What is Crossover Soul?

Just What Is Crossover Soul??

Well, I guess it all depends on who you ask! Here is the definition offered up by much respected DJ, collector, label owner and Crossover Soul guru Sean Hampsey....it is also the definition I most closely subscribe to:

The term 'Crossover Soul' was first used over here by Voices from the shadows main man Rod Dearlove. Rod ran an event at the Canal Tavern, Thorne which focussed on playing records that could neither be described as traditional “Four beats to the bar” Motown-type dancers nor big production 70s dance records previously described as “Modern” on the Northern scene. The records played at this venue were typically more mid-tempo, usually with an outstanding soulful vocal.

These records had not really gained mass favour on the UK 'Northern' scene as they weren't 'typical' Motown styled 60's sounding records.

Nor had they been well received on the 'Modern' scene as they weren't obviously dance-able or instant enough for the modern crowd.

These were records produced between 1968 and 1972 when production techniques were changing. In other words a 'crossover' period between the 1960's and the 70's.

The term 'Crossover Soul' in the UK 'Soul Scene' sense does not refer to music that 'crossed over' from the R&B charts to the mainstream charts as is often heard referred to by American artists.

Typical 'Crossover Soul' records that have gone on to be considered classics of the genre would include:


Bobby Reed- The time is right for love

Melvin Moore- All of a sudden

Frank Lynch- Young girl

Willie Tee-Teasing you again

Bobby Foster-Where did you go

Ascots-A few feet from the gutter

Vivian Copeland-Chaos

Willie Tee-Teasing you again

Sandra Wright-I’ll come running back

LaShawn Collins-What you gonna do now

Ella Woods-I need your love

Sy Hightower-I know you’re leaving me

Denise LaSalle-Here I am again

Milton Parker-Women like it harder

James Phelps-The look on your face


None of these records had ever been categorised as either 'Northern' or 'Modern' soul but here they were gaining a following from discerning soul fans.

In the past 20-25 years or so this kind of sound has since 'crossed over' to the Northern Scene alerting many more people to that rich period of Soul artistry, the late 60's and early 70's.

Crossover soul is now a staple within the mainstream Northern soul scene with specialist events cropping up to cater for the demand for this particular genre. I guess it makes sense that as the average age of the UK soul punter goes up the tempo of the music has to come down!

You can listen to our "Dab of Soul" radio show which is dedicated to Crossover soul here: Listen To Dab of Soul Here!

Ultimately, though, we have Rod Dearlove to thank for coining the phrase “Crossover Soul”!

Check out our selection of Crossover soul vinyl 45s here.


You can listen to my weekly Crossover "Dab of Soul" radio show here: