Black History Month Spotlight – THE COMPLETE STAX-VOLT SINGLES: 1959-1968
It would not be an exaggeration to claim that THE COMPLETE STAX-VOLT SINGLES: 1959-1968 is one of the most important compilations in both rock ‘n’ roll and R&B history, which is why it seemed like such a great idea to give it the spotlight during Black History Month.
Containing a staggering 244 tracks spread across nine filled-to-the-brim discs, this is – as Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote on AllMusic.com – “far too exhaustive for casual fans, but that’s not who the set is designed for – it’s made for the collector.” That’s as may be, but it’s also a perfect set to provide an instant history lesson about one of the most influential labels of the 1950s and 1960s: just put it on, press “play,” and listen your way through a decade’s worth of hits, near-hits, and cult classics while also getting an education on some forgotten tracks that may well leave you wondering why they weren’t as successful as some of their kin.
Among the notable names found within the set:Albert King (“Born Under a Bad Sign”) The Bar-Kays (“Soul Finger”) Booker T. & the M.G.’s (“Green Onions”) Carla Thomas (“Gee Whiz, Look at His Eyes”) Eddie Floyd (“Knock on Wood”) Otis Redding (“Try a Little Tenderness”) Rufus Thomas (“Can Your Monkey Do the Dog”) Sam & Dave (“Hold On, I’m Comin’”) William Bell (“You Don’t Miss Your Water”)
So just to recap, it’s exhaustive, it’s educational, and it’s awesome. If you don’t own it, get it. Not only will you never regret it, it’s possible that you may never listen to anything else ever again.