1001 Albums: Green Onions

# 32

album_32_original

Artist: Booker T. and the M.G.’s

Album: Green Onions

Year: 1962

Length: 34: 55

Genre: RnB Soul

 

“Funky Soul Organ Melodies”

I’m back! After almost two weeks of not writing any posts or listening to any of the albums, I have finally returned. For the five people who read my posts I apologize for the delay and my disappearance. Can’t promise it won’t happen again. Things happen, life happens and it causes you to have to put certain things on hold (Even things you love more than anything). In this case there was a little delay with my album covers (The photoshopped ones), my buddy who does them suddenly got immensely clogged up with midterms and school and just couldn’t get around to doing them (Understandably). This was neither the break I needed nor the break I deserved. So, I decided to relieve some of his stress and let him focus his 100% on his school work and decided to take the reigns as photoshop master. That means the next batch of album covers were actually done by yours truly, sorry. But now I am back and better than ever (because I’m developing my photoshop skills). But… before I move on, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the unsung hero in my blog.

Julian.

This guy has been my buddy since we were twelve years old, met in first year of high school. Can you believe we’ve known each other for over ten years now? (Whoops my age is showing). When I first started this blog, literally right before I was going to start I had come up with the idea of photoshopping myself into every album. Great idea… but how the hell was I going to manage that when I work a full-time job? I had to do it, I couldn’t do the blog without it, I loved it too much.

In comes Julian. I knew he’d be able to do it, he had the skills and the capabilities. But would he? I pitched the idea to him, which he was reluctant to do, but we tested it out and he was in! Julian would be my photoshop master. And a master he was, cranking out every stupid, absurd idea I threw his way. He did it and delivered every single time with lightning speed and every time I was always so, so happy with the results.

If there’s ever someone I can call reliable, Julian would definitely be number 1 on my list. I mean there’s my parents too, but that just goes without saying. This dude is the most reliable and loyal person I have ever met in my life and I hope he sticks around until the end!

Thanks for all your hard work, dude!

Ok, now on to the album.

Green Onions. Fucking Green Onions, man. The name of the song is probably way more famous than the song itself (which I realise makes absolutely no sense, but let me explain). Everyone knows the name. You ask anyone if they know green onions and there’s a good chance they’ll say they do. Unless you ask my mom, then she’ll start talking about soup.

Green-Onion-Soup.jpg mmm… green onion soup.

But ask them to sing it and they might draw a blank, especially since the song doesn’t have any lyrics so that was a trick question and it was stupid of you to even ask it.

But seriously, most people I’ve talked to have all heard the song, but can’t seem to remember the melody at all. Everytime I go to sing it I struggle to remember how it goes, but I know it’s there, somewhere in the back of my head.

Ok… maybe it’s a problem I face, but my point stands. Everyone has heard about this song in some way for sure. It’s so much bigger than every song on this album that it eclipses the entire album. I didn’t even know it was part of an album and always thought it was just some stand alone single. If I had been told that I would have believed it. But nope, here it is in all it’s glory. Before starting it I was asked “How does the rest of the album stand in comparison to the title track?”. I Responded: “I don’t know, I haven’t listened to it yet.”

But now I have and can answer your question.

The album is pretty damn good. So good it came close to being my current favourite. Yeah, that hasn’t happened yet. Didn’t quite make it, but definitely in the current top 5. It’s a funky, soul-popping, dancy, cool freaking album. There’s never a low moment in it and manages to keep the listener engaged for the entire run.

What I liked, especially in comparison to the other instrumental albums I listened to, was how melodic it was. It was definitely the most out of all of them and had a catchy feel to it that can actually stick in your head. Compared to a lot of the free-form styles of previous instrumental albums, this one felt fresh. These were definitely some solid tracks that should get more recognition than they currently have, especially with the title track completely overshadowing them. Which is a real shame because they deliver on every aspect.

The tracks have a perfect blend of danceable beats (Twist and Shout), cool vibes (Green Onions) and funky chords (You can’t sit down). Just when you were relaxed, the album throws a jammin’ beat your way and you can’t help but get up and dance. You were right “You can’t sit down”, I couldn’t… mostly because I was waiting for the bus when you came on and there was nowhere to sit… but hey! I danced!

It’s really easy to see why this album was a big deal. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this played a major influence in developing the funk genre and groups like Herbie Hancock or even Earth, Wind and Fire borrowed a page from Booker T and the MG’s to create their sound. You can already hear it on this album, it may not be funk but there’s definitely funk elements to it that pioneered the would-be genre. If it didn’t pioneer it, it defintiely left an impression on the people who did.

To call this album soul is a bit of an understatement. There’s so much soul pouring out every single song that you can feel the band really connecting with not only themselves but their instruments as well. From Steve Cropper plucking away at his guitar to Al Jackson beating the drum with tremendous glee, you can see they were truly feeling the music throughout.

The real hero of the album is, of course, the organ. That freaking organ, bubbling and gurgling away, really brings the whole album together. The rest of the band is strong but it just wouldn’t be what it is without Booker T’s organ playing selling it all. The melodies he creates throughout are enough to leave a lasting impression on you. Even when he’s busting out an instrumental version of the vocal tracks from Twist and Shout ( a Beatles cover that they manage to make even more fun and danceable than the original) it really adds another level to the music itself. There’s not much else to say but damn that organ is fucking sweet.

This whole album really had a summer music feel to it for me. It’s the kind of album you play during a summer’s day as it compliments the feel to it so well. From getting up and dancing to cruising in the car with your sunglasses on because you’re a cool cat like that, to even just strutting your stuff down the street (people do that right? No… of course they don’t, but we all do it in our heads). The point is there’s a lot of warmth to this album, which is surprising seeing how damn cool it is. It’s hard not to have a swagger in your step when listening to it and even if you’re not walking, it definitely manges to have you toe-tapping.

If I had one problem with this album it was that sometimes the songs fade out way too soon. This album as a whole felt way too short. I was surprised when I saw I was on the last song and thought to myself “That’s it?”. I wanted more, way more. Even with certain songs I felt like they weren’t given enough time to truly be enjoyed. Right when you were getting into it, OH! It fades out and it’s over… what? WHY?! NO SONG COME BACK! COME BAAAAAACCCCCCCKKK!!! Thankfully every song was just as great as the last, so the feeling was there for merely seconds, but it could have been a little longer.

Just scrolled back up and saw the picture of soup… shouldn’t have done that because now I’m hungry. Did you know there’s actually a way to tell the difference between green onions and scallions? Yeah, the things you learn when searching the word green onions. Although, hat being said, the song is actually more popular than the vegetable as it appears number one on google search. That’s right, green onions the song is bigger than green onions the vegetable. Let that little tidbit keep you smiling when you’re blue.

Song of Choice: Twist and Shout

-Bosco

P.s. Here’s the link to that scallion and green onion difference thing, for your curiosity:

http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-spring-onions-scallions-and-green-onions-word-of-mouth-217111

 

 

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1 thought on “1001 Albums: Green Onions”

  1. Don’t ya hate short songs? Their last album ‘Melting Pot’ has lots of extended grooves, so there’s more to love. And it being a ‘pot’ provides a potential continuation of the soup theme. How can you go wrong? You just can’t.

    Like

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