Top 25 Soul and R & B ClassicsIntroduction
You will notice the incredible amount of difficulty I had in making this list because Iexcluded Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Prince, Aaliyah and Ray Charles among others.Some of these artists may yet crack the Top 25 once I have more time to look at their songsand amend the list. (I may come back and turn this into a top 50, then top 75, then top 100.There is just waaayyyyy too much good Soul Music out there. I wish Jazz-Rap fusion, myfavorite genre, had this many talented musicians working on it over the years.)
Anita Baker sings in a real deep Alto. She is the counterpart to some of the other femalesingers on this list, like Whitney Houston and Minnie Riperton, who really hit the top of the female voice. At times, she does sneak into the low part of the soprano range, but allher singing is grounded in her alto.Baker really caresses and makes love to the mic in the above link's performance. She paysattention not only to her voice, but how her performance affects the quality of the song. Her performance comes alive especially at the last half minute of the song, and she blows thecrowd away with her dancing and movement.The musical accompaniment also blows you away with its overpowering quality, andknocks you out with Anita's voice.Though the lyrics are simple, and repeated over the course of the song, they are never sangin the same way twice.
"The Midnight Train to Georgia" contains a lot of call and response. The response acts like
the conscious thoughts of the narrator as she makes her decision to follow her loved one.The narration, though simple in terms of plot, moves along nicely with the usual climaxand resolution. Especially for a song of average length, it has a great progression andcompleteness.Knight's narrative voice resonates with the response throughout the whole song. She punctuates each song with her emotion. Part of her ability to hit emotions comes from her control over her chest cavity to her diaphragm. Her singing creates a completeness similar to that found in the narrative.