1. B.B. King – ‘Never Trust A Woman’ (1964)
“She'll beg you for clothes and diamonds, Until you're all in hock, And then you'll come home one mornin', And your key won't fit the lock, Don't ever trust a woman, Until she's dead and buried, Well, one day she'll say that she loves you, The next day she'll throw you in the street.”
2. Donald Byrd – ‘Beale Street’ (1967)
Blue Note coolness from trumpeter Byrd and crew but it’s the underpinning piano of Cedar Walton that gives this is it’s finger clicking mod-jazz snap.
3. Bobby Bland – ‘Deep In My Soul’ (1967)
One of Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland bluest, deepest and most soulful moments. And that’s saying something.
4. Marva Holiday – ‘It’s Written All Over My Face’ (1968)
From the pop end of the northern soul spectrum, which’ll cheese off the purists, but I really like this.
5. Lou Bond – ‘Why Must Our Eyes Always Be Turned Backwards’ (1974)
This folky-soul message song is a masterpiece. Lou Bond cataloguing and worrying about the troubles of the world in 1974. Beautifully sung and the arrangement is spot on. Released on Lou’s eponymous album for Stax subsidiary, We Produce. Lou never made another record and disappeared.
6. Leroy Hutson – ‘All Because of You’ (1975)
Leroy Hutson (pictured above) played the London Barbican the other week and was, quite correctly, feted like the soul superstar he is. His voice remains in fantastic shape and the band were sensational in creating the rich arrangements Hutson originally worked so hard on. This song one of many highlights alongside ‘Cool Out’, ‘Lucky Fellow’, ‘Don’t It Make You Feel Good’, ‘Love The Feeling’, ‘So in Love With You’, ‘Lover’s Holiday’ etc.
7. Pharoah Sanders – ‘You’ve Got To Have Freedom’ (1987)
Not everyone will get past Sanders’ squawking sax opening but for those who do, hold on tight, this is some ride.
8. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – ‘Bad Man Lighter (B.M.L)’ (2018)
Youngest son of Fela Kuti, and using his old band, Seun keeps his father’s afrobeat fire burning by smoking where the hell he wants. “Spark up your righteousness!” From new album, Black Times, which formed the majority of an infectious Walthamstow gig this month.
9. The Molochs – ‘I Wanna Say To You’ (2018)
LA duo the Molochs go all baggy, like a cross between the Stone Roses and, say, The Dylans. Like it’s 1990 all over again.
10. The Spitfires – ‘Sick of Hanging Around’ (2018)
Some folk are a bit sniffy about the Spitfires, and they do come across as over-earnest, but I like their spirit and attitude. Lyrically they always want to SAY SOMETHING about the modern world, about the young idea. When they match that to a cracking tune and throw in Dexys-style horns like this on new album Year Zero, what’s not to like?