- Artist: Rufus Wood
- A Side: Before 2001
- B Side: Ghettoville
- Label: Espnaola
- Format: 45s
We would never insult the intelligence of our readership by pointing out that the copies with the BLACK print text and logo are 70's reissues, repressed by Rufus himself from the original master-plate some 10 years after its failed launch in 1968, because anybody with even a passing interest in rare Northern Soul, learned that fact at NS primary school.
But what we can point out is, this first press of 200 copies only, instantly draws your eye, with the unusual rich green landscape with the dark blue print combination. Truly unmistakable, an unforgettable, decidedly beautiful creature that is a joy to encounter again. An old vinyl-friend that I played in every DJ set I performed at Cleethorpes Pier & Winter Gardens during the 70s. After I was lucky enough to snag a copy during a John Anderson's Soul Bowl visit, John had discovered a handful and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Small quantity finds of John's would fly out the door within hours, Lou Pride's "I'm Com'un Home In The Morn'un" was another great example of how John A. was influencing the Northern Soul scene at the time.
"Before 2001" was the perfect Cleethorpes propellant, a deceiving cymbal tickles out signals for the dancers to prepare, for some serious footwork! Subtly vanishes, smashed aside by a brass bombardment; signaling one of the most contagious guitar riffs ever to greet the Northern Soul dancefloor. It was a floor-packer, it was a signature tune for me and a few other jocks as its superior muscle swept through the NS scene.
But were we all "blind"? ... as it was many years later that I was awoken again to Rufus Wood's charismatic presence, when Keb Darge started to play the flipside "Ghettoville" another testament to Houston writer / producer Alton Joseph Valier's passion for power. I can say without fear of contradiction "Ghettoville" would also have taken the East Coast of England by a storm. Just like "2001", it too has everything the Cleethorpes crowd craved... somehow I missed its glaring potential, that today many rare-soul aficionados consider the "better" side.
With only 200 copies ever pressed way back in 1968, before you today is the only way to own this NS Grail! The beautifully designed BLUE TEXT logo, laid over the rich green background. A vinyl-vista, a Holy Grail that has never faded in my minds-eye, even after 44 years.
An irresistible window into possibly owning a copy in stunning mint minus condition.
Condition ReportTwo clean labels, vinyl carries full gloss, with just a few fine soft storage hairlines under light. plays perfect.
- Title: Before 2001
- Title: Ghettoville
- Year: 1968
- City: 3602 Dowling Avenue, Houston, Texas 77004