- Artist: Christine Cooper
- A Side: Heartaches Away My Boy
- B Side: (They Call Him ) A Bad Boy
- Label: Parkway
- Format: 45s
If ever I was asked to play 10 examples of truly unsurpassable Northern Soul, I would add this to my top ten tools for converting the uninitiated into a lifestyle that most of us have never wavered from for 50 years or more.
"Heartaches Away My Boy" does it every time... catapulting me back to my "Wonder Years" of the early 70's.
This listing is obviously Northern Soul classic style at it's maximum. First played by Ian Levine at The Blackpool Mecca and so Motownesque, it apparently caused a sensation on its Mecca debut. But then again it was constructed by two geniuses of popular music. Philly based Sal Tramiaci & Richie Cordell along with Jerry Kasenetz & Jeff Katz created the Super K production "Sound". Here not only capturing The Motown Sound, the team actually outstrip "Motown magic" by crafting one of the greatest Northern Soul creations ever.
I wonder what Ian must have felt inside, as the opening drums hit his ears, closely followed by soaring strings scything the air; then a Mike Terry styled burping sax peppers the whole arrangement.
An intro that would have sent, even a rubbish dancer like me, sliding around the Highland Room arms aloft in utter ecstasy.. I imagine The Mecca congregation did exactly that. But more poignantly could Ian have believed his ears when diamond stylus dropped onto the grooves of his new find. It must have been awesome realization that rare soul 45's can be even better than he‘d ever dreamed of. Spurring him on to search for more adrenaline rushes that these lost recordings trigger.. We've all felt that moment at some time during our Northern Soul journey .
Sal Tramiaci & Ritchie Cordell had already recorded this celestial voice as "Tari Stevens" "False Alarm" on Fairmount. She was perfect for this project. A powerfully sweet voice, cradled by shrill girl choruses, whilst a cascade of volcanic-charged horns rise up, strings encase the voices, taking everyone on a trip into, what has got to be considered one of the greatest Northern Soul records of ALL TIME!
Whilst this masterpiece, a true "lost Soul" gem most likely never sold a unit upon release, it did however hone the "Super K" skills in organizing an overblown production into a perfect storm; as the Super K team hit worldwide fame with their "Kasenetz - Katz Musical Circus" - Quick Joey Small - a huge fave at our local Youth club.. but it was not until 1973 and the bootleg of Christine Cooper emerged on that professional looking Simon Soussan repro on "Super K” that allowed the backwoods of Melton Mowbray to hear this sumptuous slab of Northern Soul.
48 years later it still makes me tingle..
Condition ReportSmall rubberstamp red star on a-side label. Vinyl reveals light surface marks, but as you can hear it plays crisp, clean, loud and true, the occasional light tick along way. Listen
- Title: Heartaches Away My Boy
- Title: (They Call Him ) A Bad Boy
- Year: 1966
- City: Philadelphia, Pa