Monday Afternoon Soul: The Meters' "It Ain't No Use," live On The Queen Mary

It doesn't matter who you are nor when you hear the above music, you will not hear anything funkier, tighter or more soulful this month. In a better world, DJs would spin this track at least once a night and be showered with tips accordingly.

I still can't decide what's most amazing: that Earth's greatest live album sat on a shelf for 17 years before being released, or that a show this awesome was performed for Paul McCartney's birthday party. I actually got my copy of this CD as a gift/accident when I placed one of my first mail orders to Rhino Records in 1991 or 1992. The first couple of listens opened a door into an entirely universe; it's harder to explain to people who weren't there what it was like to be a kid who had to make the best of the least-objectionable and fringe offerings that pop radio, MTV, underfunded A/V libraries, guitar magazines and a handful of sloppy local non-cover bands could offer in those pre-MP3 days. I wish I still had that Rhino order's invoice; disc for disc, it was probably the best cultural investment I've ever made.

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