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1962 – Green Onions

December 7th, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

A few months ago I created a Spotify playlist with one track for every year of my life. I already have plenty of playlists that mostly have similar types of music in them – so a punk playlist, a rap playlist, a krautrock playlist, and so on, but I am trying to set some up with more variety and this was meant to do that.

No fixed rules or criteria. No point in getting completely OCD about it, butI was aiming at one track for each year I have been around and it would be something released in that year, and preferably one that I listened to a lot during that year. To make sure it is more varied I decided to only have one track per artist. Oh, and I also wanted something I can bear to listen to now, otherwise I would probably have ended up with Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) for 1971.

Given those loose constraints you might imagine that 1962 would be the hardest year to pick a track from. I was only around for just over three months of 1962 and wasn’t really listening to music then, and I have never been a huge fan of 60’s music, but it turned out to be the easiest choice to make.I had a look on Wikipedia to see what music was released in 1962, and as soon as I saw that Green Onions was on it I needed look no further. It really is one of my absolute favourite tunes, and probably my most-played track on Spotify.

At some point in the mid-70s I acquired the American Graffiti soundtrack album, which is effectively a best of rock & roll album, and rock & roll was still a big thing in the mid-70’s. Just watching some of the old TOTP shows on BBC4 reminds you just how many rock & roll revivalist acts were in the charts back then. Green Onions never really seemed to fit in with all the other tracks but I loved listening to it. I had not actually seen the film, but when I did catch up with it some years later I fell in love with the track all over again because of the way ot was used in the film.

Even more years later, and after getting into the Blues Brothers, which I also came to late, I learned all about the Stax studio band and how Booker T’s band were basically the houseband for Stax and played on so many amazing songs, as well as being the core of the Blues Brothers band.

To seal the deal, the tagline for the American Graffit film, which also appeared on the soundtrack LP cover, was “Where were you in ’62?” and I could not pick it up without thinking about how 1962 was when I was born. Even better, when I looked the song up I saw that it was released  (in America) in the very month I was born.

With all that in mind, there really was no better choice for starting this playlist than with Green Onions by Booker T and the M.G.’s

There are few other singles from 1962 that I have listened to much. Monster Mash (when it was re-released), Boom Boom (much later when I got into John Lee Hooker), and that’s about it. There was the first Beatles single, Love Me Do, but to be honest, Green Onions has been a much bigger part of my life than the Beatles.

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