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Booker T. & The M.G.'s|Soul Men

Soul Men

Booker T. & The M.G.'s

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Although all of these 25 cover versions were recorded in the '60s, none of them were released at the time. Unfortunately, info as to the exact dates of the individual tracks has been lost, though Stax scholar Rob Bowman's liner notes figure that most of them were cut between 1965-1968, with some possibly dating from 1962-1964. Putting all of them onto a single disc decades later might seem like a vault-cleaning exercise of secondary material. But this turns out to be a surprisingly good and vibrant collection of instrumental soul interpretations of rock, soul, and pop hits of the '60s, even if it's not up to the level of Booker T. & the MG's more famous hits and original numbers. Even though these were often laid down quickly before or after sessions on which the band was backing other artists, most of these don't sound like throwaways. They're characteristically disciplined and imaginative, and the scope is remarkably wide, taking in Beatles songs, blues ("Wang Dang Doodle" and "Baby Scratch My Back"), Motown, straight pop ("Downtown"), and even some songs on which Booker T. & the MG's actually played on the original recordings (Sam & Dave's "Soul Man" and "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," and Eddie Floyd's "On a Saturday Night"). Not all of the reworkings are top-notch; the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" is taken at a jazzy shuffle that doesn't suit the tune. But most of them are very good, and not straight copies of the original arrangements, with the band effectively cooking up different tempos and simmering guitar/organ interplay.
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo

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Soul Men

Booker T. & The M.G.'s

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1
Baby, Scratch My Back (Album Version)
00:03:08

JAMES MOORE, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

2
Harlem Shuffle (Album Version)
00:03:10

TONY HATCH, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

3
Hi-Heel Sneakers (Album Version)
00:03:02

Robert Higgenbotham, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

4
Downtown (Album Version)
00:02:42

Robert Higgenbotham, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

5
I Was Made To Love Her (Album Version)
00:02:37

Henry Cosby, ComposerLyricist - Sylvia Moy, ComposerLyricist - Stevie Wonder, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist - Lula Mae Hardway, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

6
Georgia On My Mind (Album Version)
00:03:12

HOAGY CARMICHAEL, ComposerLyricist - Stuart Gorrell, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

7
Wade In The Water (Album Version)
00:02:27

Ramsey Lewis, Arranger, Work Arranger - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

8
Fannie Mae (Album Version)
00:01:59

Rick Hall, ComposerLyricist - Dan Penn, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist - Oscar Frank, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

9
Day Tripper
00:02:50

John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

10
You Left The Water Running (Album Version)
00:02:15

John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

11
Every Beat Of My Heart (Album Version)
00:02:56

Johnny Otis, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

12
Ain't That Peculiar (Album Version)
00:02:38

Marvin Tarplin, ComposerLyricist - Warren Moore, ComposerLyricist - Robert Rogers, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

13
You Can't Do That (Album Version)
00:02:44

John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

14
Wang Dang Doodle (Album Version)
00:02:47

WILLIE DIXON, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

15
On A Saturday Night (Album Version)
00:02:44

Steve Cropper, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Floyd, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

16
The Letter (Album Version)
00:02:38

Wayne Thompson, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

17
Oo Wee Baby, I Love You (Album Version)
00:02:59

Richard Parker, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

18
Spoonful (Album Version)
00:02:53

WILLIE DIXON, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

19
I Hear A Symphony
00:02:09

Al Jackson, Jr., Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Booker T. Jones, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Cropper, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "Duck" Dunn, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lamont Dozier, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, Producer, Recording Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Stax Records

20
You're So Fine (Album Version)
00:02:10

Bob West, ComposerLyricist - Willie Schofield, ComposerLyricist - Lance Finney, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

21
Raunchy (Album Version)
00:02:48

Bill Justis, ComposerLyricist - Sid Manker, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

22
You Are My Sunshine (Album Version)
00:03:05

Charles Mitchell, ComposerLyricist - Jimmie Davis, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

23
Soul Man (Album Version)
00:02:42

Isaac Hayes, ComposerLyricist - David Porter, Composer - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

24
Gimme Some Lovin' (Album Version)
00:02:56

Spencer Davis, ComposerLyricist - Steve Winwood, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

25
When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (Album Version)
00:03:38

Isaac Hayes, ComposerLyricist - David Porter, ComposerLyricist - Booker T. & The M.G.'s, MainArtist

℗ 2003 Fantasy, Inc.

Album Description

Although all of these 25 cover versions were recorded in the '60s, none of them were released at the time. Unfortunately, info as to the exact dates of the individual tracks has been lost, though Stax scholar Rob Bowman's liner notes figure that most of them were cut between 1965-1968, with some possibly dating from 1962-1964. Putting all of them onto a single disc decades later might seem like a vault-cleaning exercise of secondary material. But this turns out to be a surprisingly good and vibrant collection of instrumental soul interpretations of rock, soul, and pop hits of the '60s, even if it's not up to the level of Booker T. & the MG's more famous hits and original numbers. Even though these were often laid down quickly before or after sessions on which the band was backing other artists, most of these don't sound like throwaways. They're characteristically disciplined and imaginative, and the scope is remarkably wide, taking in Beatles songs, blues ("Wang Dang Doodle" and "Baby Scratch My Back"), Motown, straight pop ("Downtown"), and even some songs on which Booker T. & the MG's actually played on the original recordings (Sam & Dave's "Soul Man" and "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," and Eddie Floyd's "On a Saturday Night"). Not all of the reworkings are top-notch; the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" is taken at a jazzy shuffle that doesn't suit the tune. But most of them are very good, and not straight copies of the original arrangements, with the band effectively cooking up different tempos and simmering guitar/organ interplay.
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo

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