11 Albums that every Neo-Soul Fan should appreciate!!!
#10 Gap Band IV
The Wilson Brothers did their thing in the 80s. This Album which was released in 1982 contained some of their greatest work including:"Early in the Morning", "Outstanding", & "You Dropped the Bomb on Me."
#9 Knights of the Sound Table
Just like the Gap Band, Cameo did their thing in the 80s too. Now even though this album did not contain most of their blockbuster hits, listeners of 80s R&B should recognize most of the tunes since most songs did receive airplay when it was released in 1981. An underrated favorite of mine is the soulful and jazzy track "The Sound Table."
Now, L.T.D which featured Jeffery Osborne as it's lead singer was baaad in the 70s. This album did not contain their major hits "Love Ballad" or "Back in Love", but during the time of its release in 1978, most of the songs recieved airplay on R&B radio stations. Not only do I still have the album that was originally my dad's, it still has the plastic around it from when it was bought from the store. When I was a little kid, my favorite song on this album was "We both deserve each other's Love." Now that I am a grown man that has been through many relationships, "Holding On (When Love is Gone)" is now my favorite.
#7 Joy & Pain
Choosing a Maze album to be on this list was not easy. Since "Joy & Pain" is my favorite song from them, I went with this album that was released in 1980. Being from the South, I also appreciate "Southern Girl." "The Look in Your Eyes" was a nice track too.It amazes me that as good as many of the groups were from this era, that they are still around drawing a loyal crowd when the word is out that they are coming to town.
This was the album that the legendary Miles Davis made his band at the time of this 1973 release listen to over and over again because it was just that good. Even though Sly had used drum programming on his previous album, it was still rare at this time to hear such a sound on your typical record. Many including myself feel as though the albums that Sly released after this were never of the same quality due to his personal struggles. Anyways, this album unlike his prior work received less airplay from pop formatted stations and more on R&B stations. The most popular single release from the album was "If you want me to stay" which went #1 on the R&B charts. Sly was really trying to tell us something because in the 80s & 90s, he was barely around with the exception of the hit "Crazay" with Jesse Johnson.
I had a hard time choosing between this album and "Controversy." I went ahead and chose this album because it had just a tad bit more of soulfultracks which is basis of this blog. Prince had pretty much become recognizable by the time of this release in 1982. This album really proved that he definitely was above the cut and not your typlcal musician/artist. He had a little something for everybody on this album. My personal favorites are "Lady Cab Driver (which I at first thought was performed by the Time back then)" and "International Lover."
#4 Off the Wall
I appreciate this album so much, especially since it was the very first album that I bought with my own allowance ( a year after its 1979 release). Mike was so cool and hip back then. Girls loved him and Guys actually wanted to be like him. "Working Day and Night" & "Rock With You" are the only two songs that I like to perform when I'm playing the "Michael Jackson Experience" on Wii with my kids. However, my favorite is actually the Stevie Wonder written song "I Can't Help It."
#3 Everything is Everything
I was so glad when they featured him on "Unsung." His voice is so powerful to me that its like he is painting a picture for me when he sings. I can feel his pain when he says "Giving Up" is so hard to do. At least on the radio stations around December, he is not forgotten. "This Christmas" is as classic as it can get. By the way, this was his first album which was released back in 1970.
#2 All N All
Released in 1977, this was Earth, Wind, & Fire at their best. For me, this is truly the music of my childhood, especially when i hear, "Beijo."
tied for #1 Songs in the Key of Life
What a masterpiece! The song writing content, the melodies, the styles of music, and even the album itself (which I remember was a double vinyl album with an additional 45 lp included) was above its time and arguably unmatched in 1976. It's amazing to think that Motown had issues with letting this man and another artist name Marvin have creative control on their own albums. I hate to think what we would have missed out on if they did not let Stevie and Marvin have their way. Speaking of Marvin...
tied for #1 What's Going On!!!
One word that describes this album is "Timeless!" Even though it was released back in 1971, the same issues that Marvin sang about then are pretty much the same issues we have today. I actually sat down one evening, watched NBC Nightly News, then turned off the TV only to listen to this album in my MP3 player. Marvin might as well been Brian Williams.