Top 10 Solomon Burke Songs

Solomon Burke Songs

Phtoto: Tom Beetz, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Solomon Burke songs list defines an artist who bridged the connections between soul music and rock and roll while actively preaching that you could not have one without the other. We could not agree more. Solomon Burke’s legacy stands as a significant contribution to the genre of rock and soul music. It’s a genre that basically encompasses so many other genres like southern rock, hard rock, soft rock, Motown, Philly, and so many other styles. There is a reason why Atlantic Records once released an album by Solomon Burke entitled King Solomon.

Solomon Burke released his first single in 1965 on Apollo Records entitled “Christmas Presents.” Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s he continued to release fabulous singles crossing the genres of rock soul and country. His first album was released in 1962 entitled Solomon Burke. In 1964 he released the acclaimed album Rock ‘N Soul. From 1962 into the 2000s Solomon Burke released over one hundred albums combining his studio, live and compilation issues. Yes, the man was a King!

# 10 – Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)

We open up our top 10 Solomon Burke songs list with the opening track for his classic album Rock ‘N Soul. The legendary album stands as one of the great rock records in classic rock history. The LP was released in 1964. The song “Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye),” was written by (Wes Farrell and Bert Russell. Seven singles were released from this amazing album. “Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye),” was one of the album’s big hits breaking the Billboard Top 40 and peaking at number 33. As the opening song on the record, as soon as you dropped that needle down and heard those vocals, you understood instantly what the term “Rock ‘N Soul,” meant.

# 9 – Get Out of My Life Woman

Continuing with our top 10 Solomon Burke songs list we turn to the great recording “Get Out of My Life, Woman.” This smoking tune was released on the album I Wish I Knew. The record was released in 1968 on Atlantic Records. Solomon Burke sings this one with such passion you can see that woman running out the door as fast as she can. This one is for the guys. The song “Get Out of My Life, Woman.” was written by Allen Toussaint.

# 8 -Down in the Valley

It was amazing how Solomon Burke could take a traditional folk songs dating back to the 1800s and write additional  lyrics and turn it into a big time R&B county soul hit. That’s what he did on this one. The recording was released as a single in 1962.

# 7 – None Of Us Are Free

Solomon Burke had a long career. So long that he was still releasing great music into the 2000s. This amazing performance in the studio was released in 2002. The song “None of Us Are Free,” was released in the album Don’t Give Up on Me. It was an album that earned Solomon Buke his first Grammy Award.

# 6 – I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free)

Like many soul and r&b artists of the 1960s such as The Temptations, James Brown etc, Solomon Burke also recorded music that commented on the civil rights movement and the social issues of unrest of the times. Solomon Burke’s “I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free),” was one such song. It was released in his great album I Wish I Knew in 1968. This was a very popular song recorded by many artists over the years including

# 5 – “Baby Come On Home

Continuing with our Top 10 Solomon Burke Songs we turn to the legendary Solomon Burke soul ballad entitled “Baby Come On Home.” The song was released on his classic album King Solomon. The album was released in 1966. The single broke the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 96. It hit number 31 on the Billboard R&B charts.

# 4 – Cry to Me

We could listen to this one over and over again. Rock ‘N Soul music so brilliantly defined. This is the template right here in this song entitled “Cry To Me.” This is the sound that Bruce Springsteen was trying to capture during his 93 tour when he had fired the E Street Band. This is the sound that countless artists have tried to capture on vinyl. It’s right hear in the groove, the melody, the lyrics and most significantly in the vocal performance of the great Solomon Burke.

# 3 – Tonight’s the Night

This one grabs you instantly. With the horns blasting away and the tasty blues guitar circling around the r&b rock groove, the scene is set for the soulful vocals of Solomon Burke. And boy does he deliver on this one. “Tonight’s The Night” stands as Solomon Burkes second highest charting song of his career. The song hit number two on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1965. “Tonight’s The Night,” also broke the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 peaking at number 28.

# 2 – Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

If you have never heard this great song by Solomon Burke, chances are you heard the great Blues Brothers’ version of the song. Nonetheless, the original was written and recorded by Solomon Burke. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” stands as one of his most popular and successful songs. The song was released in 1964. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” broke the Billboard Top 100 that year peaking at number 58. However, it was a top 10 hit on the Billboard R&B charts peaking at number 4.

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” is probably the most covered Solomon Burke song in the artist’s great catalog. Besides the fabulous Blues Brothers version, the song has been covered in whole and placed as snippets in songs both in the studio and live. Artists such as Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, Led Zeppelin, the Jerry Garcia Band, Genesis and Bruce Springsteen have all recorded or performed the song. Solomon Burke is a great link to classic rock history as classic rock history is a great link to him.

# 1 – Got to Get You Off My Mind

We close out our top 10 Solomon Burke songs list with the singer’s biggest hit of his career. Sadly, the song came about after Solomon Burke had heard the news that his friend Sam Cooke had been murdered. The song was written in response to Sam Cook’s death. The same night Solomon Burke also found out that his second wife was divorcing him. So the song “Got To Get You Off My Mind,” was a response to tragedy and pain. On a happier note, “Got To Get You Off My Mind,” was Solomon Burke’s first and only number one hit record of his career. The song hit number one on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1965. The song also broke the Billboard Top 40 on the Mainstream charts peaking at number twenty three.

This classic song “Got To Get You Off My Mind,” has been covered by many rock and roll artists over the years. One of our favorite versions was recorded by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ on their debut album entitled I Don’t Want To Go Home. The song has also been covered by Van Morrison, Huey Lewis, and The Tenors. “Got To Get You Off My Mind,” was written by Solomon Burke, Delores Burke and J.B. Moore.

Top 10  article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020

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