30 September 2009

The Staple Singers - The Very Best Of

"The Very Best Of"? Possible, more accurate is 'The very best of the Stax years" which lasted from 1968 'till 1974. Their entire career spans from 1948 until, let's say, 2000 when 'Pops' Staples died. It's a bit dubious, their last album is from 1984 and I'm not sure if they performed that much during the 1990's but the point is that there's more Staples than what's on this CD.

That said, if you want to start with the Staple Singers, the Stax period is a good one. Activism, gospel and soul, all brought to you by superior singing, harmonies and Pops' guitar playing. It's quite interesting actually, the quality of the individual songs isn't determined by the Staple Singers or the quality of the song but by the quality of the rest of the music. The Staple Singers can make any song a good song. A hit like 'Respect yourself' isn't so much better than the other songs, the Staples aren't so much better on this song than on the others but the rest of the music makes such a tune stand out. Anyway & whatever, see for yourself.

The Stax catalogue is (re-)issued by the Conchord music group, with plenty more goodness on offer. The release is good but unspectacular: 20 tracks, small booklet with Staple Singers history and a few pics. Recommended. Know there's more Staple Singers than the Stax works, know there are more compilations released under the 'Very Best Of' moniker, know various Staples have released solo works and most of all: enjoy.
Stax/Conchord, 2007

The Staple Singers - The Very Best Of (112 MiB)