Category Archives: Soul

Dornik – God Knows (2017)

YouTubeAmazoniTunes – No Discogs

Dornik is back, two years after the release of his well-received, self-titled debut. The evolution from Jessie Ware’s touring drummer to standalone R&B star has been so startling that his arty sound has been compared to that of Frank Ocean, Miguel and Raury. With ‘God Knows’, I am thinking more Croydon’s answer to Anderson .Paak. Long may it continue.

Tagged , , , , ,

Daryl Hall & John Oates – I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (1981)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Well, I will do Hall & Oates the justice of posting their 1981 single ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’ and not giving into my tendency to reach for De La Soul’s sample ‘Say No Go’. Give these blue-eyed soul boys credit, where credit is due. Michael Jackson once confessed that the song heavily influenced his delivery of ‘Billie Jean’.

Tagged , , , ,

Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Prayer (1968)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

In 1968, Aretha Franklin was at one of her early peaks. The Bacharach & David-penned song ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ was the second track on Aretha Now, the album pressed by Atlantic Records. Aretha came up with the arrangement,for a song that had been a hit for Dionne Warwick the year before. Bacharach later said that he liked Aretha’s version the best. As for the album, the first three songs were ‘Think’, ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ and ‘See Saw’. Not too shoddy, then.

Tagged , , , , , ,

9 of the best – soul sounds

This is going to need some further curatorship over the next few days, but as a starter for 9:

Martha & The Vandellas – Heatwave (1963)

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (1964)

Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness (1966)

The Four Tops – Reach Out I’ll Be There (1966)

Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (1967)

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1967)

Gladys Knight & The Pips – No One Could Love You More (1971)

Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine (1971)

Shuggie Otis – Aht Uh Mi Hed (1974)

###

Honourable mentions also go to: Bobby Hebb for ‘Sunny’ (1966); Stevie Wonder for ‘I Don’t Know Why’ (1968); Aretha Franklin for ‘I Say A Little Prayer‘ (1968); Isaac Hayes for ‘Walk On By’ (1969); Freda Payne ‘Band Of Gold’ (1970); The Five Stairsteps for  ‘O-o-h Child’ (1970); Timmy Thomas for ‘Why Can’t We Live Together’ (1972); The Isley Brothers for ‘Work To Do’ (1972); Al Green for  ‘I’m Still In Love With You’ (1972); Alice Clark for ‘Never Did I Stop Loving You’ (1972); The O’Jays for ‘Back Stabbers’ (1972); Sly for  ‘If You Want Me To Stay’ (1973); and Love Unlimited for ‘Move Me No Mountain’ (1974); Minnie Riperton for ‘Inside My Love’ (1975); Marvin Gaye for ‘I Want You’ (1976) and many others.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Al Green – I’m Still In Love With You (1972)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

‘I’m Still in Love with You’ is the title track off Al Green’s fifth studio album, released in October 1972. Both the song and the album were produced by Willie Mitchell. The combination was deep, complex and soulful. Next week, I will feature a single sound before a summer hiatus over August. It better be a good one. Have a great weekend.

Tagged ,

Delegation ‎- Oh Honey (1976)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

As I start to think about the soundtrack to summer, I bring you the lounging groove of Delegation. Ricky Bailey, Ray Patterson, Len Coley were doing their thing at the tail end of the 1970s. They never surpassed the magic of ‘Oh Honey’, which deftly cutting a path between the dominant sounds of Earth Wind & Fire and Fleetwood Mac. On YouTube, I feature Majestic Casuals’s suitably named Poolside Edit. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , ,

Clarence Carter – Patches (1970)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

He’s had a long career, but I am not too familiar with Clarence Carter’s canon. However, the title track off his 1970 album Patches is a classic. Have a great weekend.

Tagged ,

William DeVaughn ‎- Be Thankful For What You Got (1974)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Massive Attack gave a second life to this song in 1991 when they covered it for their seminal album Blue Lines. ‘Be Thankful For What You Got’ was a originally released by D.C.-born soul singer William Edward DeVaughn Jr. It cuts a beautifully fine line between jazz funk and soul. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , ,

Paolo Nutini – Candy (2009)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini’s sophomore effort, Sunny Side Up, is a relatively easy listening affair. However, within it are some standout moments.  The single ‘Candy’ is full of the type of blue-eyed soul rock that fans of Van Morrison and John Martyn will appreciate. “I’m a heartless man at worst, babe/And a helpless one at best.”

Tagged , , ,

Melody Gardot – My One and Only Thrill (2009)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

The haunting sound of Melody Gardot. For her second studio album, Gardot mined a dark piano jazz style, and no more so than on the title track. Critics’ references to a blue-eyed Nina Simone are very complimentary, but not that unfathomable. My One and Only Thrill was released on the Verve label in 2009.

Tagged , , ,

Childhood – Californian Light (2017)

YouTubeAmazoniTunes – No Discogs

The last time I heard Childhood, I am sure they were part of the psych-rock renaissance. No more, if ‘Californian Light’ is a signal of what is to come. Ben Romans-Hopcraft leads the way with a new soul-infused sound from new album Universal High. I am reminded of the blue-eyed soul of The Style Council.

Tagged , ,

The Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child (1970)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

At about the same time that The Jackson 5 were making waves, the first family of soul, The Five Stairsteps, released the song ‘O-o-h Child’.  The family were Betty and Clarence Burke Sr.’s five children: Alohe Jean, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis and Keni. Maybe it’s just me, but that earworm chorus, the drum rhythm and the singing siren (at roughly a minute in) make me wonder why this disc only sold a million copies. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , ,

The Impressions – Stay Close To Me (1968)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Close to you, close to me… get it? The pressing of the LP This Is My Country looks and reads as if it should be a protest album by Chicago-based The Impressions. However, aside of the title track, the album was anything but. For example, the Curtis Mayfield-penned track ‘Stay Close To Me’ sounds more like upbeat Motown than gritty Chicago soul. In fact, The Five Stairsteps & Cubie version would become a Northern Soul dance floor staple. Both records were released in 1968 on Mayfield’s Curtom Records label. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , , , , ,

John Mayer – Moving On And Getting Over (2017)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Singer John Mayer’s eleventh album The Search for Everything was released in January. It’s a break-up album and the funky opener ‘Moving on and Getting Over’ puts it simply. It’s a return to his a more blue-eyed soulful side after his dalliance with sounds of Laurel Canyon.

Tagged ,

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1967)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

On this day (20 April) 50 years ago, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell released ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’. The song had been held back by writers Ashford & Simpson from the likes of Dusty Springfield as the their strongest case for entry to Motown. They knew they had a gold-plated disc on their hands. And they were right; they secured a contract with the Detroit-baed label and the song’s success led to a string of more Ashford & Simpson-penned duets (including ‘Two Can Have A Party‘, ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’, ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing’, and ‘Your Precious Love’). Bliss.

Tagged , , , ,