Scorching Caribbean soul covers of Neil Young, Isaac Hayes, and Jimi Hendrix (1975)

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In 1975, Suriname's Dutch Rhythm Steel & Show Band released "Soul, Steel & Show," a killer funk-psych-soul LP that included scorching covers of Neil Young's "Down by the River," Isaac Hayes's "Theme from Shaft," Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe," Kool & The Gang's "Funky Stuff," and other great jams. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.

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Watch incredible video of Prince's "Purple Rain" debut

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Footage from the August 1983 concert at Minneapolis' famed First Avenue club when Prince (1958-2016) debuted the magnificent 13-minute original version of Purple Rain - with an additional third verse - that was later edited and overdubbed for the Purple Rain album. This was also guitarist Wendy Melvoin's first performance with The Revolution. (Apologies that the video host's Flash-based widget won't work on some mobile browsers.) Read the rest

Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White (RIP)

Maurice White, founder of the incredible psychedelic R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, has died at age 74.

“Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music … which somehow ended up becoming pop,” White wrote. “We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion and cosmic awareness. I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners’ spiritual content.”

(New York Times)

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Honey Cone's "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show"

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If you don't want my love, you're free to go... Read the rest

Watch David Bowie get down on Soul Train (1975)

On November 4, 1975, David Bowie performed "Golden Years" on Soul Train. Sure, he was lip-syncing, but who cares. The Thin White Duke's got soul.

The Bowie Golden Years site has more background on the appearance.

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Music: "Hip Hug-Her," Booker T. and the MGs (1967)

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An absolute favorite. Read the rest

Music: "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," Al Green (1974)

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You'll find yourself lost and alone. On a darkened street. Read the rest

Watch Bill Withers play "Ain't No Sunshine" in 1971

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Withers was inspired by the film "Days of Wine and Roses," starring Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon. Read the rest

Dig this mash-up of The Ramones vs Marvin Gaye

"Peculiar Bop" by Go Home Productions (aka Mark Vidler). Read the rest

Ska is the mother of reggae

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Public Radio International aired this short audio piece on ska, the musical form that took off in the early 1960s, blending Jamaican jazz with American soul and rhythm and blues, and influenced numerous excellent bands, from The Clash and The Specials to No Doubt and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Read the rest

Reissues of rare New Orleans funk/soul 7"s

The first-rate crate-diggers at Soul Jazz are reissuing a series of scarce New Orleans funk/soul 7-inches in sweet packaging including this early 1970s smoking groover by Inell Young, "What Do You See In Her." Listen below! Read the rest

Northern Soul documentary

BBC Two just aired a great episode of its program The Culture Show about Northern Soul, the Mod music subculture that took off in northern England in the early 1970s around obscure American soul 7" records of the late 1960s. Above, you can watch the documentary, titled Northern Soul - Keep the Faith. And don't miss The Culture Show's Paul Mason's excellent BBC News essay about the scene, including a great Northern Soul playlist. Get up, get up to get down. "Northern Soul: 40 years of the sound of Wigan Casino" Read the rest

Kool & The Gang's "Summer Madness" (1975)

From the February 22, 1975 episode of Soul Train, the marvelous jam "Summer Madness" by Kool & The Gang, whose slick suits beat robot helmets any year. Read the rest

Charles Bradley - “Strictly Reserved for You” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 45: Charles Bradley - “Strictly Reserved for You” (MP3)

Soul singer Charles Bradley has a lot of feelings, and it's not hard to see why: he's lived on the street, discovered his brother’s murdered body, and spent most of his 64 years as a James Brown impersonator, all while dreaming of recording his own music. His songs teem with the incredible anguish of his life, and his gratitude for its turnaround. Bradley has only seen success in the last few years, and his deep love for his life and fans is apparent. I’ve never seen someone give so much of himself on stage; he will actually burst into tears while wailing “I love you” and thanking the audience when he performs. It's irresistible.

Victim of Love is Charles Bradley’s excellent new album (out today!), and it sounds like a classic soul record with some sneaky psychedelic overtones. Charles has agreed to share this free download of the first single “Strictly Reserved for You” with us. Take a listen, know that Charles loves you, and head over to a record retailer to show your love right back. Read the rest

Loose Ends: "Hangin' on a String (Contemplating)" (1985)

From Loose Ends' 1985 LP A Little Spice, "Hangin' on a String (Contemplating)" was the first track by a British band to ever hit #1 on the US Billboard R&B Chart.

Quadron: "Slippin," dir. Walter Robot (music video)

I love this music video by Walter Robot for the song "Slippin" by Quadron, a band out of Denmark.

In fact, I love the video so much, we've arranged with the directors to feature it on Boing Boing Video's in-flight channel on Virgin America airlines. It's such a feelgood tune, and a fun contrast with the creepy-weird vibe of the visual treatment by Walter Robot co-directors Christopher Louie and Bill Barminski. Stay with it, there's a fun surprise toward the end of the video.

This track appears on Quadron's self-titled 2010 album. The video's been out for some weeks, and I'm admittedly a little late blogging it. But in hopes that it's new for some of you, I thought I'd go ahead and share today. Enjoy!

(CREDITS: Quadron, "Slipping." Directed by: Walter Robot. Actor: Dennis Louie. DP: Patrick Meade Jones. Producer: Mt. Vernon Entertainment. Label: Plug Research.)

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