BOOKER T & The M.G.’s – ” McLemore Avenue ” Record Store Day 2020

Posted: October 23, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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50 years ago, Booker T & The M.G.’s released their ode to The Beatles’ Abbey Road, and to the street where Booker and his band recorded: McLemore Avenue. Here Booker T. Jones (keyboards), Steve Cropper (guitar), Donald “Duck” Dunn (bass), and Al Jackson Jr. (drums) deliver funky, bluesy takes on 13 songs from The Beatles’ album, making them all their own. In fact, their renditions caught the ears of The Beatles, and Paul McCartney has used the M.G.’s version of “The End” as his walk-on music on tour for years. Cut from the original analogue master tapes by Jeff Powell in Memphis, pressed onto 180-gram vinyl at MRP and housed in a Stoughton-printed sleeve, the music and the iconic album art have likely never looked or sounded better. It’s worth lining up across the street for!.

As the longtime house band for Stax, Booker T. & The M.G.’s not only helped to shape the label’s iconic sound but also backed sessions by some of the biggest acts of the ’60s—from Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, to Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett. The group also released many acclaimed titles of their own, and their 10th studio album, 1970’s McLemore Avenue, was no exception. Inspired by The Beatles’ Abbey Roadreleased just a year before, Booker T. Jones set out to record a tribute to the album—naming his version after the Memphis avenue where Stax Records stood. In an interview Jones recalled that when he first heard Abbey Road, “I thought it was incredibly courageous of The Beatles… They were the top band in the world but they still reinvented themselves.”

Featuring the classic lineup of Booker T. Jones on keyboards, Steve Cropper on guitar, Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass, and Al Jackson Jr. on drums, the instrumental McLemore Avenue offers a supremely funky take on Abbey Road’s songs in the form of three medleys and one standalone version of “Something.” AllMusicpraised that “Not only is McLemore Avenue a stellar interpretation of Abbey Road, it’s one of the finest Booker T. & the M.G.’s albums to boot.”

This special 50th-anniversary edition of the LP has been cut from the original analogue masters by Jeff Powell at Memphis’ Take Out Vinyl and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing. The album comes housed in an old-school-style tip-on jacket, featuring the classic, tongue-in-cheek cover image of the band crossing McLemore Avenue.

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