Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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Review

The Staple Singers: For What it's Worth 1964-1968

Staple 1

10

6.1

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UK release date 07.10.2018

Like most listeners into funk & soul I came across the Staple Singers through their fabulous tenure at Stax and Curtom records but this sterling collection concentrates on their more rootsier offerings, namely their Columbia years 1964-1968.

It's by no means a coincidence that this was also the era of black civil rights (and the Vietnam war) who latched onto anthems such as the rousing "More Than A Hammer & Nail", the evergreen classic "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" and the anti war song "John Brown". No sir these guys were not afraid of social comment whilst maintaining their beliefs without going down the secular route for wider gains...

These stalwart musical evangelists deliver the word of the gospel in a pure, vibrant and compelling tone,There's even a live church performance where you will really feel like you are part of the congregation. Lose yourself in Pop Staples' beautiful languid guitar, Pervis's golden tone and Mavis' super-soulful lead vocals. The re-issuing label must be applauded for bringing these six sought-after albums back into the fold. Let's hope they do a follow-up of the funkier stuff too... Lord, this is the holy grail of soul!
Words Emrys Baird

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