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Solomon Burke

While Solomon Burke never made a major impact upon the pop audience -- he never, in fact, had a Top 20 hit -- he was an important early soul pioneer. On his '60s singles for Atlantic, he brought a country influence into R&B, with emotional phrasing and intricately constructed, melodic ballads and midtempo songs. At the same time, he was surrounded with sophisticated "uptown" arrangements and was provided with much of his material by his producers, particularly Bert Berns. The combination of gospel, pop, country, and production polish was basic to the recipe of early soul. While Burke wasn't the only one pursuing this path, not many others did so as successfully. And he, like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, was an important influence upon the Rolling Stones, who covered Burke's "Cry to Me" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" on their early albums.

Burke came by his gospel roots even more deeply than most soul stars. He was preaching at his family's Philadelphia church and hosting his own gospel radio show even before he'd reached his teens. He began recording gospel and R&B sides for Apollo in the mid- to late '50s. Like several former gospel singers (Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett), he was molded into a more secular direction when he signed with Atlantic in the '60s. Burke had a wealth of high-charting R&B hits in the early half of the '60s, which crossed over to the pop listings in a mild fashion as well. "Just Out of Reach," "Cry to Me," "If You Need Me," "Got to Get You Off My Mind," "Tonight's the Night," and "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" were the most successful of these, although, unlike Franklin or Pickett, he wasn't able to expand his R&B base into a huge pop following as well. He left Atlantic in the late '60s and spent the next decade hopping between various labels, getting his biggest hit with a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" in 1969, and recording an album in the late '70s with cult soulster Swamp Dogg as producer.

From the '80s through the first decade of the new millennium, Burke became one of the most visible living exponents of classic soul music, continuing to tour and record albums in a rootsy, at times gospel-ish style. Although these were critically well-received, their stylistic purity also ensured that their market was primarily confined to roots music enthusiasts, rather than a pop audience. His live and later recorded work, however, is a favorite of those who want to experience a soul legend with his talents and stylistic purity relatively intact. Burke's 2002 release Don't Give Up on Me was hailed as a major comeback for the legendary soul man. Great songwriters like Elvis Costello, Dan Penn, Nick Lowe, and Tom Waits contributed songs, and Joe Henry produced the album, which has been compared to Johnny Cash's landmark American Recordings.

After the critical success of Don't Give Up on Me reaffirmed Burke's status as one of the greatest living exponents of classic soul, the singer teamed up with producer Don Was for Make Do with What You Got, an updated variation on his classic style that was released in spring 2005. A year later, Burke released an interesting country and soul hybrid, Nashville, on Shout! Factory. A second album on the label, Like a Fire, followed in 2008. Burke next reunited with producer Willie Mitchell for Nothing’s Impossible, which was released shortly after Mitchell’s death in 2010 by Koch Records’ E1 Music. In October of 2009, Burke teamed up with Dutch Soul band De Dijk for recording sessions that would become his final album: Hold on Tight. Sadly, Burke died on October 10, 2010 upon arrival at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where the soul legend was scheduled to perform at a sold-out show at the city's Paradiso concert hall with De Dijk. Hold on Tight was eventually released in March 2011. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Live At Montreux 2006

1. Baby What You Want Me To Do (Live 2006)

2. Cry To Me (Live 2006)

3. Diamond In Your Mind (Live 2006)

4. Got To Get You Off My Mind (Live 2006)

5. Down In The Valley (Live 2006)

6. Georgia On My Mind (Live 2006)

7. (Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay (Live 2006)

8. Just Out Of Reach (Live 2006)

9. Don't Give Up On Me (Live 2006)

10. What A Wonderful World (Live 2006)

11. I Will Survive (Live 2006)

12. None Of Us Are Free (Live 2006)

13. This Little Light Of Mine (Live 2006)

14. That's How I Got To Memphis (Live 2006)

15. May The Good Lord Bless You And Keep You (Live 2006)

16. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Live 2006)

17. When The Saint Go Marching In (Live 2006)

x

Track List: Like A Fire

1. Like A Fire

2. We Donacot Need It

3. The Fall

4. A Minute To Rest And A Second To Pray

5. Ainacot That Something

6. What Makes Me Think I Was Right

7. Understanding

8. You And Me

9. Thank You

10. If I Give My Heart To You

x

Track List: Nashville

1. That's How I Got To Memphis

2. Seems Like You're Gonna Take Me Back

3. Tomorrow Is Forever

4. Ain't Got You

5. Valley Of Tears

6. Honey Where's The Money Gone

7. Atta Way To Go

8. Millionaire

9. Up To The Mountain

10. Does My Ring Burn Your Finger

11. Vicious Circle

12. We're Gonna Hold On

13. You're The Kind Of Trouble

14. 'Til I Get It Right

x

Track List: Make Do With What You Got

1. I Need Your Love In My Life

2. What Good Am I?

3. It Makes No Difference

4. Let Somebody Love Me

5. After All These Years

6. Fading Footsteps

7. At The Crossroads

8. I Got The Blues

9. Make Do With What You Got

10. Wealth Won't Save Your Soul

x

Track List: Don't Give Up On Me

1. Don't Give Up On Me

2. Fast Train

3. Diamond In Your Mind

4. Flesh And Blood

5. Soul Searchin'

6. Only A Dream

7. The Judgement

8. Stepchild

9. The Other Side Of The Coin

10. None Of Us Are Free

11. Sit This One Out

x

Track List: If You Need Me / Rock 'N' Soul

1. If You Need Me

2. Words

3. Stupidity

4. Go On Back To Him

5. I Said I Was Sorry

6. It's All Right

7. Home In Your Heart

8. I Really Don't Want To Know

9. You Can Make It If You Try

10. Send Me Some Loving

11. This Little Ring

12. Tonight My Heart She Is Crying

13. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)

14. Cry To Me

15. Won't You Give Him (One More Chance)

16. Hard Ain't It Hard

17. Can't Nobody Love You

18. Just Out Of Reach

19. You're Good For Me

20. You Can't Love 'Em All

21. Someone To Love Me

22. Beautiful Brown Eyes

23. He'll Have To Go

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Solomon Burke

1. Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)

2. Cry To Me

3. Down In The Valley

4. I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You

5. If You Need Me

6. Can't Nobody Love You

7. You're Good For Me

8. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)

9. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

10. The Price

11. Got To Get You Off My Mind

12. Tonight's The Night

13. Someone Is Watching

14. Take Me (Just As I Am)

15. I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)

16. Soul Meeting

x

Track List: King Of Rock N' Soul: Live At The House Of Blues

1. Into: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Live)

2. Medley; If You Need Me, Tonight's The Night, I Almost Lost My Mind (Live)

3. Cruel World (Live)

4. Cry To Me (Live)

5. Candy, Candy Rap (Live)

6. Got To Get You Off My Mind (Live)

7. No More Nights By Myself (Live)

8. Ani't Nobody's Business (Live)

9. Down In The Valley (Live)

10. I Want A Little Girl (Live)

11. Medley; Beautiful Brown Eyes, Just A Matter Of Time (Live)

12. Good Rockin' Tonight (Live)

x

Track List: Best Of Solomon Burke

1. Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms)

2. Cry To Me

3. If You Need Me

4. I Have A Dream

5. Looking For A Sign

7. Now Is The Time

8. We Can Be Together Again

9. I Got You

10. Social Change

11. Mountain Top

12. Precious Lord, Take My Hand / We Shall Overcome

x

Track List: Soul Of The Blues

1. My Babe

2. Good Rockin' Tonight

3. Sufferin' Mind

4. Letter From My Darling

5. Don't Deceive Me

6. Candy

7. Crawdad Hole

8. Along About Midnight

9. Pledging My Love

10. Lonesome Highway

11. Street Walking Woman

12. No Nights By Myself

x

Track List: A Change Is Gonna Come

1. Love Buys Love

2. Got To Get Myself Some More Money

3. Let It Be You And Me

4. Love Is All That Matters

5. Don't Tell Me What A Man Won't Do For A Woman

6. A Change Is Gonna Come

7. Here We Go Again

8. It Don't Get No Better Than This

9. When A Man Loves A Woman

x

Track List: Home In Your Heart

Disc 1

1. Home In Your Heart

2. Down In The Valley

3. Looking For My Baby

4. I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You

5. Cry To Me

6. Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)

7. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)

8. Words

9. Stupidity

10. Send Me Some Loving

11. Go On Back To Him

12. Baby (I Wanna Be Loved)

13. Can't Nobody Love You

14. Got To Get You Off My Mind

15. Someone To Love Me

16. You're Good For Me

17. Dance Dance Dance

18. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Live)

19. Tonight's The Night

20. Baby, Come On Home

21. If You Need Me

22. The Price

Disc 2

1. Get Out Of My Life Woman

2. Save It

3. Take Me (Just As I Am)

4. When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)

5. I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)

6. Party People

7. Keep A Light In The Window

8. I Feel A Sin Coming On

9. Meet Me In Church

10. Someone Is Watching

11. Detroit City

12. Shame On Me

13. I Stayed Away Too Long

14. It's Just A Matter Of Time

15. Since I Met You Baby

16. Time Is A Thief

17. Woman, How Do You Make Me Love You Like I Do

18. It's Been A Change

19. What'd I Say

Comments

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I love you Solomon Burke and miss you very much, god bless you. Junior
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sheffield57
Maybe I should b asking if I'm the burden????? Have four legged nearby???
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sheffield57
For you
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Forever love.....
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crockettlega l
My soul mate.
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Solomon Burke was solo under rated. He was king in southern soul. Yes southern soul was a thing.
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what a voice - rip solomon
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Sol was a friend, First song was Christmas Presents From Heaven. Rest in Peace my sol brother. T C West Philly.
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Good Song
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Good Song =)
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mb13881
Solomon..... . . . t h e man!
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C.
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I love Salomon because of the era of that 1960 the man was the best, i miss you Salomon Burke
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What a voice he had, we miss you, Solomon Burke ,god bless you man.
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I. Like. This. One
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Solomon Burke generates such great enthusiasm, and his music reflects this! He is fabulous!!!! ! Love him!!°
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thomasl292
Love the song. One of my favorites from Dirty Dancing. Took me a long time to realize it wasn't Otis. Thanks Solomon
Report as inappropriate
Solomon Burke IS the real Godfather of Soul. JB was okay at best. I was very impressed when The Rolling Stones covered Cry To Me and did it well. But, nobody did it like Solomon Burke.
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This is one Happy Dude..... he has Got a magnetic look about himself..... . G r e a t music. I would love to have seen him on stage .
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Thank you

Solomon
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charpeace
Crytome
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Can't u see I'm crying! :'(
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Great music, I'm suprised I never heard this song "FLESH & BLOOD"....I love the words.
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I just love. the best music for drinking and crying lol
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful music!!! If only music was like this today to calm the inner being and it would support love!!
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jtny786
Flesh and Blood, such a beautiful voice!
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jtny786
Beautiful brother, people who know you love you. Deep, smooth and wonderful.
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Young brothers of today you can learn how to respect young sisters listenin to tis man
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Motor-City H-Town Up Mo-City Down With-It
*978*~ 5m14y~
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<333
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mbb30705
<3
Report as inappropriate
Great music for sure and yes it was played in Dirty dancing.
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THE SOUND TRACK THE MOVIE DIRTY DANCING SMILE..
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Year seen for me
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nullmark72
Well you sure made an impact on me honey!!! Your one of the Greats.
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What can I say great music
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Great music I agree
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What
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danbrower1
httyuiiiiuyj y r y :) :D :(D:
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it's just a matter of time...no truer words have been spoken
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Send me some Loving by Solomon
Burke is mildly ok BUT Little Richard's is MUCH better!
Report as inappropriate
kimdmartin3
I hate to say that old cliche, 'they don't make'em like they use to'....but, wow, how true it is!! THIS is music....whe n one man's words (that you actually understand) sung with such meaning, affects sooo many ppl for various reasons, that's a true artist! Need more like Carr, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding...I could listen (& do) to this all day, 24/7!
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I didnt know he had died either. R.I.P
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Did not know he had died. A great singer. We all now we are going to die and great it is to die doing what one truly enjoys.
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Simply put, one of the BEST!
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Live at The House of Blues is awesome .. You just let the whole album play...My fave song of his is "Got to Getcha Off of My Mind".
Report as inappropriate
Again,Yes Cry to Me WAS His Best Song. This is from Key West,Fla.
Report as inappropriate
athomesusieq
love this man. is he the one who sings Candy? any one?
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Man slow dancing at someones house party..remem b e r oakland,ca
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mrivers370
I Agree with wxgal7
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