Staples, Mavis

Band members               Related acts

- Mavis Staples - vocals



- Roebuck 'Pops' Staple (solo efforts)

The Staples Singers




Genre: soul

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Only for the Lonely

Company: Volt

Catalog: VOS-6010

Year: 1970

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring and edge wear; white label promo copy

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4482

Price: $25.00

Cost: $66.00


There aren't many acts out there for whom I'd be willing to part with my hard earned cash site unseen.   Mavis Staples is one of those exceptions.  She is one of those singers whom God seems to have truly blessed with an amazing instrument - a voice that sounds good pretty much no matter what she's singing.


Produced by Don Davis, 1970's "Only for the Lonely" was Staples' second solo album and in spite of the dorky title and cover, it's a classic setting for her instantly recognizable voice.  Unfortunately, without the support of her father and sisters, the results are a little too heavy oriented towards heavily orchestrated ballads (most of the nine tracks are slow numbers).  With a voice like Staples' you can overlook that drawback to some extent.  Still, given she's so much better in a more up-tempo, pseudo-Gospel environment Volt's decision to try to market her as a diva was an artistic and commercial mistake.  Probably not a surprise, but my personal favorites are the handful of up tempo numbers, including 'You're the Fool', 'What Happened To the Real Me' and 'It Makes Me Wanna Cry'.  


"Only for the Lonely" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) I Have Learned To Do Without You   (Barnes - Don Davis - Jordan) - 4:14

2.) How Many Times   (Frank - Soule - Woodford) - 3:27

3.) Endlessly   (Benton - Otis) - 3:19

4.) You're the Fool   (McMahan) - 2:46


(side 2)

1.) Since I Fell for You   (Johnson) - 3:41

2.) What Happened To the Real Me   (Penzabene) - 2:40

3.) Since You Became a Part of My Life   (Bridges - Eaton - Knight - Stone) - 3:34

4.) It Makes Me Wanna Cry  (Banks) - 2:56

5.) Don't Change Me Now - 2:25





4.) Don't Change Me Now   (Ballard - Briggs - Carter) - 2:29

Genre: soul

Rating: * (1 star)

Title:  Oh What a Feeling

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: BSK-3319

Year: 1979

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor edge wear; small cut out notch along lower seam

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4700

Price: $9.00

Cost: $66.00



The combination of Mavis Staples' magnificent voice (Prince was right when he said she was the epitamy of soul), producers Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett and the cream of Muscle Shoals studio musicians should have been magical.  Unfortunately, it isn't.  Most of 1979's "Oh What a Feeling" is pedestrian, if not outright boring.  Exemplified by material such as the discofied opener 'Tonight I Feel Like Dancing'' and 'You're Made That Way' (c'mon, why try to turn her into The Doobie Brothers?), even Staples' can't rescue this plodding collection. To tell you the truth, it's hard to even come up with a favorite track.  If forced in a corner, I'd give the nod to the title track, or the mildly funky 'If I Can't Have You'.  Not that it's good, rather it isn't as bad as the rest of the album.  Sad, sad, sad ...  Elsewhere, in a shameless effort to score a hit with the disco crowd, Warner Brothers tapped 'Tonight I Feel Like Dancing' b/w 'If I Can't Have You' (Warner Brothers catalog WBS-8838) as a single.


"Only for the Lonely" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Tonight I Feel Like Dancing   (P. Alves - Barry Beckett - M. Giacomell - George Jackson) - 6:08

2.) Let Love Come Between Us   (J. Wyker III) - 3:24

3.) Loving You   (R. Fairfax - Al Green - F. Jordan) - 4:07

4.) I Don't Want To Lose My Good Thing   (Larry John McNally) - 3:15

5.) I've Been To the Well Before   (Paul Kelly) - 3:54


(side 2)

1.) Oh What a Feeling   (J. Weaver - T. Jones III) -3:03

2.) If I Can't Have You   (Paul Kelly) - 4:48

3.) You're Made That Way   (Michael McDonald - Keith Knudson - Jeff Baxter) - 3:55

4.) I Miss You (Since You've Gone)   (Paul Kelly) - 5:03

5.) We Got Love   (Paul Kelly) - 2:47



Genre: soul

Rating: ** (2 star)

Title:  Time Waits For No One

Company: Paisley Park

Catalog: 25798-1

Year: 1989

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor edge wear; original lyric inner sleeve; small promo stamp on front cover

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5046

Price: $9.00


Mavis Staples and Prince got to know each other while working on the film "Graffiti Bridge".  Apparently a big Staples fan, Prince subsequently signed Mavis to his newly formed Paisley Park label.


Musically Prince's fingerprints were all over Staples 1989 label debut "Time Waits For No One".  In addition to producing most of the material he wrote, or co-wrote six of the eight tracks, provided backing vocals, and played a myriad of instruments including drums, guitar, keyboards.  On tracks like 'Interesting'', 'Jaguar' and 'Train' his involvement actually overwhelmed Staples giving you the impression this was a Prince release.  To be honest, to my ears Prince's taunt, funk moves simply didn't mesh well with Staples vocal strengths. Luckily Staples has always recognized her strengths and in this case she had the smarts to bring former Stax collaborators Homer Banks, Al Bell and Lester Snell along for the ride.  Their old school moves provided most of the highlights including ''Come Home' (yeah Prince wrote and produced the song, but Banks, Bell and Snell co-produced it), and 'The Old Songs'.  While the album attracted strong reviews from the critics it was essentially lost in the blizzard of late-1980s product being churned out by Prince.  Too bad since it's an interesting, if not entirely successful experiment in styles.  At least three 12" singles were pulled from the LP:


- 1989's '20th Century Express' b/w 'All the Discomforts of Home' (Paisley Park catalog number 0-21211)

- 1989's 'Jaguar' b/w 'Jaguar' (Paisley Park catalog number 0-21287)

- 1989 'Time Waits For No One' b/w 'Time Waits For No One' (Paisley Park catalog number PRO-A-3813)



"Time Waits For No One" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Interesting   (Prince) - 4:28
2.) 20th Century Express  (Homer Banks - Lester Snell) - 3:55
3.) Come Home
   (Prince) - 5:29
4.) Jaguar
   (Prince) - 5:31


(side 2)

1.) Train   (Prince) - 4:26
2.) The Old Songs    (Homer Banks - Lester Snell) - 5:02
3.) I Guess I'm Crazy  (Prince) - 4:10
4.) Time Waits For No One   (Mavis Staples - Prince) - 6:12




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