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Carla Thomas: The Queen Alone

Album Reviews:

Living Blues (p.59) - "[T]here's no denying that she and the others were at the height of their powers when it came time to cut these sessions."

Album Notes

Originally issued on Stax (718) in May, 1967. Includes original release liner notes by Joe Bogart and Frank Costa.

Digitally remastered by BIll Inglot & Dan Hersch.

Carla Thomas was more than deserving of her title "The Queen of Memphis Soul," but she was hardly oblivious to the sleeker, more pop-influenced sweet soul and uptown soul coming out of Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago. One of her strongest albums, The Queen Alone isn't the work of someone who took a Memphis-only approach, but of someone who was well aware of what Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Martha Reeves and others were up to. What's surprising is the fact that this album (reissued on CD in 1992) contains only two hits: the playful "Something Good (Is Going to Happen to You)," which made it to number 29 on Billboard's soul singles chart, and the idealistic, gospel-influenced ballad and number 11 R&B single "I'll Always Have Faith in You." Songs ranging from the sweet and vulnerable "I Want to Be Your Baby" to the remorseful "All I See Is You" and the pessimistic "Any Day Now" (a song co-written by Burt Bacharach) weren't singles, but it wasn't for a lack of heartfelt singing. Drawing on both Southern and Northern soul, Queen Alone is a pleasant reminder that they were equally attractive options. ~ Alex Henderson



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