Various Artists

The Complete Stax/Volt Singles, 1959-1968

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The Complete Stax/Volt Singles, 1959-1968 Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

At nine discs and 244 tracks, The Complete Stax-Volt Singles: 1959-1968 is far too exhaustive for casual fans, but that's not who the set is designed for -- it's made for the collector. Featuring every A-side the label released during those nine years, as well as several B-sides, the set is a definitive portrait of gritty, deep Southern soul. Many of the genre's major names -- Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Booker T. & the MG's, William Bell, Rufus Thomas, the Bar-Kays, Albert King -- plus many terrific one-shot wonders are showcased in terrific sound and augmented with an in-depth booklet. For any serious soul or rock collector, it's an essential set, since Stax-Volt was not only a musically revolutionary label, its roster was deep with talent, which means much of the music on this collection is first-rate. But if you only want the hits, you'll be better off with a smaller collection, since too much of this set will sound too similar, and sorting through the nine discs will be a monumental task if you only want to hear Otis, Rufus, Carla, and Sam & Dave.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Veltones 01:50 Amazon
2 Rufus & Carla 02:45 Amazon
3 Carla Thomas 02:16 Amazon
4 The Chips 02:10 Amazon
5 Carla Thomas 02:34 Amazon
6 The Mar-Keys 02:05 Amazon
7 Rufus Thomas 02:08 Amazon
8 Prince Conley 02:41 Amazon
9 Carla Thomas 02:22 Amazon
10 The Mar-Keys 02:28 Amazon
11 Barbara Stephens 02:21 Amazon
12 The Mar-Keys 02:31 Amazon
13 The Triumphs 02:01 Amazon
14 Carla Thomas 02:36 Amazon
15 The Mar-Keys 02:13 Amazon
16 William Bell 02:58 Amazon
17 William Bell 02:02 Amazon
18 Macy Skipper 02:58 Amazon
19 Barbara Stephens 02:21 Amazon
20
Nick Charles 02:48 Amazon
21
Barbara Stephens 02:12 Amazon
22 The Tonettes 02:28 Amazon
23 The Mar-Keys 02:40 Amazon
24 Nick Charles 02:20 Amazon
25 Canes 02:38 Amazon
26 The Mar-Keys 02:25 Amazon
27 The Del Rios 02:22 Amazon
28 The Del Rios 20:05 Amazon
29 Rufus Thomas 02:30 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Booker T. & the MG's 02:50 Amazon
2 Booker T. & the MG's 03:15 Amazon
3 William Bell 02:25 Amazon
4 Carla Thomas 03:03 Amazon
5 The Mar-Keys 02:25 Amazon
6 Otis Redding 02:30 Amazon
7 The Tonettes 02:20 Amazon
8 Rufus Thomas 02:30 Amazon
9 Booker T. & the MG's 02:25 Amazon
10 William Bell 02:31 Amazon
11 The Mar-Keys 02:40 Amazon
12 Booker T. & the MG's 02:38 Amazon
13 Deanie Parker & The Valadors 02:30 Amazon
14 William Bell 02:52 Amazon
15 Carla Thomas 02:12 Amazon
16 Eddie Kirk 02:30 Amazon
17 Oscar Mack 02:30 Amazon
18 Cheryl Johnson / Pam Johnson 02:05 Amazon
19 Booker T. & the MG's 02:23 Amazon
20 William Bell 02:59 Amazon
21 Bobby Marchan 02:30 Amazon
22 Otis Redding 02:35 Amazon
23 The Astors 02:15 Amazon
24
Billy & The King Bees 02:14 Amazon
25 Eddie Kirk 02:12 Amazon
26 Rufus Thomas 02:30 Amazon
27
William Bell 02:35 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Otis Redding 02:22 Amazon
2 Carla Thomas 02:40 Amazon
3 Booker T. & the MG's 02:20 Amazon
4 Floyd Newman 02:10 Amazon
5 Rufus Thomas 02:20 Amazon
6 Bobby Marchan 02:30 Amazon
7 The Drapels 02:14 Amazon
8 Deanie Parker 02:40 Amazon
9 Vandells 02:00 Amazon
10 William Bell 02:20 Amazon
11 Otis Redding 02:38 Amazon
12 Otis Redding 02:50 Amazon
13 Eddie Jefferson 02:40 Amazon
14 Cobras 02:20 Amazon
15 Rufus Thomas 02:35 Amazon
16
Barbara & the Browns 02:10 Amazon
17 Rufus & Carla 02:00 Amazon
18 Rufus & Carla 02:35 Amazon
19 Otis Redding 02:30 Amazon
20 Oscar Mack 02:59 Amazon
21 Dorothy Williams 02:25 Amazon
22 Carla Thomas 02:45 Amazon
23 The Drapels 02:30 Amazon
24 Booker T. & the MG's 02:24 Amazon
25 Wendy Rene 02:53 Amazon
26 Ivory Joe Hunter 02:40 Amazon
27 The Mar-Keys 02:20 Amazon
28
The Fleets 02:20 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Rufus Thomas 02:10 Amazon
2 Otis Redding 02:25 Amazon
3 Barbara & the Browns 02:45 Amazon
4 Johnny Jenkins 02:15 Amazon
5 Wendy Rene 02:25 Amazon
6 The Mad Lads 02:18 Amazon
7 Booker T. & the MG's 01:57 Amazon
8 Carla Thomas 02:48 Amazon
9
The Barracudas 02:20 Amazon
10 Otis Redding 02:24 Amazon
11 Otis Redding 02:26 Amazon
12 Del Rays 02:30 Amazon
13 David Porter 02:40 Amazon
14 Barbara & the Browns 02:20 Amazon
15 The Admirals 02:35 Amazon
16 Carla Thomas 02:43 Amazon
17 Gorgeous George 02:43 Amazon
18 The Mar-Keys 02:23 Amazon
19 Rufus Thomas 02:12 Amazon
20 Sam & Dave 02:45 Amazon
21 Sam & Dave 02:35 Amazon
22 Booker T. & the MG's 02:03 Amazon
23 Booker T. & the MG's 02:31 Amazon
24 Otis Redding 02:49 Amazon
25 Otis Redding 02:30 Amazon
26 The Astors 02:55 Amazon
27 Wendy Rene 02:30 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Carla Thomas 02:30 Amazon
2 Rufus Thomas 02:37 Amazon
3 The Mad Lads 02:45 Amazon
4 William Bell 02:35 Amazon
5 Sam & Dave 02:20 Amazon
6 Carla Thomas / Rufus Thomas 02:43 Amazon
7 Otis Redding 02:06 Amazon
8 The Premiers 02:25 Amazon
9 Rufus Thomas 02:20 Amazon
10 The Astors 02:40 Amazon
11
Sir Isaac & The Doo-Dads 02:26 Amazon
12 Sam & Dave 02:36 Amazon
13 The Mar-Keys 02:31 Amazon
14 Booker T. & the MG's 02:20 Amazon
15 Carla Thomas 02:37 Amazon
16 Otis Redding 02:35 Amazon
17 Otis Redding 02:55 Amazon
18 The Mad Lads 02:37 Amazon
19 Carla Thomas / Rufus Thomas 02:20 Amazon
20 The Mar-Keys 02:14 Amazon
21 Johnnie Taylor 02:59 Amazon
22 Otis Redding 02:43 Amazon
23 Eddie Floyd 02:20 Amazon
24 Ruby Johnson 03:00 Amazon
25
The Four Shells 02:05 Amazon
26 Carla Thomas 02:40 Amazon
27 Sam & Dave 02:30 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Albert King 03:05 Amazon
2 The Mad Lads 02:30 Amazon
3 William Bell 02:45 Amazon
4 William Bell 02:30 Amazon
5 Otis Redding 03:00 Amazon
6 Mable John 02:52 Amazon
7 Johnnie Taylor 02:53 Amazon
8 The Mad Lads 02:50 Amazon
9 Eddie Floyd 02:55 Amazon
10 Carla Thomas 02:49 Amazon
11 Booker T. & the MG's 02:40 Amazon
12 Booker T. & the MG's 02:25 Amazon
13 Albert King 02:42 Amazon
14 Sam & Dave 02:36 Amazon
15 William Bell 02:48 Amazon
16 Otis Redding 02:37 Amazon
17 The Mad Lads 02:30 Amazon
18 Rufus Thomas 02:35 Amazon
19 Ruby Johnson 02:40 Amazon
20 Ruby Johnson 02:44 Amazon
21 Otis Redding 03:20 Amazon
22 Albert King 02:31 Amazon
23 Johnnie Taylor 02:50 Amazon
24 Johnnie Taylor 02:37 Amazon
25 Booker T. & the MG's 02:32 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Sam & Dave 02:45 Amazon
2 Mable John 02:50 Amazon
3 Carla Thomas 02:50 Amazon
4 The Charmels 02:30 Amazon
5 Carla Thomas 02:30 Amazon
6 Eddie Floyd 02:20 Amazon
7 Johnnie Taylor 02:55 Amazon
8 The Mad Lads 02:19 Amazon
9 Sam & Dave 03:14 Amazon
10 Bobby Wilson 02:10 Amazon
11 Booker T. & the MG's 02:22 Amazon
12 William Bell 02:49 Amazon
13 Sir Mack Rice 02:30 Amazon
14 Carla Thomas 02:30 Amazon
15 Eddie Purrell 02:40 Amazon
16 Otis Redding 02:50 Amazon
17 Ruby Johnson 02:18 Amazon
18 Mable John 02:48 Amazon
19 Otis Redding / Carla Thomas 03:00 Amazon
20 Bar-Kays 02:18 Amazon
21 Bar-Kays 02:25 Amazon
22 Otis Redding 02:33 Amazon
23 Albert King 02:44 Amazon
24 Sam & Dave 02:55 Amazon
25 Sam & Dave 02:39 Amazon
26 Eddie Floyd 02:03 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Mad Lads 02:45 Amazon
2 Sir Mack Rice 02:21 Amazon
3 Rufus Thomas 02:40 Amazon
4 Carla Thomas 02:50 Amazon
5 Jeanne & the Darlings 02:41 Amazon
6 Eddie Floyd 02:25 Amazon
7 Booker T. & the MG's 02:40 Amazon
8 Booker T. & the MG's 02:25 Amazon
9 Otis Redding 02:38 Amazon
10 Mable John 02:25 Amazon
11 Mable John 02:10 Amazon
12 Johnnie Taylor 02:45 Amazon
13 William Bell 02:40 Amazon
14 Otis Redding / Carla Thomas 02:48 Amazon
15 C.L. Blast 02:57 Amazon
16 C.L. Blast 01:55 Amazon
17 Judy Clay 02:50 Amazon
18 The Charmels 02:38 Amazon
19 Sam & Dave 02:36 Amazon
20 The Astors 02:31 Amazon
21 Bar-Kays 02:20 Amazon
22 Eddie Floyd 02:35 Amazon
23
Mable John 02:47 Amazon
24 William Bell / Johnnie Taylor 02:35 Amazon
25 Booker T. & the MG's 03:20 Amazon
26 William Bell 02:35 Amazon
27 Johnny Daye 02:55 Amazon
28 Carla Thomas 02:45 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Rufus Thomas 02:22 Amazon
2 The Charmels 02:37 Amazon
3 Jeanne & the Darlings 02:25 Amazon
4 Albert King 02:43 Amazon
5 Sam & Dave 02:40 Amazon
6 Sam & Dave 02:27 Amazon
7 Otis Redding 02:38 Amazon
8 Memphis Nomads 02:05 Amazon
9 Otis Redding / Carla Thomas 02:33 Amazon
10 Ollie & the Nightingales 02:35 Amazon
11 Eddie Floyd 02:59 Amazon
12 Bar-Kays 02:42 Amazon
13 Johnnie Taylor 02:32 Amazon
14 William Bell 02:50 Amazon
15 William Bell 02:40 Amazon
16 Mable John 02:39 Amazon
17 Rufus Thomas 02:30 Amazon
18 Rufus Thomas 02:13 Amazon
19 Jeanne & the Darlings 02:45 Amazon
20 Jeanne & the Darlings 02:16 Amazon
21 Derek Martin 02:48 Amazon
22
Linda Lyndell 02:06 Amazon
23 Carla Thomas 02:49 Amazon
24 The Mad Lads 02:57 Amazon
25 Otis Redding 02:40 Amazon
26 Albert King 02:45 Amazon
27 Johnnie Taylor 02:25 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick