Friday, January 15, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: Sunny & the Sunliners "If I Could See You Now"

In the grand scheme of things, my knowledge of great Northern Soul records is severely limited. You could set me in front of a bin filled with nothing but absolute gems, and I could probably pull out something like five, maybe up to ten if I was particularly on top of my game that day. The fact that I would know any such records at all has a lot that I DJ at a club with people who are far more knowledgeable on the subject than myself, so I've managed to pick up a thing or two here and there. This track from Sunny & the Sunliners was the first one that really managed to jump out and grab me. I'd heard one of my fellow DJs play it a number of times, and always thought it was great. Still, it wasn't until one particular Hungry Beat! a few months ago that I finally said to myself, "I have to know what that song is!" I asked, and I was told. Ever since then I'll have a day here and there where I simply have to hear the song several times in a row before my intake of it has been satisfied. To my mind it perfectly encompasses everything about Northern Soul records that make them ideal for all night dance parties - the unasuming instrumentation with the always welcome use of horns and an organ in their respective exactly right places, the vocals that are sort of simultaneously heartfelt and whimsical, and probably more than anything else the relentlessly fast (yet very even) pace that blends fantastically with the vocal phrasing to guarantee that you'll be out of breath by the end of the song whether you've been dancing particularly hard or not. I've still not yet tracked down the 45, but I'm hoping that it's only a matter of time...

And if you feel like dancing tomorrow (quite possibly to this song) you should head out to La Cita and join us for Hungry Beat!