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posted by: Alley Gator
05/04/12 2:11 pm
OUR FAVORITE MALE R&B VOCALISTS - THE GREAT SOUL MEN
(9)
Who are your top 5 or 10 favorite Soul Men? Here's a long list of contenders in rough chronological order. Please add any I missed.
Most of the artists with groups in parentheses also recorded as soloists before and/or after their tenure with the group.

Clyde McPhatter (Drifters)
Ray Charles
Tony Williams (Platters)
Little Richard
Little Willie John
James Brown
Bobby "Blue" Bland
Sam Cooke
Jackie Wilson
Jerry Butler
Ben E. King (Drifters)
Smokey Robinson (Miracles)
Curtis Mayfield (Impressions)
Solomon Burke
Marvin Gaye
Otis Redding
Stevie Wonder
David Ruffin (Temptations)
Levi Stubbs (Four Tops)
Van Morrison
Wilson Pickett
Sam Moore (Sam & Dave)
Aaron Neville
Sly Stone
Michael Jackson
Al Green
Donny Hathaway
Teddy Pendergrass (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes)
Bob Marley
Toots Hibbert
Prince
Luther Vandross
R. Kelly

My top three are Ray Charles, James Brown, and Otis Redding. Next come Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, and Marvin Gaye. These are tops in my book. I also have a special place in my heart for Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Clyde McPhatter, and Prince.
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cornercat says:
05/11/12 6:37 pm
great list. Sign me up for that festival :-) You're casting a pretty wide net, though, if Bob Marley gets in there, I think. Once you get modern with R. Kelly, isn't there a whole other list of contenders like Usher and Ne-yo and half a dozen more that get on the list? I dunno. I also wonder what you do with folks like Stevie Winwood, or Big Joe Turner, or even Alex Chilton.

But, having said all that, if I look at the list as is, I think it needs an Isley on there.
bad habitat says:
07/02/12 5:03 am
cornercat said: great list. Sign me up for that festival :-) You're casting a pretty wide net, though, if Bob Marley gets in there, I think. Once you get modern with R. Kelly, isn't there a whole other list of contenders like Usher and Ne-yo and half a dozen more that get on the list? I dunno. I also wonder what you do with folks like Stevie Winwood, or Big Joe Turner, or even Alex Chilton. But, having said all that, if I look at the list as is, I think it needs an Isley on there.
Not to mention Bobby Womack (!), Lee Dorsey, Allan Toussaint, Dobie Gray, Willy DeVille ... I'm also not 100% sure that Aaron is necessarily the best Neville. Then I would include Mick Collins purely on the strength on one album, The Dirtbombs' Ultraglide in Black, one of the greatest soul albums ever! His rendition of Living for the City has to be heard to be believed.
cornercat says:
07/02/12 12:17 pm
Heard that he just recorded and released his first new material album in 18 years! The clip I heard sounded great.
cornercat says:
07/02/12 12:17 pm
cornercat said: Heard that he just recorded and released his first new material album in 18 years! The clip I heard sounded great.
Bobby Womack..
Linden Arden says:
07/07/12 12:35 am
cornercat said: great list. Sign me up for that festival :-) You're casting a pretty wide net, though, if Bob Marley gets in there, I think. Once you get modern with R. Kelly, isn't there a whole other list of contenders like Usher and Ne-yo and half a dozen more that get on the list? I dunno. I also wonder what you do with folks like Stevie Winwood, or Big Joe Turner, or even Alex Chilton. But, having said all that, if I look at the list as is, I think it needs an Isley on there.
bad habitat said: Not to mention Bobby Womack (!), Lee Dorsey, Allan Toussaint, Dobie Gray, Willy DeVille ... I'm also not 100% sure that Aaron is necessarily the best Neville. Then I would include Mick Collins purely on the strength on one album, The Dirtbombs' Ultraglide in Black, one of the greatest soul albums ever! His rendition of Living for the City has to be heard to be believed.
I couldn't agree more that Bobby Womack should be on the list. I recently picked up "The Best of Bobby Womack, The Soul Years." With the exception of 2 really awful covers (California Dreamin' & FIre and Rain, it's a terrific collection. His version of "I Left My Heart In San Francisco", unlike the 2 previously mentioned covers, is practically worth the price. He turns this chestnut into a gospel romp.
Murgatroyd says:
07/09/12 10:02 am
Pretty hard to argue with the list, although I've never found much to love about Prince or Luther.

I think O.V. Wright and Syl Johnson deserve at least an honorable mention!
Alley Gator says:
07/12/12 10:38 pm
cornercat said: great list. Sign me up for that festival :-) You're casting a pretty wide net, though, if Bob Marley gets in there, I think. Once you get modern with R. Kelly, isn't there a whole other list of contenders like Usher and Ne-yo and half a dozen more that get on the list? I dunno. I also wonder what you do with folks like Stevie Winwood, or Big Joe Turner, or even Alex Chilton. But, having said all that, if I look at the list as is, I think it needs an Isley on there.
bad habitat said: Not to mention Bobby Womack (!), Lee Dorsey, Allan Toussaint, Dobie Gray, Willy DeVille ... I'm also not 100% sure that Aaron is necessarily the best Neville. Then I would include Mick Collins purely on the strength on one album, The Dirtbombs' Ultraglide in Black, one of the greatest soul albums ever! His rendition of Living for the City has to be heard to be believed.
Linden Arden said: I couldn't agree more that Bobby Womack should be on the list. I recently picked up "The Best of Bobby Womack, The Soul Years." With the exception of 2 really awful covers (California Dreamin' & FIre and Rain, it's a terrific collection. His version of "I Left My Heart In San Francisco", unlike the 2 previously mentioned covers, is practically worth the price. He turns this chestnut into a gospel romp.
Thanks for flagging the "Soul Years" CD. I just got it yesterday and agree with your rave. It also sounds 100% better than the other Womack collection I had, which makes quite a difference. And yes, he should be on the list!
Linden Arden says:
07/08/13 7:18 pm
Regarding Bobby Blue Bland--we have lost another of the great ones. I grew up in Houston, Texas home of Duke Records where Bobby Bland made his early great recordings. If you listened to the rhythm and blues radio stations in Houston, you couldn't miss him. I heard “Two Steps From the Blues” as a teen ager and it was a revelation. To this day I think it is one of the few perfect albums of any genre during any era. Although I was underage, I also managed to hear Bobby Bland in a nightclub in Houston during that time. What a show!

There have been vocalists without great voices who were great singers, and many ‘voices’ that were clueless as singers. Bobby Blue Bland was a great singer with an incredibly expressive voice.
Murgatroyd says:
08/02/13 9:29 am
Linden Arden said: Regarding Bobby Blue Bland--we have lost another of the great ones. I grew up in Houston, Texas home of Duke Records where Bobby Bland made his early great recordings. If you listened to the rhythm and blues radio stations in Houston, you couldn\'t miss him. I heard “Two Steps From the Blues” as a teen ager and it was a revelation. To this day I think it is one of the few perfect albums of any genre during any era. Although I was underage, I also managed to hear Bobby Bland in a nightclub in Houston during that time. What a show! There have been vocalists without great voices who were great singers, and many ‘voices’ that were clueless as singers. Bobby Blue Bland was a great singer with an incredibly expressive voice.
Bobby Bland also made a successful transition to 70's soul with the Dreamer album. Songs like Ain't No Love In The Heart of The City and Cold Day In Hell bring the nitty and gritty in a whole new way that he puts over with aplomb. Bizarrely out of print, but you can listen here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/Bobby+Bland+Dreamer/39923607