Search - Booker T & Mg's :: Time Is Tight

Time Is Tight
Booker T & Mg's
Time Is Tight
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #3

Almost an accidental ensemble, Booker T. & the MGs came together for a functional reason--to play as the house band for Memphis's Stax Records. But organist Booker T. Jones and guitarist Steve Cropper found alchemy, transf...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Booker T & Mg's
Title: Time Is Tight
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Stax
Original Release Date: 10/1/1998
Re-Release Date: 10/20/1998
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Oldies, Soul, Southern Rock
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPCs: 025218442428, 090204723720

Almost an accidental ensemble, Booker T. & the MGs came together for a functional reason--to play as the house band for Memphis's Stax Records. But organist Booker T. Jones and guitarist Steve Cropper found alchemy, transforming rhythm-section riffing into an art, slicing through air where listeners expected vocals and doing so with tremendous success on their first single, "Green Onions," which was later featured on the American Graffiti soundtrack. This three-CD set captures the quartet's core in plentiful doses, leading off with their 1961 first salvo and cruising through numerous attempts at remaking the soulful classic. But in tinkering with the "Green Onions" formula, the band found dozens of instrumental variations, much like later, all-instrumental genre straddlers like Medeski Martin & Wood. They also found countless hours of work, backing some of Memphis soul's most revered artists (think Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett) and defining a backbone sound of organ and guitar layered over the increasingly vital rhythms of bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn and original drummer Al Jackson. They played expansive minor-key soul, as "Ode to Billie Joe" and many other tunes here attest, and later in the 1960s went on to churn out charting hits and great albums alike. The second CD in this set captures some great moments, especially the segments from McLemore Avenue, the quartet's all-instrumental tune-for-tune riposte to Abbey Road. Later in the set you get Albert King on vocals for a gritty "Born Under a Bad Sign" and then Boz Scaggs and Neil Young fronting the quartet (with Steve Potts or Jim Keltner drumming in place of the long-ago murdered Jackson). This collection will leave you wanting more. --Andrew Bartlett

CD Reviews

ONE ***H-U-G-E*** FLAW!!!
Skylark | a human on Island Earth | 08/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"If you're a serious Booker T & the MGs fan you'll probably want to get this set BUT, because of ONE HUGE FLAW, it stands FAR from being definitive; THE TITLE TRACK IS THE WRONG TAKE!!! I cannot imagine how this could have happened. (And I can scarcely believe that I don't see this glaring flaw mentioned in any of the other reviews!) The bass line ---arguably the most definitive element of the song--- is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT, which makes it interesting from an oddities/rarities perspective, but... "Time Is Tight" is one of my favorite cuts from this band and one of the main reasons I bought this set. I'm a professional bassist and it's one of the first songs I learned to play, one of the songs that played a significant role in my most formative years; I know it intimately. What a HUGE let-down it was when I discovered that the famous version of the song was not included and, after dropping fifty bucks, I still had to go out and buy "The Very Best Of..." to scratch the itch! And, while I'm a it... I have a compilation from the late '60s that has many cuts missing from this set. I'd much prefer to have some of those, rather than the 'live stuff. So, in summary; Hard-core fans only... Those willing to buy additional CDs to fill out the collection."
Instrumental fans enjoy
J. E FELL | Carterville, Illinois United States | 02/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I would actually give this set 4.5 stars. I have been waiting for a comprehensive collection from this band for a long time. The only reason I am not giving it five stars is the live cuts at the end of disc 3 with the exception of the Albert Kings numbers, are unnecessary. Especially since studio versions of some of these songs are already on the set. These songs are from the period after the band reformed WITHOUT Al Jackson, Jr. on drums. If live versions were selected they could have been chosen from the classic period. Rob Bowman and Bill Belmont would have been better served to add more studio rarites, either non-lp sides or unissued tracks. Ace currently has an excellent import cd entitled "Play The Hip Hits" which includes unissued and rare cover versions from their classic period only one of which "Fannie Mae" appears on this set. The liner notes inside that cd state that there are also unissued cuts written by the band still in the vaults. This being said "Time Is Tight" is an great box set. I have many box sets and I play this one more than most. I like the fact that the first disc concentrates on the period when the band was distributed by Atlantic. The second disc starts after this distribution deal had ended. The discs themselves contain most of their "hits" along with familiar covers and cool album tracks. However "Booker-Loo" & "Red Beans & Rice" were omitted from the "Greatest Hits" cd. These discs illustrate what a tight band that the MGs were. Steve Cropper is an excellent but underrated guitarist. Al Jackson Jr. is a steady and funky drummer. Donald "Duck" Dunn is an inventive bass player while Booker T. Jones is equally adept at organ or piano. It is easy to see why these musicians were/are in such demand to back their more famous contemporaries. In summary if you are a fan of instrumental music or funk/soul this is an essential purchase. It is also great music to play in the car while cruising."
thestaxman | Jackson, MS United States | 03/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The greatest drummer who ever lived, Al Jackson, Jr., the coolest, most persuasive bass player in the world, Donald "Duck" Dunn, the absolute superior guitar playing of the one and only Steve Cropper, and the special genius of organ/piano man and all round musical prodigy, Booker T. Jones made up a virtual "dream team" of music. Besides laying down perfectly tight, unbelievably soulful backdrops for some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, they recorded some of the best music ever made and in instrumental form to boot. This is a great box set. You get the hits from "Green Onions" to "Hip Hug-Her" to "Hang 'Em High" to the amazing "Melting Pot". You get great rarities like "Hole In the Wall" (originally released in '65 under the moniker The Packers), and the beautiful, superb "Meditation" (a Booker T. Jones masterpiece, as brilliant as anything ever done from Mozart to McCartney). And you hear the band's versatility on their remarkable range of covers. I wouldn't do much editing; however, I would replace a good bit of the pre-Dunn era material, except a few, like the great "Soul Dressing", with later outings. And one could argue that the entire Melting Pot album, along with the entire McLemore Avenue album merit greatest hits status. Also, soul fans will no doubt cringe at the sound of Neil Young whining his way through the Cropper penned "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay". Why this was picked to finish the collection, still baffles me. All and all, though, a fine showcase for the greatest band of all time."