The Staple Singers

I'll Take You There

Composed by Alvertis Isbell

Song Review by

One of the Staple Singers' biggest hits came about in part from a confab between two ministers. Stax president Al Bell was visiting Jesse Jackson at Jackson's Chicago home when the conversation turned toward music. Jackson noted that the Staple Singers, who'd signed with Stax two years earlier, were languishing on the label. He told Bell that he should be the one producing the veteran gospel group. Sometime later, Bell's younger brother had been fatally shot, his third sibling to die in such a manner. After attending the funeral in his hometown of Little Rock, AK, Bell sat on the fender of the yellow school bus that his father used to haul cotton. Suddenly music and these lyrics came to mind: "I know a place/Ain't nobody worried/Ain't nobody crying/Ain't no smiling faces/Lying to the races." Later, Bell shared his idea with members of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section: keyboardist Barry Beckett, bassist David Hood, drummer Roger Hawkins, and guitarist Jimmy Johnson. Bell journeyed to Chicago to coach lead singer Mavis Staples in the phrasing of the song. Pops Staples' tremolo guitar solo, Terry Manning's harmonica, and the horns of the Barkays were added to the completed track. Written and produced by Al Bell, "I'll Take You There" stayed at number one R&B for four weeks, while going to number one pop in the spring of 1972. The Bealtitude: Respect Yourself LP went to number three R&B and number 19 pop and also included "Respect Yourself" and "This World." Mavis Staples appeared on BeBe & CeCe Winans' 1991 remake of "I'll Take You There."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Stax Greatest Hits 1970
Various Artists
Stax 4:29
Wattstax: The Living Word (Concert Music from the Original Movie Soundtrack) 1972
Various Artists
Stax 5:15
No Image 1974
Various Artists
Adam VIII
No Image 1979 Stax
Max Weinberg Presents: Let There Be Drums, Vol. 3 197?
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
No Image 1981
Various Artists
Stax
Top of the Stax: Twenty Greatest Hits 1988
Various Artists
Stax 2:47
Sounds of the Seventies: 1972 1989
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
Respect Yourself 1990 ZYX Music
The Best of the Staple Singers [Stax] 1990 Stax / Fantasy 4:45
Stax Gold: Hits 1968-1974 1990
Various Artists
Stax 3:16
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 8 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
The Soulful Sounds of Stax Vol. 1 & 2 1992
Various Artists
Malaco 3:18
The Muscle Shoals Sound 1993
Various Artists
Rhino 4:27
Blues Brother Soul Sister, Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment 4:46
Soul Patrol, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Ripete Records 4:36
The Complete Stax-Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975 1994
Various Artists
Stax 3:15
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Capitol
Casino [Original Soundtrack] 1995
Original Soundtrack
Digital / MCA 4:29
Crooklyn, Vol. 2 1995
Original Soundtrack
Geffen / Universal Music Group 4:33
Movie Killers 1996
Various Artists
Records
I Am Woman 1996
Various Artists
Nick At Nite / Sony Music Distribution 3:16
MVP Vintage Rhythms, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
MVP Records 4:43
Only Soul 1970-1974 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex 3:14
Flick Hits: Old School Tracks 1996
Original Soundtrack
4:29
Kwanzaa Party 1996
Various Artists
Rounder 4:28
Essential Blues & Soul [Crimson] 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:46
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:23
Millennium Party: Funk 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:16
Soul Inspiration 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:27
Funk Jam! 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:18
Pottery Barn: Radio Soul 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 4:06
Essential Soundtracks 1999
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 4:17
Sisters of Soul [Crimson] 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:26
Respect: A Century of Women in Music 1999
Various Artists
Rhino
Sophisticated Soul 1999
Various Artists
Mars Entertainment / Mars 3:16
Pop in the 70's, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:17
A Woman's Voice [Polygram] 2000
Various Artists
UTV / Polygram 4:29
Mob Hits II: More Music from the Great Mob Movies 2000
Various Artists
Medalist Entertainment 3:14
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1972 2000
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:17
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1972 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
New Millennium Party 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:16
Stax Story 2000
Various Artists
Stax 3:14
Film 2000 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:24
WDAS 105.3FM: Classic Soul Hits, Vol. 5 2000
Various Artists
Collectables 4:44
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Hear Music
Back to Black: 1900-1999 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 4:21
Jammin' Oldies 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
Solid Gold Soul Inspiration 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
The  Memphis Box 2001
Various Artists
Icehouse Records 4:39
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1970-1974 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:17
Can You Dig It? The '70s Soul Experience 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:19
Selections from Can You Dig It?: The '70's Soul Experience 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:18
Living the Gospel: Gospel Greats 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:26
Blues & Soul Masters 2002
Various Artists
WEA International 4:26
Soul Classics, Vol. 8 [Collectables] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 4:44
Barbershop 2002
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution / Sbme Special Mkts. 4:31
Great Ladies of Rock & Roll: The '70s 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 3:12
History Makers: The Best of Gospel, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Sparrow Records 4:27
Best of Soul Let's Get It On 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:12
Billboard #1 Hits of the '70s 2003
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback 3:16
WCBS FM: Motown, Soul and Rock N Roll: Motown 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 3:14
Music from the Wattstax Festival & Film 2003
Various Artists
Stax / Concord 5:17
Superstars of Seventies Soul 2004
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / Sony Music Distribution 3:31
Memphis Celebrates 50 Years of Rock 'n' Roll 2004
Various Artists
BMG / BMG Heritage 3:16
Lost & Found in the Seventies 2004
Various Artists
Liberty / Capitol 4:40
The Ultimate Staple Singers: A Family Affair 2004 Kent/Ace 3:15
Givenchy Presents Lucky Charms Selected 2004
Various Artists
Jvc Victor
The Best of Gospel [Sanctuary] 2005
Various Artists
Sanctuary 3:14
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous 2005
Original Soundtrack
Warner Home Video 4:38
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous [DVD/CD] [Widescreen] 2005
Original Soundtrack
Warner Bros. 4:38
Ultimate 16: R&B 70s 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:19
'70s Soul Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:14
Director's Cut: Music from the Films of Martin Scorsese 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 4:21
Soul Jams [SPG] 2006
Various Artists
SPG 4:20
We Are Family [Time/Life] 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:18
Tommy Bahama Party Paradise, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Sugo
Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration 2007
Various Artists
Concord 3:14
Pride [Soundtrack] 2007
Original Soundtrack
Lionsgate 4:43
Sweet Soul Music: The Best of Stax 2007
Various Artists
Universal 3:14
The Very Best of the Staple Singers [Stax] 2007 Fantasy / Stax 3:17
Very Best of the Staple Singers [Universal] 2007 Universal Distribution
R&B Classics 2007
Various Artists
Collectables 4:44
#1 R&B Pop Classics of the 70s 2007
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:16
Stax Chartbusters, Vol. 4 2007
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:17
American Gangster [Original Soundtrack] 2007
Original Soundtrack
Def Jam / Mercury Limited 4:35
Immortal Soul: Essential Recordings from the Golden Age 2008
Various Artists
Nordstrom
Stax 50th Collection 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 3:15
The Stax Story [Concord] 2008
Various Artists
Concord 3:14
Collector's Edition 2008 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:49
Ultimate Gospel: Oh Happy Day 2008
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:26
Soul Six Pack 2009 Stax 3:13
Sweet Soul of the '70s: Stone in Love with You 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:16
A Complete Introduction to Disco 2010
Various Artists
Universal 3:14
Stax Number Ones 2010
Various Artists
Stax 3:15
Sweet Soul of the '70s [Time Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:16
The  Music From and Inspired By: The Big C 2011
Original Soundtrack
Epic 4:46
Billy Connolly's Route 66: Music from and Inspired by the ITV Series 2011
Various Artists
UMTV 3:15
Smooth Soul [Time Life] 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:45
Sweet Soul Music: 1972 2014
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 3:15
Orange Is the New Black 2014
Original Soundtrack
Universal
Faith and Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 2015 Stax 4:33
Classic Stax
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:16
Fillet of Soul
Various Artists
Concord / Fantasy / Fantasy
No Image
Various Artists
Metacom 4:35
No Image
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Mob Life: 16 Great Tracks from the Films of Martin Scorsese
Various Artists
Uncut Music
Muscle Shoals [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Original Soundtrack
Ear Goggles / Muscle Shoals / Universal 3:12
Soul Jams/Old School 7
Various Artists
Spg Music Ltd. 4:20
Stax
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution 3:15
No Image
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment
What a Wonderful World [Reflections]
Various Artists
Reflections 3:16
blue highlight denotes editor's pick