Sparrow Songs: Some Soul

GIF of a show called 'The Soul Mass Transit System' from The Simpsons

All aboard

Let’s try something new. Every week (when I remember), I’m going to post a few songs here. Just whatever I’m listening to, really. Anyway, let’s get the ball rolling with a bit of soul.

“Tainted Love”, Gloria Jones

It’s not originally by Soft Cell! Both versions are great, but this is the soul music, not the electropop post, so Gloria Jones it is.

“At Last”, Etta James

An easy choice. But hey, it was the first dance at our wedding.

“It Comes Out Mad”, Camille Yarbrough

The path that led me to this song is a kind of complicated one: I read an article in New Humanist that compared this Lloyds Bank advert to a Chris Morris skit. So then I had to look up the song from the advert (Hannah Grace’s cover of “Praise You”), then the original version (Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You”), then the song that Fatboy Slim was sampling (Camille Yarbrough’s “Take Yo Praise”), then other songs by Yarbrough. Anyway, this song has everything – some spoken word, some soul, some jazz, some funk, some prog, what’s not to like?

“Time is on My Side”, Irma Thomas

If you’ve ever seen the Black Mirror episode “Fifteen Million Merits”, Thomas did the lovely song “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)”. Anyway, this is another of hers, more famously covered by the Rolling Stones.

“Anyone Who Had a Heart”, Cilla Black

Yeah, this was originally Dionne Warwick’s song, and Warwick was very annoyed when Our Cilla’s very similar cover beat her to the top of the chart. But maybe it’s because I heard this version first, or maybe it’s because I’m from the area, or maybe it’s because Cilla got a better orchestra, but I prefer her version. Fun fact: “Anyone Who Had a Heart” was the first successful pop song to use a complex time signature (it’s in a mixture of 4/4 and 5/4 time, with a bit of 7/8). Cilla Black invented math rock.

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