In West Sussex where I live not much ever happens these days, however during the 1980s the area was home (and still is) to a vast number of scooter clubs and related groups, this was the breeding ground for many different type of youth culture in the area, at one time in Sussex mainly during the 80s, there was a rich youth cultural variety due mainly to the locale being "beside the sea-side" and the fact many big events of the day were promoted and made use of staging "weekenders" by the sea and this was, for the youth of the time an easily accessible way to become apart of something, during the 80s in Sussex there was a pretty wide range of youth scenes; there was a thriving skinhead scene, rockabilly and psychobilly scene plus a huge soul scene.
Of the above scenes left in Sussex the 'soul' scene is still surviving pretty well, with regular all-nighters, club nights and the odd meet up here and there, I myself have been to a few of these events myself and have seen just how passionately people at these events get for 'soul music' - this happens all up and down the country in many towns, big and small.
I am grateful I am merely an outsider of such fanfare, because I find it to resemble a black hole - people go in fairly normal and with-it and then before they know it they are putting talcum powder on dance floors, spinning around as fast as merry-go-rounds and even in rare instances looking like Noddy Holder - YES!!! there are at least three people I have seen on this scene who look like the great Side-Burned One from Birmingham.
Although I have no real care for The Sussex Soul Scene, nor do I wish to really engage heavily with it, I do admire the pure love these people have for this type of music, also although I am not a 'full-on' soul 45 collector myself by any means, I still have a few really hip Soul and Funk 45s that I really dig and love to bits.
One such record is the following... Them Two - Am I Good Man? b/w Love Has Taken Wings.
The 45 was released on a small Miami, FL based soul-label known as ' Deep City', the label is somewhat legendary amongst fans of this music, as each release is considered to be top-dollar as it were.
Them Two are considered somewhat of a mysterious vocal duo, not a great deal is known about them, although the enigmatic 'two' were vocalists Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke, Reid later went onto a succesful song-writing and recording career, however I feel this 45 was his piece de resistance, particularly the A-side cut.
I only wish to talk and share the A-side as it has been a special track to me for a number of years now. I relate heavily to it and love the lyrical subject-matter and the way both singers commit all their soul and fury onto the vinyl slab of plastic.
I think anyone who considers themselves a soulful person asks themselves the very same questions that the opening statements of this song ask.... I certainly do, and this song completely hits home for me in the most dramatic and intense kind of ways.... "Am I Good Man? Am I A Fool, Am I Weak? or Am I Just Playing It Cool?".... that to me is pure lyrical genius, the guy's seem to tap into the straight up unfounded confusion that lies internally for many of us so-called sensitive souls.
Dig this masterpiece of soul music...