So, some young whippersnapper at Vice’s Thump portal just came up with a list of the supposed ‘Ten Best Male Vocal House Records Ever’ — a collection mostly made up of OK also-rans and not-really-house-actually that left me feeling all Gandalf-like: “You shall not pass!”
In fact, it’s not that difficult to single out the legit, definitive ten best male vocal house tunes of all time — which are YouTubed below for your reminiscent listening pleasure.
My main selection criteria was that each track had to be a full song or at least have vocals running throughout (not simply something with a male vocal refrain or sample, meaning the admittedly outstanding likes of Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You” didn’t make the cut). And what songs these are, for the most part deeply emotional, uplifting-as-helium treatises on love, life, joy, and overcoming racial and sexual orientation discrimination — exactly what house music was originally all about.
Three of these I want played at my funeral, because if my passing isn’t enough to bring a tear to the congregants’ eyes, the tunes are sure to do the trick. Someday, it’s gonna be alright — we’ll make it to the promised land…
Here we go people. Dig deep. Proper, rock-solid classic male vocal house at its finest. (School’s in, Thump boy Josh Baines.)
Vocal house maestro Robert Owens, who features twice in this list — as does his "Tears" collaborator, the late, great Frankie Knuckles (main pic).