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Superb, refined soul music for all you connoisseurs, mostly written in the Brill Building (with a bunch of Bacharach and Davids), originally issued by Big Top in New York.

Terrific southern soul from the guy who wrote a string of killers as staff at Goldwax, and for Candi Staton and Clarence Carter, at Fame. The Only Way Is Up is his song; and The Osmonds’ One Bad Apple.

His last two albums for Ko Ko, from 1976 and ‘77, a kind of curtains for vintage Muscle Shoals soul.

Fab, zinging Aretha, pre-Atlantic, with the dodgy jazz and showtunes sifted out, and two recordings previously unreleased — the self-penned I Still Can’t Forget, and When They Ask, recorded when she was just 19.

Basically covering 1962-65 — the Steal Away album, some sevens, and some ace unissued stuff, not least the Dan Penn composition Have You Done Got Over Me.

A fabulous, landmark compilation of deep, southern and bluesy ballads — originally released in 1983 — back again at last, with improved sound and numerous additions.

All their fab late 60s recordings for Bert Berns and his Bang and Shout labels, and then RCA — classic girl group and soul both, with some dancers and northern anthems, lit upfront by the great belter Brenda Reid.

One of the great soul singers, with classy recordings made between better-known stints for Colpix and Shout, making the very most of sometimes poppy material.

If you like Etta James, you need some Sugar Pie on your plate, too. Sexed-up, stomping, funky, raw soul music. Umpeylia Marsema Balinton, what a voice. And Ace sends previous compilations packing.

Subsuming previous coverage by Ace, with numerous rarities and unissued gems, this is the essential Maxine Brown, and classic soul music from heaven.

As if Sam Cooke came back as a vocal group, this is wonderful hit soul music from early-seventies Memphis, the outfit’s second coming.

A last testament, previously unreleased, authoritatively covering the bases during a break from the life sentence which saw him die in jail of pneumonia, two years later. James Brown’s favourite singer.

A fistful of Northern stompers, but also some gorgeous ballads, with several unissued. Producers like Curtis and Pate in Chicago, Gamble and Huff in Philly; writers like Bert Berns, Eugene Record, Barrett Strong.

It is, too.
The great Chicagoan soul singer in full effect over two decades.

Some belting funky soul, with top-notch singing, including a demo of If Loving You Is Wrong and a solo version of My Baby Specializes — and of course the dancefloor perennial Short Stopping.

All fifteen A-sides, along with nine B-sides, by one of the 1960s very greatest soul singers.