Thursday, July 19, 2012


I haven't posted a really good soul 45 in a while, so here's one from (I'm guessing) a Philadelphia group. Seems this was their only 45, on the Important label (one of the literally HUNDREDS of small imprints distributed under the Jamie/Guyden banner).

Both sides of this 45 are fantastic: the A-side, "That's What I Like", is fine mid-tempo soul with an eerie echo on the vocal, but it's the flip that everybody goes crazy for. "You Can't Hold On To Love" is HUGE on the Northern and Brooklyn scenes, but it doesn't annoy me like most Northern 45s - the vocals here are top-notch, and the tempo, while faster than "That's What I Like", doesn't even come close to the breakneck speed preferred by some of those amp-heads who scream "KEEP THE FAITH" while grinding their teeth to a nub.

Of course, the Northerners also love it because it's rare as hen's teeth - expect to pay anywhere from 150 to 300 bucks from a dealer.

I'll never forget the day I found this - I was hanging out with Jack, the owner of my all-time favorite record store (the late, lamented Yesterday's Books & Records in Montclair, NJ) when two skinny black dudes (one wearing sunglasses) walked in with a GIGANTIC box LOADED with unsleeved soul 45s. There must have been 500-600 45s in that box. Some of them were in decent shape; a lot of them were trashed. The sunglasses dude wanted some ridiculous amount of cash from Jack for the 45s (like $1000). When I remarked on the condition of some of the records, Mr. Sunglasses told me that he knew of a cleaner that magically took scratches off of records. Of course, I called bullshit on that and me 'n' Sunglasses went at it for about 10 minutes. Finally Jack offered the guy 100 bucks for the 45s, and since it was a hot day and they didn't want to carry the box back out to try and peddle it to someone else, they took it. I immediately dove into the 45s and pulled out a number of things (for a buck each) - Big Maybelle on Rojac, The Soul Stirrers on Sar, The Meters on Josie, and this one, among others. The bummer was, I didn't have a lot of cash with me that day, so I couldn't buy more - so I left the OTHER THREE COPIES of this 45 (two stock, one promo) in the box. When I came back a week later, the box was gone. I often wonder what else I left in there, since there were a LOT of records I didn't recognize AT ALL.

The Determinations - You Can't Hold On To Love (Important 1010) - 1967


  1. This is a choice pick, Richard. I think there are a lot of 'northern soul' records that are great 'soul' records, period! My favourites are Luther Ingram's 'If It's All the Same To You Babe' and Major Lance's 'You Don't Want Me No More', amongst many, many others. As you say, northern soul devotees also seem to champion many clunkers too . . . guess we'd just have to have been on the scene to appreciate those.

    1. Agreed. There are a lot of Northern soul records that are real duffers on the home stereo, but when you're on the dance floor, they're KILLERS!

  2. Record collecting in my history is all about the luck.Its having the luck to be in the right place at the right time with money in your pocket. Example I made an appointment to go visit a guy I know here in England who is a major record dealer. While I was in a bar killing time a lad walked in with a box of records. We got talking and he was off to see the same guy to try and sell them and he gave me the price he was getting. I offered him 10% more and they were mine. I kept the few I really wanted and trebled my money back on the others. If I tell you now 30 years on that the few I kept add up to over £3k you can understand why I said its luck. You've also got to love the hunt.

  3. I met one of the guys from this group, and I believe he said they were out of New Jersey.

  4. I met one of the guys from this group, and I believe he said they were out of New Jersey.