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City in the Sky

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Staple Singers-City in the Sky 9 Aug. 2009
By Dennis A. Serdel - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have owned the vinyl copy of this since it was released and has been a top album for me. The CD version is just outstanding with 2 added songs that I love also.
Staples Saying So Long To Stax 29 Nov. 2011
By Andre S. Grindle - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Stax records had been extremely good for the Staple Singers. Make no mistake for that. This down to Earth gospel/soul group bought their conscientious and uplifting message to a lot of people who wouldn't go near a straight ahead gospel recording. Both Stax and The Staples were nearing the end of their particular run by this time. The Staples would endure. Stax would not. But fans of the group were probably scratching their heads wondering just where this might take them.

Basically this is a collection of outtakes from their Be Altitude: Respect Yourself sessions. And there was likely some sense of this being something of a contractual obligation album. Again the sound is about what you'd expect. And sometimes,such as on "There Is A God" they switch into a full (and mildly alienating) fully righteous gospel mode. But on the grooving "My Main Man" as well as the almost "Shaft"-like wah wah powered dance-funk of "Washington We're Watching You" and "Something Ain't Right" they are at their absolute best.

Un-needed live bonus tracks aside this album represents how even remainders in the Staple catalog can have some merrit. It's similar with Bob Dylan. His outtakes aren't always something you can count as his greatest works. But they do say a certain something about a particular creative flow he happened to be in when he recorded them. The Staples were just really on a roll in 1972-73 so they just recorded enough material to spread around. And in the end,it paid off for them. Even if this is something of the weaker of their Stax albums,that's by a measure of degrees. All one has to do is listen to what came before it to see what I'm talking about.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Back Road into Town 19 Jan. 2001
By D G F M Donald - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is worth buying mostly for two tracks; the incredibly jaunty, affirming "My Main Man" and the lush, emotive, deceptively simple "Back Road into Town" - one of my favourite Staples recordings. Otherwise much of the rest of the album (apart from bonus tracks like "Respect Yourself", which don't really belong here but are marvellous anyway) tends to be weak on the lyrical side and a bit of a come down after material like "We'll Get Over". But even the weaker songs are still blessed by the extraordinary musicianship of the Staples. "Back Road into Town" is superb, though. If you want to start somewhere with the Staples, look at the Greatest Hits or "Bealtitude"; if you've found out that they're superb, and your appetite's been whetted, then that track alone should give you what you want.
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