Carla Thomas – 1967 – The Queen Alone
Carla Thomas was to Memphis’ Stax Records what Aretha was to Atlantic: the label’s reigning matriarch. She is one of the most respected singers of any era.
Carla Thomas was more than deserving of her title “The Queen of Memphis Soul,” but she was hardly oblivious to the sleeker, more pop-influenced sweet soul and uptown soul coming out of Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago.
This is a @320 vinyl rip of my original Stax record with covers.
A1. Any Day Now 3.40
A2. Stop Thief 2.37
A3. I Take it To My Baby 2.55
A4. I Want to Be Your Baby 2.14
A5. Something Good (Is Going to Happen to You) 2.30
A6. When Tomorrow Comes 2.30
B1. I’ll Always Have Faith In You 2.52
B2. All I See Is You 3.30
B3. Unchanging Love 2.45
B4. Give Me Enough (To Keep Me Going) 2.27
B5. Lie To Keep Me From Crying 2.25
The queen of Memphis soul caught “alone” after a some earlier hit recordings as part of a duo with Otis Redding but now on her own in the years after Otis untimely early passing! The album has Thomas strongly returning to the sound of her first few albums on Stax a bold, full-voiced sound that has her remerging as one of the first ladies of soul at the end of the 60s, and coming across with a sound that’s a fair bit more mature than her earliest singles. The tunes include a great batch of original Isaac Hayes & David Porter compositions the strength of which really hold the album together, and make for a no-filler set all the way through!
Carla Thomas was more than deserving of her title “The Queen of Memphis Soul,” but she was hardly oblivious to the sleeker, more pop-influenced sweet soul and uptown soul coming out of Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago. One of her strongest albums, The Queen Alone isn’t the work of someone who took a Memphis-only approach, but of someone who was well aware of what Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Martha Reeves and others were up to. What’s surprising is the fact that this album contains only two hits: the playful “Something Good (Is Going to Happen to You)“, which made it to number 29 on Billboard’s soul singles chart, and the idealistic, gospel-influenced ballad and number 11 R&B single “I’ll Always Have Faith In You“. Songs ranging from the sweet and vulnerable “I Want to Be Your Baby” to the remorseful “All I See Is You” and the pessimistic “Any Day Now” (a song co-written by Burt Bacharach) weren’t singles, but it wasn’t for a lack of heartfelt singing. Drawing on both Southern and Northern soul, Queen is a pleasant reminder that they were equally attractive options.