Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Mar-Keys

The Mar-Keys The only Mar-Keys collection available on Amazon is an import that sells for $49.95 USD – and that one is available only from a 3rd party reseller. And for your 50 dollars you get a whopping 21 tracks, which don’t even include all 4 of their top 100 singles (Pop-Eye Stroll is missing).

There must be a dozen collections by Booker T & The MGs. This isn’t something that I can explain easily.

My collection has all 4 singles, among 11 tacks taken from The Complete Stax Volt Singles, 1959-1968, which I found on that delightful, though totally corrupt, and no longer extant, Russian web site.

The Mar-Keys were a Stax group, laying down that groovy Memphis rhythm behind some of the great Stax artists, the house band, when the said Booker T and company weren’t being the house band (you figure it out, I can’t). And, like the MGs, they made a series of recordings of their own, and managed to put four of them, as I said, into the top 100. Not to be confused the Marketts (aka Mar-Kets) who did Surfers Stomp and Out Of Limits and the big hit cover of Batman, or the Bar-Kays, another 60 soul group very similar to the Mar-Keys who recorded for the same label. How could anybody keep it straight, I don’t know…

The Mar-Keys:

Last Night – The big one, from the summer of 1961. It doesn’t get simpler, and it doesn’t get into a deeper groove…
Morning After – The follow up, from the fall of 1961.
About Noon
Pop-Eye Stroll – There is a superficial resemblance to Popcorn by Hot Butter, with the emphasis remaining on “superficial.” From the winter / spring of 1962.
Whot’s Happening
Bush Bash
Grab This Thing (Part 1)
Philly Dog – Their 4th and final pop hit, from the spring of 1966.

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