In the last few months there’s been a number of albums claiming to chronicle the birth of soul music. Future Noise are the latest to enter the fray with this excellent 25 tracker which – with some justification – takes 1958 as the year when, what was to become known as “soul music” was just beginning to crystallise from its sources. Compiler Mike Atherton has taken 25 of the very best black music hits from the US chart that year and, listening, it’s hard to argue against his premise. I mean a set that kicks off with Bobby Bland’s ‘Little Boy Blue’ and ends with the Impressions’ ‘Come Back My Love’ would be hard to fault. But in between there are plenty more REAL classics – James Brown’s ‘Try Me’, Jackie Wilson’s ‘Lonely Teardrops’, Clyde McPhatter’s ‘Lover Question’ and Sam Cooke’s ‘ You Send Me’ to name but four. Then, for variety, there’s the slightly less well known items like Chuck Willis’ ‘What Am I Living For’, Billy Myles’ ‘The Joker’ and The Pastels ‘Win Your Love From Me’. They are, of course, diverse sounds in their own right but all contain the essential elements, notably passion, commitment and belief to merit the “soul” tag. One track, in particular sums it’s all up – the Impressions’ ‘For Your Precious Love’. Totally unique, it possesses a sanctity that defines soul music. Add to all those aforementioned august names the likes of Dee Clark, Wade Flemmons, Bobby Freeman, Little Willie John, Gene Allison, Brook Benton, Ed Townsend and Tommy Edwards and you have a paean to soul’s origins. Hugely recommended.