Music for the soul
May 25, 2011 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Recommend me your favorite danceable soul music!

My sister's birthday is coming up, and she's having a soul-themed dance party. I'd like to make her a mix as a present.

I also don't know as much as I'd like to about soul music, so this is a good thing for me, too. I know some of the bigger artists, but generally only know a few of their songs. I'd love to know what great songs and artists, both classic and obscure, there are from that era.

We both like the new soul stuff too, like Cee-lo, The Noisettes' song "Never Forget You", Fitz & The Tantrums, Sharon Jones, etc. so any recommendations in that vein would also be very welcome.

Thanks in advance!

(I did check out these previous questions as well, but would still like some additional recommendations.)
posted by wander to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
It's mentioned a couple times in those other posts, but you could spend a couple months digging through the Numero Group's Eccentric Soul collection. It's pretty goddamn epic, and there are a ton of gems in there.
posted by furnace.heart at 9:25 AM on May 25, 2011

One song leaps to mind: Soul Finger by the Bar-Kays.
posted by Specklet at 10:05 AM on May 25, 2011

Playing Gladys Knight's original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" is a danceable introduction to someone I consider a more soulful singer than Aretha Franklin.
posted by Trurl at 10:09 AM on May 25, 2011

New Orleans Funk, esp. "Check Your Bucket" and "Here Come the Girls
New Orleans Funk 2
Saturday Night Fish Fry

The Exciters - "Do Wah Diddy"
Frank Wilson - "Do I Love You"
posted by hydrophonic at 10:56 AM on May 25, 2011

Raphael Saadiq. Modern, but you wouldn't know it to hear it.
posted by Gilbert at 11:02 AM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Check the sidebar tracks for more Northern Soul.
posted by rhizome at 11:12 AM on May 25, 2011

Smith's version of Baby It's You?
posted by troywestfield at 11:36 AM on May 25, 2011

Isley Brothers!
posted by cyndigo at 11:39 AM on May 25, 2011

If you're going more contemporary you could put on Choklate's Waiting. Although if you want to keep it more classic soul, you could just put on the James Brown song it samples.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:52 AM on May 25, 2011

Whatever song James Brown is dancing to here has earwormed me all week and would be a lot of fun to drop at a party. Much to my regret, I'm afraid I don't know the name of the tune or the artists involved. Perhaps someone in this thread will recognize it?
posted by EatTheWeek at 1:31 PM on May 25, 2011

Nathan Jones – The Supremes
posted by nicwolff at 2:26 PM on May 25, 2011

Response by poster: These are all great so far! I've slowly been making my way through them, and many of them are perfect.

For those of you recommending compilations and artists, I don't have time to go through them before the party, but I will definitely come back to them at some point.

Right now, individual songs would be the most helpful, and any links to where I could buy/download the versions you prefer would be helpful, too, but not necessary by any means. Keep them coming!

EatTheWeak: I really liked that song, too. A little bit of research came up with it being James Brown's "If You Don't Give a Doggone About It". It looks like it was something he did in the late 70's, and it's available on a couple different discs and compilations.
posted by wander at 6:19 PM on May 25, 2011

WeFunk Radio, in addition to be being a great radio show, has an online player that shows the individual songs with links to purchase.
posted by drwelby at 7:04 PM on May 25, 2011

Also check out the podcast and mix archives at Funky 16 Corners.
posted by drwelby at 7:08 PM on May 25, 2011

It's late and I don't have time to youtube all the music links, but here's some of my favorite artists in the soul/r&b side of things: Ladi6, Mystic, Goapele, Angie Stone, Res, Betty Wright, Chrisette Michele, Cody Chestnutt, Leela James, Lina, Lucy Pearl (name of band, not of person), Marsha Ambrosius, Medusa (also cross w/hiphop), Michelle N'degeocello, Nat Rose, Teedra Moses, Tweet.
posted by yeloson at 12:54 AM on May 26, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks again, everyone. I'm putting the mix together today, and hopefully she likes it.

drwelby: Those look great. I'll definitely be spending some time at Funky 16 corners. Thanks!

jade east: Thank you so much for all your recommendations and links! I will definitely be using some of those.

yeloson: I don't know if I'm going to have time to check out all of those artists before the party, but I'm always glad to learn about new music and will be looking into them in the future. Thanks!
posted by wander at 11:53 AM on May 28, 2011

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