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Favorite 70's Soul Music?

Kev Kev

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Oct 25, 2012
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i know we have enough old timers here into this old stuff. reminds me of my grandfather letting me and my brother skip school to take us to the beach with him. then he'd stop by the bar after and drink while we played in the game room. and of course hed be obligated to stop at the ice cream shop and buy us a cone on the way home. good times.

post your favorite 70s soul music. heres a playlist to give you some inspiration

 

Happosai

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I grew up hearing quite a few. My parents owned entire discographies of Lou Rawls but one of my favorite albums of his (At Last) is 80's. So, to maintain consistency -- here are some goodies from the 70's.

The Friends of Distinction - Love or Let Me Be Lonely


Brook Benton - Rainy Night in Georgia



The Three Degrees - When Will I See You Again


Lou Rawls - You'll Never Find


Blue Magic - Sideshow

 

InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
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My god, THIS is my kind of thread. Being a late 80s/90s kid, I only fully got into 70s music as an adult, and it's my absolute favorite kind of music in general.

S-tier
- Stevie Wonder
- Marvin Gaye
- Al Green

A-tier
- Roberta Flack (hot take: I prefer her version -- which is the original one -- of "Killing Me Softly" to the Fugees version)
- The Spinners (in general, but especially during the years they had Philippé Wynne as a co-lead vocalist; check out stuff like "Rubberband Man" and the last portion of "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love")
- Gladys Knight & the Pips
- Barry White (this cat definitely has the quintessential "panty-dropping" silky smooth soul voice)

B-tier
- Aretha Franklin (super hot take: amazingly talented of course, but massively overrated; the material she recorded didn't always do something for me)
- The Isley Brothers (I actually like some of their funk stuff more than their soul stuff; "Who's That Lady" is *chef's kiss*)
- David Bowie (yes, you're reading this right. Parts of the "Diamond Dogs" album, the entire "Young Americans" album, and parts of the "Station to Station" album have some of THE absolute best plastic/blue eyed soul of the 70s)

Shit... I gotto get back to work. I'll come back to this later.
 

Happosai

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May 13, 2020
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My god, THIS is my kind of thread. Being a late 80s/90s kid, I only fully got into 70s music as an adult, and it's my absolute favorite kind of music in general.

S-tier
- Stevie Wonder
- Marvin Gaye
- Al Green

A-tier
- Roberta Flack (hot take: I prefer her version -- which is the original one -- of "Killing Me Softly" to the Fugees version)
- The Spinners (in general, but especially during the years they had Philippé Wynne as a co-lead vocalist; check out stuff like "Rubberband Man" and the last portion of "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love")
- Gladys Knight & the Pips
- Barry White (this cat definitely has the quintessential "panty-dropping" silky smooth soul voice)

B-tier
- Aretha Franklin (super hot take: amazingly talented of course, but massively overrated; the material she recorded didn't always do something for me)
- The Isley Brothers (I actually like some of their funk stuff more than their soul stuff; "Who's That Lady" is *chef's kiss*)
- David Bowie (yes, you're reading this right. Parts of the "Diamond Dogs" album, the entire "Young Americans" album, and parts of the "Station to Station" album have some of THE absolute best plastic/blue eyed soul of the 70s)

Shit... I gotto get back to work. I'll come back to this later.
Whoa...I can't believe I forgot Barry White! Thanks for putting him in the A-list!
 

Kev Kev

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Oct 25, 2012
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If you like old soul music, check out Leon Bridges if you haven't before.
looooove leon bridges. heard him for the first time few years ago and he is fantastic. great pick.

one of the best! me and my buddy were jammin to this tune last night. that beat is so groovy and fun

I apologize in advance, but I'm gonna be spamming this thread with songs. 70s soul/R&B is some of the best stuff out there.
BRING IT ON!

B-tier
- Aretha Franklin
TAKE IT BACK!

lol jk thanks for sharing!
 

InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
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One of the best and (at least to me) funniest tropes/cliches in classic soul and R&B is the "give a speech before the song itself starts." It's a spoken word section -- usually done with a low tenor or bass voice range -- that's a bit exaggerated, whether it's a romantic speech, or a sad speech, or heartfelt speech, or anything like that.

Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about:

 

InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
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Kev Kev Kev Kev Maiden Voyage Maiden Voyage

Fight me, bitches.

Haha I'm just kidding. Look -- like I said Aretha's exceptionally talented, and my comment was more geared as to the material she recorded in the 70s (especially the second half of the decade) compared to her work in the late 60s which was fantastic.

And even then, I'm talking about her more mainstream stuff, the stuff that charted in the Billboard either top 40 or R&B charts. Like I remember listening to her cover of Elton John's "Border Song" recently -- her version is pretty good, but let's just say I prefer the Elton John original by a wide country mile.

Now, I'm still discovering a lot of this stuff, so once I start making my way to her deeper cuts, my ranking will change. I remember seeing a documentary (in theaters) called "Amazing Grace" or something I think, for a performance she did at her childhood church in... I want to say 1972. It was one of the best musical related works I have ever seen, homegirl was firing on ALL cylinders.

EDIT: here's the song itself (which is why the documentary and associated album are of the same name). Even to a cold hearted bastard like me, this performance is nothing short of beautiful and moving

 
Last edited:

Old Retro

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Dec 17, 2019
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I remember a lot of disco on the radio in the late 70s and a mishmash of funk/soul thrown in. I have a bunch of vinyl my family used to listen to back in the days.

Whenever I hear a portion of 70s music sampled into hip hop :pie_sfwth:💕

This is for all you sistas and brothas out there who had to grind it out in the 70s with our 5 TV channels and 2nd gen video game consoles...











Blows my mind to hear good soul in commercials nowadays too

 

InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
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In my first post in this thread I mentioned Roberta Flack but had a brain fart and forgot about her frequent collaborator and (in my opinion, tragically underrated) soul singer Donny Hathaway. I say tragically underrated because even in my case where I dig 70s music, I didn't know about him until an ex girlfriend introduced me to his music, and I was immediately blown away.

I'll post some of his songs later, but the dude was an awesome singer. His collaborations with Roberta Flack remind me of the constant Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell collaborations in the 60s. Sadly, his life was fairly tragic; he was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, and ended up committing suicide at the young age of 33.

As sad as that is, he still left a body of work that can be appreciated. Check this out:

 
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Kev Kev

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Oct 25, 2012
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In my first post in this thread I mentioned Roberta Flack but had a brain fart and forgot about her frequent collaborator and (in my opinion, tragically underrated) soul singer Donny Hathaway. I say tragically underrated because even in my case where I dig 70s music, I didn't know about him until an ex girlfriend introduced me to his music, and I was immediately blown away.

I'll post some of his songs later, but the dude was an awesome singer. His collaborations with Roberta Flack remind me of the constant Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell collaborations in the 60s. Sadly, his life was fairly tragic; he was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, and ended up committing suicide at the young age of 33.

As sad as that is, he still left a body of work that can be appreciated. Check this out:

listening now. never heard of him but hes great! thanks for sharing. amazing voice. silky smooth and hitting every note just perfect. very nice
 
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InfiniteCombo

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listening now. never heard of him but hes great! thanks for sharing. amazing voice. silky smooth and hitting every note just perfect. very nice
Glad you liked it, man.

One time I went to see a one-man play about him with my friends and my then-girlfriend (the chick that introduced me to his music). We were all blown away by not just the performance of the actor (singing and acting were top notch), but the song selection and everything else.

Found it! It was called "Twisted Melodies"

 
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InfiniteCombo

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I thought I knew a lot about 70s soul but, as with everything in life, the more you learn, the less you realize you actually know. So I'm discovering a lot of artists, songs, and albums.

I do have to say though, that although soul as a genre has continued to this day, it most definitely peaked in the 70s. I'll take a B-tier or C-tier act from the 70s than any of today's "top" acts. I know what I like.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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Luther Ingram wasn't a one hit wonder, but he definitely wasn't as popular as many of the soul acts of the 70s. I think he opened for Isaac Hayes for many years. Anyway, this is his best known song, which, as far as soul songs go, is pretty damn good.