A catalog of the top 100 American/Canadian rare soul/funk albums – Vol. 1

The idea of writing this book came to me a few years ago, when a dear friend from Japan sent me a postcard with the pictures of  rare records (albums) from his own personal collection. In a few years I not only found nearly all of these rarities, but I also managed to collect many more rarities that in the previous 35 years of collecting black music. Then, 5 years ago, my son brought back from a trip to New York, as a present to me, a book entitled “1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die“ by Tom Moon. That is when I seriously considered the idea of writing a sort of catalog with the top hundred soul/funk vinyl albums of my collection. After many years of collecting mainly black music, I thought it was time to slow down a little bit and to start to handle, consider and enjoy my records collection from another perspective. So I started to sort out my basement to find out how many rare gems had been lying there for ages.
One of the purposes of this book is to make a rough inventory and evaluation of some of the rarest vinyl items in my collection. Every day for more than three years, I went out to search for, play and listen to this music. This book is the product of my journey. It has been an odyssey powered by the thrill of discovery and governed by a simple notion: the more you love music, the more music you love. As I chased down recordings from all over the world, just about every day brought unexpected revelations – sometimes a life lesson would arrive wrapped inside the weary groan of a bluesman; other times a single devastating chord change said all there is to say about heartache. My hope is that these jumping-off points will inspire more searches, lifetimes of exploration. There is no standard map to follow in search of great music. You have to go your own way. Likewise, there’s no foolproof strategy for creating a list like this.