Various Artists

Taste of Soul, Vol. 1

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Founded in Gary, Indiana in 1953 by James C. Bracken and wife Vivian Carter, Vee-Jay quickly emerged as the most successful black-owned label in the U.S. -- home to classic singles including the Spaniels' "Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite," Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl" and Dee Clark's "Raindrops" -- by the following decade the company rivaled any major label for creative consistency and commercial success, culminating in 1964 with a licensing deal that yielded the sale of 2.6 million Beatles records. By 1966, however, Vee-Jay was bankrupt, due largely to an ill-conceived contract with superstars the Four Seasons and subsequent legal snafus. While most Vee-Jay retrospectives (most notably 1993's definitive 75-track overview The Vee-Jay Story: Celebrating 40 Years of Classic Hits) have focused exclusively on the label's myriad chart hits, its commercial misfires and forgotten B-sides have consistently eluded exhumation; the first volume in the Taste of Soul series corrects this oversight, going far beyond the familiar classics to delve into the dustiest corners of the Vee-Jay vaults. It's a pleasure to discover such elegant, regal music from the golden era of R&B -- highlights include the "5" Royales' "They Don't Know," Joe Simon's "My Adorable One," Jerry Butler's "Good Times" and Ivory Joe Hunter's "Someone Is Stealing My Love."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
2:09 Spotify
2 2:19 Spotify
3 2:42 Spotify
4 2:27 Spotify
5 2:24 Spotify
6 2:45 Spotify
7 2:20 Spotify
8 2:24 Spotify
9 2:57 Spotify
10 2:18 Spotify
11 2:51 Spotify
12 2:25 Spotify
13 2:22 Spotify
14
3:06 Spotify
15 2:04 Spotify
16 2:39 Spotify
17 2:40 Spotify
18 2:12 Spotify
19 2:59 Spotify
20 2:44
21
2:40 Spotify
22 2:54 Spotify
23 2:25 Spotify
24 4:46
25
2:20 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick