Few instrumental groups have had as profound an impact on the popular music landscape as Booker T. and the MG’s, whose Stax sides from the ’60s defined the sound of the label. From Booker T. Jones’ inimitable Hammond organ sound and Steve Cropper’s masterful Telecaster work, to Al Jackson’s solid and steady beats and the always-in-the-pocket bass lines of Lewie Steinberg (replaced in 1965 by the talented Donald “Duck” Dunn), the band’s influence continues to be felt in every slice of visceral soul to emerge since. As the house band for Stax, Booker T. and the MG’s built the sonic backbone of some of the most popular records by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, and more. On their own, the quartet laid down 15 charting singles, including “Green Onions,” “Hip Hug-Her,” “Boot-Leg,” and “My Sweet Potato.” Those hits and 14 more sides are collected on Real Gone Music’s new collection, The Complete Stax Singles, Vol. 1 (1962-1967).
Due on October 11, the 1-CD or 2-LP set brings together 29 of the 49 singles that Booker T. and the MGs recorded for Stax. (Presumably, the other 20 will make up a second volume.) Each track on the Gordon Anderson-produced The Complete Stax Singles, Vol. 1 has been carefully vetted to make sure the correct, original mono single mixes were used. The music has been mastered by Dan Hersch at d2 Mastering, with tape research and sourcing provided by Mike Johnson, Aaron Kannowski, and Bill Inglot. For the limited-edition run of 1,000 vinyl copies, the tracks will be pressed on blue wax and presented in a gatefold sleeve. The CD, meanwhile, will be housed in a jewel case. Both configurations boast detailed liner notes and discographical information compiled by soul music authority Ed Osborne in a package designed by John Sellards.
So get ready for an MG Party that’s sure to get you groovin’ and secure your pre-orders below!
Booker T. & The MG’s, The Complete Stax Singles, Vol. 1 (1962-1967) (Real Gone Music, 2019)