Sunday, 30 August 2015

"STAX SOUL SINGLES - The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Volume 3: 1972-1975" by VARIOUS ARTISTS (1994 and 2015 (Reissue) 10CD Box Set Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...





"...I'll Take You There..."

"STAX Soul Singles Complete Volume 3" (3 of 3) spanning the final years of the famous Soul Label's output between 1972 and 1975 first appeared in 1994 in a garish orange-coloured 12" x 12" Box set to very mixed reviews. With 10-discs and a whopping 213-tracks – it was extensive for sure - but incredibly pricey. And worse - felt musically stodgy in terms of quality once you got past Discs 1 to 6.

The infinitely superior blue-coloured Volume 2 Box covering 1968 to 1971 had preceded it in 1993 - while the black-coloured Volume 1 Box (handled by Atlantic Records) had done the 9-disc 12" x 12" deed for the formative years of 1959 to 1968 in 1991. Subsequently 'Concord Music Group, Inc.' acquired the Stax catalogue in 2011 and began trickling out "Stax Remasters" single CDs of label favourites like The Staples Singers, Johnnie Taylor and Booker T. & The M.G.'s. Now in 2014 and 2015 - Concord are reissuing the two huge "Complete Stax Singles" boxes they do have control over in stripped down 'Mini Book Box' packaging at greatly reduced prices - Volume 2 in December 2014 and this - Volume 3 in February 2015 (I’ve reviewed both and the 9 "Stax Remasters" single discs).

Originally produced by BILL BELMONT and ROB BOWMAN - Volume 3 gives you 213 singles – 116 on Stax, 38 on Volt, 24 on Enterprise, 25 on Truth and 10 on We Produce. The lid of the 2015 Mini Box reissue slides upwards and off to reveal 10 numbered single card sleeves inside and a chunky 154-page booklet at the rear. Complete with full track annotation - the essay by ROB BOWMAN (author of "Soulsville U.S.A. – The Story Of Stax Records") is a blast to read - funny and honest. There are black and white publicity photos - colour reproductions of trade adverts for "Wattstax", The Staples Singers album "Be What You Are" and other LPs by Isaac Hayes and Albert King etc. An oddity though is that my card sleeve for Disc '6' is a duplicate with Disc 9 (the CD inside is correct) – I don't know if anyone else got this anomaly? The Audio Remaster done in 1994 by PHIL DE LANCE (with Archive Research and Tape Transfers by Lisa Gifford and Richard Duarte) has not been altered for the 2015 reissue probably because there's no need – this stuff sounds amazing anyway – full of life and presence. And second time around this 2015 10CD reissue is weighing in at a crowd-pleasing thirty-five quid - a bit of a deal in any man's language. Here are the indepth details...

UK released 2 March 2015 – "The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Volume 3: 1972-1975" by VARIOUS ARTISTS is a 213-track 10CD Mini Box Set Reissue on Concord Music Group, Inc/Universal/Stax STX-35991-02 (Barcode 888072359918) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1, 24 Tracks (79:03 minutes):
1. Yum Yum (I Want Some) – EDDIE FLOYD (January 1972, Stax STA-0109, A)
2. Carry On – JEAN KNIGHT (January 1972, Stax STA-0116, A)
3. Do Your Thing – ISAAC HAYES (January 1972, Enterprise ENA-9042, A)
4. I've Been Lonely For So Long (February 1972, Stax STA-0117, A)
5. Nothing Is Everlasting – ANNETTE THOMAS (February 1972, Stax STA-0118, A)
6. Hearsay – THE SOUL CHILDREN (February 1972, Stax STA-0119, A)
7. Angel Of Mercy – ALBERT KING (February 1972, Stax STA-0121, A)
8. In The Rain – THE DRAMATICS (February 1972, Volt VOA-4075, A)
9. She's My Old Lady Too – LEE SAIN (February 1972, We Produce XPA-1806, A)
10. Explain It To Her Mama – THE TEMPRESS (February 1972, We Produce XPA-1807, A)
11. Right On – SONS OF SLUM (February 1972, Stax STA-0120, A)
12. Doing My Own Thing (Part 1) – JOHNNY TAYLOR (The Soul Philosopher) (February 1972, Stax STA-0122, A)
13. My Honey And Me – THE EMOTIONS (February 1972, Volt VOA-4077, A)
14.  Let's Stay Together [Instrumental] – ISAAC HAYES (March 1972, Enterprise ENA-9045, A)
15. Bring It Home (And Give It To Me) – HOT SAUCE (March 1972, Volt VOA-4076, B-side to “Echoes To The Past”
16. Look Around You – BLACK SOCIETY (March 1972, Stax STA-0115, A)
17. Don’t Do It/I’m With You – THE NIGHTINGALES (March 1972, Stax STA-0107, A)
18. I'll Take You There – THE STAPLE SINGERS (March 1972, Stax STA-0125, A)
19. Which Way – THE LEADERS (March 1972, Volt VOA-4078, A)
20. Living A Life Without Love – VERA BROWN (March 1972, Stax STA-0123, A)
21. What's Good For You (Don't Have To Be Good To You) – HARVEY SCALES (March 1972, Stax STA-0126, A)
22. Let Me Repair Your Heart – THE MAD LADS (March 1972, Volt VOA-4080, A)
23. What's Usual Seems Natur'l – ERIC MERCURY (April 1972, Enterprise ENA-9047, A)
24. I Want To Make Up (Before We Break Up) – MAJOR LANCE (April 1972, Volt VOA-4079, A)

Disc 2, 20 Tracks (71:18 minutes):
1. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) – ISAAC HAYES & DAVID PORTER (April 1972, Enterprise ENA-9049, A)
2. Walking The Back Streets And Crying – LITTLE MILTON (April 1972, Stax STA-0124, B-side of “Before The Honeymoon”))
3. Save Us – WILLIAM BELL (April 1972, Stax STA-0128, A)
4. 6-3-8 – RUFUS THOMAS (April 1972, Stax STA-0129, A)
5. Starting All Over Again – MEL & TIM (May 1972, Stax STA-0127, A)
6. Keep On Loving Me – STEFAN (May 1972, Stax STA-0130, A)
7. I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over – DAVID PORTER (May 1972, Enterprise ENA-9050, A)
8. Going Down Slow – LITTLE SONNY (May 1972, Enterprise ENA-9053, A)
9. I Could Never Be happy – THE EMOTIONS (May 1972, Volt VOA-4083, A)
10. Don't Take My Kindness For Weakness – THE SOUL CHILDREN (June 1972, Stax STA-0132, A)
11. I'll Play The Blues For You, Part 1 – ALBERT KING (June 1972, Stax STA-0135, A)
12. I Dedicate My Life To You – ROGER HATCHER (June 1972, Volt VOA-4084, A)
13. Do The Sweetback – MARCH WIND (June 1972, Stax STA-0131, A)
14. Gettin' Funky 'Round Here – BLACK NASTY (June 1972, Enterprise ENA-9054, A)
15. When The Chips Are Down – DAVID PORTER (June 1972, Enterprise ENA-9055, A)
16. Sugar – CARLA THOMAS (July 1972, Stax STA-0133, A)
17. You’re Good Enough (To Be My Baby) – EDDIE FLOYD (July 1972, Stax STA-0134, A)
18. This World – THE STAPLE SINGERS (July 1972, Stax STA-0137, A)
19. Helping Man – JEAN KNIGHT (July 1972, Stax STA-0136, A)
20. Ain't I Good – JOHN KaSANDRA (July 1972, Truth TAA-2502, A)

Disc 3, 23 Tracks (76:41 minutes):
1. Dance, Dance, Dance (Part 1) – THE BAR-KAYS (July 1972, Volt VOA-4081, A)
2. Dedicated To The One I Love – THE TEMPREES (July 1972, We Produce XPA-1808, A)
3. Toast To The Fool – THE DRAMATICS (July 1972, Volt VOA-4082, A)
4. Stop Doggin' Me – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (August 1972, Stax STA-0142, A)
5. Trouble – FREDERICK KNIGHT (August 1972, Stax STA-0139, A)
6. I'm Gonna Cry A River – LITTLE MILTON (August 1972, Stax STA-0141, A)
7. Itch And Scratch (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (August 1972, Stax STA-0140, A)
8. What Would I Do – ERNIE HINES (August 1972, We Produce XPA-1809, A)
9. I Know It's Not Right (To Be In Love With A Married Man) – VEDA BROWN (September 1972, Stax STA-0143, A)
10. Holy Cow – STEFAN (September 1972, Stax STA-0145, A)
11. What Goes Around (Must Come Around) – SONS OF SLUM (September 1972, Stax STA-0138, A)
12. Theme From The Men (Instrumental) – ISAAC HAYES (Enterprise ENA-9058, A)
13. Endlessly – MAVIS STAPLES (September 1972, Volt VOA-4086, A)
14. You Hurt Me For The Last Time – INEZ FOXX (September 1972, Volt VOA-4087, A)
15. My Sweet Lord – JOHN GARY WILLIAMS (September 1972, Stax STA-0146, A)
16. Breaking Up Somebody's Home – ALBERT KING (November 1972, Stax STA-0147, A)
17. How Can You Mistreat The One You Love – KATIE LOVE (November 1972, Stax STA-0151, A)
18. From Toys To Boys – THE EMOTIONS (Volt VOA-4088, A)
19. The Dryer (Vocal – Part 1) – ROY LEE JOHNSON & THE VILLAGERS (December 1972, Stax STA-0144, A)
20. I May Not Be All You Want (But I'm All You Got) – CARLA THOMAS (December 1972, Stax STA-0149, A)
21. Ain't No Sweat – MAJOR LANCE (December 1972, Volt VOA-4085, A)
22. Do Me – JEAN KNIGHT (December 1972, Stax STA-0150, A)
23. Rainy Day – LITTLE MILTON (December 1972, Stax STA-0148, A)

Disc 4, 21 Tracks (72:35 minutes):
1. It Ain't Always What You Do (It's Who You Let See Do It) – THE SOUL CHILDREN (January 1973, Stax STA-0152, A)
2. I May Not Be What You Want – MEL & TIM (January 1973, Stax STA-0154, A)
3. Funky Robot (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (February 1973, Stax STA-0153, A)
4. Don't You Fool With My Soul (Part 1) – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (February 1973, Stax STA-0155, A)
5. Oh La De Da – THE STAPLE SINGERS (February 1973, Stax STA-0156, A)
6. What Do You See in Her? HOT SAUCE) February 1973, Volt VOA-4089, A)
7. A Thousand Miles Away – THE TEMPRESS (February 1973, We Produce XPA-1810, A)
8. Hey You! Get Off My Mountain – THE DRAMATICS (February 1973, Volt VOA-4090, B-side to “The Devil is Dope”)
9. Rolling Down A Mountainside – ISAAC HAYES (Enterprise ENA-9065, A)
10. You're Still My Brother – THE BAR-KAYS (March 1973, Volt VOA-4092, A)
11. Stop Half Loving These Women – JIMMY LEWIS (March 1973, Volt VOA-4091, A)
12. Lovin' On Borrowed Time – WILLIAM BELL (March 1973, Stax STA-0157, A)
13. Lay Your Loving On Me – EDDIE FLOYD (March 1973, Stax STA-0158, A)
14. The Time – INEZ FOXX (March 1973, Volt VOA-4093, A)
15. Heaven Knows – MEL & TIM (May 1973, Stax STA-0160, A)
16. I Believe In You (You Believe In Me) – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (May 1973, Stax STA-0161, A)
17. Short Stopping – VEDA BROWN (May 1973, Stax STA-0163, A)
18. Be What You Are – THE STAPLE SINGERS (May 1973, Stax STA-0164, A)
19. I’ve Got To Love Somebody’s Baby – STEFAN (May 1973, Stax STA-0165, A)
20. Playing On Me – ALBERT KING (May 1973, Stax STA-0166, A)
21. Long As You’re The One Somebody In The World – DAVID PORTER (May 1973, Enterprise ENA-9071, A)

Disc 5, 22 Tracks (72:31 minutes):
1. This Is My Song Of Love To You – FREDERICK KNIGHT (June 1973, Stax STA-0167, A)
2. Sugarcane – THE MGs (June 1973, Stax STA-0169, A)
3. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing – THE SOUL CHILDREN (June 1973, Stax STA-0170, A)
4. Baby, Lay Your Head Down (Gently On My Bed) – EDDIE FLOYD (July 1973, Stax STA-0171, A)
5. Check Me Out – EDDIE FLOYD (July 1973, Stax STA-171, B-side of “Check Me Out”)
6. Runnin' Back – THE EMOTIONS (July 1973, Volt VOA-VOA-4095, B-side of “I Wanna Come Back”)
7. Crossing Over The Bridge – INEX FOXX (July 1973, Volt VOA-4096, A)
8. Love's Maze – THE TEMPREES (July 1973, We Produce XPA-1811, A)
9. It Ain't Easy – THE BAR-KAYS (July 1973, Volt VOA-4097, A)
10. Love Among People – CARLA THOMAS (August 1973, Stax STA-0173, A)
11. What It Is – LITTLE MILTON (August 1973, Stax STA-0174, A)
12. I’ve Got To Go On Without You – WILLIAM BELL (August 1973, Stax STA-0175, A)
13. Love Is Taking Over – ERIC MERCURY (August 1973, Enterprise ENA-9080, A)
14. Ruby Dean – HOE HICKS (August 1973, Enterprise ENA-9081, A)
15. I'm So Glad I Fell In Love With You – THE MAD LADS (August 1973, Volt VOA-4098, A)
16. Fell For You – THE DRAMATICS (August 1973, Volt VOA-4099, A)
17. Cheaper To Keep Her – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (September 1973, Stax STA-0176, A)
18. I Know You Don't Want Me No More – RUFUS THOMAS (September 1973, Stax STA-0177, A)
19. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) – THE STAPLE SINGERS (September 1973, Stax STA-0179, A)
20. Slipped And Tripped – THE SWEET SENSATIONS (October 1973, Stax STA-0178, A)
21. Peace Be Still – THE EMOTIONS (October 1973, Volt VOA-4100, A)
22. I'll Be The Other Woman – THE SOUL CHILDREN (November 1973, Stax STA-0182, A)

Disc 6, 20 Tracks (73:40 minutes):
1. The Martian Hop – THE NEWCOMERS (November 1973, Stax STA-0186, A)
2. I Had A Talk With My Man (November 1973, Volt VOA-4101, A)
3. At Last – THE TEMPREES (November 1973, Enterprise ENA-9085, A)
4. Joy (Part 1) – ISAAC HAYES (November 193, Enterprise ENA-9085, A)
5. Good Woman Turning Bad – HOT SAUCE (November 1973, Volt VOA-4103, A)
6. Mose (Part 3) – JOHN KASANDRA (November 1973, We Truth TAA-2504, A)
7. I’ll Be Your Santa Baby – RUFUS THOMAS (December 1973, Stax STA-0187, A)
8. I Wanna Do Things For You – EDDIE FLOYD (December 1973, Stax STA-0188, A)
9. That's What The Blues Is All About – ALBERT KING (December 1973, Stax STA-0189, A)
10. One Way Love Affair – CAROLYN HURLEY (December 1973, Stax STA-0191, A)
11. Tin Pan Alley – LITTLE MILTON (December 1973, Stax STA-0191, A)
12. The Funky Bird – RUFUS THOMAS (December 1973, Stax STA-0192, A)
13. We're Getting Careless With Our Love – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (December 1973, Stax STA-0193, A)
14. What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas – THE EMOTIONS (December 1973, Volt VOA-4104, A)
15. Season's Greetings – CIX BITS (December 1973, Enterprise ENA-9087, A)
16. Don't Lose Faith In Me Lord –ERIC MERCURY (December 1973, Enterprise ENA-9089, A)
17. Don't Start Loving Me (If You're Gonna Stop) – VEDA BROWN (January 1974, Stax STA-0194, B-side to “Fever”)
18. Touch A Hand, Make A Friend – THE STAPLE SINGERS (January 1974, Stax STA-0196, A)
19. And I Panicked – THE DRAMATICS (January 1974, Volt VOA-4105, A)
20. Change It All – JOY FLEMING (January 1974, Enterprise ENA-9088, A)

Disc 7, 21 Tracks (68:58 minutes):
1. Gettin' What You Want (Losin' What You Got) – WILLIAM BELL (February 1974, Stax STA-0198, A)
2. He's Mine – JACQUI VERDELL (February 1974, Truth TAA-2505, A)
3. My Woman Is Good To Me – LITTLE SONNY (February 1974, Enterprise ENA-9092, A)
4. I Got You And I'm Glad – DAVID PORTER (February 1974, Enterprise ENA-9090, A)
5. Put A Little Love Away – THE EMOTIONS (February 1974, Volt VOA-4106, A)
6. Suzy – FREDERICK KNIGHT (February 1974, Stax STA-0201, A)
7. The Same Folks – MEL & TIM (March 1974, Stax STA-0202, A)
8. You Make The Sunshine – THE TEMPREES (March 1974, We Produce XPA-1813, A)
9. The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy – JOHN GARY WILLIAMS (March 1974, Stax STA-0205, A)
10. Circuit's Overloaded – INEZ FOXX (March 1974, Volt VOA-4107, A)
11. Wonderful – ISAAC HAYES (March 1974, Enterprise ENA-9095, A)
12. Behind Closed Doors – LITTLE MILTON (April 1974, Stax STA-0210, A)
13. Guess Who – EDDIE FLOYD (April 1974, Stax STA-0209, A)
14. Dirty Tricks – THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS (April 1974, Stax STA-0203, A)
15. Whicha Way Did It Go – ROEBUK “POPS” STAPLES (April 1974, Stax STA-0213, A)
16. Talking To The People – BLACK NASTY (April 1974, Enterprise ENA-9098, A)
17. I've Been Born Again – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (April 1974, Stax STA-0208, A)
18. Neckbone – THE MGs (May 1974, Stax STA-0200, A)
19. Wounded Woman – SANDRA WRIGHT (May 1974, Stax STA-0212, A)
20. Stop Doggin' Me – HOT SAUCE (may 1974, Volt VOA-4109, A)
21. Goodness Gracious – KIM WESTON

Disc 8, 21 Tracks (73:13 minutes):
1. City In The Sky – THE STAPLE SINGERS (June 1974, Stax STA-0215, A)
2. Title Theme – ISAAC HAYES (June 1974, Enterprise ENA-9104, A)
3. Soul Street – EDDIE FLOYD (June 1974, Stax STA-216, A)
4. Flat Tire – ALBERT KING (June 1974, Stax STA-0217, A)
5. Love Makes It Right – THE SOUL CHILDREN (June 1974, Stax STA-0218, A)
6. Mr. Cool That Ain't Cool – THE TEMPREES (July 1974, We Produce XPN-1814, A)
7. Ain't Nuttin' (But Gettin' Down (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (July 1974, Stax STN-0219, A)
8. Highway To Heaven – ROB BANKS & THE DRAMATICS (July 1974, Volt VOA-4108, A)
9. Get It While It's Hot – WILLIAM BELL (July 1974, Stax STN-0221, A)
10. Passing Thru – FREDERICK KNIGHT (July 1974, Truth TRA-3202, A)
11. Keep An Eye On Your Close Friends – THE NEWCOMBERS (July 1974, Truth TRN-3204, A)
12. My Main Man/There Is A God – THE STAPLE SINGERS (August 1974, Stax STN Special, A.)
See also Disc 9, Track 7 for the B-side to “My Main Man" only which was issued September 1974 on Stax STN-0227)
13. That's The Way I Want To Live My Life – MEL & TIM (August 1974, Stax STN-0224, A)
14. Forever And A Day – MEL & TIM (August 1974, Stax STN-0224, B-side to “That’s The way I Want To Live My Life”)
15. Baby, I'm Through – THE EMOTIONS (August 1974, Volt VON-4110, A)
16. It's September – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (August 1974, Stax STN-0226, A)
17. Woman To Woman – SHIRLEY BROWN (August 1974, Truth TRA-3206, A)
18. Did You Hear Yourself (Part 1) – RANDY BROWN & COMPANY (August 1974, Truth TRA-3207, A)
19. You Need A Friend Like Mine – ANNETTE THOMAS (September 1974, Truth TRA-3208, A)
20. I Love, I Love – THE TEMPREES (September 1974, We Produce XPN-1815, A)
21. Let Me Back In – LITTLE MILTON (September 1974, Stax STN-0229, A)

Disc 9, 22 Tracks (73:05 minutes):
1. Crosscut Saw – ALBERT KING (October 1974, Stax STN-0228, A)
2. Coldblooded – THE BAR-KEYS (October 1974, Volt VOA-4111, A)
3. Bump Meat – SIR MACK RICE (October 1974, Truth TRA-3212, A)
4. (Too Little In Common To Be Lovers) Too Much Going To Say Goodbye – THE NEWCOMERS (October 1974, Truth TRA-3213, A)
5. Bump And Boogie (Part 1) – THE WRECKING CREW (October 1974, Truth TRA-3214, A)
6. What's Happening Baby? – THE SOUL CHILDREN (November 1974, Stax STN-0230, A)
7. Who Made The Man – THE STAPLE SINGERS (November 1974, Stax STN-0227, B-side to “My Main Man” (only))
8. I Keep Thinking To Myself – BROOK BENTON (November 1974, Stax STN-0231, A)
9. I Got A Reason To Smile (Cause I Got You) – EDDIE FLOYD (November 1974, Stax STN-0232, A)
10. Try To Leave Me If You Can (I Bet You Can’t Do It) – BESSIE BANKS (November 1974, Volt VON-4112, A)
11. Burning On Both Ends – WILLIE SINGLETON (November 1974, Truth TRA-3215, A)
12. There Are More Questions Than Answers – THE EMOTIONS (December 1974, Volt VON-4113, A)
13. Santa Clause Wants Some Lovin' – ALBERT KING (October 1974, Stax STN-0234, A)
14. I Can't Let You Go – HOT SAUCE (January 1975, Volt VON-4114, A)
15. I Betcha Didn't Know That – FREDERICK KNIGHT (January 1975, Truth TRA-3216, A)
16. Lovin' You, Lovin Me – SANDRA WRIGHT (February 1975, Truth TRA-3220, A)
17. Do The Double Bump – RUFUS THOMAS (February 1975, Stax STN-0236, A)
18. Come And Get Your Love – THE TEMPREES (March 1975, We Produce XPN-1816, A)
19. Dark Skin Woman (Part 1) – SIR MACK RICE (April 1975, Truth TRA-3221, A)
20. It Ain't No Fun – SHIRLEY BROWN (April 1975, Truth TRA-3223, A)
21. If You Talk In Your Sleep – LITTLE MILTON (April 1975, Stax STN-0238, A)
22. Talk To The Man – EDDIE FLOYD (April 1975, Stax STN-0239, A)

Disc 10, 19 Tracks (63:42 minutes):
1. You're Astounding – BARBARA & JOE (April 1975, Truth TAA-2507, A)
2. Dy-No-Mite (Did You Say My Love) – THE GREEN BROTHERS (April 1975, Truth TRA-3219, A)
3. Boom-A-Rang – THE DYNAMIC SOUL MACHINE (May 1975, Truth TAA-2508, A)
4. Come What May – JOHN GARY WILLIAMS (May 1975, Truth TRA-3227, A)
5. Try Me Tonight – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (June 1975, Stax STN-0241, A)
6. Groovin' On My Baby’s Love – FREDDIE WATERS (June 1975, Stax STN-0246, A)
7. I Can't Shake Your Love (Can't Shake You Loose) – THE FIESTAS (June 1975, Truth TAA-2509, A)
8. I Wanna Play With You – FREDERICK KNIGHT (June 1975, Truth TRA-3228, A)
9. I'm Doing Fine – ALBERT KING (June 1975, Stax STA-0245, A)
10. No Way (I Can Live Without You) – TERESA DAVIS [of The Emotions] (June 1975, Stax STN-0247, B-side of “If I Were You”)
11. Back Road Into Town – THE STAPLE SINGERS (July 1975, Stax STN-0248, A)
12. I'm So Glad I Met You – EDDIE FLOYD (August 1975, Stax STN-0251, A)
13. Packed Up And Took My Mind – LITTLE MILTON (August 1975, Stax STN-0252, A)
14. Just Keep On Loving Me – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (September 1975, Stax STN-0253, A)
15. How Can I Be A Witness – R. B. HUDMON (September 1975, Truth TRA-3230, B-side of “If You Don’t Cheat On Me (I Won’t Cheat On You)”)
16. Jump Back ’75 (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (October 1975, Stax STN-0254, A)
17. I Got To Be Myself – THE STAPLE SINGERS (October 1975, Stax STN-0255, A)
18. It's Worth A Whippin' – SHIRLEY BROWN (November 1975, Truth TRA-3231, A)
19. Holy Ghost (Part 1) – THE BAR-KAYS (November 1975, Volt VOA-4115, A)

Although the brief is 'Soul' – after a quick reconnoitre of the track lists - Blues fans will be pleased to see good names like Little Milton, Albert King, Little Sonny and others also get a look in (mainly on the Enterprise label). All the big hitters for Stax and its subsiduaries are here – Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd, The Staple Singers, Shirley Brown, The Emotions, The Dramatics and so on – but so are loads of names that don’t exactly roll off the (chart) tongue - Veda Brown, John KaSandra, Eric Mercury, Roger Hatcher, John Gary Williams and Stefan. Or how about Cix Bits, Hot Sauce or The Wrecking Crew. But that's the fun of a massive time like this – dip in and enjoy...

While the big hits like "I'll Take You There" and "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)" by The Staple Singers, "Starting All Over Again" by Mel & Tim, "I've Been Lonely For So Long" by Frederick Knight and "Cheaper To Keep Her" by Johnnie Taylor are great pit stops for Stax Soul – it's those nuggets inbetween the cracks that make this overlooked set such a reward. I love the impossibly romantic "Let Me Repair Your Heart" by The Mad Lads, the heavy guitar Blues of "Walking The Back Streets And Crying" by Albert King, the butt-shaking-boogie of "Gettin' Funky 'Round Here" by the suitably named Black Nasty. Northern Soul dancers will shuffle their talcom-powered shimmies to "How Can You Mistreat The One You Love" by Katie Love (fabulous audio too) and Jean Knight's stunning "Do Me” is a full-on Funky workout that will surely turn up in a Hollywood movie soon (and again sounding just amazing).

Fantastic vocals on the Funky fidelity tale "It Ain't Always What You Do (It's Who You Let See You Do It)" by The Soul Children while The Temprees do a Smokey Robinson Soulful version of a Vocal Group smoocher "A Thousand Miles Away" originally done by The Heartbeats in 1956. People like Inez Foxx are so associated with the 60ts that it's a shock to find they did torch-vocal Soul in 1973 (the passionate "This Time") and DJs with dancefloors to fill will appreciate the superb funk of "It Ain't Easy" by The Bar-Kays. There's loads of moods too - it goes from the instrumental Sunday morning easy of "Sugarcane" by The MG’s to the Sunday afternoon congregational Gospel of "Peace Be Still" where the girls of The Emotions let rip with just that – spirit-moved emotion. Isaac Hayes proved he still had sexy in him with the salacious "Joy (Part 1)" while Eddie Floyd got down with an Al Green rhythm on "I Wanna Do Things For You" where our hero promises his lady that he's gonna do things with her that he's never done with anyone else (yikes).

The beautiful all-colours positivity of The Staple Singers peppers so many discs – but most have forgotten fantastic groovers like "Touch A Hand, Make A Friend" and the stunning funk of "City In The Sky". One of Stax’s great songwriters David Porter gives us the sly groove of "I Got You And I'm Glad" (sports stunning audio too) while The Sweet Inspirations remain unimpressed by men's "Dirty Tricks". Bluesman Little Milton gets in a Soulful mood with his rearranged "Behind Closed Doors" (Charlie Rich) while that treated Guitar of Pops Staples is unmistakeable on "Whicha Way Did It Go" talking about the "mighty hand" of something bigger than himself...

The more I play these CDs the more I'm finding gems - and that Audio is just great throughout (truly impressive_. I'm also digging the space-saving snugness of this neatly shaped orange block as opposed to the clumsy 12" x 12" monster I used to have.

Stax Records may have been fading out as a label in 1975 but what a legacy they left behind. And this wicked 2015 Mini Box Set only reacquaints us with that deluge of great Soul in proper style...

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