Tag Archives: Isaac Hayes

STAX Number Ones is a Good Place to Start

29 Mar

For those seeking a quick intro to classic Southern Soul, I suggest looking no further than the new Stax Number Ones CD. The new disc from Concord Music contains many of the most recognizable tracks laid down in the historic Memphis studio. There are a couple welcome surprises in the form of two somewhat obscure Johnnie Taylor hits:  “I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)” and “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone.” Pick up this CD and you’ll soon find yourself on the hunt for the countless other smashes conjured up at 926 East McLemore Avenue.   

Stax Records is where Southern soul became a global force in music. The label, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, gave rise to a number of stars – many hailing from its Southeast Memphis neighborhood. During the ’60s and into the ’70s, Stax studio was a wellspring of hit records that topped both the R&B and pop charts. On March 30, 2010, Stax Records – now operating within Concord Music Group – will release Stax Number Ones, an compilation of 15 chart-topping hits by Stax’ best-known artists.

Included in Stax Number Ones are Booker T. & the MGs’ “Green Onions,” Sam & Dave’s “Hold On! I’m Comin'” and “Soul Man,” Eddie Floyd’s “Knock on Wood,” Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” Johnnie Taylor’s Who’s Making Love,” “I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)” and “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone,” Rufus Thomas’ “(Do The) Push & Pull [Part 1],” Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff,” Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft,” the Dramatics’ “In the Rain,” the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” and “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)” and Shirley Brown’s “Woman to Woman.”

Stax Records, a division of Concord Music Group, has placed more than 175 hit songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 250 hits on the R&B charts. Stax Number Ones represents all 15 songs that hit #1 on either chart from the label’s golden era. It is a perfect sampling of classic Stax. 

http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/Stax-Number-Ones/

Stax Reissues “Black Moses” on Double CD

7 Feb

black-moses1

Long overdue re-issue of classic Isaac Haye’s 2-LP set.

A big thanks goes out to Stax/Concord for keeping this music alive!

Stax records proudly presents the reissue of Isaac Hayes’ epic 1971 album Black Moses, which captured the artist at the peak of his popularity. The release is a complete replication of the original Black Moses package, folding out into a cross-shaped image of the artist. The album was re-mastered from the original tapes. New liner notes are by Rob Bowman, the Grammy Award-winning Stax scholar and author of Soulsville U.S.A: The Story of Stax Records.

Stax Records was re-launched by Concord Music Group in 2007, the year of the legendary soul label’s 50th Anniversary.

Black Moses, a 14-song two-album set that will be reissued on two CDs, reached #1 on Billboard’s soul album chart and #10 pop, remaining on the charts for 40 weeks. Bowman describes it as “a wondrously crafted, intense evocation of the vagaries of love gone bad,” which Hayes himself corroborated: “I was going through some emotional turmoil. You can tell by the tunes on the album that I was going through a break-up of my marriage. It was the only way I could express myself.”

The album may be best remembered by its lead single, Hayes’ signature version of the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye,” which was on the radio months before the rest of the album had been completed. Other highlights include the Bacharach-David-penned Carpenters hit, “Close to You,” Toussaint McCall’s “Nothing Takes the Place of You,” the Curtis Mayfield-authored Gene Chandler hit “Man’s Temptation,” Little Johnnie Taylor’s “Part Time Love,” Kenny Gamble and Thom Bell’s Aretha Franklin hit “A Brand New Me,” Luther Ingram’s “Help Me Love,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Need To Belong,” the Whispers’ “Your Love Is so Doggone Good,” Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times,” which had been a hit for Ray Price, Bacharach-David’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and the Hayes composition “Good Love.” “Isaac’s ability to take other people’s material and make it so deeply personal is nothing short of brilliant,” writes Bowman.

As the ‘70s progressed, Hayes adjusted admirably to the disco onslaught. On his exit from Stax, he released four albums in a little over a year (Chocolate Chip, Disco Connection, Groove-A-Thon and finally Juicy Fruit [Disco Freak]) while launching his career as a movie star in Three Tough Guys and Truck Turner. Hayes was loyal to his band members (known as the Movement) and many of them are featured on Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) including drummer Willie Hall, keyboardist/co-arranger Lester Snell and guitarists Michael Toles and Charles “Skip” Pitts. Trumpeter Ben Cauley was a member of the Bar-Kays who survived the tragic 1967 plane crash that claimed the life of Otis Redding. Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) is also one of the few Hayes albums written entirely by Hayes and includes several noteworthy songs including “Let’s Don’t Ever Blow Our Thing,” “The Storm Is Over” and “Music to Make Love By.”

Hayes’ unexpected death on August 10, 2008 at the age of 65 robbed us of future soulful treasures, but we can rediscover R&B classics like Black Moses and overlooked gems like Juicy Fruit and groove anew on his extraordinary musical vision.

http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/Black-Moses-Deluxe-Edition-STX-31238-02/

Vote for our friends at Stax Museum

31 Jul

The Stax Museum needs your help! As you know, it’s election season again, which means that it’s time  for the Memphis Flyer’s annual BEST OF MEMPHIS poll–and we want YOU to help make sure that the Stax Museum is rightfully recognized as the BEST MUSEUM in Memphis! 

If you’re a true soul supporter, CLICK HERE to cast your vote for the Stax Museum today! One lucky balloter gets a pair of all-access badges to the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, September 17-20, featuring Joan Baez, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Bruce Robison, and James McMurtry, among many others. This prize package includes all access to shows and panels and two tickets to the awards show at the Ryman Auditorium. Another lucky balloter will receive an Americana Music Festival prize pack with a “This is Americana” CD sampler pack, volumes I and II, plus an official AMA T-shirt. And 10 lucky balloters will receive a handsome Memphis Flyer T-shirt! All winners will be notified by e-mail and/or phone on Thursday, August 14th.
 

Vote now or Shaft will grab you where it hurts!