Various Artists

North of Watford: 24 Rare Pop & Soul Classics, Vol. 1

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A twist on the usual Northern Soul compilation, this one is top heavy with obscure R&B and pop tracks produced in the United Kingdom. The U.K. productions, other than Real Thing's "You to Me Are Everything," never crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Tunes like Jimmy James' "A Man Like Me," the Sharonettes' rendition of "Going to a Go Go," Jimmy Radcliffe's "Long After Tonight Is All Over," and Wayne Gibsons' "Under My Thumb" will be new sounds to most listeners outside of Europe. The collection contains three genuine pop hits: the Chiffons' innocent "Sweet Talking Guy," the Newbeats' high energy "Run Baby Run," and Mel Carter's "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me." The few obscure American R&B shots include Roy C's "Shotgun Wedding," "I Get the Sweetest Feeling," by Jackie Wilson, an early Barry White production on Felice Taylor's "I Feel Love Coming On," and Dobie Gray's "Out on the Floor."

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