Trying To Get To You

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Best Soul You've Never Heard: Volume 1

One of the many wonderful things about being a soul music aficionado is that there’s an endless amount of incredible music to discover. I was in I was in Amoeba Records in L.A. this past March, and found a compilation called The Sound Of Philadelphia: Philadelphia Roots, Volume 2: 1965-1973. I’m a big Philly soul fan, but like millions of others, my knowledge of the genre basically started and ended with Philadelphia International records and Gamble and Huff, and artists like the O’Jays, the Three Degrees and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

The compilation didn’t kill me overall, but I found one absolute gem on it. “Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)” by Frankie Beverly and the Butlers is one of those great R&B songs that should have been a hit but never was. (It was released on Sassy Records, a regional independent way too undercapitalized to do the amount of promotion needed to turn the song into a national hit.) The opening rumble of the bass leads into a killer kick drum pattern – and then the strings come in. Philadelphia soul records were known for the lushness of their strings, but often, that lushness would come at the expense of the funkiness of the track. Not so on this one – the pocket that the drummer finds is so delicious that even if the track was an instrumental, it’d still be a lost classic. And if Frankie Beverly’s vocals are quite the most distinctive you’ve ever heard, on this track he had his moment of being up there with the greats.

I don't know if anyone has sampled this track, but if it hasn't been, it should. It would make the foundation for a KILLER track.

Download: "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)"

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