Various Artists

Definitive Sound of Atlantic Soul [Warner]

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When all was said and done, Atlantic Records probably did more to encourage and preserve secular soul than any other label in the 1960s, and this wonderful two-disc, 53-track set more than makes the case. Without a single slack track, this compilation features classic after classic, including Booker T. & the MG's' "Green Onions," the Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk" and "Sweets for My Sweet," Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" and "Spanish Harlem" (Aretha Franklin's version is also here), King Curtis' "Memphis Soul Stew," and Sam & Dave's "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," among many others. It all adds up to great music, great songs, and a great set.

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