Full details aren’t available for this, perhaps because the content isn’t quite finalised as yet. But we still have a decent idea of just what The Odyssey: A Northern Soul Time Capsule CD+DVD box set will offer.
We have the image for a start, which shows an extensive and rather stylish box. I first saw it mentioned months ago, so I’m guessing a lot of work has and is going into this box, which is pitched as being the definitive collection of northern soul and its scene.
According to the initial details, the box, which is being produced by Harmless / Demon, is an eight-disc set curated by long-time compiler and Northern Soul DJ, Ian Dewhirst, assisted by Anglo American’s Tim Brown for compiling the music and with material from Mike Ritson’s much-praised northern soul book The In Crowd forming the backbone of the accompanying booklet.
In addition to that, journalist and broadcaster Simon White, interviewed, supervised and directed the collection of numerous interviews with most of the scene’s best-known characters. Richard Searling also interviews the world’s longest-standing and most enigmatic record dealer, John Anderson, as well as squeezing in an interview with Philadelphia International’s Kenny Gamble, who looks through Richard’s collection of his own releases from the 1960s and sees many of these UK releases for the first time ever!
So two DVDs, six discs of northern soul classics and a 150-page book designed by Glen Gunton. The music (while not confirmed track by track) follows the evolvement of northern soul, from its early beginnings at Manchester’s Twisted Wheel club in 1968, through to The Golden Torch, Blackpool Mecca, Wigan Casino and Cleethorpes Pier in the 1970s, Stafford Top Of The World and The 100 Club in the 1980s and the huge dearth of Soul weekenders and the 100 Club again from the 1990s to the present day. 222 tracks in all, which will all be licensed from legitimate sources and all ‘painstakingly re-mastered’ and documented within the sleevenotes.
It is called the ‘most exhaustive history of the Northern Soul scene ever released’ and judging by what we know so far, that’s probably very true. The box is released on 16th February 2015, with the pre-order price at £76.99.