Sometimes I get into a mood where I just listen to soul music. Not rap or hip hop. I don’t seem to have any tolerance for that. I mean old school soul. Here is s sample of the kind of soul I mean.
In no particular order, my favorite soul music albums:
Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul (1968) You can easily go with any greatest hits album to get your Aretha fix, If you want to hear her at her early soul best, this is the one.
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul (1969) Hard to listen to Isaac without thinking about Shaft, or Chef from South Park. If you can get past that, listen to this album. It oozes soul.
James Brown – Live At The Apollo (1962) – Normally I hate live albums and would rarely recommend one. However, in the case of James Brown, this album is insanely great, and the best way to get what James Brown was all about.
Ike & Tina Turner – Tough to pick a particular album. Most of them are live or greatest hits. And they only had about three or four hits. But Tina Turner is one of the greatest live performers I have ever seen, and I wasn’t a fan at the time. Just make sure you listen to Nutbush City Limits, and her rendition of River Deep Mountain High is timeless.
Solomon Burke – Rock n Soul (1964) one of the most under rated and underappreciated soul masters. Solomon can bring you to your knees crying for mercy. His vocal range is killer.
Curtis Mayfield – Superfly (1972) I know it’s a soundtrack, and Curtis has a few other great albums, but I always come back to this one. Very few albums bring you into the ghetto like Superfly. It’s hard not to have a chuckle and think about Blackspoitation films, but you get over it quick by the third song. Such a great album.
Marvin Gaye – Whats Going On (1971). Marvin was a huge success with his girl Tammi Tarell. Tami died tragically and Marvin retreated to the mountains. He returned with this masterpiece. Considered by many to be one of the greatest albums ever recorded. A bit played out, but still a nice way to spend a sunday evening.
Booker T. And The MG’s – I don’t care what album you buy as long as it has Green Onions. You will be so hooked on this song it will drive you out of your skull. Classic.
Motown – Hitsville Box Set – I can’t pick one artist or one album by any of the Motown clan, so I remcommend you just get this box set. It’s everything that was great about Motown. It was a greatest hits label, and very often, the non-hits are non-hits for a reason. With the exception of The Supremes, who had the midas touch. Love Mary Wells, the Marvellettes, and even the white boy soul of Rare Earth gets me going. I dare you not to dance.
My all time favorite soul album:
Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life (1976) Stevie at his peak. This album is a masterpiece. He switches genres, finds deep meaning in every facet of life. This album is beautiful on so many levels and hits me deep every time I listen to it.
Favorite white boy soul is Hall & Oates. I know, you think it’s cheesy but Darryl Hall is one of the greatest singers in music.
Wanna get funky, try George Clinton and Funkadelic. Parliament too.
I also enjoy a few of the hits by Sly & The Family Stone.
Now go get your groove on. Right On Brother.