Singer-songwriter William Bell was the first male vocalist to have a hit on Stax Records--1961's "You Don't Miss Your Water"--and he remained with the company until its doors closed in 1975. This compact disc combines his two final Stax albums--1973's Phases of Reality and the following year's Relating--both of which he had a major hand in producing. The made-in Muscle Shoals Phases is notable for its several songs of social consciousness, as well as for "True Love Don't Come Easy," an especially inspired mix of country and soul that features Bell with the Sweet Inspirations. On Relating, which was cut in Memphis, he warmly applies his resonant low-tenor tones to tunes about romantic relationships.
Save Us, True Love Don't Come Easy, Fifty Dollar Habit, What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me, Phases of Reality, If You Really Love Him, Lonely for Your Love, The Man in the Street, Lovin' on Borrowed Time, All I Need Is Your Love, Such a Fever, Nobody Walks Away from Love Unhurt, Gettin' What You Want (Losin' What You Got), I've Got to Go on Without You, Drinkin' and Thinkin', You've Got the Kind of Love I Need, You Don't Want a Man, Nobody But You