Mine-Al Green's "Simply Beautiful"
― Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Sunday, 6 April 2003 20:22 (10 years ago) Permalink
Al Green, James Brown, James Carr, Bobby Bland, Otis Redding, Mighty Sam, Aretha Franklin, Irma Thomas, Joe Tex, Swamp Dogg, Curtis Mayfield/Impressions, Booker T & the MGs, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke, Chairmen of the Board, Isley Brothers, Isaac Hayes, Dyke & the Blazers, Sam & Dave, O.V. Wright, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, Howard Tate, Garnet MimmsBobby Womack, Etta James, Jackie Wilson, Clay Hammond, the O'Jays, the Nevilles, Percy Sledge, Oscar Toney Jr., Candi Staton, Millie Jackson, Clyde McPhatter, Joe Simon, Johnnie Taylor, Little Johnny Taylor, Chi-Lites, Tyrone Davis, Persuasions, Laura Lee, Don Bryant, Otis Williams & the Charms, Arthur Alexander, the Delfonics, Fontella Bass, Linda Jones, James & Bobby Purify, Minnie Riperton, Robert Ward, Wilson Pickett, Doris Duke, Arthur Conley, Lorraine Ellison, James Govan, Anne Sexton, the Soul Brothers Six, Syl Johnson, Ella Washington, George Jackson, Eddie & Ernie, Spencer Wiggins, Jimmy Holiday. That's just a few, almost all of whom I think warrant their own threads. If I started listing individual tracks I love by others I'd be here for days - but I must mention Stanley Winston's toweringly great No More Ghettos In America. And Eddie Giles's Losing Boy. And...
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 6 April 2003 21:09 (10 years ago) Permalink
"Losing Boy" is incredible, Martin. I don't really know where to start, either, since this was one of my first passions--soul music that is--and my love for it has never really waned, even as my immediate attentions have been diverted elsewhere.
I did start a Thom Bell vs. Gamble-Huff thread, but there probably isn't too much soul talk, you're right.
― Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 7 April 2003 02:18 (10 years ago) Permalink
― gaz (gaz), Monday, 7 April 2003 02:28 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Monday, 7 April 2003 08:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
i'm not sure that a list of nominations for the classics will in any way change this
― mark s (mark s), Monday, 7 April 2003 09:40 (10 years ago) Permalink
any ideas mark?
― gaz (gaz), Monday, 7 April 2003 09:45 (10 years ago) Permalink
― mark s (mark s), Monday, 7 April 2003 09:47 (10 years ago) Permalink
― gaz (gaz), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 09:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
i suppose i am a bit suspicious of how it is that a genre can on one hand be acclaimed as peerless and somehow transcendentally beyond examination, and at the same time always be talked about as if it comes in a big undifferentiated lump
"what do you think of soul?" erm well it's lots of difft things and i have difft opinions at difft times — there are of course lots of songs that i love which fall under this heading, but i am perhaps over-intensely interested in sopngs and facts buried and obscure in this territory which cause the heading to dissolve a bit (aretha franklin's cover of "96 tears" for example; the fact that sly stone's and george clinton's first groups both had names which announced their 60s britpop anglophilia — the beau brummels, the parliaments...)
just by the usual accidents of time and place, my exposure to it as a child and a teen in the 60s and 70s was minimal — martin skidmore is slightly older than me and city-raised — so that i came to it (the "idea" of soul) much more as a dutiful part of my believe-nothing post-punk self-education than many ppl here, i suspect... and the associations of *that* (which is possibly more to do with me than anything in the music)*, are quite hard to dispel
*(one of the aspects of my never-punk-enough music-fan make-up which it's a lot too late to do anything abt — as witness the mini-furore over a thread a i recently started — is that i can't easily distinguish "respect for x's work" with "being prepared to start a fight over the worth of x's work"... this gets me into lots of trouble)
― mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 10:37 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Chris V. (Chris V), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 10:39 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Neudonym, Tuesday, 8 April 2003 16:03 (10 years ago) Permalink
― gaz (gaz), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 21:37 (10 years ago) Permalink
No, I only moved to the city (Bristol) when in my twenties - I was brought up in a village in Wiltshire. I don't think I'd ever heard much beyond the '60s hits that you get on the radio until I was an adult either.
Anyway, you're kind of right about the way it is talked about. It's a big genre, and the Supremes don't sound much like James Carr, just to stick with contemporaries. Maybe one of the reasons for the loose thinking about soul is that it's not a terribly intellectual music, it's more susceptible to accounts of how it makes you feel than it is to being picked apart - though I would love to read a book about, say, the drumming on Al Green's version of How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. I don't think I'm any good at explaining why I like some music, or what I think makes it good or great, so I'm not likely to solve this problem. Though I have listened to that Bee Gees cover so many times, in so many different ways, that maybe I should try to write something on it. My favourite singer, producer, drummer and organist all together, plus a guitarist and bassist I love, and I think it's a good record to demonstrate why I revere these people. I'll give it some thought.
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 11 April 2003 19:35 (10 years ago) Permalink
Stax music is pretty abstract, stripped down. What's commonly regarded as the pinnacle of Stax music, Booker T. Jones' "Big Bird," is one strange little record. Stuff like "Don't Rock the Boat" or even "On a Saturday Night" are also pretty abstract things when all's said and done. It's cool music, there is a lot of bullshit shuck and jive to the whole enterprise, as there is in the black church in the south--those preachers have more sex in a week than you or I will in a year. But that's cool, it's all about making it and getting over.
I love it but it's just another genre to me. It's been written about too much by guys like Guralnick who are so reverential that they kind of kill it, for me. The obvious greats like Franklin, Green, Brown, Cooke, Redding, Sam and Dave, Tate, and Carr, are pretty much the greats. Harold Melvin is cool, the Chi-Lites and the Delfonics too--it's a little different, midwestern American soul music, somewhat more commercial. Or the Spinners, who I love. The Parliaments were kind of anglophile, and you can really hear that music in the stuff that Crenshaw or Chilton did later, which is why I prefer American power pop to British, more soul, more relaxed...and you can hear the difference even in something like the Raspberries, who're from Cleveland and somewhat too bland and generic for my tastes, vs. Big Star, who took the whole soul approach of moderate tempos and discipline and applied it to the Beatles thing.
I'm also a big fan of guys like Johnnie Taylor, Johnny Taylor, Latimore, Bobby Rush, and other ass-men who are neither soul nor blues but a hybrid. Bobby Bland.
I obviously don't take it all that seriously, although there's some great music, because, again, there's just such a huge element of bullshit and shuck-and-jive in soul music. Let me hear you say it one more time, yeah, OK. If you've ever experienced the real frenzy of a soul revue then you know what I'm talking about. You kind of have to be there. Again, the best people transcend the genre, and when you start looking there is just so, so much of it, so many people, and a lot of crap to wade thru, as with Bobby Womack, a very inconsistent and experimental-but-the-experiments-seldom-work artist whose best stuff is also pretty abstract--"Daylight," "You're Welcome, Stop on By," etc.
Nonetheless, a great genre and I always maintain that even mediocre soul/r&b/funk is always more listenable than the equivalent indie-rock or "punk"--not that I always want high standards but usually soul is at least professional and unpretentious, which is more than you can say for yer typical ofay college-rocker with his guitar and Reader's Digest thesaurus.
― Jess Hill (jesshill), Friday, 11 April 2003 21:12 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 11 April 2003 21:28 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Tad (llamasfur), Monday, 21 April 2003 05:06 (10 years ago) Permalink
thom bell and linda creed are the bacharach/david of soul, without a doubt.
― Dallas Yertle (Dallas Yertle), Monday, 21 April 2003 07:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
Oops missed this thread, and just looked at the Philly soul one.
Saw current version of Harold Melvin's Bluenotes singing over recorded instrumental tracks for free last night. The Winstons of "Color Me Father" fame opened. Far from perfection but fun for free. Bluenotes still have the matching shirts and group choreography down
― curmudgeon, Saturday, September 15, 2012 2:14 PM (48 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 15 September 2012 14:16 (9 months ago) Permalink
Sure Teddy and Harold are dead, and whoever was up there in the Bluenotes on stage was singing over prerecorded instrumental tracks, but I love hearing those songs live, and seeing the performers dance, before an enthusiastic crowd.
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 15 September 2012 18:05 (9 months ago) Permalink