Carla Thomas was to Memphis' Stax Records what Aretha Franklin was to Atlantic: the label's reigning matriarch, able to wrap her glorious voice around chart-toppers from the precocious songwriting team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, as well as R&B standards. The clear, dry and natural essential sound of her 1967 studio recording, The Queen Alone, imparts the down-to-earth flair of the southern town Memphis and its musical tradition.
With wonderful contemplation, the 'The Queen of Memphis Soul' begins her performance with a tautly arranged but pleasantly round and melting version of Burt Bacharach's "Any Day Now." The reflective opening clearly signals that the human voice is of major importance here, no matter whether a restrained pulsating soul number ("Stop Thief") or a metallically ticking groove ("I Take It To My Baby") is on the track list.
Even an occasional dip into the violin paint-pot ("I Want To Be Your Baby") is not an end in itself but serves exclusively to refine the diaphanous, gentle voice of the principal singer. In addition there is lush, groovy polyphony with a call-and-response concept ("Somethings Good") and intoxicating gospel-like antiphony ("Lie To Keep Me From Crying"), all good for keeping the soul of soul together.
This Speakers Corner 180g vinyl reissue was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head.