Stax Story

Stax Story


Up until the label closed its doors in 1975, Stax Records had a rivalry with Motown Records similar to the battle between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 1950s. Whereas Berry Gordy's Motown recording empire prided itself on the clean-cut image of artists such as the Supremes and See more details below


Up until the label closed its doors in 1975, Stax Records had a rivalry with Motown Records similar to the battle between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 1950s. Whereas Berry Gordy's Motown recording empire prided itself on the clean-cut image of artists such as the Supremes and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and their string of catchy, sanitized pop gems, the Memphis-based Stax reveled in a grittier sound and a freewheeling approach to making soul music. The four-disc Stax Story chronicles the legacy of Stax Records with 98 remastered tracks and a 64-page booklet packed with photos and liner notes penned by former Stax employees and music critics. The early Stax roster included greats such as Otis Redding, who reveals the scope of his talents with the aching ballad "These Arms of Mine" and the roof-raising romp "Respect"; the dynamic duo of Sam & Dave, who shine on the call-and-response tracks "I Thank You" and "Soul Man"; and the powerhouse Booker T. & the MGs, who offer up the hearty instrumentals "Green Onions" and "Hang 'Em High." By the late '60s, Stax had lured several of Motown's top arrangers and producers away from the Hitsville, U.S.A., fold, which helped broaden the Memphis label's roster to include impressive talents such as the Dramatics ("In the Rain"), former Stax studio hand Isaac Hayes ("Theme from Shaft"), and ex-Chess Records legend Little Milton ("That's What Love Will Make You Do"). Throughout the early '70s, this pioneering R&B label continued to infuse its music with gospel and blues nuances as on the Staples Singers' esteem boosting "Respect Yourself," which features Mavis Staples' church-rooted singing style. Although Motown was heralded as the "sound of young America," Stax Records truly established itself as the home of Soulsville, U.S.A. Dave Gil de Rubio

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The legendary Memphis soul label Stax's legacy is well-represented by this four-CD box set, which manages to do what many similar box retrospectives don't. That is to provide a well-balanced overview of a genre of music that mixes the essential hits with many noteworthy yet lesser-known singles and rarities, coming about as close as possible to pleasing both the collector and the less intense soul fan. The first disc alone, subtitled "The Hits," takes care of the majority of the consensus classics most listeners would demand from such a box, including hits by Carla Thomas, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, Rufus Thomas, Albert King, and Johnnie Taylor. Disc two and disc three chronologically survey lower-profile chart hits and flops, taking in additional material by all of the stars, as well as great songs that have escaped the net of oldies radio: William Bell's "You Don't Miss Your Water," Albert King's "Crosscut Saw," Mable John's "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)." Disc four is entirely devoted to live recordings, most by the company's biggest acts, that sometimes give a rawer sense of the performers' charisma than was evident on their studio efforts. Some pretty minor reservations might keep this box from getting awarded the highest possible score: some of the non-hit cuts aren't that exciting (particularly from the label's later years), the track annotation doesn't make it clear whether some of the live cuts were previously unreleased in any form, Booker T. & the MGs' "Hang 'Em High" is represented by a live 1993 reunion recording rather than the original hit single, and some good mid-level hits by the biggest Stax acts aren't here. Still, it's a very worthy summation of the label's highlights, augmented by detailed liner notes.

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Product Details

Release Date:


Disc 1

  1. Gee Whiz! (Look at His Eyes)  - Carla Thomas
  2. Last Night  -  Mar-Keys
  3. Green Onions  -  Booker T. & the MG's
  4. Walking The Dog  - Rufus Thomas
  5. Respect  - Otis Redding
  6. Hold On! I'm Comin'  -  Sam & Dave
  7. B-A-B-Y  - Carla Thomas
  8. Knock On Wood  - Eddie Floyd
  9. Soul Finger  -  Bar-Kays
  10. Tramp  -  Otis & Carla
  11. Born Under A Bad Sign  - Albert King
  12. Soul Man  -  Sam & Dave
  13. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay  - Otis Redding
  14. Private Number  - Judy Clay
  15. Who's Making Love?  - Johnnie Taylor
  16. Time Is Tight  -  Booker T. & the MG's
  17. Do The Funky Chicken  - Rufus Thomas
  18. Mr. Big Stuff  - Jean Knight
  19. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get  -  Dramatics
  20. Respect Yourself  -  Staple Singers
  21. Theme from Shaft  - Isaac Hayes
  22. I've Been Lonely for So Long  - Frederick Knight
  23. I'll Take You There  -  Staple Singers
  24. Starting All Over Again  -  Mel & Tim
  25. I'll Be The Other Woman  -  Soul Children
  26. Woman To Woman  - Shirley Brown

Disc 2

  1. Cause I Love You  - Carla Thomas
  2. You Don't Miss Your Water  - William Bell
  3. These Arms Of Mine  - Otis Redding
  4. Can Your Monkey Do The Dog  - Rufus Thomas
  5. Big Party  -  Barbara & the Browns
  6. Jump Back  - Rufus Thomas
  7. Mr. Pitiful  - Otis Redding
  8. Can't See You When I Want To  - David Porter
  9. Boot-Leg  -  Booker T. & the MG's
  10. I've Been Loving You Too Long  - Otis Redding
  11. Candy  -  Astors
  12. I Want Someone  -  Mad Lads
  13. Philly Dog  -  Mar-Keys
  14. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction  - Otis Redding
  15. Things Get Better  - Eddie Floyd
  16. Let Me Be Good To You  - Carla Thomas
  17. I'll Run Your Hurt Away  - Ruby Johnson
  18. You Good Thing (Is About To End)  - Mable John
  19. Patch My heart  -  Mad Lads
  20. Crosscut Saw  - Albert King
  21. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down  -  Sam & Dave
  22. Groovin'  -  Booker T. & the MG's
  23. Give Everybody Some  -  Bar-Kays
  24. Cold Feet  - Albert King
  25. I Thank You  -  Sam & Dave
  26. I Got A Sure Thing  -  Ollie & the Nightingales
  27. Big Bird  - Eddie Floyd
  28. A Tribute to a King  - William Bell
  29. I Ain't Particular  - Johnnie Taylor

Disc 3

  1. Soul Limbo  -  Booker T. & the MG's
  2. I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)  - Eddie Floyd
  3. What A Man  - Linda Lyndell
  4. I Like Everything About You  - Jimmy Hughes
  5. I Forgot To Be Your Lover  - William Bell
  6. I Like What You're Doing (To Me)  - Carla Thomas
  7. So I Can Love You  -  Emotions
  8. Walk on By  - Isaac Hayes
  9. Black Boy
  10. I Have Learned to Do Without You  - Mavis Staples
  11. Play The Music Toronados  -  T.S.U. Toronados
  12. Never Can Say Goodbye  - Isaac Hayes
  13. The Breakdown, Pt. 1  - Rufus Thomas
  14. Son Of Shaft  -  Bar-Kays
  15. That's What love Will Make You Do  - Little Milton
  16. In The Rain  -  Dramatics
  17. Hearsay  -  Soul Children
  18. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)  - David Porter
  19. Dedicated To The One I Love  -  Temprees
  20. Breaking Up Somebody's Home  - Albert King
  21. I Believe In You (You Believe In Me)  - Johnnie Taylor
  22. Short Stoppong  - Veda Brown
  23. Cheaper To Keep Her  - Johnnie Taylor
  24. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)  -  Staple Singers

Disc 4

  1. Green Onions  -  Booker T. & the MG's
  2. Raise Your Hand  - Eddie Floyd
  3. Something Good (Is Going to Happen to You)  - Carla Thomas
  4. Grab This Thing, Pt. 1  -  Mar-Keys
  5. The Dog  - Rufus Thomas
  6. You Don't Miss Your Water  - William Bell
  7. Soothe Me  -  Sam & Dave
  8. You Don't Know Like I Know  -  Sam & Dave
  9. Shake  - Otis Redding
  10. Try A Little Tenderness  - Otis Redding
  11. Oh La De Da  -  Staple Singers
  12. (Do The) Push And Pull, Pt. 1  - Rufus Thomas
  13. Jody's Got your Girl And Gone  - Johnnie Taylor
  14. Killing Floor  - Albert King
  15. Blues Power  - Albert King
  16. Show Me How  -  Emotions
  17. Hang 'Em High  -  Booker T. & the MG's
  18. Theme From Shaft  - Isaac Hayes
  19. Theme From The Men  - Isaac Hayes

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

William Bell   Track Performer
Booker T. & the MG's   Track Performer
Shirley Brown   Track Performer
Dramatics   Track Performer
Emotions   Track Performer
Eddie Floyd   Track Performer
Jimmy Hughes   Track Performer
Frederick Knight   Track Performer
Mad Lads   Track Performer
Otis Redding   Track Performer
Sam & Dave   Track Performer
Soul Children   Track Performer
Staple Singers   Track Performer
Johnnie Taylor   Track Performer
Carla Thomas   Track Performer
Rufus Thomas   Track Performer
Mel & Tim   Track Performer
Soul Kitchen   Track Performer
Roebuck "Pops" Staples   Track Performer
Ruby Johnson   Track Performer
Ollie & the Nightingales   Track Performer
Astors   Track Performer
Bar-Kays   Track Performer
Little Milton   Track Performer
Judy Clay   Track Performer
Albert King   Track Performer
Mar-Keys   Track Performer
David Porter   Track Performer
Mavis Staples   Track Performer
Veda Brown   Track Performer
Barbara & the Browns   Track Performer
Linda Lyndell   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Lowell Fulson   Composer
Jimmy McCracklin   Composer
William Bell   Composer
Steve Cropper   Composer,Staff
Eddie Floyd   Composer
Rufus Thomas   Composer
Jimmy Campbell   Composer
Richard Adler   Composer
Homer Banks   Composer
James Banks   Composer
Bill Belmont   Liner Notes
Don Davis   Composer
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Composer,Staff
Isaac Hayes   Composer,Staff
Willie Hall   Composer
Wayne Jackson   Composer
Booker T. Jones   Composer,Staff
Albert King   Composer
David Porter   Composer
Bonny "Mack" Rice   Composer
Mack Rice   Composer
Cam Wilson   Composer
Tom Nixon   Composer
Al Jackson   Composer,Staff
Eddie Marion   Composer
Greil Marcus   Liner Notes
Rob Bowman   Liner Notes
Mark Rice   Composer
Joe Tarantino   Remastering
Jamie Putnam   Art Direction
Rob Finnis   Cover Photo,Tray Photo
Raymond Jackson   Composer
Bettye Crutcher   Composer
Kent Barker   Composer
Henderson Thigpen   Composer
Floyd   Composer
Ralph Williams   Composer
Dean Parker   Director
Anthony Hester   Composer
Carl Wells   Composer
Bridges   Composer
Carrol Washington   Composer
Chester Burnett   Composer
Allen Jones   Composer

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