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Plumb's Peaches in 'Soul Up North' Magazine

 
SOUL UP NORTH 79 - July 2013

Plumb’s Peaches
Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. As always we are concentrating mainly on ‘So Soulful 70’s’ and I can’t believe that the venue I run (with Eddy Edmondson) of the same name has just celebrated its 2nd anniversary on a night that was absolutely fabulous but more of that later, let’s get into the tunes-

 Ike Noble – Your Love – Connowil (‘Fresh Start’ LP)

I reviewed this last issue from the 45 and have since bought the LP, so thought I’d give it another mention J With the recent popularity of slow-to-midtempo tunes like Darrow Fletcher’s ‘It’s no mistake’ becoming very popular on the dance floor, this has all the ingredients to get up there too. Since last issue I’ve heard this out at three other quality venues and it has sounded just right at each. This brilliant song features some fabulous femme backing vocals alongside Ike’s super soulful voice. Couple that with an insistent bass and catchy hookline and you have a future mellow dance floor destroyer. The LP, although harder to find is a longer version than the 45. Don’t forget that he also recorded it on the Chanson label and that version doesn’t have any femme backing, so stick with the Connowil side is my advice! STILL my tip for the top!

 George Frye – Keep on keeping on – Frye (‘Keep on keeping on’ LP)

Staying with the LP’s and this is a recent acquisition and one that will fit perfectly into my Yarmouth/Soul Essence LP-only set. Not an easy LP to find but definitely worth chasing down as this track is a killer mid-tempo groover of the highest order. Takes a couple of plays to get you but when it does it stays with you.

 June Jackson – Tenderly with feeling - Bell

Onto the 45’s and this one was a tip from my old mate Flanny. Out of the blue one day he simply sent me a text with the name of the record and said ‘superb crossover get one now while there’s a couple about’. That was all I needed and indeed there was a couple floating about, a demo and an issue, so of course I bought them both blind and got them safely back to Plumb Towers for a listen. I knew it would be good cos Flanny knows a thing or two about good crossover, so it was no surprise to hear this cracking late 60’s dancer, produced by our old ‘Afternoon on the Rhino’ mate Mike Post! So it’s a big production with a girl with such a voice, you’d think it was a guy. In fact, it could well be a guy and I’ve simply been confused by the name! Anyway, one to look out for that’s for sure!

 Ray Charles – Tired of my tears – ABC/TRC

Staying in crossover territory for a 45 that has been creating a few waves at progressive 70’s venues around the country. Brother Ray on a lovely lilting number from 1972. One you’d be hard pushed to pick out that it was Mr Charles until someone tells you, then it’s obvious! This is a neat little ‘Jimmy Lewis/Jimmy Holiday’ written song that again stays with you after a few plays. Good sing-a-long swayer that will have those hands in the air once it’s been aired a few more times? There are copies of this 45 around if you look but not sure how long they will be around once word gets out!

 Wilson Pickett – Groovin’ – Big Tree  

Staying with the Soul Music legends and this time it’s the mighty Wilson Pickett and his version of the ‘Young Rascals’ 60’s pop hit. My mate Clive Farley played this recently at one of the superb ‘Afternoon Delight’ Sunday afternoon sessions in Leeds and I have to say it was the first time I had ever heard it played out! It has those brilliant vocals of course and couple that with a well-known song AND a familiar bass line and it makes a potential dance floor winner. You know the bass line? Think ‘Betty Wright – Tonight’s the night’ or maybe more familiar on the dance floor via ‘Joseph Webster’ or ‘DJ Genesis’ etc. Certainly one for the future but one that might suffer cos it’s so easy to find but we’ll see? I think pitching it up won’t do it any harm either cos no amount of pitching will f**k with those Wicked vocals!

 Earl Connolly – Don’t let me go - Maycon

With the popularity of the slightly (and in some cases downright) funky dancers currently getting played, this to me is sounding like the DB’s. This came out a few times on ‘Maycon’ so they must have had faith in the song, as there’s a couple of different versions AND a separate instrumental of it on different ‘Maycon’ 45’s. This is the 70’s version with ‘Make up your mind’ on the other side, which was played at The Mecca in the 70’s and does still sound great and probably could do with a few resurrected spins itself BUT ‘Don’t let me go’ is the one for today. Great driving catchy soulful dancer that has an edge of funk about it but does have something about it that could see it rise to prominence in 2013? 

 William Howard – Come to me - Cat

Picture the scene – Yarmouth Weekender, Friday afternoon and the ‘big dog’ (I think he gives himself that name J) Brian Goucher is welcoming us all into the weekend will 5 hours of soulful brilliance, covering all genres, when his mate, Mr Andy Dyson, commandeers the decks for 5 minutes and slips this 45 on! Before long there’s about half a dozen folks around the decks and Brian is seen handing a few crisp £20 notes to Andy with a massive smile on his face. You know the face? The one where the cat’s got the cream OR the big dog’s got the tune of the weekend……………….so what was the fabulous tune everyone was raving about? It’s only a 45 I’ve always loved and thought that ‘one day it could be a big un if played out’ so first job when I got back home was to dig this out and put it back in the playbox cos if Andy & Brian rate it, then that’s good enough for me. What’s it like I hear you ask? Killer dancer is all I need to say (and the B side ain’t too shabby either!)

Cliff Dawson – Some how – Half Moon

Finishing like last issue with a more modern sounding early 80’s dancer. Not often seen on a 45 as there seems to be copies around on a UK 12”. This is the sort of sound that fits well into 70’s venues but can also be played at more contemporary venues playing newer material. Good solid dancer with the excellent vocals of Cliff Dawson who has done a few good tracks over the years. Very catchy and a left field winner if I ever heard one?

SOUL UP NORTH 78 - April 2013

Plumb’s Peaches
Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. After last issue’s dip into the playbox of Bob Cosby, it’s all back to mine for a root around the shelves to find something of interest for y’all. As always we are concentrating mainly on ‘So Soulful 70’s’ and I can’t believe that the venue I run (with Eddy Edmondson) of the same name is just about to celebrate its 2nd anniversary but more of that later, let’s get into the tunes-

 Ike Noble – Your Love – Connowil (45 & LP)

I’ve had this on a 45 for more years than I care to remember and recently dug it out for a long overdue spin and it knocked me out! With the recent popularity of slow-to-midtempo tunes like Darrow Fletcher’s ‘It’s no mistake’ becoming very popular on the dance floor, this has all the ingredients to get up there too. This brilliant song features some fabulous femme backing vocals alongside Ike’s super soulful voice. Couple that with an insistent bass and catchy hookline and you have a future mellow dance floor destroyer. Already tried and tested at ‘So Soulful 70’s’ and certainly destined for greatness. A slightly longer version can be found on his Connowil LP ‘Fresh Start’ BUT beware when trying to find the 45 because he also recorded it on the Chanson label and this version lacks the depth of the Connowil side. It doesn’t have the same femme backing and has less oomph to it (for want of a better word). My tip for the top!

 Oscar Perry – Is It Hard To Know (Unreleased)
Oscar Perry – It’s Too Late Now – Peritone (45)

An Oscar Perry twofer, which can’t be bad can it? ‘Is It Hard To Know’ is a track I first heard over 10 years ago, when Ady Croasdell played it on the radio. A previously unreleased 70’s dancer from his Mercury days which must date it around ‘73 (I think?). I made it my mission to find it and it took me until late last year to get a proper quality copy. I’ve been playing it out regularly since and it always gets folks up asking about it. It is a tremendously smooth production and Oscar’s easily recognisable vocals ride the rhythm to perfection. If Ady ever gets Kent to release this, it will be massive and will create as much of a furore as Spencer Wiggins or Oliver Cheatham have done over the last few years.

 The second Oscar Perry track ‘It’s too late now’ is something I’ve played out occasionally over the last few years and seems to be the last release on his own Peritone label and was missed by most at the time. It’s the perfect mix of ‘I got what you need’ and ‘Mainstring’ so you know it is another quality 70’s dancer from this legendary Soul singer. With both the above being monster reactivations on the Northern scene, there is no reason to think this one can’t make it either? Only problem is, it is not the easiest 45 to find but please make an effort to find one and get it played.

 Gonzalez – Hole In My Soul – RAK (UK/Euro 45)

I first became aware of this 45 a couple of years ago when I heard friends & luminaries such as Paul Havakin, Bob Smith, Rob Kay & Chris Anderton play it out at quality Soul do’s. Trouble was, I never really took to it for three reasons 1) It was by Gonzales (I haven’t stopped dancing yet) 2) It was on RAK (Hot Chocolate etc) and 3) It was written by Chinn & Chapman (Suzi Quatro etc). It was definitely a case of putting the records credentials in front of the actual sound of it! Then a few weeks ago I was listening to an excellent CD from ‘Dab of Soul’ in the car and it came on. I then realised what had taken me two years to work out, that it actually was an excellent record and why was it not in my playbox? I soon put that right and managed to find a European copy with a picture cover and a large centre to make me feel that I have at least kept a shred of credibility J So what’s it like then? Seek it out, hear it and I hope it does not take you two years to appreciate it!

C L Blast – Love Don’t Feel Like Love No More – Juana (US 45)

As with most records I review or play out, I don’t doubt that many collectors know them and many DJ’s have at one time played them out! This is one such record and is a current big reactivation at quality 70’s Soul venues around the UK. The one thing that many are not aware of (including myself until recently)  is that this track got a release on 45 in the 70’s on Juana. It is one of the last releases on the label and was not promoted very well as the label was on the point of folding? I always thought that this was just an LP track as part of his great Cotillion LP but it’s true it is available as an earlier 45 and now that a few have surfaced can only help it gain even more plays and get even bigger the second time around.

 Black Nasty – I Have No Choice – Enterprise (US LP)  

Sacrilege! An early 70’s group version of the Johnnie Mae Matthews Northern Soul classic. The Detroit group famous for their ‘Cut your motor off’ Ritz dancer had an album released by the Stax empire in the early 70’s called ‘Talking to the people’ which spawned this great earthy almost funky version. I believe one of the members of the band was related to Johnnie Mae, hence the song turning up on the LP. The more I play this the more I love it and it always gets people up enquiring about it and are now starting to warm to it like me! This is definitely one for my ‘LP-Only’ set at Soul Essence in April.

 George Soule – Cross My Heart – Muscle Shoals Sounds (US Songwriters Demo 45)

Discovered in the MSS vaults a number of years ago, this is one of a handful of songwriters demo 45’s made to promote the song which eventually came out by Tamiko Jones on Metromedia (and I think that 45 only made demo stage too?) This is the original version written and performed by George Soule and although a songwriters demo it does sound remarkably well finished and is a mighty fine song with a great finger-snapping feel to it. Soul Sam used to play this which in turn sparked renewed interest in Tamiko’s version which saw the value of the Metromedia 45 shoot up in value too.

 William DeVaughn – Be Thankful For What Yo Got (New Version) US Tec/UK EMI 45/LP)

Like the last issue we are going out on a mainstream tip. Re-Recorded by William in 1980 about 7 or 8 years after his original version which was of course a worldwide smash. This ups the tempo and gives it a beefy late 70’s feel and it works a treat. Was played at the time of release on the then ‘Jazz-Funk’ scene in the UK, this sounds marvellous played out today and definitely ripe for reactivation. Cheap as chips too!

SOUL UP NORTH 77 - December 2012

Plumb’s Peaches – aka Cosby’s Chestnuts
Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. For this issue we’re going to have a look in Bob Cosby’s play box. This article comes about after a record and rioja session we had the night we got back from the excellent Soul4Real weekender in Bilbao early in November 2012. Bob has done this column a couple of times over the last few years but this time he let me have a root through and pick out things I either didn’t know or that I did know but didn’t have. Starting with this one-

 Jaison – I know what love is - Conbrio

Rifling through the box I pulled this out as I recognised the singer but not the song. I have an OK LP from her so didn’t think this was going to be anything special, until it hit the deck! Wow, what a record! A lovely mid-tempo gem and the best way to describe it is to say it’s similar to Ella Woods on Merging. Yes, it’s that good. I want one!

 Sweet Pearl – You mean everything to me – Leopard Head

Now I do know this and have heard it played at a few venues over the last few years. In fact I remember Flanny playing it at one of the last Orwell’s we ever did a couple of years ago. From 1981 but sounding earlier, it’s got a real catchy chorus with some neat guitar licks, some tasty horns and some decent vocals. Not yet a classic but well on its way.

 Thomas Lord Duckett – Open up your heart - Razz

Think Bob is quite proud of this 45 and quite rightly so! Reminded me of Stan Ivory ‘Come live with me’ with its vari-tempo style and is a great 70’s dancer (although the label says 1982). Sounds like the best record never to be played at The Mecca. Killer tune that many seasoned collectors and DJ’s are chasing (me included) to no avail!

 Ralph Jackson – I can’t leave your love alone - Rajac

Karamba! This is a beast of a record. I first heard it at Soul Essence/Yarmouth this year and was blown away by this driving Southern Soul dancer that has just about everything. Another 45 that Bob is hammering at every opportunity and quite rightly so, cos if I had one I’d be doing the same. Great vocals, great song with a choppy guitar-led rhythm that fits right into that ‘Funky Northern’ tag (however clichéd that tag is, that’s what this is a perfect description of!)

 Small Society – If you stand by me - Cadde

With lead vocals from Willie Bollinger, this is another record I’d heard before via Jordi Ripolles on one of his and his brother Dave’s great radio shows.  And what a lovely track it is too. From 1973 this is another guitar-led funky mover with the lovely vocals of Mr Bollinger. An added bonus is that there is a killer Deep Soul track on the B side!

 Bill Murphy + 1 – Ain’t no big thing - Martin

I didn’t originally want to play this as it’s one of my favourite songs of all time plus the Jimmy James version is my favourite UK Soul recording ever, so another version I wasn’t too fussed about hearing. Bob insisted I listen and I’m glad I did as it is a completely different version that gives a real ‘Tighten Up’ feel to this classic song. In fact it is a tremendous Crossover dancer that definitely has legs and one that deserves to be played at quality Soul venues up and down the country. Nice one Bob!

 The Majestics – Turn back the hands of time - Lady
Same goes for this one! Who needs another version? But again this is different enough to warrant a spin or two. Tyrone’s original is of course the blueprint for Crossover Soul but this obscure group version definitely has its own charm and certainly doesn’t sound out of place when played out! Bob dropped this at Bilbao and it went down a storm.

Mighty Clouds of Joy – Glow Love - Myrrh

The last selection from Cosby’s Chestnuts and going out on a mainstream tip. Produced in 1980 by Al McKay from Earth Wind & Fire, it sounds like the perfect mix of The Emotions ‘Best of my love’ and ‘Cheryl Lynn’s ‘Got to be real’. A real contemporary Gospel dancer that sounds familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. As most of the other selections are obscure (to say the least), this one isn’t too difficult to find and a copy was quickly winging its way to Plumb Towers. A good tip from Mr Cosby and one that could well catch on?

SOUL UP NORTH 76 - September 2012

Plumb’s Peaches
Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. For this issue we’re going to have another look at a few 70’s items that have fought their way to the front of the play box-

Oliver Cheatham – Don’t pop the question – Soul Junction

In SUN74 I warned you to look out for a track called ‘Don’t pop the question’ from a (then) unknown artist which I said would be massive if it got a ave all got n guysrelease in 2012. Well, the artist has been tracked down and it is none other than Oliver Cheatham. Dave Welding at Soul Junction heard the record and recognised Oliver’s vocals. Needless to say, months later the deal has been done and the 45 is imminent. The track in question is a brilliant Modern Soul dancer recorded originally in 1974 for Detroit’s Magic City label but which never made it out at the time. An acetate was cut at the time only to surface on eBay a couple of years ago and be snapped up by a collector in Italy called Marco Cavenaghi. With his fellow collectors Olindo Di Tozio & Kevin Oxberry they realised the potential and ensured MP3 copies went to the right people. Finally after two years it makes its debut on 45 so the whole world can play it and love it.

 Sweet Rain – Love don’t go away – RCA Acetate LP

OK talking of unreleased acetates bought from eBay, try this little beauty! Now this is one I was lucky enough to win myself after hearing a sound bite on the site. The fabulous finished production and lush arrangement, coupled with a great vocal and catchy song had me thinking that the world and his wife would be bidding on it! Thankfully for me it went under the radar and it now resides at Plumb Towers. The whole LP is great but was shelved with just two of the tracks coming out on an RCA 45 (Magic Man – which got a few last hour Mecca spins back in the day). The more I listen to ‘Love don’t go away’ the more I am convinced it’s a potential 70’s monster. As it’s so elusive, maybe I’m suffering from ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ syndrome BUT a few friends whose taste I trust have agreed with me, it has massive potential! Anyone know anyone at RCA?

 Sonny & Winsome – Keep on doing – P&P 111

This is another recent acquisition that I was absolutely gob-smacked when it arrived as it is exactly the same as ‘Bo & Ruth – You’re gonna get next to me - Claridge’. Not a version but exactly the same record! God knows how or why this came out like this? Is it the original take or is it some sort of weird New York bootleg? It says it’s produced by Patrick Adams and supervisor is Peter Brown on the classic P&P label (Bo Kirkland and Hense Powell are credited on the Claridge 45). If anyone knows any information on this mysterious 45 please let me know on info@soulmusic.co.uk It is nice to play it out on this 45 though, as it’s had a revival of late in the 70’s rooms.

 True Example – As long as you love me/Love is finally coming my way – Gold Mine 4005

For many years I thought this was only available on a US 12” until I spotted it on a list a while ago and bagged it for the 45 box. Both sides of this Salsoul subsidiary are excellent dancers from 1977. ‘As Long’ is the more sophisticated track which wouldn’t be out of place on any 70’s dance floor, whilst ‘Love is’ is potentially another ‘Janice’ as it’s a driving dancer that could easily get spins at Northern do’s. Perfect for the Northern DJ looking to give ‘em summat a little different. Fabulous double sider and although both sides are shorter than the 12”, it just serves to get right into the meat of both songs.

 Luscious Three – Take me as I am/Say what you mean – T’Suga Rays 300

It is so hard these days to go somewhere and NOT hear an old last hour at The Mecca track. This just goes to show the foresight of Messrs’ Curtis & Levine. This is one that has hardly had a look in over the last 30 years but maybe with the penchant for the 70’s dancer with a funkier edge, this track could come roaring back? I hear Cliff Steele has also revived this at Lifeline and I can see why as it’s a terrific driving uptempo funky femme dancer. Don’t dismiss the B side either as it can only be described as Deep Femme Crossover J I love both sides to bits!

Epicentre – Get off the phone – KYYX-FM (From the LP ‘Seattle Grown’)

This is yet another LP only track that has been doing the business over the last few years. I first heard this at Yarmouth played by Bob Cosby and it really hit home straight away with me. Soul Sam has also been known to give it the odd spin too. It’s a really good soulful dancer from 1978 with a great hook line that will stay with you for ages after. One to look out for but the LP is proving to be a bit of a toughie to find.

 Archie Bell & The Drells – Real good feeling – Phil Int (From the LP ‘Hard not to like it’)
Are we ever going to run out of Philly International 70’s dancers? Don’t think so! Once you’ve heard this LP-only track a couple of times it becomes as familiar as any of your fave Philly tracks. Has been played out in the past but has never really been given the recognition it deserves. This is the kind of stuff we are playing at ‘So Soulful 70’s. It doesn’t have to be rare as long as it has the right ingredients and this semi-known killer is certainly not rare by any stretch of the imagination but sounds like it should be.

 Doc Peabody – Here without you – Both Sides

OK after talking about cheap records above, here’s a rare ‘un that is also one of the most soulful records ever to be played at any Soul night anywhere. When Butch played this at The Orwell many moons ago I nearly died. The record is so soulful it’s nearly unreal! The lyrics are so sad yet listening and dancing to it lifts you to a different plain that only someone into Soul Music can explain. I don’t need to explain it to anyone reading this though! I just thank the day Glyn Thornhill donated this to me and getting used to having one testical pales into insignificance every time I slip this on the deck.

SOUL UP NORTH 75 - April 2012

Plumb’s Peaches a.k.a. Oh That’s Nice Innit! 

Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. For this issue we’re going to have a look at a selection of unusual US 70’s Soul 45’s.  Unusual in-as-much as the tracks themselves are well known (Very well known in some cases) BUT are not often seen in these guises. Starting with the 45 that prompted this article-

Maxine Brown – Bella Mia/Picked up packed and put away – AVCO 4612
I’ve always loved both these tracks and for many years thought it was only ever available as a horrible looking ‘painted’ label UK Avco 45 and that the US copy was a double-sided demo of ‘Picked up’. Even the mighty Manship book doesn’t have the issue in it! Imagine my delight when after a soul-source forum debate about ‘Bella Mia’ someone offered me an US issue. Once it was residing at Plumb Towers, I decided it was time to write about a few more oddities like this that I’ve collected over the years! By the way ‘Bella Mia’ is the most beautiful of tracks from 1973 and ‘Picked up’ is still a 70’s Northern Soul monster in the making! Maxine Brown still has many of her secrets to share with us!

 Jean Plum – Look at the boy/Back to you – Hi 2297
Staying with a 45 that is more commonly seen on a UK issue or a double-sided US demo. Here we have an US issue that I had searched for for years. I nearly gave it up as a bad job, when out the blue a couple of years ago I was asked my opinion on the price someone should ask for a Hi issue? Suffice to say I priced it high enough for it to take a trip to deepest Lancashire, where it resides today. Two brilliant Memphis tracks from 1975 and of course ‘Look at the boy’ needs no introduction BUT ‘Back to you’ is a brilliant Deep Soul track that you simply don’t get on the US demo! Looks fabulous too
J

 Lou Ragland – Since you said you were mine/I didn’t mean to leave you – Warner Brothers 7734
A pattern is emerging here with another US issue of a more commonly seen UK issue. Again, to own both tracks most folks have to have it on the UK WB issue or have to settle for a double-sided US white demo of ‘Since’. The B side is definitely worth having though as it’s another stunning Deep Soul winner. And how good does a US issue of this iconic 70’s Northern Soul anthem look?

 Ron Keith – Gotta go by what you tell me/Party Music – A&M 1780
For many years many people thought this classic stepper was only on a UK A&M 45. But if you dig a bit deeper you can come up with this tasty US copy. It has the same coupling as the UK 45 with the B side being an OK version of Pat Lundy’s ‘Party Music’.

Carl Hall – What about you/Who’s gonna love me – Columbia 45813
OK onto some US double-sided demos with missing B sides. Most people are happy enough to own the iconic ‘What about you’ on a double-sided demo but the Columbia issue from 1973 is simply stunning. Pity we don’t have the scans in colour but you’ll get the gist from the scan of the classic orangey/yellow label. The issue is tough to find BUT imagine getting a wonderful B side as an added bonus? That’s exactly what we have here and although ‘What’ is absolute anthem, the B side ‘Who’s’ is also a stunning piece of down-tempo Soul Music from the Soul Hero that is Carl Hall.

 Channel 3 – The sweetest thing/Someone else’s arms – Dakar 4520
Staying in 1973 and the story from the Carl Hall 45 above is EXACTLY the same as for this Crossover monster. Again most people are happy enough to own the iconic ‘Sweetest thing’ as a double-sided white demo BUT a Dakar issue is again simply stunning to behold with its Black label and splash of horizontal rainbow colour. Again, another B side as an added bonus as ‘Someone else’s arms’ is a sublime piece of Deep Soul that just needs to be heard to be believed.

 Life – Tell me why/That’s Life – Reprise 1185
One of the greatest ever 70’s Northern Soul dancers really does look the business on a rarely seen ‘Mustard’ Reprise issue. All the original double-sided white demos are blighted by a lookalike bootleg from the mid 70’s, so the only way to own this is on the issue. You’d think that an extra B side would make it worth it too BUT unfortunately it’s not all that good at all!

Mary Wells – Cancel my subscription/If you can’t give her love (give her up) – Reprise 1308
Staying with rare Reprise issues and this one has a really interesting story to it! The normal issues that you see of ‘If you can’t’ have the same release number (#1308) BUT have a different B side in ‘Don’t keep me hanging on’. However, the very first issues had ‘Cancel my subscription’ on the B side only for it to be quickly pulled and replaced with ‘Don’t keep’. God knows why ‘Cancel’ was cancelled as it’s a brilliant song with a wicked Bobby Womack inspired mid-tempo groove to it. By the way, I’m sure most will know and love ‘If you can’t give her love’ but if you haven’t yet heard it, I’d recommend you pick up the 45 in whatever guise you can as it’s a fantastic female take on the Bobby Womack original.

 Lorraine Johnson – If you want me to be more of a woman, you’ve got to be more of a man/Can I hold you to it – Atlantic 2967
Marvellous double sider produced by the main man Sam Dees. Southern Soul at it’s very best as here we get a lovely little mover in ‘Can I hold you to it’ backed with ‘If you want’ which is a Deep Soul tune that ticks all the right boxes (as well as being one of the longest song titles of all time!). So apart from being two killer sides (again from 1973) what’s it doing in this article? Oh yes, you only get ‘If you want me’ on the rarely seen Atlantic issue
J

 Tony Drake – Suddenly/It hurts me more – Brunswick 55437
OK finishing off with a classic 45 that gets the ultimate Plumb’s Peaches eye-candy award…..Tony Drake on a Brunswick issue! Exactly the same coupling as the Light Blue demo (don’t dismiss the neat B side by the way?) so this is purely an aesthetic thang, as the late 60’s Black label with the horizontal rainbow arrow is so rarely seen, many doubt its existence. Well believe it baby cos here it is!

SOUL UP NORTH 74 - January 2012

Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches.

For this issue we’re going to have a look back at what I consider to be the Top 10 ‘previously unreleased’ 70’s Soul 45’s from 2011 and we’ll finish with a few nice things to look out for that have recently been found in the vaults and are set for 45 release in 2012. Sometimes it is hard to believe that certain tracks have remained in the can for so long and 2011 was a great year for those previously unreleased tracks. So here we go-

Candi Staton – One more hurt – Kent ‘Select’ 45 - CITY 020
Starting with one of the best releases in 2011 from the mighty Ace/Kent Records and a track from the legend that is Candi Staton. Recorded in 1973 this is a gem of a track that remained unissued until Tony Rounce and his band of merry men started trawling through the tapes in the Fame vaults! If you have been to any quality Northern Soul or 70’s/Crossover Soul night in 2011, it is likely you’ve heard and probably danced to this sublime track? Also released on her CD ‘Evidence’ CDKEND 353.

Marjorie Ingram – Another woman involved – Hit and Run - HR 1506
Moving over to the Hit & Run label who have concentrated on releasing previously unissued tracks on 45 for the last couple of years. The label was originally born in the mid 70’s and released 3 quality Southern Soul/Deep Soul 45’s from Eddie Giles, Mighty Sam & George Perkins and when the label re-launched in 2009 it kept its original concept of releasing high quality soulful 45’s. Thankfully tastes have changed and these kinds of tracks are today being accepted at a wider range of Soul clubs. Marjorie Ingram is a superb female vocalist who had a criminally small amount of tracks released in the 70’s and this one was passed by at the time. Thankfully, Garry Cape the owner of Hit & Run tracked down this wonderful 70’s Soul dancer and made it available to us all in 2011. The 70’s Soul boys and girls have given this plenty of turntable time this year but I do tend to think its place on the Northern Soul dance floor is still to come!

Frank Johnson – Love slave – Hit and Run - HR 1512
Staying with Hit & Run for yet another previously unissued 70’s Southern Soul dancer from the very well respected Frank Johnson. After a great little piano intro this turns into a neat little mover that just stays in your head long after the track has finished. Made in 1972 by the expert production team of Clayton Ivey & Terry Woodford, who made more than their fair share of top quality Soul & Funk tracks over the years! Most of the Hit & Run 45’s have a dancer on one side and a Deep Soul track on the other and this is no exception!

 James Patterson – Silent/The Fantastics – We got good lovin’ – Acid Jazz
Two fabulous tracks from a recent EP from Acid Jazz make it jointly into the Top 10. Only scheduled for release in November but as I’ve had these for a few months now and have played them often they easily deserve to be in the best of 2011. Taken from ‘Graham Dee’s Hitsville London EP’ which also contains two other unreleased tracks from Maxine and Donnie Elbert, all recorded in the late 60’s in London by producer and songwriter Graham Dee. James Patterson is a lovely jazzy soulful affair that gets better with every play and really kicks into a slightly funky groove at the end too! The Fantastics is just a lovely easy-going Crossover/Group Soul lilting track that will certainly get plays in the more refined 70’s Soul rooms and a plethora of quality Radio Stations too! By the way, there is a full CD’s worth of Graham Dee productions out on Acid Jazz too which is certainly worth tracking down! Graham was also responsible for writing and producing one of my favourite ever Crossover Soul tracks by Tony & Tandy called ‘The bitter and the sweet’.

 Jesse James – Your love is changing – Soul Junction SJ 508
What a find! Ttempo 70’s dancer which is tayeased versions of this song knocking about too, one being by the great Soulstress Katie Love. e his is the song a.k.a. Changin’ which has been played on the 70’s/Modern Soul scene over the years by Esther Philips and/or Sharon Ridley but this is the original demo version by the song’s writer and total Soul hero Jesse James. This gives a male take on the track and still retains those brilliant elements that we all love in a Soul record, great soulful vocals, good song, catchy chorus and the lovely use of real instruments!

 Natural Impulse – We’re gonna make it through – Soul Junction SJ 510
Another killer 45 from the Soul Junction guys. After releasing their iconic rarity ‘She went away’ in 2008 it transpired that one of the original band members found a recording they had made in the 70’s stuck in an old tape machine! After months of careful handling this superb 70’s funky Northern Soul dancer emerged. Played across many scenes this driving dancer has been a real highlight of 2011.

 Don Varner – The power of love – Shotgun SHOT 108
Only ever previously available on a Japanese compilation LP from the late 80’s. This previously unreleased 60’s Northern/Crossover mid-tempo dancer from the great Don Varner was one of many quality 45 releases on the Shotgun label in 2011. This could come back and surprise a few in years to come?

 Four Tops – To care – Soul Intention SI 004
An unreleased non-Motown record by the Four Tops is certainly not to be sniffed at! This was recorded in the late 70’s when they were at Casablanca and did appear about 10 years ago on a CD/LP compilation of unreleased George Clinton related tracks BUT was unleashed on 45 to great aplomb in 2011. An up-tempo 70’s dancer which is tailor made for the Northern Soul dance floors with its pounding beat and the ever wonderful vocals of Levi Stubbs on a very catchy song. Now it’s on 45 it will certainly stand a chance of finally making it!

 Otis Williams – I got to have you/Take me back – Soul Intention SI 005
Another great release from Soul Intention sees a wonderful double sider that got plenty of spins at quality Soul venues in 2011. Originally thought to be unreleased, it did eventually transpire that it was available on a mysterious promo 45 from the mid 80’s! Both sides sound like they were made in the mid 70’s and are both great examples of that free-flowing 70’s style that is so popular right now. Hard to split them, so they go into the Top 10 together!

Spencer Wiggins – I’m at the breaking point – Kent ‘Select’ 45 - CITY 017
Finishing with what is undoubtedly my number one 45 of 2011. This is one of the best records I’ve ever heard and my nomination for the best ‘Previously Unreleased’ Soul 45 of the year……Congratulations to Ady Croasdell and the Ace/Kent team for putting this out as it was another tune that went on to be played at many a quality Soul Night in 2011. Found in the FAME vaults and unbelievably this was never released at the time! Originally recorded in 1969 and one listen will tell you that this has everything - brilliant vocals, great song, cooking backing, horns to die for, driving piano, chattering tambourine! If anyone ever asks you just what is Crossover Soul, simply point them in the direction of this 45. Magnificent! It has also crossed over and had spins at many Northern Soul nights too, which is great to see! Also released on his CD ‘Feed the flame’ CDKEND 340

SOUL UP NORTH 73 - October 2011

Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches.

 Gonna have a change this issue………you know when you watch an episode of ‘Friends’ and the writers haven’t come up with anything, so they make an episode made up of clips from past shows? That’s what this issue of ‘Plumb’s Peaches’ is all about J

 I thought it could be fun to look back at some of the tunes I’ve wrote about since becoming part of the SUN family over 5 years ago and see what’s happened to them? Did they make it? Are they still bubbling under? Are they still completely ignored and alone? Read on and find out!

 All my original comments are included here, with nothing added or taken away!

 From SUN52 (Summer 2006) (Orig written for ‘On The Scene’ April’06)

Skip Jackson – I’m onto you girl – Dotmar US 45

Finally taking its place in the hearts (and feet) of the Northern & Modern Soul fans. Cracking, finger snapping, catchy Soul dancer of the highest order. Soul vocals to die for too! Even though this is possibly a late 60’s recording, the other side has a later feel and is itself an awesome piece of Mid-Tempo Crossover Soul. It’s called ‘Promise that you’ll wait’ and is a Vietnam/Message song and has a beautiful feel to it. Great value 45 which has risen steadily in value over the last 3 or 4 years!

From SUN5? (Spring? 2006) (Origi written for ‘On The Scene’ Dec’05)

David Ruffin - Rode by the place (where we used to stay) - Motown US 45 With the acceptance of Bill Harris on the Northern scene, Van McCoy written late 70's dancers like this can now find their rightful place on the Northern dance floors. Originally played as a reactivated oldie by Richard Searling on his radio show and also picked up by the Soul In The Sun crew, this wonderful soulful dancer has finally found its way onto many Northern playlists. The subtle blending of Ruffins rasping vocals and the Van McCoy 'strings n things' rhythm make this a joy to listen or dance to!

 From SUN5? (Autumn? 2006) (Orig written for ‘On The Scene’ Feb’06)

Mel & Tim – Forever and a day – Stax US 45

Spun in the early days by my mate Flanny when we did the ‘On the real side’ 70’s nights at The Saints way back when. We still spin this today and it’s time gets ever closer! Wonderful free flowing dancer that most fall in love with on first play! Pretty difficult to find on a 45 but is also included on the ‘Mel & Tim’ LP that also includes the brilliant stepper ‘Keep the faith’.

 From SUN58 (Winter 2007)

Young Devines – Ain’t that sharp – Note

This was my number one spin and best friend for most of 2007! Obtained from Flanny in one of his many ‘Hot Box’ moments and was a great cause for celebration once the deal was done! The word sublime doesn’t do this record justice, as it’s just the most wonderful of songs with a lovely almost jazz feel to it! Sort of an uptempo finger snapper with a great tinkling piano (not dissimilar to the one in ‘Lonely Lover’) and great vocal harmonies. Hear it at all costs is my advice and I believe Dave Thorley also has the hots for this 45 so demand he plays it next time you see him! Essential!

 From SUN59 (Spring 2008)

Sir Henry Ivy – He left you standing there – Future Dimensions

Cheating a bit here! I dug out this dancer (originally played on the fledgling Modern Soul scene of the early 80’s) a couple of years ago and tried to break it at The Orwell to no avail. It got played at the recent Lifeline weekender and opinion was that this is dead right for now………….so I’ve dug it out again! This is the type of record that ‘just’ might cross over to the Northern scene (famous last words eh?). The only thing that might hold it back is that it isn’t easy to come by. This is a great late 70’s dancer with its driving incessant bass line, funky brass and superb Southern vocals. Listen out for it at a Soul Night near you!

From SUN62 (Winter 2008)

Willie Hutch – When a boy falls in love (Part 1) – RCA

My regular homage to fellow collectors & DJ’s who inspire me continues with this absolute belting record from one of our all-time Soul heroes, Willie Hutch! I first heard Paul Havakin play this out and loved it so much that it just had to be hunted down and put immediately to the front of the play box! A Sam Cooke song with a slow intro that breaks out into one of the loveliest easy-listening crossover dancers you’re ever likely to hear! Willie is in fine fettle on this lovely disc and to prove the point of how records become popular………..I played it at The Orwell and Baz Maleedy flipped like I did, tracked it down and now it’s at the front of his play box too! I’m sure it will make its way into other play boxes as word gets out about this brilliant disc!

From SUN64 (Summer 2009)

Isley Bros - Who's that lady - UA (1963 version)

Don’t ask me why but I’ve never really taken any notice of this original version? I just thought it would be like the hit version (‘That Lady’ from 1973) but earlier sounding. How wrong could I be? It’s like three different songs rolled into one with elements of early Curtis Mayfield’s Chicago Soul sound, Doo Wop & Jazz melding into one brilliant 45! I was trading with Cliff Steele, saw it in his box and gave it a quick spin, more out of interest really and it knocked me for six! It’s so cool it’s ridiculous with a sound that fits at least three different scenes today! Played it to death since getting it, so it’s sounding like I’ve known it all my life now!

 From SUN66 (Winter 2009)

Kool Blues – Can we try love again – US Capsoul 45

From 1974 but sounding at least 4 years earlier, this just about sums up everything great about early 70’s Crossover Soul for me? Well produced but with enough rough edges to give it character! From the guitar intro to the slightly off beat drum fills to the interchanging harmonies of the lead and backing vocals to the naggingly insistent hook line that is crying out to be danced to! What a record! Already known about and worshipped in some quarters BUT one day it will be known by everyone!

 From SUN68 (Summer 2010)

Billy Hawks – O’Baby (I believe I’m losing you) – Prestige LP ‘Heavy Soul’

Gonna stick my neck out here and predict this record will cross over to the Northern Scene! It’s a monster 60’s Jazz/Soul track that is already revered as a classic on various Funk, Jazz & Modern Soul scenes BUT I’m convinced the first big name Northern Jock to give this a spin will have an instant monster on their hands? It’s an LP only track from 1967 (although there is a ridiculously hard to find 60’s French 45 and it got a UK 45 issue in the 90’s too) and is quite tricky to find but the search will be worthwhile! It has a fabulous rhythm and Billy has a decent voice and the whole track comes across as bossa nova meets 60’s James Brown! Seek out a listen so you can work it out for yourself. My thanks go out to Bob ‘The Crate’ Smith who tracked me a copy down!

 From SUN70 (Winter 2010)

Charlene & The Soul Serenaders – Can you win/Love changes – Volt

My favourite record of the moment! I’ve had ‘Love changes’ on a double sided W/D for many years and have been chasing an issue copy for quite a while now! Good things come to those who wait, so this year an issue copy was secured via Pete Smith and I’m forever grateful to him for it too! ‘Love changes’ is the better Soul side as it’s a beautiful mid tempo brass laden ‘radio’ & ‘tape swappers’ tune BUT ‘Can you win’ is simply a dance floor monster waiting to happen! Well it has already happened on the Funk scene but when this crosses over to the Northern & 70’s scenes it will go off the radar! This is a brilliant soulful dancer from 1970 with a dash of funk that grows and grows with every play. Seems to be cropping up on many wants lists and is climbing in price daily! Buy now or regret it forever!

 So there you go, 10 of my selections and descriptions from past ‘Soul Up North’s’ and it is great to see some went on to be mega in-demanders, whilst some still teeter on the edge of greatness! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane?

SOUL UP NORTH 72 - July 2011

Plumb’s Peaches aka Steve’s Soulful Seventies Spins!

 Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches.

 Thanks to Bob Cosby for sharing some of his chestnuts with us last issue! Some killer stuff as always from Bob which certainly lengthened my wants list!

 Since I’ve been away I’ve launched a new venue with Eddy Edmondson (of ‘Soul in the Sun’ fame) called ‘So Soulful 70’s’ in a lovely little venue between Leyland & Chorley in sunny Lancashire called The Ley Inn! The first one was completely sold out and was a fabulous night. Our second one is on Saturday August 6th (see the advert somewhere in the mag). On with the tunes!

 Sam & Bob – Love me or leave me – Sabo ‘Mississippi Mud’ LP

A brilliant track from an incredibly hard to find LP from duo Sam Mosley & Bob Johnson, who had some success as Mosley & Johnson in the 80’s! This is an album they recorded for their own label in the late 70’s and although the LP is full of great tracks, this is the stand out track for me! Brilliant Southern Soul mover that fitted in so well when I slipped it into my ‘LP Only’ set at Yarmouth in April. On the LP there is also a fine version of a track that I reviewed in this mag some years ago by Doris Badie (Why is leaving me so hard to do). And guess what? Doris Badie is the featured vocalist on this version too! I don’t suppose you’re likely to hear this out much due to its scarcity BUT a little birdie tells me that negotiations with ‘Sam & Bob’ may well see it released on 45 in the near future?

 Andre Maurice – A man at ten – Bale ‘Evening’ LP

Andre Maurice is known about on the UK Soul Scene because of his 70’s funky dancer ‘You’re the cream of the crop’ which was played at The Mecca, The Ritz etc in the 70’s! This is an LP he did on the same label which contains this little known mid-tempo Crossover gem! I was put on to this track by Christian Riveira from Italy, who has been playing it at the Rimini weekender for the last couple of years. It’s actually a sad story of a guy whose dad left him at ten years old and having to be a man from thereon in! Again, not the easiest LP to find but should not set you back three figures!

Eddie Holman – Time will tell – Salsoul 45

For all our pontificating about rare records, it was actually records like this that prompted me and Eddy to give birth to our ‘So Soulful 70’s’ nights! Cheap as chips but an absolute quality hidden B side that is crying out to be played at every Northern Soul night in the country! The other side of course to ‘This could be a night to remember’ making this a brilliant double sider that should be in every record collection!

 Marie Franklin – Being in love isn’t easy – Castle 45

This is my favourite recent acquisition! I’d heard it on the radio a couple times and made a mental note to pick it up next time I saw it for sale. I don’t know how a record as good as this could have passed me by for so long but at the moment I’m making up for it by playing it at home at least once a day!  What’s it like I hear you ask? Well after a long spoken intro it kicks into a soulful ‘just above mid tempo’ dancer that has a slinky Staple Singers vibe to it and the hookiest of hook lines will have you singing it all day! Marie’s voice is similar to Mavis Staples and this is a real gem of a record that should find favour at the classy end of the 70’s Soul market!

 Impressions – Potent love – Curtom ‘Times have changed’ LP

I first heard this played out at the Soul4Real weekender in October 2010. In fact it was Bob Cosby who nudged me and said ‘This is a bit tasty, who is it?’ The DJ, a certain Andy ‘Tats’ Taylor back announced it as Leroy Hutson! Simple, I have all Leroy’s work so I’ll dig it out when I get home! Think again! Sneaky Mr Taylor wasn’t giving us the whole story. Although not a cover up per se it turns out it was a track from the first Impressions LP they made without Curtis Mayfield with a then unknown vocalist called Leroy Hutson! Anyhow, after finally finding out the real story, the LP was dug out BUT it seems that everyone and their dog are currently looking for this album and it is NOT easy to find now! Even the reissue has disappeared! Never mind that I hear you ask, what’s it like? Fucking brilliant is my answer J

 David Coleman – Drown in my heart – Barry 45

Latin Soul is still a hot potato on the UK Northern AND 70’s scenes and here’s this issues recommendation! I think this got spins at Stafford back in the day but become more and more popular in the last few years! I just love everything about this record and it’s one that I’m sure will go down well at Worcester’s ‘Soulful Sessions’ when I guest there in July. The price on this has shot up recently, so get one now or regret it forever is my advice!

Joe Wilson – Let a broken heart come in – Dynamo

The beauty of loving and collecting Soul Music from the early 60’s to 2011 is that there is ALWAYS something to learn. Never a week goes by when I don’t hear something for the first time! This record hit me last week and I’m sure I’ve heard it before and probably have it somewhere on MP3 but didn’t have a copy on 45. Thankfully it’s not hard to get, so a copy was delivered to Plumb Towers two days later! This is another of those early 70’s ‘not quite Southern but not quite Northern’ tracks that sound so good to these ears these days! Almost like Malaco’s attempt to recreate ‘Open the door to your heart’ but in their own inimitable fashion! How good does the white Dynamo demo look too!

 Martha Bass – Since I’ve been born again – Checker ‘Rescue me’ LP

Finishing as always with a 60’s track and this is another quite recent spin on the Northern Scene? Mother of Fontella Bass (who also does a fine version of ‘Rescue me’ on the LP) this is a real Gospel meets Northern Soul 60’s dancer which still has a lot of mileage left in it. Real driving backing track and excellent vocals propel this beauty along in fine style!

SOUL UP NORTH 70 - December 2010

Plumb’s Peaches aka Steve’s Soulful Seventies Spins!

 Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches.

 After last issues delve into the Grapevine 2000 ‘unissued’ back catalogue, this issue we go back to the record boxes to pull out a handful of records that are currently getting turntable time at Plumb Towers and beyond. Some are new acquisitions and some I’ve had for years but as always all are ripe for the picking!

Charlene & The Soul Serenaders – Can you win/Love changes – Volt

My favourite record of the moment! I’ve had ‘Love changes’ on a double sided W/D for many years and have been chasing an issue copy for quite a while now! Good things come to those who wait, so this year an issue copy was secured via Pete Smith and I’m forever grateful to him for it too! ‘Love changes’ is the better Soul side as it’s a beautiful mid tempo brass laden ‘radio’ & ‘tape swappers’ tune BUT ‘Can you win’ is simply a dance floor monster waiting to happen! Well it has already happened on the Funk scene but when this crosses over to the Northern & 70’s scenes it will go off the radar! This is a brilliant soulful dancer from 1970 with a dash of funk that grows and grows with every play. Seems to be cropping up on many wants lists and is climbing in price daily! Buy now or regret it forever!

 Joyce Williams – The first thing I do in the morning – Nickel

I don’t know if I read about this somewhere before but I decided to buy it blind on the ‘bay as it looked interesting? When it arrived I was more than pleasantly surprised as it’s a lovely rolling mid tempo funky soulful mover with Joyce’s vocals having more than a tinge of Esther Philips about them! The Funk scene has probably known it for years but it’s new to me this year! It’s a tad slow for Northern rooms but I could see it going down well at 70’s & Crossover venues. Will try it out and get back to you?

 Jo Armstead – There’s not too many more (left like him) – Giant

Talking of 70’s & Crossover venues, this is my latest reactivation at Plumb Towers. I’ve played and loved this for 20+ years but recently I’ve been giving it an airing whenever possible as it is the epitome of Crossover Soul to me! Late 60’s mid tempo magic with a supreme production from Jo and a certain Mike Terry! Jo Armstead never lets us down vocally either and this feel good finger snapping tune does it for me every time! Still not mega bucks to buy but I’d shake a leg and bag one if it isn’t on your shelves!

 The Paramount Four – Sorry ain’t the word – Kent 31st Anniversary 45

Along with Spencer Wiggins’ ‘I’m at the breaking point’ (which should be out on 45 by the time you read this) this is my favourite ‘new/old’ track of 2010. Kent Records have played a blinder finding these two tracks and now this has been unleashed on 45 there will be no stopping it becoming THE top tune in the country! Bloody marvellous male group Northern Soul/Crossover dancer. A total joy to listen to or to dance to! Let’s hope that Kent also release their other monster-in-the-making ‘Candi Staton – One more hurt’ in 2011 too, as that’s a beast of a track too!

 New Holidays – Maybe so maybe no – Westbound

Staying with the male groups and another one from off the shelves and a long time favourite of mine that sounds so relevant for today! Harmonies to die for on this Crossover number that has every chance to become a mid tempo monster! Another ‘tape swappers’ tune that is starting to get played out and about. There is also a very good and very recent version of this by a young fella from California. Can’t think of his name but type the title into ‘youtube’ and you’ll find it! Of course the other side of this is the Northern classic ‘My baby ain’t no plaything’ which still gets me on the dance floor!

 Joe Bataan – Special girl – Fania

Latin Soul is still a hot potato on the UK Northern AND 70’s scenes and here’s another classic from Joe Bataan! Totally uplifting New York Soulful Salsa dance tune that is getting plays from a whole bunch of DJ’s at the moment! Joe Bataan was absolutely sensational at the recent Vintage @ Goodwood weekender and this track shows off his talents to a ‘T’

 Infinity – Put everything in it’s place – White Horse

Going back to the birth of Modern Soul in the early 80’s this was one of the tracks that helped kick the scene off. I think Sam, Arthur  & Richard etc all played it but it’s fallen out of favour recently, whilst it’s bedfellows at the time (Stevens & Foster, Flame ‘n’ King, King Tutt etc) have all come storming back in recent years! Maybe it’s time for Infinity to make their comeback bid with this exquisite chunky bass-slapping dancer from 1979. Mark down as a Modern Soul classic well overdue reactivation in 2011.

 The Springfield Rifle – That’s all I really need – Burdette

Finishing as always with a 60’s track and this one is way out of left field! Another I’ve had for decades but not played in years (think it was an old Mecca spin recommended by my old mate Ken Rigby?). Whilst at ‘Soul in the Sun’ in November, my mucker and fellow Leylander, Clive Farley played this at one of our afternoon ‘Strictly 70’s’ sessions and it blew me away! The flute intro gives way to a tick-tock rhythm that takes about 80 seconds to really get going before finishing with the hookiest hook line you’ll hear this year! Yes it probably is white but there’s a magical quality to this record that had me singing and humming it for the whole fortnight! I think if this was played by a few big name DJ’s this could well become a Northern and/or 70’s monster.

SOUL UP NORTH 69 - October 2010

Plumb’s Peaches aka Steve’s Soulful Seventies Spins!

Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. I’m always looking for different ways of theming a set, whether it be ‘LP only’ or ‘45’s under £25’ etc. and I came up with an idea for a set comprising just previously unreleased tracks. I narrowed it down to previously unreleased tracks that have been released on 45 over the last few years and I thought that a strong set could easily be played using say, Kent Anniversary 45’s or Grapevine 2000 45’s? So I finally decided to dedicate this article to a set made up of previously unreleased 70’s Modern & Crossover 45’s from the now defunct Grapevine 2000 back catalogue.

The SIXTY THREE 45's released by the label between the years 2000 to 2006 are of such a consistently high quality that it's collectability as a label in the future is virtually guaranteed! A large percentage of the releases featured unreleased 60’s & 70’s Northern, Modern & Crossover Soul dancers OR featured Northern, Modern & Crossover 45's released in the UK for the first time! In fact a large number of 'Holy Grail' 45's were included in the release schedule over the 6 years of the labels existence! But as promised, we’re going to stick to the 70’s Modern & Crossover unreleased sides and we’ll start with a big ‘un-

Dottie Pearson - Bring it over baby – G2K 45 152

Starting with a total classic in every sense. Released in 2004, this must be Grapevine 2000's finest hour? Still played regularly up and down the country at all the best 70’s venues (Dab of Soul, Nu-Soulutions, Just Soul, Soulful Sessions, The Ridgway etc). Adds a touch of class to any set – simply stunning mid-tempo Soul Music.

Dottie Pearson – A house made of love – G2K 45 152

The other side of ‘Bring it over baby’ and this was the one the G2K boys went with at the time. They pressed up acetates for the likes of Soul Sam etc only to find the real gem was sitting snugly in the middle of their unreleased Dottie Pearson CD. This is damn good though and sits just as well on a Northern dance floor as that of a 70’s Crossover persuasion.

Syl Johnson – All I need is someone like you – G2K 45 140

Previously unissued late 60’s/early 70's Crossover dancer! I actually used to play this from his rare Japanese reissue LP from 1980! Same backing track as 'Nate Evans - Mainsqueeze - Twinight'. I reckon this is better!

Chuck Brooks – Last minute plans – G2K 45 153

This is an unreleased Malaco side from 1999 (but sounds much earlier!) and was included on their fabulous CD ‘America’s Most Wanted’ then leaked out onto 45 a few months later. I still believe this is largely unknown and is a beautiful mid tempo soulful swayer. Maybe more for an early doors set but it could get some serious head-nodding action should it be dropped later in a set!

Gorgeous George – You can’t stop a woman – G2K 45 159

Woof! Serious Crossover Soul dancer. Proper brass laden 70’s chugger with a killer vocal that again, I believe has slipped through the net as this was released towards the end of the labels life in 2006. Bloody fabulous and my type of Crossover!

Tommy Tate – Do you think there’s a chance – G2K 45 137

Another track that did actually see a vinyl release many years earlier on a Japanese only LP from the late 70’s/early 80’s. Making it’s debut on 45 this is a super 70’s mid tempo dancer with the always excellent vocals of Mr Tommy Tate. Backed with the sublime ‘If you got to love somebody’ which I guess could also be included as this is a different (and better) version than that of the rare Ko Ko demo.

Johnny Moore – Yesterday today and tomorrow – G2K 45 147

This became widely known in the 80’s and 90’s through Richard Searling who played this for many years from the original acetate which he bought from John Anderson. John being one of the main players behind G2K eventually released it as a 45 in 2004. Sounding like a perfect mixture of  L. J. Reynolds' 'Key to the world' AND Al James' 'Give it up turn it loose' this is another one that could do with playing again. Beautiful record!

Al Williams – Try them – G2K 45 162

Finishing as always with a 60’s side (I reckon there’s also enough unreleased 60’s 45’s on the label to do a Northern set too!) This was the LAST release on the label and boy did they go out with a bang! The legendary Al Williams appears here on a previously unissued 60’s Detroit ‘La Beat’ recording which is an absolute gem of a dancer! This should have become a monster on the Northern scene but again released at the very end of the label’s life meant promotion was limited. It is now simply poised to become one 5 years on! Brilliant!

SOUL UP NORTH 68 - July 2010

Plumb’s Peaches aka Steve’s Soulful Seventies Spins!

 Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. Massive thanks first of all go out to me mate Bob Cosby who covered for me in last issue with a Cosby’s Chestnuts special! He certainly raised the bar with some carefully chosen goodies from his play box which he treated us all with at the recent Yarmouth Weekender in April. He also slipped a few in on his Solar Radio ‘Soul People’ debut in May and says he intends playing a few of them in Bilbao at the Soul4Real meets Soul Essence weekender in October too! Thank you Bob J I’m back with some tunes of my own this issue, so here’s another selection of 45’s & LP’s that are currently in my play box. As always, some are new acquisitions and some are things I’ve recently dusted off to play out with again PLUS there’s THE killer unreleased crossover track by Spencer Wiggins that should be out by the time you read this!

Spencer Wiggins – I’m at the breaking point – Kent CD ‘Feed the Flame’

I’ve been banging on about this record since April! These are the exact words I put up on www.soul-source.co.uk a few minutes after receiving it from the lovely Mr Rounce-

Big words I know BUT I've just today received a copy of a song due out in June from Ace/Kent that has completely blown me away! I mean seriously this is one of THE best Crossover dancers I've EVER heard! Played it a dozen times straight and I still want more! Found in the FAME vaults and unreleased from 1969 it has everything! Brilliant vocals, great song, cookin' backing, horns to die for, driving piano, chattering tambourine! Magnificent! A crossover dancers paradise! It has everything! In my humble opinion, this record will have a bigger effect on the 70's/crossover scene than say Dottie Pearson (Bring it over baby) when that surfaced or the San Fran TKO's, when we got wise to that one etc. In the same bag as 'Women like it harder' or 'You can't keep a good man down' a big hairy chested Southern Soul mover that will be a staple of the scene for years to come! Came a few days too late but Yarmouth would have fookin exploded if it would have been played there that weekend! It's perfect for the Yarmouth, Orwell style of gigs and will be massive!!! If you think I'm going over the top (and I don't blame you if you do!) wait until you hear it. June can't come soon enough!

………….I still stick by those words J

Billy Hawks – O’Baby (I believe I’m losing you) – Prestige LP ‘Heavy Soul’

Gonna stick my neck out here and predict this record will cross over to the Northern Scene! It’s a monster 60’s Jazz/Soul track that is already revered as a classic on various Funk, Jazz & Modern Soul scenes BUT I’m convinced the first big name Northern Jock to give this a spin will have an instant monster on their hands? It’s an LP only track from 1967 (although I think it got a UK 45 issue in the 90’s?) and is quite tricky to find but the search will be worthwhile! It has a fabulous rhythm and Billy has a decent voice and the whole track comes across as bossa nova meets 60’s James Brown! Seek out a listen so you can work it out for yourself. My thanks go out to Bob ‘The Crate’ Smith who tracked me a copy down!

Jackie Moore – Clean up your own yard – Atlantic 45

Another tip and this time it’s a sneaky little Philly dancer which will have everyone scurrying to their collection to check the B side of their copy of ‘Both ends against the middle’. You see, it’s only on the US issues (Demos are double sided of ‘Both’) and the UK Issue of ‘Both’ uses a different B side. Not difficult to find (yet!) but it’s amazing the amount of folks I’ve spoke to who have found a US Demo or a UK Issue nestling in their collection then having to hastily root around for a US Issue. Oh, forgot to say, it’s a FANTASTIC Phil Hurtt & Tony Bell penned Philly dancer from 1973 that will have you humming it long after you’ve heard it blasting out from the speakers!

Patrick Gammon – When can I see you – Mercury LP ‘Effervescence’

I love this! I have been searching for this on a ‘Euro only’ 45 for a while now but still having to settle for it on this ‘Euro only’ LP instead! If you like T & T ‘Something’s on my mind’ you will DEFINITELY love this! Tremendous soulful, jazzy floater from 1978 that is certainly one to watch! With more Jazzier Soulful sides now being slipped into Modern & Crossover sets it should go on both scenes. Not too easy to find though!

Crack of Dawn – I can’t move no mountains – Epic 45

There are lots of great versions of this, as it’s such a magnificent song! This is another ‘sneaky B side’ to the well known ‘It’s alright, this feelin’ I’m feelin’. Issues only again I’m afraid but well worth seeking out! A great flowing 70’s dancer that has an instant sing-a-long, hands-in-the-air vibe! Top tune!

Limmie – Saturday night’s the night – UK Psycho 45

From 1978 this is another of those oddball UK-only releases that appear from time to time! On the same label as the rare Modern Soul dancer by the  Foundations (Change my life) this is proving as tricky to find as that one at the moment too! Don’t know much about the record but I believe it is Limmie from ‘Limmie & The Family Cooking’ who had pop/soul hits in the 70’s (You can do magic etc). The song is a pretty basic affair (as you can tell from the title) but it has a pleasant groove with a nice bass line, is quite catchy and is fairly well produced, so it doesn’t sound out of place in Modern Rooms. All in all quite a good little tune!

Inell Young – What do you see in her – Libra 45

Another one I’m absolutely loving at the moment! Originally a spin on the Funk scene and it has quite rightly made Classic status on that scene. With more funkier uptempo sides happening on the Northern scene, it’s only logical that the slower funky sides will find favour in the Rare Soul/Crossover rooms! I’ve noticed some big name Soul bods have been slipping this into their sets recently too! This is a wickedly groovy record with a brilliant vocal performance on top of fine fine backing and a superb song. Not easy to find but it has been reissued on a lookalike label about three years ago. I could happily shake me pants on the dance floor to this and quite often do J

Arthur Conley – Take a step in my direction – Atco LP ‘More Sweet Soul’

Ending this issue with a 60’s beat ballad and one which has not been too far from my turntable at home for quite a while now! I finally realised how great this was when I heard it twice in as many weeks on Solar Radio’s ‘Soul People’ show. I think it was the Monumental Two (sounds like a great name for a ‘cover up’ artist LOL) Niki & Mole who played it and although I’d heard it in the past, it really got under my skin. So the way lots of us do it, I went to the shelves and lo and behold there it is on the ‘More Sweet Soul’ LP and even better, on a lovely white demo! As is the way these things work, there is also a UK-only 45 of this that came out in the late 60’s on Atlantic Records. As you can see from the scan, I haven’t got one of these 45’s yet! Bloody fabulous record by the way!

SOUL UP NORTH 67 - April 2010

COSBYS CHESTNUTS

Welcome to Plumbs Peaches this month hosted by Bob Cosby, so we should really call it Cosbys Chestnuts? - The Plumbster couldn't make it this time and asked me to step in at the last minute as he is nursing his wife Sue, who hopefully by the time you read this will be back on her feet and fit and well again, we wish her a speedy recovery. I'll try and keep up the high standard that Plumby sets each issue and delve into the soulful seventies / crossover sides that are big in Leighton Buzzard at the moment and destined for the turntables at the Soul Essence weekender in Great Yarmouth April 9th - 11th .. I know some of these will be right up the Plumbsters street so I hope you his regular readers will enjoy them too ...

CLAY BROWN - WHY YOU WANT TO CHANGE - US FLORENTINE 45

I know it's a cliche but this is a typical Soul Essence Record , Southern in style , midtempo , simple rhythm great pleading vocals . The same guy and the same label rthat brought us "Walk with a groove " but this is so different so much more soulful . I was trying to explain this record to  DJ Jadd when I heard him play "Walk with a groove" at the Barula in Madrid recently and it's difficult to compare the two ( especially after half a dozen beers and a couple of Mojitos ) You just wouldn't have thought Clay Brown could deliver something like this This will gain in popularity once it gets the airings it deserves ..

CHARES ALLEN - WE 'VE GOT LOVE Pt 1 - US GREEDY 45

I love the label design on this one a 1977 gem that I have played sporadically for a few years , this has a chugging funky incessant beat that gets the old toes tapping but the real power in this record comes from the absol;utely soulfully drenched vocals . Charles Allen really does deliver a a powerhouse performance and I defy anyone to keep still to this for long . This type of tune is so in vogue now with the funky beat relentlessly  motoring along at just above mid tempo , but really the vocal performance steals the day and makes this so memorable . Think this may have been issued on another label too if memory serves .....

LLOYD WILLIAMS - I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU - UK BAMBOO 45

Hugely popular at the moment and first played at Soul Essence a couple of years ago , in a line of soulful West Indian tunes that have become anthems on the Crossover scene . This originally came out in Jamaica on Studio One records with a version of Rainy night in Georgia on the B side by the intriguingly named Lord Tanamo . It was then released in 1970 on the UK Bamboo label that gave us lots of interesting Reggae in the seventies but with added strings !. A soulful swayer that doesn't totally desert it's Carribean roots , one that will nag away in your brain for hours after hearing it - its just a simple catchy irresisitable tune ..

BLAND ALLISON - CAN'T GET BACK TO YOU AGAIN PT 2 -US AMTONAC 45

No apologies for indulging in this Jazzy almost jazz funk snappy dancer , a driving drummer , funky brass section overlayered with Donald Byrd like trumpet runs make this stand out as a left field winner . Andy Dyson tried to sell me this recently and when I saw the label I realised I had one nestling somewhere at home which I dusted off and stuck back in the playbox . The A side (part 1 ) is OK,  a slghtly below  mid tempo record with a vocal that just passes the test without lighting the cigar , the B side part two bears no resemblance  and is just an off the wall jazz tune that will go down a storm especially at somewhere like the Soul 4 Real weekenders in Bilbao - look out for this one

CHARLES SIMMONS- YOU'VE GOT IT ALL - US HITSOUND 45

Starting off with Southern Style Guitar licks a Brass section soon kicks in follwed by Chas with a passionate so soulful vocal telling his girl that she has it all - and so does this ! On first play it sounded a little too mellow but No , this is a real winner for the most soulfully selective dancefloors . This is actually the B side to a half decent funk track called "Save the world  " I can easily picture this swaying  the dancefloor in the early hours , even a double  left  flat footed dancer like me would be drawn to the floor by this a future anthem in the mould of Richard Caiton can't give it any more respect than that !..

SMALLWOOD BROTHERS - DAY BEFORE TOMORROW - US ATCO 45

I know this is a perennial favourite and as such what I would call an old chestnut but what a hot chestnut . I think I first heard Rod Dearlove play this many years ago at Soul Essence and immediately began my quest to get one . I dug it out to take to Soul 4 Real in Bilbao last November and it went down a storm . A terrific keyboard/bass  led hook that comes in as a brilliant  break three quarters of the way through drives this along in Philly style as in the best of the seventies tunes the Spinners would have turned out . If you like seventies Philly style dancers and you don't know this you are in for a treat , the perfect record to link different styles within a set ..

BOBBY HEBB - EVIL WOMAN - US CRYSTAL BALL 45

I really don't know why I'm giving myself a hard time reviewing this as it's so hard to classify , I guess its Jazzy Soul with a touch of R'n,B and Latin provided by the prominence of the Brazillian kokinko - that instrument that makes the "clacking sound " in the best latin jazz records. Totally off the wall but something that will appeal to and crossover many style boundaries .Oh yeah and its got flutes - big style flutes and of course Bobby Hebbs guitar work and vocals . You'll just have to be open minded with this one but once you give it a try theres a good chance you'll be hooked  .Written and produced by Bobby  I don't remember seeing the label before it's from Salem Mass . . and it's got the Lot .

REY VILLAR AND THE ROYAL FLUSH -HEAVEN IS MY WITNESS -US ECBOLIC

This has been my favourite record for about six months now , not because the vocals are outstanding they aren't they're Ok , but the whole thing just comes together in a delightful way . Tex-Mex style horns are to the fore and played with such togetherness this really is tight instrumentally if anything it's a little dis-jointed but that just seems to add to the flavour of this spicy tune . Oh and don't forget some great terrific electronic piano bubbling along but when that chorus kicks in you will just be able to let go , turn the faders down and hear the dancefloor singing along ( well in my little world anyway !) Enjoy ...

SOUL UP NORTH 66 - January 2010

Plumb’s Peaches aka Steve’s Soulful Seventies Spins!

 

Welcome to another Plumb’s Peaches. After last issues foray into the play box of Bob Cosby I’m back with some tunes of my own! Most of them will be played at Bob Cosby & Gavin Page’s next weekender in Yarmouth! Soul Essence 28 is on the weekend of 9th-11th April 2010 and is still THE place to hear the best Soul Music around! You must have heard of it J So, here’s another selection of 45’s that are currently in my play box. Some are new acquisitions and some are things I’ve recently dusted off to play out with again! As always, many have been played by other jocks at some time or other on the various scenes, so I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel, just giving you all a flavour of stuff I like to play out!

Shirley Alston – Can’t stop singin’ (‘bout the boy I love) – US Prodigal 45

I’ve been playing this out on UK London for a year or so now, after hearing it at Soul in the Sun in Nov 2008. Carol Vare was playing it early doors and I asked her what it was. The answer came back ‘It’s Shirley Alston on Prodigal, it’s only a £5 record’. So I went back to the UK expecting to pick it up and lo and behold it took me nearly 3 weeks of extensive work just to find a UK London copy! Consensus from all involved was that US Prodigal copies were rarer than hens teeth and many even doubted it’s existence! (Double sided W/D’s are around of the other side so it has to be an issue or nothing). Anyway, I’m happy with my UK copy and have been playing it out wherever I can as it’s a beautiful femme ‘strings n things’ Crossover Soul mid-tempo dancer of the VERY highest order! However there is a twist to the tale as a few weeks ago I unbelievably came across a ‘yellow’ Prodigal issue! How I got it is a tale in itself BUT suffice to say I spoke to Carol about it at Soul in the Sun in Nov 2009 thanking her for putting me onto it and ribbing her about her valuation of it J

Del Davis – Baby don’t wake me – UK Trojan 45 (Also on UK Bread 45)

Another sneaky Reggae B side that is getting more than it’s fair share of plays as we speak! From 1972 and recorded in the UK (I think?) this is a stunning Crossover dancer that could even be played on the Northern scene! The thinly veiled ‘Ska’ beat is punctuated with great horn stabs and lovely backing vocals making this a neat little dancer. The lead vocals are pretty good too but the thing that makes it is the fact that it’s a great song that stays in your head long after the song has finished! This is more than just a passing fancy and I believe it can go on to be a classic in years to come! As far as ‘Reggae B sides that make it on the Soul scene goes’ think Glenn Miller and not The Pioneers!!!!

Kool Blues – Can we try love again – US Capsoul 45

From 1974 but sounding at least 4 years earlier, this just about sums up everything great about early 70’s Crossover Soul for me? Well produced but with enough rough edges to give it character! From the guitar intro to the slightly off beat drum fills to the interchanging harmonies of the lead and backing vocals to the naggingly insistent hook line that is crying out to be danced to! What a record! Already known about and worshipped in some quarters BUT one day it will be known by everyone!

Ray Hines – Why don’t you give me a try – US RNH 45

Another ‘happening’ record as we speak! Known about for decades BUT really getting some heavy spins of late! Another brilliant mid tempo early 70’s Crossover Soul dancer out of Chicago with monster horns and funky drums! Sort of reminiscent of ‘You got me digging you’ and with enough exposure may well become as popular! Again, my kind of Soul record and the bonus is that the B side is fabulous too! It’s a damn decent version of Tyrone Davis’ ‘Is it something you got’. Not quite as brilliant as Tyrone’s masterpiece but a very credible version indeed!

Talk of the Town – Don’t be so mean – US North Bay 45

You know I always like to throw in an under-played cheapie and this is no exception! After two or three plays you will not believe why this has not had repeated plays (yet) on the 70’s Modern scene or even the Northern scene! Rumour has it that it was actually played at Wigan Casino? Must have been a mid-week spin from Russ and Richard if it was, as niter material I don’t think it is? The clip clop intro soon builds into a really neat Philly Soul group dancer! Written by Leon Huff & the wonder duo of McFadden & Whitehead and produced by the masters Gamble & Huff! Nuff said! Another one that for some reason has stayed under the radar but hopefully not for much longer! Available freely at £15-£20 so snap one up today or regret it forever!

The Spiedels – Dream Girl – US Providence 45

This is a record that has become more popular this century after being criminally ignored for years in favour of it’s more traditional Northern flipside (That’s what I get). But the genie is out of the bottle now and it’s now appearing on many play lists and wants lists around the world! A simple tambourine led finger snapping paced group dancer that is just so infectious! Once you’ve been grabbed by this track there is simply no escape! A wonderful piece of 60’s West Coast group Soul that can only get more popular!

Harold Curington – One day girl – US Tad 45

Similar in a way to the Spiedels track as once again that tambourine led 60’s finger snapping beat creates a lovely dancer that will suit the Northern & Crossover dance floors! This time though it’s out of Chicago with arrangements by Eddie Silvers and one that has got great potential? Don’t think this is that easy to find but if you don’t know it, I’d recommend spending some time trying to search it out as it’s a great little hidden gem of a record!

The Dells – Whatever turns you on – US 20th Century LP

Finishing this issue with an LP-only track with yet another winner from the mighty mighty Dells! From 1981 and one I only recently realised the brilliance of after hearing it played at Soul in the Sun by John Griffiths (them lads certainly know a thing or two about playing great Soul records!) My mucker Baz Maleady reminded me he also plays this occasionally at The Orwell, so a trip to the loft was required to dig the LP out! On close inspection, I can see this being one of the ‘must have’ Modern tunes over the next year or so that could also be played at Northern do’s too! Those mighty vocals are once again in evidence and it’s a great catchy song with a real good solid dance beat! In fact I keep playing it and wondering why it’s never been a monster in the past? I think it’s time is fast approaching, so I’d grab a copy now. It’s on the LP of the same name so it shouldn’t be too hard too find? Incidentally, the original version is by Billy Ocean from the same year (he also wrote it with Ken Gold) and it’s pretty good too BUT those Dells vocals take the honours. 100% recommended.

 

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