View Full Version : In At The Deep End: Johan and Sabina's introduction to deep soul

Scabrous Birdseed
28-04-2005, 09:55:23
25 tracks of emotional, dramatic, complex black american music of the 60s and early 70s. Subjects range from descent into prostitution and giving up physical love for God, via biandry and stepfathers to (predictably) about a million failed relationships. Culled from the record collection of two well-heeled soul affectionados (me and GF), this dive into one of the seriously best periods in musical history will give you a fair idea of the influences, history and development of the genre. As well as giving you some cracking good soul music, of course.

Anyone want a copy?

Track listing:

1. Kenny Carter - Showdown
2. Betty Lavette - Your Turn to Cry
3. Al Green - Belle
4. Bobby "Blue" Bland - Lead Me On
5. Sam Cooke - Nothing Can Change This Love
6. Opals - You Can't Hurt Me No More
7. The Invincibles - Heart Full of Love
8. Willie Hightower - You Used Me
9. Aretha Franklin - Don't Play That Song
10. William Bell - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
11. Syl Johnson - Is It Because I'm Black?
12. Tyrone Davis - I Keep Coming Back
13. James Carr - Everybody Needs Somebody
14. Dee Dee Warwick backed by The Dixie Flyers - She Didn't Know (She Kept On Talking)
15. Candi Staton - He Called Me Baby
16. Solomon Burke - The Price
17. Doris Duke - I Don't Care Anymore
18. Sam & Dave - I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
19. Gladys Knight & The Pips - If I Were Your Woman
20. Clarence Carter - Slip Away
21. Baby Washington - Breakfast In Bed
22. The Winstons - Color Him Father
23. Larry Banks - I'm Not The One
24. Garnet Mimms - My Baby
25. Mildred Pulliham (aka Veda Brown) - Who Wouldn't Love a Man Like This

Come on. Surely you're curious about the kind of music someone produces who picks "Veda" as her artist alias? Full Liner notes are being written as we speak and will end up in this thread soon.

28-04-2005, 09:58:53
I'd like it, it's an area I've been meaning to check out...

28-04-2005, 10:00:09
Do it. I'll PM you my new address.

28-04-2005, 10:43:38
Definitely interested. Don't know much about this sort of music so don't really know whether I'll like it or not, but no time like the present to find out.

Address PM on its way.

Greg W
28-04-2005, 13:08:29
I'd be interested (if you want to send one Down Under). Will PM my address.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
28-04-2005, 14:00:13
The B.B.C. is beginning a new series on the history of soul music- Saturday, 7th May:


Scabrous Birdseed
30-04-2005, 17:36:09
The traditional telling of the story of soul starts off with Ray Charles mixing up R&B with Gospel and creating something new and exciting in about 1958. While this is essentially factually true it misses out on the sheer mass of influences and variations in the medium. This CD covers just the emotional, complex, ballady end of the spectrum, the stuff you'd usually call "deep", but you'll be able to spot influences from jazz, teen pop, the blues, rock, and not least a long-lasting, deep and promiscuous interchange with whitey country music. The genre may be unique in many ways, but it's not without connections to the outisde world - if you've not heard any of this stuff you won't paddle shallowly, you'll be immersed in a style that's vaguely familiar without any loss of depth. Okay, that was a lousy metaphor attempting to cash in on a pun. Sorry.

1. Kenny Carter - Showdown off Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Vol. 1 [Kent]

High period deep soul at its very best. A deeply painful melodrama complete with faux-classical touches, it's got the production, the drama, the voice to be a good showcase to introduce the genre with. No low points really, unless you want something slightly more low-key, but that'll come soon too, I promise.

2. Betty Lavette - Your Turn To Cry off Our Turn To Cry: 26 Breathtaking Atlantic Ballads [Kent]

Another goodie, though more conventional in production and lyrics - you're likely to find connections to normal pop from the early seventies here. It's Betty Lavette's delivery and intensity that makes this number, on the edge of the new sound of the new decade.

3. Al Green - Belle off the internet

This is the end of Deep Soul - except for a few pastiches in the eighties and horrid nu-soul copies from the past few years, no-one really outlasted Al Green in the game. After this was released in 1977 he turned his talents entirely to gospel. The decision, echoed and justified in this song, was obviously a painful one - this is my girlfriend's favourite Al Green track and I have to agree with her that it's a true emotional/spiritual masterpeice. With silly stereo effects.

4. Bobby "Blue" Bland - Lead Me On off Two Steps From The Blues [MCA]

And this, this is the beginning. Bluesman Bobby Bland's decision to integrate jazzy blues with the gospel-R&B of Ray Charles was an enormously important turning point in the history of the music. The entire 1961 album is amazing and while the title track and the frankly sadistic "Cry, Cry, Cry" show off the transition better, this is the best song on there.

5. Sam Cooke - Northing Can Change This Love off the internet

The other key influence was of course the voice of the King of the Gospel Highway, The Soul Stirrers' Sam Cooke. Though he switched to secular music he died in 1964 before the good stuff really had commercial appeal, but his voice remained an inspiration for just about every single one of the male singers on here. Combine with the gospel shouting of Archie Brownlee (Five Blind Boys of Mississippi) and you've got the essential soul voice.

6. Opals - You Can't Hurt Me No More off Curtis Mayfield's Chicago Soul [Epic]

Why does most Deep Soul come from the American south? Because although cities like Chicago were making emotion-laden music like this triumphant Curtis Mayfield production in the early parts of the decade, they soon became divorced from the soul and gospel and country roots that fed southern studios. Here lies the unassuming roots of what later became the Philly Sound and eventually disco. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

7. The Invincibles - Heart Full Of Love off Sweet Soul Music: Voices from the Shadows [Sire]

I know nothing about this track, but I like the falsetto.

8. Willie Hightower - You Used Me off Willie Hightower [Honest Jons]

One of the best Sam Cooke-styled vocalists, Willie Hightower's Muscle Shoals-recorded material is all excellent. Well, there are only six tracks of it, but he's a brilliant singer. Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and especially the Fame studios owned by Rick Hall took over from Memphis as the capital of Deep Soul in about 1969, and a good portion of the selections on this CD were recorded there.

9. Aretha Franklin - Don't Play That Song off Spirit In The Dark [Atlantic]

Aretha Franklin is one of the few Soul singers everyone knows, and she recorded oodles of really really deep soul music. This is just one particularly autobiographical example.

10. William Bell - Wil You Love Me Tomorrow? off the internet

Stax was the greatest southern recording label in the sixties. This cover of the King/Goffen classic was never officially released at the time, but I like how it just makes the rather simple song so much deeper and the effect of gender-reversal.

11. Syl Johnson - Is It Because I'm Black? off Dave Godin's Deep soul Treasures Vol. 3 [Kent]

Proof that deep, emotional singing and civil rights protest songs go together. It's not all ironic Sly Stone-style stuff or po-faced folk, you know.

12. Tyrone Davis - I Keep Coming Back off The Dakar Hit Singles A's and B's [Dakar]

This obscure B-side from the famous Chicago singer is excellent n many ways, but what really makes it is the scream. If you hear it you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. I dare you not to giggle with joy.

13. James Carr - Everybody Needs Somebody off The Complete Goldwax Singles [Kent]

The cliché about James Carr is that he had the greatest voice ever in soul which was squandered due to his mental illness. I don't actually like his voice much (I can't hear what he's saying, enunciate already) but I have to admit he put out some great tracks in his time. The influence on, say, Van Morrison is pretty clear.

14. Dee Dee Warwick backed by The Dixie Flyers - She Didn't Know (She Kept On Talking) off Our Turn To Cry: 26 Breathtaking Atlantic Ballads [Kent]

Less famous but better sister of Dionne. Here's the country influence on music in full bloom, though it's not actually a cover of country song it could easily be. I love the sense of foreboding in the beginning of this song - you just know what's going to happen but it's revealed subtly, slowly and deliberately.

15. Candi Staton - He Called Me Baby off Candi Staton [Honest Jons]

Rarely have two genres had so much in common, and influenced each other as much, as 60s R&B and Country while having so disparate audiences and official histories. This is a real country song from the beginning, crossed over into deepest Muscle Shoals. Candi Staton later found fame as a disco singer but the stuff she recorded in the south (including lots of country covers) is definately her best work.

16. Solomon Burke - The Price off The Very Best of Solomon Burke [Rhino]

By 1964 the form was set enough for the king of Rock'n'Soul to be able to improvise forward a perfectly acceptable track on stage, ten minutes after being served his divorice papers. Still, the way this track came to be has definately put its mark on it, and you rarely get so much raw emotion in a track composed by conventional means.

17. Doris Duke - I Don't Care Anymore off Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Vol. 4 [Kent]

One of my absolute favourites on the CD. When Mojo reviewed her recently reissued album I'm A Loser they called this track "Play for the Day" and that comes pretty close to the truth - it's harrowing, though perhaps somewhat overdone stuff. It's also one of the few tracks about sheer apathy I actually like, probably cause she wasn't actually apathetic herself. I'm buying that album, that's all I know.

18. Sam & Dave - I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down off Sweat & Soul: The Anthology [Rhino]

There were loads of Sam & Dave copies in deep soul but only one real thing. This Stax B-side was later covered by Elvis Costello apparently, but I doubt that version outdoes this marvellous take.

19. Gladys Knight & The Pips - If I Were Your Woman off the internet

Motown is hardly known for its deeper side but with Smokey Robinson and especially Gladys Knight they had some great ballad singers. This is borderline 70s smooth but still fucking wonderful.

20. Clarence Carter - Slip Away off Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Vol. 4 [Kent]

Three of the greatest songs ever about infidelity were recorded at Muscle Shoals. James Carr's "Dark End of the Street" is too famous for inclusion here but here are the other two. First Clarence Carter's anthem to sexual desperation - the rhythm guitar gives you no doubt as to what one of his hands are doing.

21. Baby Washington - Breakfast in Bed off Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Vol. 3 [Kent]

This is the other, a model song if you're looking for complex emotions. Baby Washington's career started in uptown doowop, but you can't see any traces of that here as she flickers between love, desperation, motherly feelings, a wish not to scare the man away, anger at his "real" woman... wow.

22. The Winstons - Color Him Father off the internet

A moving tribute to a stepfather. Refreshingly naive in a world of knowing (though rarely cynical) soul music, it seems intensely genuine and if you cry in front of Oprah, this is the song for you.

Scabrous Birdseed
30-04-2005, 17:36:40
23. Larry Banks - I'm Not The One off Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Vol. 1 [Kent]

You can keep on crying here, though it's a rather sadder sort of tears. Complex, adult relationships not working out is the central theme of deep soul, and together with Doris Duke's "How Was I To Know" and a few others this is the finest demonstration of all the little things that can go wrong in love.

24. Garnett Mimms - My Baby off Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Vol. 4 [Kent]

Well, that was sad. Now to finish off with two rather happier love songs. Jerry Ragavoy was one of the truely great producers of all time, and this excentric masterpiece is probably my favourite on the entire CD. But that may be because I'm totally in love at the moment.

25. Mildred Pulliham aka Veda Brown - Who Wouldn't Love a Man Like This off 5000 Volts of Stax [Fantasy]

Another unreleased-at-the-time Stax masterpiece, this time from the later, 70s period. It's actually a gospel song but it's soulful we couldn't help but include it - it's an excellent finisher to the compilation and you can't help but leave with a smile on your face and a tear in your eye. It's also a great make-out song, if you can stand being vaguely sacreligious.

Scabrous Birdseed
30-04-2005, 17:37:23
So, anyone ELSE want a copy? Laz seemed interested last time I mentioned this. Debaser the time before that.

30-04-2005, 17:50:42
Sounds interesting. Do you know my address?

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-04-2005, 19:29:13
Slip it to me, baby.

self biased
01-05-2005, 04:29:18
no janis joplin.

Scabrous Birdseed
01-05-2005, 12:18:12
Since three of the people interested are Readingites, would it be too much bother if I sent three copies to one of you to distribute to the others?

01-05-2005, 14:22:12
I'd quite like one. And that send-all-the-Reading-CDs-to-one-person thing will be absolutely fine I'm sure.

Scabrous Birdseed
03-05-2005, 14:52:47
So what readingite wants the CDs? Raise a hand.

Scabrous Birdseed
06-05-2005, 21:11:04
Greg, Laz and Eklektikos: your CDs are in the mail and should arrive Monday in the UK and god-knows-when in Australia. The individually hand-crafted artworks are courtesy of Sabina (Laz, Greg) and me (Eklektikos).

Readingites - if you don't decide who gets the CDs by monday I'm sending them to Ghidra, seing as he's clearly the least responsible in the group.

Greg W
07-05-2005, 00:11:36
Cheers, mate. :beer:

07-05-2005, 01:17:33
Send them to Debaser. I tend to see him out and about.

Scabrous Birdseed
09-05-2005, 20:57:55
Sorry, I didn't manage to get them off today due to not finishing the covers in time. Tomorrow definately though.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of a man dancing without a backbone.

10-05-2005, 09:13:58
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Readingites - if you don't decide who gets the CDs by monday I'm sending them to Ghidra, seing as he's clearly the least responsible in the group.


Lazarus and the Gimp
10-05-2005, 10:24:00
Arrived safely- just haven't had chance to play it yet.

10-05-2005, 10:29:03
Found it waiting for me when I got home last night. Given it one listen so far and for the most part I like what I've heard.

Muchos gracias. :beer:

Scabrous Birdseed
10-05-2005, 15:01:52
I've sent the reading ones off now. As usual with individual artworks, this time three by me and one by the GF. Debaser gets to pick who gets which one.

11-05-2005, 10:52:50
Looks like I was a bit late responding to the "do you want the CDs" PM. Oh well!

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-05-2005, 11:21:16
Two comments.

1- The opening track is a work of genius.

2- Nice work on the packaging. Mrs Gimp is wondering what sort of person sent me a nice colourful CD case with my name picked out in coloured paper. Add a few kisses on any future ones to really freak her out.

Greg W
11-05-2005, 12:11:04
Received it, but probably won't have a chance to listen to it until tomorrow(ish). :beer:

Scabrous Birdseed
11-05-2005, 12:16:22
I can't believe it takes four working days days for letters to get from Sweden to Australia but six days for them to get from Britain to Sweden. I'd really, really like to find out why.

Greg W
11-05-2005, 12:38:50
And the funny thing is that I don't know when during those 4 days it arrived. Could have been less than 4 days. :D

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-05-2005, 12:46:51
Well Greg's PYE CD was posted today. We can test how the speed from the UK compares.

Scabrous Birdseed
11-05-2005, 12:55:02
I STILL haven't got that pirate Electro DVD that was sent out from britain last thursday, and the sad thing is it doesn't surprise me in the least as it's taken a week several times before. After looking at the websites of both the Swedish postal service and the Royal Mail I've decided to preliminarily blame the latter, though it's probably an isiduous conspiracy between both.

Er, I'll stop bitching now and let you comment the CD.

Greg W
11-05-2005, 13:25:18
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Well Greg's PYE CD was posted today. We can test how the speed from the UK compares. Stuff from the US can vary greatly. I have had stuff arrive 5 days later, and at other times, 2.5 weeks later. Go figure...

Greg W
12-05-2005, 13:46:51
Well, first listen and it's all pretty good. Tho I was listening while posting and drinking. :beer:

Oh, and kudos to Sabina for the artwork. :beer:

12-05-2005, 13:48:36
The 4 Reading CDs just arrived.

Good work with the covers, they look wicked. I bagsy the one with the bathtub and washing machine on the front...

Lazarus and the Gimp
17-05-2005, 21:36:31
1- This is a towering track, one of the best soul songs I've ever heard. It's only minor weak point is that the singer isn't quite up to the job- he does a good job, but can't carry off the high notes. Just imagine what this would have sounded like in Marvin Gaye's hands....
What really makes this track is the arrangement. Too many soul records got spoiled by over-production, but the soaring strings on this one are just restrained enough to avoid swamping it.

2- It's a struggle to follow track one, and this one is so low-key in comparison that it's barely there at all. Having said that, it's a good one- very much a classic 60's soul tune. I could picture Steve Marriott turning this into a classic with the Small Faces, though there's nothing wrong with the vocalist here.

3- I don't get Al Green. Every other great soul artist I either love or can appreciate, at least- but not him. I just want to grab his labels, give him a good shake and yell "FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, STOP SQUEALING, MAN!!". This is pretty typical Green, in my experience. I just find it lightweight, saccharine and annoying.

4- Oooooh, drama. Fantastic filmic outsider soul, with nice backing vocals. It almost strays into Ennio Morricone terrotory, and for me that's a good thing. Short and very sweet. One of the best tracks on the CD.

5- This pretty much defines soul, doesn't it? It doesn't tackle anything more complex than your average pop lyric, but it's delivered really well. OK- it's a bit cheesey, but the vocal is delivered so straight and honestly that I forgive that mild transgression. I give it a 7- it would be higher if the strings weren't so cloying. Plus, I'm a huge Sam Cooke fan, though he did better stuff than this.

6- We've hit a dip. Though this one is proficient enough, it's pretty unremarkable. The vocal is a bit lethargic by soul standards, and the arrangement is unremarkable. One to skip.

7- Rubbish, with nasty falsetto squawking.

8- Things are looking up a bit. It's a bit "bedroom soul" in the arrangement, but that's balanced by the angry lyric and impassioned delivery. Yes! She used you! And you loved it, you dirty slut!.

9- Jaunty, and a very classy vocal from the incomparable Aretha. This could hold its own against anything Phil Spector or Berry Gordy put out. One to sing along to on the first listen. Compilation now formly back on track after a wobbly bit.

10- A slow-burning cover of one of my all-time favourite songs. It's a good vocal and sympathetic treatment, but it's just nowhere near as good as the orginal Shirelles version- it's just too smooth. The vulnerability and innocence gets lost along the way. Some things should be left alone.

11- A classic. This track belongs on absolutely everyone's list of "records to hear before you die". I used to play this one a lot when I was working late at night at university- it's an old friend to me.

12- Here we start hitting a problem. This is a good song, which in isolation I'd really enjoy. Unfortunately it's in among such strong competition from neighbours that it fades into the background. What makes it worse is that the only real distinguishing points are the really annoying roars and snarls, plus the premature fade-out.

13- Not a weak point on this one. It does absolutely everything it needs to, and does it well. It's lacking the spiky dash of genius that makes some tracks on this compilation really stand out, but it gets a B+ for consistency.

14- A bit anaemic. It's all done tastefully enough, but is a bit limp.

15- Mid-disc slump! Lightweight and disposable.

16- Rawr! Red-blooded, real man's soul. Great, angelic backing vocals coupled with a black-belt soul-man chest-beating onslaught of a lead vocal. Damn, doesn't that make you feel good?

17- Where soul meets Americana. This is a pretty unusual one that could be used as a demonstration of how the deep-south musical genres fed of each other. Good guitar work, in a style rarely heard on this type of thing. It's an oddity, but a good one that's seen some serious repeated play on my stereo. One of my favourites.

18- Soul-by-numbers. Unremarkable stuff in itself- the cover by Elvis Costello really perked up this lethargic number and is a much better version.

19- Another high point. This fights it out with tracks 1 and 4 as to what's the best string arrangement on the compilation, and it's balanced by one of the best vocals on the collection.

20- Very cool number, like a stand-out track on one of the cooler blaxploitation movies soundtracks. Sounds more like an early 70's number rather than what I'd nomally associate with "Deep soul". Nice one.

21- Undistinguished stuff. All very professional, but lacking real feeling. This one suffers by association with the awful cover version released in the 1980's, upon which it doesn't improve by much.

22- Sentimental mawkish claptrap.

23- Worst vocal on the CD. It's over-emoted, lacking any appealing tone and is ludicrously overblown on the lightweight subject matter. Get a grip, you big poof...

24- Back on course again. The arrangement is a bit drunken and lurching, but that just adds to the charm- and it's a good vocal too. Catchy as hell in fact. I've come back to this one a few times.

25- A nice way to go out, on a low-key and sweet number that doesn't attempt to drown its subject in pointless over-emoting. It's an uncomplicated track that doesn't grate on repeated listens and breezes along very nicely indeed.

17-05-2005, 22:17:28
Any chance of someone bunging a copy my way?

Lazarus and the Gimp
17-05-2005, 22:38:46
I apologise for my astonishingly bad spelling in those reviews. Too little sleep lately.

18-05-2005, 09:01:58
Originally posted by Debaser
The 4 Reading CDs just arrived.

Good work with the covers, they look wicked. I bagsy the one with the bathtub and washing machine on the front...

When can the rest of us get them? :)

18-05-2005, 14:38:54
I'll give Gareth yours tonight if I remember... which do you want? Pirate ship, mountain range, or weird abstract thing?

18-05-2005, 15:04:48
Pirate ship!

18-05-2005, 15:09:55
I knew you'd say that. Who are the other 2 for? KG & Rob?

18-05-2005, 15:11:08
Looks like it from the thread.

18-05-2005, 15:13:18
You actually read this shit?

18-05-2005, 16:42:00
I was trying to help you out by looking in the thread to see who else said yes. :(

Won't bother next time.

20-05-2005, 12:42:18
Got up to track 11... I have that sampled on something I think. Not sure what...