Montag, 1. Juni 2020

The Staple Singers - Be Altitude: Respect Yourself (1972)

One of the most powerful vocal groups of the '60s and '70, the Staple Singers embraced an impressive stylistic diversity while always staying true to their roots in gospel harmonies. 

Led by Roebuck "Pops" Staples, the quartet first rose to stardom in the gospel music community before detouring into folk and a socially conscious gospel and R&B hybrid, then enjoying their greatest success with a handful of soul music hits for Stax Records in the '70s. Throughout their evolution, the constants in their work were the rich blend of their vocals, delivered with a churchy mix of joy and restraint, Roebuck's subtle but emphatic guitar textures, and in the Stax era, the glorious lead vocals of Mavis Staples. 

The compilation "The Best of the Vee-Jay Years" is a superb overview of their early gospel sides, 1965's "Freedom Highway" marks the point where their gospel and folk leanings merged with a growing political consciousness, 1972's "Be Altitude: Respect Yourself" was the high point of their hitmaking years at Stax, and 1984's "Turning Point" was an impressive late-career effort that included an excellent cover of Talking Heads' "Slippery People."

"Be Altitude: Respect Yourself" was The Staples' finest single album, containing three Top Ten R&B hits, "Respect Yourself," "I'll Take You There," and "This World." The first two also were pop Top 20s, "I'll Take You There" going all the way to number one.

This World 3:39
Respect Yourself 4:54
Name The Missing Word 4:03
I'll Take You There 4:47
This Old Town (People In This Town) 4:42
We The People 3:50
Are You Sure 4:27
Who Do You Think You Are? (Jesus Christ The Super Star) 4:10
I'm Just Another Soldier 3:50
Who 3:18

(320 kbps, cover art included)

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