*LAST COPIES!* Sidney Barnes & Speedometer – Best Thing (That Ever Happened) b/w If I Could Only Be Sure – Record Shack AT 7″

*LAST COPIES!* Sidney Barnes & Speedometer – Best Thing (That Ever Happened) b/w If I Could Only Be Sure – Record Shack AT 7″


New Northern Soul double-A-sider featuring none other than the legendary Sidney Barnes backed by UK’s top Retro Funk act! This is an absolute mega-bomb for deejays & collectors alike!!


limited edition 7” with great high-quality picture sleeve



When Sidney Barnes gave his first live European appearance in a sweaty underground Northern Soul club in Vienna in 2003, he was already considered a legend in Rare Soul circles. But it was this performance that immediately inspired the broader cult following that continues in this part of the world to this day. It’s also where the story behind this sensational 45 begins. Barnes used extra time in the rehearsal studio, prior to the live gig, to play around with a new song he had written during his stay in Austria’s capital, as well as other material. Now, after 10 years of polishing these tracks and searching for the ideal band to record them, we have this exciting new double-sider in hand.

If there is a career in R&B and Soul that can truly be called diverse and enduring, it’s Sidney Barnes’. As a singer, songwriter, producer and live performer he has earned himself a lasting place in the history of Afro-American music.

Born in Welch, West Virginia, in 1941, he spent his high school years in Newark, New Jersey, where crossed paths with other nascent talents, such as Marvin Gaye and Van McCoy. Soon after he hooked up with vocal group The Serenaders with whom he recorded three singles on the Riverside, V.I.P. and Motown labels respectively. When the group split up in 1964 Barnes concentrated on a career as a solo artist and songwriter. Two of his own recordings from this period, “You’ll Always Be in Style” and “I Hurt on the Other Side”, which were released on the Red Bird label, laid the foundation for his legendary reputation in the Northern Soul scene. But it was his work as a songwriter for Billy Prophet, Inez and Charles Foxx, and most notably the Shangri-Las, in addition to being a member of psychedelic Soul group Rotary Connection, that made him a household name in the world of R&B in the 60s. In the following decade he continued to work as a songwriter and producer for such greats as George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic, Deniece Williams and Minnie Riperton. A testament to his extraordinary talent is the fact that his music continued to resonate long after the boom years of Soul, Disco and Funk faded. And with the resurrection of Northern Soul in the last 20 years, Sidney Barnes is still impressing long-time fans and a new generation of followers as this outstanding double-sider attests.

For the self penned “Best Thing (That Ever Happened)”, backed by Nolan Porter’s Northern classic “If I Could Only Be Sure”, Sidney Barnes teamed up with prolific UK funk band Speedometer, who laid the solid and yet driving foundation to what could very well be the floor-filler of the season.

DJ Burn Hard



I first met Sidney Barnes in 2002 at ‘The 100 Club’ in London when the ‘Viennese Soul Posse’ was on its way to the ‘Cleethorpes Northern Soul weekender’. Ady Croasdell introduced me to Sid, who was charmed by the enthusiastic reaction from the English ‘Northern Soul’ scene.

A year later we organised a live gig for Sid at our own “Magic Touch” allnighter (promoted by the ‘Vienna Soulmafia’). I assembled the backing band which was comprised of local Viennese players and, was ably led by Recordshack employee Johannes Schätz. The packed Joint was jumping to Sidney’s searing, heartfelt vocals, propelled by the band´s beatin’ Soul-rhythms.

After the gig we spent a day at the studio jamming and recording. Sid said he’d write a song, I was wondering how he could do this so fast? He replied – “I’m used to that, in the sixties in Detroit I always had to be fast with these things. A producer would lock us into the studio, put two sharp dogs outside and only let us out when the tunes were finished”.

That’s where he created “Best Thing,” – thinking of his wife Clella-Ann. The other tune we recorded was “If I Could Only Be Sure”. This famous ´45` was still a requested ´floorfiller´ at our SOUND of SOUL events. It was the natural choice, therefore, to present it as the final ‘encore’ at the live gig, (despite not being written by Sid himself). The crowd erupted with screams and shouts when they recognised the first notes of the track, so we re-recorded it in the studio session that followed….

When Sid left Vienna we promised to finish the tracks soon, but the band split-up and went their separate ways, and that was that….Until Summer 2013 when Andy Fairclough visited my record-store for some ‘vinyl diggin’. He told me about his Speedometer, the UK’s Top ‘Retro-Funk Act’. They had a gig here in Vienna. I remembered Sid’s vocal tracks from 2003 and thought they could be the perfect backing band for this project. Only a few weeks later we had the instrumentals done. Sid liked them too, and re-recorded his vocals.

Shortly afterwards the tunes were mixed and mastered in London and are now finally released, a labour of love! Real ‘home-made’ Northern Soul, incorporating recording inputs from Soulsville USA and London. The two tracks of this proud International project are bound to be No.1 spins at our own events, but also, we trust, at discerning Soul clubs WORLDWIDE!!

This 45 is an absolute ‘Stormer’ and a ‘Must’ for deejays & collectors alike!!

Jörg Recordshack September 2013

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