Wednesday, August 19, 2020

VA - Westbound, Detroit Northern Soul [2010]


VA - Westbound, Detroit Northern Soul [2010]

The Westbound label is best known for the very funky albums they put out by the Ohio Players and Funkadelic in the mid to late 1970s, at least that's how I knew this label. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out, and to finally hear, that the label also was home to a sizeable stable of very talented recording artists in the late 1960s and 1970s, ones that leaned more toward the sweet soul sound of Motown.

Although most of the artists on this collection are ones most music fans have never heard of (except for Denise LaSalle, Funkadelic, and maybe Melvin Sparks), that doesn't mean that this is mediocre material. On the contrary, there are some true gems on this collection. I especially love the two songs by Unique Blend, both I would not hesitate to call Northern Soul classics. Another no-name band that never recorded a full album, Houston Outlaws, contribute two great tunes, and there are additional head-turners by The Detroit Emeralds, the Magictones, Caesar Frazier, and Damon Shawn. The bulk of these tunes were recorded from 1969 (when the label formed) through the early 1970s, with an additional track from 1977 and 1978 thrown in for good measure. But to my ears, most of the music has more of a mid to late 60s vibe rather than the sound that labels like Hi Records and Philadelphia International were churning out at in the early to mid-70s. But no matter what, or who, these songs remind you of, there is no denying the high quality, along with that comforting soul thrill. This is fine stuff.   As you would expect from the consistently excellent soul compilations that the Kent/Ace label puts out, this CD is packed with both sensational rare tunes, along with a thick booklet that includes artist bios and a history of the label, plus photos and reproductions of the vinyl singles. Another "must own" for soul fans. (Amazon)


VA - Westbound, Detroit Northern Soul [2010]


Track list

01    Denise LaSalle    Do Me Right    2:59
02    Unique Blend    Gonna Spread The News    2:25
03    Detroit Emeralds    Holding On    2:38
04    Denise & Abe    Ain't That Lovin'    3:15
05    Joe Matthews    What Every Little Girl Needs    2:59
06    Eddie Hill    I Am So Thankful    3:13
07    Damon Shawn    Feel The Need    2:55
08    Caesar Frazier    Till Another Day    3:19
09    Melvin Sparks Feat. Jimmy Scott    I've Got To Have You    2:55
10    Superlatives    Don't Let True Love Die    2:20
11    Houston Outlaws    Ain't No Telling    3:23
12    Fantastic Four    I Got To Have Your Love    3:31
13    Magictones    Happy Days    2:35
14    Superlatives    Lonely In A Crowd    2:19
15    Funkadelic    Can't Shake It Loose    1:56
16    New Holidays    My Baby Ain't No Plaything    2:03
17    Unique Blend    Yes I'm In Love    2:46
18    Magictones    I'm Slowly Moulding    2:46
19    Emanuel Laskey    Never My Love    2:51
20    Bob & Harold    I Can't See Myself Doing Without You    3:07
21    Magictones    Till You Decide To Come Home    2:35
22    Jimmy Scott    What Am I Gonna Do (About You Baby)    1:59
23    Joe Matthews    Third World    2:48
24    Damon Shawn    Love Love Love    3:05
25    New Holidays    Maybe So, Maybe No    3:05
26    Houston Outlaws    It's No Fun Being Alone    3:25



  1. Hi Butterboy,
    thanks for this comp!

  2. Will be intriguing to compare this to the Wigan "Northern Soul". Musical adventures. Thx

    1. N.S. mr Radio is simply intriguing full stop (lol), and frustrating, and painful, and expensive ............... but so rewarding with the right approach. You can watch TV documentaries, movies and read books to 'try' and grasp an understanding of it, of where the music comes from, why so much amazing & incredible music never made it into mainstream, why is it so collectible (vinyl), what has made it the longest running underground music scene in the world ........... only to be left confused.

      So try not to compare all the apples with the oranges because you'll only find bananas, lemons, passion fruit and more all mixed up together on the 1,000's of compilations. As a purely listening experience, just enjoy whatever grabs the attention of your ears :)

      Some try desparately to attach labels etc to distinguish what makes such and such a song, an N.S. record and fail miserably (especially music critics lol), because just like the rules of a language's grammar, the rules just don't apply in every day life. N.S. (Northern Soul) is a cauldron of contradictions and without the context of you physically going to a venue and hitting that dancefloor, will remain so for ever more :)

  3. Thanks BB. For all, this isn't mp3 320k but in m4a quality :)