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Sunday, November 22, 2009


VOLUME 1, 1959-1968 (1991)
320 KBPS

"Knock On Wood", "Soul Man", "Gee Whiz", "Green Onions," "Last Night", "Hold On I'm Comin'", "Walkin' The Dog" and "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay." What do all these songs have in common? Sure, they're great soul and rhythm & blues tunes, but something more. What do Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding and Albert King have in common? Rhythm & blues and soul superstars, yes, but that same something is also true. These songs and these artists all recorded for the "little label that could": STAX. In the '60s, Stax became a local R&B music giant in Memphis. The company was founded and ran by Jim Stewart, a country fiddle player and former banker, who was first exposed to R&B when he recorded a local doo-wop group called the Veltones with their song, "Fool In Love." As Rufus Thomas a local disc jockey heard the song, he and daughter Carla cut "Cause I Love You", a great R&B gem for Jim. When the record got out, Atlantic Records heard this fresh new sound and got in on the distribution deal with Stax that would exist as a handshake deal to a documented deal up until May 1968. What also happened during that time? Musical history.

At nine CDs, this set offers the complete history of what made Stax absolutely phenomenal. As you listen all the way
through, hopefully not all in one sitting since it's quite exhaustive unless you end up loving it that much, you'll notice as you start from disc one the experimental stages at trying to find and develop a distinct sound and progressing towards it. Some of the songs on disc four display it and from there on all the way to disc nine, it's there and ever-driving as can be. This is the ultimate example at what a box set is all about: covering as much material as possible. That doesn't even begin to describe what's presented here; it's too good because it is what it is: complete. There are 244 tracks in all and each CD has 25+ tracks clocking in with 70+ minutes of music on each.
It's complete all right for it features every A-side released by Stax and the subsidiary Volt along with a few well-known B-sides. That means every Stax or Volt record released by the stars like Rufus Thomas, ("Walkin' The Dog", "Can Your Monkey Do The Dog", "Jump Back", "Sophisticated Sissy", etc.), Carla Thomas ("Gee Whiz", "B-A-B-Y", "Stop! Look What You're Doin'", "Pick Up The Pieces", etc.), Otis Redding ("These Arms of Mine", "Mr. Pitiful", "Respect", "Try a Little Tenderness", etc.), Booker T. & the MGs ("Green Onions", "Jelly Bread", "My Sweet Potato", "Hip-Hug Her", etc.), Sam & Dave ("You Don't Know Like I Know", "Hold On! I'm Comin', "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby", "Soul Man", etc.), Eddie Floyd ("Things Get Better", "Knock On Wood", "Raise Your Hand", "Big Bird", etc.), William Bell ("You Don't Miss Your Water", "Never Like This Before", "Share What You Got", "Eloise Hang On In There", etc.), Albert King ("Laundromat Blues", "Crosscut Saw", "Born Under A Bad Sign", "Cold Feet", etc.) plus so many, many more. So if you know that those artists who were very consistent at Stax, there's pratically a full CD's worth of their songs here spread throughout the nine discs. Whether they were hits or not, everything is here including some unusual numbers that seem to break the normal Stax scheme like Macy Skipper's "Goofin' Off" which is humorous dee-jay kind of track, Cheryl and Pam Johnson's "That's My Guy", which sounds like a show-bizzy, TV commercial kind of tune, Nick Charles' "Sunday Jealous" and "The Three Dogwoods" which sound like soft, dry pop songs of that era,
and the Del-Rays' "Don't Let Her Be Your Baby" which tries to emulate the Beatles or the Dave Clark Five. This has got everything, so calling all collectors! It comes with a little 80-page book that could be worth about $15 separately so getting this with music is a bargain. The book has liner notes about the artits, the music, some real nice photos of the stars plus a track by track listing including the original catalog number and chart position (for those applicable) for each song.

Is it worth it? Absoultely. Pricey, but worth it. Finding this kind of music is getting rarer and rarer. Especially considering that about less than of these tracks didn't chart at all. Sure, the well-known hits can be found on smaller collections. This is the only collection that I know that has all the other stuff with it. Don't worry about parting with that kind of money. Being a musician and music fan, I can't think of a better investment, and if it's something you really enjoy, that makes it even more worthwhile. Here they are preserved on CD forever.

It's more than music to listen to. It's music you can dance to and groove to. Just listen to the sizzlin' guitars, the deep, pumping bass, the tight drums, the soulfulness of the vocalists and just the whole formula of each song. The sound quality is not's perfect! Though everything is in big fat mono, since these were from the master tapes used on the original 45s (hence "singles" in the name), the sound is crisp and crystal clear. It sounds amazing on a system with adjustable bass output. Just crank that bass up, baby; it's practically what makes R&B. Every song is worth listening to for they help tell the story of Stax. They are all little gems. If a record didn't chart at all or it charted very low, so what? These people made music at leisurely paces and were great improvisers and just wanted to get out there, jam and do their own thing. If it sold and it was a hit, fantastic. If not, well, it was worth a shot. There is a good balance of the fast songs as well as the slow ballads. These are practically the unsung heroes of soul music; absoultely raw, gritty, rock-solid, vital and energetic they were. It was the opposite of Motown, their seemingly unbeatable giant of a competitor that was more slick and stylized in soul music. What's important lies in the musicality of the musicians and singers. Truly, this is what soul music is all about; it tells a story and expresses every human being's innermost and outermost feelings. Musicians can learn so much from this, for everyone involved here shows true musicianship. The thing was to make people appreciate and, yes, make them move to it. You can laugh with it, cry with it, and feel absolutely "soulified." It could make everyone, young and old, black and white, get up and dance and throw their cares away. It didn't matter what they were singing like Rufus Thomas on songs that have silly-sounding titles or lyrics like "Somebody Stole My Dog", or "I Think I Made A Boo Boo", you can just get up and let the driving music move you. You can laugh, but you'll find that you're laughing because it makes you feel good. So, they weren't Dylan or Lennon & McCartney. One listen to this entire set is all it takes, and you're hooked. Give this to a six year old and he or she will be a fan for life. Really, you'll never get tired of this music. The '60s were a time of social change and civil rights awareness. If only this music could have been more well-known and all these songs could have been hits, this would have brought everyone together to dance the day and night away. There's nothing like soul music. What more is there to say except that if you would like to have just one box set for your music collection, you just found a gold mine. That being said, if American music was the equivalent of a jewelry collection, all these songs would be the rare, precious and priceless gems.
So, to quote from a Mar-Keys' song, "grab this thing" because you'll want to keep it forever. It is thee essential and complete relevance of why Stax was the "little label that could"...and did!

Disc 1
1.Fool in Love - The Veltones
2.'Cause I Love You - Carla & Rufus
3.Gee Whiz - Carla Thomas
4.You Make Me Feel So Good - The Chips
5.Love of My Own, A - Carla Thomas
6.Last Night - The Mar-Keys
7.I Didn't Believe - Rufus & Friend
8.I'm Going Home - Prince Conley
9.Wish Me Good Luck, (Mama, Mama) - Carla Thomas
10.Morning After - The Mar-Keys
11.Life I Live, The - Barbara Stephens
12.About Noon - The Mar-Keys
13.Burnt Biscuits - The Triumphs
14.I Kinda Think He Does - Carla Thomas
15.Foxy - The Mar-Keys
16.You Don't Miss Your Water - William Bell
17.Formula of Love - William Bell
18.Goofin Off - Macy Skipper
19.Wait a Minute - Barbara Stephens
20.Sunday Jealous - Nick Charles
21.That's the Way It Is With Me - Barbara Stephens
22.No Tears - The Tonettes
23.Pop-Eye Stroll - The Mar-Keys
24.Three Dogwoods, The - Nick Charles
25.Why Should I Suffer With the Blues - The Canes
26.Whot's Happenin'! - The Mar-Keys
27.Just Across the Street - The Del-Rios
28.There's a Love - The Del-Rios
29.Can't Ever Let You Go - Rufus Thomas

Disc 2
1. Green Onions - Booker T. & The MG's
2. Behave Yourself - Booker T. & The MG's
3. Any Other Way - William Bell
4. I'll Bring It Home to You - Carla Thomas
5. Sack-O-Woe - The Mar-Keys
6. These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
7. Teardrop Sea - The Tonettes
8. Dog, The - Rufus Thomas
9. Jelly Bread - Booker T. & The MG's
10. I Told You So - William Bell
11. Bo-Time - The Mar-Keys
12. Home Grown - Booker T. & The MG's
13. My Imaginary Guy - Deanie Parker & The Valadors
14. Just as I Thought - William Bell
15. What a Fool I've Been - Carla Thomas
16. Hawg, The (Part 1) - Eddie Kirk
17. Don't Be Afraid of Love - Oscar Mack
18. That's My Guy - Cheryl & Pam Johnson
19. Chinese Checkers - Booker T. & The MG's
20. Somebody Mentioned Your Name - William Bell
21. What Can I Do - Bobby Marchan
22. That's What My Heart Needs - Otis Redding
23. What Can It Be - The Astors
24. Bango - Billy & The King Bees
25. Them Bones - Eddie Kirk
26. Walking the Dog - Rufus Thomas
27. I'll Show You - William Bell

Disc 3
1.Pain in My Heart - Otis Redding
2. Gee Whiz, It's Christmas - Carla Thomas
3. Mo'onions - Booker T. & The MG's
4. Frog Stomp - Floyd Newman
5. Can Your Monkey Do the Dog - Rufus Thomas
6. You Won't Do Right - Bobby Marchan
7. Wondering (When My Love Is Coming Home) - The Drapels
8. Each Step I Take - Deanie Parker
9. Honeydripper, The - The Van-Dells
10. Who Will It Be Tomorrow - William Bell
11. Come to Me - Otis Redding
12. Don't Leave Me This Way - Otis Redding
13. I Don't Want You Anymore - Eddie Jefferson
14. Restless - The Cobras
15. Somebody Stole My Dog - Rufus Thomas
16. Big Party - Barbara & The Browns
17. That's Really Some Good - Rufus & Carla
18. Night Time Is the Right Time - Rufus & Carla
19. Security - Otis Redding
20. Dream Girl - Oscar Mack
21. Closer to My Baby - Dorothy Williams
22. I've Got No Time to Lose - Carla Thomas
23. Young Man - The Drapels
24. Soul Dressing - Booker T. & The MG's
25. After Laughter (Comes Tears) - Wendy Rene
26. Can't Explain How It Happened - Ivory Joe Hunter
27. Bush Bash - The Mar-Keys
28. Please Return to Me - The Fleets

Disc 4
1. Jump Back - Rufus Thomas
2. Chained and Bound - Otis Redding
3. In My Heart - Barbara & The Browns
4. Spunky - Johnny Jenkins
5. Bar B-Q - Wendy Rene
6. Sidewalk Surf, The - The Mad Lads
7. Can't Be Still - Booker T. & The MG's
8. Woman's Love, A - Carla Thomas
9. Yank Me (Doodle) - Baracudas
10. That's How Strong My Love Is - Otis Redding
11. Mr Pitiful - Otis Redding
12. Don't Let Her Be Your Baby - The Del-Rays
13. Can't See You When I Want To - David Porter
14. My Lover - Barbara & The Browns
15. Got You on My Mind - The Admirals
16. How Do You Quit (Someone You Love) - Carla Thomas
17. Biggest Fool in Town - Gorgeous George
18. Banana Juice - The Mar-Keys
19. Little Sally Walker - Rufus Thomas
20. Place Nobody Can Find, A - Sam & Dave
21. Goodnight Baby - Sam & Dave
22. Boot Leg - Booker T. & The MG's
23. Outrage - Booker T. & The MG's
24. I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) - Otis Redding
25. I'm Depending on You - Otis Redding
26. Candy - The Astors
27. Give You What I Got - Wendy Rene

Disc 5
1.Stop! Look What You're Doin' - Carla Thomas
2.Willy Nilly - Rufus Thomas
3.Don't Have to Shop Around - The Mad Lads
4. Crying All by Myself - William Bell
5. I Take What I Want - Sam & Dave
6. When You Move You Lose - Rufus & Carla
7. Respect - Otis Redding
8. Make It Me - The Premiers
9. World Is Round, The - Rufus Thomas
10. In the Twilight Zone - The Astors
11. Blue Groove - Sir Isaac & The Do-Dads
12. You Don't Know Like I Know - Sam & Dave
13. Grab This Thing (Part 1) - The Mar-Keys
14. Be My Lady - Booker T. & The MG's
15. Comfort Me - Carla Thomas
16. I Can't Turn You Loose - Otis Redding
17. Just One More Day - Otis Redding
18. I Want Someone - The Mad Lads
19. Birds & Bees - Rufus & Carla
20. Philly Dog - The Mar-Keys
21. I Had a Dream - Johnnie Taylor
22. Satisfaction - Otis Redding
23. Things Get Better - Eddie Floyd
24. I'll Run Your Hurt Away - Ruby Johnson
25. Hot Dog - The Four Shells
26. Let Me Be Good to You - Carla Thomas
27.Hold on I'm Comin' - Sam & Dave

Disc 6
1. Laudromat Blues - Albert King
2. Sugar Sugar - The Mad Lads
3. Share What You Got (But Keep What You Need) - William Bell
4. Marching Off to War - William Bell
5. My Lover's Prayer - Otis Redding
6. Your Good Thing (Is About to End) - Mable John
7. I Got to Love Somebody's Baby - Johnnie Taylor
8. I Want a Girl - The Mad Lads
9. Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd
10. B-a-B-Y - Carla Thomas
11. My Sweet Potato - Booker T. & The MG's
12. Booker Loo - Booker T. & The MG's
13. Oh, Pretty Woman - Albert King
14. Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody - Sam & Dave
15. Never Like This Before - William Bell
16. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-(Sad Song) - Otis Redding
17. Patch My Heart - The Mad Lads
18. Sister's Got a Boyfriend - Rufus Thomas
19. Come to Me My Darling - Ruby Johnson
20. When My Love Comes Down - Ruby Johnson
21. Try a Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
22. Crosscut Saw - Albert King
23. Little Bluebird - Johnnie Taylor
24. Toe Hold - Johnnie Taylor
25. Jingle Bells - Booker T. & The MG's

Disc 7
1. You Got Me Hummin' - Sam & Dave
2. You're Taking up Another Man's Place - Mable John
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Carla Thomas
4. Please Uncle Sam (Send Back My Man) - The Charmels
5. Something Good (Is Going to Happen to You) - Carla Thomas
6. Raise Your Hand - Eddie Floyd
7. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) - Johnnie Taylor
8. I Don't Want to Lose Your Love - The Mad Lads
9. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby - Sam & Dave
10. Let Me Down Slow - Bobby Wilson
11. Hip Hug-Her - Booker T. & The MG's
12. Everybody Loves a Winner - William Bell
13. Mini-Skirt Minnie - Sir Mack Rice
14. When Tomorrow Comes - Carla Thomas
15. Spoiler, The - Eddie Purrell
16. I Love You More Than Words Can Say - Otis Redding
17. If I Ever Needed Love (I Sure Do Need It Now) - Ruby Johnson
18. Same Time Same Place - Mable John
19. Tramp - Otis & Carla
20. Soul Finger - The Bar-Kays
21. Knucklehead - The Bar-Kays
22. Shake - Otis Redding
23. Born Under a Bad Sign - Albert King
24. Soothe Me - Sam & Dave
25. I Can't Stand Up - Sam & Dave
26. Don't Rock the Boat - Eddie Floyd

Disc 8
1. My Inspiration - The Mad Lads
2. Love Sickness - Sir Mack Rice
3. Sophisticated Sissy - Rufus Thomas
4. I'll Always Have Faith in You - Carla Thomas
5. How Can You Mistreat the One You Love - Jeannie & The Darlings
6. Love Is a Doggone Good Thing - Eddie Floyd
7. Groovin' - Booker T. & The MG's
8. Slim Jenkin's Place - Booker T. & The MG's
9. Glory of Love - Otis Redding
10. I'm a Big Girl Now - Mable John
11. Wait You Dog - Mable John
12. You Can't Get Away From It - Johnnie Taylor
13. Eloise (Hang on in There) - William Bell
14. Knock on Wood - Otis & Carla
15. I'm Glad to Do It - C.L. Blast
16. Double Up - C.L. Blast
17. You Can't Run Away From Your Heart - Judy Clay
18. I'll Gladly Take You Back - The Charmels
19. Soul Man - Sam & Dave
20. Daddy Didn't Tell Me - The Astors
21. Give Everybody Some - The Bar-Kays
22. On a Saturday Night - Eddie Floyd
23. Don't Hit Me No More - Mable John
24. Somebody's Sleeping in My Bed - William Bell
25. Winter Snow - Booker T. & The MG's
26. Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday - William Bell
27. What'll I Do For Satisfaction - Johnny Daye
28. Pick up the Pieces - Carla Thomas

Disc 9
1. Down Ta My House - Rufus Thomas
2. As Long as I've Got You - The Charmels
3. Soul Girl - Jeannie & The Darlings
4. Cold Feet - Albert King
5. I Thank You - Sam & Dave
6. Wrap It Up - Sam & Dave
7. Dock of the Bay, (Sittin' On) The - Otis Redding
8. Don't Pass Your Judgement - The Memphis Nomads
9. Lovey Dovey - Otis & Carla
10. I Got a Sure Thing - Ollie & The Nightingales
11. Big Bird - Eddie Floyd
12. Hard Day's Night, A - The Bar-Kays
13. Next Time - Johnnie Taylor
14. Tribute to a King, A - William Bell
15. Every Man Oughta Have a Woman - William Bell
16. Able Mable - Mable John
17. Memphis Train, The - Rufus Thomas
18. I Think I Made a Boo Boo - Rufus Thomas
19. What Will Later on Be Like - Jeannie & The Darlings
20. Hang Me Now - Jeanne & The Darlings
21. Soul Power - Derek Martin
22. Bring Your Love Back to Me - Linda Lyndell
23. Dime a Dozen, A - Carla Thomas
24. Whatever Hurts You - The Mad Lads
25.Happy Song, The (Dum Dum) - Otis Redding
26.Lucy, (I Love) - Albert King
27.I Ain't Particular - Johnnie Taylor


idrejected said...

Gagantuesque. Si je puis me permettre la suggestion, un Baistophe serait tout indiqué pour les petits appétits...

Mr Moodswings said...

Ce n'est pas une mauvaise idée mais, en attendant que je le fasse, il me reste les volumes 2 (9 cds aussi) et 3 (10 cds !) à poster...
See you next week and stay tuned!

The Bogus Man said...

Gargantuesque indeed! LOL

Brilliant post - thanks very much

Anonymous said...

just high !!!!


waxhound said...


Je ne peux que répéter les compliments des autres!

Ce que les gens qui font ces compilations oublient toujours, c'est que le véritable début de Stax, c'est Satellite, un label qui ne produisit que quelques disques, mais du *rockabilly* excellent, pour ne pas dire extraordinaire!


Merci encore!

Marc (Canada)

harry lime said...

this stefan is unbelievable ! a great treasure chest for any music enthusiast

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!! This is the best! Do you plan on posting the other two volumes?
Thanks again,

Mr Moodswings said...

Next two sundays.

Anonymous said...

Mr Moodswings: You are the soul man! Thanks. Eddy

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all 3 volumes.