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The Very Best of Booker T. & The MG's

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 21, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Sixteen tracks from the greatest soul instrumental band of all time (no contest)! Indeed, the names Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson are revered in recording studios from coast to coast; includes Green Onions; Chinese Checkers; Soul Dressing; Time Is Tight; Hang 'Em High; Mrs. Robinson; Hip Hug-Her; Slim Jenkin's Place; My Sweet Potato; Boot-Leg; Mo' Onions; Groovin'; Slum Baby; Melting Pot; Soul-Limbo , and Booker-Loo . All but two of their pop chart hits!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Green Onions
  2. Chinese Checkers
  3. Groovin'
  4. Soul Dressing
  5. Boot-Leg
  6. My Sweet Potato
  7. Slim Jenkin's Place
  8. Booker-Loo
  9. Hip Hug-Her
  10. Mo' Onions
  11. Soul-Limbo
  12. Hang 'Em High
  13. Time Is Tight
  14. Mrs. Robinson
  15. Slum Baby
  16. Melting Pot


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0000033C3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,117 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
No hyperbole...fact: Booker T. and the MGs were the best backing group in the history of soul music. There were those who came awful close (the Motown house band in the Benny Benjamin-James Jamerson era; the Muscle Shoals crowds anchored by bassist David Hood and drummer extraordinaire Roger Hawkins), but none quite equaled the MGs elemental, deceptively simple fire. (Not to mention having, in Al Jackson, Jr., the most identifiable backbeat in Southern soul - and to think he got that unmistakeable snare thump by just loosening his snares a little and letting his overweight billfold sit on the top skin when he struck it!) They'd have had the rep even if they hadn't gone along when a Stax employee, hearing them jam after a session on the riff which became "Green Onions," suggested they cut the number on their own.
What they did with "Green Onions," of course, remains almost superhuman. They started by jamming on a slowed-up variation of the classic John Lee Hooker boogie riff and ended up laying out perhaps the third great must-pinch motif of rock and soul, behind Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" licks and, of course, the Bo Diddley rhythm. Its influence goes beyond its run as a chart smash - blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson's "Help Me" was little more than laying lyrics over "Green Onions," and "Help Me" ended up becoming an obligatory entry in the songbooks of only too many British blues wannabes, not to mention Johnny Winter (who cut a rather lamely metallic version on his otherwise transcendent "The Progressive Blues Experiment"); Canned Heat met "Green Onions" halfway to its John Lee Hooker sourcing and made it their signature "don't forget to boogie" style.
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Format: Audio CD
"Green Onions", "Hip-hug Her" "Time is Tight" are underrated immortal instrumentals. Every Memphis/Muscle Shoals music fan knows of guitarist Steve Cropper's contribution to funky soul and muddy water pop-blues--his Atlantic session work, his Stax work. Take a good listen to the bass and drum work by "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson Jr. "Simply irresistible", as Robert Palmer would say. This 'Very Best of..' collection has the unique ability to add to that good feeling you get while picnicing, beaching or groovin' on a Sunday afternoon. This is good music done well.
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By GB on September 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unbelievable that I would order a CD with "Green Onions" in mind and not expect to be that interested in any of the other songs. Quite the opposite. There isn't a bad selection on the entire CD. Wish all CD's were the same. I still like "Green Onions", but like "Sweet Potato" even more.
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Format: Audio CD
For years, newcomers to this great R&B instrumental band had to pick where they wanted to start: the early material (1962-1967) owned by Atlantic or the later material (1967-1970) owned by Fantasy. Rhino has done the righteous thing and brought the best from both periods together on one disc. This is as good as music gets and it's a blast from start to finish.
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Format: Audio CD
My favorite instrumental group. You best believe it. Time Is Tight, Hang 'Em High and Melting Pot!

Have loved Time Is Tight from way back in the 60s when I first heard it played on the radio in Chicago and could never get enough of it. Booker T. & the MG's! Yeah! And then a few years later they came up with another incredible gem entitled Melting Pot! Made you want to grab a guitar and learn to play, only some of us just don't have the ability.

Have always wanted to thank these incredible musicians for their gift to the world, & amazon allows us to do so.

Here we are, three decades later, and I still get a kick out of playing this great music. Ought to tell you plenty.

THANKS, GUYS!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Oh, how I wish 30 years ago when I was a young keyboardist I had been listening to these guys instead of prog rock. Like a basketball team that plays as a single unit instead of a jumble of one-on-one games, each member of Booker T & the MG's added one-quarter of the whole sound, with no one trying to be the star (even though each was capable of being just that). Anyone who wants to be a serious student of any rhythm section instrument, whether you're playing jazz, R&B, rock or whatever, should listen to these guys religiously and learn that it's not what you put in that matters, it's what you leave out. Listen to them by themselves, and then listen to them backing Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett and especially Otis Redding, it doesn't get any better than that.

Memphis soul is some of the most exciting music ever recorded, one of America's most important contributions to 20th century music, and Booker T & the MG's single-handedly defined the sound.
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Format: Audio CD
If I hadn't listened to it first, I would never have bought this. It's my own ignorance at work - but from the cover I'd consider it old, fifties, and boring. It's actually 16 tracks of instrumental music that is unique - and if you like jazz or blues, you may well like this as much as I do. I'm lucky I heard it before I saw it. The guitar, piano and drums are original - if not hot. A twenty-year old would still call it a moldy oldy. I think it's a classic - from the days of the T-Bird - and it has a place in my collection today.
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