As part of the Concord Music Group’s initiative to reissue the seminal Stax catalog comes the 50th anniversary release of Booker T. & the M.G.s’ classic album.
Along with “Honky Tonk” and “Hide-A-Way,” “Green Onions” was among the most popular R&B instrumentals of its era. Buy on AmazonBuy on iTunesYou know the tune, thanks to spots on movie and television soundtracks, TV and radio commercials, bandstand covers — every blues band in the world covers this song — and airplay on syndicated oldies radio. (One of the squawk boxes on WWL uses “Green Onions” as his daily intro.) A simple organ instrumental named after perhaps the funkiest of all vegetables, “Green Onions” is a natural invitation to get up and shake something. Its natural answer, “Mo’ Onions” (contained here), might be even funkier as it reverses the bass pattern from the original “Onions” and adds an element of the Mar-Keys’ “Night Before/Last” (another Stax instrumental hit).
The remainder of the album consists primarily of capable instrumental covers of then popular R&B hits — ”Twist & Shout,” “You Can’t Sit Down,” “Lonely Avenue,” “Rinky Dink,” etc.