Various Artists

Right Track: The Best of Okeh Northern Soul

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For decades a vital and pioneering force in black American music, the venerable Okeh label entered a creative and commercial renaissance in 1962, when producer and A&R director Carl Davis took the helm and ushered in the heyday of Chicago soul. Earthier and rougher-edged than the rival Motown Sound coming from across Lake Michigan, the Okeh aesthetic was no less immediate, favoring bold, brassy arrangements and hard-charging rhythms that redefined the sound of R&B in the nation's musical epicenter. Camden's excellent Right Track: The Best of Okeh Northern Soul assembles 15 of the label's most enduring hits, all of them deservedly venerated via Britain's Northern Soul club circuit -- -a more timeless and consistent classic soul compilation you're unlikely to find. Highlights include Major Lance's "You Don't Want Me No More," the Carstairs' "He Who Picks a Rose," Sandi Sheldon's "You're Gonna Make Me Love You," and the Artistics' "This Heart of Mine."

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