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  1. #1
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    William Bell: Never Like This Before-Complete Stax Singles 1961-1968 [Ace-5/27/22]

    Iconic veteran Southern soul man William Bell has been in the business of making records for 66 years, and was with Memphis’ fabled Stax label for virtually its entire 15-year existence [1960-1975]. In that time, he composed and recorded many songs that are rightly regarded as classics, from his Stax debut ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’ to the classic blues song ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ to his hit duet with Judy Clay, ‘Private Number’.
    Ace Records has represented William’s Stax catalogue in the UK for longer than the label originally existed, and we have issued a number of CDs over the years, including original albums and “Best Of” packages, but this month sees the release of the first of two CD sets that will, between them, anthologise the A and B-sides all of William’s solo singles for Stax.
    “Never Like This Before” covers the first seven years of William’s Stax catalogue, and rounds up all 14 of the singles that came out on Stax’s original blue label design with the ‘Stack Of Records’ logo. Among the classics featured are the aforementioned ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’, William’s holiday perennial ‘Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday’ and his heartfelt salute to his recently-deceased Stax labelmate Otis Redding, ‘A Tribute To A King’ – to name but a few.
    William is, of course, backed on all tracks by members of the legendary Stax ‘house band’ Booker T & the MGs and the Memphis Horns.
    Arranged in sequence of release and with a booklet featuring extensive annotation and illustration, “Never Like This Before” lives up to its title and offers premium quality Southern soul in a package worthy of the man who, at the age of 82, is still singing many of these songs in live shows, and singing them as well as he ever did!
    The second of our two packages, covering the ‘Yellow’ Stax years of 1968 to 1974, will follow later in 2022.
    Tony Rounce



    • 1. You Don't Miss Your Water
    • 2. Formula Of Love
    • 3. Any Other Way
    • 4. Please Help Me I'm Falling
    • 5. I Told You So
    • 6. What'Cha Gonna Do
    • 7. Just As I Thought
    • 8. I'm Waiting On You
    • 9. What Can I Do [To Forget]
    • 10. Somebody Mentioned Your Name
    • 11. I'll Show You
    • 12. Monkeying Around
    • 13. Don't Make Something Out Of Nothing
    • 14. Who Will It Be Tomorrow
    • 15. Crying All By Myself
    • 16. Don't Stop Now
    • 17. Share What You Got [But Keep What You Need]
    • 18. Marching Off To War
    • 19. Never Like This Before
    • 20. Soldier's Goodbye
    • 21. Everybody Loves A Winner
    • 22. You're Such A Sweet Thang
    • 23. Eloise [Hang On In There]
    • 24. One Plus One
    • 25. Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday
    • 26. Ain't Got No Girl
    • 27. A Tribute To A King
    • 28. Every Man Oughta Have A Woman





    William Bell - Never Like This Before - The Complete 'Blue' Stax Singles 1961-1968 - Ace Records


  2. #2
    Thanks for the heads up Eddie.

    Should be a great addition to anyone's collection!

    Cheers

    Paul
    Last edited by bradburger; 04-09-2022 at 05:54 PM.

  3. #3
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    What a great and unexpected release! And I’m so glad they’ve included all the B sides. This will be a beautiful set. Too bad they’re not releasing them together. I hope they do follow through with the second volume but this is a must have for sure. He had a fantastic voice and I think was really underrated and a little bit lost in the shuffle because of the many other acts on his label at the time and then when the Stax label failed I’m not sure if he had any further success after that.

    I’m surprised the marketing blurb doesn’t mention his great song “I Forgot to be Your Lover” which had another incarnation in its deconstructed version by Billy Idol as “To Be a Lover.” But I guess that one would be on the "yellow" volume so maybe that's why it's not mentioned here.

    But what a great release this will be. Fantastic news!
    Last edited by kenneth; 04-09-2022 at 04:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    What a great and unexpected release! And I’m so glad they’ve included all the B sides. This will be a beautiful set. Too bad they’re not releasing them together. I hope they do follow through with the second volume but this is a must have for sure. He had a fantastic voice and I think was really underrated and a little bit lost in the shuffle because of the many other acts on his label at the time and then when the Stax label failed I’m not sure if he had any further success after that.

    I’m surprised the marketing blurb doesn’t mention his great song “I Forgot to be Your Lover” which had another incarnation in its deconstructed version by Billy Idol as “To Be a Lover.”

    But what a great release this will be. Fantastic news!
    William Bell did have another major hit after leaving Stax in 1976 with "Tryin' To Love Two" on Mercury Records. Also, I'm sure that if/when Ace does the 2nd Volume of William's Stax Singles that "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" will be included [and mentioned in the marketing info for that release].

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    @Motown Eddie,

    I did think of "Lover" being highlighted in the second volume after I wrote my original post, and edited it, but I see you're too quick for me!

    Such great news. Thanks for posting.

    K

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    I have collected William Bell items for a long time.

    I have all the titles mentioned above.

    I have 2 albums

    Ain't Got No Girl [[ 45's Collection 1961 - 77 )
    & A Little Something Extra 60's - 1991 unreleased stuff

    edafan

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    Keep em coming!!!!!!!!!!

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    If anyone from Ace is reading, please consider bringing some of William Bell's Wilbe Recording Corporation releases to CD. Janice Bulluck's album would fit the BGP remit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    @Motown Eddie,

    I did think of "Lover" being highlighted in the second volume after I wrote my original post, and edited it, but I see you're too quick for me!

    Such great news. Thanks for posting.

    K
    You're Welcome Kenneth! I looked up William Bell's page on Wikipedia and he's had a lot of activity after leaving Stax in the '70s [along with an LP for the reactivated Stax Records]. Check it out-
    William Bell [singer] - Wikipedia

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    I saw William Bell LIVE Sept. 1966, his hit was "Share What You Got"...it was a big show at the Orlando Municipal Auditorium, THE JOE TEX SHOW, costarring MARY WELLS, besides William Bell was Lee Dorsey, Barbara Lewis, Mabel John, The Van Dykes, Peg Leg Moffit, & comedian Pigmeat Markham, all backed by the Clyde Williams Orchestra. $2.00 advance, $2.50 at the door!! I'll bet that William Bells' "Tryin to Love Two" on Mercury sold more then all his Stax records put together, as it was a Top Ten POP record. My fave by him is "I Forgot To Be Your Lover".

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    Hi!

    The complete story of William Bell in his own words -
    https://www.soulexpress.net/williambell.htm

    Best regards
    Heikki

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    You're Welcome Kenneth! I looked up William Bell's page on Wikipedia and he's had a lot of activity after leaving Stax in the '70s [along with an LP for the reactivated Stax Records]. Check it out-
    William Bell [singer] - Wikipedia

    I certainly will. I am going to purchase both this album by Bell as well as the new release by the Tempts. It's one thing to purchase their vault tracks, but with newer releases it's even more important to show our support for these great and often neglected talents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heikki View Post
    Hi!

    The complete story of William Bell in his own words -
    https://www.soulexpress.net/williambell.htm

    Best regards
    Heikki

    I can't wait to read this. It looks very in depth.

    Wikipedia shows a Stax album called "Waiting for William Bell." I've never heard of it and can't find a trace of it amongst the usual suspects [[Ebay, Amazon). Do you know if this album actually exists?

    I still have all his Stax LPs on vinyl so can't stand to have missed anything!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I can't wait to read this. It looks very in depth.

    Wikipedia shows a Stax album called "Waiting for William Bell." I've never heard of it and can't find a trace of it amongst the usual suspects [[Ebay, Amazon). Do you know if this album actually exists?

    I still have all his Stax LPs on vinyl so can't stand to have missed anything!
    I couldn't find an album on Stax called Waiting For William Bell on Wikipedia's William Bell page, Discogs or Hekki's Soul Express' William Bell discography. Hmmm...

  15. #15
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    From the Wiki Bell entry [[Discography section):


    969 Bound to Happen 49 Stax 2014
    1971 Wow ...William Bell Stax 2037
    1972 Phases of Reality Stax 3005
    1973 Waiting for William Bell Stax 3012
    1974 Relating Stax 5502
    1977 Coming Back for More 63 15 Mercury
    It's Time You Took Another Listen


    K

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    Quote Originally Posted by heikki View Post
    Hi!

    The complete story of William Bell in his own words -
    https://www.soulexpress.net/williambell.htm

    Best regards
    Heikki
    Thanks, Heikki - Bell is such an interesting, and under-rated, under discussed performer. Best to you -

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    Hi Kenneth!

    Indeed, some discographies show an album titled Waiting for William Bell:

    3012 -
    WAITING FOR - LITTLE MILTON [[reissued on CD)
    It's Amazing/Who Can Handle Me Is You/Woman You Don't Have To Be So Cold./The Thrill Is Gone//Monologue 1/That's How Strong My Love Is/What It Is/Little Bluebird.

    This is a bit of a mystery to me, because I don't remember such an album being released in 1973. I'll try to find out more information on this, hopefully from the very source.

    Thank you for raising this question up.

    Best regards
    Heikki

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    From the Wiki Bell entry [[Discography section):


    969 Bound to Happen 49 Stax 2014
    1971 Wow ...William Bell Stax 2037
    1972 Phases of Reality Stax 3005
    1973 Waiting for William Bell Stax 3012
    1974 Relating Stax 5502
    1977 Coming Back for More 63 15 Mercury
    It's Time You Took Another Listen


    K
    My Mistake. Just looked again at the Wikipedia page and there it was. Tried Discogs again entered Stax 3012 and Waiting For Little Milton showed up [as Heikki had stated in his post]. While a Waiting For William Bell LP may be listed in some discographies, it looks like that album never actually came out.
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 04-11-2022 at 04:43 AM.

  19. #19
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    You guys are amazing. I knew someone would figure out the mystery! I didn’t think to search for the catalog number… That’s a great idea. Now that Little Milton album is very intriguing! I don’t think I have anything by him on Stax, though I do know Stax recorded some great blues artists such as Jimmy McCracklin and of course one of their most famous artists, Albert King. The Little Milton album looks very interesting and I may just have to add it to my list.

    Thanks Heikki and Motown Eddie!

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    Waiting For Little Milton is a personal, all-time favorite of mine. Everything clicks. Well worth a listen. Glad to see it mentioned!

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    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    I saw William Bell LIVE Sept. 1966, his hit was "Share What You Got"...it was a big show at the Orlando Municipal Auditorium, THE JOE TEX SHOW, costarring MARY WELLS, besides William Bell was Lee Dorsey, Barbara Lewis, Mabel John, The Van Dykes, Peg Leg Moffit, & comedian Pigmeat Markham, all backed by the Clyde Williams Orchestra. $2.00 advance, $2.50 at the door!! I'll bet that William Bells' "Tryin to Love Two" on Mercury sold more then all his Stax records put together, as it was a Top Ten POP record. My fave by him is "I Forgot To Be Your Lover".
    I'm jelly to your peanut butter, Motony. Can you tell us more of your memories of the show?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Iconic veteran Southern soul man William Bell has been in the business of making records for 66 years, and was with Memphis’ fabled Stax label for virtually its entire 15-year existence [1960-1975]. In that time, he composed and recorded many songs that are rightly regarded as classics, from his Stax debut ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’ to the classic blues song ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ to his hit duet with Judy Clay, ‘Private Number’.
    Ace Records has represented William’s Stax catalogue in the UK for longer than the label originally existed, and we have issued a number of CDs over the years, including original albums and “Best Of” packages, but this month sees the release of the first of two CD sets that will, between them, anthologise the A and B-sides all of William’s solo singles for Stax.
    “Never Like This Before” covers the first seven years of William’s Stax catalogue, and rounds up all 14 of the singles that came out on Stax’s original blue label design with the ‘Stack Of Records’ logo. Among the classics featured are the aforementioned ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’, William’s holiday perennial ‘Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday’ and his heartfelt salute to his recently-deceased Stax labelmate Otis Redding, ‘A Tribute To A King’ – to name but a few.
    William is, of course, backed on all tracks by members of the legendary Stax ‘house band’ Booker T & the MGs and the Memphis Horns.
    Arranged in sequence of release and with a booklet featuring extensive annotation and illustration, “Never Like This Before” lives up to its title and offers premium quality Southern soul in a package worthy of the man who, at the age of 82, is still singing many of these songs in live shows, and singing them as well as he ever did!
    The second of our two packages, covering the ‘Yellow’ Stax years of 1968 to 1974, will follow later in 2022.
    Tony Rounce



    • 1. You Don't Miss Your Water
    • 2. Formula Of Love
    • 3. Any Other Way
    • 4. Please Help Me I'm Falling
    • 5. I Told You So
    • 6. What'Cha Gonna Do
    • 7. Just As I Thought
    • 8. I'm Waiting On You
    • 9. What Can I Do [To Forget]
    • 10. Somebody Mentioned Your Name
    • 11. I'll Show You
    • 12. Monkeying Around
    • 13. Don't Make Something Out Of Nothing
    • 14. Who Will It Be Tomorrow
    • 15. Crying All By Myself
    • 16. Don't Stop Now
    • 17. Share What You Got [But Keep What You Need]
    • 18. Marching Off To War
    • 19. Never Like This Before
    • 20. Soldier's Goodbye
    • 21. Everybody Loves A Winner
    • 22. You're Such A Sweet Thang
    • 23. Eloise [Hang On In There]
    • 24. One Plus One
    • 25. Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday
    • 26. Ain't Got No Girl
    • 27. A Tribute To A King
    • 28. Every Man Oughta Have A Woman





    William Bell - Never Like This Before - The Complete 'Blue' Stax Singles 1961-1968 - Ace Records

    You find great releases, MEd, and I'm always glad to see your posts. Bell is one of the performers well worth exploring. Thanks for your efforts -

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    You find great releases, MEd, and I'm always glad to see your posts. Bell is one of the performers well worth exploring. Thanks for your efforts -
    And Thank You PNH [I also enjoy your posts too].

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Waiting For Little Milton is a personal, all-time favorite of mine. Everything clicks. Well worth a listen. Glad to see it mentioned!
    I found it on Amazon for only $10 so I ordered it. Looking forward to hearing it.

    What I love about this forum is you learn about new music all the time that you hadn’t heard before, and in unexpected ways. I never knew Little Milton recorded for Stax or I likely would’ve bought this one before. It’s great discovering music this way.
    Last edited by kenneth; 04-12-2022 at 04:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I found it on Amazon for only $10 so I ordered it. Looking forward to hearing it.

    What I love about this forum is you learn about new music all the time that you hadn’t heard before, and in unexpected ways. I never knew Little Milton recorded for Stax or I likely would’ve bought this one before. It’s great discovering music this way.
    kenneth, Little Milton is featured prominently in the film Wattstax; he's not among the onstage talent, but was filmed miming to a blistering version of "Walking the Backstreets and Crying" by a barrel fire next to a railroad depot. And wait until you hear “Little Bluebird" from the set you're getting--pure TNT.
    Last edited by sansradio; 04-13-2022 at 07:15 AM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    kenneth, Little Milton is featured prominently in the film Wattstax; he's not among the onstage talent, but was filmed miming to a blistering version of "Walking the Backstreets and Crying" by a barrel fire next to a railroad depot. And wait until you hear “Little Bluebird" from the set you're getting--pure TNT.
    I can't wait to hear it! What's so fun about this discovery is how it started from an obscure catalog number which was mistakenly attributed to William Bell.

    There seems to be a 2-fer available with "Waiting" paired with another Little Milton album on Stax, but that CD was being offered for close to $100. Unbelievable how much prices can vary on Amazon, and I seriously wonder if any of these super highly priced albums ever sell at such prices. I would have loved to have the 2-fer, but with a $90 difference had to go with the single CD!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    I'm jelly to your peanut butter, Motony. Can you tell us more of your memories of the show?
    William Bell only did 2 songs "You Don't Miss Your Water" & "Share What You Got", which was a big hit on WOKB, our Soul radio station, Lee Dorsey really worked the crowd with "Ride Your Pony" when he pulled out a cap gun on the shoot part, the crowd went wild.The Van Dykes were GREAT "Ive Got To Go On Without You" & "No Man is an Island" , Barbara Lewis did "Baby I'm Yours & Hello Stranger" Pigmeat Markham did his Here Come the Judge routine then I could see gold sparkling high heels behind the curtain & I told my brother, I know thats Mary & sure enough when she came out the crowd went crazy to the opening of "Dear Lover", nobody could enter a stage like Mary back then.She had that tight orange gown that the bottom of swayed back & forth. We had not seen her since we had met her in 1962, but she said she saw our little white faces on the 2nd row. After Dear Lover she did "two Lovers" The One Who Really Loves You" "My Guy" & ended with a rousing "Bye Bye Baby".I told her after the show how DJs acted kinda weird when I requested her new records & then say Motown don't want us playin her stuff.It would be another 4 years before we saw her LIVE again.

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    Got the Little Milton album in the mail today and listened to it straight through twice while out driving. It is indeed an excellent album. I never listened to him before. In some tracks his voice sounds a lot like Albert King at times...although I think King had a "thicker" quality to his voice and was more plaintive sounding [[like in "Born Under a Bad Sign").

    But what a great album! I do really like his version of "The Thrill is Gone," a song I don't think I've ever heard done badly, but that might me as I love that song so much. But I love even more his version of "That's How Strong My Love Is" with the Soul Children on background vocals! That's a great oft-recorded song as well, I've heard it by everyone from Humble Pie [[with the Blackberries on background I think) to the Sweet Inspirations. I love the long, extended workout in the Little Milton version.

    Such a fun find especially as I learned about this album from a misidentified catalog number in the William Bell Wiki discography.

    Thanks P&H and Sansradio and all. My SDF brothers never let me down!

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    I recently downloaded all of William Bell's Stax albums, including his latest, 2016's This Is Where I Live. I’ve not listened to all of it yet, but it’s struck me so far as really nice album… retro yet modern, country yet soulful… a worthy addition to the mighty Stax catalogue. Anyone else listened to it?

    Here's the album's closing number… a really nice track called "People Want To Go Home"…


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    Hi Tom!

    My review of the album in 2016 -
    https://www.soulexpress.net/deep4_2016.htm#williambell

    Best regards
    Heikki

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    Quote Originally Posted by heikki View Post
    Hi Tom!

    My review of the album in 2016 -
    https://www.soulexpress.net/deep4_2016.htm#williambell

    Best regards
    Heikki
    Well written, concise review.

    I had no idea the Stax imprint was still being used, and it looks like by Concord Music Group. I'm assuming this evolved from the Concord jazz label which recorded so many jazz greats late in their careers and produced many great albums by the likes of Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney and others.

    This album looks like one well worth having.

    Thanks Heikki.
    Last edited by kenneth; 05-05-2022 at 10:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heikki View Post
    Hi Tom!

    My review of the album in 2016 -
    https://www.soulexpress.net/deep4_2016.htm#williambell

    Best regards
    Heikki
    Great review heikki! Thanks.

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    Thank you, Tom and Kenneth.
    Actually, a year later I met Mr. Bell again and among other things he shortly talked about this CD -

    https://www.soulexpress.net/deep5_2017.htm#williambell

    Best regards
    Heikki

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