Various Artists

Wigan 30th Anniversary 1973-2003

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The legendary club Wigan Casino captured the Northern soul spirit at its most hedonistic: a massive post-Victorian theater-cum-snooker hall with a sprung wooden floor ideal for dancing, it held about 2,000 patrons, although at its peak, card-carrying membership totaled a staggering 100,000-plus members. Spearheaded by DJs Russ Winstanley, Kev Roberts, and Richard Searling, Wigan Casino broke more American soul records than any other club, and in 1978 was named by Billboard Magazine "Best Disco in the World," beating even New York's renowned Studio 54 at the peak of its own influence and notoriety. When city leaders closed Wigan Casino on December 6, 1981, to build a civic center that never even materialized, an era truly came to an end; a few months later, the derelict venue burned to the ground. Wigan 30th Anniversary 1973-2003 celebrates not only the club but its massive and enduring influence, compiling 30 tracks that celebrate Northern soul's heyday. Highlights include the Accents' "On the Run," Rita and the Tiaras' "Gone With the Wind Is My Love," Buster Jones' "Baby Boy," the Royal Vibes' "The Wigan Joker," and Padded Cell's "Mister Misery."