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Topic: Stax/Volt: Atlantic Records Return to archive
June 30th, 2005 12:52 AM
Prodigal Son Well it was so much fun talking Motown in another thread, I felt like getting the ball rolling on a little bit of Memphis soul at the suggestion of Honky Tonk Man. I think Memphis soul, though not as artistically long-lasting as Motown, was the best R&B ever made. Atlantic Records had nearly all of the big names (except James Brown) in soul music until the early 70s. Chess and O-Keh Records were both good but not nearly as much as Stax/Volt which was a subsidary of Atlantic.

The studios for Atlantic, in New York, weren't used as much as Muscle Shoals (where the Stones did a little work for Sticky Fingers). Good compilations are hard to come by for Stax (the Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-I forget, were good but are out of print) but there's a Wilson Pickett one called A Man and a Half that I really want (I only have a very best of one). Aretha's 30 Greatest Hits I burned onto Itunes plus I have her other amazing songs on a best of (but some of her individual LPs are essential). Dreams to Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology is a double disc with awesome liner notes and legendary music.

Lots of others songs creep their way into my collection; Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, King Curtis, The Spinners (only a few great moments on Motown, several on Atlantic in the 70s), Joe Tex (need a collection of him for sure), Solomon Burke, Don Covay and The Bar-Kays. I'm always trying to track down more.

The 50s soul birth was prominent through Atlantic as well because they had Ray Charles, the Coasters, the Drifters, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner and more. One guy I've recently discovered who always gets overlooked when mentioning the true greats of soul is Bobby Womack. The Stones, especially Ronnie, are friendly with him. After all, they covered "It's All Over Now." He combines elements of Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield to make such a classic sound that he used to great effect for years (though many missteps in a commercial vein such as covers of "Fly Me to the Moon," and "Sweet Caroline" hampered him).

His songs are amazing: "Looking for a Love," "What is This?" "It's Gonna Rain," "I'm Gonna Forget About You," "More Than I Can Stand," "That's the Way I Feel About Cha," "Harry Hippie," "Woman's Gotta Have it," "I Can Understand it," "Across 110th Street," "I'm in Love," "I'm a Midnight Mover" (the former two being hits for Pickett and he also wrote George Benson's "Breezin'" and I think "Masquerade," or just one of the two), "Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out," "Check it Out," "If You Don't Want My Love, Give it Back," "Daylight," his splendid cover of "That's Heaven to Me," "Communication," "If You Think You're Lonely Now," "Just My Imagination," "Love Has Finally Come at Last," "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much."

All are classics to me. If he hadn't had gotten into coke problems by hanging with Sly Stone, he could've been an R&B star at the levels of the O-Jays, Spinners and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.Boy, R&B is the genesis of the Stones sound (at least once they combined it with a little rock n' roll) is such a huge, interesting field. Okay, if you feel the need, discuss your R&B memories/tastes.
June 30th, 2005 08:25 AM
patioaintdry Sam and Dave! The great Isaac Hayes. Booker T & the MG's were the studio musicians (i believe) on many of these great recordings.
June 30th, 2005 08:34 AM
polksalad69 Booker T backing Albert King.
June 30th, 2005 11:43 AM
texile this is the shit for me......
stax/volt is the stones to the motown's beatles.......and i don't mean that as a criticism;
that southern edge gave stax a harder and funkier groove.
you can't beat the 60s roster with steve cropper and donald duck dunn on rhythm section and all that those great vocalists and writers,
but i have a particualr weakness for the early 70s stax stuff with the staples etc.....
i used to go to flea markets and rummage through junk just to find those snapping finger 45s........
June 30th, 2005 03:37 PM
Prodigal Son Oh yeah, I forgot about Sam and Dave and Booker T. and the MGs. I've got some great stuff of theirs too.
June 30th, 2005 04:11 PM
kovach Let's not forget the other Memphis label "Hi Records" too which turned out great stuff by Al Green and Ann Peebles.
June 30th, 2005 05:35 PM
texile yes - HI......
when i listen to hi - i think its the greatest thing....when i listen to some stax - i think its the greatest thing ever...
can't make up my mind.
remember in cocksuker blues, where they're driving through the south listiening to the radio - and all green's I'm still in love with you is playing......
in an old crawdaddy stones article from 76 - mick puts let's stay together on the stereo....
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