Saturday, September 17, 2011

CD Review: Next Batch Of Stax Remasters From The Concord Music Group

The Concord Music Group released the next wave of albums in the Stax Remasters Series including Rufus Thomas' "Do The Funky Chicken," The Dramatics' "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," and Shirley Brown's "Woman To Woman." Each of these albums will receive 24-bit remastering and include a load of bonus songs, some never before released in the US.

First up is the 1969 R&B novelty record, "Do The Funky Chicken" by Rufus Thomas. Thomas found huge success in 1960 with his hit single "Walkin' The Dog." He would not see that type of success for almost entire decade until his R&B single "Do The Funky Chicken" hit #5 on the R&B singles chart. Now we get the entire album in pristine quality as Thomas' voice becomes the main focus of songs like "Bear Cat" and "Old McDonald Had A Farm (Part 1 & 2)." The standout song on this album is the 7-plus minute version of his 1970 single "Sixty Minute Man" as Thomas just has fun performing this song. This new remastered album also features 8 bonus with Rufus Thomas backed by Booker T. & the MGs. The funk meter is turned up on these previously released Stax singles as these recordings are some of Thomas' last with Stax Records. This release also includes new liner notes by Stax historian Rob Bowman.

Next up is the vocal group The Dramatics from Detroit. Their album "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" was originally released in 1971 as the first wave a disco was hitting the airwaves. The album hit #3 on the R&B charts and the Top 10 on the Pop Albums chart. The album also garnished two Top 10 singles with "In The Rain" and "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get." On top of the original 8-song album, this remastered version adds an additional 10 bonus songs. Many of these songs including "The Devil Is Dope" and "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain" which were previously released as "A Dramatic Experience." Now both Stax albums are remastered and together in one spot. This release also includes new liner notes by Stax historian Rob Bowman.

Last, but not least is the album "Woman To Woman" by Shirley Brown. Shirley Brown was brought to Stax by the legendary Albert King. She hit it big, especially with female fans, with her single "Woman To Woman." The song hit #1 on the R&B charts and was also a Top 40 Pop hit for the R&B singer. Her vocals have been compared to the great Aretha Franklin which shows on the album opener "It Ain't No Fun" and on the disco sounding "I Can't Give You Up." This new release also includes five bonus songs written by Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin. You can hear in Shirley's voice that she puts her all into these performances which have been unreleased in the United States until now. Also included are new liner notes by Gail Mitchell, Senior Editor for Billboard magazine.

These three newly remastered albums were released on September 13 through the Concord Music Group. Please visit for more information on these and other releases in the Concord Music Group catalog.

No comments: