Monday, November 14, 2005

Don't You Feel Wealthy Already?

Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)

This weekend I skimmed through the exhaustive Northern Soul documentary, "The Strange World of Northern Soul." I have enjoyed (but have also been amazed and baffled) by Northern Soul for several years now, and the documentary paints a great picture of the scene and its mix of soul fandom, record collector elitism, and class identity. My favorite portions of the documentary come when '60s soul artists speak about how surprised they were to find that records of theirs which were commercial failures at the time of their release are prized possessions in the NS scene and how, although their own brushes with fame were very short, in England they are revered.

Today's selection, were it not for the fact that most Northern Soul is now available on CD from Ace/Kent Records, Goldmine Records, or other import labels, would be almost impossible to own. Frank Wilson had a great career as a songwriter and producer for Motown. "Do I Love You" was to be his first single as an artist for the label but Berry Gordy talked him into focusing on songwriting rather than performing. As a result, the release was withdrawn and promo copies of the record were destroyed, save for a couple of copies. One such copy has been sold for 15,000 pounds (around $23,000 at the current exchange rate)! It's a great tune, though, and were I rich enough I'd say it was worth every penny.

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