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Definition:

The slow-tempo variant of the Soul genre tag, usually, though not always, sentimental in nature. Of course any music which is played with feeling could be deemed soul music by the literal definition, but let's not complicate things! My interpretation is that it's an African American genre that can be traced back to the early 17th century with Gospel music and so-called “negro spirituals”, which were certainly being published in 19th century songsheets. The move towards the 60s soul explosion that we're all so familiar with, can be traced through such tracks as Lead Belly - Midnight Special (1940), Two Gospel Keys - I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (1946) and The Soul Stirrers - Touch The Hem Of His Garment (1956). I've included all the Wikipedia pages which highlight the regional variations of soul music, as well as Detroit's very specific Motown sound. I haven't linked in the Wikipedia pages for other sub-genres such as blue-eyed soul, brown-eyed soul, cinematic soul, Latin soul, neo soul, quiet storm or smooth soul, as tracks from these areas invariably end up in more appropriate genre tags. As always with my one song one genre policy, many soulful songs can often more appropriately land in the Blues / Rhythm n Blues, Blues Rock / Soul Rock, Disco / Funk, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Psychedelia, R n B or Tripbeat categories. Motown is one sub-genre which often has tracks more suited to the Pop category - each case on its own merit is the only way.

The Jukebox Pick (of 1,271):

 I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)

 (Ronnie Shannon)

 Aretha Franklin

 10 out of 10 “Utterly perfect” Soul Ballad

 From her album “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You” released in March, 1967. After six years recording with Columbia Records, Aretha Franklin made one of the best decisions of her career when she signed with Atlantic Records and set to work with producer Jerry Wexler and the famed musicians at Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama. The chemical reaction was highly potent. Album highlight “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)” continues the early perfection. This was the first song that Aretha brought to the table in the Atlantic sessions, written for her by Ronnie Shannon. Aretha’s talents are all to the fore – her piano caress lays the foundation, and her extraordinary ability to impact emotionally all the way from breathy whispers to ecstatic screams seals one of the classiest musical performances in all of recorded history.


Some favourite artists:

Otis Redding, Irma Thomas, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin

The Jukebox pick:

 

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