Saturday, November 7, 2009

Booker T. and the MG's - "Universal Language" 1977

What can I say, I am really not a big Booker T. fan, although I believe that much of their music was very innovative and fresh in the sea of traditional rock. Much of their fame came with the hit "Green Onions" in 1962.  They were considered "Southern Soul" or "Memphis Soul" with their instrumental renderings and that funky Hammond B-3 organ sound.  The group pretty much disbanded in 1971.

However, they did a reunion album with Asylum Records in 1977, but the sound had changed somewhat.  This pretty much explains why this album never really met with any commercial success, but it is a reason why it did receive some radio airplay on some jazz stations. Both cuts "MG Salsa" and "Reincarnation" were played somewhat over the airwaves and I really enjoyed that "Memphis Soul" sound mixed in with the 70's jazz fusion sound. But the album was never released on CD (that I am aware of) so I am posting this landmark of music from the MGs...I purchased this LP when it was released in 1977, and it still sounds pretty decent, the album cover scan took a fair amount of photo-shopping to 'clean-it' up...I love the album cover artwork and design, and it is credited to Jonathan Seay.  I am pleased with the results.  Enjoy and post with comments!
Update:  CD now finally released...please patronize the artists! (Download link removed)

Bass - Donald "Duck" Dunn
Drums, Percussion - Willie Hall
Guitar - Steve Cropper
Keyboards - Booker T. Jones
Producer, Written-By - Booker T & The MG's

6 comments:

  1. hello from germany. thank you very much for this album. i also buyed the lp in 1977 and i'm disapointed for no release on cd.
    my favorite track is grab bag

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  2. Perhaps one day Asylum Records will release this on CD, but till then I hope that my digital archival is as close to CD as can be...

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  3. hello from France.
    I bought this album in 1977.
    I'm disapointed for no release on cd too.
    It were a good recording, the first without Al Jackson.
    All tracks was great.

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  4. A neglected, underrated LP, All band originals - most quite good, judicious use of synths, passing nod toward dance floor, on the whole entertaining & funky & very worthy of rerelease. Versatile Stax veteran Willie Hall did swell taking over the Al Jackson Jr. chair.

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  5. (Anonymous said...
    hello from germany. thank you very much for this album. i also buyed the lp in 1977 and i'm disapointed for no release on cd.
    my favorite track is grab bag)

    Hello again......good news: CD is out now.
    Audio CD (Nov. 23, 2010)13,98$ by amazon.com

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  6. Thanks for the info...even as much as I am proud of the restorations that I have done on the original LP recordings, I bought the CD and compared the fidelity, no contest, the CD is a winner, if you love "Universal Language" then go get the CD :-)

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