Various Artists

Stafford Story: 24 Northern Soul Tracks That Broke Mould

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Stafford's Top of the World was one of the nightspots du jour at the peak of Britain's Northern soul club culture. Favoring the most propulsive, gritty, and obscure records from the halcyon days of American soul music, the venue was home to former Wigan Casino DJs and tastemakers Richard Searling and Gary Rushbrooke, later launching the careers of "terrible twins" Keb Darge and Guy Hennigan. Despite the odd syntax of its subtitle, Stafford Story: 24 Northern Soul Tracks That Broke Mould is a fine retrospective of songs popular at and popularized by Top of the World, assembling two dozen rare soul sides, some making their CD debut. Highlights include Rodd Keith's "Like the Lord Said," Jackie Day's "Naughty Boy," Roy Wright's "Hook, Line and Sinker," and Glenda McCloud's "No Stranger to Love."