Forget Blue Monday, here’s ten soul songs to raise the spirits
At this time of writing (16 January), we are in the third Monday of January. A Monday that is commonly referred to as Blue Monday. Instead of being synonymous with New Order’s classic 12” single, it is reputed to be the most unhappiest day of the year. Some think this year’s Blue Monday is the most miserable one yet (as the late great Marvin would say, “What’s Going On?”).
To fill the otherwise miserable void, there is no better antidote to the gloom that good music. Soul music. Uplifting soul songs guaranteed to put a smile on the most sullen of faces.
The title track from the 1976 film starring Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Antonio Fargas (Huggy Bear in Starsky and Hutch).
Continuing the film theme, this was used in The Full Monty during the audition scenes. At this point in the film, Horse (played by Paul Barber – Denzil in Only Fools and Horses), wows the panel with his dancing skills.
This was the title track of Sam and Dave’s 1966 LP. It was written by David Porter and Isaac Hayes and used in the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers.
By far, one of the best-known songs by the Supremes. Written by Holland-Dozier-Holland, this goes to show there is no better version than the original. It has been covered by Vanilla Fudge and Kim Wilde.
1984 was a very good year for The Pointer Sisters. Their album, Break Out did well on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This was their best known hit from the LP, which spawned another four chart singles.
A stunning tune from Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. This was also used in the Robin Williams film, Good Morning Vietnam.
Thanks to a touch of magic by Messrs Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, this was Diana Ross’ only UK Number One single of the 1980s. As timeless as anything from the Supremes’ commercial peak.
A Northern Soul classic. This was the last tune to be played at the Wigan Casino prior to its closure and later demolition. In spite of selling a million records, Dean didn’t make a bean whatsoever.
To close our countdown of ten uplifting soul songs, how can we miss Superfly himself? Move On Up, in its full nine minute glory, was released on his self-titled album, Curtis. An edited version peaked at Number 12 in the UK singles chart in 1971.
Madison Heights Soul Band, 16 January 2017.