Eddie Piller is a legendary DJ and co-founder of record label Acid Jazz. Eddie was pivotal in the UK's Northern Soul scene and continues to play big sets at Glastonbury, Bestival and Isle of Wight Scooter Rally. He is known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of Northern Soul and his ability to spin the rarest of grooves.
Northern Soul was, and still is, a music and dance subculture that emerged in the North of England in the late 1960s, initially an offshoot of the British Mod scene. Drawing on the fast paced, heavy beat, American Soul music of the mid 1960s, such as Tamla Motown, Northern Soul's own unique style of dancing, often employing quite technical dance moves, became a familiar sight in clubs across the North, such as Wigan Casino and Twisted Wheel in Manchester. Northern Soul nights became weekend events for avid followers of the movement which enjoyed a resurgence in the late 1970s with the Mod revival, and many still 'keeping the faith' today.
Eddie was also heavily involved in the 80s English Mod revival subculture which he comments on in the short film series on British Subcultures by Don Letts.
In 1987, Eddie and DJ Gilles Peterson, created Acid Jazz giving platform to artists including James Taylor Quartet, Corduroy, The Brand New Heavies, Mother Earth, Galliano and more recently Lord Large, Dexters and Matt Berry. The Acid Jazz sound naturally blends influences from Northern Soul and Mod - interwoven with Disco and House.
In late 2010, Piller began to host a regular podcast called "The Modcast". This bi-monthly podcast is co-hosted with actor Jonny Owen and A&R man Dean Rudland. A recent Modcast hosted the Fred Perry Managing Director John Flynn - a long time blues & soul aficionado. A great Podcast which you can listen to here.
On his Northern Soul Playlist, Eddie has compiled his Top 10 influential tracks and floor fillers. A superb introduction to the one of the UK’s greatest underground sub cultural movements.
Jack Montgomery - Baby, Baby Take A Chance On Me
Jack Montgomery is a Detroit based Northern Soul legend, especially amongst collectors as he only released 4 singles, all on small labels. Jack's real name is Marvin Jones and this is single number 3 released on California's Revue Records.
Darrell Banks - I'm The One Who Loves You
Darrell Banks was a chart successful soul singer who recorded a full length album on Stax Records before he was sadly shot and killed in 1970. This tune is one from his Volt Records time, distributed by Atco.
Bobby Bland - Yolanda
Rock & Roll Hall of famer Bobby Bland needs no introduction, his recent passing away in June of this year was a great loss, a great performer who performed right to the end, this funky ones a hit from 1975.
Virgil Henry - You Ain't Saying Nothin' New
Modern Soul classic from 1971, acquired by Motown from Colossus Records.
Shane Martin - I Need You
Fantastic Northern soul, released in 1968 in the US on Epic Records and had an incredibly rare UK release on CBS.
September Jones - I'm Coming Home
1966 classic Norther Soul dancefloor hit, released on Kapp Records, an independent label set up by David Kapp, brother of Jack Kapp who set up Decca Records in America in 1934.
Romeo & Juliet - You Got What It Takes
Relatively unknown smooth modern soul from the early eighties discovered in the vaults of Detroit's one and only Dave Hamilton. You'll find this backed with the equally as good Nightchill 'I Don't Play Games'.
Gladys Knight & The Pips - No One Could Love You More
This first appeared as a b-side to a re-release of 'Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me' in 1973, after it had been discovered it became a favourite on Northern Soul scene.
Terry Callier - Ordinary Joe
Terry Callier released his first single 'Look At Me Now' when he was only 17 after auditioning at Chess Records. In the 1990s Callier saw a resurgence in popularity thanks to likes of the aforementioned DJ Gilles Peterson and the author of this playlist, Eddie Pillar.
Harvey Averne - Central Park
Some excellent Latin groove from 1971 on the short lived Fabia subsidiary Uptite Records to round of what has been an exceptional playlist.
Photo by Dean Chalkley
For more great tunes check out our previous Northern Soul Playlist, created by Gary Crossing here.