stax703_190.jpg (23601 octets)   S703_190.jpg (14068 octets)



(issued in 1964, mono only, no CD re-issue)

Great Balls Of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis) ; Last Night (The Mar-Keys) ; Any Other Way (William Bell) ; Gee Whiz (Carla Thomas) ; For You (Nick Charles) ; Lonely Week End (Charlie Rich) ; Raunchy (Bill Justis) ; I'll Bring It On Home To You (Carla Thomas) ; Tragedy (Thomas Wayne) ; You Don't Miss Your Water (William Bell) ; Mona Lisa (Carl Mann) ; Green Onions (Booker T. & The MG's).

Strange LP, a must buy for either Stax as Sun vinyl collectors, including 5 original Sun sides (Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, Bill Justis, Thomas Wayne and Carl Mann) and 6 Stax ones, Nick Charles' one being found only on this record (so it cannot be a golden record...). The record is "produced by Nick Charles" himself. Curiously, there is not even a copyright notice or aknowledgement for the Sun tracks.

One must know that, at the beginning, Jim Stewart was greatly impressed by the success of Sam Phillips' Sun Records label and he probably had the desire to follow his steps. It is likely that he "did himself a favor" with this LP as there were already enough Stax hit records issued in 1964 to fill one LP. For example, it misses "The Dog" by Rufus Thomas.

All the other tracks are the single takes, William Bell's "Any Other Way" being very different (and much better) than the "Soul Of A Bell" LP take, re-recorded several years later with different musicians.

Technically, under a simplistic cover, the record itself is under average: some tracks have obvious flaws (Gee Whiz), some final fade outs are very abrupt (You Don't Miss Your Water" and "I'll Bring It On Home To You" and a few others have a heavy rumble sound, as if it was waxed from the single itself or from a bad tape or recorder.

Note that this record has the same tracks as the Stax 702 LP (there are two Stax 702 LPs!) "TREASURED HITS FROM THE SOUTH PRESENTED BY NICK CHARLES" in a different order! See cover underneath:

The liner notes:

When a record sells a million copies, it earns the distinction of being called a Gold Record. It is the record-buying public who decides, from the thousands of records offered to them each year, which will go all the way. Their decision is guaranteed to produce a golden ringing sound that will be clearly heard by the recording artist and the record company lucky enough to have released the record.
Statisticians have estimated that only one record in five thousands sells as many as a million copies. In this album there are at least five that reached that magic number. The others only missed the mark by a small margin. The five big ones are Great Balls Of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis, Raunchy by Bill Justis, Tragedy by Thomas Wayne, all released in 1958, Last Night by The Mar-Keys, a Gold Record winner in 1961, and Green Onions by Booker T. & The MG's, of 1962 vintage.
In addition to winning the approval of music fans, all twelve of the selections in this album have something else in common. They were all recorded in Memphis, Tennessee. On even casual consideration, this is not a surprising fact. For over fifty years that musical melting pot has made major contributions to the popular music field-ever since W.C. Handy, who came to be known as the Father of the Blues, established Memphis as his base of operations. However, within the contents of this album we are only concerned with the musical activities of Memphis in recent years.
Since Memphis is the birthplace of everything in this Treasure Chest, it is logical to assume that they should have a "Memphis" sound. That they do, but if asked to define what the "Memphis" sound is, one encounters difficulties. For one thing, there is an extraordinary variety of musical styles present in this LP. It's almost easier to explain what the sound is not, rather than what it is. For instance, it would be hard to imagine that any of these recordings could have been made in New York, Chicago, Hollywood, or for that matter, even in neighboring Nashville.
There are two strong influences directly at work on the popular music produced by Memphis. Foremost,is the rich expressiveness of the deep blues of the South. This is instantly felt in listening to William Bell's You Don't Miss Your Water and Any Other Way, in Charly Rich's rockablues treatment of Lonely Weekends, as well as in the emotionally satisfying singing of Carla Thomas on Gee Whiz and I'll Bring It Home To You. The basis of the two instrumentals, Last Night and Green Onions is also the blues.
Tennessee is world famous as the center of country music, and naturally this is the other influence which has determined the sound of Memphis' music.Carl Mann's transformation of Mona Lisa into what sounds like a song from the hills of Tennessee, and the rockabilly instrumental, Raunchy show the country influence most clearly.
The blending of blues and country music in Memphis has resulted in a unique formula we hear in the music produced in that city. One of the best examples brought forth by this brew is Jerry Lee Lewis' Great Balls Of Fire. Popular music experts have often called this classic performance the perfect record, and in fact, in 1958 it won the Triple Crown as the best popular, rhythm & blues and country record of that year.
From the standpoint of enjoyment, it is of little consequence that these records were all made in one place. What they offer has proven to have universal appeal. As singles, each carved out its own permanent niche in music history. The gold in this Treasure Chest is different from the kind that was stashed away in the old days by buccaneers. Those roaming fellows used to bury their gold in strongboxes on lonely islands to which they rarely returned. The gold in this Chest is available to be enjoyed whenever you choose.