Sunday, July 27, 2008

Number 472 - Al Green

Number 472

Al Green

"Lets Stay Together"

We're now the Naughty Two's!
Good God! 2 years sitting behind a screen writing this [expletive] and only just reached over half way. Ai Yi Yi!
It started breezy enough in 2006 with 327 songs written for that year [Which was really only 6 months], then in 2007, I started to take the project far more seriously with only 148 songs for the whole 12 months being written and now its over halfway of 2008 and only 52 songs written so far. If I can get to Number 400 by December, I shall be happy.
Originally I said to the family "It will take a year at most!" [Better to live one year as a tiger, then a hundred as sheep] ... hmm yes, but it might take a hundred to be definitive. Put it this way, I prefer this quote, which relates to what I'm trying to do .... A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will, is sure to be short. In brief, I am trying to do this countdown properly and give it the time it deserves. Happy Birthday to me, and to you.
Like my suit?
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. (or slow jams as I prefer to call them) ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
The "Uh Oh" Event of 74'
What? I was never on the Love Boat!
On October 18, 1974, Mary Woodson, a longtime friend of Al Green, assaulted him, then killed herself. It is believed that she wished to be more than just a friend to Al Green. One night, she left the guest quarters, then entered the main section of the house without permission. She snuck into his bathroom to make a surprise attack. With no warning, she threw a large pot of boiling grits over him as he was undressed and preparing to shower. As Green writhed in pain, she ran into another part of the house and committed suicide by shooting herself. Investigations found that Mary Woodson had committed this act of assault due to suffering a mental breakdown. Her mental instability caused her to interpret Al Green as having rejected her wish to discuss marriage with him, even though their relationship had never progressed past friendship.This assault from behind caused third-degree burns on his back, stomach and arms. Deeply shaken by the injuries, the nature of the assault and the loss of this friend who was very dear to him, Green continued to reaffirm and grow closer to his deeply held love for God. He became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976. ~ [Source:Wikipedia] (Please note some statements are under "citation needed" to prove factual events)
For Marvin Gaye see Number 611
What does Rolling Stone think of Al Green?
Al Green's first four albums are the beginning of the truly sublime rhythm-and-blues story of the 1970s: It's a story about one of the most soulful voices in pop history - a rough yet refined tenor -- combined with a mystically tight Memphis studio band. For generations of inheritors (from Jodeci to U2) and lovers, Green, producer Willie Mitchell and the five-man Hi Records house band set the benchmark for soul. On 1971's Gets Next to You and 1972's Let's Stay Together and I'm Still in Love With You, the Red Sea parts. Green's singing and the band's arrangements act in thrilling concert, offering a controlled abandon that you don't often hear this side of, say, Miles Davis and Gil Evans. The hits are well-known: the supernatural-sounding stretches and dissolves of "Tired of Being Alone" (from Gets Next to You); the unique French candy and Tennessee gospel of "Let's Stay Together"; the hard architecture and chiffon air of "I'm Still in Love With You." On non-hits such as Love With You's "I'm Glad You're Mine," both Green and his musicians sound like terrifically expressive bees buzzing around rhythmically inside some funky old box. More masterpieces would come in the years ahead -- 1973's Call Me, most quickly -- but all you need is right here. ~ [Source:Rolling Stone]
For U2 see Number 661
For U2 in the Mellow Mix Vols visit MM Vol 1 #038 & #129
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '472nd Song of all Time' was "Where Did Our Love Go" by The Supremes. The Supremes have appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #716
Other songs with reference to Al Green #481
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number 60 and the Album ranked at (We only like his greatest hits + 2 other studio albums)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 76.4 out of 108

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