I dunno why, but Summer always seems to mean soul to me. I think it is the heat, the sun, it has a languid lazy feel that makes me want to listen to some mellow grooves.
Anyway, here are a dozen tunes that seem to say SUMMER to me, mostly stuff from the 1970s, which was the heyday of blissed out summer soul and lazy funk grooves.
If ever there was a music style that could wake the dead, funk is it. Not everyone feels the funk, but it’s easy to find out if you’ve got it; at 00.59 secs into Daddy Don’t Know About Sugar Bear, listen to that guitar, followed by Marva’s long screaaaaaaaaaaaam, or the heavy drum and bass combo in in I’m Losing You, Linda Divine’s ‘UGH!’ or just the thought of the delicious Ms Davis. If any of these things cause a tingling sensation in your pants, you’ve got the funk.
Then there’s the soul in these songs – deep and raw emotion, sung with a passion. These women may have had it tough, but their strength, spirit, sass and sexiness is superabundant. Who could resist Ann Peebles’ urge to break-up someone’s home, with desire oozing from that sultry voice? And Allen Toussaint’s masterpiece is turned into a hurting heartfelt plea to a lover; the pain of loss forcefully felt in Esther’s delivery of just three words ‘oh my love’.
I’ve added a well-known song performed by a contemporary Spanish funk soul outfit at the end. To hear this sung by a woman is so cool (I think Tina Turner is the only other female to record it) and it’s funky as hell!
Just an appreciation here of a great ’70s soul group featuring one of the great soul voices, Gwen Dickey. Seems like all of their top songs were covered by others, and none can hold a candle. Madonna did a vile cover of Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. Ok, Mary J. Blige does have a good voice. Still her cover of I’m Going Down isn’t a patch on the original. Ditto Xtina and Missy Elliott’s Car Wash cover. Beyonce’s cover of Wishing on a Star is pathetically anemic. Gwen doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.
Have i mentioned lately that i miss Magicman? Continue reading