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My Top 100 Funk/Jazz/Soul/R&B Songs

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                    Alright I realize that the very idea of this article is the very type of cliche that you might think I’d avoid-considering the often topical nature of my subject matter. But a friend of mine named Thomas from Portland,Oregon: once an employee of Tower Records and someone highly knowledgeable about music on both the creative and industrial fronts,loosely inspired me to view these types of lists (which he creates with some regularity on his own website) as a means by which to reflect on music that to him has a broader meaning that something with only mere product. And I felt that in this day and age when musical popularity is measured almost solely by fashion and outrageous behavior over genuine creative talent,I would present to you my Top 100 songs in the musical spectrum that tends to consume my thoughts and enthrall my imagination.

1.Window Of Love-Jan Hammer Group
2.Let Your Love Shine-George Duke
3.Something’s Got A Hold On Me-Etta James
4.Lovely Day-Bill Withers
5.Arrow Through Me-Paul McCartney & Wings
6.Evolution Orange-Earth Wind & Fire
7.I Can’t Help It-Michael Jackson
8.Move Me No Mountain-Chaka Khan
9.Steam-Peter Gabriel
10.Find It In Your Heart-Heatwave
11.Micro Kid-Level 42
12.All We Need-Patrice Rushen
13.Power Flower-Stevie Wonder
14.Mountains-Prince & The Revolution
15.You Gotta Be-Des’ree
16.Hang On To Your Love-Sade
17.New Day For You-Basia
18.Harvest For The World-The Isley Brothers
19.Tis Your Kind Of Music-Graham Central Station
20.Adventures In Paradise-Minnie Ripperton
21.Valley’s Of Valhalla-Gino Vannelli
22. Above And Beyond-Edgar Winter
23.Glamour Profession-Steely Dan
24.Just Be Good To Me-SOS Band
25.I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)-Hall & Oates
26.Blinded By The Boogie-Rufus
27.Open Spaces-Flora Purim & Airto Moreria
28.Keep Up The Dance-Fatback
29.Rainbow In Your Eyes-Leon & Mary Russell
30.I Believe In You-Donna Summer
31.Trouble-Jamalaadeen Tacuma
32.Island Life-Michael Franks
33.Wanted-Style Council
34.Out There-Evelyn Champagne King
35.Questionaire-Chas Jankel
36.Ballad Of Captain Hymbad-Mutiny
37.Lazy Nina-Greg Phillinganes
38.Stop The Love-Luther Vandross
39.This Had To Be-Brothers Johnson
40.Live Your Life Away-Ronnie Laws
41.New Moon-Passport
42.Oh,Maker-Janelle Monae
43.P.D.A (We Just Don’t Care)-John Legend
44.After The Dance-Marvin Gaye
45.Spice Of Life-Manhattan Transfer
46.Steppin’ Out-Joe Jackson
47.Boogie Down-Al Jarreau
48.Life Is What It Is-Chicago
49.Dancing In The Street-Martha & The Vandella’s
50.Meiple’-Robin Thicke
51.Behind The Groove-Teena Marie
52.Off Broadway-George Benson
53.River People-Weather Report
54.Modern Man-Stanley Clarke
55.Summertime In England-Van Morrison
56.Mitsubishi Boy-Ben Sidran
57.Play-Jennifer Lopez
58.Ancestral Ceremony-Kool & The Gang
59.It’s Got To Be Love-Lakeside
60.Joy and Pain-Maze
61.It’s Only Me-Bob James
62.Racetrack In France-Gil Scott Heron
63.Dream Street-Janet Jackson
64.Reach Your Peak-Sister Sledge
65.One On One Situation-Peaces And Herb
66.Chip Off The Old Block-Chic
67.We Didn’t Know-Whitney Houston
68.Stillness In Time-Jamiroquai
69.Botha Botha (Apartheid Song)-Kashif
70.Club Tropicana-Wham!
71.I’m In Love With You-DeBarge
72.Stay (Beside Me)-Santana
73.Behind The Lines-Phil Collins
74.Mystery Boy-Culture Club
76.Sign Your Name-Terence Trent D’Arby
78.Echoes Of Love-The Doobie Brothers
79.Candy-Con Funk Shun
80.It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over-Lenny Kravitz
81.Up From The Skies-Jimi Hendrix
82.Thank You Falettinme Me Mice Elf-Sly & The Family Stone
83.Say Something-Mariah Carey
84.Slave To The Rhythm-Grace Jones
85.Georgy Porgy-Toto
86.Move On Up-Curtis Mayfield
87.Two In Love-Midnight Star
88.Lost Horizon-Todd Rundgren
89.Let Love Enter-Michael Henderson
89.Move It,Do It-Syreeta Wright
90.Don’t Stop The Music-Yarbrough & Peoples
91.Let Yourself Go-James Brown
92.Shakedown Street-Grateful Dead
93.Universal Love-Lenny White
94.Giving You The Best That I’ve Got-Anita Baker
95.Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long-Robert Flack & Donny Hathaway
96.The Way-The Gap Band
97.You Are In My System-The System
98.Really Scarry-Jeff Lorber
99.Get Lucky-Daft Punk
100.Unbreakable-Alicia Keys

-So there you have it. My Top 100 in that spectrum of music demonstrated. While I acknowledge all music as a continuum as opposed to many special interest groups of separate genres the funk,jazz,soul and R&B end of it seems to speak the most musically to myself in particular-due to its emphasis on following the rhythms of the dance of life metaphorically and its often socially enlightened lyrical and instrumental content. For those of you ready,this list is numerically random: which number on the list to which each song appears doesn’t reflect my personal love of the given song. All are equal in my eyes. List listing them in this manner,as they come to my mind. Hope some enjoyment was to be taken from this.




  1. 45spin says:

    Great list, However kind of confused about the Todd Rundgren & Grateful Dead selections

    • It is emphasizing a point I made both in a separate blog and implied on almost all of them that,due to the scattershot nature of genres that music in the funk/soul/jazz arena can be found in most parts of the record store. In particular in jazz and rock. “Shakedown Street” and “Lost Horizons” are both funk/soul songs recorded by artists considered to be from the rock scene-but both of whom always had strong R&B/soul influences.

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