- Number of Discs: 9
- Released: October 28, 1993
- Originally Released: 1998
- Label: Stax
Description by OLDIES.com:
The story of the great Memphis soul label, Stax/Volt, can be divided into two distinct eras: the period from 1959 through the beginning of 1968, when the company was distributed by Atlantic and was developing its influential sound and image; and the post-Atlantic years, from May 1968 through the end of 1975, when Stax/Volt began in earnest its transition from a small, down-home enterprise to a corporate soul powerhouse.
This 9-disc box concerns itself with the period between 1968 and 1971 and contains all 216 soul singles issued by Stax/Volt during that time: featured are some of the biggest and best-loved hits of the day, as well as a number of little-known gems by both major and less familiar artists.
Q - 12/93, p.1404 Stars
- Excellent - "...Don't drop it on your foot....here's another 9-CD soul history whopper....the torrent of fine music that [Stax] produced is all here..."
Musician - 12/93, p.95
"...Casual listeners might be entertained by the chart-toppers here, but STAX/VOLT VOLUME 2, with its high-ticket price and its plethora of lesser-known names and numbers, will be of most abiding interest to collectors and musicologists..."
THE COMPLETE STAX/VOLT SOUL SINGLES, VOLUME 2 (1968-1971) contains 216 tracks on 9 CDs and includes a deluxe 60-page booklet with an essay by Rob Bowman. The booklet is extensively illustrated with photos and archival materials.
The first Stax-Volt box was a monolith, standing as the definitive document of the labels and, therefore, gritty Southern soul. Its sequel, The Complete Stax-Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 2: 1968-1971 is considerably more problematic. Covering only four years compared to its predecessor, which showcased nine years, Vol. 2 contains 216 tracks, including all of the A- and B-sides released during that era. Most critics consider these four years to be substantially less interesting than Stax's earlier years, and in a sense, they're right. There's no Otis Redding or Sam & Dave, and the music doesn't have the same innovative, kinetic spark of the early years. There's still a lot of great, great music here, but it's difficult to sort it out among these nine discs. About three or four discs' worth of material is truly essential, and it might have been better to boil this era down to a smaller box set, since that would have made for a necessary purchase. As it stands, it's too sprawling and comprehensive to be an essential purchase for anyone other than soul fetishists and hardcore collectors, but those listeners should find much of this fascinating. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine