It's a bit of a misnomer to say that The Carstairs "It Really Hurts Me Girl" is one of the best Northern Soul records.
The bittersweet jewel is actually one of the best Soul Records ever, forget any other genre. .
And the pedigree of the "I came across your maiden name in my little red book" song, fautless Proto Soul meets kind of but not exactly disco production,and anguished vocal is matched by the stange world of northern soul story behind the record.
Originally heard on a Miami Radio station WBCKO by uber Rare Soul DJ Ian Levine in 1973, he then spent 6 fruitless months chasing a copy as it had turned out the promo only 45 never got to the release stage owing to the distribturs, Chess, going out of business.Levine eventually got a copy from Soul Bowl record dealer John Anderson in the UK.
Levine introduced the track to his Blackpool Mecca crowd, telling them in advance it was not tradtional Northern Soul, and begging them to give it a chance. They went mad for it. It was the eureka moment that led to the introduction of contemporary recordings to the Northern scene, and led to a war for supremacy between Blackpool Mecca (Seventies) and Wigan Casino (Sixities).
A further twist to the sago came in 1979. Inferno had tracked down the master as now belonging to DeLite Records, the New York home of Kool & The Gang and Crown Heights Affair.Surprised to be asked by a tiny independent UK label for a a recording they had acquired and forgot about, their lawyer, Allen Grubman, who went on to become the most powerful music lawyer in America, brokered the deal and then in passing mentioned that they had found a remix by Tom Moulton, and would Inferno like to be the first label in the World to release it? They did not say no. Incredibly, it turned out that this "A Tom Moulton Mix" was the first ever remix by the man who became the master of the genre, and invented the twelve inch single. "I'm glad it's appreciated in the UK because I always liked it. The chords go from major to minor and it almost puts you in a trance to listen to that record, it's so beautiful. The voice and the instruments were a marriage made in heaven and all I wanted to do was bring out more of the instruments without htout taking away the great vocals," remembers Tom.
The 1979 Inferno release used the remix supplied by De-Lite, but this 2012 issue actually contains ANOTHER Tom Moulton remix that was found on an acetate, The Heat 1001 issue is the only issue of it on vinyl.
Cleveland Horne,who co-produced "It Really Hurts Me Girl" and co-wrote it about his ex-wife, was persuaded to appear with a reformed The Carstairs to peform "It Really Hurts Me Girl" to a sold out and bedazzled Soul crowd where else but at Blackpool Mecca's Highland Room in 1988, the same spot place where Levine had implored his followers to give this new style 45 a chance in 1974.
Before going on stage he said he doubted if anyone would know the song, how could they as it had never been released?.
He is captured on film, reduced to tears ,as the 800 plus audience sang every word back to him. Later Cleveland said he was worried about the future of his daughter as he had a heart ailment, and had lost contact with his "I came across your maiden name" former wife.
Eighteen months later the crowd at a packed all-nighter at the Manchester Ritz was stunned to hear that the It Really Hurts Me Girl man had died. Like I said earlier, a bittersweet record. But a bloody wonderful one.
A1. It Really Hurts Me Girl (Previously Unreleased Mix)
B1. It Really Hurts Me Girl
Shipping mid August
The Crow "Your Autumn Of Tomorrow" is one of the quirkiest of all records cherished Northern Soul devotees..
Hailing from New Jersey, and definitely not a Soul record in any form that Motown, say, would recognise, the made in a garage production of frenzied almost desperate vocals, mashed up beats, a sort of pyschedelic feel and tapes going backwards was released on the tiny Look-Up label in the 1970's and immediate fell into obscurity until it came across the radar of UK Soul guru Dave Godin.
He recognised that the only place for this weirdness was the avante garde last hour on a Saturday night at Blackpool Mecca's Highland Room, venue under the control of Colin Curtis. Godin's ultra rare only copy was loaned to Colin and the discerning Mecca crowd made into a left of field favourite.
Original USA copies have always been impossible to find, a copy now will fetch you back at least £1,000, but exposure came via UK seven inch releases on Godin's Right-On label in 1976, and in 1979 on Inferno.
The Northern Soul renaissance saw Inferno's Neil Rushton dig out the contract and tapes 4 years ago, and demand for the re-release on a lookalike of the Inner Ear label was fuelled by the track being included in Elaine Constantine's film "Northern Soul".
Flip side is the Funk favourite "Uncle Funk".
a1.Your Autumn of Tomorrow
b1. Uncle Funk
Released on limited edition Made In Detroit label with neat engraved single on the flip.
The side that does play is a monster - Detroit's "they could have been bigger than The Temptations" mighty mighty The Precisions and the iconic Northern Soul album "If This Is Love (I'd Rather Be Lonely'.
Motor City magic.
a1. If This Is Love
a2. Corn Maze
a5. Slow Go
a6. We Need A Simple Way
b1. Barber’s Pole
b3. Don’t Talk Now
b4. Cocktail Paint
b5. Real Scene
b6. Goodbye Flute
Limited repress for this mighty double header of highly sought after disco funkrarities from TC James and his Fist-O-Funk Orchestra.
Originally released on the tiny Fist-O-Funk label out of NYC, this impossible-to-find 12” boasts the incredible tripped-out Walter Gibbons mix of ‘Get Up On Your Feet (Keep On Dancin’).
Weighing in at an impressive 11 minutes, this mix bears all the Gibbons hallmarks, - wild psychedelic synth sections, stretched out breaks and an amazing hypnotic dancefloor groove that never lets up the pressure for a second - immense! Flip over for the magnificent Saverese mix of ‘Bumpsies Whipping Cream', a funky-as-hell disco track filled with soaring guitar riffs, b-boy friendly percussion breaks and some very ecstatic female vocals.
a. Get Up On Your Feet (Keep On Dancin')
b. Bumpsies Whipping Cream
Two brand-new hard electro-funk jams for poplockers from label boss Ed DMX.
Sure to be popular with funk and boogie revivalists as well as electro and breakdance fans.
Funk Steps features a sparse, handclap-heavy beat, an arabian-style synth hook, some very greasy guitar playing and a vocoder lead vocal imploring the listener to get down and do their thing on the dancefloor.
Space Fonk is an uptempo synth-funk number with squelchy synth bass, vocoder hook and live tambourine and guitar. Moogs and lazer zaps all over this one.
Ed DMX continues to DJ & perform live around the world: recent bookings include Bloc Weekend, Batofar in Paris, Berghain in Berlin and many more.
a. Funk Steps
b. Space Fonk