When I was growing up in the sixties, Atlantic Records used to have this really cool series of albums called Super Hits, where they would compile about twelve of their biggest-selling singles onto a single LP.
Since the Atlantic/Atco roster was one of the strongest in music at the time, this made these samplers can't-beat propositions. There usually wasn't a single clunker in the bunch. The album sleeves, which featured quasi-psychedelic cartoons with individual illustrations of every track, also pulled off the nifty trick of putting many of the top rock, psychedelic, and soul acts side-by-side in a single package.
So where on the one hand you might have Cream, Vanilla Fudge, and Buffalo Springfield; on the other you'd get Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Sam And Dave. Balancing both sides out, there was also usually a track in there by the Rascals, who were Atlantic's golden boys of blue-eyed soul at the time.
The reason I bring all this up — aside from the fact that I really miss those compilations (which are long since out-of-print) — is the many similarities with them I found on Stax Number Ones, the newly issued collection of Stax Records tracks from Concord Music Group.
I'm not one hundred percent sure what the relationship between the original Memphis-based Stax Records and Ahmet Ertegun's much bigger Atlantic label was in the sixties. What is clear is that the bread and butter of each was southern-fried soul and R&B, and to that end many of the same artists and even the same tracks from those old Atlantic Super Hits collections show up on Stax Number Ones as well.
Specifically, Otis Redding's "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay" and Sam & Dave's monster hits "Soul Man" and "Hold On I'm Comin'" are cornerstones of both the Atlantic and Stax compilations, and as such are also textbook examples of the two different sides of sixties soul. Where Redding's ballad was an early forerunner to the smoother soul of latter-day Quiet Storm formats, Sam & Dave's twin slices of sixties funk are both party classics that endure to this day.