Various Artists

Talcum Soul, Vol. 2: 25 Stonking Northern Soul Greats

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Talcum Soul, Vol. 2: 25 Stonking Northern Soul Greats (Stateside/EMI): Okay, so the title's a head-scratcher -- the "talcum" reference is confusing enough, but what the hell does "stonking" mean? But the "25 Northern Soul Greats" part of the equation is dead-on: compiling material from labels large (Capitol, United Artists) and small (Veep), the second volume in the Talcum Soul series burrows deep into the vaults to unearth over two dozen dusty grooves notable as much for their quality as for their scarcity. A number of cuts are making their CD debuts, in fact, and a number of artists are unknowns who, based on the evidence at hand, deserved bigger and better -- highlights include the Jive 5's "You're a Puzzle," the 4 Larks' "Grooving at the Go-Go," and the Earl Wright Orchestra's "Thumb a Ride."

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