essential chess/stax/soul

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
After getting the stupendous Chicago soul collection from Soul jazz i was looking to get more of this sort of thing!

the chicago soul cd was a collection of tracks from chess records.

After hearing some marlena shaw, etta james, little milton etc i want to hear more :)

Any recommendations for starting my soul collection then?

Mr Monket (apn99), Monday, 22 November 2004 11:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Atlantic Rhythm & Blues and Beg, Scream & Shout boxes are ace ace ace. The Stax Story is a good 4CD box that's a lot saner than the three 9CD'ers--though if you wanna go that way and are up for downloading, the Complete Stax boxes are available on for reasonable fees. (nb I write stuff for eMusic sometimes--hi Yancey!)

good single-artist albums:
Aretha, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
Otis, Otis Blue and Dictionary of Soul
nearly anything by Al Green on Hi; hits comps and boxes are nice too but the albums are extremely good; start w/Call Me and The Belle Album and I'm Still in Love with You
Sam Cooke, Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964
The Very Best of Sam & Dave (Rhino)--Rhino's single-disc "very best of" comps are stellar ways in; I also like the Joe Tex and Rufus Thomas discs
the Gamble & Huff Philly International box is a bit much but still a major sentimental favorite of mine
The Spinners, A One of a Kind Love Affair: Anthology, two discs, all good-to-great; first disc is PRIMO, the first half of it is one of my favorite sequences of music ever, hearing them evolve from doo-wop chancers to Motown second-stringers to aborted stylists to the Philly soul machine is utterly thrilling, and Philippe Wynne is one of the great eccentric soul singers, awesome somewhat pinched voice and unbelievable ad libber (this comp has some cutting-room-floor stuff that's fantastic), tragic end. Wynne was one of the inspirations for Mingus's dad in J. Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, incidentally.
The Birth of Soul Vol. 1-3 (Ace)

Matos W.K. (M Matos), Monday, 22 November 2004 12:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Trikont's Down & Out: The Sad Soul of the Black South comp is SO what you're looking for as well. and I really like Rhino's Chitlin' Circuit Soul, which is more modern stuff in the same vein; earliest track is from '72 or '74 I think, goes up thru 2001 (when it came out).

if yr digging the psych-soul on the Soul Jazz comp, go for some early Funkadelic. Maggot Brain and the Music for Your Mother comp are excellent places to start.

Matos W.K. (M Matos), Monday, 22 November 2004 12:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If it's not on the Chi-Soul box: Jackie Ross - "Jerk & Twine"

briania (briania), Monday, 22 November 2004 12:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

don't forget osmium, the first parliament record! it's spectacular.

in the late '90s a good 2cd aladdin records comp came out, which is worth searching out, and around the same time i remember a great little milton collection (also 2cds, iirc) being released.

lauren (laurenp), Monday, 22 November 2004 12:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Miami Sound, Philadelphia Roots and New Orleans Funk on Soul Jazz are probably the closest things to the *feel* of the Chicago Soul CD , as in they all have brightly coloured packaging and a sprinkling of oddities.

If you are interested in (mainly) later Stax stuff, HMV have got a lot of it on special offer at the moment.;9;-1;-1&code=03ACE

Kent do some nice Chess Soul compilations catering to the Northern Soul market.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Monday, 22 November 2004 12:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

You can't go wrong with Dave Grodin's Deep Soul Treasures (Volume 3 is especially choice). Soul Jazz's New Orleans comp - 'Saturday Night Fish Fry' is also great. If you liked the electric blues stuff on 'Chicago Soul', I'd recommend the albums from Little Richard's Reprise years recently reissued by Rhino Handmade and also Muddy Waters' 'Electric Mud'. The Etta James compilation 'Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Recordings'' is brilliant as is the recently unearthed Willie Hightower comp on Honest Jon's.

laticsmon (laticsmon), Tuesday, 23 November 2004 17:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

RIP Andrew Love, saxophonist with the Memphis Horns.

Dancing with Mr. T (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 14 April 2012 12:35 (six years ago) Permalink

Oh no, RIP.

i just believe in memes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 14 April 2012 12:43 (six years ago) Permalink

RIP. An unbelievable body of work (Memphis Horns' credits at Allmusic run four pages).

Brad C., Saturday, 14 April 2012 13:08 (six years ago) Permalink

Quite a career. Here's his hometown obit:

curmudgeon, Saturday, 14 April 2012 13:24 (six years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Mr. Pitts' use of the wah-wah effect pedal on "Shaft" resonated for several generations. His work would be sampled by numerous hip-hop and rap acts over the years including Dr. Dre and the Beastie Boys, among others.

Around 2007 Pitts played at some Ponderosa Stomp gigs in New Orleans and in NYC

curmudgeon, Thursday, 3 May 2012 15:54 (six years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

someone posted this on a Yahoo soul group email:

will be doing our annual “Soulsville” radio feature – six hours of nothing but Stax artists, this Saturday, April 27, noon-6 p.m. EDT from the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Can listen online at Lots of interviews and CD giveaways.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 25 April 2013 13:17 (five years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Phil Chess 1921-2016

o. nate, Friday, 21 October 2016 00:13 (one year ago) Permalink


Sketches by T-Boz (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 21 October 2016 00:15 (one year ago) Permalink

So the Chess brothers were good guys for putting out records and getting them widely distributed (of artists who otherwise might not have that access); but bad guys because they didn't always pay the artists enough....

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 October 2016 16:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Over the years, the Chess brothers were accused more than once of taking financial advantage of their artists, and there were lawsuits, usually settled confidentially. Some Chess artists said their compensation was more often like an allowance than like a salary.

But there were many instances of apparently genuine friendship: Chuck Berry sometimes stayed overnight at Phil’s house, sharing a room with his son, Terry, and musicians attended the Chess sons’ bar mitzvahs.

The Chess brothers may have been motivated more by financial considerations than by artistic ones. But virtually no one disputes that they helped document some of America’s most important vernacular music.

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 October 2016 17:00 (one year ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.