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Stax 50th - A 50th Anniversary Celebration [2 CD Box Set] Box set, Original recording remastered
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After the headliners came a group of equally talented performers who were minor deities in R&B circles - Booker T. & the MGs, Albert King, Carla Thomas, and Johnnie Taylor among them. Late arrivals to this material may be interested to learn what Walkin' the Dog - Rufus Thomas - sounded like before the Stones cashed in. There are multiple wonderful surprises on this 2-CD set - from Little Milton - That's What Love Will Make You Do - to - Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone - Johnnie Taylor - to the priceless - Your Good Thing Is About To End - Mable John.
If you want the material that broke out you'll be more than satisfied - Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight - and the irresistible - Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get - The Dramatics - not to mention classics by artists previously listed. But the real fun is digging way down into material you've most likely never heard - Candy - The Astors - just great! About the only disappointment this terrific set has to offer is discovering that Isaac Hayes just doesn't hold up very well. His voice is glorious, but the delivery is goopy and the over-arrangements intolerable.
Buy now, think later! 2-CDs - which cleverly add up to 50 tracks (50th Anniversary Edition), sturdy box, excellent booklet. I simply cannot imagine where you could find more for less - this wonderful collection could easily provide the foundation for a really solid, and delightful, collection. Switchin' labels on the tables, this assortment Stax up real nice.
Historian Rob Bowman calls out several elements that molded the classic Stax sound, but none more notable than the musician's pay scale. Outside of the South musicians were paid by the hour (or three-hour session), but in Memphis they were paid by the song. Where Motown had tight arrangements on paper before sessions began, Stax tasked its players to create and refine arrangements on the fly. Only when the band found a song's unique groove were the vocalists invited in, and then to often sing live. The arrangements included horn charts in place of background singers, emphasizing the vocalist without mixing them out front. Finally, the live vibe of these performances was carried to tape via the reverberant acoustics of Stax's legendary studio-in-a-former-movie theater. It all added up to a sound that was unique and instantly recognizable on record and on the radio.
Stax's defining period, from 1961 to 1968, is best remembered for the tight grooves of Booker T. & The MG's, the duets of Sam & Dave, and the standard-defining sides of Otis Redding.Read more ›
50, yes, 50 classic soul songs with accompanying informative booklet and nice box with lenticular 3D picture for 12 bucks? What is there to think about here? Go out and get this.
So many classics here, many forgotten, many I've never heard before, but still deserving of being included here. The perfect introduction to anyone not at all familiar with this kind of music. Soul done right. Why does hardly anyone do it like this anymore? Let's all hope that this will not be a bygone era.
Long live Southern Soul! And Happy 50th Anniversary to Stax Records! Here's to another 50 years of class.
Sorry for the run-on sentences. I'm just really enjoying this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect companion to recent book by Robert Gordon about Stax. Fascinating history and super music.Published 4 months ago by Susan
What can I say. If you grew up with this music it's all here. The stuff you don't hear on the classic stations.Published 7 months ago by Old retired guy
I like it but two of the last songs on the second disc skip like crazy.Published 8 months ago by larry g
Some of the best music ever from the vastly underrated Stax Studios. Put this on while you're reading Respect Yourself: The History of Stax.Published 9 months ago by Evelyn