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