Northern Soul is an English term. It spilled out of the UK mod scene, mostly in the north of the country. Think Tamla Motown and a driving soul sound. Most of these records are stupidly rare and it’s the most expensive genre to collect. In fact, Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I do)” is currently the most expensive 7” single sold to date, with £25,000+ being paid by its current owner in May 2009. And there are only two copies known to exist. There are thousands of Northern Soul Records out there, most of them US copies, but a lot of the tunes were pressed up on British labels.
The Mod R ‘n’ B sound was born out of raucous blues-based bands and this evolved around 1965 into something called Freakbeat. The term Freakbeat itself wasn’t coined until the 80s but the name has stuck. Psych is another term that’s used to describe the genre. It was when Miller released their classic 7” “Baby, I Got News For You” that it was clear something different was afoot. The fuzz guitar, phasing effects and trippy ambience was something fresh. The Freakbeat scene generally morphed into more psychedelic sounds such as Pink Floyd, of which many of you will be aware. There were some brilliant records released between 1966 and 1968 which didn’t sell, didn’t chart and were pretty much consigned to bargain bins or pulped. Those who have them treasure them and those that don’t will pay hundreds for the right record. Wimple Winch, The Eyes, Fleur De Lys – you might not of heard of them but their records are awesome and way ahead of their time. If you have any Freakbeat singles, we’d like to hear them.
Folk is technically the word of the working classes. Stories delivered with accompaniment. It’s been around for donkey’s years and mostly attracts your hardcore sandal-wearing acoustic-only types. But there are also your Folk Rock fans. The best way to describe the difference is via Bob Dylan. Listen to his first few albums such as “The Freewheelin’…” and you’ll find it’s mostly acoustic guitar with words. However, he upset a lot of the purists when he famously went ‘electric’ at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 and thus invented Folk Rock. If this is more your cup of tea, then bands like Fairport Convention and singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and Michael Chapman are gonna float your boat. If you have some of the Nick Drake early releases (he only released 3 albums), check to see if you have a pink labeled copy of "Five leaves left" with the blue inner sleeve, the gatefold outer sleeve with the Basing street address on it. It's worth a lot of money, in mint condition obvioulsy.
Psychedelic is a broad term which covers music originating in the late 60s from within the hippy culture. Generally speaking, it’s music which was influenced by LSD and other mind-altering substances. Both in the UK and America, its popularity was immense and its legacy hugely influential. Most of you will automatically think Pink Floyd. But consider The Doors, 13th Floor Elevators, Jefferson Airplane and Traffic as purveyors of psych classics too. My favoutrite collectable here is July's eponymous album on the Major Minor label. Got one of these? Before you get too excited though, they have been repressed and the US issue on Epic is not so desirable. As ever, the record needs to be scratch free to reach it's £600 value.
Krautrock is, unsurprisingly, a musical style from Germany. Trippy, heavy instrumentals are the order of the day here. Bands such as Tangerine Dream, Faust, Can, and Amon Düül II get a groove going and see it out. It’s quite hypnotic and trance like. Some albums like German Oak’s self-pressed 1972 eponymous album have sold for as much as £600.
When you think of Prog Rock, you probably think of long-haired and bearded fellas who don’t change their socks very often. Well you’re not necessarily wrong. But what most of them definitely were, were very proficient musicians who pushed the boundaries of popular music past the 3-minute pop single into the 30-minute, guitar-noodling epics. It’s like Marmite – you either love it or hate. But those who love it pay good money for original albums. Bands like Caravan, King Crimson and Yes all have huge followings. Labels like Vertigo (with the swirl label), Deram and Harvest are very desirable. If you have originals on these labels, they are worth a closer look to an expert.
Ska is a genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and this led to Reggae as we know it now. There are many collectable reggae, ska and rocksteady labels, a lot of which were brought over by the first West Indian immigrants during the 50s and 60s. A lot of these records are very scarce and original copies in good playable condition are even rarer. With Bob Marley’s popularity in the 70s and Chris Blackwell of Island Records extending reggae to white audiences, labels like Trojan became very popular and their releases are now quite a common find.
The story goes that Malcolm McClaren went to New York in the early 70s, saw The New York Dolls, came back and formed The Sex Pistols. Well that’s possibly true but there’s a bit more to it than that. Punk is more of an ethos, a DIY attitude that purveys over production and sound quality ideals. Look mean, play mean and give it some attitude. The Punk movement spawned some absolute classics and bands like The Clash, The Buzzcocks, The Pistols are just three of the most well-known. Punk didn’t die in the 70s, it just spawned into new margins, for example US Punk and Hardcore. There’s tons of it and each sub category has its own fans and collectors. There’s a huge amount of private pressings in this genre, some of which are worth a small fortune.