VARIOUS; Soul Boy (Universal)


The ‘Soul Boy’ movie received a mixed bag of reviews from the critics. The worst notices came from the so-called intellectual writers of the heavyweight press. My guess is that despite their ivory tower posturing they would never get what Northern Soul represents or indeed meant to thousands of working class kids who found some salvation out on the floor. Be that as it may, there can be no fence sitting or condemnation of this – the soundtrack to the movie. Across two CDs, the massive 60 cuts perfectly capture the sound that is classic “Northern”. Many of the big, predictable tunes are here, of course, and they tend to be featured on the second CD which is neatly tagged ‘Joe McCain’s Mix Tape’ – McCain being the film’s central character, and what Northern soulie didn’t concoct countless tapes for themselves and their mates? So, McCain’s mix includes stuff like Frank Wilson’s ‘Do I Love You’, Kim Weston’s ‘Helpless’, the Elgins’ ‘Heaven Must Have Sent You’, Earl Jackson’s ‘Soul Self Satisfaction’ and the Dells’ majestic ‘Wear It On Our Face’ – which more than makes up for Nosmo King’s ‘Goodbye (Nothing To Say)’… but remember that was part of the scene that the movie depicts. The first CD has plenty that’s predictable too – Al Wilson’s ‘The Snake’ and Gloria Jones’ ‘Tainted Love’ for starters. But it’s great to see a few slightly lesser know items getting an airing. Here you can enjoy stuff like Chris Towns’ ‘Turn To Me’, Popcorn and the Messengers’ ‘Sweet Darling’, Percy Milem’s ‘Call On Me’ and Luther Ingram’s ‘If It’s All The Same To You Babe’. You also get Jackie Wilson’s wonderful ‘Soul Galore’ – not featured on too many compilations and one brand new recording – a version of ‘On A Magic Carpet Ride’ by Gabriella Climi and it perfectly captures the innocent magic of that wonderful Kiki Dee B-side. So, a patchy film (at least according to some critics) but a faultless soundtrack… you can tell Russ Winstanley had a hand in it somewhere.

(BB) 4/5