Looking for lesser known soul and blues to dance to...
May 9, 2015 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions for lesser played, less appreciated, or less known soul and blues tracks from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s to create a playlist that is both danceable but also fresh and unpredictable. Bonus points for links to YouTube clips or Amazon/iTunes samples...
posted by Unsomnambulist to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Life of the Party...the Jackson 5
posted by sexyrobot at 6:09 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: Down In the Alley1966 Elvis. Boots on sax.
posted by effluvia at 6:13 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: You pretty much want the entire Eccentric Soul reissue series by the Numero Group.

A decade into its limitless ambitions, Numero’s flagship Eccentric Soul series is effectively remapping the American soul diaspora. Each compilation explores, in exacting detail, another US city’s smallest time hooks and would-be world beaters tossed into the glutted big-hole record sea of the 1960s and ’70s. In Eccentric Soul’s alternate universe are motley and mishandled Motowns beyond number, and the unforgettable records that could have, and should have, and never did. Find their stories here, retold for the first time.

posted by mykescipark at 7:15 PM on May 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh, and nthing mykescipark's suggestion to explore the Eccentric Soul series. I wanted to post a lot from that series but kept finding myself attracted to the ballads a little too much and wouldn't have given you the great dancy selections... Eccentric Soul has some wonderful variety.

Also, pretty much anything Egon Alapatt gets his hands on/Now Again records.
posted by nightrecordings at 7:21 PM on May 9, 2015

Nick Hornby thinks you should listen to Solomon Burke.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:56 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: Big Maybelle:
* That's a Pretty Good Love
* 96 Tears

Otis Redding, I'm Sick Y'all

Al Green, Rhymes

Les Vikings d'Haiti, Feuilles Magiques - this fantastic band is well worth exploring in depth

Maitre Gazonga, Les Jaloux Saboteurs
posted by Sheydem-tants at 7:58 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: Self link but check out my spotify playlists on my blog -
posted by saul wright at 8:09 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: Jr. Walker and the All Stars - example: Shotgun

The Equals - example: Baby Come Back
posted by soundguy99 at 8:28 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: Rufus Thomas- Walking The Dog
posted by thelonius at 8:48 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: Rockin Pneumonia"Piano Smith"
posted by effluvia at 8:50 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: The Bar-Kays "White House Orgy"
posted by thelonius at 8:54 PM on May 9, 2015

Best answer: Soul and blues were mostly single-driven in those days--just seeking out whole albums will reveal plenty of deep cuts.

There are a lot of compilations (Ultimate Beats and Breaks, Dusty Fingers, etc.) dedicated to hip-hop sample sources, and many of those include stuff that's both obscure and, because of its sample usage, weirdly familiar.

In addition to reissue labels like Numero, you might also check out Northern soul compilations.

There are also Motown and Stax-Volt compilations that include every single those labels released in particular years--this can be a good way to hear second-tier artists like Shorty Long or the Mad Lads instead of just, y'know, Marvin and Stevie and Rufus and Otis.

And, hey, here are a couple YouTube links:

Syl Johnson - Different Strokes
Bill Moss - Number One
Wendy Rene - Bar-B-Q
posted by box at 6:52 AM on May 10, 2015

Best answer: Northern Soul refers to a dance scene in Northern England from the late 60s and onward. DJs would (and still do) seek out American 45s from small labels that had limited distribution. Prices these days for some of these records are astronomical. Luckily, there is no shortage of compilations (like Shrine: The Rarest Soul Label: 1 2 3 ), blogs, and online articles where you can find a seemingly unending supply of great music.

For a heavier, funk sound (but not the hard-rock style guitar of the Isley Brothers or Funkadelic):
New Orleans Funk: 1 2 3
Saturday Night Fish Fry: 1 2 3
And you can't go wrong with Eddie Bo, Lee Dorsey, or anything involving the Meters.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:06 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Coasters 'Down Home Girl'
posted by readery at 5:18 PM on May 10, 2015

The Mississippi Records tape series!!
posted by anoirmarie at 9:08 PM on May 10, 2015

I can not recommend "Marc Broussard" enough!!!! Seriously, listen to me... If you have not heard of this guy yet - I promise you - you are in for an unbelievable find! Marc Broussard has an insatiable talent with soul shaking capabilities!! You can thank me later!! ;) ;)

posted by kelleymack at 2:12 AM on May 11, 2015

I highly, highly recommend What It Is!: Funky Soul & Rare Grooves (1967-1977).
posted by stinkfoot at 9:31 AM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

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