Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stax Records: I Ain't Particular

“Color me green, cause that’s what they call me . . . all because I’m lovin’ you; but they can color me blue if I had to . . . live one day without you.” Isaac Hayes and David Porter wrote those lyrics to “I Ain’t Particular,” which became a bubbling under hit for Stax recording artist Johnnie Taylor. Stax’s promotional department referred to this former gospel singer as the “Philosopher of Soul.”

This particular song was not Taylor’s most famous and it certainly wasn’t his highest charting record. “Disco Lady” on Columbia, his only #1 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts, holds that distinction. He had numerous other hits – including a dozen or so on Stax that I skipped over for this tune. Why?

Well, the reason is a very superficial one. I wanted to feature the little used green Stax label that was only utilized for five new releases in 1968. While re-releases were issued also on this particular label during that year, only one single each from Mable John (45-249), Rufus Thomas (45-250), Carla Thomas (45-251), Albert King (45-252), and Johnnie Taylor (45-253) debuted with the green label. In fact, Taylor’s recording was the last new Stax record to be distributed by Atlantic.

Now is that superficial or what? Since I already featured Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, and Albert King, only Mabel John and Johnnie Taylor remained. While I like Mabel John’s “Able Mabel,” I like Taylor’s recording better. Its overall chart performance is sad, as Isaac Hayes and David Porter had outdone themselves with the writing of this Stax classic.

“I Ain’t Particular” really had a lackluster showing by charting only as high as #45 on the R&B charts. It failed to chart within or even come close to the Hot 100. The single was produced by M.G.’s drummer Al Jackson and guitarist Steve Cropper. It’s a great tune and I hope you like it.

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