Stax Records 60th Anniversary Reissues Due May 19

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A joint campaign celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Memphis soul label Stax Records will result in the release of multiple albums, boxed sets and performance releases. This partnership, between Concord Music Group and Rhino Entertainment, marks the first marketing collaboration of the Stax recordings that have been divided since Atlantic Records split with Stax in 1967.

Collections of Stax music are being released on new hits compilations, vinyl LPs, digital hi-resolution remasters and deluxe boxed sets. These releases showcase Stax hits, plus rare tracks from many of the label’s artists including Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MG’s, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Sam and Dave, Albert King, Mable John, the Mad Lads and many more.

Related: A tribute to Otis Redding on his 75th birthday

Sam and Dave (photo courtesy of Atlantic Records)

The collaboration between Rhino and Concord kicked off with the May 19 launch of the Stax Classics series, which consists of 10 collections, each highlighting one of the label’s biggest stars with 12 tracks and new liner notes. Available on CD and at all digital retailers and streaming services, these albums will celebrate the Stax careers of Otis Redding, William Bell, Johnnie Taylor, Carla Thomas, Booker T & The MGs, The Dramatics, Albert King, Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes and The Staple Singers.

Throughout the year, both Concord and Rhino will reissue a variety of Stax albums on vinyl, including a 50th anniversary pressing of Otis Redding and Carla Thomas’ King & Queen (Rhino), Melvin Van Peebles’ soundtrack to the groundbreaking Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (Concord), rarity John Gary Williams from the Mad Lads’ frontman (Concord) and Redding’s 1965 classic The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (Rhino).

Also, the forthcoming four-CD anthology Isaac Hayes: The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976) will be released in August, to coincide with the artist’s 75th birth anniversary. In addition, both labels will collaborate on a three-CD Stax 60th set, plus a new installment in the critically acclaimed Complete Stax Singles boxed set series. Volume four will focus on the diverse nature of the label’s catalog, featuring singles released not only on Stax and Volt, but also Enterprise, Hip, Chalice, Gospel Truth and more. Both Rhino and Concord will also continue an overhaul of digital releases, re-delivering a handful of popular titles in high-resolution and Mastered for iTunes formats, as well as making many albums available to streaming and digital services for the first time.

During its 15-year run, Stax released more than 800 singles and nearly 300 LPs, winning eight Grammy Awards, plus an Academy Award. The label placed more than 167 hit songs in the Top 100 pop charts, and a staggering 243 hits in the Top 100 R&B charts. Today, the original site of Stax Records is home to the Soulsville Foundation, which operates the multi-million dollar campus that houses the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, as well as the Stax Music Academy and the Soulsville Charter School, both of which serve primarily at-risk, inner-city youth. The Soulsville Foundation, says a press release, “aims to impart the spirit and soul upon which Stax Records was founded: using the power of music and opportunity to shape a young person’s life, rebuild a community and keep valuable history alive forever.”

Watch a video trailer for the Stax 60 campaign

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