Before James Brown released ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black And I’m Proud’ no mainstream artist had stated the case for black pride so explicitly.
Rising to fame with James Brown’s revue, Lyn Collins fought for female artists during a difficult period, leaving a trail of soul and funk classics behind.
Wearing its crown well, ‘King & Queen’ saw Otis Redding team up with Carla Thomas for a laidback and playful album that included the hit single ‘Tramp’.
The Chess label more than held its own against the likes of Motown and Stax – as this run-down of the 10 best Chess soul records of all time shows.
From a tiny $800 loan, Berry Gordy turned Motown into the biggest African-American business of its era, paving the way for black-owned labels that followed.
For the ravenous Northern soul collector, one label consistently brought the goods: Chess Northern soul classics continue to epitomise the sound today.
Attempting to build on the success of ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’ The Temptations’ And Norman Whitfield created ‘Masterpiece’ in 1973.
In the way its music was presented and the universal themes its artists sang of, Motown broke racial barriers to move everyone, no matter their skin colour.
Whether as a songwriter for himself, The Miracles, or for others, Smokey Robinson perfected the art of expression, penning countless classics for Motown.
Released in 1971, ‘Black Rock’ was the first important step towards making The Bar-Kays one of the most reliable and powerful funk groups of the decade.
Benefitting from a luminous, nostalgic sheen, ‘Pronounced Jah-Nay’ is a reminder that R&B duo Zhané were a unique voice in early 90s R&B.
Widely regarded as The Staples Singers’ greatest album, ‘Be Altitude: Respect Yourself’ was released in 1972 and lifted the group above the competition.
If you’re suffering from heartbreak, trying to get next to someone, or dreaming about the unattainable, the best Motown love songs will suit your mood.
Considered too rough for airplay, ‘Yo! Bum Rush The Show’ found Public Enemy starting their countdown to Armageddon, paving the way for genius.
The relationship between Motown and politics runs deep. At the heart of it was great music and a commitment to changing the world.