On her new Stax Records tribute album, MEmphis Rock & Soul, Melissa Etheridge covers The Staple Singers’ 1971 crossover hit Respect Yourself, and it’ll get you pumped. We’re excited to premiere it here, below.
The album, set to released in full in early October, will also feature covers of songs by Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, and William Bell, collecting some of the greats from a label that defined Memphis soul music through the ‘60s and early ‘70s.
While the original certainly doesn’t leave anything to be desired, Etheridge’s fierce vocals are backed by a band featuring the Hodges Brothers, who comprised part of the Hi Rhythm Section house band, which played on tracks for Al Green and Ann Peebles. They hit a groove and stick with it, slowing down the original tempo to more of a declaration than an exhortation, like it’s already a foregone conclusion that you do respect yourself. You already know!