Green Onions

Green Onions

It’d be difficult to chose just one Booker T. album to own, given the absurd splendor of the band’s output (even excluding their work as Stax Records' house band). But this boisterous instrumental gesture to early-’60s R&B, funk, blues, jazz, soul, surf, and gospel might be the one. The now-traditional title tune, led by Booker T.’s unmistakable organ runs, has seeped into public consciousness in myriad ways since its 1962 release. And the quartet’s freakishly skilled playing simply pops—witness the smoky groove on “Lonely Avenue,” the knee-knocking bounce behind “Twist and Shout,” and Steve Cropper’s guitar stingers in “Mo Onions.”

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