Sunday, February 23, 2014

Booker T. & the M.G.'s -- "Time Is Tight" (1969)

A "29 Posts in 28 Days" focused on instrumentals would be sadly incomplete if it didn't include a record from Booker T. & the M.G.'s, who had no fewer than 18 instrumental singles on the Billboard "Hot 100" between 1962 and 1971.  

Three of those singles made it to the top ten, including today's featured instrumental, "Time Is Tight," which peaked at #6 in February 1969.  (It was a #4 hit in the UK.)

Booker T. & the M.G.'s were the Stax Records house band, and they played on hundreds of records by great R&B artists like Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, and Bill Withers.

Jackson, Cropper, Jones, and Dunn
The group's original members were Booker T. Jones (organ and piano), Steve Cropper (guitar), Al Jackson, Jr. (drums), and Lewie Steinberg (bass).  In 1965, Steinberg was replaced by Donald "Duck" Dunn.  

"Time Is Tight" was the last song on the soundtrack album for the 1968 movie, Uptight, which was an update of John Ford's 1935 film, The Informer.  

The Ford movie involved a former member of the Irish Republican Army who turns informer.  In Uptight, the informer was a member of a group of black revolutionaries.

Uptight's director was Jules Dassin, an American joined the Communist Party in 1930 and was blacklisted in 1950.  He later directed Never on Sunday (1960) and Topkapi (1964), both of which starred Greek actress Melina Mercouri, whom he later married.

Mercouri and Dassin in Greece
The Clash recorded a cover of "Time Is Tight," and used the song as a warm-up number in live concerts.  The Blues Brothers usually kicked off their live shows with "Time is Tight."  (Both Cropper and Dunn played with the Blues Brothers.)

Here's a fabulous live performance of "Time Is Tight."  (Yes, that's John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook of Creedence Clearwater Revival enjoying the show from backstage.)

And here's the studio recording of "Time Is Tight":

Click below to buy "Time Is Tight" from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment