Booker T. & The MG's: Booker T. Jones (trombone, piano, electric piano, organ); Steve Cropper (guitar, bass); Donald "Duck" Dunn, Lewis Steinberg (bass); Al Jackson, Jr. (drums).
Additional personnel: Charles "Packy" Axton (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone); Wayne Jackson (trumpet).
Producers: Booker T. & The MG's, Jim Stewart.
Compilation producer: Steve Greenberg.
Includes liner notes by Steve Greenberg.
Digitally remastered by Bill Inglot.
Let's make this simple: If you don't own any albums by this seminal Memphis groove collective, without whom what we nowadays refer to as "soul music" would have been impossible, buy this disc. If you've ever enjoyed a song by any Stax recording artist--Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, or Rufus Thomas, for example--chances are excellent that the MG's were the backing band. Their inimitable guitar/bass/drum/organ groove was the cornerstone and essence of the Memphis sound.
Rhino has done all music fans a favor by combining material from the two period-specific best-of compilations available (the early MG's Stax catalogue was sold to Atlantic, the later to Fantasy) on one 16-track set. The band's early singles, including "Groovin'," "Hip Hug-Her" and, of course, "Green Onions," are combined here with their late '60s hits such as "Hang 'em High" and "Time is Tight." Donald "Duck" Dunn and drummer Al Jackson's in-the-pocket locks, Steve Cropper's stinging guitar lines and Booker T. Jones' funkified organ create a sound that comes across as fresh and infectious today as it did in the early '60s.
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