Skip to content

Solomon Burke – Rock ‘n Soul (1964)

July 12, 2018

[Album 608/1001]

“Without soul, there’d be no rock, and without rock, there’d be no soul.”
– Solomon Burke

The plan for this Solomon Burke review was flawless.

The album is called Rock ‘n Soul?

Time for quantitative analysis!

What % rock?

What % soul?

What % both of the above?

What’s the optimal rock/soul ratio?

The graphs practically construct themselves!

I hypothesized that they’d look something like this…




…though I ran into one slight issue when listening: I simply couldn’t sort out Burke’s ingredients!

What constitutes rock?

Where does the soul begin/end?

And thus, my quest to separate the rock from the soul was over before it began.

It was foolish to think I could quantify the genre percentages, even more misguided to think I could identify an optimal rock/soul ratio.

Instead, I should have listened to the wisdom of Solomon: Without soul, there’d be no rock, and without rock, there’d be no soul.220px-Rocknsoul

In hindsight, I should have paid more attention to the conjunction in the album title.

It’s Rock ‘n Soul, not an optional Rock &/or Soul, nor a mutually exclusive Rock or Soul.

The album title could not be more fitting as its components are inextricable to my ears.

It pains me to say it…it appears that sometimes charts/graphs aren’t the answer.

But thanks to Solomon, I’ve been reminded that it can also be fun to give the spreadsheets a break & just sit back and enjoy the show.

And I reckon I’ll be enjoying Solomon’s Rock ‘n Soul show for years to come.


Verbalize the Positive

Don’t worry spreadsheets, I can’t stay mad at you!

From → 1960s

  1. I am a simple man, I see Solomon Burke, I hit Like!

    Also, spreadsheets can solve everything, Geoff. Everything! There is an answer! DON’T GIVE UP NOW!

  2. They didn’t have spreadsheets in Solomon’s day so he would have been helpless trying to figure this out. Maybe that’s why he just capitulated and learned to live with both.

    • Life without spreadsheets – if you can call that living!

      I’m currently reading a fascinating book, The Song Machine, where it explores all the behind the scenes hit makers for Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, etc.

      I just read a section about a computer based “Hit Song Science” method that compares acoustic/math properties of songs to previous hits, in order to see what has to be remixed to make a given song fit the “Hit” pattern.

      I think it’s safe to say that this software was also before Solomon’s time & I’m glad he just did what he did on albums like this one instead!

  3. Man, gotta love some Solomon Burke, right? As HMO says, he wasn’t interested in genre percentages and rock to soul ratios… he just brought it. All the time.

  4. I am so lost. A review without graphs…I can’t take it.

    In a side note, I was doing a Tuesday’s Memes for the coming weeks and it has several graphs just for you!

    • I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to review an album without a graph, I’m learning new things every day!
      And I like the sounds of that upcoming Tuesday memes!

  5. Charts/graphs aren’t the answer? Heresy!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1960-1964 | 1001albumsin10years

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: