What is soul? As Ben E King asked so eloquently in his 1969 hit song.
Soul, naturally means different things to different people. To some, it is Northern Dance Music, which in itself derives its influences from a broad range of other strains of music.
For purists, it has to be the music emanating from the Atlantic, Stax, and Volt labels in the early and middle sixties. Artists like Rufus and Carla Thomas, Wilson Picket and Aretha Franklin. My own personal hero was the late great Otis Redding, who was sadly taken from us at the tender age of only twenty six. I never tire of listening to his music especially his soul ballads. They sound as fresh today as they did when he recorded them with Booker and the Memphis Horn way back then. The subject matter is mostly about tormented love, and the reason Otis still sounds so fresh, is because he sang FROM THE HEART ie from his soul. I think that is probably a good definition of Soul – It is music that comes directly from the Heart & Soul.
We included six of our idea of contemporary soul songs – I hope you like them.