The Soul Children – 1971 – Best Of Two Worlds

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This is a beautiful album from one of the greatest soul groups of all time!

The Soul Children were a wonderful Memphis (Stax) vocal group with a two parts female/two parts male vocal style that just sounded incredible. All the members of the group were great singers, and the overall sound was a mixture of rootsy southern soul, and sweeter harmony sounds.

“Best Of Two Worlds” is a great album ( recorded in Muscle Shoals, Detroit) by one of the sweetest vocal groups ever to come out of the south! The record’s a bit more complicated than some of their earlier ones, and features some nice tracks with a more extended style, and more sophisticated arrangements that work great with the group’s rich harmonies.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Stax record including covers.

A rare one which we almost never see on vinyl. Released on cd twice with another of the albums of the group.

A1 Bring It Here 2.47
A2 Thanks For A Precious Nothing 3.23
A3 Put Your World In My World 4.03
A4 Give Me One Good Reason Why 4.17
A5 Got To Get Away From It All 3.26
B1 The Hang Ups Of Holding On, Parts 1 & 2 8.22
B2 Wrap It Up Tonight 2.55
B3 Let’s Make A Sweet Thing Sweeter 4.37
B4 Finish Me Off 3.48
B5 Don’t Break Away 4.21

Produced by David Porter and Ronnie Williams


This Memphis, Tennessee Stax Records mainstay was formed by Norman West (formerly of The Del-Rios), and included the talents of John Colbert aka J. Blackfoot, Anita Louis and Shelbra Bennett. The group was formed by Isaac Hayes and David Porter in order to fill the gap that Sam & Dave had left after parting from the Atlantic record label. They scored 15 R&B hits between 1968 and 1978.

Together, they have done six albums (three of them with Porter), and had a solid string of soul hits, worked with almost all the other Stax artists, and came through it all with smiles on their faces and good will in their hearts: the essence of soul.

In late ’67, while Stax was exploding as a powerful international force in contemporary black pop music, David Porter and Isaac Hayes decided to form a group. They’d worked with the different Soul Children on an individual basis, and had written some material specifically for a particular blend of voices.

“Each of us was asked to join the group, and Mr. Porter and Mr. Hayes were very careful to give us a couple of days to think it over. Well, it didn’t take a couple of days to decide!”

Group spokesman Norman West continues: “We all knew from the very beginning that we wanted to be on Stax. So we went into the studio, and David and Isaac just said, ‘Here, take this song, everybody find their voice on it.’ It clicked together instantly, like an automatic thing. It wasn’t until much later that I realized they’d approached it in a very scientific manner—getting the right voices together.” One voice of primary importance—at that time and at all times since—is the lead vocal of John “Blackfoot” Colbert. “Wilson Pickett was number one and James Brown was doing his Apollo thing, so naturally the roughness and the fullness of Blackfoot’s voice was essential. Nobody has to wonder who the lead singer is because Blackfoot just stands right on out!”

Their first album, The Soul Children, was released in 1968, containing their hits “I’ll Understand,” “The Sweeter He Is,” and “Tighten Up My Thang,”

Other Stax albums included Best of Two Worlds, Genesis, and Friction. “By that time Stax was beginning to have trouble, and then it became a matter of our survival. Unfortunately, there aren’t any books out there that you can check out of the library to figure out what to do. So you just know—keep singing, keep writing, and hope for the best.”

In early ’75, the Soul Children received a call from Epic. “I thought it was some kind of a bad joke,” laughs Norman. But after a half hour’s conversation, he began apologizing. The Soul Children signed with Epic and did two LPs. The first was Finders Keepers, produced by Detroit’s Don Davis. The second, Where Is Your Woman Tonite, was released in 1976 and was, again and most familiarly, produced by David Porter.

“Then, to take it full circle,” comments Blackfoot, “when David went with the new resurrected Stax, we were right there knocking on his door. After all, David heard our sound in his head before we even heard it ourselves!”

John “Blackfoot” Colbert is the lead vocalist with the Soul Children, and once you‘ve heard his distinctive gritty and gravelly voice you’re not likely to forget it.

‘J. Blackfoot’ is a nickname Colbert picked up during his early years, due to his habit of walking without footwear on the tarred sidewalks of Memphis during the hot summers. He spent six months as lead singer with a new line-up of The Bar-Kays after the original members were killed with Otis Redding in a plane crash. He later launched a solo career as J. Blackfoot with the single “Taxi”, which climbed into the R&B Top Ten in 1984.

Norman West hails from Monroe, Louisiana, and grew up singing and playing organ in his father’s church. While in high school, Norman won all the talent contests. Then, fearing his r&b activities were damaging his father’s Christian reputation, Norman went to Memphis and joined the Del Rios, replacing William Bell. He met and worked with the whole Memphis crew—Carla and Rufus Thomas, Willie Mitchell, Porter and Hayes, etc.

Whatever the Soul Children sing, their golden voices make even the most hackneyed cuts interesting.

More albums by Soul Children in our back pages here

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Conversation for album: The Soul Children – 1971 – Best Of Two Worlds

  • Kizza
    Posted at 16:05h, 21 July 2008 Reply

    Classic album! Love the Stax sound – and love this blog too! FANTASTIC!

  • jahcisco
    Posted at 19:26h, 21 July 2008 Reply

    thank you.

  • jahcisco
    Posted at 20:12h, 21 July 2008 Reply

    I’ve been looking for this one for some time. Thanks!

  • donovan
    Posted at 21:29h, 21 July 2008 Reply

    Brilliant! Thanks Nick…

  • kirk
    Posted at 21:35h, 21 July 2008 Reply

    Thanks for The Soul Children info’s. This is a complete post. It is true a wonterful album with David Porter on production. i didn’t knew it was recorded in Detroit. Still a Stax sound. “Friction” album is a little better as you noticed.

  • samuel
    Posted at 21:42h, 21 July 2008 Reply

    this LP is awesome, peace and tnx

  • Jack Flash
    Posted at 04:36h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    Thanks for this truely underrated album….I had the vinyl once upon a time…..

  • manny
    Posted at 05:57h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    loving it, thanks for posting

  • Soul is the Music
    Posted at 09:50h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    The debut album (Porter and Isaac Hayes) and these two albums you posted are their best. The first two albums represent the early to mid lifespan of the Soul Children at Stax combining exceptionally soulful tracks recorded in Memphis and in Detroit. Friction is the matured period with their #3 hit “I’ll be the other woman”. Congrats. Excellent post as always.

  • Groovy Emmanuel
    Posted at 09:56h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    1970 proved to be the turning point in Stax history. It was the then vice president All Bell’s decision to begin recordings in Alabama’s Muscle Shoals studios rather than using Stax’s own Memphis studios. Soul Children, the brainchild of Hayes & Porter in an attempt to succeed Sam & Dave, released their 2nd album all recorded in this peaceful Alabama town under the guidance of Porter and his new partner in pianist Ronnie Williams and a little help from Dale Warren in string arrangements over the fine vocals by the foursome. It was the fall of 1970, Isaac was at the eve of his stellar career and Steve Cropper, somehow the connection to the past, was leaving Stax. A “Starting All Over” situation and a proof that soul music is as much great as the parts participating. What a great year indeed!

  • W.A.
    Posted at 10:04h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    “The Soul Children were the best of the bunch. They were unique because any of the group members could sing lead as well as backgound. The combination of Isaac Hayes compositions and musical arrangements and vocal performances of Blackfoot and company was a winning sonic proposition.” Thanks for the gems. My favorite blog!!!!!!!

  • hooch
    Posted at 10:09h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    thank you so much!

  • samuel
    Posted at 10:12h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    Much Thanks nick! Looks Great!

  • gorgio
    Posted at 12:28h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    Much Appreciated! For this and all the brilliant posts you share with us!

  • oak
    Posted at 12:42h, 22 July 2008 Reply

    This is a big find for me. Thanx for the Soul Children albums. I admit i didn’t know this great group!

  • ben
    Posted at 10:48h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    Much much love for your devoted work. I am blessed there’s someone like you, sharing so many incredible albums so easily accessible.

  • Larry G.
    Posted at 11:42h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    Brilliant as usual. Cool group, great vocals. i like the Memphis sound very much. Keep on brother..

  • UMA
    Posted at 12:17h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    Wow!!! just what i needed!

  • paul
    Posted at 14:56h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    Big thanks again.

  • martin
    Posted at 16:06h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    Lovely piece of classic soul sounds.

  • Kostis
    Posted at 21:28h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    Man, what a great blog!

  • liam
    Posted at 21:44h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    great lp only got 2 tracks from a collection! thanks for sharing.

  • Justin
    Posted at 21:49h, 23 July 2008 Reply

    you’re the best, thanks for this!
    i’ve been looking for this album like crazy since i heard ” The Hang Ups Of Holding On, Parts 1 & 2 “.Love from Argentina

  • Jaguar
    Posted at 00:11h, 24 July 2008 Reply

    Great LP from a superb group.

    Many thanks.

  • Mario Mellani
    Posted at 01:38h, 24 July 2008 Reply

    Fantastic Soul! Many thanks…

  • Xenia
    Posted at 01:43h, 24 July 2008 Reply

    Thanks! You always posting some great stuff! Much much appreciated.

  • beats2go00
    Posted at 04:49h, 24 July 2008 Reply


  • musicmeiho
    Posted at 06:30h, 24 July 2008 Reply

    Love the Soul Children. Thank you

  • Randy
    Posted at 09:28h, 24 July 2008 Reply

    Haven’t heard this for many years. you bring back memories….

  • Don
    Posted at 11:38h, 24 July 2008 Reply

    A great one, cool post. peace.

  • 2timez
    Posted at 00:39h, 26 July 2008 Reply


  • pedro
    Posted at 06:04h, 26 July 2008 Reply

    Great band but after stax not much heard of on epic thanks i will enjoy this Pedro

  • magicsoul
    Posted at 04:05h, 27 July 2008 Reply

    yeah..thx for that 1..i got some albums of them, but not yet this …dope

  • King Megatrip
    Posted at 04:26h, 28 July 2008 Reply

    thanks for this!

  • Ricardo
    Posted at 20:39h, 02 August 2008 Reply

    The Soul Children – Now THAT defines soul at its best. – ’nuff said.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:14h, 05 October 2008 Reply

    Hot shitt. Thx

  • Chris
    Posted at 22:52h, 12 November 2008 Reply

    The used vinyl sure cost me more than this download:) Regardless, thanks for you help…AGAIN.

  • zoots
    Posted at 12:53h, 17 December 2008 Reply

    i bought this but last week at a car boot sale for £2 whoooooaaaahh! the best piece of business ever? i reckon

  • Mat
    Posted at 19:12h, 05 February 2020 Reply

    Would you be able to reupload please?

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