Stax ’68: A Memphis Story


“When it comes to soul, Stax Records owned the ’60s. Classic records from Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus & Carla Thomas, and a legion of others helped transform what was once known as rhythm ‘n’ blues into rugged, emotionally bare “soul” music. This made Stax one of the decade’s most influential labels of any genre. It all crescendoed in 1968, a tempest-tossed year when the label redefined its own sound and, in the process, channeled a larger historical zeitgeist. Stax ’68: A Memphis Story, captures this crossroads in stunning, beautiful detail. The five-disc box set contains the A- and B-sides of every single released under the Stax banner in 1968, including the company’s sub-labels. With a 56-page book including revelatory, in-depth liner notes by Andria Lisle, Robert Gordon, and Steve Greenberg, as well as rare and previously unseen photos, the set presents more than 120 songs from this unprecedented creative period in American music. Some tracks are by soul legends (Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, William Bell, Booker T. & The M.G.’s, Johnnie Taylor) and some come from the deeper Stax catalog, and are equally incredible artists (Linda Lyndell, The Soul Children, The Mad Lads). Three earth-shattering events altered the state of Stax in ’68. America reeled following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose death occurred practically in Stax’s back yard. The resulting social, political, and cultural cataclysms profoundly affected the label’s direction. Stax was also working overtime to reinvent itself in the wake of Otis Redding’s untimely December ’67 passing and the dissolution of a deal with Atlantic Records that gave the label perpetual rights to Stax’s back catalog. When the deal ended, Stax also lost one of their leading artists, Sam & Dave, who were signed to Atlantic, but released their music on Stax. Redding’s iconic ‘(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay’ and Sam & Dave’s ‘I Thank You’ were the label’s first singles of ’68. The former showed how much Redding was evolving and how much Stax (along with the rest of the world) had lost with his passing….”
Stax Records (Video)
allmusic (Audio)
Discogs
amazon
YouTube: Sweet Lorene – Otis Redding, Albert King – Blues Power, Mable John – Running Out, Johnnie Taylor – Hold On This Time, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding etc.


About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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