Steve Cropper - With A Little Help From My Friends [LP] | RECORD STORE DAY
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Like the first words of a book, the opening notes of an album can make you lean in. Sometimes it’s like meeting a stranger who later becomes a lifelong friend, or on rare occasions, a spouse. Please drop your stylus on this record and say hello to your new best friend. Hear the confidence, hear the tone, feel the vibe. –Robert Gordon (from his liner notes) As a founding member of Stax house band Booker T. & The M.G.’s, Steve Cropper was involved in some of the most important music of the 1960s as a player, songwriter, and producer. The following decade introduced him to a new group of fans as guitarist for The Blues Brothers, appearing on both their records and film. A two-time Grammy® winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Cropper has been an integral thread in the cloth of American music, writing, playing and producing into the 21st century to this very day. In 1969, Cropper released his first solo album, producing and arranging its eleven tracks himself. His backing band? While there is no actual record of who played on the album itself, Grammy® winner Robert Gordon’s liner notes point to his fellow M.G.’s, Buddy Miles, Jim Keltner, the Bar-Kay’s James Alexander, and more as candidates. From original tracks to its well-known covers (including The Beatles classic the release shares its name with), it is a tour de force of pure Memphis rock and soul. The core eleven tracks now appear again on an all-analog cut, new pressing of the LP as With A Little Help From My Friends returns for a new generation to experience. The CD version contains a whopping eight bonus tracks, including four tracks not included on the original release and alternate versions of four that do. Add in Robert Gordon’s notes and this release is as much a history lesson as it is a timepiece of pure musical magic.