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Guest stu

Aretha: Young, Gifted and Black

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I enjoyed every soul artist I've been listening to, each of them impressed me in his/her own way, but I can't mention any super favorite. Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield... they're all great. Al Green is something different, more on an easy, dance mood. The Hi! beat (along with Ann Peebles).

On the other hand, I know what my super fave soul album is: What's Going On by Marvin Gaye. This album is touched by grace (follow-up Let's Get It On doesn't even touch it), it gave me the feeling of flying from start to finish, as if I was in Heaven. It's a result of a lot of work. The Deluxe editions let you hear some stuff called "working the groove" and you get an idea of how it went.

Listening to some early sixties music, I was very impressed by the modernity of several artists: The Impressions - Curtis Mayfield was probably the most spiritual and progressist of them all ; the sophisticated Smokey Robinson & his Miracles (such a singer!), and Ben E. King & the Drifters. To me, what King & the Drifters recorded in the early sixties was as important as Phil Spector (by the way, you can find the Spector's 4 CDs set Back to Mono for $20 on amazon!!). They did timeless recordings for teenagers. Today, stuff like "This Magic Moment", "Spanish Harlem", "There Goes My Baby" remains unforgettable. I love how every song was carefully done in those times. I wish we could come back to the singles concept. Today it's all about albums.

Whether I'm still on the topic or not is another debate. :mrgreen:

Edited by Hugues

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Guest stu
The meaning of great singers and great songs is obviously debatable, but there are certainly singers out there who are making a fine living off of other peoples' songs. The "Pop Diva -- Female" and "Boy Band" genres are filled with people who are doing exactly that. I wouldn't argue with you if you told me that none of them could touch Aretha.

Bob Dylan and The Beatles pretty much did in the Brill Building/hit factory approach to pop music. Aretha really was one of the last of a dying breed -- a woman who simply sang the hell out of other peoples' songs. I hope you enjoy your new albums.

I guess that it seems that there are few of these kinds of artists who are able to inject much of their own personality into their performances of the songs. And maybe there aren't very many modern day Jerry Wexlers, or if there are, they haven't been hooked up with the right singers. Or maybe it's just that POP IS DEAD.

Let's hope not though.

Anyway, back to these albums - so far 'Ain't no way' from Lady Soul, and the live version of 'Bridge over troubled water' are my highlights. And it was nice to find out that Ron Carter plays on Soul '69. I mean, Ron Carter. So I think these three will keep me away from the whiney white guitar stuff for a little while.

I expect I'll still be buying the new Arcade Fire album when it comes out, though...

Edited by stu

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I can't believe I just found this topic! Where the heck do I begin?

I'll start here:

(From Stef back in summer 05)

Is Al Green "soul?"

Now THEM is fighting words!

The answer to that question lies buried within the heart of th musical composition entitled "Simply Beautiful". To this day, I refuse to play that song at a high volume. It is the musical equivalent of a slow burning flame.

If you need further evidence, I recommend "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart", "Let's Stay Together", "For The Good Times" and a crapload of other tracks from his 70's heyday.

The final convincing argument though? Walk into a room full of Black folk and play the opening bars of "Love And Happiness". Once you've recovered from the ensuing frenzy (and ducked the flying chairs!) that'll answer that question once and for all!

Edited by utzworld

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On the other hand, I know what my super fave soul album is: What's Going On by Marvin Gaye. This album is touched by grace (follow-up Let's Get It On doesn't even touch it), it gave me the feeling of flying from start to finish, as if I was in Heaven. It's a result of a lot of work. The Deluxe editions let you hear some stuff called "working the groove" and you get an idea of how it went.

What's Going On: Greatest Album Ever. Singlehandedly (along with the power of God) got me through the years 2003/04.

Let's Get It On was, on purpose, a different concept than "What's Going On." While What's Going On had it's soul set on Heavenly things, Let's Get It On was...uh...set on more Fleshly concerns. ::w00t:: I'll keep it real, that album is one of the contributing factors (along with Al Green's "Simply Beautiful") that brought the litle dude on my avatar to Plane Earth in the first place! Next time you married folks have some quality time, play the last song on the album "Just To Keep You Satisfied." If you find yourself with a little avatar of your own a few months later, don't be surprised.

I've got the Deluxe Editions of both albums.

Edited by utzworld

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