The Best Vintage Soul Music to Listen to Right Now

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for the best vintage soul music to listen to right now? Check out our list of top picks, including classics from Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Otis Redding.


If you’re looking for the best vintage soul music to listen to right now, look no further! This list has some of the most classic and iconic soul songs of all time. From James Brown to Otis Redding, there’s something here for everyone. So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the greatest music ever made.

What is Vintage Soul Music?

Vintage soul music is a genre that covers a range of popular music recorded from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. It includes music by artists of African descent who recorded with major record labels in the United States. Vintage soul is distinct from similar genres such as Motown, Stax, and Southern soul, which are also rooted in African-American culture but with different sounds and styles.

The term “vintage soul” was first coined in the late 1970s by writer and record producer Dave Marsh to describe Motown’s sound. Marsh used the term again in his 1981 book The rebirth of rock ‘n’ roll: vintage pop and soul from 1952-1972. In subsequent years, the term has been used by music critics and historians to describe a wide range of soul music from the 1960s and early 1970s.

Vintage soul covers a wide range of styles, including R&B, funky soul, deep soul, Soul jazz, and Philadelphia Soul. It is characterized by its lush arrangements, involved lyrics about love and relationships, and often sexually suggestive themes. The genre began to lose popularity in the late 1970s as disco became more popular, but its influence can still be heard in contemporary R&B and pop music.

The Best Vintage Soul Music to Listen to Right Now

We all know that music can soothe the soul. But what about when you want to get up and groove? That’s where vintage soul music comes in. This genre of music is full of life and energy, and it’s sure to get you moving. So if you’re looking for some good tunes to get you going, here are the best vintage soul songs to listen to right now.

Marvin Gaye – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a timeless classic that perfectly encapsulates the pain and heartache of a relationship on the verge of collapse. The song was originally released in 1968, but it charted again in 1970 and has been covered by countless artists over the years.

Aretha Franklin – “Respect”

Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” was originally released as a single in 1967, on the backs of two hit albums, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You and Aretha Arrives. The song, written by Otis Redding, is an anthem for both the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation Movements, and shot to the top of the charts, becoming one of Franklin’s signature tunes. With its message of equality and its unforgettable opening line (“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me”), “Respect” remains an timeless anthem for any cause worth fighting for.

Otis Redding – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”

In 1968, Otis Redding recorded what would become one of the most iconic songs of all time, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” The track features Redding’s raspy, emotive vocals set against a backdrop of gentle guitar strumming and waves crashing. The result is a timeless song that has been covered by everyone from Michael Bolton to Willie Nelson.

Sam Cooke – “A Change Is Gonna Come”

This song, written and performed by Sam Cooke, is widely considered to be one of the most important civil rights anthems of all time. Released in 1964, it came to represent the hope and change that many people were seeking during that tumultuous period in American history. The lyrics are simple but powerful, and the message is still relevant today.

James Brown – “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”

“Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” is a 1968 hit single by James Brown. The song was written by James Brown and African-American rights activist Stokely Carmichael. Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo covered the song in 1975 as “Proud Black Man”.

The song became an anthem of the Black Power movement. Carmichael changed the lyrics of the second verse from “We don’t want no robot maids / We don’t want nobody to integrate our schools” to “We don’t want no robot slaves / We don’t want nobody to integrate our black community”.

In 1999, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) ranked it as the fifty-sixth most important song of the twentieth century. In 2003, the song was ranked number two on VH1 and Blender magazine’s list of the greatest songs of all time.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the best vintage soul music to listen to right now. This genre of music is truly timeless, and we believe there’s something on this list for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of the classic Motown sound or you prefer the grittier styles of Stax Records, we hope you’ll find something here that speaks to you. Thanks for listening!

Similar Posts