Soul

There’s a couple of special things about this steamy Northern Soul double-header by Rosa Lee Brooks. Firstly, the A-side – My Diary – is written and produced by Arthur Lee of Love; and secondly, the guitarist playing those familiar-sounding licks is a young “Jimmy” Hendrix.

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Simultaneously smooth, smouldering AND funky, this tune helped give soul singer Gwen McCrae a second lease of life on the Northern Soul circuit in the UK.

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Mel Day first came to fame at the age of 77 as a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent. Now he’s made a brilliant slice of Deep Soul with Tito Lopez Combo.

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This funky tale of a vengeful black god coming to fix the injustices of the world comes from another of those lost masterpieces – an obscure album of jazz-funk matched to black-consciousness lyrics called Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse.

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Here’s a sultry slice of Southern soul from The Ohio Players’ debut album, long before they became disco-funkateers with a string of hits.

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The deepest of deep cuts, this little-known cover of a little-known soul song is one of the hidden gems in Bowie’s repertoire.

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When I first heard this joyful celebration of Africa and freedom, on a mixtape made by Polly Harvey, I thought it must be by an African group. In fact it’s an entirely home-grown affair – a collaboration between the British neo-soul collective Sault and the British singer Michael Kiwanuka.

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This sweaty, soulful, stripped-back take on one of Jimi’s biggest tunes is by his first group – a few years after he left.

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It’s a shame… but after 70 years together, The Detroit Spinners are finally no more. Henry Fambrough was the last surviving original member of the group who were born in the Motor City but came to define the lush Philly sound. (more…)

Not sure how I’ve missed seeing or hearing this remarkable piece of pop history before – a ten-year-old Michael Jackson singing the blues.

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