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Ian Levine: The Northern Soul DJ and Record Producer Who Helped Define a Genre

Ian Levine

Early Life

Born in 1953 in the town of Blackpool, Ian Levine grew up with a passion for music that would shape his life in ways he could never have imagined. He began collecting records at a young age and quickly became enamoured with Motown, soul, and R&B. Levine’s love for music only grew stronger as he got older, and he began DJ-ing at local clubs before he was even legally allowed to do so. By the time he was a teenager, Levine had already made a name for himself in the local music scene.

Career Beginnings

Levine’s big break came when he was offered a job as a DJ at the infamous Northern Soul club, the Blackpool Mecca. It was here that he honed his craft and developed a keen ear for the kind of music that would get people on the dance floor. In the early 1970s, Levine began working as a producer and remixer, creating new versions of popular songs that would appeal to club-goers.

Disco and Hi-NRG

It was during the disco era that Ian Levine really made a name for himself. He started his own record label, Motorcity Records, which focused on releasing music in the Motown style. Levine’s productions were a hit with fans of the genre, and his label quickly became one of the most successful independent labels in the UK. Levine’s passion for disco music led him to explore the world of Hi-NRG, a sub-genre of disco that was characterised by its fast pace and energetic beats. Levine’s Hi-NRG productions were a hit with club-goers and helped to popularise the genre in the UK.

Discovering New Talent

One of Ian Levine’s most significant contributions to the music industry is his role in discovering new talent. He has a knack for spotting potential in unknown artists and helping them to achieve success. One such artist is Jimmy Somerville, whom Levine discovered while he was performing with the band Bronski Beat. Levine was so impressed with Somerville’s voice that he signed him to his label and helped him to launch his solo career. Levine also played a key role in the success of bands such as Take That and Pet Shop Boys, whom he signed to his record label in the early days of their careers.


In conclusion, Ian Levine is a true musical genius who has made a significant impact on the music industry. From his early beginnings as a DJ to his success as a producer and label owner, Levine’s contributions have helped to shape the sound of modern music. His ability to spot new talent and nurture their careers has also helped to launch the careers of some of the biggest names in the industry. While there are many articles out there that touch upon Levine’s contributions, we hope that our unique perspective has provided readers with a more comprehensive understanding of the man behind the music.