||From the Vault...
Booker T. & The M.G.'s
© Atlantic Records
I Got A Woman
Twist And Shout
Stranger On The Shore
One Who Really
You Can't Sit Down
A Woman A Lover
Comin' Home Baby
Booker T. & The M.G.'s related sites:
Booker T. & The M.G.'s
Booker T Jones formed a great band of Memphis recording musicians, including
the likes of guitarist Steve "The Colonel" Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn, who
would later become more well-known as musicians for The Blues Brothers. Jones'
band would also be the backup band for many artists on the Stax/Volt record label,
such as Otis Redding, Albert King, Wilson Pickett, and Sam and Dave.
Booker T. & The MG's (Memphis Group) first album was released in 1962, and it
features their most memorable hit, "Green Onions," a song that was also
performed by The Blues Brothers in later years.
The opening track needs no introduction, it's the most famous Booker T. &
The MG's tune, "Green Onions." "Rinky Dink" has a more 1950s instrumental
feel, most especially the guitar lick identically heard on Mickey & Sylvia's
"Love Is Strange." Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman" may have more soul
than this version, as it has the 1950s feel, yet it's a little bit faster than
Charles' version, and not as entertaining as the original.
"Mo' Onions" has a similar sound to "Green Onions," where
most acts from the late 1950s had a popular song, there were "copycat" tunes,
where it may not exactly sound like the original hit that made it big, but
another similarity. "Twist and Shout," has the instrumental organ as
it's key instrument, and it reminds me of other organists at the time, such
as Dave "Baby" Cortez and a song by Earl Grant, "Swingin' Gently."
(Remember folks, "Twist and Shout" was NOT originally covered by the
Beatles -- as this album was released in 1962; The Beatles would surface 2
years later. Actually, it was the Isley Brothers who had the original version
of "Twist and Shout."
"Behave Yourself" sounds a lot better, and would distinguish Booker
T. & The MG's sound in later releases. It's true soul R&B, and as soulful as
the title track. "Stranger On The Shore" would be a popular instrumental
for Mr. Acker Bilk (#1), where Bilk displayed his clarinet as the main instrument.
Here, Booker T. gives this song a very soulful and sexy sound, where this
version may just have outvoted Bilk's version if given the chance.
"Lovely Avenue" is another soulful classic. It's slowness in R&B
will have the standard blues and jazz lover enjoying this tune. "One Who
Really Loves You" is more upbeat, almost as upbeat and snappy as Chuck
Berry's "Havana Moon." "You Can't Sit Down" is another upbeat R&B song,
and could pass as a Surf tune, as Surf music was just getting popular in 1962.
Bluesy best describes "A Woman, A Lover, A Friend." It's slow blues
feel showcases Booker T. & The MG's music to turn heads, as music fans would
realize that music without vocals can be just as entertaining. "Comin'
Home Baby" has a jazzy style, and the leslie-sounding organ is truly a
standout, as Booker T. Jones' organ often does.
Putting its own sound of jazz and blues to late 1950s and very early 1960s
tunes is how Booker T. & The MG's started out on their debut album. Members of
the MG's would pen 3 songs of their own for this release, as they would write
more material of their own later. They would also improve with each release,
defining their own sound and style. Empahsizing on two key instruments,
Booker T. Jones' organ, and Steve Cropper's guitar style, with Donald "Duck"
Dunn's smooth controlled bass, truly makes the band remarkable, and gives
instrumental music a lot more class than the standard vocals with music.
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