Be What You Are The Staple Singers


World excluding USA & Canada
70s Soul
Catalogue Id:

One of the most distinctive intros ever belongs to If You're Ready (Come Go With Me), the last really big Staple Singers crossover hit for Stax, charting #9 pop and going all the way to the top of the R&B chart. It is one of five Homer Banks, Raymond Jackson and Carl Hampton songs on the band's penultimate album release for the label, BE WHAT YOU ARE. The title track and Touch A Hand Make A Friend also charted, the latter as their fourth biggest hit. However this album and the CITY IN THE SKY album were culled from tracks cut in a seven day recording session in October 1972 at Muscle Shoals studio, where the band had cut all their major hits. A double album was slated originally, but evolved into two single albums.

As each track was selected for release they returned to Memphis and the Ardent studio, where they overdubbed the vocals. The band was hot at the time and as company vice-president Al Bell was producing them, no one was going to skimp on the production. With almost guaranteed income for the songwriters, several of them decamped to Muscle Shoals for the recording period and set up in a hotel room. Carl Hampton even had his own piano shipped down for the occasion. The title track and My Main Man from the CITY IN THE SKY album were the last real 45s by the Staple Singers for Stax, and both produced respectable chart positions. They went on to Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label in 1975, scoring their third #1 pop hit with Let's Do It Again from the Sidney Poitier movie of the same name.

But it is the sound of the Staple Singers at Muscle Shoals that is their trademark and these last two albums testify to that.

By Roger Armstrong

Track listing

Side 1

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