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It's amazing that in this day and age, some record companies keep faith with vinyl, and I'm so glad that they do. Whilst I appreciate all the advantages of CDs, there's nothing like holding a piece of vinyl in your hands before you put it on the deck.

So here are the reviews of the latest vinyl releases.

Soul Junction - The Hopkins Bros - Shake Cheri - SJ514

Horrendously rare on the US release, with possibly only three known copies, this was building into the biggest niter sound around, and still is up there with the best. Soul Junction have made it available to everyone, with a fully legal and licensed reissue, and done in conjunction with the Hopkins Brothers themselves. It caused a bit of a stir when released with people saying it was too early for it to be reissued. better a legal reissue than the bootleggers get it out first is my view.

Soul Junction singles are available from the Soul Junction Website
Soul Junction Ivy Jo Hunter - See You Around - SJ516

Ivy Jo Hunter had a long and successful association with Motown as a writer and artist. These two tracks though come from 1979, and both are previously unreleased recordings made originally for Probe 1 Records. 'See You Around' is a nice midtempo dancer, that is already getting plenty of plays, whilst the flip side is a wonderful ballad. I'm still amazed at the number of wonderful records that were recorded in the Sixties and Seventies that never got released. At least we are now getting to hear them for the first time.


Kent - Various Artists - The Fame Singles Box - LTDBOX 015

Jimmy Ray Hunter & The Del Rays - The Girl That Radiates That Charm / Hot Toddy
Jimmy Hughes
- You Might As Well Forget Him / Everybody Let's Dance
James Barnett - Keep On Talking / Take A Good Look
Art Freeman - Slippin' Around With You / I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind
Boy / Girl - I Hope They Get Their Eyes Full / I Hope They Get Their Eyes Full

Released as part of Ace’s contribution to Record Store Day, this really is a treat in terms of packaging and content. So what do you get, well, it’s five singles, four of which are facsimilies of some of the rarest releases on the Fame label. The fifth is two different versions of a previously unreleased track, one male, one female. The Jimmy Ray Hunter track is the first single ever released on Fame, the James Barnett and Art Freeman tracks should be well known to all Northern fans, and the Jimmy Hughes track was anew one on me. The whole lot is packaged together in another brilliant facsimile of the original Fame promotional mailers. These are strictly limited in terms of quantity, and once they are all sold I can’t see them ever coming back onto the market, they will disappear into collections and stay there.
Soul Intention - Peter Lamarr - Under Lock And Key / Take You For Granted - SI002

Two Ian Levine compositions and productions, and whilst the ‘A’ side careers along at a pounding pace, it’s the more mellow flip side that really brings out the self evident Soul in Peter Lamarr’s voice.

All of the Soul Intention singles reviewed are available from the Soul Intention website


Soul Intention - The Superlatives - The Movement / I Still Love You - SI003

‘The Superlatives cut a Northern monster with ‘I Still Love You’, and here it is for the first time on a legal reissue. However, the official ‘A’ side of this single is another previously unreleased song by the group. Cut in ’69 it has a much funkier edge to it rather than the four beats to the bar ‘B’ side, and presents a nice contrast between the two recordings


Soul Intention - The Four Tops - Love Enough To Care (Edit) / Love Enough To Care (Original Version) - SI004

Apparently this track originally appeared as an album track back in 1980, and the original version appears on the flip side of this single. The ‘A’ side has, to quote the Soul Intention website been “Remixed, revamped, and refreshed for today’s dancefloor”. Typically of me, I prefer the original ! Either way though, Levi Stubbs is in fine voice, and this would almost certainly have been a hit back in the ‘80s if it had ben released as a single thgen.


Soul Intention - Otis Williams - I Got To Have You / Take Me Back - SI005

Another release from Kent Washburn’s back catalogue that never saw release back in the Seventies. Quality, sophisticated Modern Soul that reflects the best of the sound that was coming out of the States in those days. Already well known, and played regularly, even at some venues I go to !


Soul Intention – Hypnotics - One Way Ticket / Don't Burn No Bridges - SI006

A couple of previously unreleased sides recorded by The Hypnotics back in the Seventies. The group had a couple of singles released on the Reprise label back then, and these are the two additional tracks they recorded. ‘One Way Ticket’ is easily as good as a lot of the other Seventies tracks I hear played out these days, and although I tend not to frequent Modern rooms particularly I’m sure this release will have it’s place.


Kent - Clarence Carter - I Found What I Wanted / Johnny Poverty // I'm The One / Say A Little Prayer - LTDEP014

Released as part of the 'Record Store Day' celebration, this EP contains three previously unreleased tracks by one of the top exponents of Southern Soul. Strictly limited in quantity I guarantee that this will soon become a heavily sought after collectable, so get one as soon as you can !

Timmion – The Soul Investigators – Creepin’ Part 1 / Creepin’ Part 2 – T027

Brand new release from the guys in Finland that sounds just right for the new style of ‘Funky Northern’ that is being played today. A bass driven instrumental, with horns bouncing in and and out, and a Hammond organ holding the whole track together.


Kent  - Dave Hamilton – Pisces Pace / The Barrino Brothers – The Bad Things You Said To Me – Town 144 

Two tracks that will hit the fringe of the ‘Northern’ scene, but are both causing a stir on their own scenes. Put simply, ‘Pisces pace’ is Jazz, and ‘The Bad Things You Said To Me’ is Funk.


Kent – Jackie Day – Naughty Boy / Get Ta Steppin’ – Town 145

 Two tracks from Jackie Day that span thirty years on the Northern scene; ‘Naughty Boy’ has been an in demand rarity since the Stafford days, and ‘Get Ta Steppin’ is a previously unreleased track that first appeared as a 100 Club Anniversary single from a couple of years ago.


Kent - Eddie Whitehead – Just Your Fool / Mary Saxton – Losing Control – Town 146

A couple of real in demand rarities get a worthwhile release here from Kent, one from the Black Jack label, and the Mary Saxton from the Pace label.


Kent Select - Darrow Fletcher – No Limit / What Good Am I Without You – City 024

With Kent planning  two Darrow Fletcher CDs, one of his ‘60s material, and one of the ‘70s stuff, here’s a taster for them. ‘No Limit’ is a previously unreleased track, and ‘What Good Am I Without You’ is the Jacklyn release.


Kent Select - Pat Hunt – I Ain’t Talkin’ / Mamie Perry - My Baby Waited Too Long – City 025

Onto the dark side with these two R & B tracks. The Pat Hunt is a previously unreleased dancer that really does deserve plays, whilst the Mamie Perry track is a 1958 release from Flash records.