"Soul Man." "Hold On! I'm Comin'!" "B-A-B-Y." "Your Good Thing Is About to End." "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby." The music of David Porter defined the sound of Stax Records, and by extension, soul music itself. Porter wrote those classic R&B tunes in collaboration with Isaac Hayes, but whereas his musical partner embraced the spotlight, Porter largely stayed out of it. Much as Hayes did, Porter launched a solo career, but his four Stax LPs recorded between 1970 and 1973 became cult classics rather than full-blown commercial successes. Now, this remarkable songwriter, producer, musician, and A&R man - he signed The Emotions, The Soul Children and others to the legendary Memphis label - is returning with his first full-length original musical statement in almost fifty years.
Vinyl Me, Please is teaming with Made in Memphis Entertainment (MIME) to premiere Porter's Chapter 1...Back in the Day, the first all-original album to arrive under his name since 1973's Sweat and Love. (2019's The Classics featured re-recordings of his hits with autobiographical narration.) This new 10-song set finds the multi-hyphenate talent digging into the archives of his Robosac Music firm. As that treasure trove houses over 200 demos, Chapter 1 promises to just be the first of a series of volumes.
In a statement provided by VMP, Porter reveals the motivation for this new collection. "Just as Isaac Hayes and I found our place in the industry, I knew future generations would find their place too," he says. "I just never imagined through a new method called sampling they'd find ways to show love and respect to what I did while also establishing their own individuality. That idea was additional motivation in doing this series of my never-released material, beginning with Chapter 1, with the same flavor that has given me a lifetime of joy." Indeed, Porter's hit songs have been sampled by a wide range of artists including Mariah Carey, The Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z.
The record club's Music Director Andrew Winistorfer adds, "David Porter is one of the most important songwriters of the last 60 years, and the idea that he had an archive of songs that he was just sitting on, waiting for the right time to record was immediately exciting and mind-blowing for us. It's an honor for us to bring these classic-sounding 'lost' songs to light via being the first place to hear and buy this record, in the way it's intended: on vinyl."
The demos on Chapter 1...Back in the Day were fleshed out with young singers from Porter's MIME circle as well as a band composed of members who've played for both Stax and Hi Records. Recording was completed at MIME's 4U Recording Studios in (where else?) Memphis. The album is due for release from VMP in September, and it will be pressed on 180-gram black vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing (MRP). Visit Vinyl Me, Please at the below link to order and for further information.
David Porter, Chapter 1...Back in the Day (MIME Records) (Vinyl Me, Please)
- Elevator Love
- 365 Days to Never
- Move Your Body (Let's Groove)
- By Your Side
- Where Did the Thrill Go
- If I Have to Do Wrong
- Weather Any Storm
- Fire and Water