Move On Up Volume Two: The Very Best Of Northern Soul

I HAD Northern Soul down as some lesser version of soul to Motown, a low-rent alternative to classics, only fit for keeping the folk of Lancashire and Yorkshire happy during the 60s.

But the genre was far more than that, as this three-disc CD makes abundantly clear.

On first listen we get songs that sound suspiciously like better-known classics, in a variety of soul styles, almost the same melodies and beats but not quite.

Then I kept coming back to the discs, playing them again and again on the car stereo.

These are great tracks, quality tunes, even if many of them didn’t set the charts on fire –they’re even more enjoyable because they’re not the same old staples we hear endlessly on the radio or on compilation albums.

If anything unites these tracks, it’s that they really do have soul – gritty, grimy, dirty, raw, sung with anguished pain, lustful passion or unbridled joy.

There are some tracks the mainstream listener will recognise, along with original versions of songs that were later made hits by other performers, and others that only the most diehard Northern Soul fans will know.

Some have never before appeared on CD, only previously heard only when DJs dusted down their treasured vinyl versions for Northern Soul nights still popular in towns, including Keighley.

This compilation is the second to be chosen by teenage Northern Soul YouTube star Levanna McLean, a respected DJ who plays across the UK as well as hosting a weekly radio show in Bristol.

On the three discs you’ll find Judy Street, Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, Jackie Wilson, Bobby Womack, The Isley Brothers, Sam Ward, Lou Pride Bobby Womack, The Olympics and many other rare and well known Northern Soul classics.

David Knights