The Ten Best: Heartbreakers

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The Independent Culture

1 PLEASE DON'T STAY (ONCE YOU GO AWAY) Marvin Gaye

1 PLEASE DON'T STAY (ONCE YOU GO AWAY) Marvin Gaye

The track is just too good. There is something very tortured about the whole album, even "Let's Get It On". I think he knew that his days were numbered. I don't know what it is, but when he sings "stay", it really gets me. I suppose the word for it is "chilling".

2 TRIAD Jefferson Airplane

David Crosby wrote this song about how it's OK to be a threesome. I sort of see his point by the end, but it's never gonna work, Dave! It's a soul/folk number, with the girl from Jefferson Airplane lamenting that two guys are in love with her.

3 SINCE I'VE BEEN LOVING YOU Led Zeppelin

The fattest drum sound on a record, and the live performance is what turned me on to it. Spellbinding - four geezers in total control! Now it has obviously been tarted up in the studio, but the band are as tight as anything. It's incredible.

4 UNTITLED (HOW DOES IT FEEL) D'Angelo

From the so-called "tricky second album", there's nothing tricky about this track. It's effortless; an all-timer for me and my peers. D'Angelo spent a long time on the album, and it's better than the first.

5 JUST LIKE A BABY Sly & The Family Stone

In drug-fuelled chaos, Sly pulls this little beauty out of the bag. He recorded the album in a house in Beverly Hills, serving up coke to the band with a gun in his hand. Somehow, this little soft ballad with an incredible tune and a drum machine comes from that period.

6 UNTITLED Dwele

I was privileged enough to hear the demos of the album, but this masterpiece never made it. You can hardly hear his voice - it sounds like he's singing through a guitar amp - and he's playing slow, celestial soul in the background, with this distorted vocal on top.

7 COMPUTER LOVE Zapp

One from my teenage years. Roger Troutman, the man behind Zapp, is lamenting his love for his computer. I'm sure it understands him better than anyone. I know how he feels. A real Eighties soul track.

8 I BELIEVE TO MY SOUL Ray Charles

A gem. I was given a great compilation for Christmas and this tune was on it. Ray Charles is talking about how his lady's done him wrong, and he believes it, to his soul.

9 WHOLE TOWN'S LAUGHING AT ME Teddy Pendergrass

Pendergrass is a big part of my upbringing. He's maybe perceived as cheesy now, but he means what he says, trust me. A big schmaltzy soul ballad.

10 AH UH MI HED Shuggie Otis

In the first line, Shuggie laments, "Out of my head" (or "ah uh mi hed"), and we all know where he's coming from. Then the song moves to a higher level. An album of creative purity - Shug has no inhibitions! It's just one guy in a studio doing California soul.

Zero 7's 'When It Falls' is out now on Ultimate Dilemma/Atlantic, and the band will be touring the UK in November ( www.zero7.co.uk)

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