In 1991, Atlantic issued “The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959–1968“, a nine-disc compact disc boxed set containing all of the Atlantic-era Stax A-sides.
I missed out on that and only subsequently bought into Volumes 2 (1968-1971) and 3 (1972-1975), which were released by Fantasy in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Those latter two volumes have been getting the limelight on my stereo time and again and it always irked me that I had missed out on the first volume, which also earned Grammy Award nominations for producer Steve Greenberg (Best Historical Album) and for writer Rob Bowman (Best Album Notes) and event went gold in 2001 (the largest collection of CDs ever to have earned that certification).
For years I looked around the second hand marketplaces and never found an affordable copy. At some point I just gave up looking.
Well, as it turns out (and for some reason I was slow on the uptake), the first volume was reissued in January of 2016 as a small cube with a lift-off top and when I stumbled over that one for around 25 Euro, I snatched it up … and so should you. Fabulous music!
The Stax/Volt labels (Volt was a subsidiary) did have a more than convoluted history (in the Stax/Volt Wikipedia entry, check what happened when Jim Stewart signed a formal national distribution deal with Atlantic Records in 1965 without reading the contract), and so did these boxed sets. Volume 1 rolled around in April of 1991 as a hefty 12 x 12 LP-sized box (as did volumes 2 and 3 later on, both of which I have), was reissued in 2003 as a smaller box (containing 9 jewelcases) and finally as mid-priced individual volumes. Then all of those reincarnations were deleted (and prices for second-hand copies skyrocketed around the globe).
Now that Concord acquired the rights to the Stax catalog, Volume 1 is back in print.
Life is good again.