The greatest Rhytm and Blues / Soul Ballads (I)

1. In The Still Of The Nite – The Five Satins

In the Still of the Night„, also subsequently titled „In the Still of the Nite„, is a song written by Fred Parris and recorded by hisFive Satins. While only a moderate hit when first released (peaking at #24 on the national pop charts), it has received considerable airplay over the years and is notable as one of the best known doo-wop songs, covered by artists such as Boyz II Men and Debbie Gibson. It is heard in several films, such as The Buddy Holly Story.

2. When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge

When a Man Loves a Woman” is a song written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright which was recorded by Percy Sledge in 1966 at Norala Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama. It made number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts, and was listed 53rd in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

3. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) – Otis Redding

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (sometimes issued as „I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”) is a song written byOtis Redding and Jerry Butler. It appeared as the A-side of a 1965 hit single by Otis Redding – and subsequently appeared on his third album, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul. Although Redding had been appearing in the U.S. Billboard Pop and R&B charts as early as 1962, this was his first big hit, reaching #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was his first Top 5 Billboard R&B chart, peaking at #2. The B-side of the single „Just One More Day,” was also a minor hit, reaching #15 on the R&B and #85 on the Pop chart. The song is ranked #110 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

4. What’s Goin On? – Marvin Gaye

What’s Going On” is a song by American recording artist Marvin Gaye, released in 1971 on the Motown subsidiary, Tamla. Originally inspired by a police brutality incident witnessed by Renaldo „Obie” Benson, the song was composed by Benson, Al Cleveland and Gaye and produced by Gaye himself. The song, which focused on major seventh and minor seventh chords, and was oriented in sounds by jazz, gospel and classical music orchestration, was mainly viewed as a meditation on the troubles and problems of the world, proving to be a timely and relatable release, and marked Gaye’s departure from the Motown Sound towards more personal material. Later topping the Hot Soul Singles chart for five weeks and crossing over to number-two on the BillboardHot 100, it would sell over two million copies, becoming Gaye’s second most successful Motown song to date. The song topped Detroit‘s Metro Times list of the 100 Greatest Detroit Songs of All Time, and in 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the fourth greatest song of all time, in its updated 2011 list, the song remained at that position .It is also included in theRock & Roll Hall of Fame‘s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list, along with two other songs by the singer.  It was also listed at number fourteen on VH-1‘s 100 Greatest Rock Songs

5. Pledging My Love – Johnny Ace

Pledging My Love” is a blues ballad. It was written by Ferdinand Washington and Don Robey and published in 1954. The most popular recording of the song was done by Johnny Ace. It was released by Duke Records as catalog number 136 in 1955 soon after Ace’s death by an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ace’s version peaked on the Billboard chart at #17 and spent ten weeks at #1 on the R&B chart. The recording was produced by Johnny Otis, who also played the vibraphone on the track and featured the Johnny Otis band.

6. I Only Have Eyes For You – The Flamingos

I Only Have Eyes for You” is a popular romantic love song by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin, written in 1934 for the film Dames where it was introduced by Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. According to Billboard magazine, the song was a #2 hit for Ben Selvin in 1934. The orchestras of Eddie Duchin and Anson Weeks also figured in the song’s 1934 popularity, and was used the following year in the film, The Woman in Red, produced by Warner Brothers, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gene Raymond. It was also used in the film Tea for Two, sung by Gordon MacRae. This song was recorded in 1950 by Peggy Lee, and by the Flamingos in 1959, becoming one of their most popular hits. Rolling Stonemagazine ranked the Flamingos’ version #157 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This version peaked at #11 on theBillboard Hot 100 chart.

7. Chains Of Love – Big Joe Turner

Chains of Love” is a 12-bar blues written by Ahmet Ertegun under the pseudonym „A. Nugetre”, which had its first success as sung by Big Joe Turner and later was adopted as part of his repertory by B.B. King. The singer is imprisoned by his love for an unfaithful partner. Turner’s version reached no. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1951, his first success on the Atlantic label established by Ertegun

8. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

Let’s Stay Together” is a song by American recording artist Al Green from his 1972 album of the same name. It was produced and recorded by Willie Mitchell, and mixed by Mitchell and Terry Manning. Released as a single in 1971, „Let’s Stay Together” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained on the chart for 16 weeks and also topped Billboard‘s R&B chart for nine weeks. Billboard ranked it as the No. 11 song of 1972. It was ranked the 60th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was selected by the Library of Congress as a 2010 addition to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings annually that are „culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The song went on to claim the number-one position on the Billboard Year-End chart as an R&B song for 1972.

9. Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Stand by Me” is a song originally performed by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King, written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, inspired by the spiritual „Lord Stand by Me„, plus two lines rooted in Psalms 46:2–3. There have been over 400 recorded versions of the song. The song is featured on the soundtrack of the 1986 film Stand by Me. In 2015, King’s original version was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being „culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, just under five weeks before King’s death.

10. Ooo Baby Baby – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Ooo Baby Baby” is a song written by Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore. It is a classic 1965 hit single by The Miracles for the Tamla (Motown) label. It achieved its greatest commercial success when Linda Ronstadt covered it in 1978. The song has been covered many times over the years.

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