Various Artists

Big City Soul, Vol. 4 -- 60 Northern Soul Classics

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The fourth volume in the consistently solid Big City Soul series is the most generous to date, requiring two CDs to encompass a whopping 60 tracks from New York's famed Scepter, Wand, Musicor, and Dynamo labels. It's a worthwhile purchase whether you're a Northern soul expert or neophyte, balancing a mother lode of rare, previously uncollected tracks alongside classics like Curtis Blandon's monster "In the Long Run," easily one of the four or five greatest Northern soul rediscoveries of all time. The marquee names win out, with many of the highlights coming from Chuck Jackson, the Shirelles, and Inez & Charlie Foxx, but with this much material there's a lot of buried treasure as well, not to mention the occasional curve ball like "When It Comes to My Baby," by a then-unknown (and pre-country) Ronnie Milsap.

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