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.


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


Several videos are after the jump:


Golden Oldies: Stax Releases A 50th-Anniversary Boxed Set
WSJ, April 4, 2007; Page D9

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) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration:


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

The comments to this entry are closed.

Recent Posts

December 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Complete Archives List



Category Cloud

On the Nightstand

On the Nightstand

 Subscribe in a reader

Get The Big Picture!
Enter your email address:

Read our privacy policy

Essays & Effluvia

The Apprenticed Investor

Apprenticed Investor

About Me

About Me
email me

Favorite Posts

Tools and Feeds

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe to The Big Picture

Powered by FeedBurner

Add to Technorati Favorites


My Wishlist

Worth Perusing

Worth Perusing

mp3s Spinning

MP3s Spinning

My Photo



Odds & Ends

Site by Moxie Design Studios™