Soul — CDs

Great music in many modes -- northern soul, deep soul, harmony soul, modern soul, and group soul -- plus disco, funk, club, electro, rare groove, and more!




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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Black IvoryBlack Ivory/Hangin Heavy ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1976/1979. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Two club corkers by Black Ivory – back to back on a single CD! The self-titled Black Ivory album is a pivotal set for the group – released at a time when Black Ivory, like so many other east coast vocal groups, was making the transition away from an older sweet soul style to a more sophisticated club vocal sound. The group's producing themselves here – and we're guessing that most of the real work is being done by Leroy Burgess, although Patrick Adams still appears to be working with the group on the string and horn arrangements – giving things just the right sort of underground disco twist to make things groove! The record includes the great club track "Walking Downtown (Saturday Night)", a longtime fave around Chicago – plus "White Wind", "Making Love In My Mind", "Could This Be Magic", "Longer Ride", and "Can't You See". Hangin Heavy is filled with killer grooves from Black Ivory – a trio who've really come a long way here since their roots – stepping out with proud, soulful tones that are a perfect fit for the upbeat grooves of the set! There's still a touch of fragile harmonies at times – but overall, the group have a much more mature, adult vibe – set to tight late 70s club arrangements from Patrick Adams and Leroy Burgess – both of whom stay far away from any mainstream disco cliches, and really hit a sweet underground vibe for the set! Titles include the classic club track "Mainline", plus "Peace & Harmony", "Get Down (Comin' Down)", "You Turned My Whole World Around", and "Rest Inside My Love". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Toni BraxtonSecrets (2CD edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
LaFace/FTG, 1996. New Copy 2 CDs ... $15.99 16.98
The second smash hit record in a row by Toni Braxton, and one of biggest and best of the mid 90s – the secret was out by this point to say the least! If the pressure was high to match the sales and creative strengths of the self-titled solo debut, Toni, composer/producer Babyface and producer LA Reid rise to the challenge – with unforgettable songcraft and a built-to-last production aesthetic, carried to the heavens by Toni's voice. She's at her peak here, bringing a soulful resonance and all around depth to every note, whether it's on a chart-ready pop soul confection, or a richly emotional ballad. Perhaps Toni's biggest moment as a superstar, and she personifies realness throughout! Includes "Come On Over Here", "You're Making Me High", "There's No Me Without You", the eternal "Un-Break My Heart", "Talking In His Sleep", "I Don't Want To", "Let It Flow", "In The Late Of Night" and more. This 2CD version from FTG's Funk & Soul Classics series is absolutely loaded with bonus material, too – with a couple of Frankie Knuckles mixes and another handful of remixes following the classic original album on CD1 – plus 12 more on CD2! 31 tracks on 2CDs including "Un-Break My Heart (Spanish version), "You're Making Me High (groove remix), "I Don't Want To (dance extended mix)", "Un-Break My Heart (Frankie Knuckles classic radio mix)" and lots more. CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Toni BraxtonToni Braxton (2CD edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
LaFace/FTG, 1993. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99 18.98
The smash first solo album from Toni Braxton – a set that not only catapulted the singer to worldwide fame, but also earned the LaFace production team another big feather in their cap! The set's got a nicely deep vibe that's a few steps beyond some of the more mainstream pop of the time – yet also has a catchy, captivating quality to grab just about any set of ears – and is filled with lots of great tunes penned by the trio of Babyface, Kenny Edmonds, and Daryl Simmons. Titles include "Another Sad Love Song", "Breathe Again", "How Many Ways", "You Mean The World To Me", "I Belong To You", "Love Shoulda Brought You Home", "Love Affair", "Candelight", and "Best Friend". 2CD set features 21 bonus tracks – radio edits of songs from the album – plus "The Christmas Song", "How Many Ways (R Kelly rmx)", "I Belong To You (rollerskate mix)", "Breathe Again (D Jeep mix)", "Breathe Again (west end master radio mix)", "I Belong To You (soul power mix w/o rap)", "Love Shoulda Brought You Home (slow sensual mix)", "Another Sad Love Song (smoothed out version)", and lots lots more mixes! CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Pattie BrooksLove Shook/Our Ms Brooks ... CD
Casablanca/FTG, 1977/1978. New Copy ... $8.99 14.98
A disco double-header! First up is Love Shook – classic disco from Pattie Brooks, and a soaring 70s set that's right up there with the best Casablanca Records grooves of the time! The rhythms here are upbeat and lively – strings mixed in with quick-stepping rhythms, all set to the vocals of Pattie, which have just the right sort of flow to take off nicely in the setting! Titles include "Love Shook", "Let's Make Love To The Music", "Girl Don't Make Me Wait", and a totally cool "Pop Collage Medley", which features bits of "Popcorn" and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". Next is Our Ms Brooks – a record that has Pattie reunited with the Soul Galore production team – working with backdrops that are full, but never too overblown – right in that perfect Casablanca mode! Titles include "Heartbreak In Disguise", "After Dark", "This Is The House Where Love Died", and "The Back-up Singer". CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Cool NotesHave A Good Forever (with bonus tracks) ... CD
FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
80s R&B from UK combo The Cool Notes – their '85 album Have A Good Forever – with a shiny clean club soul and a sometimes fusiony groove – underneath sweet male & female vocals! The fact that the Cool Notes were a bonafide band, with earlier roots in more of a Lovers Rock inspired style, gives this one a shiny gold star as far as 80s grooves go – there's a warmth that goes beyond the more mechanized club soul of the period, and the tunes are sweet! Titles include "Look What You've Done To Me", "My Love Is Hot", "Why Not", "Come On Back To Me", "Have A Good Forever", "Spend The Night", "You're Never Too Young", "All I Wanna Do", "I Love You" and "In Your Car". CD includes 4 bonus tracks, including "Natural Energy", "I Forgot" (12" version) and more. CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dazz BandHot Spot (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Motown/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
The Dazz Band are in a definite hot spot here – the group's final album for Motown, and a record that's filled with the kind of catchy crossover funk they did better than most! The set snaps into a groove right from the very first note – with that electro funk that Motown served up big in the wake of Rick James, and which the Dazz Band only improve with their rock-solid sound on the set – a mode that has all the instrumental elements coming down sharp on the rhythms, topped by some back/forth group vocals that almost have a Jacksons vibe – except for the tracks in which they get processed with a bit of electro-soul modes! Titles include "If Only You Were In My Shoes", "Hot Spot", "Paranoid", "All The Way", "She Used To Be My Girl", "When You Need Roses", and Slow Rap". This Funky Town Grooves edition has 5 bonus tracks – 12-inch versions and alternate mixes of album tracks and more – including "Hot Spot (Club Mix)", "Heartbeat (12" Version)", "Let It All Blow (Special Disco Remix)", "Swoop (I'm Yours) (12" Version)" and "Joystick (Vocal 12"). CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dazz BandJoystick/Jukebox ... CD
Motown/FTG, 1983/1984. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
The Dazz Band brilliantly modernizes their sound for the early-to-mid 80s – without sacrificing the funk one bit on a pair of later Motown albums – '83's Joystick and '84's Jukebox in a single set! As you might guess from the title, on Joystick, Dazz Band thumps and pulses things into a style that's electro and computer groove aware. That said, their background in midwestern funky 70s soul is hardwired into their systems and they bridge the eras masterfully! Titles include "To The Roof", "Joystick", "Until You", "Rock With Me", "Now That I Have You" and more. On Jukebox, the Dazz Band hit hard with that catchy, synth-heavy groove that marks their other solid Motown work! The album's got all the catchy pop elements you might guess from the time – not as classically funky as the group in their roots, with lots of emphasis on the keyboards and guitar – that crossover Motown soul mode of the mid 80s. Titles include "So Much Love", "Dream Girl", "She's The One", "Heartbeat", "Let It All Blow", "Undercover Lover", and "Main Attraction". CD

Close matches8
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✨✧ George DukeGuardian Of The Light (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
A funky concept album from George Duke – and one that's filled with some mighty nice grooves! Guardians Of The Light is a full-on "musical fantasy" – with the story line laid out in the liner notes, yet still a bit difficult to follow – but we can't fault him for that when it's done in his masterful R&B-fusion-funk approach! George sings on all cuts, but he also gets some stellar vocal assistance from Jeffrey Osborne, Portia Griffin, and Patti Austin. The record also has some surprisingly sweet mellow moments that bring a deeper level of spacey soul to the out-there concept – those laidback lines that George could always do better than anyone else! Titles include "Born To Love You", "You Are The Light", "Reach Out", "Give Me Your Love", "Stand", "Soon", and "Fly Away". 3 bonus tracks on this FTG CD edition: "Reach Out (12" Version)", "Celebrate (Instrumental)" and "Brazilian Love Affair". (Jazz, Soul) CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Earth Wind & FireRaise! (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Earth Wind & Fire hits the 80s – and never misses a beat! Turns out that the group's older style of jazzy funk was a perfect fit for the boogie-styled rhythms of the post-disco era – heard here on the megahit "Let's Groove", and followed up by a beautiful batch of supporting numbers! There's styles here that other groups were starting to use at the time – keyboard flourishes and more electrified rhythms at the bottom – but throughout the whole set, Maurice White and the group handle themselves with trademark EWF class, and elevate even the simplest of tunes to a higher level. Another winner for the group, and the kind of record that most other groups could only hope to record once! Titles include "Kalimba Tree", "Evolution Orange", "Let's Groove", "The Changing Times", "Wanna Be With You", "I've Had Enough", and "Lady Sun". CD features lots of bonus tracks – including "Let's Groove (remixed holiday version)", "Wanna Be With You (single)", "Kalimba Tree (12" version long)", "Let's Groove (inst)", "I've Had Enough (7" version)", and "The Changing Times (7" version)". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ EnchantmentEnchanted Lady (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
One of the best moments ever from Enchantment – a set that has the group still sticking with the great harmonies that got them started in the 70s, yet stretching out with a tight 80s groove that's just perfect for their energy! There's a decidedly old school feel going on here – a real love of the sorts of group singing you might know from the indie days of soul from the decade before – preserved surprisingly well in the sensitive production by Michael Stokes – who manages to modernize the sound with some key instrumental elements, yet never get in the way of the vocal charts from Emanuel Johnson! The blend is great – a real standout, even amongst the incredibly strong run of soul records coming from Columbia in the early 80s – and titles include "I Know Your Hot Spot", "I Can't Forget You", "Your Love Is Like A Melody", "Only You", and "Peace Is What The World Needs". CD also features 4 bonus tracks – 12" versions of "I Know Your Hot Spot" and "Only You", and vocal and instrumental mixes of "Here's Your Chance". CD

Close matches11
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Aretha FranklinWho's Zoomin Who (2CD version – with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1985. New Copy 2 CDs ... $9.99 15.98
A huge hit for Aretha Franklin – and a record that brought her famous vocals to a whole new generation of listeners! The sound is definitely different than before – a change from both the deep soul of Atlantic years, and the initial classy approach of her time at Arista – and working with lots of help from Narada Michael Walden, Aretha gets an 80s groove that turns out to be a perfect platform for her sound – one that lets her vocals really take off, while still getting plenty of great hooks as well – all in a mode that somehow sounds far less commercial than we remember at the time. Includes the massive hits "Freeway Of Love" and "Who's Zoomin Who" – plus "Ain't Nobody Every Loved You", "Push", "Integrity", "Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves", and "Sweet Bitter Love". 2CD version features an insane number of bonus tracks – including loads of mixes, remixes, dubs, and single versions of the big tracks off the album! CD

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Phyllis HymanPhyllis Hyman (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1977. New Copy ... $9.99 15.98
Far and away our favorite album by Phyllis Hyman – her first, and with lots of the same smooth jazzy soul touches you'd find in her work with Norman Connors! Phyllis is still as sophisticated as she is on later albums, but there's a bit freer style to the record – and Phyllis breaks a bit from her normally restrained classy sound, into one that opens up a bit more emotionally – really soaring out here in a way that's quite different than later hits, with a vibrancy that still makes this album our favorite Hyman effort after all these years. Arrangements are by Onaje Allen Gumbs and Jerry Peters – and the album features the sublime jazzy groover "Children Of The World", which would sound great next to any Roy Ayers cut of the time! Other tracks include "Loving You Losing You", "One Thing On My Mind", "No One Can Love You More" and "Beautiful Man Of Mine". CD features bonus tracks – "Do Me (7" version)", "Baby (7" version)", "No One Can Love You More (7" version)", "Loving You Losing You (7" version)", and her version of "Betcha By Golly Wow" with Norman Connors! CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Rebbie JacksonCentipede (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1984. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
A great set from Rebbie Jackson – a batch of 80s groovers that's way different than work from siblings Michael or Janet – and done with a percolating sort of vibe that's quite different from some of the core projects of the rest of the Jacksons universe! Wayne Henderson handled most of the production for the set, and brings in a nice sense of class that pushes the work far from too-commercial soul – that strong balance that always makes his name on a record one key reason to check it out! There's still a bit of Jackson influence on the vocals – as Rebbie gets help from Michael, Tito, and Randy Jackson – alongside additional guest vocals from Gary Glenn, Patryce Banks, Maxie Anderson, and The Weather Girls. Titles include "Centipede", "Play Me", "Open Up To My Love", "Hey Boy", "Come Alive It's Saturday Night", "Ready for Love", and "A Fork In The Road". CD features bonus tracks "Eternal Love (single)", "I'm Just Gonna Love You", "Play Me (12" version)", "Play Me (12" inst)", "Come Alive It's Saturday Night (ext mix)", "Centipede (12" mix)", and "Centipede (12" inst)". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ JuicyJuicy (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
An 80s soul classic – and one of those records that never seems to get old! The set's the first album from Juicy – recorded when they were more of a group than a studio duo, and working here with production from Deodato – who gives their sound some nice jazzy touches! That's no surprise, though, as Deodato's also playing a bit of clavinet and synth on the album – matching the keyboards of lead vocalist Katie Barnes, and hitting the 80s groove sound that was the group's strongest suit – a tightly stepping style that's mighty nice throughout! Titles include "You're Number One", "I've Got Something", "Don't Cha Wanna", "Love's A Merry Go Round", "Our Love Is Stronger", "Sing The Message", and "The Night Is Still Young". CD features bonus tracks – "Don't Cha Wanna (inst)", and "I've Got Something (ext)". CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Cheryl LynnPreppie (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Hard to believe that a preppie look could ever be associated with a soul singer, but by the time of this 1983, the preppie craze had spread so much that it actually provided Cheryl Lynn a nice way to update her style! There's nothing preppie about the music, though – and the record's a great batch of cuts that show how much Cheryl influenced the soul sound of the early 80s, especially at a time when Columbia was putting out so many strong R&B acts – stepping forth with a tight, mature groove that's totally wonderful – definitely a standard-setting sound that so many other female singers tried to match! Includes the cuts "Encore", "Fool A Fool", "Fix It", "Change The Channel", "Preppie", and "Life's Too Short". New CD version has four bonus tracks – including "Encore (dance version)", "Free (special 12" version)", "Preppie (12" version)", and "Preppie (12" club)". CD

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Melba MooreLot Of Love (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1986. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Crisp, warm, and nicely-grooving soul from Melba Moore – one of her most consistent albums of the period, and possibly the biggest hit of career! The team of writers and producers on the album is top-shelf – with work from Kashif, Paul Lawrence, Gene McFadden, and others – who really craft the right sort of sounds to fit Melba's wonderful voice! The first half of the album features more danceable, synth flavored 80s sounds, and the second has some great ballads – including the great duet "A Little Bit More" with Freddie Jackson. Other tracks include "Love The One I'm With (A Lot Of Love) "There I Go Falling In Love Again", "You Trip Me Out", "Falling", "Stay", "Don't Go Away", and "I'm Not Gonna Let You Go" and more. This FTG edition has 5 bonus remixes, extended and alternate versions – including "Love The One I'm With (A Lot Of Love) (extended version)", "It's Been So Long (extended remix)", and "A Little Bit More (radio edit)". CD

Close matches17
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✨✧ Melba MooreNever Say Never (with bonus track) ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Melba Moore at the height of her 80s powers – stepping out here with help from Kashif, who sings a bit and plays keyboards – along with Paul Lawrence Jones, whose keys also shine brightly on the set! There's a nicely jazzy undercurrent to some of the best numbers – that flowing 80s groove style that's never too overdone, and which does a good job of reigning in some of Melba's too-commercial tendencies – and the quality of the record is a great example of the way that Moore could hold things together, even when reaching for a larger audience. Titles include "Lean On Me", "Lovin Touch", "Never Say Never", "Love Me Right", "Keepin My Lover Satisfied", and "Got To Have Your Love". CD also features a bonus track – "Love Me Right (ext rmx)". CD

Close matches18
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✨✧ Melba MooreRead My Lips (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
An early 80s set from Melba Moore – recorded at a time when she was really coming into her own! Read My Lips has Melba working nicely with some tight Capitol soul backings – often a bit heavy on the beats, but in a way that guides the tunes strongly from the bottom, and lets Melba's vocals really shine over the top! The instrumentation is heavy on the keyboards, and also features some polished guitars – and production is by Beau Huggins and the Hush Productions team – on titles that include "The Love Of A Lifetime", "Read My Lips", "I Can't Believe It", "When You Love Me Like This", "King Of My Heart", "Winner", and "Mind Over Matter". CD features lots of bonus tracks – including "I Can't Believe It (ext version)", "Read My Lips (special mix)", "When You Love Me Like This (special club)", "Winner (inst)", "Read My Lips (ext)", and "When You Love Me Like This (monster groove mix)". CD

Close matches19
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Muscle Shoals HornsDoin It To The Bone ... CD
Ariola/FTG, 1977. New Copy ... $9.99 15.98
A killer album from the Muscle Shoals Horns – and way more than just a set of studio players stepping out for some time in the spotlight! Sure, the MSH had worked on hundreds of sessions by this point – but there's also a sense of ownership and leadership they never had before – a real sense of trying something fresh, and really making the album all their own! To that respect, they certainly use their horns – but also work in plenty of vocals, too – and definitely emphasize the rhythms, which often have this cool compressed vibe that's very much in the best Earth Wind & Fire style – especially on the midtempo numbers that really make the album a killer. Production is by Barry Beckett, who goes for a nicely modern soul approach – and of all the horns, Harrison Calloway is probably the lead talent here – handling most of the arrangements, songwriting, and vocals. Titles include "What's Goin Down", "Dance To The Music", "I Just Wanna Turn You On", "Addicted To Your Love", "Beware Of The Rip Off", and "Keep On Playing That Funky Music". CD

Close matches20
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✨✧ Ray Parker JrOther Woman (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Ray Parker steps out here with the other woman – with a groove that's somewhat different than his earlier sound with Raydio! There's a slightly sharper edge than before – almost a rockish influence in some of the instrumentation, which is a key factor in helping Parker's crossover in the 80s – one that had undeniable impact on the sound of other mainstream soul. At times, it's almost as if there's a slight hint of new wave inspiration in the rhythms and instrumentation – used very sparingly, but quite different than earlier Raydio funk and soul. Parker's vocals are more pronounced than before too – almost with a bite on the upbeat numbers – but warmly soulful on the mellower cuts, which we still like best. Titles include "Stay The Night", The Other Woman", "Street Love", "Let's Get Off", "Stop, Look Before You Leave", and "Let Me Go". 3 bonus tracks on this FTG CD edition: "The Other Woman (12" Version)", "Bad Boy (7" Version) and "The Other Woman (Instrumental)". CD
 
 
 



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