our stale scene.

Great post. I fully agree. I couldn't care less what format is played as long as I can dance to it.

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