I had been kicking this idea for a while: crowd-sourcing a soul music “Common Core,” i.e. inexpensive singles that are inarguably awesome. There is a tendency to fetishize the rare/obscure/expensive and while I’m as responsible for fueling that kind of mentality as anyone, I also equally enjoy perfectly “common” singles that are just as magical and sublime.


*It should be a soul/R&B song (we can do other genres later). LP cuts are acceptable but we’re not recommending LPs.

*It should be something that can be had for $10 or less in 2014.

*Please write a few lines about what you like about the song. Please don’t just post a youtube link with no commentary.

My pick to kick things off:

The Manhattans: Follow Your Heart (Carnival, 1965)

Personally, I prefer the early Manhattans sound/line-up, back when they were recording on Carnival – gorgeous arrangements/production/vocals and this one, in particular, has haunted me for the last year or so after first hearing it. “Sparkling” is what comes to mind every time that intro drops. And you can find a stock copy for $10 or less. Crazy.