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Gospel Music

Stripped of their cultural heritage through slavery, the early Afro-Americans found the Church the only institution able to explain and mollify their new position. The simple life-after-death theology, delivered through par­able preaching and inspirational singing, enabled the Black Churches to flourish through the 19th century. They `Afri­canized' the early Anglican hymns in aural transmission, transmuting and reassembling them into the Negro Spirituals — the call and unison response of 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot', the long sustained melody of 'Nobody Knows The Trouble' and the syncopated claprhythmic 'Shout All Over God's Heaven'.

The early 20th century upsurge of fundamental, sancti­fied and holiness churches in the dehumanizing industrial ghettos brought ecstatic, testifying shouts, holy dancing and musical instruments into church music. Reflecting this, the pre-depression recording boom waxed a wide range of styles of religious material, from Rev. J. M. Gates' short sermons and answering congregation, to the piano-playing evangelist singer, Arizona Dranes, to the religious blues of guitarist Blind Willie Johnson and the ruggedly harmonised versions of the spirituals by Jubilee Quartets like the Golden Gate and the Norfolk Quartets.

In the Thirties, traditional spirituals were supplanted by new gospel material. Earlier, Rev. Charles A. Tindley had published 'Stand By Me' and 'Understand It Better By and By' and Lucie Campbell produced 'Something Within Me' and 'In The Upper Room', but Thomas A. Dorsey (aka Georgia Tom) is regarded as the Father of Gospel Music. In 1932, he co-founded the National Convention of Gospel Singers which promoted the spread of material like his own `Precious Lord' and 'Peace In The Valley'. With performers like Sallie Martin, Roberta Martin and Mahalia Jackson pushing them, the sentimental, optimistic blue-note ridden gospel numbers swept the nation, finding white acceptance through artists like Red Foley and the Stamps-Baxter Quar­tet.

Though Mahalia was the 'Gospel Queen', others were important. Willie Mae Ford Smith, an instructress at Dor­sey's Conventions, taught many younger singers, like Brother Joe May, the improvising slurs, note bending and rephrasing techniques of gospel, while Sister Rosetta Tharpe took the gospelly blues 'This Train' into the race charts.

 

The golden age for gospel began in 1945.

New independent recording labels like Apollo, King and Specialty prospered issuing gospel material, radio stations featured early morning and Sunday gospel shows and the gospel highway of one-night theatre stands, church benefits and anniversary programmes, was thick with travelling groups. Run by matriarch Gertrude, the Famous Ward Singers, who used daughter Clara's arrangements, Marion Williams' solos and Rev. W. Herbert Brewster's material like `Move On Up A Little Higher' and their rivals, Albertina Walker's Caravans, who nurtured current solo stars including Shirley Caesar, Inez Andrews, Dorothy Norwood, and, more briefly, James Cleveland and Bessie Griffin, featured strong emotional lead singers in front of imaginative background harmonies, usu­ally accompanied by simple piano or organ lines. Clara Ward exerted a considerable stylistic influence on the young

Aretha Franklin, whose first recordings were made in her father's (Rev. C. L. Franklin) New Bethel Church. Others, like the Consolers with ethereal guitar and organ-backed versions of 'heart warming spiritual hymns' like `Waiting For My Child' and the early Staple Singers, of the hillbilly harmony 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken', appealed more to southern audiences.

Male acappella 'quartets' were also developing. Using gos­pel material and a second tenor to complete the four part harmony behind the high clear tenor voice of Rebert Harris, the Soul Stirrers gave gospel and—through Sam Cooke—soul music, one of its lasting styles. Likewise, the contrast of Claude Jeter's falsetto and the harsh shouter leads of the Swan Silvertones presaged the Temptations, while the devil-demolishing ecstatic screams of the Five Blind Boys' Archie Brownlee were picked up by the young James Brown, whose stage movements could be a parody of the frenzied move­ment of Ira Tucker of the Dixie Hummingbirds.

The end of acappella came with the addition of guitarists, like Howard Carroll of the Dixie Hummingbirds, and in the Sixties popular groups like the Mighty Clouds Of Joy and the Violinaires used falsetto harmony behind the preaching lead voices of Joe Ligon and Robert Blair respectively. Now the instrumentation of gospel groups can be as full as soul groups, enabling the Rance Allen Group to rework secular hits, alongside the smooth jubilee hymns of the Harmonising Four or the cool sophisticated homophonic Voices-Supreme.

James Cleveland's 'Love Of God' with the Voices Of Tabernacle and 'Peace Be Still' with the Angelic Choir in the Sixties ushered in the era of choirs and soloists, with his Gospel Music Convention promoting large interdenomina­tional choirs, and the surprising pop success of the Edwin Hawkins Singers' Oh Happy Day'.

   
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The Reflections: (Just Like) Romeo And Juliet - The Complete Recordings 1963-1966 (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDGW300
 

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(2003/GW) 31 tracks (76:45) with 8 page booklet.  - The Detroit-based Reflections were a five-man group schooled in doo wop who scored in 1964 on Ed Wingate's Golden World label with "(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet," written by Bob Hamilton and Freddie...

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(1987/Warner Special) 16 tracks

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(2009/Mercury) 26 Tracks - Perfect compilation of all of her biggies - 8 page color booklet.

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Various: The Complete Loma Singles, Vol.1 (2-CD)
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(2017/Real Gone) 50 tracks - 50 rarities from a legendary R 'n' B label

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(2017/Real Gone) 17 tracks - For the first time on CD - all of Dusty Springfield's 1969-1970 Soul - Pop performances incl. one previously unreleased track.

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The Isley Brothers & Santana: Power Of Peace (2-LP 180g Vinyl)
Art-Nr.: LPSNY544855
 

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(2017/Sony/ 13 tracks. Led by the legendary Ronald Isley on lead vocals and the album's main producer,arranger Carlos Santana on lead guitar, rhythm guitar, percussion and background vocals, Power of Peace covers songs first made familiar by the Chambers Brothers,...

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The Isley Brothers & Santana: Power Of Peace (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSNY544851
 

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(2017/Sony/ 13 tracks. Led by the legendary Ronald Isley on lead vocals and the album's main producer,arranger Carlos Santana on lead guitar, rhythm guitar, percussion and background vocals, Power of Peace covers songs first made familiar by the Chambers Brothers,...

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Sam Frazier Jr.: Take Me Back (CD)
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(2017/Big Legal Mess Records) 14 Tracks - Digipack - Late Sixties Early Seventies Souther Soul - The Sound of Birmingham!

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Sam Frazier Jr.: Take Me Back (LP & MP3 Download)
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(2017/Big Legal Mess Records) 14 Tracks - Late Sixties Early Seventies Souther Soul - The Sound of Birmingham!

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Elvis Presley: His Hand In Mine - The Original Collection #13 (CD)
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(1996/BMG-NL) 15 Tracks - 1960, original album reissue!

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Ike & Tina Turner: Sexy, Seductive, Provocative (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDPCD9008
 

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(1993/Paula Records) 12 tracks

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Various: The Cavern Club - Blues & Rhythm (LP, Ltd. & Numbered)
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(2017/Vee-Tone) 22 Tracks - Limited and numbered edition of 500 copies! The Beatles played 292 gigs at The Cavern Club between February 1961 and August 1963, laying the foundations for their forthcoming worldwide music domination. Whilst The Cavern should be rightly...

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Various: The Cavern Club - Blues & Rhythm (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDVTR2042
 

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(2017/Vee-Tone) 22 Tracks - The Beatles played 292 gigs at The Cavern Club between February 1961 and August 1963, laying the foundations for their forthcoming worldwide music domination. Whilst The Cavern should be rightly recognised for its part in the Beatles...

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Various: Black Gold (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSPECXX2115
 

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(2016/Universal) 42 tracks 1960-70s. Samples, Breaks & Rare Grooves from the vaults of Chess Records with 32 page booklet.  -  Chess don't just mean the blues, the powerhouse label and its subsidiaries also excelled in soul, funk, jazz and more. This...

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Various: Haynes - Ultimate Guide To The 80s (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSNY25332
 

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(2011/Sony) 40 Tracks - Fantastic 1980s compilation of Rock, Wave and Pop recordings!

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Various: Express Your Soul - Mixed By Levanna McLean (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CD536723
 

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(2015/Universal Music TV) 46 Tracks 1958-2011 of Original, Funky and Northern Soul.

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Percy Sledge: The Best Of Percy Sledge (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDAT82102
 

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(Atlantic) 12 tracks

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Samuel S. Parkes: Let Me Go - Lock & Key (7inch, 45rpm, PS, SC, Ltd.)
Art-Nr.: 45TFA39
 

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(2017/Time For Action) 2-Track Single - With picture sleeve, 45rpm and small center hole! New Northern Soul! Limited edition!

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Harvey Mandel: Baby Batter (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBGO252
 

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(1995/BGO Records) 7 Tracks (38:21) - Reissue of the original 1971 Janus Records LP!

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Various: Pied Piper - Finale (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDKEND461
 

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This final CD of Pied Piper material features more exciting tape finds. There's even a little-known Pied Piper record from King Louie's Court. Kent feature Jack Ashford's first productions away from Detroit: the Joe Douglas and Yvonne Baker Philly releases from...

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Harvey Mandel: Shangrenade (CD)
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(1998/BGO Records) 8 Tracks - Reissue of the original 1973 Janus Records LP!

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Various: Honeybeat - Groovy 60s Girl-Pop (CD)
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(2017/Real Gone) 19 tracks. Rare 1960s Girl Pop, Soul and Rock'n'Roll with 24 page booklet.

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Jerry Garcia: Old & In The Way - Live At The Record Plant Sausalito, California, 1973 (CD)
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(2014/Klondike) 15 Tracks - Historic April 21, 1973 radio performance via KSAN, San Francisco!

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Eartha Kitt: I Love Men (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPSUNV4902
 

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(1984/Sunnyview) 6 tracks - originally sealed copy

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Jerry Garcia: Pacific High Studio, San Francisco, CA, 06-02-72 (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDECHO2014
 

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(2015/Echoes) 11 Tracks - Historic 1972 radio performance! Featuring John Kahn and Bill Kruetzmann!

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Otis Redding: Live At The Whiskey A Go Go: The Complete Recordings (6-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSTX39646
 

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(2016/Universal) 65 tracks. This 6 CD collection presents the entirety of Otis Redding's performances over 3 nights at the Whisky A Go Go on LA's Sunset Strip. The 7 sets, recorded Friday, April 8th - Sunday, April 10th, feature the singer's popular songs of the...

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Al Green: The Hi Masters (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDHEX35
 

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(1998/Cream/Hi Records) 15 tracks

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Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Definitive Collection (CD)
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(2008/Motown-Universal) 18 Tracks (51:23) - cool booklet (12 pages full color) Top Sound!

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Arthur Conley: More Sweet Soul (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDAT807682
 

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(1998/Atlantic) 12 tracks

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James Brown: The Best! (CD, Japan)
Art-Nr.: CDPOCP1519
 

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(Polydor Japan) 20 track master collection over the years - sealed new stock copy. (Bear Family Records)

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James Brown: Prisoner Of Love (CD, Japan)
Art-Nr.: CDPOCP1849
 

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(Polydor Japan) 12 tracks 1963 mono - sealed new stock copy. (Bear Family Records)

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James Brown: Think! (CD, Japan)
Art-Nr.: CDPOCP1848
 

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(Polydor Japan) 12 tracks 1960 Mono/Stereo (cover info only) - sealed new stock copy (Bear Family Records)

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James Brown: It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World (CD, Japan)
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(Polydor Japan) 12 tracks 1966 Stereo - sealed new stock copy (Bear Family Records)

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Various: Pixie Girls - Featuring The Classic 50's/60's Girl Group Sound (CD, Japan)
Art-Nr.: CDWPCP3540
 

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(1990/WEA Japan) 20 tracks (47:24) from the master tapes, featuring some very rare tracks and hard to find cover versions. Booklet including all lyrics.  - New and sealed stock copy of this rare compilation! (Bear Family Records)

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Various: Sixties Rule - Chapter One (CD)
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(1991/MCA) 16 tracks

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Various - Cree Records: Doing Our Thing - More Soul From Jamdown 1970-82 (CD)
Art-Nr.: CCD1206
 

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1-CD Digipak (4-sided) with 32-page booklet, 17 tracks. Total playing time c. 61:55 • Second volume in Cree's CD/2-LP-series with Jamaican cover versions of US soul tunes • A perfect companion to 'Sly & Robbie Present Taxi Gang In Disco Mix Style 1978-87'...

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Various - Cree Records: Doing Our Thing - More Soul From Jamdown 1970-82 (2-LP, 180g Vinyl)
Art-Nr.: CLP1206
 

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2-LP (180gram vinyl), gatefold sleeve, 20-page booklet (8,2'' x 8,2''), 17 tracks. Total playing time c. 61:55 • Second volume in Cree's CD/2-LP-series with Jamaican cover versions of US soul tunes • A perfect companion to 'Sly & Robbie Present Taxi Gang In...

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Percy Sledge: The Percy Sledge Way (LP, 180gram Vinyl)
Art-Nr.: BAF18034
 

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1-LP, 180 gram Vinyl-LP, 11 tracks, Total playing time approx. 33:27 minutes. • In March 1966, Atlantic Records released Percy Sledge’s best-known song, the million-seeling When A Man Loves A Woman, an epochal Southern soul hymn • Sledge achieved his strongest...

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Syl Johnson: Ms. Fine Brown Frame (CD Japan)
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(1989/P-Vine) 7 tracks - remastered japanes re-issue of this old school funk classic (different track list as 1982 album)  - new stock copy (Bear Family Records)

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Melba Moore: This Is It - The Best Of Melba Moore (CD)
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(1995/Razor Tie) 16 Tracks, 1975-1987 - Rare CD, original sealed stock copy!

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Solomon Burke: I Wish I Knew (CD Japan)
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(Atlantic Japan) 10 tracks 1968 - originally sealed first Japan high quality issue - Stereo (Bear Family Records)

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Billy Vera & Judy Clay: Storybook Children (CD)
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(2012/Atlantic Japan) 12 Tracks - Reissue of the original 1968 vinyl album for the first time on Japan CD! Sealed stock copies!

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The Spinners: The Best Of The Spinners (CD)
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(Motown) 10 tracks

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Marlena Shaw: Who Is This Bitch, Anyway ? (CD, Japan)
Art-Nr.: CDTOCJ50512
 

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(2012/EMI Japan) all time great 70s soul monster album - rare and original sealed Japanese CD (Bear Family Records)

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Sam & Dave: Hold On, I'm Comin' (CD Japan)
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​(Warner Japan) 12 tracks 1966 Stereo - sealed stock copy (Bear Family Records)

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Little Richard: The Rill Thing - King Of Rock And Roll - The Second Coming (2-CD)
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(2017/BGO) 29 Tracks - Three original albums 1970-1972! Rock'n'Roll to satisfy your Soul!

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Doug Sahm: Doug Sahm & Band - Texas Tornado - Groovers Paradise (2-CD)
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(2017/BGO) 33 Tracks - Three original albums 1973-1974!

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Stevie Wonder: The Original Musiquarium I (2-LP)
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(1982/Tamla) 16 tracks - Originally sealed album!

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Marvin Gaye: What's Going On (LP plus slipmat, 180g Vinyl, Ltd. )
Art-Nr.: LP534236
 

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(Tamla) 9 tracks - Reissue of the original 1971 album. Limited edition - comes with the 'Back To Soul' slipmat.

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Various: Studio Rio Presents - The Brazil Connection (LP)
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(2014/Sony)11 tracks plus free MP3 download of the complete album with an extra track featuring Nina Simone - Classic American vocals mixed with sultry Brazilian rhythms

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Various: Nothing But A House Party The Birth Of Philly Sound 1967-71 (CD)
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(2017/ACE) 24 tracks (65:22) with 22 page booklet.  - Classic 60s/70s soul from the City of Brotherly Love, recorded before the Philadelphia Sound went International.

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Various: Haynes - Ultimate Guide To Northern Soul (2-CD)
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(2011/Sony) 40 Tracks - A little Northern Soul history 1963-1979!

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Various: Haynes - Ultimate Guide To The 70s (2-CD)
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(2011/Sony) 40 Tracks - Fantastic 1970s compilation of Soul, Rock and Pop recordings!

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Various: Northern Soul - The Early Years (3-LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)
Art-Nr.: LPRGM014
 

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(2017/Real Gone Music) 42 Tracks - The early years of Northern Soul music on a strictly limited and numbered 3 platter set of only 600 copies! Hear Soul knockers like Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Ruffin, Chuck Jackson, Jerry Butler, Etta James, Sam Cooke, The Marvelettes,...

$35.34 *

Various: Move On Up Vol.2 - The Very Best Of Northern Soul (3-CD)
Art-Nr.: CD5367013
 

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(2016/Universal Music TV) 75 original 1960s master tracks - digipac.  - Television advertised superb Northern Soul compilation - all killer no filler. Bargain!*****

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Mighty Sam McClain: Your Perfect Companion (LP)
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Currently not available

(1986/Orleans Records) 6 Tracks - Legendary original 1986 album! Rare Soul at its Best! Mint sealed stock copy!

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Roy Lee Johnson & The Villagers: Roy Lee Johnson And The Villagers (LP)
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(2016/Concord Music) 10 Tracks - Reissue of the rare 1973 Stax album! Rare Soul at its Best!

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Various: Love Train - The Sound Of Philadelphia (4-CD Box)
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(2008/Sony) 71 Tracks - Get Down With The Philly Sound! 71 songs on 4-CDs including 30 #1 Hits! Over 4 hours of American standards that defined an era including 'Love Train,' 'If You Don't Know Me By Now,' 'Me & Mrs. Jones,' 'For The Love Of Money,' 'Ain't No...

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Tina Turner: Rough (CD)
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(EMI) 11 tracks - 1978 Parlaphone.

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Various: Honeybeat - Groovy 60s Girl-Pop (LP, 180g, Colored Vinyl)
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(2017/Real Gone) 14 sweet, sassy, soulful and rare 1960s Girl-Pop gems. Gatefold Package featuring unseen photos, artist interviews & extensive notes. Limited Edition (of 1200) on 180-Gram Violet Vinyl.

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(2014/Wagram) 100 tracks

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(2005/Rhino) 14 tracks

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Various: Soul Sister - The Very Best Of Female Soul Singers (CD)
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(2015/Spectrum) 21 tracks 1964-2006 (76:19).  - Soul Sisters celebrates the very best in female vocalists from the 20th and 21st centuries. There are few things more powerful than an emotive, passionate voice singing of love, loss, hope and joy. We have...

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Gladys Knight & The Pips: Anthology (2-LP)
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(1974/Motown) 23 tracks - Canadian pressing - originally sealed factory copy - Cut-out LP

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