Thursday, March 15, 2007

Soul Power

There's no denying the raw power that soul music possesses. I love a great shouter as much as the next guy, but true power is belting out a ballad with honest emotion. I could dedicate an entire blog to just soul ballads, but here are just a couple that are in my head today.

Mary Love: Baby I'll Come Right Away

Mary Love was one of many soul singers from the 60's that, for what ever reason, were never able to make it to that next level of success. Mary found most of her fan base as part of the Northern Soul market in England. As you can hear on this track, she definitely has the skills needed. "All you gotta do is call me and I'll come" is certainly not a groundbreaking lyric, but Mary delivers it with such sincerity that one can't help but be moved. This track was recorded in 1967 and can be found on her Then & Now compilation from Kent.

Brenda Holloway: Every Little Bit Hurts

Every Little Bit Hurts is Brenda Holloway's biggest hit for good reason. Released in 1964, Brenda tells a tale of a shattered relationship that lay in ruin. This guy ain't coming back. The strings and tempo are more reminiscent of a funeral than a soul ballad. I honestly cannot get enough of this song. This track can be found on Brenda's 20th Century Masters collection. Also worth a listen is Steve Winwood's version with The Spencer Davis Group from 1967.

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