The Ultimate Staple Singers: A Family Affair

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Considering what a long, popular, and respected career the Staple Singers had, it's surprising that there was no comprehensive compilation prior to this 2004 release that spanned their gospel and soul eras, from the 1950s to the 1980s. You can count on the Ace group of labels to do these things right, however, and this two-CD, 44-song set is a very good summary of their career highlights, even if it inevitably can't include all of their outstanding performances. All of their big soul hits are here, naturally, but what makes this especially available is the presence of much material predating their hookup with Stax in the late '60s. The earliest recording goes all the...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Considering what a long, popular, and respected career the Staple Singers had, it's surprising that there was no comprehensive compilation prior to this 2004 release that spanned their gospel and soul eras, from the 1950s to the 1980s. You can count on the Ace group of labels to do these things right, however, and this two-CD, 44-song set is a very good summary of their career highlights, even if it inevitably can't include all of their outstanding performances. All of their big soul hits are here, naturally, but what makes this especially available is the presence of much material predating their hookup with Stax in the late '60s. The earliest recording goes all the way back to 1953, and the first half or so of disc one is all pre-Stax, with gospel sides from the mid-'50s through the mid-'60s for various labels, including "This May Be the Last Time" which famously helped inspire the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time", "Uncloudy Day," and their cover of Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall." Their transition from gospel to soul on Epic in the mid-'60s is also represented by a handful of sides, including Pop Staples' "Why Am I Treated So Bad" and their low-charting cover of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth." And while their Stax era is understandably covered with far greater depth than any other, some relatively little-known worthy efforts from that period are here alongside the hits. There are, for instance, socially conscious "message songs" such as "The Ghetto," "Long Walk to DC," "When Will We Be Paid for the Work We Did," and "Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas"; unreleased solo sides by Pop Staples and Mavis Staples; and a remix of their "Oh La De Da" single that removes the fake audience noise. A few post-Stax tracks with slicker production are here too among them their huge 1975 hit "Let's Do It Again", and while it could be argued that a few more pre-Stax numbers would have been more artistically satisfying, it does round off the documentation of this major group's work, augmented by a detailed history in the 28-page booklet.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/30/2004
  • Label: Kent Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667224024
  • Catalog Number: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,812

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Staple Singers Primary Artist
Technical Credits
David Byrne Composer
Steve Cropper Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Jerry Harrison Composer
Donny Hathaway Composer
Jimmy Holiday Composer
Luther Ingram Composer
Curtis Mayfield Composer
Otis Redding Composer
Stephen Stills Composer
Peter Allen Composer
Donald Davis Composer
Delaney Bramlett Composer
Leroy Hutson Composer
George Jackson Composer
Roebuck "Pops" Staples Arranger, Composer
Homer Banks Composer
Jimmy Barnes Composer
Jeff Barry Composer
Prof. Alex Bradford Composer
Charles Chalmers Composer
Chris Frantz Composer
Cornelius Grant Composer
Carl Hampton Composer
Marshall "Rock" Jones Composer
Deadric Malone Composer
Donna Rhodes Composer
Sandra Rhodes Composer
Sir Mack Rice Composer
Aaron Schroeder Composer
Marvell Thomas Composer
Tina Weymouth Composer
William Robinson Composer
Phillip Mitchell Composer
Rob Bowman Liner Notes
Raymond Jackson Composer
Duncan Cowell Mastering
Bettye Crutcher Composer
Bonnie Dodd Composer
Gary William Friedman Composer
David Jordan Composer
Traditional Composer
Alvertis Isbell Composer
Robert Bloom Composer
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