Stax Profiles

by: Carla Thomas

Carla Thomas' recordings for Stax Records had more of a pop sheen than most of the other artists on the label's roster, and her sides often featured involved orchestration and a distinct, almost Motown feel. This doesn't mean she didn't bring the soul, though; she could more than hold her own in duets with Otis Redding, after all. This well-chosen set (Motown's Mable John made the selection) covers tracks recorded between 1960 and 1972 at Stax, and includes Thomas' magnificent cover of Barbara Lynn's "You'll Lose a Good Thing," the sensual and absolutely glorious "Sugar," and a pair of Thomas' biggest hits, "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)" -- she was still a teen when she recorded it -- and "I Like What You're Doing (To Me)." Somehow managing to sound sweet, innocent, wounded, worldly, sensual, and seductive by turns on these tracks (and sometimes all at once), Thomas is undoubtedly one of the greatest singers to ever come out of the Stax studios, and that's saying something. ~ Steve Leggett

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