(in no particular order, check out last year here)
This made the list based on how many plays it got at home. Admittedly, not my favorite sub-genre of music, but cherry-picked like this, it’s too good to resist. Read more here.
If you’ve every read Sweet Soul Music by Peter Guralnick, you know how important these recordings are. Dan Penn wrote some of the greatest southern soul anthems of all time, and we now have proof that he could sing them as well as Otis Redding, James Carr, etc.
I openly admit to a Dalton fetish. This has been covered before….
Jimmie Dale Gilmore (who famously played “Smokey” in the big Lebowski) would make more textured and mature albums, but this early blast from Texas songwriting legends/band is closest you’ll get to the southwest Basement Tapes.
One covers Italy and the other one Ireland. Both are historic as well as hilarious at times. Both encompass the best examples of the range of new wave, from electro-motorik, to Bunnymen sound-alikes. Both are incredibly well-curated surprises. Plus the Italian one has two singles from Plath.
This time the Numero group unearths the unheard equivalent of Gamble and Huff via Washington, D.C. At least half these songs would be soul staples if not buried in a garage for 30 years.
My Bloody Valentine / EP’s
Since you probably have their two albums memorized, it’s always nice to hear the in-between. Why is it that every great band has b-sides that top their main output?
This overview should get most Lee fans salivating while waiting for the complete LHI reissues forthcoming. I’ve waxed poetic about this before…..
Personal Space : Electronic Soul 1974-1984
“Electronic” music sounded clunky, mechanical and bizarre early on. Here is that sound manifested across some of the weirdest and most wonderful soul(ish) music you will ever hear. I will call it the “deep soul version of early breakdancing music“, and I mean that in the best way possible.
WTF? An America-overview-concept-album all done in the style of 40’s Caribbean music. From the genius/madman who co-wrote Smile with Brian Wilson, prepare to scratch your head and then scape your jaw off the floor. Like nothing else I’ve ever heard.