Category: Soul/R+B

Terence Trent D’Arby ‘Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby’

Posted 15 Mar 2014 in 80s, Albums of 1987, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Soul/R+B

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#915 in the Series) is Terence Trent D’Arby, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby. Terence Trent D’Arby arrived on the scene in 1987 and found immediate success.  This album, his debut, peaked at #4, TWICE! His second single “Wishing Well” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.  He won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Then…. Not much. He would never see success like that again. That first album though is definitely worth looking back upon.  The first single was my favorite on that disc. That was the hard funk of “If You Let Me Stay.”  I don’t think anything on the album came close to that...

The Ria Reece Band ‘The Ria Reece Band’ – NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#890 in the Series) is the self-titled debut by The Ria Reece Band With the amount of musical talent Montreal is churning out, it just might be that there’s a new Motown north of the border. The latest off the conveyor belt is a four-piece band hell-bent on instilling in us a reverence for the roots of rhythm and blues. The Ria Reece Band doesn’t do half-baked and there is a richness in their instruments and in Ria’s gravy-sweet vocals that will appease the staunchest of soul purists. Their mastery of the intricacies of the raw, passionate melodies of the sixties and seventies belies the fact that The Ria Reece Band was...

Manu Dibango ‘Soul Makossa’

Posted 03 Oct 2013 in Albums of 1973, Albums of the 70s, Soul/R+B

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango Hailing from Cameroon, Africa, Manu Dibango established himself as an in-demand saxophone player working with acts as diverse as Fela Kuti, Don Cherry, The Fania All-Stars and Sly and Robbie. “Soul Makossa,” Dibango’s signature disco smash, was originally released as the flip side to the 1972 single “Mouvement Ewondo” on the French independent Fiesta record label. The song probably would have sunk without a trace if it had not been for Manhattan socialite David Mancuso. Mancuso was known for throwing exclusive invitation-only loft parties in New York City that served as a precursor to the city’s thriving Disco scene of the 1970s. Mancuso found a copy...

Stevie Wonder ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “We Can Work It Out” by Stevie Wonder He was no longer little…but he was not yet big either… By 1970, Stevie Wonder had grown restless with the constraints that Motown Records put upon his creativity. Rather than continue to create commercial fodder that was sure to climb the charts, Wonder wanted to address social concerns with his music, and explore different instrumentation on his records. On his 1970 album Signed, Sealed & Delivered, he began to spread his musical wings and display a newfound maturity in his songwriting and his singing, particularly on songs like “I Can’t Let Heaven Walk Away,” “Something To Say” and “Never Had A Dream Come...

Al Wilson ‘Show and Tell’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Show And Tell” by Al Wilson Today’s Song Of The Day is the signature hit by soul great Al Wilson. While Wilson is closely identified with the song, he wasn’t the first artist to record this classic hit. That honor went to none other than Johnny Mathis, who recorded it in 1972, a year before Wilson took to the charts. (We have it below for your enjoyment) Al Wilson spent his formative years kicking around San Bernardino, California working odd jobs, singing in soul groups and developing comedy routines with an eye towards a career in entertainment before joining the Navy and singing in the enlisted men’s chorus. After two...

Kool and the Gang ‘Wild and Peaceful’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Jungle Boogie” by Kool & The Gang When Kool & The Gang topped the charts with “Celebrate” in 1980, they were at the peak of their success, but as far as I was concerned, they were long past their prime. To many, that prime happened seven years earlier with the 1973 album, Wild And Peaceful and its clutch of super funky singles. Kool & The Gang hailed from Jersey City, New Jersey and formed in 1964 as The Jazziacs. They then changed their name to Kool & The Flames, and later settled on Kool & The Gang so as not to be confused with James Brown and His Famous Flames. Their...

Barrence Whitfield & the Savages ‘Dig Thy Savage Soul’ – NEW MUSIC REVIEW

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#874 in the Series) is Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, Dig Thy Savage Soul Walking the genre splitting tightrope of blues, soul, and rock, with an incendiary vibe that would make Dante himself blush, Boston based legends, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages have released “Dig Thy Savage Soul” on Bloodshot records, their first full length record since 2011. Stalwarts on the Boston club scene throughout the 1980’s, their live shows were a scorched earth, leave it all on stage full out of body experience, an energy that could equally be displayed in a punk rock club, a rockabilly hoedown, or a shoulder to shoulder high energy soul venue.  While 2011’s Savage Tracks, an...

Otis Blue ‘Otis Redding Sings Soul’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#871 in the Series) is Otis Blue, Otis Redding Sings Soul.  If you are a musical purist and do not allow live albums, compilations, or greatest hits packages to infiltrate your desert island disc knapsack, then Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings Soul should be added to your collection post haste. The album, released in 1965 just months after the death of Sam Cooke, was the first really pure Otis Redding record.  More cohesive in style, this effort has much more of a live feel about it, with the entire package (including the sultry, evocative blond on the album cover) produced with an artistic flow that was previously missing from his prior efforts that...

Cliff Nobles & Co. ‘The Horse’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Horse” by Cliff Nobles & Co. Cliff Nobles was a gospel singer from Alabama who relocated to Philadelphia to break into the recording industry. He was quickly signed to Atlantic records where he recorded three singles: “My Love Is Getting Stronger,” “Let’s Have A Good Time” and “Your Love Is All I Need” that failed to find any action on the charts. As a result of his affiliation with Atlantic, he was signed to a local Philadelphia record label called “Phil-L.A. of Soul Records” by independent producer Jesse James and formed the group Cliff Nobles & Co. consisting of Benny Williams on bass, Bobby Tucker on guitar, and Tommy Soul...

The Four Tops (with the Moody Blues) ‘Simple Game’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Simple Game” by The Four Tops Today’s Song Of The Day could have only happened in that strange and mystical place where the worlds of The Moody Blues and The Four Tops intersect. “Simple Game” was originally the B-side to the Moody Blues’ 1967 single “Ride My See-Saw.” The song was written by Michael Pinder, and didn’t appear on a Moody Blues album until the two record compilation This Is The Moody Blues in 1972. Moody Blues’ producer Tony Clark went to see the Tops in England and approached them with a demo of the song. The group didn’t know who Clark was, but liked the song and agreed to record...

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