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Soul - Released October 23, 1972 | Fat Possum

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Just nine months after the release of Let’s Stay Together featuring the single with the same title, Al Green teamed up once again with production partner Willie Mitchell, aka the boss of Hi Records music label, for yet another legendary album. The minimalist and introspective I’m Still in Love With You has a refined, sexy soul sound and even explores country (a raunchy version of Kris Kristofferson’s For the Good Times) and rock ‘n’ roll (an original cover of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman). And of course, Al Green’s unique, suave tone is showcased right the way through this fifth album, released in 1972. The singer-reverend from Arkansas croons, scats, whispers and shouts; like a preacher on the verge of sin. The key ingredient to this soulful magic is the pared-down musical backdrop provided by Mitchell and his musicians, especially Al Jackson on drums (original member of Booker. T & The M.G.’s) who provides the music with its vital heartbeat. Never a trumpet too loud, never a string out of place or a note too many, no, everything runs as smoothly as a well-oiled machine in this album that ages beautifully like a fine wine. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Soul - Released November 24, 2014 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released December 12, 1995 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released June 14, 2019 | Fat Possum

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Al Green, the master of sensual southern soul and refined groove, gives us his greatest tracks from Hi Records. Thanks to Willie Mitchell, producer and boss of this legendary Memphis label, the reverend Al Green and his sexual falsetto collates his 1968-1978 hits into this original production. There is a constant battle between the temptation of the flesh and religious self-denial throughout, and Al Green remains firmly between the soul and gospel stylings of the South and the luxurious Philly sound. His voice is spellbindingly erotic, and is carried by the production of Mitchell, the backbone of many of his albums.With restrained metronomic drums, big brass and subdued guitar playing, no one else can reach such a level of profound sensuality through the simplicity of I'm Still in Love With You or Let's Stay Together. Al Green whispers, speaks and shouts, like a soul preacher on the verge of committing sin. In 1974, he was even severely burnt while in the bath by his girlfriend who committed suicide a few minutes later. Green took this as a “sign from God” and became a pastor two years later. "I learned more stuff in church than I did in the world.” This collection brings together all the remastered singles from his twelve albums for Hi Records, and only helps us understand his genius further. You can’t help but still be impressed by the magical combination of this unique voice and the muted music that stands the test of time. Essential listening. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Soul - Released January 1, 1972 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released June 18, 1973 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released January 1, 1971 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released September 19, 1975 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released January 1, 1987 | A&M

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Soul - Released April 13, 1976 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released January 1, 2008 | Blue Note Records

Booklet
The big question that greets listeners encountering Al Green's third Blue Note album, Lay It Down, is: what happens when you put that amazing soul-drenched voice in the hands of hip-hop producers Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of the Roots and James Poyser, and add a slew of superstar guests? Answer: a killer Al Green soul album. Thompson and Poyser weren't interested in straying far from the classic sound Green and producer Willie Mitchell created at Hi Records in the 1970s, but they did want to place it in a more contemporary -- albeit analog -- setting. Green cut his previous offerings for the label -- 2003's I Can't Stop and 2005's Everything's OK -- with Mitchell, and the results were good, not great, albums because Green's sound was simply re-created nostalgically. Even though Thompson and Poyser have been very creative here with their nuanced percussive, textural, and dynamic touches, Lay It Down is more of a classic-sounding Al Green record than either of its predecessors. The producers are at the core of a studio band (on drums and various analog keyboards, respectively) that also includes Mighty Clouds of Joy guitarist Chalmers "Spanky" Alford (in whose memory the album is dedicated), bassist Adam Blackstone (Jill Scott), and the Dap-Kings Horns. Lay It Down is a slow-burning, solid groover of a soul record; its dynamics and textures shift subtly and purposely to keep Green's voice at the center of its sound. If there is a flaw on the set, it's that individual tracks don't assert themselves immediately. Green, Poyser, and Thompson were going for immediacy and feel: nine of the album's 11 cuts had basic tracks done in their first session. They achieved their goal and then some -- the album feels of such an atmospheric piece and is so present that it initially comes off as a whole. That said, there is no better place to spend 45 minutes than in Lay It Down's dreamy, sensual, gritty, and tender sound world. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Soul - Released October 2, 1974 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released September 18, 2015 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released December 6, 1973 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released December 6, 1977 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released December 18, 2020 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released January 1, 1994 | A&M

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Soul - Released December 1, 2016 | Fat Possum

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Soul - Released January 1, 1967 | Arista - Legacy

Nearly forgotten by all but serious soul fans, Back Up Train is Al Green's debut. Released in 1967, when he was still billed as "Al Greene" and before he worked with producer Willie Mitchell, the record is a perfectly serviceable slice of slightly sweet period soul -- perhaps a little generic, but never less than pleasant. Much of the record was either written or co-written by the album's producers, Palmer E. James and Curtis Rodgers, who were not just part of Hot Line Records, but in the Creations, Green's previous backing band. Though they're fine as producers, they didn't have strong material as songwriters, never producing something as limber and memorable as Green's lone songwriting credit, "Stop and Check Myself." Musically, this number, along with a few other cuts, suggest the tight, sexy sound of his seminal Hi albums, but they're nowhere near as seductive as those slow grooves, nor are they as effortless. Still, it's possible to hear their roots throughout the record. Green's voice, while not as smooth as it would be just a few years later, shows enormous talent, he's equally comfortable with ballads and funky workouts, and the production, while dated, is quite appealing in how it falls somewhere between the grit of Memphis and the sweetness of Chicago soul. Back Up Train is good enough that if Green hadn't gone on to greater work, this would be the kind of record soul fanatics would treasure and trade, speculating on what might have happened if Green had been given another shot. Of course, Green went on to bigger, better things, and this stands as no more than a footnote to his career, but it's an interesting, enjoyable footnote all the same. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Soul - Released June 23, 1978 | Fat Possum