Occasionally you’ll hear the fab-blind discuss how soulful various songs and albums were.
Usually we just laugh to ourselves when we hear the word beatle and the word soulful in the same sentence, unless the sentence is, ‘The beatle were soulful of crap it was coming out of their mouths!’ We decided to find out exactly what sounds people are mistaking for soul. We came up empty handed.
Our first stop was Fab4Fan’s infamous Rankopedia to see what the consensus is for the most soulful beatles songs. Incredibly, there is no such category. The closest we found was ‘which beatle fan has the brownest nose and emptiest wallet.’ So a few weeks ago we created our own poll, Most Soulful Beatle Songs. Ten thousand opinionated members, and we only got two votes, not a good sign. Searches elsewhere turned up little more than slanted reviews with the word soulful getting battered like a piece of tempura. We’re left to our own devices to get to the bottom of this one.
The problem now becomes, how do you judge soul? Just to clarify, we’re talking about soulful music as opposed to soul music. There doesn’t seem to be any working soul-o-meters these days, they all disappeared with STAX. Lets define it first, and work from there. We can all agree that a fair definition of soulful music is music that is passionately sung and performed, full of both feeling and expression.
Now we need to identify a fair starting point, a point of reference to level the playing field. You can’t just listen to an FF song and decide, ‘yup – thats pretty soulful, way more than Yellow Submarine.’ The only way to do this fairly is to compare two performances of the same song, then we can begin to gauge who’s got the soul going on.
Lets get to it.