Content tagged 'Soul'
The Boy Is Mine (Album of the Day)
A Jerry Springer Show episode about love triangles that Brandy saw on TV helped plant the seed for “The Boy Is Mine.” The singer had initially planned to cut the song of competitive romance as a solo recording before taking a cue from the 1982 collaboration between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. Fellow R&B hitmaker Monica signed on, creating a single (and video, costarring actor Mekhi Phifer) that ruled the airwaves in 1998. The track shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed there for a phenomenal 13 weeks - the first No.1 hit for either Brandy or Monica. The double-platinum duet was also a success with the critics; “The Boy Is Mine” earned three Grammy nominations including a win for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.
We Are Family (Album of the Day)
Sister Sledge already had a couple of studio sets under their belts when they released WE ARE FAMILY, but it was on that Cotillion collection that the quartet truly hit it out of the park. Thanks partially to its use as the theme song to the Pittsburgh Pirates' successful World Series run, the title track became a No.2 hit; and opener “He's the Greatest Dancer” also reached the Top Ten; the album itself went platinum on this day in 1979. Philadelphia siblings Kathy, Debbie, Joni and Kim Sledge harmonize like angels and each gets a chance to sing lead, and the sisters get a huge assist from Chic's Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, who wrote and produced these 8 tracks. Rodgers once declared that “pound for pound, I think WE ARE FAMILY is our best album hands down,” and it stands as not just Sister Sledge's finest, but one of the greatest long-players of the disco era.
Dock of The Bay Sessions (Album of the Day)
Soul great Otis Redding was on top of the world in 1967, and when he entered Memphis' Stax studio in the fall, he began to explore new musical directions. Tragically, those sessions were cut short after only a few weeks when the singer died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967, leaving his vision for the album unrealized. Now in stores, Rhino's DOCK OF THE BAY SESSIONS is the first collection to show what could have been. Compiled with the Redding family's full endorsement by Roger Armstrong of Ace Records and Otis biographer Jonathan Gould, these 12 songs range from the driving R&B of “Hard To Handle” and “Love Man” to such heart-stopping ballads as “I've Got Dreams To Remember” and the title classic. Although the individual tracks have been previously released across posthumous compilations, they have a cumulative power on DOCK OF THE BAY SESSIONS, which captures the first indication of a new Otis Redding, one that wowed European audiences and brought the house down at the Monterey International Pop Festival.
The Great Hits Of Ray Charles Recorded On 8-Track Stereo (Album of the Day)
If you think the term “8-track” means a bulky cartridge used in car audio systems in the 1970s, you're only half right; years before it became a consumer product, it was a studio technology. When THE GREAT HITS OF RAY CHARLES RECORDED ON 8-TRACK STEREO was originally released in 1964, that technology was state-of-the-art, and even if digital recording has advanced considerably in the intervening half-century, the Atlantic collection still sounds mighty fine. Among the 13 favorites here are “What'd I Say,” “I'm Movin' On,” “(Night Time Is) The Right Time” and “I Had A Dream.” We'll celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the Genius of Soul on THE GREAT HITS OF RAY CHARLES.
The Sound of Wilson Pickett (Album of the Day)
That Alabama-born soul shouter Wilson Pickett could do no wrong in 1967 is borne out by THE SOUND OF WILSON PICKETT. Comprised of recent singles, the Atlantic collection was cut at Muscle Shoals' Fame Studios with Rick Hall, Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler handling production chores and guitarist Chips Moman and keyboardist Spooner Oldham among the ace players backing Pickett. The Wicked One really sinks his teeth into these 11 songs, which include sizzling performances of “You Can't Stand Alone,” his old Falcons hit “I Found A Love” and Top 10 single “Funky Broadway.” Allmusic said THE SOUND OF WILSON PICKETT “may be his finest album performance of the entire decade,” and its consistent quality makes it hard to argue the point.
Patches (Album of the Day)
Few artists carried the torch for '60s soul into the following decade more effectively than Clarence Carter. The Alabama-born singer had his biggest hit in 1970 with “Patches,” a tale of perseverance through poverty that earned a Best R&B Song Grammy and still resonates a half-century later. Carter's fourth album drew its name from the track, and though that Top 10 single may be the most recognizable thing on the Atlantic collection, it's far from the only highlight. Minor hit “It's All in Your Mind,” a gospel-tinged version of The Beatles' “Let It Be” and original “C.C. Blues” speak to the performer's versatility, and Carter's guitar work is as appealing as his vocals. With outstanding examples of several R&B styles, PATCHES is a great way to kick off Black History Month.
Live (Album of the Day)
A singer, songwriter, keyboardist and arranger, Donny Hathaway was among the most gifted figures in 1970s R&B, even if he was sometimes overshadowed by Roberta Flack, a fellow Howard University alumnus and frequent duet partner. With one side recorded at L.A.'s Troubadour club and the other at New York's The Bitter End, LIVE is the ideal showcase for Hathaway's many talents. The 1972 Atlantic collection shows him with a top-flight soul-jazz band working the crowds masterfully on original songs (“The Ghetto,” “We're Still Friends”) and revelatory covers (Marvin Gaye's “What's Going On,” John Lennon's “Jealous Guy”). Donny Hathaway was just 33 when he died, but the inviting performances on LIVE are enough to ensure that he'll be remembered for decades to come.
Plenty, Plenty Soul (Album of the Day)
Detroit-born vibraphonist Milt Jackson performed with virtually all the great post-war jazz artists, so it should come as little surprise that PLENTY, PLENTY SOUL is an all-star affair. The 1957 Atlantic collection, produced by the label's Nesuhi Ertegun, features Cannonball Adderley on alto saxophone, Horace Silver on piano, Art Blakey on drums and Jackson's Modern Jazz Quartet bandmate Percy Heath on bass, among others – and Quincy Jones provides several songs and arrangements. Bags brought out the best in his collaborators, and outside the confines of the MJQ, his love for blues and swing comes to the fore here as both a songwriter and soloist. Though recorded several years before “soul music” came into vogue, the title of PLENTY, PLENTY SOUL is an accurate one, and the set's down-home grooves still carry tremendous appeal.
The Odd Couple (Album of the Day)
Atlanta hip-hopper CeeLo Green and producer Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, crossed paths shortly after the turn of the millennium and joined forces as Gnarls Barkley. Two years after their debut catapulted them to stardom, the duo returned with THE ODD COUPLE, a strong follow-up that remains their last collaboration to date. The highly anticipated Atlantic collection - which was rush released after Internet leaks - is touched with both beauty and melancholy and includes such standout tracks as “Run (I'm a Natural Disaster),” “Going On" and “Who's Gonna Save My Soul.” Danger Mouse's sonic settings (which include samples from such unusual suspects as Françoise Hardy and Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs) provide the ideal frame for CeeLo's exhilarating vocal work, making THE ODD COUPLE a perfect match.
Soul Christmas (Album of the Day)
Atlantic/Atco was THE label for Southern soul in the 1960s, and some of its biggest stars appear on SOUL CHRISTMAS. The legendary Otis Redding provides simmering takes on two standards (“White Christmas” and “Merry Christmas Baby”), while Booker T. & The MG's and sax star King Curtis work their instrumental magic on such favorites as “Jingle Bells” and “The Christmas Song” (the latter featuring Duane Allman on guitar). There are also a few fine originals on the compilation, including Solomon Burke's “Presents For Christmas,” Clarence Carter's salacious “Back Door Santa” and Donny Hathaway's “This Christmas,” now celebrating its 50th anniversary. The superb set reached #13 on the Billboard Christmas chart (and hit the Top 10 upon later rerelease), and SOUL CHRISTMAS belongs on every R&B fan's holiday wish list!