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Carla Thomas

The Queen Alone

Stax S 718
Release Notes
  • 180 gram LP w/ Standard Sleeve
  • Recording: 1967 at Stax Studios, Memphis (TN)

Among all the majestic eminences in the music business, Carla Thomas reigned unmistakably as ‘The Queen of Memphis Soul’ on the Stax label with its special characteristics. The clear, dry and natural essential sound of this studio recording imparts the down-to-earth flair of the southern town Memphis and its musical tradition. With wonderful contemplation, the Queen begins her performance with a tautly arranged but pleasantly round and melting version of Burt Bacharach’s “Any Day Now”. The reflective opening clearly signals that the human voice is of major importance here, no matter whether a restrained pulsating soul number (“Stop Thief”) or a metallically ticking groove (“I Take It To My Baby”) is on the track list.

Even an occasional dip into the violin paint-pot (“I Want To Be Your Baby”) is not an end in itself but serves exclusively to refine the diaphanous, gentle voice of the principal singer. In addition there is lush, groovy polyphony with a call-and-response concept (“Somethings Good”) and intoxicating gospel-like antiphony (“Lie To Keep Me From Crying”), all good for keeping the soul of Soul together.