Saturday, 12 May 2018

"The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Volume 2: 1968-1971" (1993 and 2014 UMG/Stax 9CD Box Set Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...



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"…Mr. Big Stuff…"

This 9-disc STAX RECORDS Volume 2 Box Set spanning the years 1968 to 1971 first appeared in 1993 in 12" x 12" form to heaps of praise - and rightly so. Volume 3 followed in 1994 - a whopping 10-disc set that covered 1972-1975 - while Volume 1 (handled by Atlantic Records) had done the 9-disc 12" x 12" deed for the formative years (1959 to 1968) in 1991.

Since that time - 'Concord Music Group, Inc.' have acquired the Stax catalogue - and in 2011 began trickling out "Stax Remasters" single CDs of label favourites like The Staples Singers, Johnnie Taylor and Booker T. & The M.G.'s (I've reviewed all 9 titles to date - see PS below). 

Now in 2014 and 2015 - Concord are reissuing the two huge "Singles" boxes they have control over in stripped down 5" x 5" 'Brick Block' packaging (slip up lid, card sleeves and booklet - more manageable) - Volume 2 in December 2014 and Volume 3 in February 2015. There's even talk of the mighty Volume 1 (presently garnishing unhealthy prices on auction sites) being reissued in the same form in early 2016. Let’s get to the details...

The December 2014 reissue of "The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Volume 2..." by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Universal Music Group/Stax 9SCD-4411-2 (Barcode 025218441124) begins in May 1968 and ends in December 1971 and also includes offshoot labels like Volt, Enterprise, We Produce and a lone entry for Respect Records. 

In order to do this 216-Track 9CD Soul Behemoth proper justice - I've done a track-by-track layout of each disc including release dates and catalogue numbers. "The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singers Volume 2: 1968-1971" breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (78:10 minutes):
1. I Was Born To Love You - SHIRLEY WALTON (January 1968, Enterprise EN-001, A)
2. Precious, Precious - ISAAC HAYES (February 1968, Enterprise EN-002, A)
3. Send Peace And Harmony Home - SHIRLEY WALTON (April 1968, Enterprise EN-004, A)
4. Soul Limbo - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S (May 1968, Stax STA-0001, A)
5. I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do) - EDDIE FLOYD (May 1968, Stax STA-0002, A)
6. It's Been A Long Time Coming - DELANEY & BONNIE (May 1968, Stax STA-0003, A)
7. What A Man - LINDA LYNDELL (June 1968, Volt VOA-4001, A)
8. I Like Everything About You - JIMMY HUGHES (July 1968, Volt VOA-4002, A)
9. Stay Baby Stay - JOHNNY DAYE (July 1968, Stax STA-0004, A)
10. Private Number - JUDY CLAY & WILLIAM BELL (July 1968, Stax STA-0005, A)
11. So Nice - THE MAD LADS (August 1968, Volt VOA-4003, A)
12. Long Walk To D.C. - THE STAPLE SINGERS (August 1968, Stax STA-0007, A)
13. Give 'Em Love - THE SOUL CHILDREN (August 1968, Stax STA-0008, A)
14. Funky Mississippi - RUFUS THOMAS (August 1968, Stax STA-0010, A)
15. Lovin' Feeling - THE CHARMELS (August 1968, Volt VOA-4004, A)
16. Where Do I Go - CARLA THOMAS (August 1968, Stax STA-0011, A- the B-side is "I've Fallen In Love" which charted in July 1969 - see Disc 3 Track 17)
17. Bed Of Roses - JUDY CLAY (September 1968, STAX STA-0006, A)
18. Bring It On Home To Me - EDDIE FLOYD (September 1968, Stax ATA-0012, A)
19. It's Unbelievable (How You Control My Soul) - JEANNE and THE DARLINGS (September 1968, Volt VOA-4005, A)
20. Who's Making Love - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (September 1968, Stax STA-0009, A)
21. Mighty Cold Winter - DINO and DOC (October 1968, Volt VOA-4006, A)
22. Hang 'Em High - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S (October 1968, Stax STA-0013, A - mistakenly credited as the B)
23. You're Leaving Me - OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES (October 1968, Stax STA-0014, A)
24. Copy Kat - THE BAR-KAYS (October 1968, Volt VOA-4007, A)
25. I Forgot To Be Your Lover - WILLIAM BELL (November 1968, Stax STA-0015, A)
26. Running Out - MABLE JOHN (November 1968, Stax STA-0016, A)
27. My Baby Specializes - WILLIAM BELL & JUDY CLAY (November 1968, Stax STA-0017, A)
28. I'll Understand - THE SOUL CHILDREN (November 1968, Stax STA-0018, A)
Notes: The A-side of Stax 0011 is "I've Fallen In Love" by Carla Thomas and it's missing from this box

Disc 2 (75:15 minutes):
1. The Ghetto - THE STAPLE SINGERS (November 1968, Stax STA-0019, A)
2. Blues Power - ALBERT KING (November 1968, Stax STA-0020, A)
3. The Echo - THE EPSILONS (December 1968, Stax STA-0021, A)
4. Funky Way - RUFUS THOMAS (December 1968, Stax STA-0022, A)
5. Take Care Of Your Homework - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (December 1968, Stax STA-0023, A)
6. I Like What You're Doing To Me - CARLA THOMAS (January 1969, Stax STA-0024, A)
7. I've Got To Have Your Love - EDDIE FLOYD (January 1969, Stax STA-0025, A)
8. Let 'Em Down Baby - JIMMY HUGHES (January 1969, Volt VOA-4008, A)
9. Love Is Here Today And Gone Tomorrow - THE MAD LADS (January 1969, Volt VOA-4009, A)
10. It Ain't Long Enough - JUDY CLAY (February 1969, Stax STA-0026, A)
11. Mellow Way You Treat Your Man - OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES (February 1969, Stax STA-0027, A)
12. Private Number - SONNY STITT (February 1969, Enterprise ENA-9001, A)
13. Time is Tight - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S (February 1969, Stax STA-0028, A)
14. Double Or Nothing - THE MAR-KEYS (March 1969, Stax STA-0029, A)
15. (Sittin' On The) Dock Of The Bay - OTIS REDDING (March 1969, Stax STA-0031, A)
16. So I Can Love You - THE EMOTIONS (March 1969, Volt VOA-4010, A)
17. Don't Stop Dancing (To The Music) (Part 1) - THE BAR-KAYS (March 1969, Volt VOA-4011, A)
18. One More Chance - MARGIE JOSEPH (March 1969, Volt VOA-4012, A)
19. I Wanna Be Good (To You) - JIMMY DOTSON (March 1969, Volt VOA-4013, A)
20. Finger Lickin' Good - ART JERRY MILLER (March 1969, Enterprise ENA-9002, A)
21. Tighten Up My Thang - THE SOUL CHILDREN (April 1969, Stax STA-0030, A)
22. My Whole World Is Falling Down - WILLIAM BELL (April 1969, Stax STA-0032, A)
23. Testify (I Wanna) - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (April 1969, Stax STA-0033, A)
24. Drowning On Dry Land - ALBERT KING (May 1969, Stax STA-0034, A)
25. Do The Cissy - THE STINGERS (May 1969, Stax STA-0035, A)
26. Don't Tell Your Mama (Where You've Been) - EDDIE FLOYD (May 1969, Stax STA-0036, A)

Disc 3 (78:42 minutes):
1. Mrs. Robinson - BOOKER T. & THE MG'S (May 1969, Stax STA-0037, A)
2. Love's Sweet Sensation - WILLIAM BELL & MAVIS STAPLES (May 1969, Stax STA-0043, A)
3. Just Because Your Love Is Gone - DARRELL BANKS (May 1969, Volt VOA-4014, A)
4. Chains Of Love - JIMMY HUGHES (June 1969, Volt VOA-4017, A)
5. Happy - WILLIAM BELL (June 1969, Stax STA-0038, A)
6. The Challenge - THE STAPLE SINGERS (June 1969, Stax STA-0039, A)
7. Soul-A-Lujah - JOHNNIE TAYLOR, EDDIE FLOYD, WILLIAM BELL, PERVIS STAPLES, CARLA THOMAS, MAVIS STAPLES, CLEOTHA STAPLES (June 1969, Stax STA-0040, A)
8. Never, Never Let You Go - EDDIE FLOYD & MAVIS STAPLES (June 1969, Stax STA-0041, A)
9. Just Keep On Loving Me - JOHNNIE TAYLOR & CARLA THOMAS (June 1969, Stax STA-0042, A)
10. I Need You Woman - WILLIAM BELL & CARLA THOMAS (June 1969, Stax STA-0044, A)
11. I've Got A Feeling - OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES (June 1969, Stax STA-0045, A)
12. It's Time To Pay For The Fun (We've Had) - JEANNE and THE DARLINGS (June 1969, Volt VOA-4015, A)
13. I Could Never Be President - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (June 1969, Stax STA-0046, A)
14. By The Time I Get To Phoenix - THE MAD LADS (June 1969, Volt VOA-4016, A)
15. Long And Lonely World - COLETTE KELLY (July 1969, Volt VOA-4018, A)
16. Midnight Cowboy - THE BAR-KAYS (July 1969, Volt VOA-4019, A)
17. I've Fallen In Love - CARLA THOMAS (July 1969, Stax STA-0011, B. The A-side "Where Do I Go" is on Disc 1, Track 16)
18. Slum Baby - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S (July 1969, Stax STA-0049, A)
19. The Best Part Of A Love Affair - THE EMOTIONS (July 1969, Volt VOA-4021, A)
20. By The Time I Get To Phoenix - ISAAC HAYES (July 1969, Enterprise ENA-9003, A)
21. Walk On By - ISAAC HAYES (July 1969, Enterprise ENA-9003, B)
22. Tupelo (Part 1) - POP STAPLES, ALBERT KING, STEVE CROPPER (August 1969, Stax STA-0047, A)
23. Water - POP STAPLES, ALBERT KING, STEVE CROPPER (August 1969, Stax STA-0048, A)
24. The Sweeter He Is (Part 1) - THE SOUL CHILDREN (August 1969, Stax STA-0050, A)
25. You're Driving Me (To The Arms Of A Stranger) - MAVIS STAPLES (August 1969, Volt VOA-4020, A)

Disc 4 (75:22 minutes):
1. Open Up Your Heart (Let Me In) - THE NEWCOMERS (August 1969, Volt VOA-4022, A)
2. Why Is The Wine Sweeter (On The Other Side) - EDDIE FLOYD (September 1969, Stax STA-0051, A)
3. When Will We Be Paid - THE STAPLE SINGERS (October 1969, Stax STA-0052, A)
4. Grinder Man - JOHN LEE HOOKER (October 1969, Stax STA-0053, A)
5. Born Under A Bad Sign - WILLIAM BELL (October 1969, Stax STA-0054, A)
6. What You Gonna Do - MARGIE JOSPEH (October 1969, Volt VOA-4023, A)
7. I'm So Glad - JIMMY HUGHES (October 1969, Volt VOA-4024, A)
8. Beautiful Feelings - DARRELL BANKS (October 1969, Volt VOA-4026, A)
9. Your Love Was Strange - THE DRAMATICS (October 1969, Volt VOA-4029, A)
10. Love Bones - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (November 1969, Stax STA-0055, A)
11. Hard To Say Goodbye - DELANEY & BONNIE (November 1969, Stax STA-0057, A)
12. Got To Get Rid Of You - J.J. BARNES (November 1969, Volt VOA-4027, A)
13. Habit Forming Love - REGGIE MILNER - (November 1969, Volt VOA-4028, A)
14. My Thing is A Moving Thing - THE T.S.U. TORNADOES (November 1969, Volt VOA-4030, A)
15. Stealing Love - THE EMOTIONS (November 1969, Volt VOA-4031, A)
16. When Tomorrow Comes - THE EMOTIONS (November 1969, Volt VOA-4031, B)
17. Wrapped Up In Love Again - ALBERT KING (December 1968, Stax STA-0058, A)
18. Do The Funky Chicken - RUFUS THOMAS (December 1969, Stax STA-0059, A)
19. California Girl - EDDIE FLOYD (January 1970, Stax STA-0060, A)
20. Tribute To A Black Woman (Part 1) - BERNIE HAYES (January 1970, Volt VOA-4032, A)
21. Sang And Dance - THE BAR-KAYS (February 1970, Volt VOA-4033, A)
22. Hold On, I'm Comin' - THE SOUL CHILDREN (February 1970, Stax STA-0062, A)
23. Love's Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (Part 1) - CHUCK BROOKS (February 1970, Volt VOA-4034, A)
24. Help Me Put Out The Flame In My Heart - ERNIE HINES (March 1970, Stax STA-0063, A)
25. Black Key - ROEBUCK "POP" STAPLES (March 1970, Stax STA-0064, A)

Disc 5 (76:22 minutes):
1. Bracing Myself For The Fall - OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES (March 1970, Stax STA-0065, A)
2. All I Have To Do Is Dream - WILLIAM BELL & CARLA THOMAS (March 1970, Stax STA-0067, A)
3. Singing About Love - JEANNE and THE DARLINGS (March 1970, Volt VOA-4035, A)
4. Goodies - CHRIS and SHACK (March 1970, Volt VOA-4036, A)
5. Just The Way You Are Today - BARBARA LEWIS (March 1970, Enterprise ENA-9012, A)
6. The Creeper Returns - LITTLE SONNY (March 1970, Enterprise ENA-9013, A)
7. Guide Me Well - CARLA THOMAS (April 1970, Stax STA-0056, B)
8. Give A Damn - THE STAPLE SINGERS (April 1970, Stax STA-0066, A)
9. Steal Away - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (April 1970, Stax STA-0068, A)
10. Your Sweet Lovin' - MARGIE JOSEPH (April 1970, Volt VOA-4037, A)
11. I Forget To Remember - JONES and BLUMENBERG (April 1970, Volt VOA-4039, A)
12. Can't See You When I Want To - DAVID PORTER (April 1970, Enterprise ENA-9014, A)
13. Never Be True - CARLA THOMAS (May 1970, Stax STA-0061, A)
14. Can't You See What You're Doing To Me - ALBERT KING (May 1970, Stax STA-0069, A)
15. Sixty Minute Man (Part 2) - RUFUS THOMAS (May 1970, Stax STA-0071, A)
16. The Preacher And The Bear - RUFUS THOMAS (May 1970, Stax STA-0071, B)
17. Something - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S (May 1970, Stax STA-0073, A)
18. Seeing Is Believing - THE MAD LADS (May 1970, Volt VOA-4041, A)
19. You're My Only Temptation - ROZ RYAN (June 1970, Volt VOA-4040, A)
20. What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me - PAUL THOMPSON (June 1970, Volt VOA-4042, A)
21. Right, Tight And Out Of Sight - BRANDING IRON (June 1970, Volt VOA-4043, A)
22. (What's Under) The Natural Do - JOHN KaSANDRA (June 1970, Respect TAA-2501, A)

Disc 6 (75:41 minutes):
1. My Girl - EDDIE FLOYD (June 1970, Stax STA-0072, A)
2. I Have Learned To Do Without You - MAVIS STAPLES (June 1970, Volt VOA-4044, A)
3. Play The Music Tornadoes - THE T.S.U. TORNADOES (July 1970, Volt VOA-4038, A)
4. Lonely Soldier - WILLIAM BELL (June 1970, Stax STA-0070, A)
5. Heart Association - THE EMOTIONS (July 1970, Volt VOA-4045, A)
6. I Stand Accused - ISAAC HAYES (July 1970, Enterprise ENA-9017, A)
7. Brand New Day (Theme From "The Landlord" OST) - THE STAPLE SINGERS (August 1970, Stax STA-0074, A)
8. Sweeter Tomorrow - MARGIE JOSEPH (August 1970, Volt VOA-4046, A)
9. Cool Strut - BERNIE HAYES (August 1970, Volt VOA-4047, A)
10. You Put The Sunshine Back In My World - THE NEWCOMERS (August 1970, Volt VOA-4049, A)
11. Montego Bay - THE BAR-KAYS (August 1970, Volt VOA-4050, A)
12. Get It Together (Parts 1 & 2) - RUBY ROBINSON & THE HUNGRY FIVE (August 1970, Enterprise ENA-9019, A)
13. Wade In The Water - LITTLE SONNY (August 1970, Enterprise ENA-9021, A)
14. You're Movin' Much Too Fast - THE NIGHTINGALES (September 1970, Stax STA-0076, A)
15. The Best Years Of My Life - EDDIE FLOYD (September 1970, Stax STA-0077, A)
16. I Am Somebody (Part 2) - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (September 1970, Stax STA-0078, A)
17. I Loved You Like I Love My Very Life - CARLA THOMAS (September 1970, Stax STA-0080, A)
18. Soul Machine - REGGIE MILNER (September 1970, Volt VOA-4048, A)
19. (Follow Her) Rules And Regulations - THE TEMPREES (September 1970, We Produce 45-1801, A)
20. (Do The) Push And Pull (Part 1) - RUFUS THOMAS (October 1970, Stax STA-0079, A)
21. Love Changes - CHARLENE and THE SOUL SERENADERS (October 1970, Volt VOA-4052, A)
22. Put Your World In My World (Best Of Two Worlds) - THE SOUL CHILDREN (November 1970, Stax STA-0075, A)
23. Love Is Plentiful - THE STAPLE SINGERS (November 1970, Stax STA-0083, A)

Disc 7 (75:23 minutes):
1. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom) - THE STAPLE SINGERS (November 1970, Stax STA-0083, B)
2. Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas - THE STAPLE SINGERS (November 1970, Stax STA-0084, A)
3. Too Many Lovers - SHACK (November 1970, Volt VOA-4051, A)
4. Black Christmas - THE EMOTIONS (November 1970, Volt VOA-4053, A)
5. The Mistletoe And Me - ISAAC HAYES (November 1970, Enterprise ENA-9006, A)
6. Ask The Lonely - BARBARA LEWIS (November 1970, Enterprise ENA-9027, A)
7. Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (December 1970, Stax STA-0085, A)
8. Finish Me Off - THE SOUL CHILDREN (January 1971, Stax STA-0086, A)
9. Oh, How It Rained - EDDIE FLOYD (January 1971, Stax STA-0087, A)
10. The Look Of Love - ISAAC HAYES (January 1971, Enterprise ENA-9028, A)
11. Electrified Love - ERNIE HINES (January 1971, We Produce 45-1802, A)
12. Melting Pot - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S (February 1971, Stax STA-0082, A)
13. That's The Way I Like It (I Like It That Way) - BARBARA LEWIS (March 1971, Enterprise ENA-9029, A)
14. Mr. Big Stuff - JEAN KNIGHT (March 1971, Stax STA-0088, A)
15. You Make Me Want To Love You - THE EMOTIONS (March 1971, Volt VOA-4054, A)
16. Stop! In The Name Of Love - MARGIE JOSEPH (March 1971, Volt VOA-4056, A)
17. I Don't Wanna Lose You - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (April 1971, Stax STA-0089, A)
18. (Girl) I Love You - THE TEMPREES (April 1971, We Produce XPA-1803, A)
19. The World Is Round - RUFUS THOMAS (April 1971, Stax STA-0090, A)
20. A Penny For Your Thoughts - WILLIAM BELL (April 1971, Stax STA-0092, A)
21. Never Can Say Goodbye - ISAAC HAYES (April 1971, Enterprise ENA-9031, A)
22. I Don't Want To Be Like My Daddy - THE NIGHTINGALES (May 1971, Stax STA-0091, A)

Disc 8 (72:32 minutes):
1. You've Got To Earn It - THE STAPLE SINGERS (May 1971, Stax STA-0093, A)
2. Hold On To It - THE LIMITATIONS (May 1971, Volt VOA-4057, A)
3. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get - THE DRAMATICS (May 1971, Volt VOA-4058, A)
4. Born Too Late - BRANDING IRON (May 1971, Volt VOA-4059, A)
5. Just Ain't Strong As I Used To Be (You Done Fed Me Sumpin') - JIMMY HUGHES (May 1971, Volt VOA-4060, A)
6. That Other Woman Get My Man And Gone - MARGIE JOSEPH (June 1971, Volt VOA-4061, A)
7. If You Think It (You May As Well Do It) - THE EMOTIONS (June 1971, Volt VOA-4062, A)
8. Shame On The Family Name - CALVIN SCOTT (July 1971, Stax STA-0094, A)
9. Blood Is Thicker Than Water - EDDIE FLOYD (July 1971, Stax STA-0095, A)
10. Hijackin' Love - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (The Soul Philosopher) (July 1971, Stax STA-0096, A)
11. Sweetback's Theme - MELVIN VAN PEEBLES (July 1971, Stax STA-0097, A)
12. The Breakdown (Part 1) - RUFUS THOMAS (July 1971, Stax STA-0098, A)
13. Pin The Tail On The Donkey - THE NEWCOMERS (July 1971, Stax STA-0099, A)
14. Them Hot Pants (Part 1) - LEE SAIN (July 1971, We Produce XPA-1804, A)
15. If That Ain't A Reason (For Your Woman To Leave You) - LITTLE MILTON (August 1971, Stax STA-0100, A)
16. It's Good To Be Careful (But It's Better To Be Loved) - SHACK (August 1971, Volt VOA-4063, A)
17. Where Would You Be Today - ILANA (August 1971, Volt VOA-4064, A)
18. Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven - ALBERT KING (August 1971, Stax STA-0101, A)
19. Got To Get Away From It All - THE SOUL CHILDREN (August 1971, Stax STA-0102, A)
20. Love's Creeping Up On Me - UNITED IMAGE (August 1971, Volt VOA-4065, A)
21. Show Me How - THE EMOTIONS (August 1971, Volt VOA-4066, A)
22. If I Give Up, I Want It Back - DAVID PORTER (August 1971, Enterprise ENA-9037, A)
23. A Woman Named Trouble - LITTLE SONNY (September 1971, Enterprise ENA-9034, A)

Disc 9 (69:58 minutes):
1. Losing Boy - EDDIE GILES (September 1971, Stax STA-0103, A)
2. Respect Yourself - THE STAPLE SINGERS (September 1971, Stax STA-0104, A)
3. I'll Kill A Brick (About My Man) - HOT SAUCE (September 1971, Volt VOA-4067, A)
4. You Think You're Hot Stuff - JEAN KNIGHT (September 1971, Stax STA-0105, A)
5. All For The Love Of A Woman - WILLIAM BELL (September 1971, Stax STA-106, A)
6. Theme From Shaft - ISAAC HAYES (September 1971, Enterprise ENA-9038, A)
7. Jamaica, This Morning - THE MG'S (October 1971, Stax STA-0108, A)
8. Gone! The Promise Of Yesterday - THE MAD LADS (October 1971, Volt VOA-4068, A)
9. Girl, Come On Home - MAJOR LANCE (October 1971, Volt VOA-4069, A)
10. (Let Hurt Put You In The) Loser's Seat - JONI WILSON (October 1971, Volt VOA-4070, A)
11. My Baby Love - THE TEMPREES (October 1971, We Produce XPA-1805, A)
12. Now Do You Move A Mountain - THE LEADERS (November 1971, Volt VOA-4072, A)
13. Black Nasty Boogie (Part 1) - BLACK NASTY (November 1971, Enterprise ENA-9039, A)
14. Do The Funky Penguin (Part 1) - RUFUS THOMAS (November 1971, Stax STA-0112, A)
15. You've Got A Cushion To Fall On - CARLA THOMAS (November 1971, Stax STA-0113, A)
16. Get Up And Get Down - THE DRAMATICS (November 1971, Volt VOA-4071, A)
17. Son Of Shaft - THE BAR-KAYS (November 1971, Volt VOA-4073, A)
18. Don't Cha Mess With My Money, My Honey, Or My Woman - L.V. JOHNSON (November 1971, Volt VOA-4074, A)
19. I Can Smell That Funky Music - ERIC MERCURY (November 1971, Enterprise ENA-9041, A)
20. A Sadness For Things - CALVIN SCOTT (December 1971, Stax STA-0110, A)
21. That's What Love Will Make You Do - LITTLE MILTON (December 1971, Stax STA-0111, A)
22. Standing In For Jody - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (The Soul Philosopher) (December 1971, Stax STA-0114, A)

CONTENT: A word about the content first because there are a few anomalies:
STAX Label: There's 114 Stax A-sides (2 with B-sides included) plus 1 stand-alone B-side - but the following numbers are MISSING:
STAX STA-0056 is "Some Other Man (Is Beating Time)" by CARLA THOMAS released November 1969 as the A-side to "Guide Me Well"
STAX STA-0081 is "So Easy To See" by PROUD AS PUNCH released September 1970 - possibly absent because it's a Rock track and outside the 'Soul' parameters of this box
STAX STA-0107 is "Don't Do It/I'm With You" by THE NIGHTINGALES with "Can Get Away" as the B-side is also missing because it was released in 1972 so outside the remit of this box (its on Volume 3)
STAX STA-0109 is "Yum Yum Yum (I Want Some)" by EDDIE FLOYD and was released January 1972 so is on Volume 3

VOLT Label: There's 74 Volt singles for the period but the following are missing:
VOLT VOA-4025 is "Amazing Grace" by REV. MACEO WOODS and THE CHRISTIAN TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH CHOIR (released October 1969)
VOLT VOA-4055 is "Frisco Here I Come" by LOU JOHNSON (released March 1971)

ENTERPRISE, RESPECT and WE PRODUCE:
22 singles represent the Enterprise label (with the occasional extra B-side for Isaac Hayes) but the catalogue numbers goes as high as 41 (the numbers not represented were presumably never released). There is one Respect Records single and five on the rare We Produce label (none missing).

The visual impact is tasty too. The 62-page colour booklet has full discographies, an essay on the period called "Finger Snappin' Time: Stax Moves On" by ROB BOWMAN (co-produced the box with BILL BELMONT), black and white publicity photos for the artists in between the text, full colour plates of William Bell, Carla Thomas, Isaac Hayes and many more, a two-page collage of singles, many trade adverts for Billboard and finally Song Indexes and Dedications. PHIL DE LANCIE at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley carried out the remasters from original tapes (with tape assistance from ANDREW NIEDZWIECKI) and the sound is uniformly great throughout. The Seventies tracks in particular have superb audio. To my ears there is absolutely 'no' difference to the audio presented on this 2015 reissue to that of the 1994 original (no upgrades then). But as the original Box Set had such great sound anyway - that's no real loss - and frankly this new 'cubed' edition is more manageable (will sit alongside other CDs on your shelves) and is so much easier to access and use (cheap too).

The hits like "I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)", "Respect Yourself", "Theme From "Shaft", "Mr. Big Stuff" and so many more could probably cram two whole CDs - but it's the stuff in between the cracks that makes for such a great surprise. Artists like Reggie Milner, The T.S.U. Tornadoes, Ilana, Calvin Scott, Shack, Ernie Shines, United Image and Paul Thompson aren't exactly names that roll off the tongue (or Soul register for that matter) - but therein lays the brill nature of such a massive overhaul like this - the dip in and discover something factor. Tracks like the wicked "Tighten Up My Thang" by The Soul Children or the Blues-Funk of "Can't You See What You're Doing To Me" by Albert King is fantastic stuff. Mid tempo gems like "So I Can Love You" by The Emotions sends me every time while "Singing About Love" by Jeanne & The Darlings is a great lesser-heard dancer. The Rock-Soul sides of Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett are unjustly forgotten too. And frankly I can't get enough of The Staple Singers or Mr. Blaxsploitation himself Isaac Hayes - every one of their righteous and funky grooves still amazingly fresh to this day.

With the original issue commanding big bucks - this new 2014 Universal/Concord reissue is retailing beneath thirty quid for nine-discs - now that really is uptight and outtasite...

PS: titles in the "STAX REMASTERS" series are (all reviewed):
1. Green Onions - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'s (1962)
2. McLemore Avenue - BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'s (1970)
3. Woman To Woman - SHIRLEY BROWN (1974)
4. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get - THE DRAMATICS (1972)
5. Born Under A Bad Sign - ALBERT KING (1967)
6. I'll Play The Blues For You - ALBERT KING (1971)
7. Be Altitude: Respect Yourself - THE STAPLE SINGERS (1972)
8. Taylored In Silk - JOHNNIE TAYLOR (1973)
9. Do The Funky Chicken - RUFUS THOMAS (1969)

I've also reviewed in-depth Volumes 1, 3 and 2017's Volume 4 in the 'Singles Series' - see separate entries...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc