There are only a few occasions in the course of human history when it can be said that the people were completely in charge of their own cultural revolution. No matter what the political or civil agenda was during the late 1960s and early 1970s, looking back on the social norms that were broken, and the unique experiences that were made by people all over the world, you know that kind of time will probably never come again. Because music is so wrapped up in everything that humans do and experience, it's fitting that the rare northern soul records that became popular during this time would be just as special.
In case you're unfamiliar with the rare northern soul music or movement, you should know that it was centred on some of the most talented, albeit unknown Motown artists of the 1960s. When many people hear the word "Motown" the automatically assume that this movement took place in Detroit, or some other famous American city, but this assumption is incorrect. In fact, the northern soul genre was named and developed in England around the time that the mod scene was coming to an end.
Those that were in love with the early Motown sound, an upbeat rhythm and light-hearted feel, resisted the transition to funk and rock that came later on in the Sixties. They began pestering record store owners with requests for more of the original stuff, the rarer the better. As a result, record store owners in the U.K. started referring to this type of music as "rare northern soul," in honour of the customers from the north of England who were most often requesting it. What began as a flippant way to categorize the type of music these customers were likely to buy became the label for a musical movement that spanned multiple decades, and still continues today.
When it came to finding the best rare northern soul, record store owners and disc jockeys really had a difficult job ahead. Instead of merely being able to browse the American charts for the most popular songs and records, they had to look back into the archives for artists and records that had been forgotten or never played. Northern soul enthusiasts to this day still love to find a record that no one else has, or that hasn't been played in many years. There are plenty of collections that regularly sell for high amounts on auction web sites.