on 20 February 2004
Sock It To 'Em Soul - A life’s work.
There are people in this world, seemingly sane ,well educated, successful, men and women. Who think nothing of dedicating a lifetime to building a collection of records that they love .This time consuming activity is not just about the desire to listen to old and rare soul records . Its more often about the thrill of the chase. The all consuming passion in routing through boxes of dusty vinyl in forgotten shop basements. The ability to get up at the crack of dawn in they're spare time. To drive for miles on a frozen winters morning. To reach the car-boot sale early enough to stand a chance in discovering an old soul gem. The desire in owning, touching, holding, counting and cataloging precious vinyl.
And then theres the cost. They may occasionally be lucky enough to find a long sought after seven inch single, released through an obscure Detroit record label in a reasonable condition for a few pence, bargain. But more often than not, the real soul treasures can reach anywhere between a three to four figure sum .Very ,very ,very expensive. Great big , large, huge great amounts of real money on tunes.
So then, its about the music. Brilliant singers like Aretha Franklin, Arthur Conley, Eddie Floyd and Mary Wells. Fantastic dance floor fillers like" Don’t Turn Your Heater On " by Sam and Dave, or " I Can't Stop Dancing " by Archie Bell & the Drells. Much covered classics like " Memphis Soul Stew" by King Curtis, "Cool Jerk" by The Capitols or Don Covays "See- Saw". Timeless emotive music by the great soul artists like Booker T, The Bar-Kays, Wilson Pickett and The Drifters. So many brilliant recordings by so many fantastic soul artists . Skill.
Time and money well spent then.
Or.. if you've got a life you could just buy one great record with all the best soul tracks on like "Sock It To Em Soul".
Subtitled "60's club soul classics from the vaults of Atlantic, Atco, Loma, Reprise, Stax and Warner Bros Records 1963-1968", this 30-track collection gathers a sure-fire selection of tried and tested floor fillers, annotated by Richard Searling, who had a hand in the compilation. Well-known standards are mingled with harder to find obscurities that have found favour in the clubs, dance halls, discos and youth clubs long after their original shelf-life might have been supposed to be over. If you are over-familiar with tracks by Aretha Franklin or Booker T., you are still likely to be delighted by the post-Motown Mary Wells ballad or the Ramsey Lewis-like Googie Rene Combo instrumental.
The album is topped and tailed with the 1966 James Bond-inspired Sock It To 'Em JB, closing with Part 2, which formed the original flipside and was an instrumental version of the song treated electronically with reverb and echo and so forth; possibly the forerunner of the reggae dub versions and dance remixes of a decade later.
Much of the music inbetween was recorded at the Stax Studios in Memphis or the Atlantic Studios in New York, but some of it was made in Nashville, New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago, often using the top studio house bands. 18 of the 30 tracks are in mono. 78.50 minutes of top quality soul of all genres. You won't sit down.
One of the finest CD compilations of 60's soul music you're going to find - a great mixture of better and lesser known tunes, but all killa and no filla. Complement this with the 'Stax Gold' CD for the stuff from '68 and beyond and you've got the start of one seriously soulful collection ! Does exactly what it says on the tin - if this lot doesn't move your soul, book an appointment with your GP.
on 9 February 2004
You'll no doubt have some of the tracks on this disc, I know I have, but still to have 'em all on one disc for 7.99 is top value in my book. Anyway enough economics the music - well the ones that I was't familiar with:
Rex Gavin sock's it to you, Aretha belts out a tune that sounds to these ears not unlike Them's Gloria, the Drifters pitch in with a gorgeous untempo dancer while words cannot do justice to the Soul Brothers Six track.
After one play my girlfriend announced it was her favourite cd of the moment. She's got a point, just buy it and listen to it loud.