mercredi 5 septembre 2012

The Staple Singers - Be What You Are (Soul)

A1 Be What You Are 5:01
 A2 If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) 4:27
 A3 Love Comes In All Colors
 A4 Tellin' Lies 8:49
 A5 Touch A Hand, Make A Friend 4:02
 A6 Drown Yourself 4:39
 B1 I Ain't Raisin' No Sand 6:32
 B2 Grandma's Hands 2:41
 B3 Bridges Instead Of Walls 4:03
 B4 I'm On Your Side 3:57
 B5 That's What Friends Are For 4:12
 B6 Heaven 

 The Staple Singers enjoyed a brief spell when their popularity reached beyond the Soul fraternity and into the Pop charts and thus they are well known for a few classic singles. One of those appears here, "If You're Ready(Come and Go with Me)" and it gives you an idea of the quality contained in this album. With a resolutely Southern Soul feel, this represents the best album the Staples ever recorded. While it seemed the rest of the Stax roster were busy extending the boundaries of Black music, the Staples kept faith with the elements of the music which had elevated the label to pre-eminance in the 60's. So you won't find overblown orchestration, or proto-disco here. What you will find are magnificent lead vocals (Mavis Staples has few equals), superb harmonies, and production which lets those voices take centre stage. The Staples also kept faith with their Gospel roots, and there are a couple of tracks here that fit that profile - "If you're Ready" is essentially Gospel and "Heaven" has an ambiguous lyric which could be secular, but which in Mavis' hands must be a hymn to her God. Stand out tracks are many, their version of Grandma's Hands for example is excellent and "the aformentioned "Heaven" is exactly that. But I would recommend this in it's entirety as an example of Soul at it's 70's best and as a musical counterpoint to the way some of their contemporaries were developing Black music.

3 commentaires:

Slidewell a dit…

Link is gone. :(

Anonyme a dit…

Worked for me - No doubt about it, this is a truly amazing recording. Not to be missed.

sogoodmusic a dit…

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