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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value 2CD, 8 Mar 2006
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This attractively priced 2CD replaces two separately issued CDs that appeared on the Débutante label in 1997 and 1998. The title of this reissue is slightly confusing as the original releases were called This Is Northern Soul Volumes One and Two.

They were much heralded at the time as several of the items had never been officially released before, but were well known from the clubs, where scratchy acetates and treasured bootlegs had been played to Northern Soul fans. While the sound quality was obviously better on the CD releases, and the general availability much welcomed, some of the tracks had clearly been transferred from vinyl pressings and some of them were in reprocessed fake stereo.

For this reissue on the Motown label, through the Universal Music Group, only the original Detroit analogue masters have been used for the digital remastering. Reprocessed stereo has been quite rightly eliminated and there is thankfully no vinyl surface noise, representing a significant improvement for most of the tracks. The Temptations' previously unreleased Forever In My Heart was included in the speeded-up master used in the clubs before and is now restored to the proper speed, as found on their Lost And Found CD, and The Andantes' (Like A) Nightmare, which had surfaced briefly as a V.I.P. single in 1964, is ten second longer than before (but check out the extended stereo remix on The Motown Box).

Carolyn Crawford's lovely single, written and produced by Smokey Robinson, also gains a couple of seconds and is now cleaner sounding. Frank Wilson's Do I Love You (Indeed Do) was in a great alternative stereo mix with a slightly different vocal to the familiar single, and remains so on this.

Mostly, however, the remastering and cleaning up has left the tracks slightly shorter than before. Brenda Holloway's previously unreleased Lonely Boy had been allowed to run on until only the funky bass line was left in the mix - now it fades a full ten seconds earlier. Her other two tracks Think It Over and When I'm Gone both still appear in mono mixes in preference to the stereo versions on the subsequently released Motown Anthology set; this is also the case with the three Kim Weston tracks.

Conversely, the Velvelettes' Lonely Lonely Girl Am I and Bird In The Hand are in stereo mixes that do not appear on their Motown Anthology double CD. The Detroit Spinners' What More Could A Boy Ask For now clocks in at 2.29 whereas before it was 3.08. The Isley Brothers' Tell Me It's Just A Rumour Baby, recorded in 1966, is now a mono mix lasting 3.08 whereas before it was in stereo and of 2.50 duration.

The Marvelettes' classic I'll Keep Holding On, with a lead vocal from the great Wanda Rogers, is also the well-known original mono mix, though a stereo version turned up on The Millennium Collection. The Gladys Knight track No One Could Love You More dates from 1967-68, but was extracted from her 1971 album Standing Ovation for a UK B-side a couple of years later. Incidentally, the version of Just Walk In My Shoes is the 2.46 mix found on the British mono version of the LP Everybody Needs Love in 1968, some twenty seconds longer than elsewhere. She can sing just about anybody under the table and all her three tracks are wonderful. Junior Walker's I Ain't Going Nowhere was another popular UK B-side. The oldest recording in the collection is Linda Griner's Goodbye Cruel Love, recorded in June 1962 and a single for Motown in 1963.
Virgil Henry's You Ain't Sayin' Nothing New may be the most recent, but is a bit of an oddity, having been originally released for Jerry Ross's Colossus label as a flipside (Colossus 115), and the same single coupling appeared on Tamla 54212F in 1971, possibly remixed, while Jerry Ross was briefly Berry Gordy's New York A&R man. Some collectors believe it to have been recorded in New York with local musicians as early as 1966 and this is the publication date given here, though it sounds more recent.

As always, the music is of the highest order and fully recommended, and only the more avid collector, of which there are many, will be concerned with the specifics detailed above, which are not annotated in the sleeve notes.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Motown collection ever, 13 Dec 2006
Can't really top the previous reviewer, that guy obviously knows his stuff. However I can offer a review as a non-northern soul fan. I love sixties music, and motown soul in particular and there's nothing better than discovering great tracks that might have passed you by. The problem with northern soul music is that often its there for its rarity and not the quality. Even worse is the fact that the majority of post-sixties northern soul songs are absolute stinkers- horrible wannabe disco songs without any real soul or beat. Luckily this great collection is more sixties motown than shoddy northern soul, and even the 70's tracks (I ain't going nowhere by Junior Walker and Gladys Knight's No One Could Love You More) are absolute corkers. Generally the tracks represented here are as good as the more well-known motown tracks and certainly more diverse. While a few tracks might not be up to the quality of the rest of the album, its easy to overlook those tracks given the overall quality of the music. The great thing about these songs is that they don't show up on many other compilations so if you love sixties motown then its an essential purchase.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 25 Feb 2004
This review is from: This Is Northern Soul! - The Motown Sound Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
This CD is simply brilliant, bringing together all of the more 'rarer' Motown classics together, such as 'I'll Keep Holding On' by the Marvelettes and 'Just Walk in My Shoes' by Gladys Knight at the Pips. However, there are only 24 tracks on this CD, not 28 as shown on the Amazon website, but the CD is certainly a good buy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic mid-sixties northern stompers!, 29 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: This Is Northern Soul! - The Motown Sound Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
This is a must-have album for any serious fan of northern soul, with a limited budget (how many have the spare £500 or so demanded for a good vinyl copy of "Do I love you? ('deed I do)"?). Highlights include "Suspicion" by the Originals, "I'll keep on holding on" by the Marvelettes and that old Northern favourite, "Just a little misunderstanding" by the Contours. Frances Nero's "Keep on Loving You" is also worth checking out. Full marks to Motown for making these tracks available. Of all of them, I only remember seeing "What more could a boy ask for" by the Spinners on any previous Motown compilation (it was the best of a pretty poor selection called "From the Vaults" which came out about 15 years ago).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Barbara NcNair!, 14 Mar 2001
This review is from: This Is Northern Soul! - The Motown Sound Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
Anybody buying this for the beat ballad You're Gonna Love My Baby should note that it's not on this - at least it's not on my copy! Fine set though, the 2 Monitors tracks being standouts for me.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unknown Treasures, 7 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: This Is Northern Soul! - The Motown Sound Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
Clever idea this, pull Motown's archives not for the usual hits but those rare tracks that made it on the Northern Soul scene. It really works too, with standouts like Andantes 'Like A Nightmare' (very reminiscent of 'Heatwave' but that's no bad thing) and Kim Weston's brilliant 'You Hit Me Right Where It Hurt Me'. Some of the tracking is out on my copy so if you try and isolate individual tracks they end with a snippet of the next track's drag-roll drum or begin with a clipped burst of intro. Pity, as this is a great collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars CD, 30 Dec 2013
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The CD arrived well before the date I was given, it was also well packaged. It's another must if you are a Northern soul fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is Northern Soul! The Motown Sound Volume 1., 28 Aug 2013
By 
James "I'm a retired security guard. I enjoy ... (MARYPORT, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Brilliant collection, brilliant sound and the perfect companion to the Cellarful of Motown collections. Everything said by all other reviewers of this collection I heartily endorse. If you love the sound of Northern Soul from the Motown stable the buy this album right now. Five stars all the way. Thank you Amazon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Northern soul, 5 July 2013
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Absolutely no problems with this order. From start to finish it was quick,easy and a pleasure to do business with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Food at its tastiest., 30 Jun 2013
By 
Michael Todd "Toddy" (Bangor, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I have been a long time fan of Soul in all its variations and have to say it is my favourite music choice. If you are from Northern Ireland or have access to the web tune into U105 radio station on Thursday nights from 10pm to midnight to hear two of the best Soul presenters ever Soulfly and Mozquito and hear the best soul music like what is on this cd .
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This Is Northern Soul!  - The Motown Sound Vol. 1
This Is Northern Soul! - The Motown Sound Vol. 1 by Various Artists (Audio CD - 1997)
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