Dec 27, 2014

RhoDeo 1451 Grooves

Hello, I hope you've had an enjoyable X'mas, nice gift exchanges and not too much food and drink. Alas that's unlikely, but never U mind once a year is survivable

Well you could have noticed that these past months the music came from one label..Stax Records. Time for a bit of a recap, not too worry though there's plenty still coming from that wonderful label.....N'joy

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Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the label changed its name to Stax Records in 1961. It was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings. While Stax is renowned for its output of African-American music, the label was founded by two business people, Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton (STewart/AXton = Stax). It featured several popular ethnically-integrated bands, including the label's house band, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and a racially integrated team of staff and artists unheard of in that time of racial strife and tension in Memphis and the South.

Following the death of Stax's biggest star, Otis Redding, in 1967, and the severance of the label's distribution deal with Atlantic Records in 1968, Stax continued primarily under the supervision of a new co-owner, Al Bell. Over the next five years, Bell expanded the label's operations significantly, in order to compete with Stax's main rival, Motown Records in Detroit. During the mid-1970s, a number of factors, including a problematic distribution deal with CBS Records, caused the label to slide into insolvency, resulting in its forced closure in late 1975.

In 1977, Fantasy Records acquired the post-1968 Stax catalog, as well as selected pre-1968 recordings. Beginning in 1978, Stax (now owned by Fantasy) began signing new acts and issuing new material, as well as re-issuing previously recorded Stax material. However, by the early 1980s no new material was being issued on the label, and for the next two decades, Stax was strictly a re-issue label.

After new shark on the block, Concord Records swallowed the demented shark Fantasy in 2004, the Stax label was reactivated, and is today used to issue both the 1968–1975 catalog material and new recordings by current R&B/soul performers. Atlantic Records continues to hold the rights to the vast majority of the 1959–1968 Stax material. Hmm and it all started to fall apart with that multinational CBS screwing over the little guy..yes good ol' american business practice that. Still is not really understood by the rest of the wolrd because it's so destructive short terminism nature, it's idiocy basically. But as long as the american militairy / security industrial complex threatens anyone daring to oppose or refusing to be corrupted by that american dollar silly money this practice continues dragging the world down.

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While it's true that this triple-disc, 42-track mid-centennial anniversary celebration of the birth of Stax Records -- a label synonymous with Southern soul -- will not rival the three box sets issuing the company's complete singles, it's a killer document. Concord Records purchased the Stax catalog (which occurred when the company purchased Fantasy Records) and continues its solid program of bringing the label's shelf in fine style into the 21st century with this cool little set. Packaged in a small bookcase box with the Stax logo in live "wiggle card" mode (the fingers "snap" when you move it back and forth).

 Along the way are the established and well-known acts like Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, the Bar-Kays, Albert King's groundbreaking blues "Born Under a Bad Sign" in 1967, all the way through to Johnnie Taylor's number one R&B chart hit "Who's Makin' Love" (it hit number five on the pop charts). Thomas and Bell follow and round out the set, but the Taylor cut is a milestone. Along the way it becomes obvious what a powerhouse -- on disc one alone -- Stax was. From 1965 through 1968 they placed 21 singles in the Top 50. Among these were a number one -- Otis Redding's "(Sittin On) The Dock of the Bay" -- and a number two, Sam & Dave's "Soul Man." Many of the rest, like the Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger" and others topped the R&B charts. One of the more remarkable aspects of the Stax label is that unlike the Northern soul labels like Motown, Stax didn't use strings on its records until 1968. The first charting side that did use them was Ollie & the Nightingales' "I Got a Sure Thing." There are other semi-obscurities here (at least to the more casual observer) as well the Mad Lads' "I Want Someone" and Linda Lyndell's awesome "What a Man" from 1968.

Booker T. & the MG's "Time Is Tight," which possessed that same funky groove that had made their other records hits, even if the B-3 drift was different, airier, spookier. It was the soul charge led by Donald "Duck" Dunn , Steve Cropper, and Al Jackson, Jr. that kept the soul groove intact. It's such a strange tune because it has such a soundtrack feel to it, it's amazing it hit number six on the Billboard pop chart and seven on the R&B chart. The sound of Stax was changing and becoming one that was taking in the expanding realities of the soul world as evidenced by the Emotions' beautiful "So I Can Love You," with extensive horns layered in the background as the women's voices float over the B-3. The Southern grit is here, it's just framed more elaborately. Rufus Thomas, a mainstay on the label, had his own hit with the back to the James Brown funky soul groove "Do the Funky Chicken" in 1970.

Other cuts on this volume worth noting -- though there isn't a weak one in the batch -- are Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff," a number two pop hit -- and Johnnie Taylor's "Who's Making Love" which hit the top spot on the R&B list and number 28 on the pop chart. Hayes was big during the years 1969-1972 placing all three of his singles, as he was also concentrating on albums and the Shaft soundtrack with "Never Can Say Goodbye," and the "Theme from Shaft" reaching the Top 40. The Staple Singers scored with "Respect Yourself" in 1971, which was a big year for the label in general as they placed seven tunes in the Top 100 of the pop charts and the Top 40 in R&B. 1972 was the same, with no less than seven more hits entering the Top 100 pop and Top 20 R&B. These include a hit by bluesman Little Milton in "That's What Love Will Make You Do," the Dramatics number five smash "In the Rain," and The Staple Singers' "chart-topper "I'll Take You There." Not forgetting the 1974 single "Woman to Woman" by Shirley Brown; it reached the top spot on the R&B chart but only hit number 29 in pop.

The sequencing, is wonderfully split between the harder, grittier soul sound of Stax through the mid-'60s, and the larger productions being put in place. The sound of Stax was changing, but its essential groove never did. The textures might have been a bit sweeter, but they still reached deep into gospel, R&B, and hard-edged Southern soul for their inspiration. This is a terrific introduction for the novice -- the sonic reproduction is terrific -- and it's a killer singles soundtrack for the aficionado. It's also the grooviest party soundtrack around. Comes with an informative booklet

Stax 50th Anniversary Collection 1 (flac 275mb)

01 Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (alternate) 02:44
02 Booker T. & The MGs - Time Is Tight 03:17
03 Johnnie Taylor - Who's Making Love 02:50
04 Rufus Thomas - Do The Funky Chicken 03:19
05 William Bell & Judy Clay - Private Number 02:40
06 Jean Knight - Mr. Big Stuff 02:34
07 The Dramatics - Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get 03:36
08 Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft 03:18
09 The Staple Singers - Respect Yourself 03:31
10 Frederick Knight - I've Been Lonely (For So Long) 03:23
11 Mel & Tim - Starting All Over Again 03:52
12 Soul Children - I'll Be The Other Woman 03:38
13 Shirley Brown - Woman To Woman 03:57
14 Linda Lyndell - What A Man 02:41

Stax 50th Anniversary Collection 1  (ogg 107mb)

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Stax 50th Anniversary Collection 2 (flac 271mb)

01 Staple Singers - I'll Take You There 03:16
02 The Dramatics - In The Rain 03:26
03 Booker T & the MG's - Soul Limbo 02:25
04 Eddie Floyd - I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do) 02:47
05 William Bell - I Forgot To Be Your Lover 02:22
06 Carla Thomas - I Like What You're Doing To Me 02:56
07 The Emotions - So I Can Love You 02:51
08 Isaac Hayes - Never Can Say Goodbye 03:39
09 The Bar-Kays - Son Of Shaft 03:14
10 Little Milton - That's What Love Will Make You Do 03:58
11 Jimmy Hughes - I Like Everything About You 02:51
12 Soul Children - Hearsay 03:32
13 The Tempree - Dedicated To The One I Love 03:35
14 Albert King - Breaking Up Somebody's Home 03:40

Stax 50th Anniversary Collection 2 (ogg 105mb)

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Stax 50th Anniversary Collection 3 (flac 266mb)

01 Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness 04:02
02 Veda Brown - Short Stopping 02:24
03 Johnnie Taylor - Cheaper to Keep Her 03:30
04 David Porter- I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over 04:46
05 Ollie & the Nightingales - I'll Be Your Anything 02:56
06 Mable John - Your Good Thing (Is About to End) 02:58
07 The Mad Lads - By The Time I Get to Phoenix 02:49
08 Rance Allen - I Got To Be Myself 02:53
09 Steve Cropper - In The Midnight Hour 03:39
10 Eddie Floyd - Yum Yum Yum (I Want Some) 02:51
11 Isaac Hayes & David Porter - Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) 04:25
12 March Wind - Do THe Sweetback 02:58
13 The MG's - Sugarcane 03:10
14 Staples, King, Cropper - Tupelo 02:55

Stax 50th Anniversary Collection 3 (ogg 107mb)

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Harlequio said...

Greta blog. Thanks for some fantastic sounds.
Would it be possible to repost "Stax 50th Anniversary Collection 3 (flac 266mb)".
Many thanks

Harlequio said...

Super thanks for the re-up.