10 essential Northern Soul songs

By in Features, Label News





Including Lewie & The 7 Days, Alfonso Ruben Ramos, Bobby Taylor and more.

Ahead of their appearance this weekend at Manchester’s Sounds From The Other City Festival, Northern Soul expert duo Will Foot and Lewis Heander, aka Deptford Northern Soul Club, share what they believe to be ten essential Northern Soul classics “for a new generation”.

Lewie & The 7 Days

“You’ve Been Cheatin’ On Me”


I love The Impressions’ version of this track but have recently come across this rendition by Lewie & The 7 Days and I have to say it might actually top Curtis Mayfield’s old group. A little slower than The Impressions; Lewie & The 7 Days brings something different to this classic number. Lewie Taylor’s voice carries really well and with that backing piano, it becomes a deeply emotional performance.

Alfonso Ruben Ramos

“Slip Away”

(Capri Records)

Carrying on the theme of alternative versions, Alfonso Ruben Ramos, an artist with over one-hundred recorded albums under his belt, knocks this version of “Slip Away” out of the park! We put out the mighty Tyrone Davis’ version on our label DNSC.r, from his album Can I Change My Mind, and that’s well worth checking out if you wanted a more dance-orientated beat.

Honey & The Bees

“Love Addict”

(Arctic Records)

This has to be one of the greatest tracks ever written. Play this to turn any audience into a sweaty mess of empowered movers strutting to a deeply melodic bass-heavy beat. Brilliantly arranged by Philadelphia’s Bobby Martin on the Arctic label, Honey & The Bees fka The Yum Yums, who are forever immortalized for the sublime “Gonna Be A Big Thing”, really hit their pinnacle with this stomping triumph.

Bobby Taylor

“Oh, I’ve Been Bless’d”


Originally out on the VIP subsidiary of Motown Records “Oh, I’ve Been Bless’d” became American soul singer Bobby Taylor’s greatest hit, that you’ve probably never heard before. Produced by the legendary Frank Wilson, this uptempo track has been spinning at many of our nights over the past few months.

The Steinways

“You’ve Been Leadin’ Me On”

(Oliver Records)

“You’ve Been Leadin’ Me On” was a record I’d been carrying around in my record box for a few months until Rhys Webb and Keb Darge invited me down to play a set at Live Wire Soul Club at Ridley Road Market Bar in London a few months ago. I cracked out this bass-driven number after Keb’s garage set to segue into a set of uptempo soul. Now, wherever I hear it, I can’t help but think of that funny night in East London, drinking piña coladas and dancing to the sublime sounds of The Steinways.

Alfreda Brockington

“Your Love Has Got Me Chained And Bound”

(Phil L.A. of Soul)

My favourite Northern Soul track at the moment. A slow burner of an opening leads into a riptide of a beat that’s only broken by an epic breakdown at the end. One from the highly regarded and punnily named Phil L.A of Soul record label that, as well as Alfreda, had notable Northern Soul alumni such as Cliff Nobles, Herb Ward and Helene Smith.

Sebastian Williams

“Get Your Point Over”

(Ovide Records)

Introduced to this track by Jamie xx many years ago – a classic dancer of a tune. We were lucky enough to pick up the rights to reissue it in 2021 and it’s one of our top-selling Deptford Northern Soul Club Records releases, unsurprisingly. Still a regular fixture of our sets.

The Belles

“Don’t Pretend”


I’m having a real Mirwood Records moment and like so much soul music in the world, it came to me off an Ace Records compilation. A classic Northern Soul formula: stomping backbeat, epic vocal line and plenty of horns. You can’t help but dance to this one and the amount of reissues in the decades since its 1966 release speaks to its popularity.

Jean Wells

“With My Love And What You’ve Got (We Can Turn The World Around)”

(Calla Records)

A go-to set opener currently as it sets the tone for the rest of the night. So much adrenaline in this track, the climax reaches the heights you want it to and more.

Joanne Gayles

“Meet Me Halfway”

(Bright Star)

Fast and furious. We can’t spin this one all the time – it’s so quick we have to make sure the crowd is warmed up enough in case someone does a knee or something. Always know it’s been a top night when this record comes out of the box.

Catch Deptford Northern Soul Club at Sounds From The Other City on April 30 and check out DNSC.r’s releases to date.