Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, April 05, 2007 | 06:30 PM

StaxStax 50th Anniversary Celebration:   Last year, Concord Music purchased Fantasy Records, and as a bonus, they landed the "bulging Stax catalog."

For those of you not fans of 1960s/70s Soul music, Stax was one of the richest sources of R&B, Soul and Blues. They were home to such artists as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, William Bell, and Booker T. 

For some reason, they were overshadowed somewhat by Gordy Berry and Motown. This double CD features 50 hit singles from Stax (and Stax-Atlantic) from the labels' 1960s and '70s heyday, and attempts to make up some of that ground.

The WSJ had a glowing review of the set:

"Stax, the music label responsible for superior soul, R&B and an occasional slice of the blues in the '60s and early '70s, is observing its 1957 founding in everything but name by releasing "Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration," featuring 50 of the best tracks from its vaults. It could have released twice as many, or more, without a dip in quality. In fact, it did release twice as many in 2000 under the title "Stax Story" and almost 2½ times as many in 1991 in the superb boxed set "The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968." Two subsequent collections from the archives of Stax and its Volt subsidiary raised the number of tracks issued in the past 15 years to 652, more than 13 times what's in the 50th anniversary box.

[Illustration]  

A joy from the first cut to the last, "Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration" is a reminder of the glory days of R&B, when singer, song and band came together with fervor to spark body and soul. The music all but sweats with the musicians' passion: There are no drum machines and no vocal bent to pitch by software. The punchy horns are real brass and reeds, not lines played on synthesizers. Now and then, a musician flubs a note or misses a cue, but an absolute reliance on musicians' creativity can deliver brilliant pop music that's timeless. Especially if the vocalists are the likes of Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and the Staple Singers."

The Journal eds were kind enough to move the full article over to the free site for the linkfest, so you guys get an early viewing pre-weekend.

And, while the Double CD is on sale at Amazon for $11.99 (a deal), the real bargain is here: You can stream the entire CD over at CNET for free:

click for CNET media player

Cnet_stax


Several videos are after the jump:

>


Sources:
Golden Oldies: Stax Releases A 50th-Anniversary Boxed Set
JIM FUSILLI
WSJ, April 4, 2007; Page D9
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117564579112759055.html

I'll Take You There/The Staple Singers/1972

The Staple Singers -- Respect Yourself

What a Man -- Linda Lyndell (Starsky & Hutch video)

Funky Chicken -- Rufus Thomas

And finally, this Stax showcase, featuring Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd and William Bell with Booker T and the MGs, live at SXSW 2007:



Thursday, April 05, 2007 | 06:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
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Comments

Jeepers, be a man. Pony up the dough for the full, two-volume, 9-CDs-per box sets.

9 CDs here, and over there.. another 9 CDs.

I love Motown, but for soul I probably rank the big '60s labels Atlantic, Stax and Motown, in that order. Take the bus for a while and buy these instead of your next ten tanks of gasoline. You'll all thank me later.

Posted by: wcw | Apr 5, 2007 6:59:07 PM

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