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Carla Thomas Reviewed

| April 25, 2007 | 0 Comments

Carla Thomas
The Queen Alone
(Stax)

The latest in Stax Records’ revival re-introduces a somewhat forgotten ’60s star, Ms. Carla Thomas, a.k.a. the queen to Otis Redding’s king.

As the title of this 1969 album implies, Thomas (daughter of Rufus Thomas) is without Redding at her side, though she had solo chart hits on her own as early as 1960. As an album, The Queen Alone might be the least blatantly Memphisized Stax recording of the era. Still packed with Hayes/Porter writing credits and featuring Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn among others, “When Tomorrow Comes” could easily be mistaken as a rival Motown production. It might say a lot about Stax’s owners that a woman would be allowed to make such a departure in sound, but it says more about Thomas’ feel for what was going on outside Memphis at the time. Swaying, 12/8 ballads like “All I See Is You” and the Burt Bacharach-penned “Any Day Now” show her skill with a pop nugget, while she torches the pews on the gospel-bred “I’ll Always Have Faith In You.”

This reissue contains five bonus songs, including an alternate take of “Your Love Indeed,” which originally appeared on 1961’s Gee Whiz.

8

— Steve Forstneger

Category: Spins, Weekly

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