BY REQUEST: SWEET SOUL JAMS


Soul Children: Move Over
From S/T (Stax, 1969)

Bob and Gene: You Gave Me Love
From If This World Were Mine (Daptone, 2007)

Chuito and the Latin Uniques: Wish I Could
From From the Street (Speed, 1968)

Someone asked for more sweet soul in the vein of Eddie Holman’s “This Can’t Be True” AND someone else asked for more Soul Children so I figured I’d knock down two requests with one post. I originally was going to do a whole post on the Soul Children but when Isaac Hayes passed, I used that as an excuse to put up a song he penned for them, “The Sweeter He Is” but that left “Move Over,” the other song I was going to pair it with, languishing.

First off, yeah, it’s been sampled.

Second, man, that piano really is great isn’t it? Just the drama of the chord and then how it blends into the incoming horns. I’m assuming that Norman West on the vocals, pouring his heart out before one of his brothers come in to take the reigns (listen to how Norman even tells him, “sing it brother!!!!” around 1:18).

The thing is though: this doesn’t really sound like Holman’s brand of sweet soul, which is less produced and more haunting – a lonely voice piercing the silence. And if that’s the gold standard, then we got to bring back Bob and Gene’s “You Gave Me Love,” which Daptone Records released in 2007. I mentioned it back then since I wrote about the song for NPR but never did a formal post on Soul Sides for it so…hey, here you go! The backstory of the group is well-worth reading and I won’t repeat it at length (it’s in that NPR link) but I’ll quote this much (from myself): “”You Gave Me Love” conveys all the innocence and yearning of a high-school love letter, and whatever it lacks in gloss, it makes up for in heart.”

Both of these songs are also tunes I’d pick to end a gig with which made me look through my “slow jams” section to see what else I could pull out to complete a trio and I went with the song that I ended this past Boogaloo[la] with: “Wish I Could” by Chuito and the Latin Uniques. I have to write a post on Chuito at some point – it’s really one of the best Latin soul albums ever recorded, definitely up there with anything from Joe Bataan or Ralfi Pagan’s work (in the meantime, read up on it here). The vocalist on this particular song (the album had several English vocalists, including Tony Middleton) is Danny Agosta, who croons with a longing quaking with teenage innocence and earnestness.

By the way, you will have noticed that I’ve switched using direct links to the songs; I’m doing so because I’m anticipating the forthcoming transfer of Soul Sides from one host to another and it made sense to start putting new songs someplace where they will be “safe” during that transition. Hopefully, it’s not an inconvenience for ya’ll.

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