The best soul music songs hit you where it hurts – namely, square in the chest. But it’s a misnomer to say all the genre’s greatest tunes are about love. Sure, a great deal of the most classic soul tracks are indeed centred on matters of the heart, whether it’s the euphoria of young romance or the drama of a broken relationship. But just as many are about social injustice, religious salvation and the freedom of letting loose on the dancefloor. Really, a great soul song can be about anything – it just has to come from, well, the soul.
In compiling our list of the greatest ever soul music songs, we’ve touched on as many corners of the R&B landscape as possible, from Stax and Motown to Northern Soul and neo-soul. We also sought the advice of some experts: the world-class DJs from Soul City, the weekly night at Camden’s Jazz Café. So people, get ready: here are the best soul music songs of all time.
🎷 The best Motown songs
❤️ The best R&B love songs
🍆 The sexiest songs of all-time
💕 The best love songs of all-time
💔 The best heartbreak songs