This three-disc collection from Goldenlane -- a retro/re-issue imprint of the Cleopatra label -- uses the novel idea of including vintage advertisements, relevant movie dialogue, and sound clips to further illustrate its chosen time period, which, in the case of Gold Funk and Soul, is roughly between 1969 and 1978. Between hits of the day, like Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" and "Love Machine" from the Miracles, lie clips from films like TNT Jackson. A live version of James Brown's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine)" is followed by an advertisement for Mystery of Black hair products that features an endorsement by Brown.
While the first disc of this collection, "Funk Soul USA," is an upbeat affair, Disc Two's "Essential Soul Masters and Ballads" suffers a bit from song selection, perhaps because of steep licensing fees. While Percy Sledge's definitive version of "When a Man Loves a Woman" kicks things off, a latter-day Ben E. King performance of "Stand By Me" isn't as effective as his original, and the Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald tracks sound a bit out of place next to the steamy Ike & Tina Turner song "It Sho Ain't Me." Gold Funk and Soul's third disc features modern-day remixes of vintage funk and soul classics like Rose Royce's "Car Wash" and James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." While the "R&B Millennium Hits" disc is subtitled "Special Mixes for DJs," some of the results are less than funky, and decidedly un-soulful. Nevertheless, this collection is budget-priced, and might be worth purchasing simply for the stellar first disc and its vintage sound bites.