Various Artists

Once Upon a Time in Wigan, Vol. 2: 20 Classic Northern Soul Hits

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A companion volume to the original soundtrack to the stage production Once Upon a Time in Wigan, a musical charting the experiences of dancers frequenting the Wigan Casino -- the most famous and hedonistic club to emerge from Britain's Northern soul craze of the 1970s -- this typically strong BBE label compilation assembles 20 more rare soul gems in the up-tempo, hard-driving vein once guaranteed to keep Casino regulars on the dancefloor. None of the material will be unknown to longtime Northern collectors, and most if not all the tracks appear on other compilations as well, but it's a strong set nevertheless, boasting the overall quality that is the hallmark of BBE's output. Highlights include Richard "Popcorn" Wylie's "Hanky Panky," the Montclairs' "Hung Up on Your Love," and Tony Hester's "Down in the Dumps."

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