Friday, September 25, 2020

Booker T & The MG's - The Complete Stax Singles - Vol. 1 (1962 - 1967) 2xLP - Blue Vinyl


Real Gone Music (2019)

Instrumental music isn't always my bag.  I can get down with an occasional Ventures song and I love the Minibosses, but when you try to play any of that emo Jade Tree instrumental stuff from the early 2000s, it's like NyQuil for me.  But of all of the instrumental bands in the history of recorded music, the one I like the best is Booker T & the MG's.

It doesn't hurt that Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn ended up in the Blues Brothers.  The fact that they are the backing band to most of the best songs in the history of Stax also works in their favor.  But even if you disregard all of the accolades they acquired working with others, their standalone work is still of the absolute highest caliber.  There are few bands that can sink into a groove the same way that Booket T & The MGs do.

The rhythm section of Al Jackson Jr. on drums with Lewie Steinberg or Donald Duck Dunn on Bass (Steinberg: 1962-1965/Duck: 1965-1967) lay down an unshakeable foundation.  You could almost throw anything on top of it and still end up smelling like roses.  The fact that what was added in is the incredible guitar work of Steve Cropper and the keyboard wizardry of Booker T is what makes the band stand out, even with no vocals.

I love having a nice double LP of some of their greatest songs all in one place.  The pressing sounds great and these songs just come alive when the volume is nice and loud.  The only thing that I don't love are that four of the songs are Christmas songs.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas music and the Booker T Christmas album is a long time favorite, but it's a little weird to be listening to the record and have a few Christmas songs pop up in the middle when it's August.  I certainly understand the desire to call something the complete singles and have it actually be complete, but if they left those 4 off the release, I wouldn't have been too bummed.

Booker T & the MG's - "Green Onions":

Booker T & the MG's - "Hip Hug Her":

Booker T & the MG's - "Boot-Leg":

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