Levine must go!
June 30, 2007 1:43 PM   Subscribe

In the early seventies, Northern Soul was divided between two great cathedrals. Wigan Casino got most of the attention, but the Blackpool Mecca attracted the purists, due to DJ Ian Levine's enormous collection of rare records. During the 80's, Levine went on to DJ at some of the major gay venues and became a notable Hi-Energy producer, but he always maintained his first love. Over the years, he has recorded and filmed many of the Northern icons, people who were ignored in their home country, but deeply loved in soul circles. These included Bob Brady, Frank Wilson, Tobi Lark, Bobby Paris, Lou Johnston, Tobi Legend and many, many more.
posted by PeterMcDermott (12 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Dodgy BBC Radio Documentary about the same. (Dodgy because of the quality & because I probably shouldn't have this posted on my website)
posted by seanyboy at 2:13 PM on June 30, 2007

These videos all share the same unnerving cinematography.

It's very trippy and awesome.
posted by Monstrous Moonshine at 2:35 PM on June 30, 2007

A friend of mine has an interesting blog that covers mostly Northern Soul.
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:58 PM on June 30, 2007

Great post, thanks. There's not a day goes by I don't hum 'Do I love you' at some point or other.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:36 PM on June 30, 2007

Fantastic post -- and feloniousmonk, your friend has a terrific blog. Thanks.
posted by blucevalo at 5:28 PM on June 30, 2007

Some of my own favourites include:

Mary Love - Lay this Burden Down
The Carstairs - He Who Picks a Rose
Doris Troy - I'll do anything (though I'll always love Dusty's version too.)
Sandi Sheldon - I'm Gonna Make You Love Me (can't been that classic Okeh sound)
The Carstairs (again) - It Really Hurts Me Girl
Willie Hutch - Love Runs Out
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:32 PM on June 30, 2007

For some reason, on sight of this post, my hungover brain chose to put that rather distressing Wigan's Ovation version of Ski-ing In The Snow on repeat in my head. PeterMcDermott, you have poisoned me and provided the antidote!

Cracking post, anyway. If I had access to Ian Levine's favourite time machine (he's also a massive Doctor Who fan), I'd go to a Northern all-nighter on my way home from the Paradise Garage.
posted by jack_mo at 4:47 AM on July 1, 2007

Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Richard Searling are my holy trinity, between them they must have 'discovered' 90% of my favourite tracks though I'm too young (just) to have visited the Mecca or the Casino.

Levine's massive unpopularity as a person seems to be calculated by the size of his ego multiplied with the grudging respect he is awarded as a supreme dj. I saw him at the Ritz in Manchester in the early nineties and he started his set... "Here's a track that none of you even knew existed..."

In my book Levine would still be a (fat) soul legend if all he had done was discover The Carstairs - It Really Hurts Me Girl - The ultimate, stone cold, bona fide, classic, definitive, life-changing, quintessential, seminal, just-fucking-genius, northern, modern, disco, crossover, all-time soul track.........It. Will. Stand.
posted by niceness at 9:38 AM on July 1, 2007

I saw him at the Ritz in Manchester in the early nineties

Did it still have the sprung dancefloor? I used to go to the Ritz All-Dayers in the early seventies -- one of my favourite venues because Levine, Curtis and Searling were all on the line up -- though I actually loathed Levine at the time, believing he'd gone too far.

Also, jack_mo, I don't know if you saw my response to your question about that sample on the Jump Style thread, but it comes from First Choice, Let No Man Put Asunder, which was a huge Paradise Garage record.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:19 AM on July 1, 2007

I haven't been in 10+ years but the dancefloor was indeed still sprung, though at floor level - I was told it was raised 'back in the day'?

500 or more dancers all feeling the spring in time as they spin, slide, glide and float on a talced maple dance floor.....the soundtrack: a Levine-inspired mix of Charades-Key To My Kindness, Flowers-For Real and The Montclairs-Hung Up On Your Love (Sorry, lost in the moment there)
posted by niceness at 1:54 AM on July 2, 2007

Yeah, niceness, the dancefloor was maybe 4 or 5 foot high, and it really used to *bounce* when you'd get a big crowd in there.

Love that Montclairs track, but personally always play it back to back with the Skull Snaps, 'My hang up is you'.

Also, those Skull Snaps had a line that was transcendent in it's profound banality:

"I'm your pimp,
I wear my hat to the side,
And I walk with a limp..."

I can only think of one or two other songs that have lines of this quality -- one being a Clivilles and Cole track by Seduction -- the flipside of Free Your Body, which was titled 'Get Dumb'. The line goes:

"The music's pumpin'
I'm Donald Trumpin'
Gettin' paid,
Buildin' sum'pin."

Absolutely sublime.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:57 AM on July 2, 2007

PeterMcDermott writes 'Also, jack_mo, I don't know if you saw my response to your question about that sample on the Jump Style thread, but it comes from First Choice, Let No Man Put Asunder, which was a huge Paradise Garage record.'

Yep, and thanks. I slapped my forehead, acknowledging that my memory is completely shot.
posted by jack_mo at 11:42 AM on July 2, 2007

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