‘Popcorn Heartbreak’ is a compilation of music that travelled from the backseats of 1950s American teens cars to the clubs of 1970s Belgium and is as elusive a story as Northern Soul was for the working youth of Blackpool and Wigan. An escape from the troubles of the modern world, an immersion into a simpler, slower time, ‘Popcorn’ was a scene that worshipped the mid-tempo swing of the lovelorn R&B and Doo-Wop of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Two-and-a-half minute jewels of broken hearts and teenage angst perfected for slow-jive dancing or for just getting it on at the High School Hop.
Doo-Wop, R&B, Pop, Gospel, Latin and Country mesh effortlessly and therein lies the seeds of what we regard as Soul music. Bobbysoxer tracks with Broadway flourishes sit side by side with grimier, harder cuts that come from the same side of town as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Wailing saxophones, Duane Eddy style twangy guitars underpin R&B hollering and wailing...my love has gone, I am so blue, Momma I cry...every track a swinging ode to grief.
Named after the James Brown song, ‘Popcorn’ had similarities to the Northern Soul scene where DJs’ dug deep and played rarer and rarer tunes for the dancers in the clubs. Abandoning the frenetic coke-fuelled abandon of Disco for a slower, more intimate music that drew them close and forced them to dance together, low and lingering, with tears in their hearts…Jay Strongman has curated a beauty here..
Out now on 2xLP/CD/Download on BBE Records