Our Top 10 Arthur Conley songs list looks at the great songs and performances of one of rock’s most unheralded performers. As a member of the famous Soul Clan that featured Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Donald Randolph and Joe Tex, Arthur Conley had the respect of his peers for his tremendous talent as a singer, performer, and songwriter. Arthur Conley is most remembered for his classic single “Sweet Soul Music,” which he co-wrote with Otis Redding which borrowed heavily from Sam Cooke’s “Yeah Yeah.” However, there are so many more great songs in Arthur Conley’s catalog that have been sadly overlooked. Our Top 10 Arthur Conley songs list looks to presents some of the great song that Arthur Conley recorded during his career in the 1960s and 70s. His four albums on Atco Records he released in the 1960s are not to be missed. We hope you enjoy this one.
# 10 – Ha! Ha! Ha!
We open up our top 10 Arthur Conley songs with one of our all time favorites. The song “Ha! Ha! Ha!” was released on the album Shake Rattle & Roll. The record hit the stores in 1967. “Ha! Ha! Ha!” is fueled by a magical groove surrounded by an awesome call and response between the soulful vocals of Arthur Conley and his female backing singers.
# 9 – Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Arthur Conley’s cover version of The Beatles song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” was released as a single in 1968. Arthur Conley’s version and single release peaked at number fifty on on the Billboard Hot 100. It hit number forty on the Billboard R&B Charts. The song also featured The Allman Brothers legendary guitarist Duane Allman. The song was released on the Atco Records album entitled More Sweet Soul. Duane Allman’s showcases some great riffs in-between the verses on this Beatles classic done with a southern soul touch by the great Arthur Conley.
# 9 – I Can’t Stop (No, No, No)
After we sweetened you up with the beautiful opening ballad on this top 10 Arthur Conley songs list, its time to knock you out of you chair and up on you feet, Put on those dancing shoes, because if you turn this up there is no way you are not going to be moving and grooving to the sweet r&b sounds of Arthur Conley. (Sorry, sometime I just get carried away listening to these great songs.) “I Can’t Stop (No, No, No),”was released on the great Sweet Soul Music album.
# 8 – Whole Lotta Woman
This great video clip below was from the Sam & Dave Show in 1967. Listen to Arthur Conley tear it up on this great song. He’s got the moves, the spirit, the soul and most of all the voice. “Whole Lotta Woman,” was released as a single in 1967. The song broke the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 73.
# 7 – Otis Sleeps On
Arthur Conley was devastated when Otis Redding died. Otis Redding was Arthur Conley’s friend and mentor. This song is one of the most heartfelt and genuine tribute songs ever recorded. You can feel Conley’ pain from the opening note. The song was released on the spectacular album entitled Soul Directions. The LP was released in 1968.
# 6 – I’m A Lonely Stranger
Arthur Conley’s vocal performance on the track “I’m A Lonely Stranger,” stands aa a reference for all young musicians trying to learn how to sing like the great 1960s soul singers. There are many out there to listen to, but we highly recommend to start right here. This is simply a stunning performance. It’s sad that more music fans do not know about this one. The song was released on the album Sweet Soul Music.
# 4 – Stuff You Gotta Watch
“Stuff You Gotta Watch,” was another great track from the Arthur Conley album More Sweet Soul. Duane Allman’s guitar playing is very prominent and up front on this great rock and soul song. This is such a great album that has flown way too far under the radar in classic rock history. Especially with the presence of Duane Allman on the album
# 3 – Shake, Rattle & Roll
“Shake, Rattle & Roll,” was the title track to Arthur Conley’s great 1967 album entitled Shake, Rattle & Roll. Conley’s cover of the classic Charles F. Calhoun song was a much more soulful version than the hit 50s version originally recorded by Big Joe Turner. Conely’s “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” was a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Arthur Conley in 1967.
# 2 – Funky Street
The great Arthur Conley song “Funky Street,” is one of those forgotten gems released in the 1960s. “Funky Street,” was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee and produced by the legendary Tom Dowd. The song was released as a single in 1968. It became a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number fourteen. The song’s great funk groove still sounds as fresh in 2020 as it did in 1968.
# 1 – Sweet Soul Music
We close out our Top 10 Arthur Conley songs list with the singer’s most famous song entitled “Sweet Soul Music.” The song was written by Sam Cooke, Arthur Conley and Otis Redding. It was released as a single in 1967. The song was a huge hit at the time. It reached the number two spot on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B Charts. The song’s opening riff borrows from the theme to the motion picture The Magnificent Seven.
Arthur Conley had originally intended on recording a version of Sam Cooke’s “Yeah Man.” However, Otis Redding convinced Conley to simply rewrite “Yeah Man, into a new song that eventually because “Sweet Soul Music.” Yet, since the song was just a variation on Sam Cooke’s Yeah Man, the two were eventually forced to give Sam Cooke songwriting credit on the song “Sweet Soul Music.”(1)
Top 10 Arthur Conley Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020
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