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Soul

You are currently browsing the archive for the Soul category.

“Shoo-bop, shoo-bop, my baby”

I love Barbara Lewis.   “Snap Your Fingers” / “Hello Stranger” / “Think a Little Sugar” / “Straighten Up Your Heart”   Atlantic Records EP       A very Saul Bass graphic here (i.e., Anatomy of a Murder).

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (53 votes, average: 3.55 out of 5)
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Finger on the trigger

Chicago Gangsters   “Gangster Love” (1976)   Gold Plate Records   Despite their name, the Chicago Gangsters were originally from Ohio, consisting of brothers James, Sam, Chris, and Leroy McCant. Their sound ranged from heavy funk and disco to sweet, smooth soul balladry.   Their debut LP, Blind Over You, was released in 1975 and contained the slamming funk of “Gangster Boogie,” The title track of their 1976 sophomore album Gangster Love was another minor hit, and also the first 12″ single their label ever issued.     “Gangster Boogie” became a massively popular sample item for hip-hoppers and breakbeat aficionados, most prominently appearing on L.L. Cool J’s hit “Mama Said Knock You Out”.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (47 votes, average: 3.72 out of 5)
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Def Jam Records

Def Jam Records picture sleeve back.   Def Jam was the hip-hop house that Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons built.   The first single released with a Def Jam Recordings logo was T La Rock & Jazzy Jay “It’s Yours”   From the mid- 80’s through the end of the century, the label boasted a roster of rap heavyweights including LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 2.38 out of 5)
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Let’s put it on

“Let’s Get It On”   Marvin Gaye   Tamla Records   (1973)   “Keep Gettin’ It On,” “Come Get To This,” “Distant Lover,” “Please Stay,” “If I Should Die Tonight,” “Just To Keep You Satisfied,” and “You Sure Love to Ball”.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (50 votes, average: 3.44 out of 5)
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Falsetto confession


Donnie Elbert   “Where Did Our Love Go”   All Platinum Records   (1972)   Includes “Can’t Get Over Losing You”

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (32 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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The hardest thing I’ll ever do

Legendary DEEEP soul singer Otis Clay and “Trying To Live My Life Without You” on Hi Rccords.   Produced in Memphis by Willie Mitchell in 1972.   Here’s a great live version from Japan in 1978 as well.

Bob Seger brought this one back to the charts with his cover in 1981.   (Side note courtesy of Wikipedia:     Seger has claimed that he recorded the song to show how the Eagles stole the song’s melody in their song “The Long Run”. Seger highlights the similarities between the two songs in the arrangement of his version, in the bassline especially.)

I like the little white dog too.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (37 votes, average: 3.65 out of 5)
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Oh baby, baby

Baby Washington “That’s How Heartaches Are Made”   Sue Records   (1963)

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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (55 votes, average: 3.56 out of 5)
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Chicago’s finest

The Impressions “Keep On Pushing”   ABC-Paramount Records (1964)   Orchestra arranged by Johnny Pate.   This was the group’s third record and their best-selling one.   Truly a desert island disc – there was no one better than Curtis Mayfield and he’s at his best harmonizing with The Impressions Fred Cash and Sam Gooden.   This album alone produced some of the sweetest, most inspirational, most honest and heart-wrenching soul sounds ever, including “I’ve Been Trying” and “I Made a Mistake” and the hits “Keep On Pushing” “Amen” and “Talking ‘Bout My Baby”.

Wikipedia gives us some interesting side notes:   “Keep on Pushing” was used as the theme to Obama’s 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address when he endorsed John Kerry;   the car the guys are “pushing” on the cover is a Jaquar XKE; and a glimpse of this record is seen on the cover of Dylan’s “Bringing It All Back Home” (but that’s a whole other LP Cover Lover story)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (55 votes, average: 4.04 out of 5)
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Happy Birthday Brothers Ray and Trane!

In honor of Ray’s 80th Birthday and John Coltrane’s 84th Birthday on September 23rd!  

Ray Charles At Newport Atlantic Records.   Newport, Rhode Island, July, 1958   — The Newport Jazz Festival was Ray’s initiation into the jazz circuit.   Even though he was slated to play on the Festival’s first “Blues Night,” the concert was recorded “live” on July 8, 1958.   The young boppers flocked to Ray who started out the set with jazz, moved onto his R&B hits and closed with the rockin’ “I’ve Got A Woman.” Many felt that Ray’s Newport appearance helped move jazz towards a “back to roots” movement. At the end of 1958, Downbeat Magazine named Ray Charles their “Best Male Star – New Singer”.

Ray Charles – keyboards, vocals, alto saxophone; Marcus Belgrave – trumpet; Lee Harper – trumpet; David Newman – tenor saxophone; Bennie (Hank) Crawford – baritone saxophone; Edgar Wills – bass; Richie Goldberg – drums; Marjorie Hendricks – vocals; The Raelettes – vocal group

(Night Time Is) The Right Time; In A Little Spanish Town; I’ve Got A Woman; Blues Waltz; Hot Rod (The Spirit – Feel); Talkin’ ‘Bout You; Sherry; A Fool For You

“New Thing at Newport”   Impulse Records (1965)   John Coltrane at the Newport Jazz Festival.   The title, “New Thing at Newport” refers to the avante garde style of jazz Coltrane and Shepp unleash throughout their sets.   The first two tracks “One Down, One Up” and “My Favorite Things” features Coltrane’s “classic” quartet of McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison on bass.   The second section features Archie Shepp, who managed to do something few tenors of the era did, develop his own sound outside of Coltrane’s influence.   The group Shepp fronts consists of the distinctive vibeist, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Chambers on drums, and Barre Phillips on bass.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (55 votes, average: 3.82 out of 5)
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The Temps

The Temptations   “I Wish It Would Rain”/”I Truly, Truly Believe”   Tamla/Motown   The last of the classic lineup of David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams   (1968)   Produced by Norman Whitfield     Check out this performance clip with David Ruffin upfront. Bass Melvin steps up to the mic on this single’s B-Side “I Truly, Truly Believe”

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (38 votes, average: 3.18 out of 5)
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