R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax

VOICES Notes and news on R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax releases

Joyous Collaborations

21 AUG 09 DAVID NATHAN

In 1969, Stax president Al Bell, mindful of the prominence of soulful duets in the world of R&B and looking for ways to promote the label's roster of hitmakers, came up with the idea of Boy Meets Girl. While its initial release may not have met his sales expectations, the new version (which takes tracks from the original 2-LP set and adds some super bonus cuts) shows just how on target Bell was.

The combination of some of the greatest voices in soul music is simply superb. Just listening to Mavis Staples and William Bell going toe-for-toe on Sam & Dave's "I Thank You" and Carla Thomas with Johnnie Taylor laying it down with some serious singin' on the gorgeous ballad "My Life" shows just how inspired and smart Bell was in choosing to do this amazing project.

The Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream" is transformed into a soul opus by William Bell and Carla Thomas and of course, Bell is at his best with the brilliant Judy Clay on the true classic, "Private Number." That song is also included here via a rare version of UK stars Dusty Springfield and Spencer Davis along with two selections by blue-eyed soul duo Delaney & Bonnie making Boy Meets Girl an all-round musical treat of the first order.