RELEASE
April 25, 2006
LABEL
Stax
GENRES
Rhythm & Blues, Instrumental Rock, Soul, Southern Soul, Memphis Soul, AM Pop

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.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Time Is Tighthttp://itunes.apple.com/album/time-is-tight/id147678035?i=147678039&uo=5
  2. Burnt Biscuitshttp://itunes.apple.com/album/burnt-biscuits/id147678035?i=147678066&uo=5
  3. Jellybreadhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/jellybread/id147678035?i=147678071&uo=5
  4. Chinese Checkershttp://itunes.apple.com/album/chinese-checkers/id147678035?i=147678075&uo=5
  5. Boot-Leg [Live]http://itunes.apple.com/album/boot-leg-live/id147678035?i=147678082&uo=5
  6. Heads or Tailshttp://itunes.apple.com/album/heads-or-tails/id147678035?i=147678085&uo=5
  7. Hip Hug-Herhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/stax-profiles-booker-t-the-m-g-s/id147678035?uo=5
  8. Lady Madonnahttp://itunes.apple.com/album/lady-madonna/id147678035?i=147678101&uo=5
  9. Over Easyhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/over-easy/id147678035?i=147678104&uo=5
  10. Hang 'Em Highhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/hang-em-high/id147678035?i=147678111&uo=5
  11. Soul Clap '69http://itunes.apple.com/album/soul-clap-69/id147678035?i=147678120&uo=5
  12. Somethinghttp://itunes.apple.com/album/something/id147678035?i=147678123&uo=5
  13. Sunday Sermonhttp://itunes.apple.com/album/sunday-sermon/id147678035?i=147678127&uo=5
  14. Green Onions [Live]http://itunes.apple.com/album/green-onions-live/id147678035?i=147678130&uo=5
  15. Fuquawuihttp://itunes.apple.com/album/stax-profiles-booker-t-the-m-g-s/id147678035?uo=5
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