Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration
Concord Music Group
By James Calemine
This 50 song, 2 CD boxset stands as the most comprehensive Stax collection ever. Concord Music Group has released various classic Stax CDs and prepares to release other recordings. Stax ranks second only to Motown in sales and influence on southern soul music.
Stax released 167 hit songs on Billboard's Hot 100 pop charts along with 243 hits on the R&B charts. Stax was originated by a white country fiddle player named Jim Stewart, and his sister Estelle Axton. They combined the first two letters of their last names to come up with Stax.
Originally known as Satellite records, the label specialized in blues, soul, and rockabilly. In 1960, the label's name was changed to Stax. This indelible compilation includes songs by Carla Thomas, The Mar-Keys, William Bell, Booker T & The MGs, Rufus Thomas, Otis Redding, The Astors, The Mad Lads, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Albert King, Ollie & the Nightingales, Linda Lyndell, Johnnie Taylor, Issac Hayes, Jean Knight, The Staple Singers, Little Milton, Soul Children, and others.
The great songwriter William Bell said of the legendary label: "At Stax Records, I learned the formula for success. It was about establishing a great groove, a good melody, and writing songs that singers could really believe in and sing with total conviction."
Stax targeted an interracial audience, but the soul of the label represented the downtrodden and underpriviledged black listeners. In 1975, Stax records closed its doors, but the "sound" of these records forever remain etched in the collective memory of music lovers.
Author of the book Soulsville USA: The Story of Stax Records, Rob Bowman, writes the illuminating Stax story in the handsome book included in this compilation. This 2 CD collection pays for itself after the first several songs, making this music a solid investment.
One travels back in time when hearing the glorious versions of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long", Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood", The Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger", William Bell's "You Don't Miss Your Water", The Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There", and Issac Hayes' "Walk On By".
This Stax collection represents some of America's finest sweet soul music ever recorded...