Various Artists Can You Dig It? The ’70s Soul Experience (CD 4,5,6)

This Rhino compilation is a staggeringly near-complete collection spanning 6 discs (plus a decent, informative book). From Isaac Hayes to Rose Royce; from Sly & the Family Stone to Kool & the Gang, you’ll find all the expected inclusions. Remember Rufus? The Fuzz? El Chicano? The 8th day? Honey Cone? I dare you to search this for something you’re sure you won’t find.

Well over a hundred songs. And the book includes a ‘jive’ glossary to help translate the culture, although it is hard to imagine anybody not being familiar with all the terms. Nice touch, though.

4.1 The Spinners – Could It Be I’m Falling in Love 4:12
4.2 Bill Withers – Use Me 3:50
4.3 The O’Jays – Love Train 3:01
4.4 Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together? 4:50
4.5 Four Tops – Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got) 3:05
4.6 New York City – I’m Doin’ Fine Now 2:55
4.7 Sylvia Robinson – Pillow Talk 4:06
4.8 Tower of Power – So Very Hard to Go 3:42
4.9 Bloodstone – Natural High 4:53
4.10 Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On 3:59
4.11 The Isley Brothers – Who’s That Lady? 5:36
4.12 Eddie Kendricks – Keep On Truckin’ (Pt. 1) 3:34
4.13 Millie Jackson – Hurts So Good 3:13
4.14 Gladys Knight & The Pips – Midnight Train to Georgia 4:40
4.15 Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand the Rain 2:36
4.16 WAR – The World is a Ghetto 4:05
4.17 El Chicano – Tell Her She’s Lovely 3:14
4.18 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – The Love I Lost (Pt. 1) 4:30
4.19 Johnnie Taylor – Cheaper to Keep Her 3:24
4.20 Al Wilson – Show and Tell 3:30
4.21 Bobby Womack – Lookin’ for a Love 2:40
4.22 William DeVaughn – Be Thankful for What You Got 3:26
4.23 The Main Ingredient – Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely 3:31

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This 6CD Rhino box-set is absolutely essential: while barely treading upon obviously great artists like Sly and the Family Stone, Aretha Franklin, the Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye, this set focuses more on the lost (but memorable) gems of the era.  “Float On” by the Floaters, “Love Jones” by Brighter Side of Darkness, “Grazing in the Grass” by the Friends of Distinction, “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Ripperton, “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul, and over 100 other similar cuts.  Great work by Rhino, once again.

5.1 James Brown – The Payback 7:38
5.2 Kool & The Gang – Hollywood Swinging 4:39
5.3 Blue Magic – Sideshow 4:14
5.4 The Hues Corporation – Rock the Boat 3:06
5.5 The Impressions – Finally Got Myself Together (I’m a Changed Man) 3:08
5.6 George McCrae – Rock Your Baby 3:21
5.7 Rufus – Tell Me Something Good 3:28
5.8 The Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can Can 4:13
5.9 Johnny Bristol – Hang On In There Baby 3:49
5.10 B.T. Express – Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied) 5:54
5.11 The Tymes – You Little Trustmaker 2:51
5.12 Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You 3:23
5.13 Shirley Brown – Woman to Woman 3:54
5.14 Carl Carlton – Everlasting Love 2:37
5.15 The Three Degrees – When Will I See You Again? 2:54
5.16 Average White Band – Pick Up the Pieces 3:59
5.17 Labelle – Lady Marmalade 3:58
5.18 The Blackbyrds – Walking in Rhythm 2:55
5.19 Ben E. King – Supernatural Thing (Pt. 1) 3:10
5.20 Earth, Wind & Fire – Reasons 4:59
5.21 Gwen McCrae – Rockin’ Chair 3:19
5.22 Rose Royce – I Wanna Get Next to You 3:59
5.23 Major Harris – Love Won’t Let Me Wait 5:31

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A fantastic collection.  If you’re planning on being stranded on a desert island with lots of batteries for your portable CD player, this boxed set would be a wise purchase.

The box set contains 6 CDs and 136 cuts, 65 of which hit the No. 1 spot on the R&B and/or pop charts.

Before disco pretty much wiped it off the charts at the end of the decade, seventies soul music was an extension of one the previous decade’s most popular, dance inducing genres.

This is the six pack that you’ll want to bring to every party.

6.1 Earth, Wind & Fire – Shining Star 2:52
6.2 B.T. Express – Express 5:03
6.3 Average White Band – Cut the Cake 4:07
6.4 WAR – Why Can’t We Be Friends? 3:51
6.5 Curtis Mayfield – So in Love 5:14
6.6 Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster 4:50
6.7 Tavares – It Only Takes a Minute 3:17
6.8 Brass Construction – Movin’ 6:37
6.9 The Manhattans – Kiss and Say Goodbye 4:29
6.10 Lou Rawls – You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine 4:30
6.11 Brick – Dazz 5:39
6.12 The Emotions – Best of My Love 3:43
6.13 The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter #23 5:04
6.14 The Floaters – Float On 4:14
6.15 Heatwave – Always and Forever 6:14
6.16 L.T.D. – (Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again 4:47
6.17 Rick James – You and I 3:03
6.18 Bobby Caldwell – What You Won’t Do For Love 4:47
6.19 Peaches & Herb – Reunited 4:00
6.20 Smokey Robinson – Cruisin’ 5:56
6.21 Rose Royce – Golden Touch 3:49

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