The Staple Singers – Soul Folk In Action (Remastered) (1968/2019) [FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

The Staple Singers – Soul Folk In Action (Remastered) (1968/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 32:25 minutes | 1,41 GB | Genre: R&B
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front cover | © Craft Recordings

Gospel-soul pioneers the Staple Singers will have their storied Stax years commemorated with the December release by Craft Recordings of six individual albums. Featuring: Soul Folk in Action, We’ll Get Over, The Staple Swingers, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, Be What You Are and City in the Sky.

This celebration of one of the greatest gospel and soul groups in music history presents all of the studio albums that the family act released on Stax Records, during their 1968–1974 tenure there. It includes their signature crossover smash hits such as ‘I’ll Take You There,’ ‘Respect Yourself” and ‘If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me).’

The six studio sets in the collection were cut from the original analog masters by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl. The seventh disc gathers together rarities, non-album singles and several live recordings from the group’s appearance at the famous 1972 Wattstax music festival.

By 1968 and their arrival at Stax, the quartet of patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples and daughters Cleotha and Mavis, and son Pervis (later replaced by his sister Yvonne) had long since “crossed over” from the gospel circuit of their origins to a place in the counterculture and folk scenes. They were sharing bills with such rock frontrunners as Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Grateful Dead, and at the same time they and their songs had become formidable voices in the Civil Rights movement.

The Stax Collection will also be released digitally, and the six original studio albums will be available in hi-res 192kHz, 24-bit formats for the first time.

By 1968 and their arrival at Stax, the quartet of patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples and daughters Cleotha and Mavis, and son Pervis (later replaced by his sister Yvonne) had long since “crossed over” from the gospel circuit of their origins to a place in the counterculture and folk scenes. They were sharing bills with such rock frontrunners as Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Grateful Dead, and at the same time they and their songs had become formidable voices in the Civil Rights movement.

Their first album for Stax, Soul Folk In Action, was recorded in autumn 1968 with producer Steve Cropper and songwriter Homer Banks. The social and political turmoil informed many of the message songs on the set, including ‘Long Walk To D.C.’ and ‘The Ghetto.’ Williams and Wilkins write that both of these songs “truly tapped into the experiences and emotions of Black America at the close of the ’60s.

“The former is a tribute to the 1963 March on Washington told from the perspective of a poor yet hopeful African American person willing to use their last dimes to make it to the rally…conversely, the sombre and haunting ‘The Ghetto’ takes listeners deep into the isolation and despair of inner-city life.” Soul Folk In Action also included the Staples’ covers of The Band’s ‘The Weight’ and a tribute version of Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.’

The Staple Singers teamed with Cropper again for 1970’s We’ll Get Over, which featured the standout message song ‘When Will We Be Paid’ and readings of Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Everyday People’ and Gladys Knight & the Pips’ ‘The End of the Road.’ But for all of their acclaim, commercial success didn’t accrue for either album, at which point Stax co-president Al Bell, who had signed the group to the company, took over as producer.

“As a longtime DJ,” write Williams and Wilkins, “Bell’s ear for what moves black listeners, both literally and metaphorically, had been keenly crafted over several years. Bell hosted shows that had both sacred and secular followings and had amassed a wealth of experience from watching, noting and deeply understanding the impact music has on varied audiences. His ear was essentially priceless.”

The first result was 1971’s The Staple Swingers, which included the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as the Swampers) and became their first charting record, with a No. 9 peak on Billboard’s top R&B albums. Its new, funkier sound was typified by ‘Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)’ and the Smokey Robinson cover ‘You’ve Got to Earn It.’

The same team reconvened for 1972’s Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, which transformed the Staple Singers into mainstream stars. Reaching No. 19 on the Billboard all-genre chart, it contained their first No. 1 hit, the irresistible ‘I’ll Take You There’ and the equally anthemic ‘Respect Yourself,’ which resonated not only with African Americans but with many women across the country as they strove for equal opportunities.

The six albums contains the aforementioned Wattstax concert highlights as well as such b-sides as ‘Stay With Us,’ non-album singles including ‘Oh La De Da’ and rarities like ‘Walking in Water Over Our Head’ and ‘Trippin’ on Your Love.’ Post-Stax, the Staple Singers continued to tour and record for the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s, with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1999 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

“This is one you are probably going to have to search out, but this gem is worth all the effort. First, take the stunning voices of the Staple Singers, with the closely blending harmonies that can only come from the years of a family singing together. Put in the crack vibrato guitar of Pops (he was a blues player early on), add in a top-notch rhythm section that play as close as it gets, and throw in the Memphis Horns. Then add some material that was just about custom-tailored for them, mixed and mastered by Steve Cropper, and you have the makings of a fantastic disc. Still, how many times have we seen all the right ingredients and been disappointed? Not this time. The only disappointment might come from the brevity of the disc; you just want it to continue. The power and majesty that these voices carry comes as close to heaven as can be felt here on earth. They are truly performers who give their all. There are few performers who could rival Otis Redding, and to try and do one of his songs while he was still alive was almost considered sacrilege, yet listen to what they do with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” It is a completely different take, yet it loses absolutely nothing and in fact gains a new dimension with their controlled power. True, it probably helps that Steve Cropper, the co-writer of the song, is leading the backing band. Two of the highlights of an incredibly strong disc are “Slow Train,” for its slow adept building of potency, and “The Weight.” It is a vital testament to belief and love, and you will thank yourself for following a hunch.” (Bob Gottlieb, AMG)

Tracklist:
1. We’ve Got To Get Ourselves Together (2:42)
2. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (3:10)
3. Top Of The Mountain (3:01)
4. Slow Train (2:46)
5. The Weight (4:34)
6. Long Walk To D.C. (2:30)
7. Got To Be Some Changes Made (2:38)
8. The Ghetto (3:45)
9. People, My People (2:30)
10. I See It (2:58)
11. This Year (1:56)

Digitally remastered by Jeff Powell

Download:

mqs.link_TheStapleSingersS0ulF0lkInActi0n1968Remastered201924192.part1.rar
mqs.link_TheStapleSingersS0ulF0lkInActi0n1968Remastered201924192.part2.rar