Various Artists

Best of Northern Soul, Vol. 3

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Given that it surveys a genre that is by definition devoid of hits, Goldmine's Best of Northern Soul series employs none of the objective qualifiers -- e.g., chart success and retail sales -- that define the terms of similar retrospectives. "Best of" here is a purely subjective notion, and for better or worse the series' third volume largely eschews the landmark records etched in the collective consciousness of Northern soul fandom to spotlight fledgling classics only rediscovered in more recent years -- in that sense, it's not quite the primer neophytes might hope and/or expect, but credit Goldmine for forgoing the tried and true in order to program a listening experience of uncommon consistency and quality. Highlights include Darrell Banks' "Somebody Somewhere Needs You," Gail Anderson's "Be Proud" and the Ad Libs' "Nothing Worse Than Being Alone."

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