Presenting a view of life and love that still resonates, ‘Phases Of Reality’ – and William Bell – should be better remembered.
‘Rare Stamps Vol.1’ found JJ Barnes and Steve Mancha taking the Detroit sound to Memphis for a series of great soul records that are now collectors’ items.
A live recording of ‘No Woman, No Cry’ helped make Bob Marley a global star. The song remains a celebration of life in the face of hardship.
From over-easy grooves to gritty, energised instrumental funk, ‘Soul Limbo’ found Booker T And The MGs working at their peak.
Stax’s motto for 1969 was “Getting it all together” – and they did, on ‘Soul Explosion’, one of the great soul music compilations of all time.
A rollicking, ballsy album, John Lee Hooker’s ‘It Serve You Right To Suffer’ came out on Impulse! in 1966, offering the blues with a jazzy twist.
‘Walking The Dog’ might seem like an album about dancing. And animals. But Rufus Thomas’ influence spread far further than many people realise.
The Temptations were at a crossroads with 1966’s ‘Gettin’ Ready’: producing dancefloor hits of the highest order while heading towards the future of soul.
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.
With the Black Forum label, Motown founder Berry Gordy created a place where African-American spoken-word artists could make their voices heard.
The relationship between Motown and politics runs deep. At the heart of it was great music and a commitment to changing the world.
As political unrest swept the world in 1968, Stax Records faced a tumultuous year saved only by the legendary label’s own soul power.
‘Strictly Business’ may be EPMD’s debut album, but it left calling cards for their future work – and influenced numerous MCs that followed it.
Strong and bold, the best Four Tops songs stand as a pinnacle for soul music: heartfelt, emotional and pulling on the heartstrings.
Seeing the connection between jazz and disco, the Vanguard and Fantasy labels made sophisticated dancefloor music that still sounds fresh and thrilling.