There are few voices in music that just sound different. A voice that sounds like another instrument, pushing the emotion of the song forward. Al Green is one of these few. Some claim Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, or Issac Hayes are the love Gods. Al Green is the guy on the top of my list. Hard to believe that down the street from all the great music being made at Stax studios was Hi Records led by Al Green. Only city with more great music than Memphis in the early 70’s was Detroit in the late 60’s. (Detroit in 69 had Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Temptations, Motown etc, plus Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, Alice Cooper, Amboy Dukes with the Nuge, Bob Seger)
1. Let’s Stay Together
It’s impossible to not put this number 1. Al pleads his love and I can’t imagine a woman turning him down by the time he’s done. The Pulp Fiction soundtrack introduced this one to a new generation.
2. Love and Happiness
Just might be my favorite organ fills in any soul song. The female backup singers bring a lot to it, too. Live Soul Train video below.
3. How Can I Mend a Broken Heart
Now this is one of the best slow jams of the 70’s. Barry Gibb could always write a great song, but with some Green power it becomes a whole different thing.
4. Tired of Being Alone
Gospel harmony background, as our man can barely get the lyrics out sometimes because he feels so much loneliness.
5. Here I Am
The key musical component driving all Al Green songs is the amazing funky drummer himself, Willie Mitchell, Jr. The backbeat of this song with Green’s falsetto is hard to deny.
6. Can’t Get Next to You
Al Green turns the Temptations version of this classic with the help of the Funk Brothers. Should still be played in strip clubs.
7. I’m Still in Love You
His best falsetto song.
8. Simply Beautiful
I love the addition of the acoustic guitar as the song is done at a whisper during most of it.
9. Take Me to the River
I do prefer the Talking Heads cover, but the original has Al stretching a little and shaking up his steady tempo.
10. How Times Slips Away
This 90’s duet with Lyle Lovett is a great example of how Al still has all his gifts, even if he spends it now preaching at his church down the street from Graceland.