Soul CDs

  • Virtuoso blues guitarist Bobby Parker inspired John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page and many others yet it has taken 66 years since his recording debut for a proper compilation to be issued under his name. The one you all know, Watch your Step was played on stage by the Beatles in their Hamburg days who by their own admission, took its riff to fashion the opening to I Feel Fine. And let’s not forget Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick, which borrowed that same riff. What a great soulful blues singer Bobby Parker was too. From his 1956 recording of Titanic, to 1969’s It's Hard But It's Fair, we present some unforgettable vocal performances plus guitar instrumentals that showcase his unique way of playing the blues. And there are some unreleased live performances from a radio show broadcast in 1995. Bobby Parker originals are hard to come by – apart from the hit Watch your Step, everything else is a valuable collector’s item. But this compilation brings them all together in one set and we can promise a treat in store for you. RANDB060
  • Out of stock

    There was so much musical activity on the West Coast in the 50s and early 60s that even such a mighty compilation as this can only scratch the surface of black musical production from that part of the US. The vibrant West Coast recording scene was where musical trends started, national hits were made and the very musical tastes of the nation were being developed. This collection brings together a varied selection of artists and styles – blues, R & B, rock 'n' roll, doo wop, ballads, girl groups and more – from which soul emerged to be the dominant musical force of black America for the 60s and most of the 70s. It was Los Angeles that became the soul capital of the world as the 70s went on – more recordings were made there than in any other city. That's Where It's At! Part of the History of Soul series. The accompanying illustrated booklet is written by John Ridley.

    'This set is a watershed of Tough urban Blues sounds that morphed into soul a couple of years later. Many of these sides are making their appearanve on disc for the first time & you will not be disappointed with the selection.' Bluebeat Review 2013 'Charlies Pick'

    Soul 004,007 & 008.. The History of Soul Chronolgies 'This series is wonderful and a period in Soul Music that is earlier than I am familiar with ,the volumes that I have had so far have introduced me to some wonderful new tracks. The booklet with each volume is superb I have also featured many tracks on my weekly Soul and Funk show.' John Farrar 6 Towns Radio SOUL008
  • Volume Three presents all their Apollo recordings together with a disc of "5" Royales 1960s cuts, curios and outtakes.

    The "5" Royales were the very first group to merge secular and sacred musical influences into a coherent whole, laying down the future guidelines of soul music. These CDs contain some of the very best early soul and R&B ever recorded and the Royales' music still has the power and the passion to move us all. Long may it continue.

    SOUL016
  • When the "5" Royales joined King in the spring of 1954 they were coming off a run of hits for Apollo that had made them the most successful R & B group in the US. The cuts represent artistically the most successful period of this great group's long career; it was during this time that they developed their classic style, merging secular and sacred musical influences into a coherent whole, and in the process, laying down the future guidelines of soul music. The music on these CDs contains some of the very best R&B ever recorded – and it still hits both the feet and the heart over 50 years after it was laid down.

    Volume Two brings together all the singles they recorded for Ohio-based King Records during their six year stay from 1954 to 1960 together with several alternate takes and songs that remained unissued at the time. We're particularly pleased to include the legendary Good Looking Woman, which has never been heard since the New York session in 1954 when it was recorded.

    SOUL015
  • The “5” Royales were one of the greatest of all the R & B groups. Their ground breaking sides for Apollo from 1951 – 55 are rightly highly regarded for being amongst the very first to marry the rhythms and instrumental stylings of the blues with the vocal fire of gospel music. This innovation was not just daring and controversial but also highly successful – the Royales had five top ten hits including two number ones in a very short space of time. SOUL014
  • Out of stock
    Included on Disc One are four songs from a previously unreleased Home Of The Blues test tape from May 1961 – a real bonus to hear – all imbued with gospel fervour, the vital ingredient of solid soul.  There are 20 additional previously unissued tracks & 17 related recordings by artists linked with the 5 Royales. These History of Soul releases are not your quickie PD issues as they have extensive notes by soul expert John Ridley, detailed discographies and loads of label shots and great photos. If you have the slightest interest in R&B, soul and the transition between the two, then you need some 5 Royales in your life. There are thirty-seven tracks on these three History of Soul ‘ Definitive 5 Royales’ 2CD sets that are not on the Rock Beat box set. Fred Rothwell Blues & Rhythm Although I own all their LP's I hadn't listened to the 5 Royales for quite some time. When I got your set I immediately put them on my CD player( the King sides first). I must confess you did an excellent job. The set is fantastic. The sound comes over clearly and the bass has profound depth almost more than on the original KING LP's.  I never listened to them with more pleasure ever. Really fantastic. Atilla Oess SOUL025
  • Out of stock

    The sub-title of the set is the Definitive Falcons Collection – The Complete Recordings – and that’s just about right. This is the complete deal for Falcons fans! Fred Rothwell Blues & Rhythm

    Goodies abound across all four cds, whether flat-out group recordings or by way of guest appearances and/or the many collaborations...'I Found A Love' appears in a number of guises and I particularly liked the distaff treatment by Maxine Davis and the truly fervent rendition by the wailing Joe Woods (so good that the less than pristine reproduction couldn't spoil the enjoyment) - but you really have to put this release high up on your shopping list and listen for yourselves. David Cole In The Basement

    Mid 50s Detroit was a hotbed of teen talent, all aspiring to sign a recording contract, get famous and buy a big car. Scores of young black vocal groups practiced their harmonies in stairwells or under street lamps, dreaming that one day their time would come. The Falcons were one of these but because of their gospel background and thanks to the guiding influence of manager and mentor, Robert West, they went on to become the first soul group. Who knows: if Eddie Floyd, Mack Rice, Wilson Pickett/Joe Stubbs, Willie Schofield and Lance Finnie had stuck together, they may well have rivalled other Detroit super groups such as the Temptations and Four Tops for success.

    This 4CD set brings together all known recordings by the original Falcons, along with alternate takes, guest appearances, cover versions and songs musically supervised or written by members of the group. Solo recordings by group members are also included from 1956 to 1963, the time they were recording together.

    The set is also, in a sense, a history of soul itself, showing how the genre develops from its early stirrings in doo-wop, taking in R&B and gospel along the way and culminating in two of the very first records that can definitively be described as soul: the Wilson Pickett-led tracks Take This Love I've Got and I Found A Love, the first two tracks on this compilation.

    SOUL020
  • By 1960, the sound of black popular music had turned away from a driving, largely uptempo rhythm and blues towards a more emotionally poignant style described at the time as secularised gospel. The term 'soul' popped up here and there, but only became common parlance after Ray Charles's I Believe To My Soul was released at the end of 1959. This compilation, part of the History of Soul series, brings together the finest tunes before soul went mainstream. We hope you will find the accompanying 28-page booklet interesting and informative.

    SOUL011
  • 'A perfect compilation, features familiar names & obscure artists who deserve their place in musical history,as educational as it is entertaining and is worth adding to your collection...I learned a lot from reading the liner notes. When I make some new discoveries, that's a real bonus.' Errol Nazareth, presenter on CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Company

    SOUL009
  • 'A perfect compilation, features familiar names & obscure artists who deserve their place in musical history,as educational as it is entertaining and is worth adding to your collection...I learned a lot from reading the liner notes. When I make some new discoveries, that's a real bonus.' Errol Nazareth, presenter on CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Company

    SOUL007
  • In a comprehensive overview from 1927 to 1963, History of Soul Records’ 8CD anthology covers the genesis of soul music, tracing connections between R&B, jazz and blues, and gospel, the secular and the sacred. As popular black musical genres were adopted by white teenage audiences in the 1950s, black music reverted to more authentic, basic styles. By 1960, the sound of black popular music had turned away from a driving, largely uptempo rhythm and blues towards a more emotionally poignant style. The term ‘soul’ popped up here and there, but only became common parlance after the release of Ray Charles’s I Believe To My Soul at the end of 1959.

    The growing Civil Rights movement, the rise of the 45rpm record and the introduction of the electric guitar all played their part in the creation of a new sound. Detroit had Berry Gordy’s Motown, Chicago had Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions and New York had Atlantic Records along with white songwriters Burt Bacharach and Jerry Ragavoy producing their uptown soul. Down south, Stax was setting Memphis alight, Fame were starting up in Muscle Shoals, and New Orleans was putting funk into the mix. By 1963, soul had gone mainstream. There were more soulful records in the charts in 1962 alone than there had been in the whole of the 1950s.

    This collection of breathtaking blues and spiritual music brings you some of the most impassioned, compelling vocal performances ever to be recorded. The accompanying illustrated 36-page book sets out the historical background and explains some of the technical features that make these beautiful songs the precursors of soul music.

    WHAT THE CRITICS SAY

    This one is a corker...every bit as epic as it sounds... It’s hard to know where to begin with such a monumental and thorough anthology – especially one as full of highlights as this

    Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music

    Mammoth and magnificent anthology...While there can be no package large enough to represent all the players, Sacred To Secular has a worthy stab at it, excavating as close as possible to the core and acting both as a cultural document and an excellent crash course in one of music’s most epochal periods. Fiona Sturges Uncut

    Embrace this journey through a lost era...the real thrill lies in discovering lesser names especially from the fringes of gospel, whose work is every bit as stirring Clive Davies Sunday Times 

    It’s common knowledge that soul developed largely from gospel; but that journey has never been as extensively mapped as on this eight-CD compilation 5 star review in The Independent

    SOUL004
  • Out of stock

    In a comprehensive overview from 1927 to 1963, History of Soul Records’ 8CD anthology covers the genesis of soul music, tracing connections between R&B, jazz and blues, and gospel, the secular and the sacred. As popular black musical genres were adopted by white teenage audiences in the 1950s, black music reverted to more authentic, basic styles. By 1960, the sound of black popular music had turned away from a driving, largely uptempo rhythm and blues towards a more emotionally poignant style. The term ‘soul’ popped up here and there, but only became common parlance after the release of Ray Charles’s I Believe To My Soul at the end of 1959.

    The growing Civil Rights movement, the rise of the 45rpm record and the introduction of the electric guitar all played their part in the creation of a new sound. Detroit had Berry Gordy’s Motown, Chicago had Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions and New York had Atlantic Records along with white songwriters Burt Bacharach and Jerry Ragavoy producing their uptown soul. Down south, Stax was setting Memphis alight, Fame were starting up in Muscle Shoals, and New Orleans was putting funk into the mix. By 1963, soul had gone mainstream. There were more soulful records in the charts in 1962 alone than there had been in the whole of the 1950s.

    This collection of breathtaking blues and spiritual music brings you some of the most impassioned, compelling vocal performances ever to be recorded. The accompanying illustrated 36-page book sets out the historical background and explains some of the technical features that make these beautiful songs the precursors of soul music.

    WHAT THE CRITICS SAY

    This one is a corker...every bit as epic as it sounds... It’s hard to know where to begin with such a monumental and thorough anthology – especially one as full of highlights as this

    Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music

    Mammoth and magnificent anthology...While there can be no package large enough to represent all the players, Sacred To Secular has a worthy stab at it, excavating as close as possible to the core and acting both as a cultural document and an excellent crash course in one of music’s most epochal periods. Fiona Sturges Uncut

    Embrace this journey through a lost era...the real thrill lies in discovering lesser names especially from the fringes of gospel, whose work is every bit as stirring Clive Davies Sunday Times 

    It’s common knowledge that soul developed largely from gospel; but that journey has never been as extensively mapped as on this eight-CD compilation 5 star review in The Independent

    SOUL021