Various - Soul Explosion: STAX Records (50th Anniversary)

UPC: 888072087606
Availability: IN STOCK

Soul Explosion offers a sampling of the label’s biggest hits and stars of the day, with Eddie Floyd, the Mad Lads, the Staple Singers, Albert King and more. The double record set includes a selection of rare tracks, many of which are exclusive to this collection. These include the Bar-Kays’ “Hot Hips”, Ollie & The Nightingales’ “Heartache Mountain” and Eddie Floyd’s “It’s Wrong To Be Loving You".

1969 marked a year that was full of both trepidation and excitement for STAX Records. Just one year before, the Memphis soul outlet ended its relationship with musical giant Atlantic Records, effectively leaving the label as an independent entity, without a music catalog (which had previously included a formidable collection of hits by Otis ReddingCarla Thomas and Sam & Dave, among others). Under the guidance of co-owner Al Bell, the label proceeded to rebuild and release an impressive collection of 27 albums and 30 singles in just a handful of months - a period known as the “Soul Explosion”. The gamble paid off, and at the 1969 STAX sales summit, themed “Getting It All Together” - the label reaffirmed its place as a soul powerhouse.

The rebuilding of the STAX catalog was an immense undertaking - deemed impossible by many peers in the music industry. Ms. Deanie Parker, who was head of publicity at the time, recalls that “Day and night, we planned marketing and sales efforts, and produced powerhouse songs.  For weeks we worked 24/7—molding and refining both raw and veteran artists’ recording material. . . . We worked our way to the top of our game with the Soul Explosion created at Stax Records.

Al Bell remembers how the summit was ahead of its time: “We were multimedia before multimedia was even a thing! During that one weekend in Memphis, we had large projections on the walls the size of movie theater screens and we had video interspersed with live performances by all of our top acts: Carla Thomas, Booker T. & the MGs, William Bell, Albert King, the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes solo and Isaac Hayes and David Porter doing Sam & Dave songs. And the energy during that weekend was like nothing the music industry had seen before.

Bell set about building a roster that reflected the changing musical landscape, signing new artists such as the Emotions and the Soul Children; meanwhile, existing STAX artists, including the Staple Singers, were busy recording some of their biggest hits to date. Johnnie Taylor emerged as a breakout star with the single “Who’s Making Love”, the label’s first big post-Atlantic hit; while in-house songwriter and producer Isaac Hayes released his breakthrough second LP, Hot Buttered Soul, which peaked on the Billboard Top 10 and catapulted him into stardom.

Heavyweight audiophile double vinyl produced by Craft Recordings in 2019 in celebration of the album's 50th Anniversary. Remastered from the original analog tapes, the lacquers were cut by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl and pressed locally at Memphis Record Pressing. Faithfully replicated original artwork.


Record One:

Side A

Johnnie Taylor “Who’s Making Love”

Jimmy Hughes “Like Everything About You”

Booker T. & The MG’s “Hang ‘Em High”

Carla Thomas “Where Do I Go”

Eddie Floyd “I’ve Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)”

Southwest F.O.B. “Smell Of Incense”

Albert King “Cold Feet”


Booker T. & The MG’s “Soul Limbo”

The Mad Lads “So Nice”

Eddie Floyd “Bring It On Home To Me”

William Bell & Judy Clay “Private Number”

The Staple Singers “Long Walk To D.C.”

Ollie & The Nightingales “I’ve Got A Sure Thing”

The Bar-Kays “Copy Kat”

Record Two:


Booker T. & The MG’s “Soul Clap ‘69”

The Staple Singers “Hear My Call”

Johnnie Taylor “Save Your Love For Me”

Jimmy Hughes “Peeped Around Yonder’s Bend”

Carla Thomas “Book Of Love”

The Mad Lads “These Old Memories”

Southwest F.O.B. “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”


The Bar-Kays “Hot Hips”

Ollie & The Nightingales “Heartache Mountain”

Johnnie Taylor “Twenty Years From Today”

Eddie Floyd “It’s Wrong To Be Loving You”

Judy Clay “It’s Me”

Booker T. & The MG’s “Booker’s Theme”

Albert King “Left Hand Woman (Get Right With Me)”

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