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Sam & Dave & Edsel: U.K. Label Reissues Stax Duo’s Early Albums

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Next to Aretha Franklin, they were the most successful R&B act of the ’60s. They were two of the most prominent architects of the iconic Stax sound. And their success can be traced back to the most fortuitous bathroom break in history. Next week, U.K. reissue label Edsel will honor the discography of Sam Moore and Dave Prater – known simply as Sam & Dave – with a pair of reissues that collates just about their entire Stax/Atlantic tenure.

Moore and Prater were gospel-raised singers who met on the club circuit in the early ’60s. From the beginning, their R&B works – a mixture of church-inspired call-and-response with the grooves of Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson – were something special. In the summer of 1964, after regional success on Roulette Records and other labels, Jerry Wexler signed the duo to Atlantic Records. However, the mogul promptly loaned them to Memphis-based Stax Records, which Atlantic distributed, believing their fiery style would be best suited for the rousing session players on the label (including house band Booker T. & The MG’s, horn section The Mar-Keys and producers Jim Stewart, Isaac Hayes and David Porter).

Sam & Dave’s third Stax single, “You Don’t Know Like I Know,” was their first of 10 consecutive Top 20 R&B singles. But their fourth single, “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” would bring them near-unprecedented pop crossover success. Legend has it Hayes and Porter wrote the song after Hayes called for Prater to come out of the bathroom to continue recording. Prater’s response became the iconic, controversial title. (Stax quickly re-pressed the single, changing the title to “Hold On, I’m A-Comin'” to dilute any sexual innuendo.)

The duo followed up with an impressive array of singles, including the sublime “When Something is Wrong with My Baby,” the No. 2 pop hit “Soul Man” (later spun into a major hit by The Blues Brothers, the Stax-influenced alter egos of Saturday Night Live stars John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) and “I Thank You.” Three of the group’s four Stax/Atlantic albums were Top 10 on the R&B charts. (There would be more singles for Atlantic through 1972 and one more proper studio album for Sam & Dave on United Artists in 1975; they would split up in 1981.)

Edsel’s two new titles, available on March 26 in the U.K., combine two albums apiece with plenty of bonus material. The first set, Hold On, I’m Comin’ & Double Dynamite…Plus, combines those first two LPs for Stax with three non-LP sides. While almost all of the albums are presented in stereo, “You Don’t Know Like I Know” will be presented in its original mono mix with more unique overdubs.

Then there’s the two-disc Soul Men & I Thank You…Plus, a two-disc set featuring the duo’s last Stax and Atlantic LPs, four non-LP singles (including “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down,” later a hit for Elvis Costello & The Attractions in 1980) and one B-side. Both sets feature new liner notes by writer Tony Rounce and, together, make for an essential cornerstone of your soul music collection.

Hit the jump to check everything out!

Sam & Dave, Hold On, I’m Comin’ & Double Dynamite…Plus (Edsel EDSS 1035 (U.K.), 2012)

  1. Hold On, I’m Comin’
  2. If You Got the Loving (I’ve Got the Time)
  3. I Take What I Want
  4. Ease Me
  5. I Got Everything I Need
  6. Don’t Make It So Hard on Me
  7. It’s a Wonder
  8. Don’t Help Me Out
  9. Just Me
  10. You Got It Made
  11. You Don’t Know Like I Know (Mono)
  12. Blame Me (Don’t Blame My Heart)
  13. A Place Nobody Can Find
  14. Goodnight Baby
  15. Sweet Home
  16. You Got Me Hummin’
  17. Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody
  18. That’s the Way It’s Gotta Be
  19. When Something is Wrong with My Baby
  20. Soothe Me
  21. Just Can’t Get Enough
  22. Sweet Pains
  23. I’m Your Puppet
  24. Sleep Good Tonight
  25. I Don’t Need Nobody (to Tell Me ‘Bout My Baby)
  26. Home At Last
  27. Use Me

Tracks 1-10 and 12 released as Stax S-708, 1966
Track 11 released on Stax 708, 1966
Tracks 13-14 released as Stax single 168, 1965
Track 15 released on Stax single B-side 175, 1965
Tracks 16-27 released as Stax S-712, 1966

Sam & Dave, Soul Men & I Thank You…Plus (Edsel EDSD 2131 (U.K.), 2012)

Disc 1: Soul Men and bonus tracks

  1. Soul Man
  2. May I Baby
  3. Broke Down Piece of Man
  4. Let It Be Me
  5. Hold It Baby
  6. I’m with You
  7. Don’t Knock It
  8. Just Keep Holding On
  9. The Good Runs the Bad Away
  10. Rich Kind of Poverty
  11. I’ve Seen What Loneliness Can Do
  12. I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down
  13. Soothe Me (Live)

Disc 2: I Thank You and bonus tracks

  1. I Thank You
  2. Everybody Got to Believe in Somebody
  3. These Arms of Mine
  4. Wrap It Up
  5. If I Didn’t Have a Girl LIke You
  6. You Don’t Know What You Mean to Me
  7. Don’t Turn Your Heater On
  8. Talk to the Man
  9. Love is After Me
  10. Ain’t That a Lot of Love
  11. Don’t Waste That Love
  12. Lucky Old Sun
  13. This is Your World
  14. Can’t You Find Another Way (of Doing It)
  15. Still is the Night
  16. Soul Sister, Brown Sugar
  17. Come On In
  18. Born Again
  19. Get It

Disc 1, Tracks 1-11 released as Stax 725, 1967
Disc 1, Tracks 12-13 released as Stax single 218, 1967
Disc 2, Tracks 1-12 released as Atlantic SD-8205, 1968
Disc 2, Track 13 released as Atlantic single B-side 2517, 1968
Disc 2, Tracks 14-15 released as Atlantic single 2540, 1968
Disc 2, Tracks 16-17 released as Atlantic single 2590, 1969
Disc 2, Tracks 18-19 released as Atlantic single 2608, 1969

Written by Mike Duquette

March 19, 2012 at 10:15

Posted in News, Reissues, Sam & Dave

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