- Artist: Tony Middleton
- A Side: Paris Blues
- B Side: Out Of This World
- Label: Mala
- Format: 45s
It seems today, that when you relive this giant of a NS classic, that it started life as an unlikely choice of all niter/weekend play.
The Northern Soul scene had just gotten over a servere fork in the road, a controversial time of the right-angle diversity created by Wigan Casino “pop stompers”, Blackpool Mecca passion for new disco releases, Cleethorpes liking for funk, along with DJ’s arranging and producing their own records with the guidance of experienced USA producers that even hit the UK charts... Northern Soul turntable pucks seemed to be encompassing every form of “dance”.
So how did this funeral paced Big City stroller capture the imagination of the Northern Soul dancer... after hearing this 45 at the house of a Belgium collector/DJ in Gent. I was so taken by it’s growling power, I set about trying to acquire a copy. Being unsuccessful at Al Pavlow’s unrivaled house full of 45’s in Rhode Island my go to place for “new wants”, thumbing through his jaw-dropping racks of 45’s. Eventually my Belgium friend parted with his 45..after I found him a few from his intriguing “Goldmine” wants list advert.
Fortunately I had the perfect opportunity to drop this off-the-wall grinder into my set; as Cleethorpes DJ’s adopted “a clear the dance floor” for the next DJ “Joke” taken in a light hearted manner by all involved.
I played “Paris Blues” as my last record for over 2 months. At first to stand-still gazes of bemusement from a static dance floor, until a few would shuffle around in self conscious politeness. Then one afternoon “Paris Blues” had the opposite affect. Instead of emptying the dance floor for the next DJ, this Winter Gardens Sunday afternoon, it filled the floor. With the jolly waiting figure of “Bub” chuckling away telling me can he’s “Starting my set with DescO’Conner, these fcukers will dance to owt!”
Claus Ogerman’s mighty, mighty production and Tony Middleton’s growling vocal, became a pace-changer for the Cleethorpes dancers, just as Arin Demain had also done. Both rising up from tongue-in-cheek bit of turntable “banter” from the Cleethorpes family of DJ’s, lovingly assembled by the parents of Cleethorpes Mary and Colin Chapman.
R.I.P. Colin and thank you both for the DJing break you gave to me 46 years ago.. this record review is written with you still bright in my memory.
Condition ReportTwo flawless labels, vinyl reveals only the merest storage blemish from it's birth-sleeve. A top copy.
- Title: Paris Blues
- Title: Out Of This World
- Year: 1966
- City: New York, N.Y.