Friday, 26 August 2011

The Soul Mixtapes Top 11 LP's of the 1980's

Over the next few months, we are going to bring you some "Top 11" lists of LP's we think every discerning soul fan should have in thier collection. We started this a while back with our Top 11 LP's of the Noughties here: The Soul Mixtapes Top 11 LP's of the Noughties

Were going to running through our picks of the 90's and the 70's in coming weeks, but we are kicking off with the 80's.

Let's start with the list, in no particular order:

Prince - Under a Cherry Moon
Steve Arrington - Hall of Fame I
Debra Laws - Very Special
Kashif - Kashif
Howard Johnson - Keeping Love New
Anita Baker - Rapture 
Alexander O'Neal - Alexander O'Neal
Luther Vandross - Forever, for always, for love
Shalamar - Friends
Stevie Wonder - Hotter than July
Sylvia Striplin - Give me your love

A quick word about these; 

Prince = Genius, no doubt. Big producers of the era all present (Save one, seen below!). Kashif, Jam & Lewis (With the LP that really broke them, even after having success with the S.O.S Band, with Alexander O'Neal), Leon Sylvers (With Shalamar's most successful LP and perfectly melded great tunes with the great vocals of Howard Hewett) and Roy Ayres. Some of the greatest vocalists of the era are present with Luther, Anita, Stevie and the aforementioned Mr Hewett.

But most of all, these are LP's that I believe define the decade, are all listenable throughout and are worth your investment. You can hear some of the class in the mix below.

Now, here's the complicated stuff. These are my picks, and I know that Grizz has some different views (Which he's welcome to post!) but I have consulted with him on this decade and the 70's. There are 2 massive omitions.

1) Slave - Stone Jam

I left this out because I didnt feel that I could have 2 Arrington LP's on the list. Is Hall of Fame a better LP? No. I love them both, and I guess I am just more sentimental about Hall of Fame I, and Arrington's on every track. However, Stone Jam is an absolute corker. Not one duff tune. Mark Adams on bass outdoes himself, and the whole LP is funk personified. Here's what I mean:

So get it too.

2) The System - Xperiment

The truth? I plain forgot before I ran the mix off. For me, this LP needs to be on the list. Where I talked about all the great producers being present, David Frank and Mic Murphy are the exception. Who would I have taken off the list to replace them with this LP? I have no idea.

But Xperiment is a one of a kind LP. There was nothing like this in the Soul music world at the time. Heavily synthesised, a hard edged sound, yet mixed with the soulful songwriting of the pair and Mic Murphy's yearning vocals. Promises can break, Lollipops and everything, I wanna make you feel good..... all classics. As is the following.

So there we have it. Grizz would also like to record that he would have had the following on his list;

Jacksons- Triumph (A nearly ran of mine to, "Give it up" is a classic)
BBQ- Genie
Blackbyrds- Better Days
Jack Mcduff - Kisses
Tania Maria- Come with me

He's back Monday, and I'm back with some new music next week.

The Soul Mixtapes Top 11 LP's of the 80's
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