Record Store Geek: 16 Sweet Slices of Soul

R&B/soul icon Stevie Wonder
R&B/soul icon Stevie Wonder
Motown Records

Chances are, if you met me -- I'm a tall, goofy-looking, middle-aged white guy with a Canadian accent (it's actually North Dakotan) -- you wouldn't think, "Hey, I should get some recommendations on fantastic soul albums from this cat."

Of course, I'm stereotyping myself, and you would be, too. I understand that we all make assumptions, usually based on some level of previous experience, and that's a fairly good guess.

But you'd be wrong . . .

Trust me, after 25 years in record stores, I've discovered a ton of awesome soul albums. Obvious and beyond. Read on and I'll recommend 16 Slices of Sweet Soul Music.

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What Is Soul, Geek?

In case you've never read one of my ramblings, here's the deal: I can't write a stinkin' list without some sort of background qualifications.

Call it an attempt to head off potential questions or smart-ass comments. Call it verbosity. What I can tell you is that I like to at least clarify the listing thought process.

So here are the qualifications for this list:

Must be an album. Greatest hits are for schoolgirls and housewives (that's a quote from The Doors guy on Kid in the Hall)

Soul = However I define it. Don't give me any shit about R&B vs. Funk vs. Blue-eyed Soul vs. whatever. This shit is soul in my book, and it's my list.

I own the CD or LP. I can't be rambling poetic about something I don't even own.

The only other caveat I'll add is that I'm not saying these are the 16 greatest soul records of all time, just 21 really outstanding soul albums. The list is made up of new and old, white and black, obvious and not so much. It's not meant to be all-inclusive (after all, it's missing the Godfather of Soul), it's just stuff I wholeheartedly recommend (and have recommended to hundreds of people).

Okay, let's talk about soul. You wanna get up? You wanna feel down? I've got your remedy.

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