Note: the CD I listened to was the 2012 50th Anniversary reissue.
I'm not much of a podcast guy, but I'll listen to one every now and then. My friend Blake hipped me to this episode of the WTF podcast with Marc Maron's interview of Booker T. Jones. If you have any interest whatsoever in Stax or soul music, give it a listen. Listening to that episode this week led me to believe Booker T. Jones is the coolest musician on the planet and prompted me to pull out this classic album.
This is the debut album from the Stax house band. Bruce Eder, over at Allmusic, writes:
There's not a note or a nuance out of place anywhere on this record, which featured 35 of the most exciting minutes of instrumental music in any category that one could purchase in 1962 (and it's no slouch multiple decades out, either).I can't really add anything to that except that I think it's an amazing accomplishment considering Jones, the band's leader, was 17 years old when this was recorded.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #33
Tracks: The title track is a classic, of course, but there are some really fantastic cover tunes here as well, including I Got A Woman, Twist And Shout, Lonely Avenue, and Comin' Home Baby. Having hastily recorded covers as album filler was commonplace in those days, so quality covers like these are relatively rare phenomena. Don't you dare skip any tracks. Even the two bonus tracks (recorded live in '65) are top notch, especially the live version of Green Onions.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: The last time I visited The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, I went as it opened on a cold, rainy Sunday morning in December. I think it was 2011. I was by myself, but 4 others were there. As we wound our way through the museum, I took my time at most every exhibit, while the others moved quickly. So by the time I made my way to the reproduction of the famous movie theater space that served as the Stax studio, I was completely alone. On the floor of the studio sits the Hammond M-3 organ used on this recording. I must have spent 10 minutes alone in that studio just staring at the organ, thinking of all the soul classics on which it appears. Just me and the organ. I've been to that museum several times, but those minutes make up my favorite time there.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Potato Hole (2009)
McLemore Avenue (1970)