Stax/Volt to Issue Complete Singles Digitally for First Time

The collections feature music by Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King and others

Isaac Hayes with songwriter David Porter, circa 1970. Credit: Concord Music Group

The Memphis soul label Stax/Volt will issue two comprehensive box sets of the singles it released in the late Sixties through the mid-Seventies for the first time digitally. The box sets, which originally came out in the early Nineties, pick up where the 1991 collection The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959 – 1968 left off.

The first reissue that is slated for release, Volume 2, covers singles released between 1968 and 1971 and will come out on December 16th. The second, Volume 3, includes songs from 1972 through 1975, and is due out in the spring. The collections include singles by Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Albert King, Jean Knight and more. Many of the songs have never been available digitally.

Both sets will also get new physical releases that will feature new packaging and full-color booklets with essays by their co-producer, Rob Bowman. Volume 2 comprises nine CDs and 216 songs, including Hayes' "Theme From Shaft," the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself" and Johnnie Taylor's "Who's Making Love." Volume 3 spans 10 discs and 213 songs, including Shirley Brown's "Woman to Woman" and the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There."

The two volumes contain music from the second half of Stax/Volt's history, when it became an independent label after Atlantic stopped distributing its music in 1968. Although Hayes won the label a Grammy with his Shaft soundtrack, Stax/Volt went involuntarily bankrupt in 1976 before another company, Fantasy, Inc., purchased its masters. The box sets are coming out in conjunction with Fantasy's parent label, Concord Music Group.