The Fame Studios Story: 1961-1973

The Fame Studios Story: 1961-1973


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Certain studios and labels occupy almost mythical stature in American musical history and FAME Studios, home of the Muscle Shoals sound, is among the elite. During the '60s and into the early '70s, the rotating crew at FAME Studios cranked out single after single, building a legacy that rivals such '60s stalwarts as Motown, Stax/Volt, and Chess, yet despite being the point of origin for such timeless 45s as Wilson Pickett's "Land of 1000 Dances," Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On," Joe Tex's "Hold What You've Got," Etta James' "Tell Mama," Clarence Carter's "Patches," James & Bobby Purify's "I'm Your Puppet," and Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," the label and studio aren't as well known as their peers. Ace's peerless three-disc box The FAME Studios Story: 1961-1973 should go a long way in firming up the label and studio's reputation in the eyes of the mass public. Anchored on those big hits, the compilation tells the story of FAME in exhaustive yet exciting detail, digging up a wealth of rarities (ranging from an unedited acoustic version of "You Left the Water Running" by Otis Redding and a version of "Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man" whose singer is unknown to a bunch of singles that rarely pop up on reissues), but this is hardly something for crate-diggers. This is a big, bold set filled with surprises for even seasoned record collectors and much of that has to do with context. Expertly compiled by Alec Palao, Tony Rounce, and Dean Rudland, The FAME Studios Story doesn't shy away from the moments when the Muscle Shoals sound seeped into the mainstream: very early in the set, teen idol Tommy Roe pops up with "Everybody" and toward the end the Osmonds come in with their Jackson 5 knockoff "One Bad Apple" and the revelation is how the FAME musicians gave these teenybopper stars some real swing and funk. That turns out to be the key to the FAME sound -- while Stax/Volt always had grit on the soles of their shoes, FAME was a little lighter, able to ease into slicker crossover material, something that served them well whenever they cranked out some bubblegum or backed Bobbie Gentry or, especially, when they cut effervescent pop-soul/Northern soul singles by Spooner & the Spoons ("Wish You Didn't Have to Go") and David & the Giants ("Ten Miles High"). Which isn't to say FAME didn't get down and dirty (of course they did -- witness Wicked Wilson Pickett's "Hey Jude," complete with guitar from Duane Allman), but they were versatile, adapting to the needs of either the performer or the song. And that very versatility may be part of the reason why FAME isn't as immediately recognizable a name as Motown or Stax -- the Muscle Shoals crew could cop both of those sounds, after all -- but it's also the reason why this set is such a wildly entertaining listen, in addition to being a historically necessary document housed in a very handsome hardcover book.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2011
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667010009
catalogNumber: 6701000
Rank: 42007


Disc 1

  1. You Better Move On
  2. Laugh It Off
  3. Night Rumble, Pt. 1
  4. Everybody
  5. I Hope They Get Their Eyes Full
  6. Steal Away
  7. Let Them Talk
  8. Hold What You've Got
  9. A Man is a Mean, Mean Thing
  10. Fortune Teller
  11. Funny Style
  12. Almost Persuaded
  13. Too Much
  14. Keep On Talking
  15. Searching For My Love
  16. Wish You Didn't Have To Go
  17. Let's Do It Over
  18. Neighbor, Neighbor
  19. Feed the Flame
  20. I'm Your Puppet
  21. I Can't Stop (No, No, No)
  22. Gonna Make You Say Yeah
  23. Two In the Morning
  24. Why Not Tonight
  25. Land of 1000 Dances

Disc 2

  1. You Left the Water Running
  2. A Shot of Rhythm & Blues
  3. Slippin' Around With You
  4. Without a Woman
  5. Sweet Soul Music
  6. Thread the Needle
  7. I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)
  8. Miss You So
  9. You Put Something On Me
  10. Tell Mama
  11. Keep Your Cool
  12. Cheater Man
  13. Don't Make Me Hate Loving You
  14. Everytime
  15. I Stayed Away Too Long
  16. As Long As I Got You
  17. Don't Lose Your Good Thing
  18. Slip Away
  19. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
  20. Once In a While (is Better Than Never At All)
  21. Thief In the Night
  22. Take Me Just As I Am
  23. Why Don't You Try Me
  24. Search Your Heart
  25. Ten Miles High

Disc 3

  1. Lady In the Rain
  2. Hey Jude
  3. Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man
  4. Snatching It Back
  5. I Got You Babe
  6. Wanted: Lover (No Experience Necessary)
  7. Find 'Em, Fool 'Em and Forget 'Em
  8. I'm Just a Prisoner (of Your Good Lovin')
  9. Grits and Gravy
  10. One Bad Apple
  11. I'd Rather Go Blind
  12. Take Me Back
  13. Walk a Mile In My Shoes
  14. Patches
  15. Fancy
  16. Double Lovin'
  17. Greenwood, Mississippi
  18. What Color is Love
  19. Bring It On Home To Me
  20. I Can't Let You Break My Heart
  21. Back Road Into Town
  22. The Thanks I Get For Loving You
  23. Get Involved
  24. Put On Your Shoes and Walk
  25. You Better Move On

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Lowell Fulson   Composer
Andrew Lloyd Webber   Composer
Ray Stevens   Arranger
Candi Staton   Composer
Arthur Alexander   Composer
Clarence Carter   Composer
Arthur Conley   Composer
Sam Cooke   Composer
Jimmy Hughes   Composer
Chris Kenner   Composer
Laura Lee   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Little Richard   Arranger,Producer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Otis Redding   Composer,Producer
Tommy Roe   Composer
Joe South   Composer
Joe Tex   Composer
Travis Wammack   Composer
Eddie Harris   Composer
David Axelrod   Producer
J.R. Bailey   Composer
Gene Barge   Composer,Producer
Donnie Fritts   Composer
General Johnson   Composer
Carmol Taylor   Composer
Morgan Babb   Composer
George Jackson   Composer
Dan Penn   Arranger,Composer
Barry Beckett   Producer
Sonny Bono   Composer
Jesse Boyce   Composer,Producer
Freeman Brown   Composer
Mickey Buckins   Composer,Producer
Harrison Calloway   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Pete Carpenter   String Arrangements,Woodwind Arrangement
Leonard Caston   Composer
Charles Chalmers   Arranger
Quinton Claunch   Composer,Producer
Marcus Daniel   Composer
Ronald Dunbar   Composer
Ronnie Eades   Composer
Bobbie Gentry   Composer
Rick Hall   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Larry Hamby   Composer
Jimmie Haskell   Arranger,String Arrangements
Roger Hawkins   Composer,Producer
Clayton Ivey   Composer
Felton Jarvis   Producer
Gene Kent   Producer
Buddy Killen   Producer
Albert Lowe   Composer,Producer
Drew Miller   Composer
Chips Moman   Composer
Spooner Oldham   Composer
Papa Don   Producer
Curtis Thompson   Composer
Aaron Varnell   Composer,Producer
Jerry Wexler   Producer
Ray Whitley   Composer
Terry Woodford   Composer
Billy Young   Composer
Quin Ivy   Composer
Tony Rounce   Liner Notes
William Armstrong   Composer
Martin Greene   Composer
Alec Palao   Liner Notes
Dean Rudland   Liner Notes
James Gilreath   Composer
Clarence Reid   Composer
Phil Wright   Arranger,Producer
Rudy Clark   Composer
Naomi Neville   Composer
Melvin Leakes   Composer
Earl Cage   Composer
Larry Chambers   Composer
Ferdinand Washington   Composer
Wilbur Terrell   Composer
Don Schroeder   Arranger
Ken Williams   Composer
Raymond Moore   Composer
Bobby Moore   Composer,Producer
Bob Jones   Composer
Ellington Jordan   Composer
Billy Foster   Composer
David Huff   Composer
Willie Hightower   Composer
Bob Killen   Composer
Gene "Bowlegs" Miller   Arranger
Bob Montgomery   Producer
Richard Williams   Foreword
Jimmy Johnson   Producer,Engineer
Ronny Shannon   Composer
Dan Greer   Composer
Bettye Jean Champion   Composer
Oscar Franck   Composer
Rudolph Russell   Producer
Osbie Burnett McClinton   Composer
Alton Valier   Composer
David Hall   Composer
Tom Stafford   Composer
Helen Keep   Composer
Gene Miller   Composer
Eugene Williams   Composer
Don Covay   Composer

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