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Baker's Dozen

You Got Soul: Norman Jay's Favourite Singles
Yousif Nur , January 20th, 2016 10:42

After releasing his latest Good Times compilation last year, the DJ talks Yousif Nur through the early musical experiences that shaped his taste, from northern soul nights to crate-digging for 7"s, in picking his top 13 records


Eddie Holman – 'This Will Be A Night To Remember'
This song was being played at the Blackpool Mecca, which was a totally, totally different kettle of fish to Wigan Casino. The two clubs really were like chalk and cheese, which turned into a rivalry. The latter was full of older guys who had been around the music scene since the late '60s. On the other hand, the kids at the Mecca looked and dressed like us and it was like London in the north of England. They were playing new, modern sounds. At that time, I loved this song but it wasn't being played anywhere in London yet. But 'This Will Be A Night To Remember' was such a massive, massive floor-filler up in Blackpool.

Why do you think Ian Levine, who ran the club, was so forward-thinking as opposed to the nostalgic sounds of Wigan Casino?

I'm not Levine's biggest fan, but he was clever enough to understand that you can't base a scene retrospectively. You simply can't. There's no future in that. People always ask me why I have so many old records. Well, the only reason I have them is because I buy them new. Because I never indulged in the smugness that pervaded the whole scene, I bought northern as well as jazz, funk, disco and so on. I had no problem – it was all black music to me. It was only white people who seemed to make distinctions of different genres and scenes. If you went into a black club, you'd hear all of these tracks side by side. But I understood in time that that was the culture up north. That was the way it was. Ian Levine knew that disco was going to be the next big thing and – like me – found all the soulfulness in the best bits of this new music. I liked Blackpool because they picked all the new music up. The playlist was predominantly new stuff, with a few oldies thrown in from LA, New York and Chicago. While they were still very northern-sounding, they now call that kind of soul music modern!