Nobody Wins: Stax Southern Soul 1968-1975

Nobody Wins: Stax Southern Soul 1968-1975


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The Ace Records family has reissued numerous collector-oriented compilations from the Stax vaults over the years, and this 2012 anthology was intended as the first of a planned series on its Kent subsidiary focusing on Stax tracks from the late '60s and early '70s. The 21 tracks all focus on Stax recordings that fall into the Southern deep soul category -- not a problem as such soul abounded on the label, though these might be more deep soul-oriented than the typical Stax reissue. It's also oriented toward songs that aren't too familiar -- none of them were hits, and three of them were previously unreleased, though most of them did come out as singles between 1968 and 1975. And while some of the artists (Johnnie Taylor, Jimmy Hughes, William Bell, Inez Foxx, Eddie Floyd, Mable John, Little Milton) at various points had substantial hits (though not always for Stax), they're outweighed by acts that will largely be recognized only by those that study the fine print of Stax discographies. None of these songs were hooky or innovative enough to be as memorable as the many hits the label had during these half-dozen or so years. Hits aren't everything, though, unless you're as rabid a capitalist as you are a collector. If some of these songs are on the average or generic side, more often they're pretty fair efforts that usually boast excellent singing and fine (if occasionally slick) production, as well as subtly testifying to the versatility of tracks released under the Stax umbrella. Particularly pleasing are some cuts that use more group harmonies than the norm for Stax productions from this era, as well as some that exhibit a bluesier bent than soul as a whole did during this period, like Little Milton's fine "Woman Across the River," Jimmy Hughes' "Let 'Em Down Baby," and Mable John's "Shouldn't I Love Him." The menu's varied enough that favorites will vary according to individual tastes, but other tracks worthy of citation include Johnny Daye's opening pleader "Stay Baby Stay" and Bettye Crutcher's previously unissued sweet soul outing "Make a Joyful Noise" (which unlike many outtakes really should have been released at the time). Sometimes it's apparent that Stax was keeping an ear open to the sounds of Hi elsewhere in Memphis -- Freddie Waters' "Groovin' on My Baby's Love" has an Al Green feel, for instance -- though no doubt some of that influence was traveling in the other direction as well. Stax obsessives will already have much of this, particularly on volumes two and three of the box sets of Stax singles. But this is a good pickup for those who don't want to make such a huge investment, yet are still interested in seeking out some of the label's deep catalog.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/03/2012
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667237024
catalogNumber: 6723702
Rank: 52755

Album Credits

Technical Credits

William Bell   Composer,Producer
Steve Cropper   Composer,Producer
Eddie Floyd   Composer,Producer
Jimmy Lewis   Composer,Producer
Homer Banks   Composer,Producer
Bell   Composer
Milton Campbell   Producer
Don Davis   Composer,Producer
Inez Foxx   Composer
Isaac Hayes   Composer,Producer
Willie Hall   Producer
Booker T. Jones   Composer
James Mitchell   Arranger
Clarence Paul   Producer
David Porter   Composer,Producer
Mack Rice   Composer
Al Jackson   Producer
Dean Rudland   Liner Notes
Rob Finnis   Cover Photo
Raymond Jackson   Composer,Producer
Bettye Crutcher   Composer
Joe Rock   Composer
Joe Shamwell   Composer
Johnny Daye   Composer
Ted Jarrett   Composer,Producer
We Three   Producer
Jim Thomas   Producer
Randy Stewart   Producer
Allen Jones   Composer
Bob Holmes   Producer
Carl Lumbus   Composer,Producer
Bill Cofield   Producer
Lucy Southern   Composer
Robert Lee Holmes   Composer
Henry Bush   Producer

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