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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Bar-Kays

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Album Review

True success was a long time coming for the Bar-Kays, who started out as a sort of second-line studio band behind Booker T. & the MG's at Stax Records in Memphis. After releasing an instrumental hit, "Soul Finger," and becoming the backing band for Otis Redding, it appeared the group was on its way to the kind of success that the MG's had enjoyed. Then disaster struck. The plane crash that killed Redding and his road manager in 1967 also took the lives of four of the Bar-Kays. The group was rebuilt around surviving members Ben Cauley and James Alexander, but momentum (and so much more) had been lost. It wasn't until signing to Mercury Records in 1976 and moving in a more vocal-oriented funk direction that the hits really started coming for the Bar-Kays. Several of those Mercury tracks are collected here, and although the end result is one hell of a great party record, it is a bit one-dimensional, and disguises the group's fine history as a stellar soul band.

Customer Reviews


Good collection by one of the best funk bands of all time. But I would get the "All Time Greatest" hits instead. That collection has the classic SOUL FINGER on it.

Great Song

"She Talks To Me With Her Body"-IMO the best song the Bar-Kays did! I would listen to it and my mom thought I was watching a porno movie....Sick!! LOL!!


Formed: 1966 in Memphis, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Initially a funky instrumental soul combo on Stax/Volt, the Bar-Kays were nearly destroyed when most of the band perished in the same plane crash that claimed Otis Redding. Amazingly, the Bar-Kays not only regrouped but prospered, evolving into a popular funk ensemble over the course of the '70s. They continued to score hits on the R&B charts through much of the '80s as well, making for a career longevity that no one would have predicted for Stax's formerly star-crossed number-two house band. The...
Full Bio
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Bar-Kays, The Bar-Kays
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Rock, Funk, Soul
  • Released: Jul 12, 2005

Customer Ratings