MEDIA BLACKOUT #669.330!
SIZZLING PLATTERS OF THE WEEK: Booker T. & The MGs – Green Onions
(Stax) :: Brothers and Sisters, the Stax Remasters series just keeps on strollin’ on with one of the more notable reissues
being this essential epochal edition from 1962 that, fifty years later, still remains the sonic standard for sensational
soul-soaked instrumentals. You may have heard the title track enough times to turn green in the face, but when’s the
last time you listened to the remaining eleven numbers, all of which are presented here in the best remastered mono that money
can buy? Bonus points including two searing stereophonic live tracks from 1965 which make the original studio versions sound
positively sedate by comparison.
The Beatles – Green Apples (Parlophone) :: I wish.
& The MGs – McLemore Avenue (Stax) :: And speaking of the Four Fabs, the Bookman is back with
this mostly-instrumental remake/remodel of Abbey Road, which was recorded in 1969 mere months after the Beatles released
their iconic album. One of the things that makes McLemore Avenue so memorably unique is that, rather than
ape the album’s actual 17 track running order, the band opted instead to scuttle four songs and reconfigure the remaining
13 into only four tracks, three of which contain lengthy resequenced medleys. The result is a soulfully smooth stylistic retooling
that doesn’t attempt to imitate so much as it inventively extrapolates and augments—and that goes double for Booker’s
remaining Beatle takes which are included as bonus tracks.
Johnnie Taylor – Taylored In Silk
(Stax) :: Meanwhile, this smooth as you know what masterpiece from Stax’s resident blues wailin’ Soul Philosopher
finds him in fine fettle, most notably on the cautionary up-tempo tale “It’s Cheaper To Keep Her” wherein
JT tells every man what he oughtta do if he didn’t heed Cab Calloway’s earlier era entreaty to beware, brother,
beware: “You’re tied up, you better stay tied up ’cause it’s cheaper to keep her! Son, you’re
gonna pay some alimony or do some time!”
The Staple Singers – Be Altitude: Respect Yourself
(Stax) :: Simply put, this is one of the greatest R&B slash Funk slash Pop albums ever waxed for public posterity, period.
It’s also educationally enlightening in that when the Staples sing: “You the kind of gentleman that want everything
your way; take the sheet off your face boy, it’s a brand new day” on the title track they ain’t just whistlin’
in Dixie. Nor are they kidding any less when they wax poetic on the musically minimal but no less persuasive “I’ll
Take You There”—and those are just the two tracks that you already know about, what with them being global hit
singles and all. In the meantime, which is definitely a groovy time, wrapped around those two stellar standouts are eight
additional awe-inspiring essays that effortlessly unite into one giant groove-laden feel-good celebration of faith and fidelity.
Which is why, if you only buy one reissue album this year, you really oughtta ensure that it’s this one because
your heart and soul will thank you for it later—in spades.
Be seeing you!