Wednesday, 18 April 2012
CATS EYES - A LEFT FIELD FLOOR FILLER
CATS EYES was a DANCE NOVELTY 45 released on the PHILLIPS label in 1973.The tune was written and produced by PETER SHELLEY the man who co-founded MAGNET RECORDS,masterminded the career of ALVIN STARDUST and had solo hit's with ''GEE BABY'' and ''LOVE ME LOVE MY DOG'' in 1975.
The track is a wonderful UP-TEMPO GROOVER that features a FUNKY CLAVINET lead and uses SHRIEKING VIOLINS,CHANTED VOCALS and HAND DRUMS to keep the tune bouncing and moving along.The record failed to catch on when it was first released,but later became a huge FLOOR FILLER on the NORTHERN SOUL SCENE in 1976/77
In the early 70's the new sound of FUNKY SOUL was gaining wide acceptance amongst fans in the south of England,but many in the north were far less impressed.DAVE GODIN started using the term NORTHERN SOUL in his BULES AND SOUL magazine column to describe records that had an upbeat TAMLA MOTOWN sound.This was done in recognition of the type of dance music still popular with soul fans in the north of the country.
The popularity of 'northern' began to grow and club nights that exclusively played this sound continued to spring up.DJ's were in fierce competition to find records that would satisfy dancers on the scene,but as the 70's wore on tunes with the correct feel began to dry up and DJ's suplimented their sets with recordings by artists who's music would normally fall outside the defined genre of soul music.
Trendsetting DJ's had already started 'covering up' the labels of their rarest finds and would rename them in order to keep the tunes exclusive and avoid detection from bootleggers and other DJ's.This was a ploy that also helped 'LEFT FIELD' tunes like CATS EYES to gain acceptence.When it was covered up and renamed LET'S GO GROOVIN' by THE SOUL AGENTS the record got a wild reaction on the dancefloor of the legendary WIGAN CASINO club and would soon gain significant popularity when it was played in other clubs throughout the north.
Footage of THE WIGAN CASINO in the 1970's