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Soul Recommendations Best of 2017

Juno Recommends Soul

Juno Recommends Soul

Soul Recommendations Best of 2017
12 Dec 2017
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1
Open Soul (reissue) (1 per customer)
Cat: MEL 005. Rel: 30 Jan 17
Soul
  1. Lovers To Friends
  2. It Ain't Fair
  3. Hurt Perversion
  4. Hurry Up Tomorrow
  5. Let's Get Down With The Best
  6. Open Soul
Review: Given his renowned crate-digging credentials, it's little surprise that Floating Points is a big fan of Open Soul, the 1976 debut album from Chicagoan soul/jazz-funk fusionists Tomorrow's People. The album is notoriously hard to find, with original copies occasionally changing hands online for eye-watering sums of money. The thing is, though, it's a terrific album, as this welcome reissue on the producer's Melodies International imprint proves. Spanning a wide range of soul and jazz-funk styles - from the rubbery, sax-laden disco-funk bump of "Let's Get Down With The Beat" and doo-wop influenced "Hurry Up Tomorrow", via the blistering "Hurt Perversion" - it's an inspired collection that stands up to repeat listens. Epic flipside cut "Open Soul" - a 20-mimute trip into space-soul territory - is especially good.
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out of stock $23.93
2
Cat: SEWT 703/SEWT 706. Rel: 18 Sep 17
Soul
  1. Cosmic Slop (Moodymann mix) (9:27)
  2. Let's Make It Last (Kenny Dixon Jr edit) (7:32)
out of stock $9.24
3
Cat: GSC 4512. Rel: 17 Dec 18
Soul
  1. Coke - "I Wouldn't Change A Thing" (edit) (3:51)
  2. Odetta - "Hit Or Miss" (edit) (3:54)
out of stock $10.61
4
Cat: AJX 4295. Rel: 15 Jul 19
Soul
  1. Now That I Found You (4:30)
  2. Get To This (You'll Get To Me) (3:53)
out of stock $12.24
5
Cat: BC 0087. Rel: 27 Feb 17
Soul
  1. Tearz (2:37)
  2. Verbal Intercourse (2:49)
Review: Longstanding New York troupe El Michels Affair bite down on 2017 with two on-point left-sided soul jams. "Tearz" is a biggie, not least because it features Lee Fields and The Shacks. A warm, organ groove with loose breaks and drops into pure harmonic bliss, it's another spellbinding affair from the Wu-approved crew. "Verbal Intercourse" takes more of a slinkier, subtle approach with clipped horns spitting an insistent hook over sparse, twanging instrumental elements. Stunning, as always.
out of stock $10.61
6
Cat: AOE 026. Rel: 26 Jun 17
Soul
  1. This Time (2:51)
  2. Don't Let Yourself Get Carried Away (2:41)
Review: Athens Of The North triumph once again with two incredible slices of crossover, feel good soul from the early 70s. Douglas & Lonero enjoyed a good vein of major form on Columbia for a while, including a live album Live At Charley Brown's, but this 1975-released RCA 45 has been the most collectable (with OG copies of the double-sided pressing fetching over 500 pounds sterling in the past) Fully remastered from the original tapes, this is the clearest, sharpest and sweatiest Douglas & Lonero have ever sounded.
 in stock $7.35
7
Cat: SOL 1003. Rel: 23 Jan 17
Soul
  1. Forever (4:14)
  2. Love Has Never Passed Me By (3:30)
Review: SOL Discos present their third reissue with these two songs from Frank Eddie. Originally released on the by Eddie himself, most of the original 1000 pressed copies where abandoned back in South Miami, Florida. Influenced by soul and rock, Frank met with drummer and singer William Hopkins. They created a band together, which at the time, would also jam with people that would later become famous such as Steve Morse (Deep Purple), jazz steel-band player Othello Molineaux and Jaco Pastorius to name a few. Frank & William co-wrote the two songs on this record. They gathered the personnel and recorded it in four days. After unsuccessful meetings with major labels and partly discouraged by the music business, Frank decided to self-release the record on his Insync label. He worked on his own to sell it locally but sadly it didn't meet the audience it deserved. According to William, "The black radio stations would not play it because I did not give them cocaine or money, and the disco clubs had their own list to promote". Today, Frank Eddie is still active by playing American Rhythm & Blues and Jazz in Cuba, as well as supporting the Cuban musicians, bringing instruments to the Caribbean Nation.
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out of stock $10.06
8
Scorpio Man Theme (1 per customer)
Cat: TR 710. Rel: 11 Jun 18
Soul
  1. Scorpio Man Theme (3:58)
  2. Journey To The Bottom (4:28)
Review: Giving Nicole a rare night off, inimitable troupe The Soul Investigators team up with killer flautist Ernie Hawks for two impeccable instrumentals. "Scorpio Man Theme" is all slinky 70s cinematica with a wry nod towards Lalo Schifrin while "Journey To The Bottom" adopts a more languid perspective with slower beats, a smouldering groove and a flute line that takes us right down to the bottom of our souls and right back up again. Beautiful.
out of stock $6.51
9
Funny Girl (1 per customer)
Cat: DYNAM 7003. Rel: 27 Nov 17
Soul
  1. Funny Girl (short version) (3:28)
  2. Dreams (3:26)
Review: Although featured on James Mason's lauded - and recently reissued - 1977 album Rhythm of Life, "Funny Girl" is nowhere near as celebrated as some of the other cuts on that set ("Sweet Power Your Embrace", in particular). Happily, Dynamite Cuts has decided to put it centre stage for the first time, sticking it out on a desirable 7" single. Featuring the super-sweet vocals of Clarice Taylor, the song perfectly encapsulates Mason's loose and musically rich fusion of soul and jazz-funk. Also impressive is flipside "Dreams", a slightly looser and jazzier cut - again, with Taylor on vocal duties - that originally closed out the Rhythm Of Life LP.
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out of stock $8.43
10
Don't Waste My Time (1 per customer)
Cat: SCT 004. Rel: 09 Oct 17
Soul
  1. Jerry Washington - "Don't Waste My Time" (3:45)
  2. Timmy Thomas - "It's What They Can't See" (3:08)
Review: Newsflash: we can't handle Jerry Washington's love. But we sure can handle his fiery soul! Armed with just a touch of jazz on the fills and chorus, there's an upbeat, insistent energy to this Glades reissue that happened to be one of his last singles. Meanwhile on the B, fellow Glades alumni Timmy Thomas winds us right down with much more of a sensual soul ballad in the form of the swooning "What They Can't See". Two stunning sides of soul for two very different occasions; Suncut deliver the goods once again.
out of stock $10.34
11
Cat: SB 7024. Rel: 20 Feb 17
Soul
  1. Touch Me Take Me (3:06)
  2. Love Is All You Need (2:40)
 in stock $8.43
12
Cat: EXS 003. Rel: 31 Jul 17
Soul
  1. The Bottle (5:11)
  2. Hooked On Your Love (3:54)
Review: Recorded and originally released in 1999, "The Bottle" has been released twice by Expansion on 12" single and now finally gets its first 7" issue. The song is the most classic Gil Scott Heron song, vocalist Maysa Leak (of British supergroup Incognito) is still the finest contemporary soul singer with a unique voice and all here with the magic of a full Incognito production. It is coupled with "Hooked On Your Love", both songs from the Incognito produced album All My Life'. Another fine rendition of this timeless anthem by one of the all time greats.
 in stock $8.43
13
Cat: DP 020. Rel: 29 May 17
Soul
  1. Bobby's Grapevine (Aldo Vanucci re-edit) (3:43)
  2. Billy's Missus (Del Gazeebo re-edit) (4:17)
Review: Wah Dubplate cannot and will not be stopped. The incorrigible little bootleg unit marches on with its usual mishmash of funky, disco-friendly edits from the most improbable of producers out there and this latest outing is another minor success in what is a whole catalogue of hidden gems. Italy's Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo turn up sounding wild and soulful; the farmer's opening edit of "Bobby's Grapevine" does the Mo-Town tricks, while the latter's re-visioning of "Billy's Missus" gives the original 'hey, Mrs.Robison!' a nice little dance makeover. Sweet as a nut.
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 in stock $6.51
14
Cat: FSRLP 117. Rel: 13 Mar 17
Soul
  1. Vicky's Tune (feat Robert Glasper & Ty) (5:21)
  2. Insatiable (feat Natasha Watts) (5:16)
  3. Gave My Heart/Its So (Interlood) (feat Leon Ware/Grant Windsor Big Beat Band) (5:02)
  4. Feeds My Mind (Feal Floacist) (3:56)
  5. De Ja Vu (feat Mayra Andrade) (3:25)
  6. This Way That Way (3:44)
  7. Hold Me Closer (feat Stuart Zender) (3:48)
  8. I Want It To Be (3:47)
  9. Doobie Doobie Doo (4:08)
  10. Grey Clouds (5:01)
Review: One of the UK's most distinctive, consistent and authentic male soul voices returns with his eighth album in 27 years... And it's a serious piece of work. Rich in range, warmth, creativity and a keen eye on the dancefloor, everything about him feels refreshed and energised. Highlights include the Dilla-meets-Iz & Diz style "This Way That Way", the glistening Balearic charm of "Feeds My Mind", the syrupy organs and harmonies on "Insatiable". Winding down with the almost filmic narrative "Grey Clouds", it's one of those records that will have you leaping up, flipping to side A and starting all over again. Feel the love.
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 in stock $14.96
15
  1. Cashing In (2:19)
  2. Take A Stand (3:11)
Review: The Voices Of East Harlem were an ensemble of vocalists who for Just Sunshine Records recorded two albums under the direction of Leroy Hutson and Curtis Mayfield. "Cashing In" is one of their most classic songs, a highly sought after track on original 7" fetches a small fortune on the collectors market. First recorded and released in 1973, it has all the hallmarks of a Leroy Hutson composition and an established audience that crosses the boundaries of northern, crossover and modern soul. The song is coupled here with "Take A Stand', another highly regarded and sought after modern soul room dance floor tracks, never previously released on 7" single until now
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! low stock $8.43
16
  1. Red Light Green Light (vocal) (3:48)
  2. Red Light Green Light (instrumental) (4:06)
Review: The Super Disco Edits camp have pulled off something of a coup here, securing the rights to a previously unissued 1987 cut from studio duo New Jersey Connection, whose sole 1981 single, "Love Don't Come Easy", has long been a favourite of boogie DJs. "Red Light Green Light", featuring the breezy vocals of Cynthia Wilson, sounds like a long lost boogie classic: all sugary-sweet backing vocals, rubbery bass guitar, twinkling '80s soul synthesizer melodies and punchy drum machine percussion. The A-side vocal version is accompanied by a tasty instrumental mix, in which the focus switches to the NJ twosome's superb production. File under: "must have".
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 in stock $11.96
17
Cat: CORD 7002. Rel: 26 Jun 17
Soul
  1. Making Love Together (vocal) (4:40)
  2. Making Love Together (instrumental) (4:39)
out of stock $11.42
18
Cat: SDE 29. Rel: 06 Nov 17
Soul
  1. Safe (4:12)
  2. I Wanna Be Closer (4:05)
Review: Since turning their back on hush-hush re-edits in favour of issuing obscure or previously unreleased material, the Super Disco Edits label has barely put a foot wrong. Their latest 7" boasts two previously unissued recordings by former Reflections member John Simmons, who later went on to work as Whitney Houston's "creative director". Both tracks were recorded in 1979, originally as demos for a band Simmons was working with. "Safe", in particular, is superb; a jazz-funk-tinged chunk of modern soul rich in cosmic bass, crunchy Clavinet motifs, twinkling electric piano solos and jazzy guitar flourishes. Simmons' vocal, too, is rather special. Flipside "I Wanna Be Closer" is similarly funk-fuelled whilst retaining the smooth, soulful vibe that marked out Simmons' early productions.
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 in stock $11.96
19
Cat: SMR45-0117. Rel: 17 Jul 17
Soul
  1. Real Life Baby (feat Emmi) (3:24)
  2. Enter Sandman (3:20)
Review: From the kitchen to the laboratory, longstanding Aussie groove troupe Cookin' On 3 Burners don the hazmats for their fourth album Lab Experiments and these are just two of the flaming funk potions from their findings. "Real Life Baby" is a slinky pop-tinged new soul affair with swooning spaces for Emmi to flex her distinctive vocals and show us exactly what her kinda swag is. Meanwhile on the B, "Enter Sandman" is exactly what you think it is... A full-throttle trip to never never land with every dramatic organ slapping you could ever dream of. Enter night!
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out of stock $12.78
20
Cat: ATH 053. Rel: 28 Aug 17
Soul
  1. Let Go (5:42)
  2. Will You Be There (4:33)
Review: Following the excellent excavation of the Miami band's unreleased album Best Kept Secret, AOTN's Fryer treats us to his two favourite cuts on a 500-only never-to-be-repressed 45. Seeped in powerful vocal harmonies, "Let Go" is rare groove gold with smooth sax and a dynamic that keeps on surprising while "Will You Be There" is an end of night soul shakedown with a tenderness that's tangible in every element. Don't sleep on this... Or the album. One of AOTN's most exciting releases this year.
 in stock $11.42
21
  1. My Dreams Are Clouded (4:28)
  2. Don't Wait Too Long (4:16)
Review: A regular triple-figure fetch on the auction sites, it was only a matter of time before Henry Thomas & Rise's beautiful 80s soul doublet experienced the strong-armed justice of Fryer. Not just reissued but sourced and tracked down - this is just the start of what will hopefully be a whole load of criminally slept on and unreleased soul from Henry and his troupe. "My Dreams Are Clouded" is a verified club banger with its FM synth ripples and low-down bass bumps while "Don't Wait Too Long" is the ultimate come home record. Slinky, swooning and soaked in raw dollops of emotion - Henry Thomas is, once again, on the rise.
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 in stock $11.15
22
Cat: RK45 069. Rel: 23 Oct 17
Soul
  1. A Little Taste Of Soul (3:02)
  2. Unwind Yourself (3:42)
Review: Since 2003, Record Kicks has been the "explosive sound of today's scene" and, by the looks of this latest nugget from Martha High, they're right on track to fulfill that promise! The talented US vocalist was on the front row of James Brown's hits in the 60's and 70's, but she's since then focused on her own glorious soul material. "A Little Taste Of Soul" comes as a ray of shining light on a wet October afternoon, full of funky sensibility and heartfelt vibes, making for the perfect dance number for those looking for that groovy thang. For the B-side, "Unwind Yourself" slows the tempo down, breaks up the groove, and unleashes High's Goddess-like voice amid those tasty breaks - what a winner!
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 in stock $8.16
23
Cat: EX 7027. Rel: 02 Oct 17
Soul
  1. Al Johnson With Jean Carn - "I'm Back For More" (5:06)
  2. Al Johnson - "I've Got My Second Wind" (3:31)
out of stock $10.06
24
Cat: RONET 001. Rel: 29 May 17
Soul
  1. Still Got A Way To Fall (3:44)
  2. Still Got A Way To Fall (version) (3:47)
out of stock $6.80
25
  1. Too Many Rules & Games (2:58)
  2. Save Me (4:02)
out of stock $7.35
26
  1. Willie Wright & The Cannonballs - "Ain't No Sunshine" (3:44)
  2. Willie Wright - "Ain't No Sunshine" (mono) (4:09)
out of stock $23.67
27
  1. Jackie Day - "Before It's Too Late" (2:46)
  2. Vernon Garrett - "If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time" (2:29)
  3. Mary Love - "I've Gotta Get You Back" (2:47)
  4. Johnny Gilliam - "You Make Me Feel Like Someone" (3:08)
out of stock $10.87
28
Cat: SJ 538. Rel: 31 Jul 17
Soul
  1. Nightlife (3:57)
  2. Backstage (5:01)
Review: Writer, singer and former New York banker, Eric Harris first emerged in the late 2000s with tear-jerking tracks such as "Drama" and the belting "Queen" and has appeared on Soul Unsigned and Soul Junction on various occasions. "Nightlife" is a great example of his Vandross-style depth, tone and warmth while the heartfelt (and just a little steamy) "Backstage" finally sees 45" justice after becoming a cult radio hit in 2012. Pure bedtime music.
 in stock $10.87
29
  1. Track 1
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  13. Track 13
  14. Track 14
  15. Track 15
  16. Track 16
  17. Track 17
  18. Track 18
  19. Track 19
  20. Track 20
  21. Track 21
Review: Given his interest in all things spiritual, it was little surprise when Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell launched the Praise series of gospel compilations back in 2013. Clausell's desire was not only to celebrate gospel as a vibrant musical form in its own right, but also to showcase its enduring influence on American dance music. This fourth edition in the series retains a similar focus, collecting together church-made recordings of choirs and soloists, studio recordings, and soul, funk, jazz, disco and house shot through with the righteous spirit of gospel. It makes for a heady, life-affirming mix and includes standout tracks from Pastor L.T Barrett, Peabo Bryson, The Main Ingredient, The Rance Allen Group and C&T, whose disco stomper "Get Ready For This" (track 13) is an absolute delight.
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out of stock $17.40
30
Cat: RKX 066LP. Rel: 10 Apr 17
Soul
  1. Intro (1:06)
  2. Soul Run (3:27)
  3. Two Steps (3:46)
  4. Sweet Memories (3:43)
  5. More Than A Man (3:34)
  6. Money (2:52)
  7. Love Fool (3:17)
  8. Heavy (3:29)
  9. Endless Chain (3:47)
  10. Waiting (3:19)
  11. Darkness & The Dawn (4:03)
Review: As foretold by fiery 45 last month, Tanika Charles delivers her soul-stacked debut album. Gutsy, energetic and backed by a tight act, Tanika has the scope and space to explore the full soul spectrum; the thumping upbeat twister "Soul Run", the swooning doo-wap of "More Than A Man" and gospel-inspired delivery of R&B strutter "Money" and heart-stopping vocal peaks and troughs of the cosmic blues ballad "Heavy" are just a few of the highlights on this highly accomplished debut album. Tip.
out of stock $17.14
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