The Ideal Qobuz Collection comprises original, uncompiled albums that have made a considerable mark on music history or which qualify as essential recordings within each musical genre. By downloading these albums, or streaming them with your subscription, you begin a journey that will shine a light on some of the finest moments in recorded music.

Albums

£12.99

R&B - Released March 3, 2017 | Sony Music UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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£13.49

Soul - Released November 18, 2016 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£13.99

Funk - Released January 1, 2003 | Casablanca Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£7.99

R&B - Released January 1, 1991 | Island Def Jam

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Playfully satirical, witty, and incredibly imaginative, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing introduced one of the freshest talents in early-'90s rap, a self-produced duo who caught the tail end of the Native Tongues family. Though Dres and Mista Lawnge didn't match the brilliant wordplay of A Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul, their topics were well-chosen, they were presented in a hilarious context, and every song was backed up by strong productions and great rapping. A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing wasn't a comedy record, but it was difficult to tell when the duo were half-serious or half-joking, especially since they were often the objects of their jokes. They poked fun at many aspects of black music and culture of the early '90s, everything from the persuasive gangster mentality ("U Mean I'm Not"), obsessions over the Afrocentric viewpoint ("Are You Mad?"), and lewd sex raps ("La Menage"), as well as an amusingly incorrect response to feminism ("L.A.S.M."). They also dropped a few of the best hip-hop club tracks of the era, the insanely catchy items "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)," "Try Counting Sheep," and "Flavor of the Month." (Another smooth dance tune, "Strobelite Honey," was dreadfully honest about girls who look better under the lights than upon closer inspection.) Polar opposites to the ranks of somber political rappers, and deftly counteracting the indulgence and self-seriousness of many alternative groups, Black Sheep hit a height with their debut that few hip-hop acts would ever reach. ~ John Bush
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R&B - Released January 1, 1965 | Motown

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£26.99

R&B - Released November 13, 2015 | Concord Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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3+3

Funk - Released August 21, 2015 | Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£80.49
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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released August 21, 2015 | Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
In a way, the Isley Brothers have been taken for granted. Part of that is the group's unwitting doing because they were exceptionally steady. From 1966 through 1983, the Isleys placed at least one single on the Billboard R&B chart each year. They were always present, frequently at or near the top. For an extended period, they were among the most progressive groups, whether they were mixing gospel, soul, and rock, incorporating synthesizers without sacrificing the funk, covering pop hits and often surpassing them, or epitomizing quiet storm. When they retreated from the fore, they adapted with ease. Another factor in their undervalued status is that their vast discography has been reissued in chunks by various sources across the decades. The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters: 1959-1983, released by the Sony catalog's Legacy division, is a corrective measure in the form of a compact 23-disc box set. It doesn't cover the Isleys' brief '60s stints with Wand, United Artists, and Tamla, but it is remarkably generous with dozens of bonus tracks -- mono versions, single edits, instrumentals, and so forth -- and LP-replica sleeves for each album. As an extra enticement for those who dutifully rounded up those late-'90s Legacy and early-2010s BBR reissues, there's Wild in Woodstock, a previously unreleased recording of the Go All the Way-era band performing at Bearsville Studios. Intended for release with overdubbed crowd noise that was thankfully never applied, the set alternates between blistering and gliding and deserves a separate physical issue outside the box. ~ Andy Kellman
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Soul - Released October 27, 2006 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£69.99
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Soul - Released June 1, 2015 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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R&B - Released January 1, 1977 | UNI - MOTOWN

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£9.49

Funk - Released June 2, 2014 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£11.49

R&B - Released January 1, 1997 | Universal Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Two years after D'Angelo brought the organic sound and emotional passion of R&B to the hip-hop world with 1995's Brown Sugar, Erykah Badu's debut performed a similar feat. While D'Angelo looked back to the peak of smooth '70s soul, though, Badu sang with a grit and bluesiness reminiscent of her heroes, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. "On & On" and "Appletree," the first two songs on Baduizm, illustrated her talent at singing soul with the qualities of jazz. With a nimble, melodic voice owing little to R&B from the past 30 years, she phrased at odds with the beat and often took chances with her notes. Like many in the contemporary rap world, though, she also had considerable talents at taking on different personas; "Otherside of the Game" is a poetic lament from a soon-to-be single mother who just can't forget the father of her child. Erykah Badu's revolution in sound -- heavier hip-hop beats over organic, conscientious soul music -- was responsible for her breakout, but many of the songs on Baduizm don't hold up to increased examination. For every intriguing track like "Next Lifetime," there's at least one rote R&B jam like "4 Leaf Clover." Jazz fans certainly weren't confusing her with Cassandra Wilson -- Badu had a bewitching voice, and she treasured her notes like the best jazz vocalists, but she often made the same choices, the hallmark of a singer rooted in soul, not jazz. Though many fans would dislike (and probably misinterpret) the comparison, she's closer to Diana Ross playing Billie Holiday -- as she did in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues -- than Holiday herself. ~ John Bush
£7.99

R&B - Released January 1, 1995 | Geffen* Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Perhaps the single finest moment in Sean "Puffy" Combs' musical career has been the production on this, Mary J. Blige's second proper album. The production is not exactly original, and there is evidence here of him borrowing wholesale from other songs. The melodic sources this time around, though, are so expertly incorporated into the music that they never seem to be intrusions, instead playing like inspired dialogues with soulsters from the past, connecting past legacies with a new one. This certainly isn't your parents' (or grandparents') soul. But it is some of the finest modern soul of the '90s, backing away to a certain extent from the hip-hop/soul consolidation that Blige introduced on her debut album. The hip-hop part of the combination takes a few steps into the background, allowing Blige's tortured soul to carry the album completely, and it does so with heartwrenching authority. My Life is, from beginning to end, a brilliant, wistful individual plea of desire. Blige took a huge leap in artistry by penning almost everything herself (the major exception being Norman Whitfield's "I'm Going Down") in collaboration with co-producers Combs and multi-instrumentalist Chucky Thompson, and everything seems to leap directly from her gut. Blige's strain is sleekly modern and urban, and the grit in it comes from being streetwise and thoroughly realistic about the travails of life. My Life, nevertheless, emanates from some deep, dark place where both sadness and happiness cohabitate and turn into one single, beautiful sorrow. ~ Stanton Swihart
£12.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2002 | Motown (Capitol)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Disappointed because Garden of Love wasn't as well received as it should have been, Rick James made a triumphant return to defiant, in-your-face funk with the triple-platinum Street Songs. This was not only his best-selling album ever, it was also his best period, and certainly the most exciting album released in 1981. The gloves came all the way off this time, and James is as loud and proud as ever on such arresting hits as "Super Freak," "Give It to Me Baby," and "Ghetto Life." Ballads aren't a high priority, but those he does offer (including his stunning duet with Teena Marie, "Fire and Desire") are first-rate. One song that's questionable (to say the least) is the inflammatory "Mr. Policeman," a commentary on police misconduct that condemns law enforcement in general instead of simply indicting those who abuse their authority. But then, the thing that makes this hot-headed diatribe extreme is what makes the album on the whole so arresting -- honest, gut-level emotion. James simply follows what's in his gut and lets it rip. Even the world's most casual funksters shouldn't be without this pearl of an album. ~ Alex Henderson
£16.49

R&B - Released January 1, 1981 | Motown

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Disappointed because Garden of Love wasn't as well received as it should have been, Rick James made a triumphant return to defiant, in-your-face funk with the triple-platinum Street Songs. This was not only his best-selling album ever, it was also his best period, and certainly the most exciting album released in 1981. The gloves came all the way off this time, and James is as loud and proud as ever on such arresting hits as "Super Freak," "Give It to Me Baby," and "Ghetto Life." Ballads aren't a high priority, but those he does offer (including his stunning duet with Teena Marie, "Fire and Desire") are first-rate. One song that's questionable (to say the least) is the inflammatory "Mr. Policeman," a commentary on police misconduct that condemns law enforcement in general instead of simply indicting those who abuse their authority. But then, the thing that makes this hot-headed diatribe extreme is what makes the album on the whole so arresting -- honest, gut-level emotion. James simply follows what's in his gut and lets it rip. Even the world's most casual funksters shouldn't be without this pearl of an album. ~ Alex Henderson
£11.99
£8.49

Soul/Funk/R&B - Released September 12, 2014 | Buddah - Legacy

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£14.99
£11.49

Soul/Funk/R&B - Released September 12, 2014 | Epic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Wearing skintight pants, black leather and brandishing a Bowie knife on the LP cover, Nona Hendryx announces her intentions loudly and clearly on her debut record. At the time, this record was unpromotable (hell, it would be today), mainly because the record company and radio stations didn't know what to do with a huge-voiced African-American woman who was comfortable and capable of singing hard rock as well as soul music. So, as usual, they turned their backs on the record and it disappeared almost as quickly as it was released. Which is a shame, because it's a nasty, relentless chunk of hard-edged rock'n'soul that was just a bit ahead of its time. Long out of print, but worth searching for. ~ John Dougan
£12.99

Funk - Released September 12, 2014 | Epic - Legacy

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£12.49

R&B - Released January 1, 1963 | Polydor

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard