Magazine article New Internationalist

From Sacred to Secular - A Soul Awakening

Magazine article New Internationalist

From Sacred to Secular - A Soul Awakening

Article excerpt

From Sacred to Secular - A Soul Awakening

by Various artists (History of Soul Records SOUL021 8CDs + download)

Mahalia Jackson, the Staples Singers, Marvin Gaye: these musicians - just some of the many contained on From Sacred to Secular - are trained in the American gospel tradition. They're able to conjure up the hope of heaven in a single phrase.

You hear some of this on the 200-plus tracks on eight-CD The Sacred to the Secular boxed set (each CD has about 28 songs), which takes its listeners from 1920s recordings of raw gospel roots to teasing out ties to jazz, R 'n' B and soul and finishing in 1962. The links to political and social change are rightly made. The story is told with access to archives from labels such as Stax, Decca, Atlantic and a bit of Tamla Motown, although blues, and blues-orientated rock (for example, the Rolling Stones) are only hinted at in some sleeve notes that could do with greater length. …

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