Sweet Soul Music

"Sweet Soul Music" is a soul song, first released by Arthur Conley in 1967. Written by Conley and Otis Redding,[2] it is based on the Sam Cooke song "Yeah Man" from his posthumous album Shake;[citation needed] the opening riff is a quote from Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1960 movie The Magnificent Seven.[citation needed]

"Sweet Soul Music"
Single by Arthur Conley
from the album Sweet Soul Music
B-side"Let's Go Steady"
Released1967 (1967)
RecordedFAME Studios, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, January 1967[1]
GenreSoul, rhythm and blues
Songwriter(s)Sam Cooke, Arthur Conley and Otis Redding

In the US, "Sweet Soul Music" reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind "The Happening" by The Supremes),[3] and number two on the Billboard R&B chart. Overseas, it peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart.[4] "Sweet Soul Music" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[2]

J. W. Alexander, Cooke's business partner, sued both Redding and Conley for appropriating the melody. A settlement was reached in which Cooke's name was added to the writer credits, and Redding agreed to record some songs in the future from Kags Music, a Cooke–Alexander enterprise.[citation needed]


The song is an homage to soul music. The following songs are mentioned in the lyrics:

Additionally, James Brown is described as "the king of them all".[5]

At the end of the song, Arthur Conley sings, "Otis Redding got the feeling."


  1. ^ The Muscle Shoals Sound CD Liner Notes, Rhino Records, 1993
  2. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 218. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ "The Hot 100: the week of May 13, 1967". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "Sweet Soul Music". Songfacts. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
  5. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 51 – The Soul Reformation: Phase Three, Soul Music at the Summit. [Part 7]: UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.

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