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Al Green

Al Green was the first great soul singer of the '70s and arguably the last great Southern soul singer. With his seductive singles for Hi Records in the early '70s, Green bridged the gap between deep soul and smooth Philadelphia soul. He incorporated elements of gospel, interjecting his performances with wild moans and wails, but his records were stylish, boasting immaculate productions that rolled along with a tight beat, sexy backing vocals, and lush strings. The distinctive Hi Records sound that the vocalist and producer Willie Mitchell developed made Al Green the most popular and influential soul singer of the early '70s, influencing not only his contemporaries, but also veterans like Marvin Gaye. Green was at the peak of his popularity when he suddenly decided to join the ministry in the mid-'70s. At first, he continued to record secular material, but by the '80s, he was concentrating solely on gospel. During the late '80s and '90s, he occasionally returned to R&B, but he remained primarily a religious performer for the rest of his career. Nevertheless, Green's classic early- '70s recordings retained their power and influence throughout the decades, setting the standard for smooth soul.

Green was born in Forrest City, AR, where he formed a gospel quartet, the Green Brothers, at the age of nine. The group toured throughout the South in the mid-'50s, before the family relocated to Grand Rapids, MI. The Green Brothers continued to perform in Grand Rapids, but Al's father kicked the boy out of the group after he caught his son listening to Jackie Wilson. At the age of 16, Al formed an R&B group, Al Green & the Creations, with several of his high-school friends. Two Creation members, Curtis Rogers and Palmer James, founded their own independent record company, Hot Line Music Journal, and had the group record for the label. By that time, the Creations had been re-named the Soul Mates. The group's first single, "Back Up Train," became a surprise hit, climbing to number five on the R&B charts early in 1968. The Soul Mates attempted to record another hit, but all of their subsequent singles failed to find an audience.

In 1969, Al Green met bandleader and Hi Records vice president Willie Mitchell while on tour in Midland, Texas. Impressed with Green's voice, he signed the singer to Hi Records, and began collaborating with Al on his debut album. Released in early 1970, Green's debut album, Green Is Blues, showcased the signature sound he and Mitchell devised -- a sinewy, sexy groove highlighted by horn punctuations and string beds that let Green showcase his remarkable falsetto. While the album didn't spawn any hit singles, it was well-received and set the stage for the breakthrough success of his second album. Al Green Gets Next to You (1970) launched his first hit single, "Tired of Being Alone," which began a streak of four straight gold singles. Let's Stay Together (1972) was his first genuine hit album, climbing to number eight on the pop charts; its title track became his first number one single. I'm Still in Love With You, which followed only a few months later, was an even greater success, peaking at number four and launching the hits "Look What You Done for Me" and "I'm Still in Love With You."

By the release of 1973's Call Me, Green was known as both a hitmaker and an artist who released consistently engaging, frequently excellent, critically-acclaimed albums. His hits continued uninterrupted through the next two years, with "Call Me," "Here I Am," and "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)" all becoming Top Ten gold singles. At the height of his popularity, Green's former girlfriend, Mrs. Mary Woodson, broke into his Memphis home in October 1974 and poured boiling grits on the singer as he was bathing, inflicting second-degree burns on his back, stomach, and arm; after assaulting Green, she killed herself with his gun. Green interpreted the violent incident as a sign from God that he should enter the ministry. By 1976, he had bought a church in Memphis and had become an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle. Though he had begun to seriously pursue religion, he had not given up singing R&B and he released three other Mitchell-produced albums -- Al Green Is Love (1975), Full of Fire (1976), Have a Good Time (1976) -- after the incident. However, his albums began to sound formulaic, and his sales started to slip by the end of 1976, with disco cutting heavily into his audience.

In order to break free from his slump, Green stopped working with Willie Mitchell in 1977 and built his own studio, American Music, where he intended to produce his own records. The first album he made at American Music was The Belle Album, an intimate record that was critically acclaimed but failed to win a crossover audience. Truth and Time (1978) failed to even generate a major R&B hit. During a concert in Cincinnati in 1979, Green fell off the stage and nearly injured himself seriously. Interpreting the accident as a sign from God, Green retired from performing secular music and devoted himself to preaching. Throughout the '80s, he released a series of gospel albums on Myrrh Records. In 1982, Green appeared in the gospel musical Your Arms Too Short to Box With God with Patti Labelle. In 1985, he reunited with Willie Mitchell for He Is the Light, his first album for A&M Records.

Green tentatively returned to R&B in 1988 when he sang "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" with Annie Lennox for the Bill Murray comedy Scrooged. Four years later, he recorded his first full-fledged soul album since 1978 with the U.K.-only Don't Look Back. Al Green was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. That same year, he released Your Heart's in Good Hands, an urban contemporary record that represented his first secular album to be released in America since Truth and Time. Though the album received positive reviews, it failed to become a hit. Green did achieve widespread recognition eight years later with his first album for Blue Note, I Can't Stop. One and a half years later, he followed it with Everything's OK. His third Blue Note album, 2008's Lay It Down, featured an updated sound that still echoed the feel of his classic earlier soul style. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Immortal Soul Of Al Green

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4

Comments

sunnythunder d a n c e r
can everyone remember that one? oh yeah baby
sunnythunder d a n c e r
i want to hear william devaughn's just be thankful for what you got
When ya need me... I'll be right there.
Yasssssssss
This naki world im here an my bro not i love him happy b day
Al Green the man
Yeeee , makin luv to some ALGREEN dammm some good s**t rite there.....bb y where at.....lol
put mavin gaye on next time
Luv me some Al Green brother can sing
This is a really classic for the good times
He actually could sing the phone book and make it sound grand. So glad he retained his gospel upbringing. One of the greatest voices of the century.
steven7207
Those were the good old days I can remember in the 70 I met my first Love. Boy did we had good time , not to say that now we still have good times. Love you Karen forever.
love al...especia l l y love and Happiness... t h a t was the song that made me a fan
Wish I could bring those days back again who all agree with me on that❓ Miss Audrey
Together baby Yeaa! Lost virginity to this song. 8Tracks ,Michigan in the 70s. race wars bigtime
puri8360
Al green song, Marvin Gay,The Temptations Otis Redding, Bill Withers,the Spinners.and more artist that their music really meant true meaning in one's heart, together with best moments that will stay deep getting the soul Keep good memories in the right place . In the corner of one's heart and mind. Purely alive. Sadly when those times are hit with the lost of family members and true love It really hurts. I love these music because it truly has soul and love in them.
These were the good old days. New school can't touch songs like these.
I L-O-V-E love Al's soulful vocals.
All i can say ... sorry for you my friend keep the Greyhound .. now keep crying!
Al's music always makes me happy when I'm sad
Mr.Al Green so sweet Still In Love With You ♥♡♥♡♥
When things started getting back, put Rev Al on and let him preach, after she'll know your still in love her, no better song says it like this song
Remember seeing him performed this song on soul train ...YouTube
If you don't like AL Green your a commie!
I'm sure Al Green is alive and well. I can't think of anyone I know that Doesn't Like All Green. I adore everything the sings
True
All I say is love it
Yum
cortez.corte z 7 8
Al GREEN ������������
U.N.L.V Small Business Development Center Grad 2010*
Mr.Bronshae La'Ray Alexander™ Owner of; Nevada Professional Jet`Ski Rental inc.™ Year2009* CEO of; Shandozia Entertainmen t Service®Year 2 0 0 4 * Owner of; UFC, MMA, TMC, 2Mil.1987* at S.T.M.B.Chur c h Pittsburg Ca. {Owner of Nuloos inc.™} ((Paperwork Discrepancy? ) ) ~WNBA, NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL~ Universal Studios Hollywood© The Monica & Bronshae Show® & Promos! Year2000* 103.5 The Bomb™ Year2000* K.M.E.L SF© Year1987* The Kid Chris Show® Sacramento 2001
{Bronshae Alexander Pittsburg CA} Sacramento Policemen B-French is trying to Murder Me! Date:12/31/1 4 ! (Today's DATE:1/15/20 1 5 ) President: Barack Oboma! Alexander.Re s u m e 1 @ g m a i l . c o m
For the good time... Best song ever!! So many great memories. Always takes me back to the good times.
Love, love Al.
Nothing can be so sexy than Al Green
Baby lets stay juntos papasito! *,*
Preach !

U.N.L.V Small Business Development Center Grad 2010*
Mr.Bronshae La'Ray Alexander™ Owner of; Nevada Professional Jet`Ski Rental inc.™ Year2009* CEO of; Shandozia Entertainmen t Service®Year 2 0 0 4 * Owner of; UFC, MMA, TMC, 2Mil.1987* at S.T.M.B.Chur c h Pittsburg Ca. {Owner of Nuloos inc.™} ((Paperwork Discrepancy? ) ) ~WNBA, NBA, NFL, NHL~ Universal Studios Hollywood© The Monica & Bronshae Show® & Promos! Year2000* 103.5 The Bomb™ Year2000* K.M.E.L SF© Year1988* The Kid Chris Show® Sacramento Year2001
So Godly, SOUL full of Good Sounds AND I LOVE HIS SLOW SONGS SO FEEL ING,A KING O Soul
You see my friend, dance in those days was somewhat of an art. Therefore to demonstrate the ability to coordinate movement under the influence is most remarkable when taken into consideratio n . T H E R E IS THE word AND there IS THE beat
If there some out ther that love slow jams more then me i nee to no them
Nobody does it better thanks man..
LUV ME SME AL GREEN
This is my era ♥
love me some Al Green good stuff
Love him took me back
SERIOUSLY!?! ? ! ?
Al green had my sick grandma tappin her feet win she didnt no what was goin on rip mary ellen spain 97'
Yes I Do Love you. Big Daddy with all my Heart u do want you in my Life come Back to me I don't want be with out you either eyes only for you. ...
Outstanding display of what the sound is all about , get it ?
Great way to start my Friday....ca n never go wrong with The Rev...aka Al Green.
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