Artist: Various Artists

Date Released: 1994

Label: Rhino

Produced By:


  1. Chris Kenner - I Like It Like That, Part 1
  2. Solomon Burke - Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)
  3. The impressions - Gypsy Woman
  4. Gene Chandler - Duke of Earl
  5. Mary Wells - The One Who Really Loves You
  6. Chuck Jackson - Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird)
  7. Booker T. & The MG's - Green Onions
  8. Esther Phillips - Release Me
  9. Doris Troy - Just One Look
  10. Marvin Gaye - Pride and Joy
  11. The Miracles - Mickey's Monkey
  12. Martha & The Vandellas - Quicksand
  13. Don Covay & The Goodtimers - Mercy, Mercy
  14. Joe Tex - Hold What You've Got
  15. Little Anthony & The Imperials - Hurt So Bad
  16. Little Milton - We're Gonna Make It
  17. The Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself
  18. Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles - Over the Rainbow


By the 60s, R&B was no longer a specific genre; instead it became an encompassing style, very vague by itself thanks to the numerous varieties of sub-genres it gave birth to since its conception. A distinct separation between R&B and rock and roll had also been made by this time, and out of it came soul, a genre that would become so closely intertwined with black culture that it would serve as a collective voice for the struggles of an entire race. That would still be a few years away though, and soul was still planting the seeds of musical identity across the U.S. Strong communities were built in Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, Philadelphia, Miami and Muscle Shoals among others, and concurrently geographical niches began to form. Along with doo wop and the now highly produced pop-soul, other variations began to sprout and characterized by their location (Motown, southern soul), artists (blue-eyed, brown-eyed soul) or sound (deep-, country-soul). With such a variety of styles, you’d think that the people at Rhino would compile the best of these eager niches in an attempt to give an overall awareness of the promising new soul music being made. But instead they grasp onto popular R&B radio at the time, hardly ever venturing out of pop-soul. Not to disrespect artists like Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and Patti LaBelle, but you can hear most of the tracks used on any local oldies station. There are a few surprises though, like Don Covay’s head-nodding Mercy, Mercy and the heavily remade Hurt So Bad by Little Anthony & The Imperials. All in all, an enjoyable listen, but there is nothing here that hasn’t graced dozens of R&B compilations already. Mpardaiolo

Further readingEdit

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