1. James Brown and the Famous Flames - Live at the Apollo (1963)
    Recorded in 1962, James Brown tears through these songs; this will make your head spin. I'd say this and The Who's "Live At Leeds" are the 2 greatest live albums of all time.
  2. Etta James - Tell Mama (1968)
    Recorded at Muscle Shoals. She is a motherfucking badass on every song.
  3. Otis Redding - Live in Europe (1967)
    Recorded in Paris and backed by Booker T. & the MG's, Otis is a compete wild man.
  4. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967)
    Aretha's has the voice of a goddamn angel, and the songs here are killer.
  5. Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend: 1951-1964
    Yeah I know it's a compilation, but still... He was just amazing in every way, and. I one of his regular releases showcases that like a collection. "Bring it on Home to Me" is one of the best songs ever written.
  6. Wilson Pickett - The Exciting Wilson Pickett (1966)
    Pickett's 2nd album had several hits and is fire throughout.
  7. Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis (1969)
    A white lady from the UK, but she doesn't sound like a white lady from the UK.
  8. Curtis Mayfield - Superfly (1972)
    The soundtrack to Superfly is funky, smooth, and perfect.
  9. Sly and the Family Stone - Stand (1969)
    Funky and psychedelic. I've been listening to this record for as long as I can remember being alive.
  10. The Jackson 5 - Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 (1969)
    ABC is also a killer record, but this one has the young band sounding hungry and awesome. The inclusion of "I Want You Back" alone makes this better than most albums.
  11. Charles Bradley - No Time for Dreaming (2011)
    Charles Bradley struggled his whole life as a James Brown impersonator, and at 62, finally got his big break. It's a fucking inspiration. Most of my soul influences were much earlier, but this record just changed the way I thought about music.