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(issued in 1976 in UK only, stereo, no CD re-issue)

Overton Park Sunrise / Steve's Stroll / Duck Walk / Cotton Carnival / Midnight On McLemore / Union Extended // Avalon / Around Orange Mound / National Jackson / Beale Street Revival / Saucy Pt. 2 / Booker's Theme.

This LP was produced by Terry Manning and "post-produced by Booker T. & The MG's". It was issued in 1976 in the United Kingdom only under the Stax label and distributed by PYE Records, who owned the distribution deal at the time in Great Britain.

It is obviously an LP composed of various outtakes from the Stax vaults, one being even a previously issued track (Midnight On McLemore, coming from the "blue" Stax LP "And Now" under the name of Taboo) with just some instruments added (percussions and marimba by Terry Manning himself). Another curiosity: the intro to Overton Park Sunrise is exactly the same as the intro to the MG's version of "The Dock Of The Bay" (previously unissued, released by Ace and Fantasy on various CDs). So it appears that all these tracks had some post production surgery and Terry Manning, from Ardent studios in Memphis, one time closely associated with Stax was the master surgeon and player for most of the added instruments (He actually played the marimba on the Booker T. & The MG's hit from 1968 "Soul Limbo".

This LP had been scheduled for a CD reissue by Fantasy but was withdrawn at the last minute, probably due to copyright problems with Atlantic.

All in all, it's a very good Booker T. & The MG's album, showing their talent at its best. Many unissued tracks remain in the Stax vaults and we hope to hear more tracks in the future.


It is now fourteen years since Booker T & The M.G.'s emerged into public consciousness, having gone along with the shifts and changes of public taste from the old early 60's days of "Rhythm & Blues" to the ultra-cool extremes of some of today's "Soul" music, and in that time there can hardly be a record buyer in the land who hasn't at some time or another heard music played by the group. Those "Green Onions" of 1962 have now ripened into a musical expression which, whilst still soulful, can no longer be hidebound by narrowing and limiting definitions of musical genre. The increased upward mobility for black artists within American recording industry circles has meant that old traditions have been swept aside so that now we find the music of black America not just as once was the case, on labels like OKEH, SAVOY and BLUEBIRD, but streaming from all aspects of the media; film-scores, TV commercials and in almost all parts of the globe! In twenty years the revolution has almost been complete, and although there is still yet some distance to travel, at least in some respects the music of black America is no longer the Cinderella of the music spectrum. The rise of movies in the States which were aimed directly at black audiences meant that this was an area in which black performers could find work, and I was not at all surprised when I read that one of the very first of these films was to have the soundtrack music supplied by Booker T & The M.G.'s. Who better able to translate the mood of modern America in musical terms?
This present album is a collection of material that, for one reason or another, has never been issued before, but such is the demand from collectors for fresh material from the group, that STAX Records combed their archives to see what they could find to slake this thirst! None of the tracks included on this album have ever been issued in any shape or form before, so if you are an ardent Booker T fan then you'll welcome this chance to acquire a further selection of material by this outstanding combo. In the unlikely event of this being the first time you've heard them, then no doubt this LP may encourage you to sample some of the group's many other albums on the STAX label. Over the years, Soul fans have come to regard Booker T & The M.G.'s almost as an institution, but time changes all things, and in 1975 not only the group, but the whole world of Soul music, was robbed of one of its most talented members with the tragic death of AI Jackson. For so many years he had made his own magnificent contribution to the STAX musical empire, and often his contribution was unheralded and in the background, but his sad loss makes one realise that the production of records is always the work of a team, and to lose such an important member puts a sharper perspective on this fact. The beauty of records and films is that they bestow a kind of immortality in that the talents of the artist can live on and give pleasure to succeeding generations. AI Jackson's contribution, as a part of the team we know as Booker T & The M.G.'s will live on through tracks such as these. Nearly all popular music has its roots somewhere or other in the music of black America, and seldom has black America had better ambassadors to export their music all around the world than in Booker T & The M.G.'s. Years ago, we Soul fanatics used to say "dig it if you can". It is some indication of the inroads and progress Soul music has made, that in 1976 we can simply say "Dig it!"

DAVE GODIN Blues & Soul International Music Review.

Album concept and post production by Terry Manning. Pre-production by Booker T and the MG's.