Northern Soul's Classiest Rarities Volume 6

It’s nearly three years since Kent released the last volume in this respected series; here’s another package full of ultra-rarities, collector’s pieces, unissued gems and classic dancers. The eye-opener will be the previously unissued version of I Only Cry Once A Day Now, a superb Gene Page arrangement known and treasured as being by the Puffs but performed here by the mighty Fidels. Fellow Los Angeles vocal group the Hyperions contribute the intensely catchy and exciting Why Do You Wanna Treat Me Like You Do, while the very rare single Dream Girl by the Lon Genes gives further kudos to that city’s soul reputation. Difosco aka Dee Ervin recorded the ebullient Sunshine Love for another Los Angeles imprint, Earthquake, and its standing among collectors continues to grow. Here we finally put out the correct brass-filled version of Peggy Woods’ great Modern Records tape – not properly heard since its mid-80s discovery.

That much-travelled ambassador of soul, Sidney Barnes, has licensed us not only his early super-rare NYC song and production on Little Nicky Soul, I Wanted To Tell You, but also two of his later “under the radar” creations on Andre Scott and Jean Carter. Sid’s Detroit production partner and later superstar George Clinton has one of his earliest works from his New Jersey days, Tamala Lewis’ You Won’t Say Nothing, an established Northern Soul classic in Jackie Day’s Naughty Boy, Johnnie Taylor’s Friday Night and Betty Turner’s The Winds Kept Laughing. An even more established “oldie” is given an interesting new twist with an earlier session of Maxine Brown’s One In A Million, a precursor to the released version that is so loved; the subtle differences make it an aural thrill.

Jack Ashford’s Just Productions tapes have turned up an earlier version of his Fly To My Loving Arms, simply called I Can Fly. The great male vocal group sound of the Magnificents are first rate on this fabulous song. A Detroit Emeralds LP-only track called Long Live The King has found favour with soul fans recently and sounds vibrant here. The distinctive vocals of O.C. Tolbert give Dave Hamilton’s Marriage Is Only A State Of Mind a soulful twist on a recent tape discovery, and a pretty Carla Thomas recording (unreleased until 1992) called Little Boy is the perfect ender to this collection of treasures.

There are two majestic big beat ballads from Jack Nitzsche’s Los Angeles vaults. The Nooney Ricket track is unissued and the terrific Daniel A Stone take on Young Boy Blues has only been heard on an Ace CD before. Jock Mitchell’s moody and mysterious Nomad Woman fits snugly between the pair. Finally, we have two excellent early Chicago soul rarities from the Vows and the Kittens who were stalwarts of that soulful city.