Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

$8.99

Funk - Released June 2, 2014 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$16.49
$14.49

Disco - Released September 30, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
Released in 1978, just as disco began to peak, C'est Chic and its pair of dancefloor anthems, "Le Freak" and "I Want Your Love," put Chic at the top of that dizzying peak. The right album at the right time, C'est Chic is essentially a rehash of Chic, the group's so-so self-titled debut from a year earlier. That first album also boasted a pair of floor-filling anthems, "Dance Dance Dance" and "Everybody Dance," and, like C'est Chic, it filled itself out with a mix of disco and ballads. So, essentially, C'est Chic does everything its predecessor did, except it does so masterfully: each side similarly gets its timeless floor-filler ("Le Freak," "I Want Your Love"), quiet storm come-down ("Savoir Faire," "At Last I Am Free"), feel-good album track ("Happy Man," "Sometimes You Win"), and moody album capper ("Chic Cheer," [RoviLink="MC"]"[Funny] Bone"[/RoviLink]). Producers Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers were quite a savvy pair and knew that disco was as much a formula as anything. As evidenced here, they definitely had their fingers on the pulse of the moment, and used their perceptive touch to craft one of the few truly great disco albums. In fact, you could even argue that C'est Chic very well may be the definitive disco album. After all, countless artists scored dancefloor hits, but few could deliver an album this solid, and nearly as few could deliver one this epochal as well. C'est Chic embodies everything wonderful and excessive about disco at its pixilated peak. It's anything but subtle with its at-the-disco dancefloor mania and after-the-disco bedroom balladry, and Edwards and Rodgers are anything but whimsical with their disco-ballad-disco album sequencing and pseudo-jet-set Euro poshness. Chic would follow C'est Chic with "Good Times," the group's crowning achievement, but never again would Edwards and Rodgers assemble an album as perfectly calculated as C'est Chic. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Soul - Released July 15, 2008 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Otis Redding's third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding's versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "Shake," are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it's useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with "Wonderful World," which is seldom compiled elsewhere. Also featured are Redding's spellbinding renditions of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (a song epitomizing the fully formed Stax/Volt sound and which Mick Jagger and Keith Richards originally wrote in tribute to and imitation of Redding's style), "My Girl," and "You Don't Miss Your Water." "Respect" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long," two originals that were to loom large in his career, are here as well; the former became vastly popular in the hands of Aretha Franklin and the latter was an instant soul classic. Among the seldom-cited jewels here is a rendition of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" that has the singer sharing the spotlight with Steve Cropper, his playing alternately elegant and fiery, with Wayne Jackson and Gene "Bowlegs" Miller's trumpets and Andrew Love's and Floyd Newman's saxes providing the backing. Redding's powerful, remarkable singing throughout makes Otis Blue gritty, rich, and achingly alive, and an essential listening experience. ~ Bruce Eder
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Soul - Released November 19, 1996 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released February 2, 2006 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released February 8, 2011 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released December 5, 1995 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released December 21, 1993 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Soul - Released October 1, 2002 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
$12.99

Disco - Released February 15, 1979 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Before 1979's We Are Family, Sister Sledge wasn't a huge name in the R&B/disco world. The group had enjoyed a small following and scored a few minor hits, including "Love, Don't You Go Through No Changes on Me" in 1974 and "Blockbuster Boy" in 1977. But it wasn't until We Are Family that the Philadelphia siblings finally exploded commercially, and the people they have to thank for their commercial success are Chic leaders Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. The Rodgers/Edwards team handles all of the writing, producing, and arranging on this album; so not surprisingly, almost everything on We Are Family is very Chic-sounding. That is true of the sexy "He's the Greatest Dancer" and the anthemic, uplifting title song (both of which soared to #1 on the R&B charts), as well as excellent album tracks like the lush "Easier to Love," the perky "One More Time," and the addictive "Thinking of You." The least Chic-sounding tune on the album is the ballad "Somebody Loves Me," which favors a classic sweet soul approach and is the type of song one would have expected from Thom Bell, Gamble & Huff, or Holland-Dozier-Holland rather than Rodgers/Edwards. Meanwhile, the intoxicating "Lost in Music" (a #35 R&B hit) is about as Chic-sounding as it gets. When Rhino reissued We Are Family on CD in 1995, it added four bonus tracks, all of which are remixes of either the title song or "Lost in Music." These remixes are intriguing; it's interesting to hear late '70s classics turned into high-tech 1990s dance-pop. But they are less than essential, and the original versions are by far the best -- how can you improve on perfection? Both creatively and commercially, We Are Family is Sister Sledge's crowning achievement. ~ Alex Henderson
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Soul - Released June 20, 1995 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While the inclusion of "Respect" -- one of the truly seminal singles in pop history -- is in and of itself sufficient to earn I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You classic status, Aretha Franklin's Atlantic label debut is an indisputable masterpiece from start to finish. Much of the credit is due to producer Jerry Wexler, who finally unleashed the soulful intensity so long kept under wraps during her Columbia tenure; assembling a crack Muscle Shoals backing band along with an abundance of impeccable material, Wexler creates the ideal setting to allow Aretha to ascend to the throne of Queen of Soul, and she responds with the strongest performances of her career. While the brilliant title track remains the album's other best-known song, each cut on I Never Loved a Man is touched by greatness; covers of Ray Charles' "Drown in My Own Tears" and Sam Cooke's "Good Times" and "A Change Is Gonna Come" are on par with the original recordings, while Aretha's own contributions -- "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream," "Baby, Baby, Baby," "Save Me," and "Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)" -- are perfectly at home in such lofty company. A soul landmark. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Soul - Released October 16, 2007 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Because R&B was such a singles-driven market in the 1960s, many albums released by Stax and Motown were big on filler. But that generally wasn't the case with Sam & Dave's albums, which boasted many gems that weren't released as singles and enjoyed little, if any, radio airplay. Listeners may be surprised to learn that as popular as this twosome was in 1967, Soul Men contains only one major single: the anthemic title song and its B-side, the charming "May I Baby." Among the first-class album tracks never released as singles were "Rich Kind of Poverty," the punchy "Hold It Baby," and the gospel-drenched ballads "Just Keep Holding On" and "I've Seen What Loneliness Can Do." As was customary, the team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter wrote the hits, and Hayes' production was so utterly sympathetic in capturing the tough, swaggering singing styles of both Sam Moore and David Prater that he surrounded them with punchy, driving arrangements by the Memphis Horns, Booker T. & the MG's, and the studio aces at Stax. Hayes pushed the level into the red on a number of these tunes, making for dynamite performances from the duo. This is one of these records that feels live because of its crackling energy. For those with more than a casual interest in Memphis soul, Soul Men is highly recommended. ~ Alex Henderson and Thom Jurek
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R&B - Released June 19, 2007 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
For their fourth Atlantic Records outing, the Spinners -- Henry Fambrough (baritone vocal), Billy Henderson (tenor vocal), Pervis Jackson (bass vocal), Bobbie Smith (tenor vocal) and Philippe Wynne (tenor vocal) -- cook up another sizable serving of Philly Soul under the care of producer/arranger Thom Bell. Following on the heels of three sequential gold records, it is not particularly surprising that they would continue in the same vein. The danceable R&B grooves -- especially the undeniably memorable "They Just Can't Stop It (The Games People Play)" -- not to mention the soulful slow jams, were ultimately a factor in making Pick of the Litter (1975) the Spinners' most successful long-player. Although the entire affair clocks in at just over half-an-hour, they pack a great deal into the effort, commencing with the dynamic mid-tempo "Honest I Do." The four-on-the-floor tempo and compact string arrangement are part and parcel of what made their sound so instantly discernible among concurrent copycat combos. They likewise had Wynne's versatile vocals in their arsenal, which was no doubt a significant component in their second 7" side, the compelling "Love or Leave." Instrumentally, the distinctive distorted guitar and refined brass accompaniment are all courtesy of Bell's singular musical vision, and faultlessly executed by the equally unmistakable MFSB Orchestra. "All That Glitters Ain't Gold" is a catchy number sporting a brisk propelling rhythm and score foreshadowing Bell's work with Elton John on "Mama Can't Buy You Love." The batch of ballads on Pick of the Litter are proportionately excellent as well, highlighted by Dionne Warwick's second guest appearance. Fambrough's debut as a solo lead demonstrates a gentle and supple intonation, perfectly matched to Warwick's agile and affective style. The album's primary focus track was the aforementioned "They Just Can't Stop It (The Games People Play)." The slightly, albeit judiciously edited version became a crossover smash, landing in the upper reaches of the Pop Singles survey and topping the R&B countdown in July of 1975. Trading vocals with Wynne and Jackson -- whose resonant "12:45" interjection became a hallmark of the song -- is backing session singer Barbara Ingram. Because the group was touring at the time, Fambrough was unavailable to put the finishing touches on the recording. Bell was under the gun to complete the production, so he chose Ingram to step in, and in doing so lent a whole new dimension to the lyrical banter. Those seeking a thoroughly solid effort Philly Soul are encouraged to spin the appropriately named Pick of the Litter. ~ Lindsay Planer
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R&B - Released September 20, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
A superb album, arguably their finest, though not their biggest, crossover work. The Spinners teamed with Thom Bell and outpaced Motown with this album of glorious anthems. "I'll Be Around" and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" ended any discussions, mentions, or even thoughts of their former lead singer G.C. Cameron, as Philippe Wynne was emerging as the king of immaculate, sophisticated soul. They had three R&B chart-toppers from this album and were now dominating the Motown acts they once idolized. ~ Ron Wynn
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R&B - Released August 30, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$12.99

Soul - Released March 29, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$11.49

R&B - Released January 18, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
At a concert held at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta on May 28, 1959, Ray Charles turns in a blistering version of "What'd I Say" and takes on the big-band era with versions of Tommy Dorsey's "Yes Indeed!" and Artie Shaw's "Frenesi," not to mention performances of "The Right Time" and "Tell the Truth." [This album was reissued in 1973 as a part of a two-record set, packaged with Ray Charles at Newport under the title Ray Charles Live (Atlantic 503)]. ~ William Ruhlmann