For as long as soul music has been made, female artists have provided some of the most passionate, intense and electrifying performances. Now their vital presence in the history of R&B, from longtime classics to the present day, from Nina Simone to Jessie Ware, is commemorated in the new, 21-track Universal Music Catalogue album ‘Soul Sisters.’
Ware’s ‘Wildest Moments,’ from the breakthrough English vocalist’s 2012 debut album ‘Devotion,’ starts the album off in fine contemporary style. Then we hear from one of the greatest soul interpreters of the modern era, Amy Winehouse, with ‘Tears Dry On Their Own.’ Another present-day crossover soul sister, Gabrielle, channels classic Motown on her hit ‘Give Me A Little More Time.’
Other great UK-based artists including Dusty Springfield and Neneh Cherry feature, but the album also reflects many of the greatest American soul expressionists. Gladys Knight and the Pips’ pre-Marvin Gaye US pop and soul hit version of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ is included, as are other Motown gems such as Tammi Terrell’s version of ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’ and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas’ lesser-heard ‘I Can’t Dance To That Music You’re Playin’’ and selections by the Supremes, Teena Marie, Brenda Holloway and others.
Also in the ‘Soul Sisters’ circle are Rufus, with their early hit featuring Chaka Khan, ‘Tell Me Something Good,’ and delicate, peerless vocal interpreters such as Minnie Riperton, with ‘Les Fleurs,’ Etta James with ‘W.O.M.A.N.’ and Nina Simone, with ‘See-Line Woman.’
Listen to ‘Soul Sisters’ on Spotify