Including this double dude…
Literally nothing is more embarrassing than having someone burst into the shower just as you’re about to hit your peak during an emotive soul recital. You’re naked, you’re squealing, those vocal runs you’re doing are much more impressive in your head, they’re pointing at you and sharing crude pictures with their mates on Instagram. It’s a sorry situation for everyone involved. But that wouldn’t be a problem for any of these guys, who can sing the fuck out of shit because they’re bloody amazing… MY FAVOURITE MALE SOUL SINGERS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Feel free to go absolutely apeshit in the comments section because I’ve got it all wrong and didn’t include Stevie Wonder…
The greatest of them all, his voice is smoother than a long piece of wood you’ve spent the last week sanding down for eight hours a day without stopping. Do the maths, that’s basically smooth as fuck. Stupidly, he decided to kill himself in 1979 by jumping out of a window. I was just three at the time, which is neither here nor there.
It’s nuts to think that Otis Redding was just 26 when he was killed in a plane crash, he sounds so mature and borderline-elderly when he sings. Confession time guys! Otis Blue is one of the few records I own that I could listen to from start to finish every single day without tiring of. I have no idea why I just made out that was a big confession.
You might not have heard of this cat, because Frankie Beverly was never a solo star in his own right. He sung with the band Maze in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and possibly beyond, and those cats were funkier than a stink on a hot summer’s day. Some of you might have noticed that I’ve suddenly started saying “cat” a lot in this paragraph. Go with it, I’m just trying it out.
Bobby Womack’s enjoying another blast in the sunshine after collaborating with Damon Albarn on that album about a year ago. Everyone liked it because it combined modern day sounds with old style singing. I didn’t listen to it because I’m a bearded vinyl twat who pretends to only like old stuff like 1970s albums and vintage shirts. I do love Bobby Womack though, he always sounds about this close to a violent coughing fit.
I’m going through a big Isley Brothers moment that doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. I love them because they looked like a great big pile of fat black Elvis impersonators, I like that they could throw down serious funk jams next to syrupy soul ballads. I adore them especially because Ron Isley has one of the most slippery voices the world has ever seen. And I mean that in a good way.
If I had to pick my favourite Marvin Gaye album I’d go for I Want You because it’s the sexiest record ever made, full of secret messages in between the lines saying stuff like “come here woman” and “I’m gonna hold you real tight”. Chicks love that kind of shit. I also like What’s Going On, Trouble Man, Let’s Get It On, Here My Dear, and basically every other record he ever made.
Whether fat or thin Luther could sing the phone book and while everyone would listen for a minute then whisper “is this guy actually singing the PHONE BOOK?” to each other with an incredulous look in their eyes, they’d all agree that the lyrics might be boring as fuck, but that fat guy’s got the voice of an angel.
When I was a student in Bristol I spent my days frying up pieces of bread for my world famous fried bread fried bread sandwiches and listening to Brown Sugar by D’Angelo. Man that cat could groove. That’s right everyone I’m back to saying “cat” again. Deal with it.
Obviously I’m never going to die, but if I did – IF I DID – during the bit where my coffin is lowered into the ground while all manner of beautiful women in black howl to the heavens I’d like someone to put on Hercules by Aaron Neville. It tells the story of a man just trying to get through life and deal with the struggles. I know what you’re thinking – that’s me in a nutshell. Great song, and what a voice.
Ah man, the last spot was always going to be a nightmare. Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, even Lionel Richie had a shout. Then you’ve got Bill Withers and Gil Scott-Heron who I adore. Terry Callier’s amazing. Sam Cooke. White soul singers like Joe Cocker and Rod Stewart. James Brown who grunted a lot but could also sing amazingly well, Michael Jackson who took soul to the billions. Smokey Robinson, any of the Temptations, I even like R Kelly a little bit. But in the end I went with Willie Hutch who’s just plain wicked.
Stevie Wonder, I Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer
The astonishingly beautiful Monica Bellucci turns 41 today. 41. And what a 41 years. Only recently, we’ve declared her one of our favourite motion picture prostitutes, but she has also been voted our number one brunette, and one of the ten most glorious Cleopatra’s alive today. Hence we thought we’d get her a gift, so we stood on a roof, silhouetted by the moon, playing sax, discussing ideas, until it boiled down to a toss up between a mix tape, or a nice song by Stevie Wonder. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Bellucci!
Not including anything by this man…
It’s always completely brilliant to hear from an important member of the Interestment family, and today Emily – a lady with a sharp mind, and a witty way – turns her attention to the love songs that really float women’s yachts. She had this to say…
There I was, sighing heavily as I pondered love lost and Idris Elba in a pair of clingy knickers, and it struck me. Songs these days are all about sex, sex, sex. Even girl pop stars are telling us to forget about the joys of love, and stick to jiggling our bums into a boy’s face to start a meaningful relationship. In the old days, men wrote songs about worshipping and respecting ladies – there were no references to booty and wobbly bits . Their shanties were soft odes to wafting beauties they longed to cherish and adore. Sometimes I lie in my bed with a cuddly bear and entertain that these songs were written about me. So in no particular order, here are the songs that girls wish were penned with them in mind. As usual, some absolute classics just slipped through the net…
1. Mary Jane, Rick James
We all know this song isn’t about a pretty lady called Mary. It’s about the real sticky-icky-icky, the chronic, yes that’s right, cannabis. But a recent survey by More magazine, 85 per cent of all men admitted they prefer spending time hitting up a bong than talking to their girlfriends, so this is a true love song. Also the line “I’m in love with Mary Jane, I’m not the only one” suggests that more than one person is in love with the object of the song. This makes imagining it is about you even better.
2. Fresh, Kool and the Gang
“She’s fresh, fresh – exciting, she’s so inviting to me, yeah!” croons Robert Kool Bell. It was a close call between this and Too Hot, but Fresh edged it, as the former is a bit marriage-y, and the latter perfectly encapsulates the feeling we all want when we’re new in town – especially Renee Zellweger in her latest flick New In Town. Probably.
3. Let’s stay together, Al Green
On the fringe of a dumping, we’d all really like it if our soon-to-be-ex fella would swiftly metamorphasise into the young – and totally gorgeous – Al Green and sing: “Let’s, we oughta stay together, loving you whether, whether times are good or bad, happy or sad”. Sooo, yeah. But obviously that’s if we actually still like you. Which we probably don’t.
4. Golden Lady, Stevie Wonder
Ever since Sisqo‘s ditty about thong-th-th-thong-thong-thongs, women’s anatomy has been objectified and topped with lashings of sleaze. That makes the romance in Golden Lady so lovely. “Looking at your hands, hands can understand, waiting for the chance, just to hold your hand,” it goes. I know Mr Wonder isn’t technically looking at his Golden Lady, but he’s singing about her hands, her hands! Women want men to love their hands. Not just their lumps.
Super Slo-mo Surfer
May is an amazing month for birthdays, it really is. Missing out today are Harvey Keitel, Stephen Colbert, Dennis Rodman, Richie Valens and Samantha Morton. Why? Because it’s bloody Stevie Wonder’s birthday, and Stevie Wonder is basically God. He’s turning 59, and what a life that guy’s had. He’s felt people’s faces, he’s felt keyboards, he’s felt to check he’s wearing his denim trousers, not his silky jogging bottoms. He’s touched his food to check it’s exactly what he ordered. He’s felt women’s noses to deduce exactly what they look like. He’s made an appalling bust of Lionel Richie. His hands have been very busy. Hence, we knew straight away that we should get him a gift. We blindfolded ourselves and went for a long noisy drive, and along the way we talked presents, with one side of the car keen to buy him some of those oversized comedy sunglasses that people used to wear for kicks, while the other side insisted that he’d love the soothing sounds of a wave moving in extra extra slow mo. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Stevie!
Have a great day everyone, touch wood
For those brave enough to leave the house this morning, well done. Good for you. After all, it’s just another day – babies will be born, old people will die, somewhere in the woods a gang of street urchins will be strangling a farmer and stealing his cows. Business. As. Usual. Anyway, by means of celebration for such a fateful day, ace contributor Debs has turned her multi-coloured telescope on society, and had this to say about superstition…
Superstitions are quirky, pointless habits for people who are too tight to buy insurance or have a latent God-complex and think that by saying something they will make it happen. For centuries, people have relied on superstitions such as touching wood, avoiding ladders or kicking black cats out of their path in order to avoid a nasty misfortune. A lot of us adhere to more common “superstitions” such as buying and fitting locks, keeping a survival knife under the bed and not walking around ladders straight into a thundering juggernaut. In Poland, touching a man with a bald head and glasses is considered good luck. Whereas a UK building inspector demanding official papers is considered an unlucky omen. The questions remain however: “do traditional superstitious counter-measures actually work?” and “can you claim on your insurance if the coffee-table was only wood-look laminate?”
The answers are, “we’re not sure.”
Enjoy Stevie Wonder singing Superstition after the jump…
Stevie Wonder on the Talk Box
One of cinema’s greatest ever on-screen maniacs turns 66 today, so we thought we should probably get him something special. But what can you possibly buy the man who has it all? He’s already got an Oscar, an impenetrable haircut, the voice of a furious smurf. We discussed this one long into the night, staying awake by playing Judas Priest records and drinking tall skinny lattes, and it boiled down to some really lovely shoes, or a video clip of Stevie Wonder horsing around with a vocoder. In the end we got him both! Happy Birthday Pesci, you CLOWN!
Hey, check out the grown up!
In the early 70s, Stevie Wonder – the funny little blind kid who could play one heck of a harmonica – suddenly went all moody and started playing robotronic instruments like synthesizers and electronic mouth organs. How did the cutesy foot stomping prodigy do it? Was he really a robot? No he wasn’t, he did it by demanding that Mr Motown and his goons take him seriously as “an artiste”. Hence, this was his first album with total creative control – or second if you count Where I’m Coming From (which we don’t) – and he marked it with an album cover so dour, so straight faced, that young kids have been copycatting the look for their Facebook profiles ever since. The pensive seriousness of his face suggests that this is the work of an adult – an actual adult who’s just grown a beard. While the smiling pictures in his mirrored shades hint towards a cheerier side – they’re saying, “don’t fret, kids, it’s still me – Little Stevie!” Either way, it was the great man’s first brilliant record. The first of many.
Enjoy a cut from the album after the jump…
These boys and girls had it GOING ORN!
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
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.