The DJ Stylus SoulBounce 50

SoulBounce Top 100 Soul/R&B Songs

SoulBounce Top 100 Soul/R&B Songs

Last year I was given the task and the honor of contributing to’s Top 100 Soul/R&B Countdown.

It was a pretty fun exercise, because rather than try to be some definitive encyclopedic assessment of the history of soul music, it’s only a few peoples’ favorite songs, ranked in order of commonality between the lists. A few people with really good taste and a personal investment in the music, of course.

We were instructed to not take into account historical impact, popularity or sales and just submit our favorite joints. The way the final list played out was pretty intriguing, which was the whole point. There were surprises and even better, a bunch of “I can’t believe I forgot about that” moments.

Now that the ride has come to an end, I figured I’d share my submission, if only to coax everyone else into sharing theirs. I definitely had a structure to my approach. My first rule was only one pick per artist, otherwise my whole list would have been Stevie, Donny and EW&F. And that would have crowded out so many phenomenal tunes that aren’t well-known enough to be in the pantheon of the greatness.

The other point of my list was that well, they should be. Despite the failings of the industry and the coonery that dominates the mainstream, black music is doing quite well. Timeless material is still being created and new styles and concepts are being pushed while building upon the traditions of the past. Ultimately I was pleased with the balance between decades, and the fact that my oldest and newest picks reflect the best elements of what I love about black music.

My definition of “soul” also encompassed some extended family tree members like electronica/dance music, afrobeat and go-go. But that just shows how vibrant the family is. There are even white folks in it. *LOL*

So if the mixes aren’t enough, here’s some more insight into what makes me tick musically. These songs will always inspire me, make me go off on the dancefloor, factor heavily into how I rock a set or simply hold some sort of personal significance.

(links to SB provided where applicable and other treats per my whim)

Hold It Down – 4Hero
Tired Little One – Bah Samba
Playing Your Game, Baby – Barry White
Pillory-like – Beady Belle
What You Won’t Do For Love – Bobby Caldwell (#35)
I Know You, I Live You – Chaka Khan
It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) – Chuck Brown
We’re A Winner (from “Curtis/Live!” album) – Curtis Mayfield
Spanish Joint – D’Angelo
See You In My Dreams – Deborah Bond
Masterplan – Donnie
The Ghetto (from “Live” album) – Donny Hathaway
Hard Times – Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band
Can’t Hide Love – Earth, Wind & Fire
Change For Me – Eric Roberson
Wonderful – Erik Rico
Water No Get Enemy – Fela Kuti
Lo Mein – Georgia Anne Muldrow
Groove Me – Guy (#25)
The Star of the Story – Heatwave
Guess Who’s Back In Town – Heaven & Earth
Give It Up or Turnit A Loose – James Brown
Where Do We Go From Here – Jamiroquai
Slowly Surely – Jill Scott
Dealt A Bad Hand – Kaidi Tatham & Dego
Cerca de Mi – Louie Vega & Elements of Life
Superstar – Luther Vandross (#53)
After The Dance – Marvin Gaye
Beautiful Ones – Mary J. Blige
I Can’t Help It – Michael Jackson (#67)
Inside My Love – Minnie Riperton (#14)
Umi Says – Mos Def
I Am The Black Gold of the Sun – Nuyorican Soul
Fallin’ – Omar
Fever – Platinum Pied Pipers
How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore – Prince
Body Moves – Rare Essence
Running Away – Roy Ayers
Love Is Stronger Than Pride – Sade (#70)
Days Like This (Spinna & Ticklah Club Mix) – Shaun Escoffery
Back To Life – Soul II Soul (#16)
Optimistic – Sounds of Blackness
Falling into (Swell Session’s Boy Wonder mix) – Stateless
Do I Do – Stevie Wonder
Show You The Way to Go – The Jacksons
This Journey In – The Rebirth
Don’t Disturb This Groove – The System
I Might Do Something Wrong – Tortured Soul
Spread My Wings – Troop (#43)
Let’s Get Small – Trouble Funk

and as a bonus, here are the next 10 that battled valiantly for a spot in my top 50 but couldn’t break through: (I ALMOST have some regrets on a couple of these not making it)

Journey To The Light – Brainstorm
Alright – Janet Jackson
Sweet Love – Anita Baker (#91)
Never Stop – Brand New Heavies
One Nation Under A Groove – Funkadelic
A Million Babies – Owusu & Hannibal
Can You Stand The Rain – New Edition (#28)
All That I Am – Bilal
Loving You, Holding You – Don Blackman
Penitentiary Philosophy – Erykah Badu

3 Replies to “The DJ Stylus SoulBounce 50”

  1. So you were the one that had no mainstream songs on the list. Surprise surprise 😉

    Glad you shared your list and it would be great if others did too. I’m curious. That thing was a labor of love and I still wasn’t quite satisfied with how it turned out. I forgot Michael Jackson (!) and Rock With You is definitely one of my all time faves. But at least it made the list.

    I think I should have stuck with one per artist and I would have gotten more on there like “Just Me and You,” by the Tonys or “Don’t Disturb This Groove” for example (you and I together might have gotten it on the list! LOL!) – and others on my neverending Top Songs list.

    Ahhh…Superstar. That’s rarely on people’s list of fave Luther songs. You alright with me Styleezie!

    Anyhow, you really have some great songs on here – and some that I’ve never heard of. I’m starting a petition for a mix of these songs.

  2. I had SOME well known joints!

    As the countdown progressed, I was feeling like the oddball with all the strange picks. Some of them broke through. I can’t believe nOva was hating on Sade!

  3. The Ghetto by Hathaway gets me everytime.

    I dunno if I could pick a top 100 but if I had too….hmm…I’ll think about it and post something up. Then you all can make fun of it 🙂

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