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terça-feira, fevereiro 06, 2007

Northern soul - O que é?

Northern soul - O que é? Para quem ainda não sabe deixo aqui, em inglês, uma pequena história do que é o Northern Soul. Definição, história, artistas, discos e videos. Espero que apreciem. Se ainda não conheciam este estilo de música, aviso já que quando se começa a gostar torna-se um pouco viciante.

Northern Soul refers to music and associated dance styles and fashions that were popular in the dancehalls of northern England, starting in the late 1960s.
In the beginning, the dancing was athletic, featuring spins, flips, and drops. The music originally consisted of obscure American soul recordings with an uptempo beat, very similar to and including Motown Records and more obscure labels (e.g. Okeh Records). By 1970, British performers were recording numbers for this market, and the scarcity of soul records with the required rhythm led to the playing of stompers, which were records by any artist that featured the right beat. The phrase northern soul was coined by journalist Dave Godin after a visit to the Twisted Wheel Club sometime around 1970 for his column in Blues and Soul magazine.

História - A large proportion of northern soul's original audience came from the mod movement. Some mods started to embrace the freakbeat and psychedelic rock of the late 1960s, but other mods - especially those in northern England - stuck to the original mod soundtrack of soul and ska. Some transformed into what would eventually be known as skinheads, and others formed the basis of the northern soul scene. Early northern soul fashion included bowling shirts, button-down Ben Sherman shirts, blazers with centre vents and unusual numbers of buttons, Trickers brogue shoes, baggy trousers or shrink-to-fit Levi's jeans. Many dancers wore badges representing membership in clubs organised by dance halls.

The first club that effectively defined the northern soul sound was Manchester's Twisted Wheel Club. Other early clubs were the Golden Torch in Stoke, Room at the Top in Wigan, Wigan Casino, Blackpool Mecca, The Catacombs in Wolverhampton, North Park in Kettering, The Mojo in Sheffield, Cleethorpes Winter Gardens (still a Northern Soul venue today) and Va Va's in Bolton.

The music reached its peak of popularity in the mid to late 1970s, when Wigan Casino was voted the world's number one discotheque. Thousands of people visited every week, but the exclusive and underground appeal of the music was lost and many of the hardcore soul fans drifted away. The England soul scene became divided in the 1970s, with northern clubs like The California Ballroom staying true to their northern soul roots, and southeast England clubs featuring a more funky disco sound. In 1981, when Wigan Casino shut down, many believed the northern soul scene was about to end. However, the 1970s mod revival and the later scooterboy subculture produced a new wave of fans.

The 1980s — often dismissed as a low period for the northern soul scene by those who had left in the 1970s — featured almost 100 new venues in places as diverse as Bradford, London, Peterborough, Leighton Buzzard, Whitchurch, Coventry and Leicester. Pre-eminent among the 1980s venues were Stafford's Top of the World and London's 100 Club. Top of the World drew small crowds by Wigan Casino standards, and it eschewed the pop northern soul which had been adopted in the latter days of Wigan Casino. Previously, most of the records played at northern soul clubs had been fast stompers, but 1980s northern soul DJs started to also play mid-tempo tunes, slower ballads and modern soul.

Artistas e Discos - Northern soul is among the most expensive of musical genres to collect. Hundreds of 7" vinyl discs have broken the £1,000 (c.$2,000) barrier. Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You" sold several years ago for £15,000 (c.$30,000) (as cited on Ian Levine's The Strange World of Northern Soul DVD set). The value of many discs has appreciated due to rarity, quality of the beat, melody and lyrics (often expressing heartache, pain or joy related to romantic love). In later years, many Northern Soul fans went on to expand their collections and accommodated the richer and more complex modern soul sound in the early 1970s and beyond (tracks such as Garfield Fleming's "Don't Send Me Away" exemplify this).

Many northern soul artists attempted stardom without all of the necessary ingredients in place. Low-budget independent labels couldn't deliver the necessary promotion and radio play. Many artists had to go back to their day jobs, thinking themselves failures, with their records sinking into obscurity, until they were revived in the Northern Soul circuit. Songs by the Fascinations and the Velvelettes that were released in the 1960s became top 40 UK hits in 1970. The Fascinations made #30 with "Girls Are Out to Get you" and the Velvelettes made #35 with "These Things Will Keep Me Loving You."

Some acts have been over to England to perform their golden oldies at all-nighters, often many years after the original releases. In the 21st century, rare 1960s soul sounds are still being discovered by fans, and Northern Soul is still going strong around the world.

Fonte: Wikipedia / Youtube

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