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Winnie :-)

Can Instrumentals Be Soulful?

Just wondered what people thought about instrumentals? I know they've been part of the scene forever, but personally I find them pretty unsoulful. Why listen to the Instr of "Who are you trying to fool", when the vocal oozes class and soul. Or "Crying over you", as another example. Don't get me wrong, I will dance to instrumentals, but half the time I find myself singing the vocal, as I much prefer them.

Winnie:-)

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Depends on the instrumental, not a great lover of them generally but when its done right, the instruments ARE the vocal. Jnr Walker for example.

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Guest rachel

Always think instrumentals (when there is a vocal version) are a bit like northern karaoke - people always sing along! A few I think are ok, favourite is probably The Producers - Lady Lady Lady (inst of What Kind of Lady).

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Guest Rich

Just wondered what people thought about instrumentals? I know they've been part of the scene forever, but personally I find them pretty unsoulful. Why listen to the Instr of "Who are you trying to fool", when the vocal oozes class and soul. Or "Crying over you", as another example. Don't get me wrong, I will dance to instrumentals, but half the time I find myself singing the vocal, as I much prefer them.

Winnie:-)

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I don't care much for em these days - take Pete's attempt to turn Timi's classic into an instr - nowt wrong wi trying mate but without Ms Yuro's vocals it all seems shallow and pointless.

But on the soul side, listen to Cigarette Ashes, then turn it over for the heart-felt pleading of 'Second Hand Happiness'. Hey, there is only one winner. But bizarrely, when I listen to Richard Temple's vocal version of 'Ashes', the 'this is the sound of young america' drives me doo-lally. trite poo - thank f*** it has the awesome 'could it be' on the flip. now that does go ding dang doo :thumbsup:

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Guest Jamie

===========

Didn't realise it'd come up before. Have started to read through the thread  :yes:

Soz, disregard the post  :thumbsup:

Winnie:-)

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Didn't mean it to sound like that Winnie, I'm sure there'll be plenty of other people with opinions this time.

Stanley Mitchell - Get It Baby - Dynamo

Say no more.

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===========

Didn't realise it'd come up before. Have started to read through the thread  :D

Soz, disregard the post  :yes:

Winnie:-)

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Disregard...f*** that, lets have an arguement...sorry debate :yes::P

IMHO....no they aren't soulful, never will be. Agreed they are good "Northern" and often good dancers but soulful nope :( It's the lyrics and the interpretation of those lyrics by the singer(s) who put the soul in the record (IMO) :(:thumbsup:

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I'm not a great lover of instrumentals when there is already a well known vocal take. However, I do like good instrumentals and I think they can still be soulful. Things like "Tune Up" for example.

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Disregard...f*** that, lets have an arguement...sorry debate  :yes:   :(

IMHO....no they aren't soulful, never will be.  Agreed they are good "Northern" and often good dancers but soulful nope :P   It's the lyrics and the interpretation of those lyrics by the singer(s) who put the soul in the record (IMO)  :yes:   :thumbsup:

link

Right. So with the vocals taken off, none of the Funk Brothers recordings are soul.

Could have fooled me...

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But on the soul side, listen to Cigarette Ashes, then turn it over for the heart-felt pleading of 'Second Hand Happiness'. Hey, there is only one winner.

link

Yeah, Cigarette Ashes. :thumbsup:

It's even better than the vocal IMO.

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Right. So with the vocals taken off, none of the Funk Brothers recordings are soul. 

Could have fooled me...

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IMO :yes: Most of the funk brothers are Jazz musicians anyway. Also most of the motown output is middle of the road pop :thumbsup::yes:

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IMO :yes: Most of the funk brothers are Jazz musicians anyway.  Also most of the motown output is middle of the road pop  :yes:   :P

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Good argument , they're jazz musicians :thumbsup:

I'd have said maybe 10%, your Billy Eckstines, Barbara McNairs things but most of their output?

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Good argument , they're jazz musicians  :thumbsup:

I'd have said maybe 10%, your Billy Eckstines, Barbara McNairs things but most of their output?

link

Without going through the catalogue I'd say the figure is mucxh higher. Most of the records were aimed at the white pop buyers. Granted there are many exceptions which you would expect considering they are mostly black artists.

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Guest martyn

Good argument , they're jazz musicians  :yes:

I'd have said maybe 10%, your Billy Eckstines, Barbara McNairs things but most of their output?

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Pete,noticed on the other thread you mention Miroslav Viteos.Iv a copy I was going to put on E-Bay at some point.Would rather do a swap if you still want it ?

Sorry to disrupt the thread :yes: Carry on folks :thumbsup:

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Good argument , they're jazz musicians  :thumbsup:

I'd have said maybe 10%, your Billy Eckstines, Barbara McNairs things but most of their output?

link

============

Can an instrument implore you, plead with you? I don't think so. Some records (and I realise the lyrics have something to do with it) can move me to tears...the voices quivering with emotion. Is there one instrumental that can do that?

Sax, trumpet, guitar, IMO none of them can recreate the emotion that's within the human voice.

Winnie:-)

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Disregard...f*** that, lets have an arguement...sorry debate  :yes:   :D

IMHO....no they aren't soulful, never will be.  Agreed they are good "Northern" and often good dancers but soulful nope :P   It's the lyrics and the interpretation of those lyrics by the singer(s) who put the soul in the record (IMO)  :yes:   :thumbsup:

link

=========

Chalkster, only said disregard cos if it's been done to death before, well it can be/go a little stale quickly :(

Winnie:-)

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Didn't mean it to sound like that Winnie, I'm sure there'll be plenty of other people with opinions this time.

Stanley Mitchell - Get It Baby - Dynamo

Say no more.

link

=========

I know nothing was meant :thumbsup: And I did read through the previous thread. Don't think many people will have changed their views either way.

Winnie:-)

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=========

Chalkster, only said disregard cos if it's been done to death before, well it can be/go a little stale quickly :P

Winnie:-)

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Well we'll just ahve a little arguement then :thumbsup::yes:

I owe you a glass of water for agreeing with me :D:yes: As it's christmas might even stretch to some of the black currant stuff you put in it :(

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Guest

Is this a serious discussion? I wonder - al this chatter about the Funk Brothers, and jazz.

My suspicion was already raised when I read how much "punters" appreciate "Dust my broom" by Ike & Tina turner. Anyone who seriously puts this on any listing can be looked upon as unqualified for appreciation of anything but Top of the Pops drivel.

But perhaps I missed some irony.

I'll get my coat again. No, I'll dust my broom.

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Well we'll just ahve a little arguement then  :thumbsup:   :yes:

I owe you a glass of water for agreeing with me  :(   :yes:   As it's christmas might even stretch to some of the black currant stuff you put in it  :P

link

===========

Can't see how anybody can truly disagree with you mate. Without vocals they're basically just tunes. Granted some of them are nice, but soulful? Just can't agree with that.

Winnie:-)

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Just wondered what people thought about instrumentals? I know they've been part of the scene forever, but personally I find them pretty unsoulful. Why listen to the Instr of "Who are you trying to fool", when the vocal oozes class and soul. Or "Crying over you", as another example. Don't get me wrong, I will dance to instrumentals, but half the time I find myself singing the vocal, as I much prefer them.

Winnie:-)

link

Having read all the post regarding instrumentals, I would venture to say that without instrumentals the scene would be poorer.

Great instrumentals = great atmosphere

Good programming = experienced deejaying.

Not many about now, not reeeeeeeeeel deejays.

Over to you .

JV

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Guest martyn

To turn the discussion around the other way,would you listen to (for example) Duke Browner without the backing ? Now that would be weird!!

Personally I think some records are more 'Soulful' without the vocals & just the imagination in your own mind,but must admit I would normally prefer the vocal.

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To turn the discussion around the other way,would you listen to (for example) Duke Browner without the backing ? Now that would be weird!!

Personally I think some records are more 'Soulful' without the vocals & just the imagination in your own mind,but must admit I would normally prefer the vocal.

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I THINK YOU HAVE JUST CONTRADICTED YOURSELF!

STRINGS AND SAX ADD A LOAD OF SOUL, INSTRUMENTS OF SOUL! :thumbsup:

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Guest martyn

I THINK YOU HAVE JUST CONTRADICTED YOURSELF!

STRINGS AND SAX ADD A LOAD OF SOUL, INSTRUMENTS OF SOUL! :thumbsup:

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Never confused me,Never ! :yes:

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I THINK YOU HAVE JUST CONTRADICTED YOURSELF!

STRINGS AND SAX ADD A LOAD OF SOUL, INSTRUMENTS OF SOUL! :thumbsup:

link

===============

Surely the voice is the instrument of the soul?

Winnie:-)

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Just wondered what people thought about instrumentals? I know they've been part of the scene forever, but personally I find them pretty unsoulful. Why listen to the Instr of "Who are you trying to fool", when the vocal oozes class and soul. Or "Crying over you", as another example. Don't get me wrong, I will dance to instrumentals, but half the time I find myself singing the vocal, as I much prefer them.

Winnie:-)

link

SURE THE VOICE IS THE SOUL BUT IT TALES SOUL TO PLAY A VIOLIN AND A SAX AND MAKE IT SOUND GOOD :thumbsup:

SURELY NOBODY CAN DENY THAT SOME INSTRUMENTALS MAKE THE HAIR STAND UP ON THE BACK OF YOUR NECK

EXUS TREK

THAT KIND OF LADY

SOUL SYMPHONY

THUMB A RIDE

PSYCHADELIC SOUL PART TWO

JOB OPENING PART TWO

ALL THE MIRWOOD STUFF,

THERES TONS OF CLASS SOULFUL INSTRUMENTALS.... :yes:

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I think that a lot of the comments above prove that a lot of you guys/girls are emotionally retarded. Do you need a voice inside you're head to let you know what emotion you are feeling? I believe that a lot of people involved in this scene have no real understanding of musical arrangement or understand its emotional power. There was a thread regarding intro's recently. So many people wrote both energetically and passionately about their favourite 30 seconds of a given record- most of which featured no vocals at all!

If anyone has a copy of "DeeDee" McArthurs - Girl we're in love (Universal Sound) - listen to that track and tell me its got no Soul - I think this record is dripping in the stuff. When you've got a good writer/arranger and talented musicians (who have the ability to speak through their instruments) there isn't always a need for vocalist.

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Guest rachel

I think that a lot of the comments above prove that a lot of you guys/girls are emotionally retarded.  Do you need a voice inside you're head to let you know what emotion you are feeling? I believe that  a lot of people involved in this scene have no real understanding of musical arrangement or understand its emotional power.

link

IMO it's not about understanding, it's about personal taste (isn't everything?)... just as some people respond more to films than books, some (I would argue most) people don't get as much out of instrumental music as vocals. Yes you can portray emotion with instruments, but I don't find it as immediate or intense as the effect of the human voice, combined with lyrics...

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I think that a lot of the comments above prove that a lot of you guys/girls are emotionally retarded.  Do you need a voice inside you're head to let you know what emotion you are feeling? I believe that  a lot of people involved in this scene have no real understanding of musical arrangement or understand its emotional power. There was a thread regarding intro's recently. So many people wrote both energetically and passionately about their favourite  30 seconds of a given record- most of  which featured  no vocals at all! 

If anyone has a copy of "DeeDee" McArthurs - Girl we're in love (Universal Sound)  -  listen to that track and tell me its got no Soul - I think this record is dripping in the stuff. When you've got a good writer/arranger and talented musicians (who have the ability to speak through their instruments) there isn't always a need for vocalist.

link

Yes like I said, VAN McCoy classic example :thumbsup:

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This is true Rachel, but I find that good instrumentals can give you a soundtrack to you're own emotions. A good example would be The Wooden Glasses take on "The Rain", Billy Wottens vibe playing is unsurpassable - I feel the dejection and loneliness in his playing surpasses anything another man or woman could have sung about. I've not got their voice and their interpretation of emotion floating around in my head. All I've got is the emotion, the way he placed each hammer on each note, the notes he doesn't play - its talking without speaking.......... This is somebody conversing through an instrument yet I hear every word and feel every thought.

I think you are giving the original artists a bigger dis-service than somebody bootlegging them (at least that shows there is an appreciation for their work), if you don't understand the soul in the instrumentation they played.

Edited by simonb

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I think that a lot of the comments above prove that a lot of you guys/girls are emotionally retarded.  Do you need a voice inside you're head to let you know what emotion you are feeling? I believe that  a lot of people involved in this scene have no real understanding of musical arrangement or understand its emotional power. There was a thread regarding intro's recently. So many people wrote both energetically and passionately about their favourite  30 seconds of a given record- most of  which featured  no vocals at all! 

If anyone has a copy of "DeeDee" McArthurs - Girl we're in love (Universal Sound)  -  listen to that track and tell me its got no Soul - I think this record is dripping in the stuff. When you've got a good writer/arranger and talented musicians (who have the ability to speak through their instruments) there isn't always a need for vocalist.

link

Just why is someone emotionally retarded for holding an opinion? :(

No one is denying that the musicians are good but it doesn't make it soulful just cause they can hit a note or too. I dare bet that many of the musicians are just session musicians, good at playing their instruments and not from a soulful background, as is the case of most of the funk brothers. Jack Ashford wrote in his book that most of the funks were from a Jazz background and had never played R&B, they were good enough to turn their hand to any type of music :shhh:shhh.gif

The intros topic was totally unrelated, at least there are some vocals to follow the intro....vocals that add the soul to what is basically some guys playing a few instruments :(

Someone send me the Dee Dee McArtur track, have heard it but just want to refresh my memory before I say it ain't soulful (IMO) :(

Edited by chalky

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I think you are giving  the original artists a bigger dis-service than somebody bootlegging them (at least that shows there is an appreciation for their work), if you don't understand the soul in the instrumentation they played.

link

:(

I would sooner appreciation those who really deserve the credit, the singers, them that add the soul to instrumental (IMHO) :(

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Chalky wrote :- " I dare bet that many of the musicians are just session musicians, good at playing their instruments and not from a soulful background" - What makes the singer so soulful? Because a guy was jazz trained, does not mean he doesn't/did not have Soul. I would have thought ¾ of the black musicians raised in the USA between 58 and now have all been Jazz trained. What would you call a soul background? Hardship/relationships/poverty? And why can a singer come from this background but not a musician? If you think soul comes exclusively from a voice, then I'm hearing records differently to you. Soul is the emotion put into a record and that comes from the passion and feeling within, be it vocal or instrumental. The vocal part is just the obvious part - because its the way we converse amongst ourselves most frequently. My partner tells me she loves me frequently - but her body language tells me even more frequently.

I've always found it strange that the Northern Soul scene was/is made up mostly from White English Males. A group of people not normally associated with an aptitude for emotional expression to the opposite sex. Yet most of the records championed on the scene relate to this very subject matter!!!!

Perhaps it's the classification of the word "SOUL" that we cannot agree on. I believe that a lot of records that are classified as northern soul are fairly soulless (I know many thousands are). Lots of them are great dance records, but emotionally I believe them to be soulless.

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If you think soul comes exclusively from a voice, then I'm hearing records differently to you. Soul is the emotion put into a record and that comes from the passion and feeling within, be it vocal or instrumental.
Think we'll have to agree to differ on this Simon, whatever anyone says, it won't make any difference as far as I'm concerned, IMO no soul in an instrumental :(

Perhaps it's the classification of the word "SOUL" that we cannot agree on. I believe that a lot of records that are classified as northern soul are fairly soulless (I know many thousands are). Lots of them are great dance records, but emotionally I believe them to be soulless.

I do agree with you there. Many records on the scene that aren't soul, many records are pure pop, some Jazz orietated, some have a country flavour, some even rock and roll. Most of these aren't my personal listening preference as I tend to look for the more soulful stuff.

Edited by chalky

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Can anyone tell me how I can post a soundfile up please

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Can anyone tell me how I can post a soundfile up please

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Hit reply, scroll down, click browse, search for your attachment, add it and then hit add reply.

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Its not northern - but to me this is super soulful

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Its not northern - but to me this is super soulful

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SORRY NOT SURE WHAT I'VE DONE THERE

Simon

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Guest rachel

Its not northern - but to me this is super soulful

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Afraid it doesn't do much for me.. it's nice enough but a bit laid back... each to their own though, and thanks for posting up an example of what you were talking about :thumbsup:

Rach

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Afraid it doesn't do much for me.. it's nice enough but a bit laid back... each to their own though, and thanks for posting up an example of what you were talking about  :)

Rach

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I like music for all my moods. This is laid back / DIY production on a small indi. All those releases were done with soul weren't they?It reminds me of the emotions I went through when I split with my partner (all be it only for a month or so) 16 years ago. The flute playing speaks to me, proper. Thats what I call Soul music - like I said its a million miles from northern. But I think its dripping with Soul.

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California Montage 

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There's not a lot of soul in many NS records instrumental or vocal but  instrumentals such as Hole In The Wall ,Spooners Crowd mid 60's Stax type stuff plus many lesser known releases contained a lot of soul.

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Posted (edited)

I can remember frank Ellison devoting two pages to this exact point, that's half and hour of my life I'll never get back.  If you think the following Lacks soul you're not on the same planet as me.

 

Edited by Geeselad
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Totally agree - and I remember reading the same article . 

And Soul emanates from the horn of J. W.  

 

 

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Don't know about instrumentals being soulful but the very first time I heard afternoon of the rhino at Wigan it did something to my soul 

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Strings and things, and the killer sax more than make up for the lack of a vocal. Maybe my all time favourite inst.. Beautiful! 

 

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This thread is intriguing.

For me "soul"  is all about the voice and the emotions that a singer  conveys  to the listener.

But maybe a couple of instrumentals that might be considered soulful  ,  King Curtis: Soul Serenade, 

Jimmy McGriff :Turn blue,

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers : Moanin'. 

Even though I really like  all the above, I still keep drifting back to Ernestine Andersons rendition of "Moanin".  

I love this music!

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My take ?? Isn't Soul about emotion ?? You most definitely can evoke emotion by the playing of an instrument or group of instruments to Soulful compositions..

 That said - the Classical musicians that play the works of the Bach's and Beethoven's of this world (other Composer's are available.. lol) can certainly ALSO evoke emotion through the playing of their instruments.. But it AIN'T Soul !! 

In Summary..

Everyone is right - No-one is wrong !! 🤓

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