Review Memphis Experience

The Mar-Kays

... read moreThe Mar-Keys had a history of strange personnel changes; their previous LP (1969's Damifiknow!) had basically been Booker T. & the MG's-plus-horn section playing under the Mar-Keys name. Yet Memphis Experience was even stranger, demonstrating that the Mar-Keys at this point meant nothing more to...

The Mar-Keys had a history of strange personnel changes; their previous LP (1969's Damifiknow!) had basically been Booker T. & the MG's-plus-horn section playing under the Mar-Keys name. Yet Memphis Experience was even stranger, demonstrating that the Mar-Keys at this point meant nothing more to Stax than a name that could be exploited. Three of the seven cuts were Bar-Kays outtakes that were scrapped when that band underwent one of its own numerous reorganizations. The rest of the album was recorded by an assortment of Memphis musicians. The result was serviceable period instrumental soul-funk, occasionally creeping into psychedelia (especially on the nine-minute "Cloud Nine," with several minutes of weird screams and whispers). It's an oddity in the Stax discography, related to the rest of the Mar-Keys' releases in name only, and not worth paying attention to unless you're determined to track down every available Stax recording. The album was combined with the 1969 Mar-Keys LP Damifiknow! onto a single-CD reissue in 1994. ~ Richie Unterberger