King Northern Soul, Vol. 3

King Northern Soul, Vol. 3


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King Northern Soul, Vol. 3

When you think of 1960s soul on the King label, you usually think of James Brown, especially as the company seemed to be selling most of its records through Brown releases alone by the end of the decade. King did continue to issue a lot of soul through the early '70s, however, even if much of it was destined to miss the charts, whether because Brown took priority at the label or for other reasons. The 24 tracks on this volume were first issued on 1962-1973 singles on King and affiliated labels, and though Brown was involved with a few of them, most of them were not directly related to the singer, or too stylistically similar to his work. Instead it's a grab bag of various soul styles from the era, with a leaning toward, as the title signifies, the kind of straightforwardly danceable soul popular in the U.K.'s Northern soul scene. Granted, a third volume in a series like this might leave fewer prime pickings then the first, but it's not all that impressive or distinctive a compilation, even when judged solely against the rest of the King catalog. Though it does prove there was more to King at this time than funk or proto-funk, some of the funkier items do come off best, like "Unwind Yourself" (originally by Hank Ballard) by James Brown Revue singer Marva Whitney, which has the kind of dynamic bassline characteristic of Brown's own 1967 singles. Unless you're a fairly uncritical appreciator of any competent soul from the period, which cuts you like the best might depend very much on your particular taste. Freddie Williams' "Name in Lights," for instance, might strongly appeal to fans of 1967 soul with streaks of pop and doo wop; James Duncan's "Please, Johnny, Don't You Take My Life," as the liner notes rightly observe, sounds like something the Ovations might have done for Goldwax with its Sam Cooke overtones. Those looking for Brown ephemera might zero in on "Baby, Don't You Know" by the Brownettes, co-written by Brown and performed by some of his backing vocalists. Quainter, more sentimental soul of an earlier era is represented by early-'60s singles from Little Willie John, Otis Williams & His Charms, and Mary Johnson's girl group-flavored "You Have My Blessings." In contrast, the latest track, Royal Flush's "Mama's Baby" (from 1973), is very much in the lush-but-funky territory of the early-'70s Temptations. Of note to Jimi Hendrix scholars is Hal Hardy's otherwise unremarkable "House of Broken Hearts," with backing by a band led by sometime Hendrix bassist Billy Cox. Maybe it's a little unkind to conclude on this note, but the fabulous color photo of the Presidents Band on the cover, showing them posing before a huge golf ball-like structure (possibly at the 1967 Montreal Expo), is about the most interesting feature of this package.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/04/2012
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667238120
catalogNumber: 6723812
Rank: 122029

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Hank Ballard   Composer
James Brown   Composer
Bill Doggett   Producer
Chuck Sagle   Arranger
Dee Ervin   Producer
Oscar Toney   Composer
Troy Seals   Composer
Sonny Thompson   Composer
Dallas Frazier   Composer
Tommy Goodwin   Composer
Nat Jones   Composer
John Keyes   Composer
Bill Sheppard   Composer
Ady Croasdell   Liner Notes
Rudy Clark   Composer
Herbert Ross   Composer
Steve Venet   Producer
Charles Spurling   Composer
Dave Holden   Composer
Dave Welding   Photo Courtesy
Irving Reid   Composer
Sue Sandler   Composer
Ray Starr   Composer
Leroy Tukes   Composer
Willie Hatcher   Composer
Dan Brantley   Composer
Tyrone Harris   Arranger,Composer
Ira Kosloff   Composer
Robert Stanley Riley   Composer
James Duncan   Composer
Frank Clark   Producer,Engineer
English White   Composer
Bobby Smith   Producer
Grady Spires   Composer
Donald Tyler   Composer
Buddy Hopgood   Composer
Bobby Laughlin   Composer
Phillip Slaughter   Composer,Producer
Mill Edwards   Composer
Leroy Massey   Composer
Jerome Howlett   Arranger,Composer
Harold Elery   Composer
Thomas Holbert   Composer
Roger Sayre   Composer
Richard Scovel   Composer
Gingerbread Doughboy   Producer

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