Recommend Some Good Soul Music

I don’t know enough about the genre to qualify the request…whatever you consider “Soul” is fine. Thanks!

I’d start here for some ideas. If none of the names ring a bell, or if you have a problem with Ray Charles, I can’t be of any help whatsoever.

Man. That is a huge order. Prepare for a long, overwhelming, confusing thread. Just plunge and dabble.

My personal faves: Aretha, Shuggie Otis, Marvin Gaye, Ann Peebles, Jimmy Scott. Such a tiny drop in such an overflowing bucket.

Two words: James Brown (it begins here)

Two more words: Otis Redding
Two more words: Wilson Pickett

Here is a sumptuous banquet.
Here is a nice litlle taste.

Not to diss The Supremes, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and all the other Motown wonders, but I like my soul southern fried, and that’s what you get with Stax/Volt.

Another strong collection that I’ll recommend:

  • Tamerlane

Isaac Hayes is awesome, on top of all the other recommendations. Curtis Mayfield too, but both of those guys are like soul-meets-funk.

For some neo-soul that really captures that great retro sound, I highly recommend Amy Winehouse’s recent album Back To Black. One of the best new albums I’ve heard in a long time, with fantastic arrangements and very strong, Shirley Bassey-invoking vocals. She might be British, but she has as much soul as anyone from Motown, Memphis, or Mississippi.

Two words to go with them: Carla Thomas. You can thank me later.

For an excellent primer on the subject, try Peter Guarlnick’s Sweet Soul Music. And, as I recall, it has a pretty excellent discography in the end notes.