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Any Major Soul 1970-71

August 5th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments


Some people will reel in disbelief and perhaps go on by shouting out the first names of assorted soul deities as I proclaim: The 1970s were the golden age of soul music. Of course, “60s soul was fantastic, as the two volumes of Any Major”60s Soul compilations proved. But by the late 1960s and early “70s soul had acquired such a breadth of variety which the still nascent form of the previous decade did not have, by force of progress. The soul shouters were giving way to smooth guys, often singing in falsetto, and the Muscle Shoal horns went out and the string arrangements came in. And Motown and Stax had lost their way. As smooth as “70s often was, however, it still retained depth. For the first half of the decade at least, soul produced some of the most gorgeous sounds ever in musicIn this series, we”ll follow the decade”s soul music in two-year cycles, starting with the years 1970/71. I have tried to find a middle-way between including the obvious and the obscure, cutting out many favourites from the former category and leaving the connoisseurs of the latter to indulge their needs over at the great Funky16Corners blog.

Followers of pop in this decade will recognise the sample lifted from the Chi-Lites Are You My Woman (Tell Me So). If to the listener the Chairmen of the Board song sounds a lot like something by the Four Tops, then that is because they were the flagship band on the Invictus label founded by erstwhile Four Tops songwriters Holland/Dozier/Holland (it helps that General Norman Johnson”s voice sounds not unlike that of Levi Stubbs). Also from Detroit and recording under HDH were 100 Proof (And Aged In Soul), which included Stubbs’ brother, and the Flaming Ember, the only white soul act in this collection (the Rare Earth fell victim to the brutal cull which I needed to exercise to keep this mix to a CD-R format length). Some acts were carry-overs from the 1960s (Franklin, Ruffin, Delfonics, Wonder, Five Stairsteps), some began productive careers in the timeframe covering this mix (Earth, Wind & Fire, Main Ingredient, Bill Withers), and others appeared in the charts briefly and disappeared again (The Fantastics, Jean Knight, 100 Proof Aged In Soul, Honey Come, The Beginning Of The End).

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1. The Beginning Of The End – Funky Nassau
2. The Chi-Lites – Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)
3. Jean Knight – Mr. Big Stuff
4. 100 Proof (Aged In Soul) – Somebody’s Been Sleeping
5. Flaming Ember – Westbound #9
6. Chairmen Of The Board – Give Me Just A Little More Time
7. Earth, Wind & Fire – Love Is Life
8. Stevie Wonder – If Your Really Love Me
9. The Delfonics – Didn’t I Blow Your Mind
10. Curtis Mayfield – Miss Black America
11. The Presidents – 5, 10, 15, 20, 25-30 Years Of Love
12. Freda Payne – Bring The Boys Home
13. The Fantastics – Something Old Something New
14. Honey Cone – Stick-Up
15. Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman
16. Ronnie Dyson – (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You
17. Jimmy Ruffin – It’s Wonderful (To Be Loved By You)
18. The Supremes – Stoned Love
19. The Five Stairsteps – Behind Curtains
20. The Main Ingredient – Spinning Around
21. The Persuaders – It’s A Thin Line Between Love And Hate
22. The Dells – The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)
23. Aretha Franklin – Call Me
24. Bill Withers – Grandma’s Hands


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  1. August 5th, 2009 at 03:01 | #1

    Solid, brother!

  2. Tom W.
    August 5th, 2009 at 03:20 | #2

    Absolutely agree, 1970-1974 was the greatest soul ever.

  3. jb
    August 5th, 2009 at 13:33 | #3

    I’ve been making a similar point for years: those who dismiss the 70s as a decade failing to live up to the musical quality of the 60s do so only by ignoring the quality of early 70s soul, and this is a fine, fine collection of it.

    And if there’s ever been a more powerful hook than the “boom boom shaka laka boom boom boom boom” breakdown in “Stick Up,” I don’t know what it is.

  4. August 5th, 2009 at 14:51 | #4

    Ohh, man, what a wonderful selection of tunes, and what a great time to have been a kid absorbing it all on AM radio. I can’t quibble with any of your choices. Very nicely done. Thank you!

  5. August 5th, 2009 at 20:06 | #5

    triffic stuff, as usual. and infinitely more down my alley than Katja Ebstein :)
    thanx for being a sharing soul :)

  6. August 5th, 2009 at 22:17 | #6

    Oh my and oh lawdy, here’s me working up to a holiday in France and longing for some new (old) music to take with me and you know what Major? This’ll do (more than) nicely.

    Like Jeff says!

    PS: People who diss 70s soul know JACK. Obviously.

  7. August 6th, 2009 at 17:37 | #7

    Love it! In fact, I love it enough to finally get around to buying more CD-Rs. That’s saying something; I’m cheap and kind of lazy. :D

  8. August 7th, 2009 at 15:50 | #8

    Haven’t sat down with this from start to finish yet, but I dipped in and out, and it has some lovely tracks in it.

    ‘The love we had stays on my mind’ really grabbed me!

  9. Jerry Plunk
    August 15th, 2009 at 22:52 | #9

    Thanks for including The Flaming Ember!

    Jerry Plunk, lead singer and drummer

  10. Lisa
    September 11th, 2009 at 02:32 | #10

    Completely agree with you on the 1970s, and particularly 1970-1973 (maybe 74), being the golden age of soul. And I think I have every single listed on your track list (or close to it).

    That said, it saddens me not to see any Stylistics singles in there. I remember hearing “You Are Everything” for the first time booming out of a record shop in Mount Vernon, NY, while Christmas shopping and being sucked into that store like a Hoover. Plunked down my dollar and it still rates as one of my top 10 songs of all time.

    Also loved the B-sides … can’t decide which version I prefer, Stylistics’ “Country Living” or the Mighty Diamonds’ reggae cover …

  11. Dave
    December 29th, 2015 at 06:16 | #11

    Greetings, dude! Any chance of a re-up? I know you’ve done newer comps that supersede this one but I’m a completist. I love what you do here!

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