Album Details

October 24, 2000
Rhythm & Blues, Early R&B, Soul, Southern Soul, Soul-Blues, Pop-Soul, Deep Soul

Album Review

Taylor gets honored with a three-CD box set for this career retrospective. And it truly is a career retrospective: it spans 1956-1999 and includes a good deal of material that he did for other labels before and after his lengthy Stax stint. It's true that you have to be a pretty deep Taylor fan to commit to nearly four hours of his music. It's also true that even if you are a big Taylor fan, you're likely to need some patience to last through some of the average cuts, or his stylistic transition from gospel to soul to disco and retro-soul. Overall, however, it's a fine commemoration of an important if not quite great soul star. The most valuable components of the set are found on disc one, which kicks off with a half-dozen gospel tunes from his stints with the Highway Q.C.'s and the Soul Stirrers in the late '50s, moving into some of his soul sides for Sam Cooke's SAR label in the early '60s. For the remainder of disc one and some of disc two, there are plenty of fine soul-blues cuts from his early days at Stax in the mid-to-late '60s that will be familiar to relatively few listeners, his fine soul-blues-gospel vocal blend resulting in some of his finest work. As time wore on -- even starting in the early '70s -- Taylor's material got duller and more homogenized, though there were always some highlights to perk up your ears. Unsurprisingly, then, like most box sets, this gets less interesting the closer it draws to the finish line, although wisely his late-'70s Columbia era (yes, "Disco Lady" is here) and post-'70s Malaco output is represented by a mere four cuts each. Ultimately, it's a well-done summation of Taylor's legacy, with an accompanying 50-page booklet including essay, discography, and photos.
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. I Dreamed Heaven Was Like This
  2. Heaven Is My Home [Take 1]
  3. The Love of God [Take 7][#]
  4. Out on a Hill [Take 1][Alternate Take]
  5. Until Then [Take 3][Alternate Take]
  6. When The Gates Swing Open
  7. Never, Never
  8. Rome (Wasn't Built In A Day)
  9. Dance What You Wanna
  10. Baby, We've Got Love
  11. I Had A Dream
  12. Easy Lovin' [#]
  13. I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby
  14. Just the One (I've Been Looking For) [take 7][#]
  15. Part Time Love [Take 2][#]
  16. Sixteen Tons [Take 6][#]
  17. Somebody's Sleeping In My Bed
  18. Blues in the Night [Take 1][#]
  19. Save Your Love for Me [Take 2][#]
  20. I Need Lots of Love [#]
  21. You Can't Win With A Losing Hand [Take 3][#]
  22. Rumors
  23. You Don't Know Like I Know [Take 3][#]
  24. Twenty Years From Today [Take 4][#]
  25. Twenty Years From Today [Take 7][#]
  26. Little Bluebird
  27. Toe Hold
  28. That's Where It's At
  29. I Ain't Particular
  30. Woman Across the River
  31. Who's Making Love?
  32. I'm Not the Same Person
  33. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water
  34. Mr. Nobody Is Somebody Now
  35. Take Care of Your Homework
  36. Testify (I Wanna)
  37. Separation Line
  38. I Could Never Be President
  39. Love Bones
  40. Steal Away
  41. Steal Away [Live][#]
  42. I Am Somebody, Pts. 1-2
  43. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone
  44. I Don't Wanna Lose You, Pt. 1-2
  45. Don't Take My Sunshine
  46. Hijackin' Love
  47. Standing in for Jody
  48. Doing My Own Thing, Pt. 1
  49. Stop Doggin' Me
  50. I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)
  51. Cheaper to Keep Her
  52. We're Getting Careless With Our Love
  53. Starting All over Again
  54. I've Been Born Again
  55. It's September
  56. Try Me Tonight
  57. Free
  58. Disco Lady
  59. Running Out of Lies
  60. God Is Standing By
  61. Play Something Pretty
  62. Lady, My Whole World Is You
  63. Lover Boy
  64. Last Two Dollars
  65. Soul Heaven