The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

Acquiring Rights and Righting Wrongs?

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

Ady Croasdell [+-]
Ace Records
Ady Croasdell researches the history of Black American soul music. As a CD compiler for the Kent label, part of Ace Records, of 33 years experience, he has had access to many original participants and documents. He has written approximately 200 booklets of 4,000 words or more to accompany compilations, each in terms of the musical history of particular record labels, artists, producers or genres. Having been involved in the Northern and rare soul scene since 1969, he has a unique overview of the impact the music has had in Europe and the UK in particular. Ady promotes Northern Soul dances at London’s 100 Club, which at 36 years is the longest-running event by some considerable way, and runs the Cleethorpes Northern & Rare Soul Weekender, bringing US acts to perform; most of whom have never appeared outside the USA and frequently come out of retirement to perform. It is the longest running such event, now in its 23rd year. Ady has lectured at the Victoria and Albert museum and Salford University.


Since the demand for elusive “sounds” built up in the late 1960s, there has been a history of legitimate reissues of rare soul music and a parallel bootleg scene that sprang up in the early 1970s. Time was when a reissue or bootleg would kill the demand for the particular recording, necessitating top DJs and their exclusive playlists having to champion new finds to keep their sets desirable. Bootlegging precluded the songwriters, label owners and artists of their dues and was/is a reasonably sure-fire way to a quick buck, providing that the particular market is known and understood. This chapter will consider the history and effects of bootlegging, examine how it was allowed to thrive over the years and explore the attitudes of the major labels, whose inaction and ignorance necessitated the bootlegged scene’s birth and longevity. In terms of musical economies, the relationship between the London music industry and the primarily northern UK based bootlegging will be also examined, including the successes of the companies who did things by-the-book and the personal reactions of the creative people affected by the co-existence of these two oppositional yet infinitely interconnected record economies.

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Croasdell, Ady. Acquiring Rights and Righting Wrongs?. The Northern Soul Scene. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 82-98 Feb 2019. ISBN 9781781795583. Date accessed: 03 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.31276. Feb 2019

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