Solomon Burke — “Home in Your Heart”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 22, 2022


559) Solomon Burke — “Home in Your Heart”

“Home in Your Heart” is my favorite Solomon Burke song and one of my favorite soul songs of all-time (thanks, Otis Blackwell!) If it doesn’t stir your soul, baby, you ain’t got one!

And I just realized that I am not alone. Ana-b says that it “is one of the greatest sides ever cut, anywhere, by anyone.” ( Poinconneur says that it “may be the most overlooked song in 60s soul.” ( Pianoporsche says that it is Burke’s “crowning achievement . . . . A restless riff mirrors the man’s unflappable dedication, and that all-important snare thwack spurs him on to the hallowed realm of soul outros where the singer flows. No unwarranted pauses or hasty retreats, just a full-throttle outpouring of desire. ( JurassicPunk posted in on YouTube, saying that “I was surprised to see that my personal fave of [Burke’s] and one of the best Soul songs ever, period, is not on here. So here it is.” ( Derek says that:

[T]here are so many moments . . . that are mindblowing; first off, whoever is behind the drum kit has a direct hotline to MY heart, and his stop time fills are not only impressive but so effective to complement the lyrics. Then there’s the matter of Solomon’s voice; in a world full of musical fakery, this is a man that fully believes what he’s singing here, and throws his entire soul into the performance, sending the microphone, preamps, and/or tape machine into distortion at JUST the right times, as the distortion drives home words that he wants to enunciate with even more color. It’s all capped off with a slightly sinister laugh at the outro…I’ve listened to it a dozen times this morning and I could easily listen a dozen more.

As to Burke, Richie Unterberger tells us that:

While Solomon Burke never had a Top 20 hit, he was an important pioneer of early soul. On his 1960s 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 . . . . This combination of gospel, pop, country, and production polish was basic to the recipe of early soul. . . . [Burke] . . . 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. . . . 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 ’50’s. . . . Burke had a wealth of high-charting R&B hits in the early half of the ’60s . . . . [but] he wasn’t able to expand his R&B base into a huge pop following.

Oh, and did he invent the term “soul music”? Christian John Wikane writes that:

[I]n 1960 . . . Burke signed with Atlantic Records, home to Ray Charles, Ruth Brown, and LaVern Baker. At the time, Atlantic was the top rhythm and blues label in the world, but Burke took exception to the “rhythm and blues” moniker and did not hesitate to make his sentiments known. “They were a little upset with me because we [sic] didn’t want to sing rhythm and blues, per se, and be classified as a rhythm and blues artist, because of my religious convictions.” Burke suggested “soul” as an alternate classification to “rhythm and blues”.

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Here, Solomon sings with the Derek Trucks Band in ’02:

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