Soul explosion, fragmentation and decline
in Keeping the faith
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Chapter 4 charts the fragmentation and diversification of northern soul during the late 1970s. It illustrates the tensions and schisms that were created in the later years of northern soul’s pre-eminence. Such fragmentation is explored through a number of themes; musical preferences (‘oldies’ and ‘newies’), factionalism between DJs and fans, new genres and styles in black music, the changing aspirations and tastes of consumers, the rise of rival venues and the increasing popularity of ‘all-dayers’. At the heart of these tensions was a debate which ran to the core of what northern soul was, or had become. There is a detailed examination of the challenges posed by shifts in soul music styles such as New York disco and jazz funk. The chapter draws on a range of primary sources in making sense of the politics of the dance floor in clubs such as Wigan Casino, Blackpool Mecca and Cleethorpes Pier.

Keeping the faith

A history of northern soul

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