Solomon Burke never had it easy. He never came close to matching the popularity of fellow Gospel to R&B crossover stars like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. His best known hits are better remembered for renditions by or involving white folks—"Cry To Me" Jagger and Swayze, "Everybody Needs Somebody" the Blues Brothers—than the ones by Burke himself. Even his don't-call-it-a-comeback-record, 2002's extraordinary Don't Give Up On Me, found a way to not win a Grammy for Album of the Year—thanks, Norah Jones—despite featuring collaborations with the most brilliant songwriters alive.

Through it all, he kept performing and inspiring with his magnificent wail. "Home In Your Heart" is not a hit, but it's one of my favorites—a shuffling cut of rhythm and blues, its slinky guitar and organ build tension around a soulful but desperate vocal. Today the whole song feels like a metaphor for his life's work without pop success—Burke proclaims to you his intention to never relent until he finds his "home in your heart", but by the end of the cut, when he lets out an arresting laugh in tandem with a series of blown-out snare downbeats, you get the impression he knows he might not get there. While the man may not have touched everybody, those that know his power will never forget it.


Solomon Burke - "Home In Your Heart"