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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is an all nighter in itself
I took this book to bed, started reading and sat up reading it nearly all night - I just couldn't put it down.
This book really took me back and accurately summed up what it was about from various perspectives, dancers, collectors, DJs and substance users. Meanwhile the authors provide informed background information about the social and economic climate of the times...
Published 12 months ago by Dave Morrison

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited in Scope
The first thing to say is this is anattractively put together publication with some excellent insights into the early evolution of Northern Soul from the Mod culture of the 60's. But the content of the contributions and many of the chapters places too much emphasis on the drug scene which allnighters have always attracted, since the early days of the Twisted Wheel. This...
Published 2 months ago by MR TIMOTHY CARRINGTON


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is an all nighter in itself, 5 Sep 2013
This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
I took this book to bed, started reading and sat up reading it nearly all night - I just couldn't put it down.
This book really took me back and accurately summed up what it was about from various perspectives, dancers, collectors, DJs and substance users. Meanwhile the authors provide informed background information about the social and economic climate of the times without the usual cliched political statements.
Apart from the way it conveys why it was a thrilling scene to be part of, there are some high moments that the book creates itself. I won't spoil it but there are some great quotes from Ian Levine and Chris Brick, amongst others, that I will be borrowing for a while.
And what about the photographs? A combination of original photos from venues across the lifetime of the scene plus some world class stuff from world class photographer and co-auther Elaine Constantine.
If you only ever buy one book about the scene, this is the one.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Done with class and intergrity, 5 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
Length:: 2:33 Mins

A great book that calls upon many of the Northern Soul world's premier authorities, plus a whole raft of eye witness accounts to present a portrait of a past, present and future of this most stubborn of 'youth' cultures. The look and feel of the book, the rare footage and the layout mark it off from its predecessors.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Labour of Love, 5 Sep 2013
By 
Mr. S. Stockdale "Steve S" (Up North) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
This was a labour of love for the authors, and it shows. Great accounts of the Northern Soul scene from those who were (and still are) there. Top read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best on the subject without a doubt, 13 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
I read this great book in one sitting and couldn't put it down. It is unlike any other book on the subject, it has the contributions of well known DJs, punters and collectors including Guy Hennigan, Butch, Rod Shard, Gilly, Jock, Dave Malloy, Chris Brick etc and as well as the usual Wigan, Torch, Wheel stuff actually encapsulates the Stafford / post Stafford 1980s 'underground' ethos which every single book on the subject has failed to do.

If you are to read one book on the subject of Northern Soul this is it. Well written, warts and all account of a dance music scene spanning more than 5 decades.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You've Got The Magic Touch, Baby!, 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
An essential book for anybody interested in this most enduring of music scenes...

I have read many of the books available on the subject and this is probably the most evocative to date, leaving you with a real sense of the passion it still generates to this day. Making a big contribution to this is the large collection of photographs that spin and back-flip from every page (though some are stills from the author's forthcoming and highly anticipated film). Most of these feature real people on the scene, bussing it up and down the country, queueing outside heaving venues, dancing, flicking through record boxes - all the things that made Northern Soul what it was for those who were there.

This pictorial record, along with the recollections and reflections of a large army of original soul boys and girls paints a wonderfully vivid picture for those of us unlucky enough not to have been there. The book covers the complete story from its early beginnings at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester in the late '60s through to the heyday of the mid to late 1970s and continuing the story right up to the present day. What it definitely and quite deliberately is not is an attempt at being the 'definitive' Northern Soul book. Compared with, say, David Nowell's "Too Darn Soulful" or Neil Rushton's "Northern Soul Stories" (both also highly recommended by me!), it is not densely packed with the kind of train-spotting minutiae real devotees might crave. Instead, it paints a big, bold
vivid picture of what it was like to be there. For the average reader, this is probably the most perfect warts and all introduction to Northern Soul you could wish for. It is also a very beautiful thing just to look at, a piece of soulful treasure. Fingers crossed that the film is half as good...!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but could be better, 30 Dec 2013
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I will start my saying it's the best book I've read about the Northern scene, I'm 49 so the history of the scene up to 1978 was quite enlightening. The coverage given to venues of my era apart from Wigan and Stafford was very sparse, don't think there was even a mention of Derby assembly rooms or Birmingham Locarno. The other thing I have to say is yes a lot of people did speed but a lot didn't it was a music scene with drugs in the background not a drugs scene with a musical accompaniment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's Frank?, 19 Oct 2013
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I'm not a huge reader by any stretch and I downloaded this book to keep me company on a long haul. I've read a couple of books dedicated to the Northern Soul movement which have been factual by and large, so I was really looking forward to reading something not covering the same old ground. As this one was advertised as a book of individual and personal experiences of the scene with personal images from along the years you can imagine the anticipation was relatively high. And by and large it delivered in a very enjoyable read. I was particularly interested in the formative years. Understanding the history and heritage, the drive and flavour of the movement, the pushing of musical boundaries, the regional and personal styles which drove the scene forward were all of interest. Coming into the scene late 77 through til 81, this book really helped fill those gaps and bond on an emotional level with the early pioneers. Drugs were never an integral part for me but getting an insight into the use and the dealing of the chemical enhancers, the relationships between dealers, users and police was a fascinating subject in itself. Catching up through the eighties through to the modern movement makes me question whether I did the right thing to leave the scene behind for so long but that's my path that I chose. Image wise, I expected more than the book delivered. Elaine's images were always going to heavily adorn the pages and rightly so but I can't help feel there were too many photo booth passport type photos where I wanted much more dance and venue images. Overall though a thoroughly well written and enjoyable book both as a must have for the devotee and as a piece of social history for the uninitiated. And not one mention of Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You"!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true account of britains soul scene from origins to present day ., 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
A great read for those of us that have been on the soul scene for 30 years plus, bring back memories of past venues we travelled to, the friendships we have made and the camaraderie among the fans of our beloved music. For those who have never been or heard northern soul this book gives a little insight into the culture, the music and why so many people love this music. For the newcomers to todays current scene, you will be welcomed with open arms by most , this is a great read for old soul fans and new and also those who are a little inquisitive as to what it's all about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have for ALL true Soul Freaks!, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
Enjoyed the pics (of which there are plenty!) and they create such a powerful nostalgic trip! Indeed I am fortunate to have been forever immortalised in two offerings within these covers!
I am currently reading this and am so far impressed by the general depth of research involving the politics and social unrest of the era, leading upto, as well as including the conception of The Scene itself!
Elaine Constantine certainly uses some pretty 'advanced vocabulary' even for myself, but thanks to the internet and the good old fashioned Oxford Dictionary I will persevere! It definitely seems worth it!
KTF
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited in Scope, 20 Jun 2014
This review is from: Northern Soul: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
The first thing to say is this is anattractively put together publication with some excellent insights into the early evolution of Northern Soul from the Mod culture of the 60's. But the content of the contributions and many of the chapters places too much emphasis on the drug scene which allnighters have always attracted, since the early days of the Twisted Wheel. This is largely due to the use of a limited number of contributors for whom attendance at all nighters was predominatly to take or deal in drugs. This is a self fulfilling editorial technique, if you only interview drug users you only get the perspectives of those users with regards to the scene. As someone who was involved in the scene from 1972 and attended venues weekly around the country for many years, this is not the Northern Soul scene I encountered. Sure you knew that 'gear' was part of allnighters and who was dealing and taking it. But users largely kept to themselves and pushers did not try and force pills on those who had no interest in taking them! The vast majority of people had three primary reasons for attending NS events across the country. The music, the dancing and the cameraderie. Many, are still fans or rare soul today of all genres. The book fails to capture and convey the magic of those years, when for a time we shared a wonderful experience with fantastic music - on no more than a few Pro Plus!
I hope the forthcoming film is better balanced than this book.
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