Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Eddie Floyd: Stax Soul Survivor

Eddie Floyd
Eddie Floyd Eddie Floyd Eddie Floyd

In these days and times it’s particular tough for any veteran soul music artist to have the opportunity of releasing new music – and even more rare for such an artist to have a new album issued by a major label.

Eddie Floyd, he of 'Knock On Wood' fame, is one of the lucky ones and even more fortuitous, he’s signed to the newly-reactivated Stax label, owned by Concord Records. His first new album in six years, 'Eddie Loves You So' contains a number of Floyd compositions: quiet as it’s kept, Eddie’s was one of the most prolific songwriters during his initial Stax years (1966-1974) and his list of credits takes up several pages at! The twist? With a few exceptions, the Eddie Floyd compositions on the new album have never been recorded by the man himself but rather by others.

Produced by the Boston-based team of Michael Dinallo and Ducky Carlisle (known for their work with The Radio Kings), the album includes songs recorded by Sam & Dave ('You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me'), Carla Thomas ('I Will Always Have Faith In You') and William Bell ('Til My Back Ain’t Got No Bone') among others. Explains the Alabama-born soul man (whose musical career began when he was a member of the Detroit-based group The Falcons, along with the late Wilson Pickett), “I had worked with their band, The Radio Kings as a guest artist and I was contacted by the producers about putting an album together. They did some research on my songs and they even surprised me with some of my own stuff! I basically left it up to them. They went back to my days with The Falcons and played 'Since You've Been Gone,' a song that we did that was never released and I was impressed!”

In fact, the new album includes a new recording of the Falcons’ 1959 hit “You’re So Fine” and “Never Get Enough Of Your Love,” a song Eddie cut just after leaving the group and prior to his arrival at Stax. There’s also a new version of 'Consider Me,' a song Eddie cut at Stax in the late ‘60s and he recalls, “That’s one of my records that was a big hit in The West Indies. In fact, I did a tour there with King Curtis around 1968 or 1969 and on the second night, I realized that the people really wanted to hear 'Consider Me' because it had been so big there. The same thing happened with another tune of mine, 'Got To Make A Comeback' (the 'B' side to 'Knock On Wood'). That was No. 1 in Surinam (in South America) so of course I sang it when I went there the first time about forty years ago! I went back there last year and had to sing it again and the reaction was fantastic.”

Of particular interest to soul fans are the afore-mentioned covers of Floyd tunes cut by others: “The song 'Til My Back Ain’t Got No Bone' was recorded by William Bell at Stax," Eddie states. "But it was the Esther Phillips’ version (recorded in 1972) that the producers of the new album knew so that was the basis for the new recording we did of it. The song 'I Will Always Have Faith In You' was cut by Carla Thomas at Stax but most people don’t realize it was done first by Billy Eckstine at Motown! I’ve been asked many times why I haven’t done some of these songs and I’d say it just depends on timing – there’s no real reason why I didn’t do them. You see, I’ve never stopped writing so there was always new material to record.”

Eddie is naturally happy at the chance to make a new album and his association with the new Stax label was spurred on by his participation in the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Memphis label that began last year. 'It feels good,' he says. “I’ve had the chance to travel all over and people still want to hear the music. I was in Monaco last year and the Prince told me how much he loves soul music! It’s unbelievable and I’d have to say that I never expected to still be performing at this stage in my life. I just realized as each year went by that I was still doing it and I’m enjoying it more now than ever. It’s a real blessing.”

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