Search - Booker T & Mg's :: Soul Men

Soul Men
Booker T & Mg's
Soul Men
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1

More than three decades after the quartet disbanded, comes a ninth album. The disc presents the group applying its signature Memphis touch to 25 pop and R&B hits of the 1960s. Three - Eddie Floyd's 'On a Saturday Night'...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Booker T & Mg's
Title: Soul Men
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Stax
Release Date: 4/1/2003
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
Styles: Oldies, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 025218861021, 090204922574


Album Description
More than three decades after the quartet disbanded, comes a ninth album. The disc presents the group applying its signature Memphis touch to 25 pop and R&B hits of the 1960s. Three - Eddie Floyd's 'On a Saturday Night' and Sam & Dave's 'Soul Man' and 'When Something Is Wrong with My Baby' - are instrumental reworkings of songs to which the band initially had supplied the backup. All provide additional evidence of why Booker T. & the MGs are widely regarded as having been the tightest, most consistently creative rhythm section in all of popular music. Stax. 2003.

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CD Reviews

The greatest band ever...?
(5 out of 5 stars)

"...or just the most criminally unsung? This CD definitively establishes (to anyone who still needs proof) just how inventive, creative, sensitive, and dank-ass funky Booker T. & the MG's were. It's not like the songs need to replace, or fall short of, their originals; these covers are complete reinventions ("Day Tripper" gets an utterly convincing blues treatment, and "The Letter" simmers and boils with a tension the original hinted at but ultimately eschewed in favor of general gruffness.)Other highlights are the irrepressibly joyful "Downtown," the tightly-coiled lost classic "Oo Wee Baby, I Love You," and the timbral wonders of "Baby, Scratch My Back." But every song bears constellational rewards for the careful listener. The most deceptively simple lines refract in understated perfection. Al Jackson Jr. lays down a groove somehow both fierce and mellow; his instincts are surprising, fascinating, and wondrous. Duck Dunn is so in the pocket it's criminal, and his sense of melody is evident throughout. Booker T. and Steve Cropper share the vocal lines, sometimes passing them back and forth, and they back each other up with such sympathy that it really sounds more accurate to say they're always sharing the vocal melody. Well, you can tell what I think. Go ahead and listen to the samples, but if you like the MG's already, you'll freak out over this stuff."
US release of the great UK "Hip Hits" collection
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Soul Men" is the long overdue US release of the UK "Hip Hits" collection of previously unreleased MG's cover material. During recording sessions at Stax, there would very often be a few minutes left at the end of session and the MG's would sometimes take the opportunity to lay down a version of a current hit done in their own laid-back, funky style. Some of those songs never made it to the MG's albums that were released in the 60's, and it's hard to see why. The performances here are prime MG's material and nearly the equal of all but the best of their 60's LP's. The recordings stretch from 1962-1967 or so. All are in the more earthy and less-jazzy style of the MG's pre-"Soul Limbo" albums. This album, along with "Hip Hug-Her" and "Soul Dressing," are the best albums from that early period. Worth the price alone is their version of the Petula Clark tune "Downtown"--absolutely stunning."
Play those hip hits
thestaxman | Jackson, MS United States | 04/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In 1995, the United Kingdom's Ace Records released twenty-five slices of Soul from the Stax Records house band Booker T. & the MGs. Entitled Booker T. & the MGs Play the Hip Hits, it was a very welcomed addition to their catalog. The tracks were never released and remained in the vaults at Stax. It is now available in the U.S. and renamed appropriately Soul Men. Almost everything here is very interesting, and while some probably remained unreleased for a reason, others are so good that the fact that they were apparently forgotten about, is just mind boggling. There are things here that are as good as, if not better, than some of their albums cuts (singles not withstanding). And there are tracks like Petula Clark's "Dowtown", highlighted by Booker T. Jones's organ work and Al Jackson drum rolls that will leave you with a permanent smile, and Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made To Love Her" that would have fit right in place on the MGs 1968 album Doin' Our Thing. The MGs' original numbers always tended to be a little funkier and obviously, more original. But more often than not, as in the case with their 1970 cover of The Beatles "Something", they were able to not just rework someone else's hit, but turn it in to an instrumental masterpiece. This is the case with their absolute killer version of an Isaac Hayes/David Porter classic "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby". The MGs, of course, played on the original in support of super duo Sam and Dave. Guitarist Steve Cropper, the "Play it, Steve" on Sam and Dave's "Soul Man", has said that when he and Jones would do a cover, they would actually try and make their respective instruments sing. So, there's a purpose there, not just guys showing off their musical chops. Ah, but what unequaled chops each of these guys had. Jones's B-3 organ and Cropper go back and forth, playing ever so tastefully, until they've done it again. They've created a beautiful piece of music that just can not be duplicated. And it's the perfect way to end the album. Cropper says he wished he had known or remembered all of these gems. He said they would have made a great album. Well, they sure do, and now it's been made available to all lovers of the legendary Booker T. & the MGs."