Soul

When it comes to underrated talents, Shuggie Otis should be one of the first names to come to mind. No less a judge than David Byrne rates his trippy R&B jams as “equal to Marvin and Curtis.”

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Candi Staton had been singing in gospel groups for years when the future disco diva recorded a solo album of secular Southern soul at Muscle Shoals in 1969.

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Jerry Williams Jr is one of the great cult figures of 20th century American music – better known by his eventual stage name Swamp Dogg.

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When I get the urge to hear some soul music, I often go straight to Otis. And when I go to Otis, I tend to go straight to Try A Little Tenderness. It was only when this came on the radio the other day that I remembered what a highlight it is on the immortal album Otis Blue.

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Mereba – Space And Time

10th September 2023 · 2020s, 2023, Music, Soul

Maybe I’ve got a bit soppy because I’m feeling a bit sad and fragile but Mereba’s haunting electro-ballad hits me right there. Especially its lyrics.

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Four white men in black suits and white shirts. One black man in a shiny gold suit. And two classic Northern Soul tunes. That’s The Epitome Of Sound.

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The mysterious Rubin only recorded a single side in his obscure music career – but it became a Northern Soul classic. (more…)

Al Green – Perfect Day

22nd August 2023 · 2020s, 2023, Music, Soul

Do we really want to hear an elderly church minister sing a song blissfully unaware that it celebrates the pleasures of heroin? Well yes, it turns out we do.

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This song has been covered numerous times by a who’s who of soul singers. This is the original – the first of two versions by bluesman Latimore – from 1974.

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Here’s a slice of slinky, sinuous, sweaty, steamy Southern funk from the natural home of that sort of thing – New Orleans.

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