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The Staple Singers|Faith & Grace - A Family Journey 1953-1976

Faith & Grace - A Family Journey 1953-1976

The Staple Singers

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Faith & Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 isn't career-spanning, as stated by the Concord label. The proof is right there, in the title. Throughout the latter part of the '70s and during the mid-'80s, the Staple Singers recorded strong material for the Warner Bros. and Private I labels. Nonetheless, as of 2015, this box set was easily the most comprehensive Staples anthology. Physical copies consist of four discs, as well as a re-pressing of an early-'50s single, "Faith and Grace" b/w "These Are They," which was produced in a one-time limited edition of 500 copies, sold at Staples performances. That alone is enough to stir the interest of longtime fans. Even without those two songs, Faith & Grace would be almost as close to essential as it gets for a box set. It covers the group's stints with Vee-Jay, United, Riverside, Epic, and Stax, a rich period during which they evolved from an acoustic gospel-folk group that performed in small churches into a genre-crossing main attraction for 110,000 people at the Los Angeles Coliseum (as documented on Wattstax). The selection of highlights is thoughtful, if imperfect. There are '50s A-sides like "It Rained Children" and "I Had a Dream," and the charting '60s cuts "Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)" and "For What It's Worth," the latter of which they made their own as much as anything written by Pops Staples. While the Stax-era material includes the major classics "Respect Yourself," "I'll Take You There," and "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)," there are some peculiar omissions. Neither "This World" nor the Wattstax version of "Oh La De Da" made the cut, even though both were Top Ten R&B hits. The previously unreleased material isn't revelatory, though it's fascinating to hear a demo of Mack Rice and Luther Ingram's "Respect Yourself" fronted aggressively by Rice. Packaged folio style with an abundance of photographs and liner notes, it's a generous overview -- track-selection flaws notwithstanding -- of a crucial 20th century musical institution.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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Faith & Grace - A Family Journey 1953-1976

The Staple Singers

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1
It Rained Children
00:02:58

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

2
I Just Can't Keep It To Myself
00:02:51

Unknown, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

3
Each Day
00:02:29

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1955 Concord Music Group, Inc.

4
God's Wonderful Love
00:02:38

James Bracken, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 1960 Concord Music Group, Inc.

5
If I Could Hear My Mother Pray
00:02:48

Mavis Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Judge Kennith Peterson, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1960 Concord Music Group, Inc.

6
I've Got A New Home
00:03:09

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

7
Uncloudy Day
00:02:57

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

8
Come On Up In Glory
00:02:35

Roebuck Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

9
I Know I Got Religion
00:02:25

Roebuck Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

10
Swing Down Chariot
00:02:40

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

11
I Had A Dream
00:02:52

Roebuck Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

12
Help Me Jesus
00:02:41

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

13
Low Is The Way
00:02:34

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Alex Bradford, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

14
This May Be The Last Time (Alternate Take)
00:02:08

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

15
So Soon
00:02:12

Roebuck Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

16
I'm So Glad
00:02:11

Skip James, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Concord Music Group, Inc.

17
Pray On
00:02:45

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

18
Good News
00:02:37

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

19
Downward Road
00:02:34

Roebuck Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

20
Don't Drive Me Away
00:02:24

Roebuck Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

DISC 2

1
Will The Circle Be Unbroken
00:02:48

Roebuck Staples, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

2
Don't Knock
00:02:24

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Wesley Westbrook, ComposerLyricist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

3
Medley: Too Close / I’m On My Way Home / I’m Coming Home / He’s Alright (Live)
00:16:10

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

4
Swing Low
00:02:57

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

5
Calling Me
00:03:17

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

6
Stand By Me
00:03:34

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

7
Hammer And Nails
00:02:27

AARON SCHROEDER, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - David A. Hess, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

8
Gloryland
00:03:08

Mosley, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

9
Hear My Call, Here
00:04:11

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Wesley Westbrook, ComposerLyricist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

10
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
00:02:35

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

11
New-Born Soul
00:02:12

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

12
Dying Man's Plea
00:02:47

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

13
Great Day (Part 2)
00:02:03

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

14
There Was A Star
00:02:24

Roebuck Staples, Composer - Orrin Keepnews, Producer - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Wesley Westbrooks, Composer

℗ 1962 Riverside Records/Fantasy, Inc.

15
Use What You Got
00:02:13

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Wesley Westbrook, ComposerLyricist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

16
Let That Liar Alone
00:02:44

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

17
I Can't Help From Cryin' Sometime
00:02:17

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

18
Blowin In The Wind
00:02:26

Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

19
This Land
00:02:39

Woody Guthrie, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

20
I Know I've Been Changed
00:02:38

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Unknown Artist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

DISC 3

1
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall
00:07:31

Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

2
Masters Of War
00:04:36

Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

3
What Are They Doing (In Heaven Today)
00:02:10

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 1975 Fantasy, Inc.

4
I Wish I Had Answered (Live)
00:02:47

Roebuck Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger - Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

5
I'll Fly Away
00:02:12

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

6
Tell Him What You Want
00:02:23

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

7
Be Careful Of The Stones You Throw
00:02:47

Bonnie Dodd, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

8
Samson And Delilah
00:02:34

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, Arranger, Work Arranger

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

9
As An Eagle Stirreth
00:04:25

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Rev. William Herbert Brewster, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

10
The Freedom Highway (Live)
00:04:06

The Staple Singers, MainArtist - Roebuck "Pop" Staples, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

Album Description

Faith & Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 isn't career-spanning, as stated by the Concord label. The proof is right there, in the title. Throughout the latter part of the '70s and during the mid-'80s, the Staple Singers recorded strong material for the Warner Bros. and Private I labels. Nonetheless, as of 2015, this box set was easily the most comprehensive Staples anthology. Physical copies consist of four discs, as well as a re-pressing of an early-'50s single, "Faith and Grace" b/w "These Are They," which was produced in a one-time limited edition of 500 copies, sold at Staples performances. That alone is enough to stir the interest of longtime fans. Even without those two songs, Faith & Grace would be almost as close to essential as it gets for a box set. It covers the group's stints with Vee-Jay, United, Riverside, Epic, and Stax, a rich period during which they evolved from an acoustic gospel-folk group that performed in small churches into a genre-crossing main attraction for 110,000 people at the Los Angeles Coliseum (as documented on Wattstax). The selection of highlights is thoughtful, if imperfect. There are '50s A-sides like "It Rained Children" and "I Had a Dream," and the charting '60s cuts "Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)" and "For What It's Worth," the latter of which they made their own as much as anything written by Pops Staples. While the Stax-era material includes the major classics "Respect Yourself," "I'll Take You There," and "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)," there are some peculiar omissions. Neither "This World" nor the Wattstax version of "Oh La De Da" made the cut, even though both were Top Ten R&B hits. The previously unreleased material isn't revelatory, though it's fascinating to hear a demo of Mack Rice and Luther Ingram's "Respect Yourself" fronted aggressively by Rice. Packaged folio style with an abundance of photographs and liner notes, it's a generous overview -- track-selection flaws notwithstanding -- of a crucial 20th century musical institution.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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