Various Artists – It Hurts So Good  

Label:  Soul4Real Records 
Catalogue Number: S4RLP01 
Release Date: 9th December 2022  
Format: LP   

It doesn’t always hurt to hurt…
Soul 4 Real’s first venture into the albums market is as compellingly essential as the label’s impressive singles catalogue. Its 11 tracks explore every lonely street and losers avenue that soul music has walked down since the early 60s, tempering essays of heartbreak and love lost with the occasional glimpse of positivity and happiness. “It Hurts So Good” is very much in the tradition of those great 60s soul compilations where diverse strands of black American music sat side-by-side with each other, and still formed a satisfying listening experience despite their apparent disparity because, in the final analysis, the music mattered most.

Just as it does here, in fact
This album showcases just under a dozen goodies by some very big names in soul. It may well be that one or two of the tracks might be less than familiar to you, but you will know the artists – and you will know, too, that they will never let you down. Originally unissued tracks by James & Bobby Purify and Walter Jackson blend seamlessly with early essentials from Aretha Franklin, Willie Hutch and the Main Ingredient (as the Insiders).

Soul 4 Real has delved into the deeper parts of discographies of legendary artists like Marvin Gaye, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Esther Phillips to bring you songs and performances that are every bit as unforgettable as those that forged their reputations. And if you remain unmoved after experiencing the stellar offerings from the Soul Children and Lou Courtney, it may well be that you didn’t have a soul to begin with.

In the song that gives this collection its title, the great Prince Phillip Mitchell wrote “it ain’t no good unless it hurts a little bit”. It’s true, and the ‘Hurt’ here really IS ‘So Good’…and then some……Soul 4 Real – for real.

Tony Rounce
Alex Subinas & Andy “Tats” Taylor

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