Interestment’s Top Four: Underrated Soul Stars

Published: 17th Dec, 2008

These boys and girls had it GOING ORN!

underrated-soul

Everyone knows how brilliant Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and the rest were/are. But what about the ones who drifted ever so slightly under the radar? We decided to shine the spotlight back on them…

1. Shuggie Otis

shuggie-otis

If Hendrix was the ultimate rock guitarist, Shuggie Otis was the ultimate soul guitarist. As a teenager he was considered a musical genius, and at just 21 he made the record Inspiration Information, a stone soul classic. Back in the 70s he turned down a chance to join The Rolling Stones – Ronnie Wood took his place instead. Most recently, he did some odds and ends with the world’s second favourite conscious rapper, Mos Def.

2. Marva Whitney

whitney

Not a soul singer in the Aretha sense, more of a FUNK singer. Her voice is pretty sharp, super powerful, and she was a James Brown favourite. Her It’s My Thing album is absolutely excellent. Below, watch her performing with a fantastic white afro.

3. Esther Phillips

esther-phillips

If Interestment had to pick one soul record to play on loop for the rest of time, it would be Home is Where The Hatred Is by Esther Phillips. The song was written by Gil Scott-Heron, but Phillips, a long term heroin addict, delivers a stronger, more poignant version. Heartbreaking.

4. Leroy Hutson

leroy-hutson

He roomed at university with Donny Hathaway, and took over from Curtis Mayfield in The Impressions, yet often seems criminally overlooked as a legendary soul star. Not any more. Take it away Leroy!

Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

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