California Soul

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About California Soul

"California Soul" is a funk-soul tune written by Ashford & Simpson, issued originally as the B-side of the Messengers' single "Window Shopping" in 1967 under the Motown group of labels. Nick Ashford then released his own version in June 1968 on Verve 10599. It was then issued as a single by American pop quintet the 5th Dimension in late 1968, and also covered by Motown vocal duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and by Marlena Shaw the following year. It was Gaye's and Terrell's last single together when released in early 1970. Both the 5th Dimension's version and the Gaye-Terrell version were modest charted hits. The 5th Dimension's performed better, reaching number twenty-five on the pop singles chart. Marvin and Tammi's cover was the B-side of "The Onion Song". The duo's version of "California Soul" reached number fifty pop but never charted on the US R&B chart. The duet was released after Terrell's death from a brain tumor in March 1970. In 1969, Marlena Shaw covered the song on the album The Spice of Life. This version has appeared in commercials for Dockers, KFC and Dodge Ram trucks. A Diplo remix appears on Volume 4 of the Verve Remixed compilation series; this version was used in a late summer 2011 commercial for Target and was featured in the 2011 video game Driver: San Francisco. The original version of Shaw's cover also appears in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V, played by the in-game radio station The Lowdown 91.1. The song also appears on the 1970 LP War & Peace by Edwin Starr. The following year, the experimental vocal band the Undisputed Truth released this song on their debut album The Undisputed Truth, produced and arranged by Norman Whitfield. 


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Like a sound you hear that lingers in your ear
And you can't forget
From sunrise to sunset (yeah)

It's all in the air you hear it everywhere
And no matter what you do
It's gonna get a hold on you

It's California soul (California soul)
California soul
They say the sun
Comes up every morning

And if you listen carefully (listen carefully)
The wind that rides
On the high tide
Can whistle a melody

So the people started to sing
That's how the surf gave birth untold to
California soul
California soul


When you hear the beat you wanna pat your feet
And you've gotta move 'cause (uh)
It's really such a groove (yeah oh oh)

It puts a brand new kind of thinking in your mind
And you can't go wrong
'Cause you're happy all day long 

It's California soul (California soul)
California soul
They had the melody and the beat

But it still didn't seem complete
Until they saw two lovers kissing
And then they knew just what was missing
So happy they were rocking and reeling
Because they added that loving feeling
To California soul
California soul
California soul (yeah)
It's California soul

You got the feeling (California soul)
Of this California soul yeah

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Edwin Starr

Edwin Starr (January 21, 1942 – April 2, 2003) was an American soul music singer. Starr is most famous for his Norman Whitfield produced Motown singles of the 1970s, most notably the number one hit "War". more »

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Written by: NICKOLAS ASHFORD, VALERIE SIMPSON

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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