Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Column

Steve Plumb's Vintage Soul

Steve Plumb's Vintage Soul Column @bluesandsoul.com
Steve Plumb's Vintage Soul Column @bluesandsoul.com Candi Staton: Evidence (Kent/Ace) Candi Staton: One More Hurt (Kent âSelectâ 45 - CITY 020) Marjorie Ingram: Another Woman Involved (Hit and Run - HR 1506) Frank Johnson: Love slave (Hit and Run - HR 1512) M.F.O.S. feat Bob Batterbee: Where Is The Love (Street Soul - SSR 14) James Patterson: Silent/The Fantastics - We Got Good Lovinâ (Acid Jazz) Jesse James: Your Love Is Changing (Soul Junction SJ 508) Natural Impulse: Weâre Gonna Make It Through (Soul Junction SJ 510) Don Varner: The Power Of Love (Shotgun SHOT 108) Four Tops: To Care (Soul Intention SI 004) Spencer Wiggins:  Iâm At The Breaking Point (Kent âSelectâ 45 - CITY 017) Spencer Wiggins: Feed The Flame Rose Batiste @bluesandsoul.com

Welcome to my first ever article for Blues & Soul. Iâd like to thank Lee & Claire for the invite and I must say itâs an honour to be writing for such an iconic magazine and one which was part of my soulful upbringing in the early 70âs. It is great to be in the same mag as Frank Elson & Sharon Davies, who I used to read religiously, back in the day. Itâs also great to be rubbing shoulders with friends and colleagues such as Andy Davies & Snowboy, whose columns are âmust readsâ for me in the new look B&S.

So, whatâs Vintage Soul all about then? Well itâs basically going to be me reviewing old Soul Records! As a lover of most styles and genres of Soul Music, these could be Northern Soul, 70âs/80âs Modern Soul, Crossover, Motown, Philly, Deep Soul, Southern Soul, Latin, Jazz, Funk, Disco etc so plenty to go at then! Most reviews will include scans of those lovely labels and as weâre in the digital age we may add in links to allow readers to listen to the tracks too!

Saying all that, Lee has sent out the brief that as this is the final edition of 2011, it would be good to do a look back over the last year. So for this issue weâre going to have a look back at what I consider to be the top 10 âpreviously unreleasedâ 45 releases from 2011 and weâll 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 has been a great year for these previously unreleased tracks. So here we go...

Candi Staton â One More Hurt (Kent âSelectâ 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 70âs/Crossover Soul night in 2011, it is likely youâve heard and probably danced to this sublime track? Also released on her CD Evidence CDKEND 353.

Marjorie Ingram â 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 70âs and released 3 quality Southern Soul/Deep Soul 45âs 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 45âs. 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 70âs and this one was passed by at the time. Thankfully, Garry Cape the owner of Hit & Run tracked down this wonderful 70âs Soul dancer and made it available to us all in 2011. The 70âs 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 â Love slave (Hit and Run - HR 1512)

Staying with Hit & Run for yet another previously unissued 70âs 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 45âs have a dancer on one side and a Deep Soul track on the other and this is no exception!

M.F.O.S. feat Bob Batterbee â Where Is The Love (Street Soul - SSR 14)

Cheating a bit here as this track did get a CD (and an obscure 12â) release in 1995 BUT as itâs made by one of our columnists (Snowboy) and released by another B&S boy (Andy Davies) I thought weâd turn a blind eye to it! Street Soul Records have been releasing some little gems over the last few years and have also started putting out new dance tracks onto 45 in the last few months too! This is a groovy little mover written & produced by Snowboy and has served to bring this gem to the attention of everyone who missed it first time around. Even though it was only made in 1995, Mark does manage to re-create a mid-70âs soulful groove on this very elegant track. Conjures up feelings of moving and grooving to the best of say, Willie Hutch or Leroy Hutson!

James Patterson â Silent/The Fantastics - We Got Good Lovinâ (Acid Jazz)

Two fabulous tracks from a recent EP from Acid Jazz make it jointly into the Top 10. Only released in November but as Iâve 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 Deeâs Hitsville London EP which also contains two other unreleased tracks from Maxine and Donnie Elbert, all recorded in the late 60âs 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 70âs Soul rooms and a plethora of quality Radio Stations too! By the way, there is a full CDâs 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. Graham still lives in the UK and Iâd recommend that Lee send out one of his B&S scribes to interview him as he must have loads of great stories to tell us?

Jesse James - Your Love Is Changing (Soul Junction SJ 508)

What a find! This is the song a.k.a. Changinâ which has been played on the 70âs/Modern Soul scene over the years by Esther Philips and/or Sharon Ridley but this is the original demo version by the songâs 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 â Weâre 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 70âs stuck in an old tape machine! After months of careful handling this superb 70âs funky Northern Soul dancer emerged. Played across many scenes this driving dancer has been a real highlight of 2011.

Don Varner â The Power Of Love (Shotgun SHOT 108)

Only ever previously available on a Japanese compilation LP from the late 80âs. This previously unreleased 60âs Northern Soul mid-tempo dancer from the great Don Varner was one of many quality 45 releases on the Shotgun label in 2011.

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 70âs 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 70âs 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 itâs on 45 it will certainly stand a chance of finally making it!

Spencer Wiggins - Iâm At The Breaking Point (Kent âSelectâ 45 - CITY 017)

Finishing with what is undoubtedly my number one 45 of 2011. This is one of the best records Iâve ever heard and my nomination for the best Vintage Soul 45 of the yearâ¦â¦Congratulations to Adey Croasdell and the Ace/Kent team for putting this out at the end of 2010 as it 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.

So there you go my top 10 previously unreleased 45âs from 2011. If you want to hear all of these records to see what all the fuss is about, you can visit soulmusic.co.uk/bluesandsoul

2012 looks interesting too as there are some great unreleased and âfirst time on 45â projects planned by many of the labels above (amongst others). Artists like Darrow Fletcher, Rose Batiste, Eddie Giles, Coalitions, Katie Love etc have all got unreleased product floating about at the moment PLUS look out for a track called Donât Pop The Question from a (currently) unknown artist which will be massive if it gets a release in 2012. Itâs a brilliant early 80âs Modern Soul dancer for Detroitâs Magic City label. Anyone who has any connection to Detroit or Magic City please get in touch to see if itâs possible that this excellent track can see a legal release after all these years!

For future issues I have a number of ideas on how to go forward, including looking at Soul Clubs from around the world that are playing Soul Music in all its many guises by reviewing their current key tracks. Maybe itâs an oldie that has become popular again or maybe itâs a rarity that has finally become a dance floor favourite or maybe itâs an unreleased track which is making noises now that itâs been issued. I may just visit the shelves and pull out stuff from my own collection or do a feature on a DJ with the type of tunes they are currently playing or review forthcoming retro product from the many quality Record Labels around at the moment? All I can say is that anyone who runs a Soul Night or Record Label or a DJ who wants featuring over the coming months, please do not hesitate to drop me a line on info@soulmusic.co.uk and weâll see how we go on?

Finally Iâm going to finish this issue with a couple of plugs...

GIGS - My latest venture which I launched with fellow promoter Eddy Edmondson in 2011 is So Soulful 70âs and it has really struck a chord with the Soul fans of the North West (and beyond!). Itâs held in a lovely little venue between Leyland & Chorley in sunny Lancashire called The Ley Inn! The first three have been completely sold out and have been marvellous nights. We only play 70âs Anthems and Crossover Soul tracks from the late 60âs to the early 80âs, nothing else and it works a treat. Our next is on Saturday February 18th.

RADIO - I regularly guest on Solar Radioâs Soul People show with my partner in crime Barry Maleady. Soul People is on Solar Radio every Sunday 10am-Midday GMT on solarradio.com or on Sky Channel 0129 and a different guest DJ hosts the show each week. Our next North West Special is on Sunday 25th December for a seasonal look back on what we have played this year. If you want to see our playlists from Soul People in the past, including a download of each show, please visit soulmusic.co.uk

Till Next time
Steve Plumb

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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