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By the mid-70s, it seemed that most of the Northern Soul scene needed fresh blood, and Levine - outraged by a scam by his rival Simon Soussan who set for sale a fictitious record to sky-high prices - decided to make a record with precisely that title, namely "Reaching for the Best".He persuaded the soul group The Exciters to cut his song, and the single went to #31 in the UK charts.Not everyone was pleased by Levine producing taylor-made Northern Soul records, and he was quickly becoming a controversial name in the scene, even to this present day. The first two enjoyed a couple of UK hits with their debut singles, and even performed at Top Of The Pops, while Barbara Pennington clearly came third in the race.He was not disencouraged, though, and went to Chicago in search of soul singers where he found Evelyn Thomas, L. That was, however, only until her single "24 Hours a Day" soared to the top of the US disco chart.
Born in Blackpool, 1953, he became obssessed by Motown as a young teenager and started collecting each and every single that came out on the label.
Levine's financial lifeline came when he was offered to produce new boy band Take That for their first album.
His production on the Barry Manilow / Donna Summer classic "Could It Be Magic" was a smash and was followed by "I Found Heaven" (co-written by Levine and Billy Griffin) and "A Million Love Songs".
In 1987, the opportunity came for him to record one of his childhood heroïnes, Kim Weston.
A much delighted Ian Levine wrote the Motown-pastiche "Signal Your Intention" for her which topped the UK Hi-NRG charts, and soon after Mary Wilson of The Supremes joined the label, followed by other Motown acts like The Velvelettes, Brenda Holloway and Marv Johnson.