Disco Demands Solid Soul Sensations (Sanctuary Records)

Following the release recently of "Reaching For The Best - The Northern Soul Of Blackpool Mecca, a compilation by legendary Northern Soul DJ Ian Levine, Sanctuary Records now delve into the vaults for a reissue of what is claimed to be the first Northern Soul LP (vinyl record for younger readers). Put together by Ian Levine and Pye Records A&R man Dav Mculeer in March 1975 for the specially formed Disco Demand label, Solid Soul Sensations sourced all it's selections from New York's Sceptor Records and it's subsidiary Wand, run by Florence Greenberg.

The sixteen tracks on the original are now bolstered by a further ten tracks from the same source. So what is amongst the tracks on the original collection. The Masqueraders are a group highly regarded by soul connoisseurs, mainly for their ballads, but "Do You Love Me Baby" gallops along at a furious pace with cool harmonies behind the lead singers tortured vocals. The Luv Bugs "Mama's Gonna Whip You" has shades of the Jackson Five with an obviously very young lead singer. Curtis Blandon's mid paced "In The Long Run" produced by chicago legend Gene Chandler is still very popular on the northern scene today. And speaking of Chicago, the soul supremo that was Curtis Mayfield wrote and produced Patti Jo's "Make Me Believe In You" a record completely different from the traditional 'Northern Soul' sound with it's tricky rhythm and haunting strings and proves that northern soul sometimes refers to any record that is played at a northern soul venue and is accepted by the crowd rather than fitting any stylistic template.

Shirley & Jessie represent New Orleans with "You Can't Fight Love" featuring the pounding beat indigenous to that city. The two best tracks come from the wonderful Maxine Brown with "Let Me Give You My Lovin" from the original album and "Wonder What My Baby's Doing Tonight" the first of the bonus tracks being first class examples of the crossover between pop and soul.

The original sleevenotes by Ian Levine are included along with additional information on the artists because at the time of the original release very little, if anything was known about them.

Derek McCann

Post your Solid Soul Sensations comments / reviews on the Message Board
(NB: The message board opens in a new window so please disable your pop-up blocker to view)