Various Artists

Best of Soul Time: A Selection of Northern Soul Classics from the Archives

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Just because the title references the kinds of major labels that you'd imagine have anthologized their soul records countless times over doesn't mean there's still not a wealth of classic material out there waiting to be discovered -- sure, Best of Soul Time draws on the vast catalog of CBS and its affiliated imprints, but the grooves here are as great and as obscure as anything you're going to find from record companies that operated on the fringe. If anything, this stuff's even better than the really outré finds, because these artists had the CBS studio muscle at their disposal -- meaning that even if the singles in question never cracked the charts, it wasn't for lack of spit and polish. Spanning two discs and 58 cuts in total, Best of Soul Time is a steal -- much of the material is seeing its first legitimate CD reissue, and for the insatiable Northern soul collector, there's a real wealth of music here to discover, with only a handful of clunkers. Highlights include Erma Franklin's "Abracadabra," the Carstairs' "He Who Picks a Rose," the Artistics' "Get My Hands on Some Lovin'," Bobby Lester's "Hang Up Your Hang-Ups," and Lee David's "Temptation Is Calling My Name."

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