Gospel / Soul

The Staple Singers: “Respect Yourself”

by Rupert Bottenberg

A simple but effective animated video for the powerful, politically charged “Respect Yourself”, a massive hit in 1971 for the number-one family in gospel soul.

In their heyday at the turn of the ’70s, Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his children, including the mighty Mavis, were the number-one name in gospel soul, and they brought their music’s spiritual strength out of the church and into the streets. Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection, an exhaustive seven-disc overview of the their discography, is out November 13 on Craft Recordings. In the meantime (and right before the big American election), the label has shared a simple but effective animated video for the powerful, politically charged “Respect Yourself”, a massive hit in 1971. Juxtaposing images and slogans of protest from then and now, it shows how little necessary change has occurred – and reminds us that the socially aware soul music of the Stax label hasn’t lost its staying power either.

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