- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: October 17, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Stax
Description by OLDIES.com:
The vibrant soul sounds that emanated from Stax Records in South Memphis between 1960 and 1975 have maintained a currency matched by few other genres of 20th-century popular music. More than a greatest hits collection, The Stax Story
brings together most of the company's biggest selling singles along with a well-chosen sampling of rarities and an entire disc of live recordings made around the world, including a couple of previously unissued gems. The four discs trace the evolution of a truly American style from the exquisite simplicity of the firm's early output through the often-lavish innovations of the later years. Perhaps no institution mirrored the changing face of race relations in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s as boldly as did Stax.
The company stood as a model of interaction between the races - on a creative level, as well as on the business side - at a time when many other types of social liaison between African Americans and European Americans were forbidden by law. Then, after the legal fortress of segregation had finally fallen, Stax served as a beacon of the black-pride aesthetic.
In addition to its 98 scorching selections, The Stax Story is told in fascinating detail in a richly illustrated booklet featuring the commentary of Rob Bowman, preeminent Stax historian and author of the award-winning Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records; Greil Marcus, author of Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces, and other critically acclaimed books; Charlie Gillett, pioneering English R&B historian and BBC producer; and Deanie Parker, who went from working as a clerk at the company?s record shop to writing hit songs and serving as Stax publicist from 1963 to 1975.
Entertainment Weekly - 12/1/00, p.98
"...A well-picked assortment....No soul-music fan should deny himself this..." - Rating: B+
Living Blues - 1-2/01, p.83
"...An overview of the Memphis label's hitmaking activities from beginning to end..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 12/00, p.96
"...Sublime soul music....as familiar as favorite old shoes, and as funky..."
Includes an illustrated booklet with commentaries by Rob Bowman, Grei
Marcus, Charlie Gillett, and Deanie Parker.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (2000 Fantasy Studios).
THE STAX STORY was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes.
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Authors: Bill Belmont; Greil Marcus; Rob Bowman.
Director: Dean Parker.
Editor: Dean Parker.
Photographers: Bill Carrier; Ivan Nagy; Bob Smith.
Until Stax folded in 1975, the Memphis-based record label and Motown were the musical equivalents of the great Yankee and Brooklyn Dodger teams of the '40s and '50s. While Berry Gordy's recording empire characterized itself with a clean-cut image and a slick production style, Stax steeped its releases in a grittier sound that was the product of a more freewheeling recording approach. The 4-CD STAX STORY chronicles these differences over the span of 98 remastered tracks.
The early Stax roster featured greats like Otis Redding ("These Arms of Mine," "Respect"), the dynamic duo of Sam & Dave ("I Thank You," "Soul Man") and instrumental powerhouse Booker T. & The MGs ("Green Onions," "Hang 'Em High"). By the late '60s, arrangers and producers from rival Motown were hired, ushering in an era of artists that included the Dramatics ("In the Rain"), former studio hand Isaac Hayes ("Theme From Shaft"), and the Staple Singers ("Respect Yourself"). Throughout its early '70s run, this pioneering R&B label continued infusing pop music with the kind of gospel and blues nuances missing from its Northern cousin's output. Motown may have been "The Sound of Young America," but Stax Records was truly Soulsville U.S.A.