In his book Seekers Guide To The Rhythm Of Yesteryear
, Shiloh Noone writes about the UK impact of this song: "The 'Green Onions' groove has maintained an epic accountability filtering into a variety of styles, yet its roots have a double-edged sword. Let us chop up the onions and savor the stinging that shed its tears over the last forty years. Strangely the infectious hook never charted in the '60s and took 17 years to reach UK #10. Admittedly Atlantic had slipped up failing to recognize that the instrumental 'Memphis Sound' had conjured a bluesy dance fashion in the '60s. The 1967 'Green Onions' single was backed by the badly recorded 'Bootleg.' The riff took fashion during the mod revival in the '70s and found itself included on The Who's Quadrophenia
soundtrack. For many it was the first introduction to Booker T. It was re-issued as a single in 1979 and cracked the UK #10 due to Steve Cropper and 'Duck' Dunn joining the Blues Brothers and featuring in the film of the same name. The stinging riff again re-surfaced in 1985 on 'Old Gold Records,' this time backed by 'Chinese Checkers.' Some of the more definitive versions of 'Green Onions' were featured by Georgie Fame (Fame at Last), the Ventures (Lonely Bull), King Curtis (Memphis Hits). The irresistible groove also hooked the high and mighty as in 'Stoned
' by the Rolling Stones that was issued as B-side to 'I Wanna Be Your Man
.' The rhythm would move from generation to generation starting with the Blues Brothers (Made in America
- 1980), Johnny Thunders (eponymous album 1982) and the acid jazz Penthouse Suite
(1990) by the James Taylor Quartet. Barring the original that kicks like a mule, their are four exhilarating interpretations: Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper
, which has Mike improvising on the decisive Al Kooper Hammond drone. Bloomfield's articulate tone frolics and jostles with absolute ease amazing the crowds at Bill Graham's Fillmore. England's Downliners Sect released the most authentic version and probably the only played purely on guitar in 1964, probably also the first British version and to my knowledge the first cover to wax the globe. For the purists the frenzied guitar solos were reinforced by Muleskinner axeman Ian McLagan, future organist with the Small Faces. Guitar maestro Roy Buchanan recorded this one in 1967 for his Loading Zone. He shares the lead solos with none other than authors Steve Cropper and bassist Donald 'Duck' Dunn."