McLemore Avenue [Bonus Tracks]

McLemore Avenue [Bonus Tracks]

by Booker T. & the MG's
     
 

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Booker T. Jones was so taken with the Beatles' Abbey Road, he claims he had to respond, just to say "thanks." He convened the MG's -- drummer Al Jackson Jr., bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, and guitarist Steve Cropper, and recorded McLemore Avenue, a cover version of the entire Abbey Road album in three long…  See more details below

Overview

Booker T. Jones was so taken with the Beatles' Abbey Road, he claims he had to respond, just to say "thanks." He convened the MG's -- drummer Al Jackson Jr., bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, and guitarist Steve Cropper, and recorded McLemore Avenue, a cover version of the entire Abbey Road album in three long medleys (that approximated the structure of the Beatles' album -- particularly its second side) with a cover of George Harrison's "Something" set aside as a single. The MG's even aped the Beatles' cover photo, with one of them strolling down McLemore Avenue, the home of Stax Records. Booker T. & the MG's turned an already hip record into one that was funky as hell, and one that kept listeners guessing by rearranging the order of the tunes to suit the MG's as a band. The set begins with a medley of "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End/Here Comes the Sun/Come Together." The juxtaposition of the first two cuts is jarring but seamless. The quartet nails "The End," with fine soloing from Cropper and heated work from Jones on organ and electric piano, before a crescendo and a Moog intros "Here Comes the Sun," done as a summery Jimmy Smith-styled jazz number before turning all sinister on "Come Together." "Something" may have seemed a curious choice for a single, but with Cropper's greasy, bluesy guitar break and Jones playing his organ rhythmically more than melodically, it works beautifully. "Because," wedded to "You Never Give Me Your Money," is a spacious blend of melody and psychedelic groove, setting up the final medley. It is the set's tour de force, commencing with a shimmering "Sun King," before Jackson's drums announce a sprightly, funky "Mean Mr. Mustard" that careens into the guitar overdrive of "Polythene Pam" and the breezy "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," which morphs into a dramatic, blues-drenched, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" to close it out. Not only is McLemore Avenue a stellar interpretation of Abbey Road, it's one of the finest Booker T. & the MG's albums to boot. [The 2011 Concord/Stax remaster includes six bonus tracks, all of them Beatles covers: "Eleanor Rigby," "Day Tripper," "Lady Madonna," "Michelle," and two versions of "You Can't Do That," one finished, and one an unreleased alternate take. There's also a hilarious radio promo for McLemore Avenue tacked on.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/10/2011
Label:
Stax
UPC:
0888072328747
catalogNumber:
32874
Rank:
14931

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Booker T. & the MG's   Primary Artist
Steve Cropper   Guitar
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass
Booker T. Jones   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards
Al Jackson   Drums

Technical Credits

Booker T. & the MG's   Original Album Producer
Ron Capone   Engineer
Rik Pekkonen   Engineer
Nick Phillips   Reissue Producer
Gordon Rudd   Engineer
Joe Tarantino   Remastering
David Krieger   Art Direction
Ashley Kahn   Liner Notes
Graffiteria   Art Direction
Chris Clough   Reissue Producer

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