RAINBOW VINYL — GREEN

These greens were grown in the USA.

Dig in.

*

Like a swampy Booker T. and the M.G.s, The Meters played their funk with honest, no frills competence, part of the reason they backed up so many other artists (including recordings by Robert Palmer and Sir Paul McCartney). This LP, from 1972, is well-played but somehow a bit flat and probably not the ‘essential’ Meters album. Yet the fresh green vinyl and Magritte homage cover are worth much more than a bowl of cabbage.

*

As most would know, “Green Onions” was a big hit for Booker T. and the M.G.s back in 1962. Although there isn’t anything quite as electrifying on the debut LP, opening with the classic single creates an irresistible momentum that carries the listener all the way through 12 tracks and  thirty-five minutes of sparkling instrumental music.

Yet even allowing for the infectious energy of “Green Onions”, there are many other high points including “Mo’ Onions” (emphatically not a rehash of the hit) and “Behave yourself” (a superb blues) on the way to a most satisfying ending with “Comin’ Home Baby”. Once you’ve spun this album a few times, you’ll even find yourself bopping to the more cheesy, rinky dinky tunes such as, um, “Rinky-dink”.

Booker T. Jones on organ, Steve Cropper plays guitar, with the exemplary rhythm section of bass player Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr, drums. An essential album.

*

For over five decades Guy Lombado led a variety of jazz bands and orchestras. Although later material has sometimes been portrayed as a kind of self-parody of lounge-jazz for straight white dudes, Lombado—at least in the early days—knew how to swing. It’s said Louis Armstrong was a fan. This unusual LP collects 78 rpm recordings from Lombado’s early days. What makes it uncommon is the coloured vinyl and that it predates the wave of digitising and re-issue of early jazz that followed in the 1980s. Although I could find no information on when it was released, I bought the album from Bentleigh Sewing and Records around 1974, the first coloured vinyl I’d ever seen.

*

NEXT: Some moody blues

35 comments

  1. Green onions on green vinyl, yes please.
    I’m fortunate to have weezer’s ‘green’ album on its namesake colour – though my copy of their ‘blue’ album is sadly on the standard non-blue format!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just so, neat. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. …And I just discovered I have a copy of Creedence’s ‘Green River’ on river-green vinyl!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pinklightsabre · · Reply

        I just listened to Green River for the first time on our Independence Day last week! What a great album. They’re my go-to for the Fourth of July. So “American”

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  2. I had my first colored vinyl experience in ’77 when I pulled the record out of the Elvis Presley Moody Blue album I had just bought and was surprised to find it was blue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice. That must have been quite an early one. I was working in the Record Store then, and that album sold amazingly well. Don’t think the Aussie copies were coloured, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I remember it being marketed as a second Elvis comeback back then. It sure proved a disappointment to me back then. Being a rockin’ teenager, I wanted rockin’ teenage Elvis and Moody Blue definitely was not that. I kept it though and have spun it with high hopes of undiscovered gems about once every 4-5 years since. Unfortunately, I have yet to find them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There aren’t any, are there? It’s place in ‘rock’ history is more based on Elvis dying in August 1977, one month after Moody Blue was released, demonstrating a very successful marketing strategy.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, at least I know I can’t be blamed for reinforcing such morbid marketing as I was a pre-passing buyer. I actually waited for that thing to come out with high hopes. I opted to go back to an early compilation — the first Golden Records — rather than try the new album again after returning home from somewhere that evening to the news from my little sister that one of my first musical heroes had left us. Fun fact: Mr. Presley departed in the same month my parents’ divorce was finalized. Another fun fact: It was that same sister who called me at work a few years later to solemnly pass along news of Lennon’s death.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Um, I wonder about this unusual deployment of the word ‘fun’.
              Although Sun era Elvis is fabulous, I was talking about the ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ this evening with a friend; we both concluded Little Richard outshone his illustrious (white) compadres. Contentious? Discuss.

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            2. Hm. Who died this year that may have been an early VotF hero? Jim Steinman? Unlikely. Tim Bogert? Possible, but were you into drummers from the off? Sylvain Slyvain? That would certainly get my eyebrows working. Oh. I think you are referring to the news of The King’s abdication from life in 1977. Rats, I was enjoying that ‘Who’s died?’ game.

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  3. Booker T and the MGs = best house band ever! Fun fact you may not know: here in the US, Guy Lombardo and his orchestra appeared on TV every New Year’s Eve (from mid-50s to mid-70s or so) and played Auld Lang Syne when the clock struck midnight. Can I tell you how much I love the visual theme you’ve chosen for your VC home page, i.e. each thumbnail photo for a particular color hints at what’s to come next by way of the LP in the lower left corner. Doubt I’m the only one that’s noticed that, but wanted to be sure to tip my cap!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your noticing is always deeply appreciated, JDB.

      I think I may have come across that Lombado fact at some point, possibly from your good self. Certainly I knew he had an enormously long career that moved into lounge orchestra MOR. Guess Auld Lang Syne fits the bill! I made a choice not to say much about the music on that green LP as his (I think) white band was certainly of its time in appropriating early jazz tunes. This album’s standout track, for instance, is a lively (and ‘nice’) version of “Mississippi Mud”, which plays pretty uncomfortably today.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. They’re still playing Lombardo’s version of Royal Canadian Auld Lang Syrupy Syne for New Year’s at Madison Square, and it always does make me feel a bit green about the gills. I had no idea their band actually knew how to swing. Wow, these colors. The Meters’ record is actually kind of pretty, but those others – I looked up “bilious” to make sure it’s the right term for these plastic-y GI Joe colors, yep, that’ll do it. Although what a great pleasure to discover you’ve got that CCR “Green River,” my gosh you’ve got an amazing collection.
    I cannot hear “Green Onions” without seeing the drag race scene from “American Graffiti,” it works perfectly after seeing it ten times at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m crestfallen and ashamed to admit I am yet to view American Graffiti. As a deca-veteran, do you think it would work in 2021 for an old fart and his 16 year old son?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely, a big, overstuffed hodgepodge of a movie, great cast. Music is Fats Domino, Bill Haley, Del Shannon, etc., perfectly synched, and best use of “Happy Birthday” in a soundtrack, too. If you look up the outtakes, Harrison Ford trying “Some Enchanted Evening” is a bizarre treat.
        I’m looking at my earlier comment, feeling under the weather at the time, and the greens weren’t looking good to me at that moment, sorry, it comes across much more rude than intended, those greens are perfectly nice now that my stomach has settled down.
        Definitely see that movie, it’s not sophisticated or meaningful, just really good Hollywood.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Cool.
          No need for apologies. Bilious is a vastly underused word in music reviews. 😵‍💫

          Like

  5. pinklightsabre · · Reply

    Still need to dabble in the Booker stuff to understand that correlation with the VU influence. Do you hear that? I think it was touched on a VU book I think we read in our club but you know, now I’m not even sure. Man it’s been a good run on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The VU book may have been my first appearance, unread and possibly unwashed. As for the connection, I’ve not heard that either as an idea nor an aural observation. Been mulling over it since your comment, but drawn a blank. To mid-60s garage? Certainly. To early Mothers? Perhaps. But an instrumental organ-driven jazz-soul combo? Hm. Seems a long bow.

      (Yeah, I’m missing you guys all summer-distracted and thinking of boutique beers)

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  6. So lovely. In that pick, the Beaches album looks blue to me, though. Or is that my eyes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your eyes are keen, young Skywalker. Each post features three albums, while the ‘feature image’ includes a fourth that anticipates the next post. So the turquoise of Beaches leads us to…

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      1. My eyes are keen but I’m slow on the uptake! lol

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ive had Green Onions on the brain and you’re keeping it there. Cool vinyl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. B-do do da-do do…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dont stop. I want to see you type the whole tune.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL. Only if you type Steve Cropper’s part. 🤣

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s what I get for fooling with a smart guy. Throws it right back in my court. You win this round.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. What say we hum it together and go get a beer?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Sounds good but no doing the dance interpretation after we had a few, at least not together.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Awwww! But I do a great interpretive dance portrayal of a green onion. It’ll make you weep.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Ok I’ll stop with that belly laugh. Now that’s funny. We’ll save ‘Time Is Tight’ for another day. Laughing still.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. That was fun, CB. And what’s more, it had me spinning this, to make a grey Melbourne day brighter…

              Liked by 1 person

            6. Cool how that works. ‘Time Is Tight” is spinning in my head right now. Later Bruce.

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Stay safe, dude.

              Liked by 1 person

  8. […] — Orange — Yellow — Green — Blue — […]

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