Very occasionally a compilation record comes around which you feel might have been specially for you.

Manchester North Of England is just such a record, as Cherry Red Records with the help of Manchester District Music Alliance have produced a set of 7 CD’S covering the Manchester music scene between 1977 and 1993 which in one fell swoop replaces most of my singles collection from that period and gives the world an insight into why Manchester became a major force in the music industry.

The 16year period covered by this collection saw Manchester embrace “punk” music before evolving into Madchester and becoming capital of the world for musical innovation.

Starting with The Buzzcocks Spiral Scratch ep one of the first “ home made” records of the punk era and finishing with Columbia an Oasis demo just before they went global, 146 different bands are given a track with almost every Manchester band you’ve ever heard of and quite a few you probably haven’t!

What is perhaps more telling than the number of bands featured is the breathtaking array of different genres covered, from punk, indie, soul, reggae, hip hop, house, electronic, the list is endless showing why the Manchester scene lasted so long and continues to grow to this day.

The box set also features a wonderful short introduction from Mark Radcliffe along with extensive sleeve notes by Mick Middles a Manchester journalist who interviewed and reviewed many of the bands featured during this period.

All in all Manchester, North Of England 1977-1993 is an exhaustive collection of music from a period and place that would go on to define and influence the music of today.

An absolute “must have” whether you’re from Manchester or not.

Manchester North Of England 1977-1993 a 7 CD Box Set is released by Cherry Red Records £39.99