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Monday, 13 February 2012

37. Dean Parrish - Determination

If you wanted an introduction to northern soul in the early eighties, your options were severely limited in a particularly grimy South Yorkshire town. In Foxes Records they had about three vinyl compilation albums with the most instantly appealing; the legendary Floorshakers album on Kent Records. It was an essential purchase and would prove to be my only Northern Soul purchase until the advent of cheap CD compilations in the 2000's.

The cover said it all really; colourful, fun-packed classic soul. And the most colourful and fun-packed track on the album was 'Determination' by Dean Parrish. It sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. It was undeniably soul music, but completely different to the Motown classics I was familiar with at the time. Dean had a deep, booming voice like a cross between Brian Blessed and Barry White, but backed with such a range of horns that it was like listening to the Brighouse and Rastrick brass band gone wild.

As a wet behind the ears teenager I had no idea at the time what made Northern Soul 'Northern', but I knew it was a good thing and it was much better than Southern Soul, which was probably a softer, less authentic version of its harder northern cousin. I could easily envisage Dean Parrish performing this track at some sleazy working men's club in Rotherham. I didn't know if he was black or white, came from New York or Pontefract, but I knew that in spirit he was Northern, working class and came from Doncaster. And that was enough for me to love this song to this day.

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