booker t. & priscilla / hill/ethridge/barbata


[-] by Andrew Hamilton
Booker T. Jones exited Stax Records before it came to a complete crash and married singer Priscilla Coolidge, Rita's sister, and the two hooked-up musically as well. Great things were expected from this project. Jones led his namesake, Booker T. & the MG's, to some success at Stax. The four-pieces also served as the label's most prominent house band, and, in addition, Jones shared co-writer credit on some great songs. Coolidge, like her sister, sang with an abundance of soul. Rita recorded for A&M, and the label had issued a solo album on Priscilla, which originally came out on Sussex Records. Few people will tell you this is a bad album, cause it's not, it's just not what was expected. The lovebirds are all over the place theme-wise -- love, social problems, ethnic issues, and other twists and spins on a multitude of subjects. This is a long, two-disc album: 19 tracks, 83 minutes of music. If you can hang from the first song, "Wedding Song," to the last, "One Man Trouble," you deserve a music-listening endurance award. Sometimes less is better. Cherry-picked and taken in smaller doses, which one can do now with a CD (but this is on vinyl and cassette), you could take the LP's bitter with the sweet better. But constantly lifting the turntable arm to move to a different song gets old quick; just laying back and letting it roll isn't the answer either. Nice singing, good tracks, but nothing to get up and boogie about. You keep waiting for the blockbuster that never comes. It attracted some buyers, charting at number 106 on Billboard's Top 200 Pop Albums, mainly out of curiosity.