"…I've Got Someone I Can Call My Very Own…"
Released Monday 16 May 2011 in the UK, Concord Music Group, Inc 0888072328754 breaks down as follows (55:58 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 8 are the album "Taylored In Silk" – released June 1973 in the USA on Stax Records STS-3014 and July 1975 in the UK on Stax Records STX 1012
Tracks 9 and 10 are "Hijackin' Love" and "Love In The Streets (Ain’t Good As The Love At Home)" – the A&B-sides of a USA 45 on Stax STA-0096 (released August 1971)
Tracks 11 and 12 are "Standing In For Jody" and "Shackin' Up" – the A&B-sides of a USA 45 on Stax STA-0114 (released January 1972)
Tracks 13 and 14 are "Doing My Own Thing (Part 1)" and "(Part 2)" – the A&B-sides of a USA 45 on Stax STA-0122 (released April 1972)
The new 12-page booklet has very knowledgeable and affectionate liner notes by BILL DAHL who did the exceptional liner notes on Bear Family’s 1961-1970 "Sweet Soul Music" CDs (10 volumes) and their 1945-1960 "Blowing The Fuse" series on R'n'B music (16 volumes).
I’ve reviewed nearly all of them. You also get the original artwork on the front and rear of the booklet, musician and session details etc. But it's a shame the booklet doesn’t go any further. There’s no new photos, no memorabilia - and it makes the inlay feel workmanlike at best – even a little dull – when it should have spread its wings a little. But the big news is the SOUND…
I’ve reviewed the other titles in this new "Stax Remasters" series (see list below) and duly raved about the fabulous sound quality on all – especially after years of lacklustre reissues in jewel cases and repro digipaks. Well this is the same. 24-bit remastered from the first generation tapes at JOE TARANTINO Mastering in Berkeley, California – the audio quality is fantastic – which of course makes you reassess every song – and here it gives incredible clarity to these hugely underrated slices of Seventies Soul.
The whole album is good and very much in a smoochy mode – songs about lovin' and cheatin' and not getting' caught cheatin' etc. "I Believe In You (You Believe In Me)" made the top spot on the US R'n'B charts in June 1973 (lyrics above) while the lovely cover of Prince Phillip Mitchell's "Starting All Over Again" is superlative Stax Soul. The witty lyrics of Mack Rice' "Cheaper To Keep Her" still bring a smile to a face and a tap to a foot - while the sound quality on the mid-tempo "I Can Read Between The Lines" is gorgeous.
And the funkier singles are a huge treat – off-setting the slightly loverman feel of the album. "Hijackin' Love" made Number 10 on the US R'n'B charts – and with its fantastically punchy funk rhythm – it's easy to hear why. The "…using me for a spare…" choppy Soul of "Standing In For Jody" is great - as is the JB funk of its wicked B-side "Shackin' Up" (another song about another woman's husband).
The guitar opening of "Doing My Own Thing" makes you think you’ve stumbled on a John Lee Hooker Blues session, but it then settles into a great Soulful groove which brings the guitar back later. "Part 2" feels like a great James Brown B-side you’re glad you’ve rediscovered. Very, very good indeed…
To sum up – this is as superlative value-for-money reissue with top-notch Seventies Soul and sound quality that trumps everything that’s gone before.
PS: titles in the "STAX REMASTERS" series are (all reviewed):
1. McLemore Avenue - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S (1970)
2. Woman To Woman - SHIRLEY BROWN (1975)
3. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get - THE DRAMATICS (1972)
4. Be Altitude: Respect Yourself - THE STAPLE SINGERS (1972)
5. Taylored In Silk - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (1973)
6. Do The Funky Chicken - RUFUS THOMAS (1970)