Six of the best soul records of all time
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We list the top 6 soul records of all time. This list of essential Soul records is a great starting point for someone wanting to get into Soul vinyl records.
1. ‘Walk On By’ – Isaac Hayes
Burt Bacharach’s classic is stretched out across 12 incendiary minutes of sexy, lovelorn soul with Hayes adding spun-out, twanging guitar and his own purring, drenched-in-treacle vocals. With his customary orchestral flare, Hayes manages to make a broken heart sound very classy indeed. Amy Smith
2. ‘Brown Sugar’ – D’Angelo
Four swirling organ notes and a snare tap – that’s all it takes for one of the sexiest soul songs ever to get juiced up and ready to roll. Released in 1995, at a time when soul music was being hijacked by lightweights like Michael Bolton, D’Angelo created a slow revolution with this title track from his breathless, devastating debut album. Oliver Keens
3. ‘Getting in the Way’ – Jill Scott
The song that launched the wondrous neo-soul of ‘Jilly from Philly’ onto audiences in 2000, ‘Gettin’ In the Way’ takes a maverick step of combining super-chilled beats with a narrative straight out of WWF – as Scott dresses down a love rival with some brilliant lines like: ‘I’m ’bout to take my earrings off and get me some Vaseline’. Oliver Keens
4. ‘Try Me’ – James Brown
For all his flamboyant showmanship, when the Godfather wanted to strip a song back, he really triumphed. Save for a powerful drum kick and solid backing singers, it’s all about his plaintive, yearning voice – begging for just one chance. Amy Smith
5. ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’ – Marvin Gaye
‘This must surely be one of the most bittersweet moments in the history of recorded sound. I never paid attention to the lyric until I was older. I was always overcome by the tone and expressiveness of Marvin’s voice and the feel of the track always made me want to move but one day the raw emotion of the words struck me like a celestial train and this glorious picture was finally complete in my spirit.’ Dave Okumu from The Invisible.
6. ‘Soul Man’ – Sam & Dave
It’s hard not to imagine Sam Moore and Dave Prater dancing when they recorded this. ‘Soul Man’ was written in 1967 in response to a phenomenon where civil rights protesters wrote ‘soul’ on black-owned businesses to prevent them being looted during riots. Amy Smith