The Dells
The Very Best of the Impressions [Rhino]
The Best of the Vee-Jay Years
The Chi-Lites

R&B » Soul » Chicago Soul

Of the three major hotbeds for soul music during the 1960s, Motown had the hits and Memphis had the grit. Unfortunately, Chicago's fertile soul community is often left off the map -- and if it's recognized at all, it's mostly for the accomplishments of Curtis Mayfield, both as a member of the Impressions and later as a solo act. The Chicago Soul scene obviously fostered a variety of production styles, but its best-known hits -- including "The Monkey Time" by Major Lance, "Get on Up" by the Esquires, "People Get Ready" by the Impressions, and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson -- featured a sound based on laid-back yet effervescent soul, with sweet vocals and a stinging horn section. Though Mayfield is rightly the central figure in the rise of Chicago soul, considering his work as a songwriter and producer as well as bandleader and vocalist, arranger/producer Johnny Pate and producer/A&R man Carl Davis deserve much credit for development of the sound. Often in tandem with Mayfield, Pate's productions for ABC-Paramount and Davis' productions (first for OKeh and later for Brunswick and his own label, Dakar) created a parade of definitive hits for Chicago's best soul singers: the Impressions, Major Lance, Jackie Wilson, Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, Barbara Acklin, and Tyrone Davis, among others. Though the Chicago sound continued on into the '70s, the collapse of many independent labels proved a tragic blow to the fortunes of many fine soul singers.

Chicago Soul Artists Highlights

The Dells
The Dells
The Chi-Lites
The Chi-Lites
Donny Hathaway
Donny Hathaway
Curtis Mayfield
Curtis Mayfield
Jackie Wilson
Jackie Wilson
The Impressions
The Impressions

More Chicago Soul Artists

Chicago Soul Album Highlights

The Very Best of the Impressions [Rhino]
The Impressions
The Very Best of the ...
The Best of the Vee-Jay Years
Jerry Butler
The Best of the Vee-Jay ...
The Very Best of Jackie Wilson [Rhino]
Jackie Wilson
The Very Best of Jackie ...
The Anthology 1961-1977
Curtis Mayfield / Curtis ...
The Anthology 1961-1977
Anthology
The Dells
Anthology
Curtis
Curtis Mayfield
Curtis

More Chicago Soul Albums

Chicago Soul Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
People Get Ready The Impressions
For Your Precious Love Jerry Butler / The Impressions
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher Jackie Wilson
(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go Curtis Mayfield
Stay in My Corner The Dells
(Don't Worry) If There Is a Hell Below We're All Gonna Go Curtis Mayfield
You'll Want Me Back Major Lance
Only the Strong Survive Jerry Butler
Freddie's Dead Curtis Mayfield
Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want to Meet) Jackie Wilson

More Chicago Soul Songs

Other Styles in Soul