Stax Records to Release One Classic ‘Soul Explosion’ Album Each Day in June for Black Music Month

Shaft by Isaac Hayes for Soul Explosion - Courtesy

‘Shaft’ Gets a Rerelease on June 14


Craft Recordings celebrates the 50th anniversary of Stax Records’ “Soul Explosion” with the release of 30 Stax albums to digital platforms for the first time.

The records are being released one per day for the entire month of June to honor Black Music Month. Titles include the 1971 concept album Victim of the Joke? An Opera from songwriter and producer David Porter; 1973’s Estelle, Myrna and Sylvia from girl group the Sweet Inspirations (who backed Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin); and A Dramatic Experience, the sophomore album by R and B Music Hall of Fame inductee the Dramatics. 

Eleven of these titles (from the likes of the Soul Children, Johnnie Taylor and the Mad Lads) are results of the 1969 Soul Explosion sessions.

Stax Records: ‘But Wait, There’s More’

In addition, a remixed and remastered version of Shaft will be released on June 14, sounding “funkier than ever,” according to promo material.

To keep up to date on the fast-moving month of June, a daily “Stax Fax” e-newsletter will be sent to subscribers with facts, album art, streaming and download links for each digital album. There will also be opportunities to win Stax swag and music. Click here for “Stax Fax” details.

Check out the funkin’ groovy Stax promo video:

The 50th anniversary playlist will be updated daily throughout the month of June to include feature tracks from the Black Music Month digital albums. Playlist available on Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and YouTube, click here.

New Soul Explosion merchandise and bundles have been added to the Stax online store, including a t-shirt, mug, and a handcrafted, limited-edition (first 50 are numbered), leather messenger bag. Visit the Stax online store for more details, click here.

Soul connoisseurs will be able to get their hands on the Soul Explosion 2-LP reissue, marking the first time this title will be available on vinyl since 1969. 

Deanie Parker makes a speech at Stax Summit ‘Gettin’ It All Together’ in May 1969 at the Rivermont Hotel on the Mississippi River.- Photo by Wayne Moore

As part of the label’s “Made in Memphis” reissue campaign, the lacquers were cut by Memphis-based engineer Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl and pressed at Memphis Record Pressing (MRP). 

Soul Explosion offers a sampling of the label’s biggest hits and stars of the day, with Eddie Floyd, the Mad Lads, the Staple Singers, Albert King and more. The second disc of the set includes a selection of rare tracks, many of which are exclusive to this collection. 

Isaac Hayes plays at Stax Summit – Wayne Moore photo

These include the Bar-Kays’ “Hot Hips,” Ollie & The Nightingales’ “Heartache Mountain” and Eddie Floyd’s “It’s Wrong to Be Loving You.” Soul Explosion will also be released digitally for the first time, including on hi-res 96/24 and 192/24 formats. 

 Click here for more information on ordering the Soul Explosion 2-LP.