on 4 July 2014
Ace book in the Stax story! Covers well The music and the racially divided social context from which it emerged, and shows how a love of music making created an integrated haven from which emerged the great music to which we are still listening. Full of insights into the music, the people who made it, the MGs, Isaac Hayes, Al Bell, and the Memphis from which it emerged. Gordon not only is a good writer but he loves the music and the people who made it. He is a sweet soul writer and he will "take you there"
on 2 January 2015
In 2014 I've read and seen more biopics about music than in the rest of my life and I would have to say this one is the best. The Muscle Shoals story, Nile Rodgers biog, Standing in the shadows of Motown, all excellent but this story, the passion and spirit that Robert Gordon captures, the characters he paints and the way he frames them all in the brewing storm of racially segregated Memphis and the tales of unlikely success and daring, single minded determination make reading this book a whirlwind adventure. I almost feel sad to leave behind the gang at Stax and return real life.
on 28 March 2015
This is a terrific book for anyone interested in delving deeper into the creation of some of the greatest music to come out of the1960's. The story of Stax Records is very much a reflection of its time; social tensions and creative team-work; individual genius and hard work; personal triumphs and tragedies; high stakes risk taking in a dog-eat-dog music business; and so much more. If you love the music, this book gives it a great sense of purpose and place. If you've only listened to a few of their hits, read the book and be prepared to listen to a lot more. Great stuff.
on 2 December 2015
This is and was 'my' kind of music. I was fortunate enough to have seen most of the stars of the first coming of the Stax label (Otis Redding, Booker T & the MG's, etc) and after reading this I co-incidentally went to Memphis and the Stax Museum. It is probably the best documentary of the history not only of the record label but also what was happening on the 'street'.
on 13 November 2014
A wonderfully detailed exposure of the record industry, politics, racism and the highs and lows of one of the most important labels in history. If you thought payola was just about money, think again. Even if you have no interest in 60's and 70's soul, this is still a fascinating story, but if you were brought up listening to Otis, Booker T., Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas and dozens more of the Stax greats, then this really is an essential read. Once you hit the top, there is only one way to go-so enjoy the journey along the way and don't worry where it will all end!