Saturday, May 14, 2022

VA - The Cleethorpes Story [1997]


VA - The Cleethorpes Story [1997]

Conventional wisdom has it that, in the late 1970's, the Blackpool Mecca was the exclusive home of the 'progressive' end of Northern soul. However, if you believe that it was Wigan Casino-style Sixties stompers everywhere east of the Golden Mile, then Goldmine's superb 'Cleethorpes' retrospective might come as a shock.  Cleethorpes' "Talk of the North" all-nighters began in February 1975, housed in the town's Pier ballroom. They ran every fortnight for thirteen legendary months and proved so popular that the promoter, Mary Chapman, ended up having to hire the local Winter Gardens to house the over-spilling crowds of ecstatic soul fans and spinning dancers. One factor in this success must have been the all-embracing music policy. Chapman's DJ's would play any shade of Black American-style dance music as long as it was rare, soulful and good quality - and kept the soul boys and girls dancing all night! Thankfully, the magical quality and diversity of the 'Cleethorpes' sound' is reflected in this collection, chosen by Mary 'the Queen of Northern Soul' Chapman herself.

So, what we have here is a 25-track journey from traditional sixties soul through funk to disco and beyond. Typical of the variety on offer is the raw, spaced out funk of "Your Autumn of Tomorrow" by The Crow and "I'm Your Pimp" by the Skull Snaps, the pure modern soul sound of Spooky & Sues' "I've Got The Need" and the proto-Balearic house style (yes, honestly!) of Silvetti's "Spring Rain" with its piano hooks and thumping rhythm. The amazing thing is that, despite all of this eclecticism, the music never sounds anything less than perfectly 'right-on' for the Northern soul scene.

There are no real low points on this album and the proper killer tracks (such as Danny Hunt's Wonder-ful "What's Happening To This Love Affair" and "Girl You Better Wake Up" by Liberty) make it doubly worth seeking out. Unfortunately, both the CD and vinyl editions are now out of print so it has become reasonably collectible and, unless or until Goldmine reissue the album, paying a little extra for a second hand copy is the only option (Amazon)



Track lists

1 Norma Jenkins Can You Imagine That 0:03:53

2 Billy Kennedy If I Was a Kid 0:03:12

3 Today's People S.O.S. (All We Need is Time for Love) 0:03:28

4 Skull Snaps I'm Your Pimp 0:04:06

5 Crow Your Autumn of Tomorrow 0:02:33

6 Raw Soul The Gig 0:02:38

7 Spooky & Sue I've Got the Need 0:02:53

8 Bebu Silvetti Spring Rain 0:03:02

9 Willie J. & Co. Boogie With Your Baby 0:03:39

10 Black Nasty Cut Your Motor Off 0:03:33

11 East Coast Connection Summer in the Parks 0:02:56

12 Liberty Girl You Better Wake Up (Instrumental) 0:02:21

13 Roscoe & Friends Broadway Sissy 0:02:23

14 Boogie Man Orchestra Lady Lady Lady 0:03:23

15 Andre Maurice You're the Cream of the Crop 0:02:41

16 Stanley Wodruff What Took You So Long 0:02:47

17 Jobell & the Orchestra De Salsa Never Gonna Let You Go 0:03:07

18 Hosanna Hipit 0:04:35

19 Bobby Foster If You Really Need a Friend 0:02:46

20 Troy Keyes If I Had My Way 0:03:02

21 Danny Reed What Makes Her a Woman 0:03:12

22 Danny Hunt What's Happening to This Love Affair 0:02:58

23 3rd Time Around Soon Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Instrumental) 0:02:54

24 Marboo Whisnant What About Love 0:03:52

25 Debbie Flemming Long Gone 0:02:29




  1. Another 'Oldie' release - was this a "Goldmine" one? Thanks BB ......... 731 downloads and no one else said thank you, such a shame, so disappointing :(

    1. Yes, it is, puw.
      I know that this was popular (and maybe so popular it was played with abandon allow the downloader to forget to comment). This is a normal occurrence, puw, that I don't take to heart. It's always about the music.