Various Artists

Chess Soul: A Decade of Chicago's Finest

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

While Chess made numerous legendary contributions to the fields of blues and rock & roll, its reputation as a major mover and shaker in the soul field from 1961 to 1971 is unassailed. This 2-CD, 45-track compilation is another excellent entry in the Chess 50th Anniversary Series and shows why the label had the Windy City almost sewn up when it came to brand-name artists and material. Whether the tracks were master purchases from a smaller Chicago or Southern label (Jan Bradley's "Mama Didn't Lie," Cookie and the Cupcakes' "I've Been So Lonely," the Kolettes' "Who's That Girl?," Big Maybelle's "Don't Pass Me By" or Denise LaSalle's "A Love Reputation") or in-house productions from Billy Davis and Leonard Caston, next to Stax or Atlantic, no one stood for soul music in the 1960s like Chess Records. Featuring the label's strong hitmakers and soul shouters Etta James (the devastating "Only Time Will Tell"), Billy Stewart (the scat classic "Summertime"), Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me"), Gene Chandler ("I Fooled You This Time"), Mitty Collier ("I'm Satisfied") and Sugar Pie DeSanto ("Soulful Dress") alongside isolated moments of Chi-Town brilliance (the Radiants' "Voice Your Choice," the Knight Brothers' "Temptation 'Bout to Get Me" and Tony Clarke's "The Entertainer") with early Muscle Shoals productions thrown in to give the big picture (Laura Lee's "Dirty Man," Maurice and Mac's "You Left the Water Running"), this is one very potent two-disc anthology and an essential addition to anyone's soul collection.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:04 Spotify
2 2:10
3 2:16 Spotify
4 2:52 Spotify
5
2:16 Spotify
6 2:54 Spotify
7 3:15 Spotify
8 3:43 Spotify
9 2:59 Spotify
10 3:02 Spotify
11 2:35 Spotify
12 3:20 Spotify
13 2:35 Spotify
14 3:01 Spotify
15 3:30 Spotify
16 3:34 Spotify
17 3:27 Spotify
18 3:02
19 2:34 Spotify
20 2:48
21 2:03 Spotify
22 2:32 Spotify
23 3:24

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:56
2 2:55 Spotify
3 2:59 Spotify
4
2:32 Spotify
5 3:29 Spotify
6 2:53 Spotify
7 3:11 Spotify
8 3:06 Spotify
9 2:57 Spotify
10 2:27 Spotify
11 3:00 Spotify
12 3:06 Spotify
13 2:47 Spotify
14 2:55 Spotify
15 2:44 Spotify
16 2:58 Spotify
17 2:36
18 2:44 Spotify
19 2:49
20 2:49 Spotify
21 3:01
22 4:34
blue highlight denotes track pick