I got this CD to help complete my collection of soul music from Kent Records. I knew the few legendary tracks by the artist and had the first 'The Greatest' release by him on Kent. However this CD instantly blew me away, it is absolutely brilliant soul music moving from uptempo soulful stompers to heart rending ballads. Indeed although this period of the artist's work is almost entirely ignored it far surpasses most of the original early 1960s music he is known for. He was having lots of personal problems during these sporadic recordings but such is the quality and cohesion of production that the listener would never know.
As we know CDs from Kent speak for themselves to soul fans anyway, but I just wanted to say not to overlook this one. There are no big hits or dancefloor favourites here, but the performances, the instrumentation, songs and production are perfect. It's an easy CD to ignore so all the more surprising when heard. A CD that will be treasured and listened to long after tonight is all over.
“The Monument Years” by Arthur Alexander, released by Ace Records in 2001, is a single CD with 28 songs while he was with Monument and Sound Stage labels. I have compiled a detailed song listing (including label & number, date of release):
01 (BABY) FOR YOU (Sound Stage 7 45-2556)(uncharted a-side, January 1966)*stereo 02 THE OTHER WOMAN (IN MY LIFE)(Sound Stage 7 45-2556)(b-side, January 1966)*stereo 03 STAY BY ME*stereo; previously unreleased 04 ME AND MINE*stereo; previously unreleased 05 SHOW ME THE ROAD (Sound Stage 7 45-2572)(uncharted a-side, October 1966)*stereo 06 TURN AROUND (AND TRY ME)(Sound Stage 7 45-2572)(b-side, October 1966)*stereo 07 BABY THIS, BABY THAT*stereo; previously unreleased 08 BABY I LOVE YOU*stereo; previously unreleased 09 IN MY SORROW*stereo; previously unreleased 10 I WANT TO MARRY YOU*stereo; previously unreleased 11 IN MY BABY’S EYES*stereo; previously unreleased 12 LOVE’S WHERE LIFE BEGINS (Sound Stage 7 SS7-2619)(b-side, October 1968)*stereo 13 MILES AND MILES FROM NOWHERE*stereo; previously unreleased 14 YOU DON’T LOVE ME (YOU DON’T CARE)*stereo; previously unreleased 15 I NEED YOU BABY (Monument 45-1060)(uncharted a-side, March 1968)*stereo 16 WE’RE GONNA HATE OURSELVES (IN THE MORNING)*stereo; previously unreleased 17 SPANISH HARLEM (Monument 45-1060)(b-side, March 1960)*mono 18 CONCRETE JUNGLE*stereo; previously unreleased 19 TAKING CARE OF A WOMAN*stereo; previously unreleased 20 SET ME FREE (Sound Stage 7 SS7-2619)(uncharted a-side, October 1968)*stereo 21 BYE BYE LOVE (Sound Stage 7 SS7-2626)(uncharted a-side, February 1969)*stereo 22 ANOTHER PLACE, ANOTHER TIME (Sound Stage 7 SS7-2626)(b-side, February 1969)*stereo 23 CRY LIKE A BABY (Sound Stage 7 SS7-2652)(uncharted a-side, January 1970)*mono 24 GLORY ROAD (Sound Stage 7 SS7-2652)(b-side, January 1970)*mono 25 CALL ME HONEY*stereo; previously unreleased 26 THE MIGRANT*stereo; previously unreleased 27 LOVER PLEASE*stereo; previously unreleased 28 IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL*stereo; previously unreleased
1 This is a fantastic set covering his era on Sound Stage and Monument (1966 – 1970), following his charting era on Dot. All the singles As & Bs are included, together with many previously unreleased rare gems. As noted above, many of the songs are in stereo. 2 The sound is very well remastered. 3 There is a 12-page booklet, with an informative essay by Richard Younger. A deailed discography was included. There are also pictures of his 45 rpm singles labels. Good job! 4 28 songs. Good value!
1 The songs are not sequenced chronologically.
Arthur Alexander was born on May 10, 1940 in Florence, Alabama. Besides having a great charting career, he was the only rock artist to have his compositions recorded by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. His labels are (1) Judd (1960), (2) Dot (1961 – 1965), (3) Sound Stage 7 (1966 – 1970), (4) Monument (1968), (5) Warner (1972 – 1973), (6) Buddah (1975 – 1978). He died of a heart attack on June 9, 1993 (age 53).
If you are looking for his greatest hits with his charted singles, I would recommend “Lay Down Your Arms” (Jasmine, 1CD, 2016, 27 songs). This current set brings to light an important period of his career, unheard for decades. During this difficult time, he kept searching for expression and salvation. The many treasures found in these long-lost recordings prove that his struggles were not in vain. This set is recommended to all Arthur Alexander’s fans.
I purchased this cd six years ago, having seen there is only one other review for such a great compilation I felt compelled to put that right. These are the 'Monument/sound stage 7' recordings from 1965-72. If you have 'Ace' records other Arthur Alexander compilation 'The greatest' you will enjoy this cd very much. It's not cram packed full of top class material like 'The Greatest' cd (which rarely goes below 10/10), sure there are more than a handful of fantastic tracks. Many tracks are simply good, they will grow on you slowly and become old friends. One thing is for certain these tracks are sung with heartbreaking pain by the GREATEST southern soul singer ever. Overall there are 28 tracks, 16 of them are previously unissued. Great stuff, ENJOY.