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Stax Profiles: Booker T. & the M.G.'s

Booker T. & The M.G.'s

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Album Review

The Stax Profiles titles are a series of artist compilations chosen by other recording artists. Sound familiar? The Booker T. & the MG's volume was selected, and comes with liner notes, by Elvis Costello. There are 15 cuts here, assembling a cream of the crop artist's choice. Costello was one of those cats who dug back into the Motown/Stax/Atlantic vaults for inspiration on Get Happy! and helped to kick off the soul boy '80s. His Booker T faves are a solid — if motley — pick of what grabbed him, beginning with 1968's (and these are not compiled chronologically, thankfully) "Time Is Tight," from the soundtrack to the film Up Tight. A minimal, near-pastoral organ intro introduces the classic Stax riff. It's a hell of a long song for the period, too, clocking in at just under five minutes. The surf and spy music choogle "Burnt Biscuits" (written by Chips Moman and Booker T. Jones) is next, with a poppin' little horn section from 1963 — it was a B-side, folks. "Jellybread" is, for all intents and practical purposes, a redo version of "Green Onions" with a tougher guitar line. Of curse that's here, too, but it's a live version from the Funky Broadway: Stax Revue Live at the 5/4 Ballroom set. Other common cuts are Booker T versions of "Lady Madonna," "Something," and "Hang 'Em High," which rivals the original. But killer singles such as "Chinese Checkers" are in the mix, too. 1968's Soul Limbo album is well-represented here with no less than three cuts, including "Over Easy." The single "Hip Hug-Her," off the 1971 album of the same name, is here. In all, it's a groovefest with Costello picking out the leaner, meaner, screamers. All the evidence one needs is in the live "Green Onions," and the other track from that set, the burning "Boot-Leg." Maybe this isn't a definitive collection of hits, but it is a solid, salacious slab 'o grooves.

Customer Reviews

all in one

if you don't own all the '' best of '' and ''greatest hits'' by the M.G.s then this is the one for you. Enjoy .

Kings of the "Memphis Sound"

Booker T. & the MG's could arguably be the best in-house studio band of all-time. They played on virtually every great Stax/Volt release in the 60's and were responsible for that tight, funky and oh so soulful style that made Memphis' Stax Records so incredible. Their own records are groovin' instrumentals that have stood the test of time. This is down home, gritty soul music at it's best. These guys are the true Kings of Memphis.

The mgs RULE

I am Duck Dunn's{The man with the afro and sunglasses the bass player} nephew i have met these men in real life and i can honestly say that their music defines who they are and memphis blues. This is a must buy!

Biography

Formed: 1962 in Memphis, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '10s

As the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, Booker T. & the MG's may have been the single greatest factor in the lasting value of that label's soul music, not to mention Southern soul as a whole. Their tight, impeccable grooves could be heard on classic hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Albert King, and Sam & Dave, and for that reason alone, they would deserve their subsequent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But in addition to their formidable...
Full Bio