Been digging up some nice forgotten Motown nuggets. The great thing about Motown releases is the sound quality. There are tens of thousands of solid northern soul releases from the 60s, but there are no master recordings from most of them, so we’re stuck with a direct rip from a muffled, scratchy 45. Not so with Motown.
So goddamn who’s been hiding this Isley Brothers track from us for so long? Written by Ivory Joe Hunter & Stevie Wonder, It never appeared on any LP until this century.
Major Lance sounds very similar to Curtis Mayfield. They attended the same high school and Mayfield wrote a lot of his material. Lance’s voice is better- Mayfield always sings a bit sharp- but the recording quality of Lance’s material is definitely subpar.
Apparently this is one of the most expensive funk soul 45s around. I don’t even know what year it is, but it’s got a great backbeat that’s just waiting to be looped and extended. It doesn’t have a typical Philly sound, but alas, it is Philly soul at its finest:
Here’s a track that has every element of the typical “northern soul” sound that the Brits are so fond of. Driving, uptempo (but not too aggressive) drums, fast tempo, beautiful, harmonizing backing vocals, uplifting lyrics, keys, strings and horns that really cook but aren’t too “in your face”.
Apparently this Philly group was a precursor to MFSB, but I can’t find a thing more about them. 1966: