- Artist: Dobie Gray
- A Side: Out On The Floor
- B Side: My Baby
- Label: Thunderbird
- Format: 45s
Arguably Northern Soul’s most-important of all its dancefloor anthems; presented here in its rarest possible form. Before you today is the crazy-rare, decidedly attractive 1974 New Jersey STOCK copy of a recording that converted more young people to a lifetime of Northern Soul than another other.
Growing up, some events I vividly remember like it was yesterday.
As a 13 year old, arriving home from the Youth Club Friday to a darkened sitting room, the only light was the TV illuminating my mother and father sitting huddle on the settee, holding hands. transfixed on the screen, as the Aberfan disaster unfolded before their eyes.
Only a few months earlier I had sat round my friends house watching England win the World Cup.
A couple of years later I felt like Geoff Hurst, when scored a spectacular volley on a Saturday morning school game, with my Dad looking on. I’d never seen him so proud witnessing his wayward son grabbing a late winning goal for King Edward VII upper school 1st 11. He wasn’t so proud when I was expelled a few weeks later. These events stay in my mind to this day.
My other most memorable experience was one Thursday early evening 1970 when I blew my complete wage packet with "Jim" if I recall his name correctly. A weather-worn guy, the owner of the Leicester Market record stall.
When my apprentice Gas Board brown envelope of £8 7 shillings and 6 d was transformed into a paper bag full of Soul 45s, that Jim had save me from my weekly lunch time visit. Hanging around proudly showing off my Earl Van Dyke “ 6 by 6 “ some light blue Stax’s, a couple of Red Atlantic’s mixed in with various Tamla Motown TMG’s. I was now a penniless vinyl-junkie but pumped full of adrenaline, by my Thursday vinyl rush I was now completely addicted to.
Then one of my soul-competitors turned up, I was smirking inside, as I’d already had first-dibs. He asked Jim “have you got it?” Jim “Yes, it’s here” as he reached into small handled 45 carry case, a box he never allowed me near. Jim pulled out a red label 45 and dropped it on the portable record player ...
HEY, HEY, HEY! - HEY, HEY, HEY! YEAH YEAH YEAH! - BABE IT’S OUT OF SIGHT!
followed by those spine-tingling piano partitions that completely there and then ...nailed me...as they rang out into the now darkening winter’s evening.
Then that booming hook line...
I GET MY KICKS OUT ON THE FLOOR!!! ...I felt sick.
What the fu@k! In that moment instantaneous total deflation drained me, by a record I’d never heard before and it was the greatest sound ever! My rival went into spontaneous triumphant NS footwork, smashing his hands together in thunderous dance-moves played on the 100’s of years old Leicester market cobblestones.
Sapped of adrenaline, my heart was slowly seeping out of my now tightly clenched butt. Reality had struck home, I was stone-broke, tightly scrunching up the corners of my insignificant a paper bag, crammed full of inferior records...I'd just been Northern Soul baptized by Dobie Gray and the greatest record I’d ever heard.
Trudging off up Charles street to the train station I can remember seething with envy and my growing dislike for the handclappin’, shiny brogue wearing dancing dude in the full length leather coat and who crossed Jim’s palm with £3 for that red-disc.
I consoled myself with “what a twat, who, would pay a whole £3 for just one single... idiot!
So now you can gaze upon and hear a life-transforming disc for us Brits - the timeless Northern Soul anthem in its very rarest clothes... my first copy ever, of a record most-everyone thought this was promo only, this was actually the very first 45 released by Thunderbird Records after they moved base from Buffalo New York, to Fairlawn New Jersey.
To the old-school collector, with memories similar to my own - this is a thing of real beauty... so elusive and so very attractive, every time reigniting memories of my first encounter with Dobie.
Condition ReportTwo clean multi-coloured labels, full gloss mint minus vinyl - top copy in stunninng condition.
- Title: Out On The Floor
- Title: My Baby
- Year: 1974
- City: Fairlawn, New Jersey 07410