1. Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band – ‘You Know You’ll Cry’ (1965)
The self-penned B-side to second single ‘Please Stay’ and one indebted to the rolling New Orleans sound of Allen Toussaint/Lee Dorsey.
2. The Delicates – ‘Shop Shovin’ Me Around’ (1966)
Challenge Records were set-up by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. Gene had moseyed outta town by the time the Delicates cut this Motown soundalike, arranged by the phenomenally prolific and successful Gene Page.
3. Gela – ‘Pinta Mi Mundo’ (1967)
Swinging Spanish version of Pet Clark’s ‘Colour My World’.
4. The Kindly Shepherds – ‘Lend Me Your Hand’ (1967)
Who you gonna call? No, not them, Jesus of course. Released on Checker this is happy-clappy gospel magic.
5. Grant Green – ‘Iron City’ (1967)
It’s Green on guitar, Ben Dixon on drums and, according to the sleeve, Big John Patton on organ although there are plenty who swear it’s Larry Young. Listening closely, they may be right. Either way, this is supreme soul-jazz.
6. The Impressions – ‘Stop The War’ (1972)
Curtis Mayfield had made way in the Impressions for Leroy Hutson to take over the lead role but still provided the songs and production to Times Have Changed. If Curtis hadn’t been cutting Superfly he would surely have been tempted to keep this for himself.
7. Candy Opera – ‘Fever Pitch’ (1989)
Their recordings failed to see the light of day back in the mid-80s, only this month released this month as 45 Revolutions Per Minute, but what a revelation Candy Opera are. Although recorded at different stages the sixteen songs from this overlooked Liverpool band hang together as a superb, essential album. Fantastic all the way through, love it. Fans of Aztec Camera, in particular, take note.
8. Men of North Country – ‘They Don’t Know’ (2016)
"We got some magic beans and we're rounding up the team". A joyous tribute to the secret underground topsy-turvy world of northern soul.
9. Cabbage – ‘Arms of Pleonexia’ (2018)
Lyrically, musically and politically one of the most stirring bands around now, their 100 Club gig further cemented their reputation as an exciting proposition. The dark vibrating rattle and chant of ‘Arms of Pleonexia’ offers a taste of what’s to come from their first proper album, Nihilistic Glamour Shots, in March. Dictionary at the ready.
10. Go-Kart Mozart – ‘When You’re Depressed’ (2018)
As gratifying as it is to see the Felt albums from the 80s reissued, don’t let that distract from Lawrence’s new Go-Kart Mozart album, Mozart Mini-Mart. Like music made for 1980s work training videos, here Lawrence deals with depression.