Labels We Love – Stax

Albert King – I’ll Play The Blues For You

More Albert King

More Electric Blues

  • Big, rich and relatively smooth, here are the wonderfully breathy vocals and Electric Blues energy that are missing from the reissues (including, no doubt, any and all Heavy Vinyl ones)
  • Mint Minus Minus throughout – about as quiet as we can find these vintage Stax pressings
  • 4 stars: “…the combination of King, members of the legendary Bar-Kays, the Isaac Hayes Movement, and the sparkling Memphis Horns was hardly a risky endeavor… The result was a trim, funk-infused blues sound that provided ample space for King’s oft-imitated guitar playing.”

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Booker T & The M.G.’s – Melting Pot

More Booker T & The M.G.’s

  • An excellent sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout- exceptionally quiet vinyl too 
  • Both sides here are super rich and Tubey Magical with a huge bottom end and tons of energy  
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout — Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • “Melting Pot could be the most well-realized of all the albums by Booker T. & the M.G.’s, a smooth and soulful, yet expansive 35 minutes of all originals…” – All Music

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Otis Redding and Carla Thomas – King and Queen

More Otis Redding

More Soul, Blues and R&B

  • This superb collaboration makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • These sides are doing it all right — richer, fuller, better bass, more Tubey Magic, and the list goes on
  • There’s Tubey Magic, sweetness and spaciousness all over this recording – you won’t believe how good it sounds
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Redding and Thomas enjoy an undeniable chemistry, and they play off each other wonderfully; while sparks fly furiously throughout King & Queen . . . their battle of the sexes reaches its fever pitch in supremely witty fashion.”
  • If you’re a fan of Sixties Soul, this early pressing from 1967 must surely belong in your collection.
  • The complete list of titles from 1967 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

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Little Milton / Blues’N Soul – Reviewed in 2012

More Soul, R&B and Blues

Well Recorded Soul. RnB, Blues, Etc. Albums – The Core Collection

Not sure if I would still agree with what I wrote many years ago about this album, sonically anyway:

A pristine looking Stax LP with excellent sound and some really heartfelt Blues music.

This is a Stax reissue from 1982. My experience with the stuff that Fantasy remastered has been very good over the years. This is another winner.

“Milton’s early-’70s output indeed began to walk the fine line between the blues and soul and includes the song Behind Closed Doors.” — AMG

Otis Redding – Good To Me – Live at the Whisky A Go Go Volume 2 – Reviewed in the ’90s

More Otis Redding

This Stax British Import is a Better Records highly recommended recording. If I had to choose one Otis Redding record to keep, this would be the one! As good as his studio albums are, the guy was MAGICAL live. (more…)

Albert King – Years Gone By

  • Incredible sound throughout for this original Stax pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades 
  • Both sides here are big, full-bodied and lively with lots of Tubey Magic and a huge bottom end
  • “With Booker T. drummer Al Jackson producing, the set includes such staples as “You Threw Your Love on Me Too Strong,” “Wrapped up in Love Again,” and a powerful version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor.” For fans of King’s guitar work, the inclusion of the instrumental workouts on “You Don’t Love Me” and “Drowning on Dry Land” are a special bonus…” – All Music, 4.5 Stars

This vintage original Stax pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Albert King – Live Wire – Blues Power

  • An outstanding copy of this Must Own Live Blues album, with Double Plus (A++) sound for both sides
  • Accept no substitutes – no reissue of the album can ever give you the energy, size and you-are-there presence that’s on this disc
  • Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus – finding these originals with top quality sound and surfaces this quiet is not getting any easier
  • “Live Wire/Blues Power is one of Albert King’s definitive albums. Recorded live at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1968, the guitarist is at the top of his form throughout the record — his solos are intense and piercing… he makes Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man” dirty and funky and wrings out all the emotion from “Blues at Sunrise.””

This is one of the all time great live Blues albums. THIS IS BLUES POWER! (more…)