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Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion Hardcover – 16 Jan 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596915773
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596915770
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 3.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A masterful storyteller, music historian Gordon artfully chronicles the rise and fall of one of America's greatest music studios, situating the story of Stax within the cultural history of the 1960s in the South...Gordon deftly narrates the stories of the many musicians who called Stax home. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

A compelling story, and Robert Gordon's well placed to tell it. (Bookforum)

A spellbinding history of the one of the most prolific hit-making independent record companies in the history of American music... (Kirkus)

Superb (New York Times on It Came from Memphis)

...Gordon tells the Stax story - from it's humble beginning to its heyday, to its bankruptcy, and to its present-day incarnation as the Stax Museum of American Soul Music - with expertise, feeling, and a sure hand. (Booklist (starred review))

Gordon gets the deep lowdown on the original rolling stone. A major feat of research and a fascinating read. (Jay McInerney on Can't Be Satisfied)

An affectionate rumination. (The New Yorker on It Came from Memphis)

Respect Yourself is a prototypical American bootstrap story of poverty, race, music, money, and greed. But it is also a story of 'shifting the paradigm, breaking the covenant, pursuing the dream...riffing, an economic jam session, a socioeconomic symphony...determined to reach the next eight bars.' (Shelf Awareness)

Meticulously researched.. Gordon lays out the story of Stax in remarkable detail, tracing the label's history from early stumbles to unimagined success to eventual collapse. He knows Memphis, and what Stax meant there, and he clearly loves the music and the people who made it.In 1972, the Staple Singers had a huge hit on Stax with 'I'll Take You There,' written and produced by Al Bell. With Respect Yourself, Robert Gordon does exactly that. (The Dallas Morning News)

His fluent prose and quotes from interviews keep the reader's attention as he combines technical accounts of recording sessions with the unfolding of historical events in the African American community of Memphis.. . For anyone interested in independent record labels and their music in mid-20th-century America. (Library Journal)

Respect Yourself is the rare music book with an exciting subject matter, in this case it's the multiple rises and falls of Stax Records, that's also really well written. Author Robert Gordon's lyrical prose and exquisite word choices, are difference maker, elevating the book beyond just a good story, simply told. (Midnight to Six)

Book Description

The enduring artistic and cultural history of the legendary Memphis record label, by the premier authority on the subject.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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"
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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'.
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By jg on 27 Dec. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recent holiday featured a trip to Stax so it seemed a good choice of Xmas present for my husband.,
Teamed it with a Stax cd and he was very happy!
Would make a good gift idea for anyone who is interested in the history of Stax or soul music and has added interest if you have visited (or are planning a trip) to the location in Memphis.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Story behind the music available on the stax 50th anniversary celebration box set, but also the story of the civil and cultural changes going on in the south in the sixties , an amazing story well told. If you are going to Memphis (in the meantime-wee joke) try and read this first as it will enhance the trip
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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!
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Format: Hardcover
If soul is your style, then this detailed book is a must.
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