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We'll Never Turn Back

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iTunes Review

The Staple Singers made a major contribution to the civil rights movement with their gospel music and socially conscious R&B, and Mavis Staples’ rich, low-register voice was at the forefront of their legendary sound. On We’ll Never Turn Back she turns in some funky and high-energy reinventions of such anthems as “Eyes on the Prize,” “This Little Light,” “99 and ½,” and “Turn Me Around,” honoring the tradition of the songs while making them contemporary and relevant. There are also stunning updates of older gospel blues numbers like “Jesus on the Main Line” and “I’ll Be Rested,” and a blistering rendition of J.B. Lenoir’s “Down in Mississippi,” in which she adds a touching autobiographical anecdote over a deep, swampy groove. A big part of the album’s success is Ry Cooder, who simply does a brilliant job as both guitarist and producer. The two mesh so well it’s hard to believe it’s their first time recording together. They’re both instinctive musicians who rely heavily on feel, and they create some magic here, with help from the original SNCC Freedom Singers and Ladysmith Black Mambazo on backing vocals. Full of power, soul, and grace, this is the best solo recording of her career, and it’s certain to be one of the strongest releases of 2007.

Customer Reviews

Truly great

No one sings like Mavis, no one plays guitar like Ry Cooder, and Jim Keltner is probably the greatest living drummer aside from Charlie Watts. If this record doesn't move your shall not be moved.

That song, that exit, that moment!

I was traveling on I-75 one morning, entering the exit ramp for Rosa Parks Boulevard in downtown Detroit, when Mavis Staples singing "Eyes on the Prize" came on the radio. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and a chill ran down my spine. The spirit of the Civil Rights movement was flowing from my speakers. Rosa Parks Boulevard was called 12th Street back in July 1967.....

That song, that exit, that moment!

Wow! Thank you, Ms. Staples.

Only 2 reviews so far ?

Don't write many reviews however I'm kinda astounded that only 2 people have for this spectacular musical journey. Mavis & company made what I thought to be the best disk of 07. So current w/ the times and could say my theme song for Baracks' run ~ "Eyes on the Prize". Mrs Staples can nock down any current women singer with true emotion & pure power.


Born: July 10, 1939 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in 1939 in Chicago, Mavis Staples achieved wide recognition as lead singer for the Staple Singers. She first recorded solo for Stax subsidiary Volt in 1969. Subsequent efforts included a Curtis Mayfield-produced soundtrack on Curtom, a disappointing nod to disco for Warner in 1979, a misguided stab at electro-pop with Holland-Dozier-Holland in 1984, and an uneven album for Paisley Park. Staples has a rich contralto voice that has neither the range of Aretha Franklin nor the power of Patti LaBelle....
Full Bio