King Northern Soul Volume 3 – Various Artists CD (Kent)
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A ten-year gap in this three-part CD series has given us time to root out the final Northern Soul treasures from this most prolific and mysterious group of black music labels.
Great tracks come from the connoisseur’s favourites Charles Spurling, James Duncan and Mary Johnson – proving their work to be substantially more than flashes in pans.
Pioneers of black music Hank Ballard, Little Willie John and Otis Williams venture into the soul years with three excellent offerings, while Royal Flush and the Presidents Band dip their toes into the 70s to great effect.
Willie Hatcher and Mill Evans are Detroit and Chicago legends and these two lesser-known numbers show how consistently solid their performances were.
All the King labels licensed tracks-in from around the USA but Hollywood was a later acquisition which not surprisingly issued mainly West Coast recordings. It would have been remiss of us not to include great singers such as Hal Hardy, Marva Whitney, Freddie Williams and Robert Moore and their appearances further strengthen this disc.
But probably the biggest buzz for discerning collectors will be to hear out of left field releases such as William Patton’s slightly stoned ‘It Hurts Me’ and Mike Williams’ grammatically intriguing and rhythmically irresistible ‘Something You Didn’t Done’. – Ace Records