• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Favorite 70's Soul Music?

Kev Kev

Gold Member
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

Gold Member
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

 
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

Gold Member
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

Gold Member
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!
 
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:

 
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

Member
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

 
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:

 

Kev Kev

Gold Member
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
 
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"

 
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.
 
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.

 

lem0n

Member
Dropping a comment so I can follow this thread. Reminds me of riding around Boston in my dad's black Cadillac growing up.
 

Kev Kev

Gold Member
Dropping a comment so I can follow this thread. Reminds me of riding around Boston in my dad's black Cadillac growing up.
yeah thats one of my favorite things about this stuff, it takes me back to being a kid pre-internet and cell phones ad all that. i also imagine what it must have been like back then, when my grandfather was growing up along side the releases of the oldies. this music really encapsulates being stress free and happy, driving down the beach or whatever. i miss that shit
 

Tschumi

Member
EAT YOUR GREENS CHILD
(okay it's militant Regge soul but just eat it up please)
(better than The Clash's version)

 
Last edited:

UncleMeat

Member
Oh ya! I love Curtis, Motown, Stax, etc..

Tyrone Davis:

David Ruffin:

And this might be a little too disco-y but I've been listening to a lot of Chic lately; this song is sick:

I love how Al Green songs always have solid opening riffs:
 
Last edited:
After "Rubberband Man," this right here is my absolute favorite song by The Spinners. Most of the singing is done by the long-time Spinners lead vocalist Bobby Smith, but towards the end of the song, Phillipé Wynne comes in. MAN does he sound good. That's why he overtook Brown in the short period in the 70s (about 73-76) which was the height of the band's popularity.

Wynne is in the "Al Green" school of soul, as far as soulfulness and style goes.

 
Another great soul/R&B musician from that era is Bobby Womack. This is probably his best known song, which was in a movie of the same name in 1972, but also at the beginning of Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" in the beginning part, which I've seen to referred to as "the airport sequence."


He's got a lot of good stuff, I'll post some more of his stuff later.
 

Gameboy415

Member
I was born in '83 but I grew up watching reruns of Soul Train so this thread is my jam!

It's more of a funk track but one of my all-time favs is Hollywood Swinging by Kool & The Gang:


Jamiroquai (my favorite band) did an excellent cover of this song too!
 

SirTerry-T

Member
Soul. funk, R&B....whichever it is, long before he became a joke and a meme, Rick James made at least one essential album with "Street Songs"

Ghetto Life is a bloody classic.
(1981....but close enough to warrant a listen ;) )

Bobby Womack " Across 110th St."


Billy Ocean (colour scene) Red Light Spells Danger
 
Last edited:

Gameboy415

Member
A few more of my favorites:

Stevie Wonder - I Wish (Soul Train video)


Earth Wind and Fire - September


Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster


The Emotions - The Best of My Love


Parliament - Flashlight


Kool and the Gang - Ladies Night
 
Top Bottom