The Future Tone (later Motown) soul sensation EDWIN STARR first released his soul classic “Twenty-Five Miles” as a title track to his best-selling album, fifty-two years ago! The album was issued in 1969.
Ostensibly Starr wrote the number with his Motown pals, the R&B producer/songwriter Johnny Bristol and the “Moonglows” songwriter Harvey Fuqua, though the number is known to have been prompted by an earlier Bert Berns/Jerry Wexler composition known as “Mojo Mama” aka “32 Miles out of Waycross.”
“Twenty-Five Miles” was a major hit for Starr, and proved to be his second-biggest U.S. record, after the #1 smash “War” which made his name in Britain. It became the quintessential song for the Northern soul scene.
“It’s loud, it’s funky… it’s got soul…BAD TOUCH
“Twenty-Five Miles” has now been re-created as a classic rock number by the British band BAD TOUCH.
The Norfolk band’s lead singer, Stevie Westwood said: ‘This was one of the most fun song’s we have recorded, putting a rock spin on such a classic Motown track we felt like we had a bit more freedom with where we could take it. It’s loud, it’s funky and most importantly; it’s got soul.”
Released ahead of a November 2021 UK tour, their rendition of “Twenty-Five Miles” was recorded at the brand-new state-of-the-art Marshall Studio with legendary producer Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Gun, Feeder.)
In the capable hands of BAD TOUCH the number is a profusely optimistic yippee that downplays the travails of “getting to where you’re at” and the achingly blistered feet… and instead contemplates a friskier future: maybe that’s what we need right now, huh? Maybe we need to be frisked out of our blues ‘n’ blahs and got up onto our dancing shoes to start moving!
We described the band’s 2020 studio album “Kiss The Sky” as a package of: “feelgood tension, supersized hooks, classic riffs, a bit of a boogie-style hokeypokey, and lots of purposeful resolution…” Check our review here
Although he was Nashville born and Ohio raised, the American musician Edwin Starr (above) became an enduring symbol for the UK’s Northern soul and dance movement (centered around an unwavering mod scene that had evolved from the English Midlands in the late 1960s). The musician even moved to England in 1983, and continued to live in the country for the remainder of his life. He was a frequent sight on the U.K. soul circuit and at clubs and venues all across the land, for many years. Sadly, Starr died of a heart attack in 2003, aged 61. He is buried at Wilford Hill Cemetery in Nottingham.
Tickets for the BAD TOUCH concert tour 2021 are available here: https://badtouchrocks.co.uk/gigs-tours+/
Words: @neilmach 2021 ©
Photo: Joby Sessions