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Faith and Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 [Bonus Tracks]

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The Staple Singers 11/13/2015

Review

Faith & Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 isn't career-spanning, as stated by the Concord label. The proof is right there, in the title. Throughout the latter part of the '70s and during the mid-'80s, the Staple Singers recorded strong material for the Warner Bros. and Private I labels. Nonetheless, as of 2015, this box set was easily the most comprehensive Staples anthology. Physical copies consist of four discs, as well as a re-pressing of an early-'50s single, "Faith and Grace" b/w "These Are They," which was produced in a one-time limited edition of 500 copies, sold at Staples performances. That alone is enough to stir the interest of longtime fans. Even without those two songs, Faith & Grace would be almost as close to essential as it gets for a box set. It covers the group's stints with Vee-Jay, United, Riverside, Epic, and Stax, a rich period during which they evolved from an acoustic gospel-folk group that performed in small churches into a genre-crossing main attraction for 110,000 people at the Los Angeles Coliseum (as documented on Wattstax). The selection of highlights is thoughtful, if imperfect. There are '50s A-sides like "It Rained Children" and "I Had a Dream," and the charting '60s cuts "Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)" and "For What It's Worth," the latter of which they made their own as much as anything written by Pops Staples. While the Stax-era material includes the major classics "Respect Yourself," "I'll Take You There," and "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)," there are some peculiar omissions. Neither "This World" nor the Wattstax version of "Oh La De Da" made the cut, even though both were Top Ten R&B hits. The previously unreleased material isn't revelatory, though it's fascinating to hear a demo of Mack Rice and Luther Ingram's "Respect Yourself" fronted aggressively by Rice. Packaged folio style with an abundance of photographs and liner notes, it's a generous overview -- track-selection flaws notwithstanding -- of a crucial 20th century musical institution. [The set was also released with two bonus tracks: "Faith and Grace" and "These Are They."] ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 It Rained Children The Staple Singers 2:58
  3. 2 I Just Can't Keep It to Myself The Staple Singers 2:50
  4. 3 Each Day The Staple Singers 2:28
  5. 4 God's Wonderful Love The Staple Singers 2:38
  6. 5 If I Could Hear My Mother Pray The Staple Singers 2:48
  7. 6 I've Got a New Home The Staple Singers 3:8
  8. 7 Uncloudy Day The Staple Singers 2:56
  9. 8 Come on Up in Glory The Staple Singers 2:34
  10. 9 I Know I Got Religion The Staple Singers 2:24
  11. 10 Swing Down Chariot The Staple Singers 2:38
  12. 11 I Had a Dream The Staple Singers 2:50
  13. 12 Help Me Jesus The Staple Singers 2:40
  14. 13 Low Is the Way The Staple Singers 2:32
  15. 14 This May Be the Last Time The Staple Singers 2:6
  16. 15 So Soon The Staple Singers 2:12
  17. 16 I'm So Glad The Staple Singers 2:11
  18. 17 Pray On The Staple Singers 2:44
  19. 18 Good News The Staple Singers 2:36
  20. 19 Downward Road The Staple Singers 2:33
  21. 20 Don't Drive Me Away The Staple Singers 2:24
  22. 1 Will the Circle Be Unbroken The Staple Singers 2:47
  23. 2 Don't Knock The Staple Singers 2:24
  24. 3 Medley: Too Close/I'm on My Way Home/I'm Coming Home/He's Alright The Staple Singers 16:10
  25. 4 Swing Low The Staple Singers 2:56
  26. 5 Calling Me The Staple Singers 3:16
  27. 6 Stand by Me The Staple Singers 3:33
  28. 7 Hammer and Nails The Staple Singers 2:25
  29. 8 Gloryland The Staple Singers 3:7
  30. 9 Hear My Call, Here The Staple Singers 4:10
  31. 10 Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen The Staple Singers 2:34
  32. 11 New-Born Soul The Staple Singers 2:11
  33. 12 Dying Man's Plea The Staple Singers 2:44
  34. 13 Great Day The Staple Singers 2:2
  35. 14 There Was a Star The Staple Singers 2:23
  36. 15 Use What You Got The Staple Singers 2:13
  37. 16 Let That Liar Alone The Staple Singers 2:43
  38. 17 I Can't Help from Cryin' Sometime The Staple Singers 2:17
  39. 18 Blowin in the Wind The Staple Singers 2:25
  40. 19 This Land The Staple Singers 2:39
  41. 20 I Know I've Been Changed The Staple Singers 2:37
  42. 1 A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall The Staple Singers 7:28
  43. 2 Masters of War The Staple Singers 4:34
  44. 3 What Are They Doing (In Heaven Today) The Staple Singers 2:9
  45. 4 I Wish I Had Answered The Staple Singers 2:46
  46. 5 I'll Fly Away The Staple Singers 2:12
  47. 6 Tell Him What You Want The Staple Singers 2:22
  48. 7 Be Careful of the Stones You Throw The Staple Singers 2:46
  49. 8 Samson and Delilah The Staple Singers 2:32
  50. 9 As an Eagle Stirreth The Staple Singers 4:24
  51. 10 The Freedom Highway The Staple Singers 4:6
  52. 11 Why (Am I Treated So Bad) The Staple Singers 2:50
  53. 12 John Brown The Staple Singers 5:25
  54. 13 Waiting for My Child The Staple Singers 2:50
  55. 14 It's Been a Change The Staple Singers 2:18
  56. 15 For What It's Worth The Staple Singers 2:22
  57. 16 Let's Get Together The Staple Singers 2:46
  58. 17 Crying in the Chapel The Staple Singers 2:37
  59. 18 Long Walk to D.C. The Staple Singers 2:27
  60. 19 Got to Be Some Changes Made The Staple Singers 2:34
  61. 20 Slow Train The Staple Singers 2:44
  62. 1 I See It The Staple Singers 2:55
  63. 2 The Ghetto The Staple Singers 3:42
  64. 3 When Will We Be Paid The Staple Singers 2:34
  65. 4 God Bless the Children The Staple Singers 3:49
  66. 5 The Challenge The Staple Singers 3:37
  67. 6 Brand New Day The Staple Singers 3:42
  68. 7 Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom) The Staple Singers 3:6
  69. 8 I Like the Things About You The Staple Singers 3:17
  70. 9 You're Gonna Make Me Cry The Staple Singers 5:5
  71. 10 Respect Yourself The Staple Singers 4:50
  72. 11 I'll Take You There The Staple Singers 4:28
  73. 12 The World The Staple Singers 3:33
  74. 13 I'm Just Another Soldier The Staple Singers 3:45
  75. 14 Are You Sure The Staple Singers 4:24
  76. 15 If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) The Staple Singers 4:25
  77. 16 Touch a Hand (Make a Friend) The Staple Singers 3:57
  78. 17 Back Road Into Town The Staple Singers 4:16
  79. 18 Let's Do It Again The Staple Singers 4:49
  80. 19 The Weight The Staple Singers 4:35
  81. 20 Respect Yourself The Staple Singers 3:26
  82. 1 Faith and Grace The Staple Singers 3:28
  83. 2 These Are They The Staple Singers 3:26

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