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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Best Of The Gospel Sessions

1. The Lord Will Make A Way

2. None But The Righteous

3. Higher Plane

4. People Get Ready

5. His Name Is Jesus

6. Morningstar

7. Hallelujah (I Just Want To Praise The Lord)

8. Straighten Out Your Life

9. No Not One

10. All We Need Is A Little More Love

11. Everything's Gonna Be Alright

12. Jesus Will Fix It

13. Power

x

Track List: What Makes The World Go 'Round?

1. Tired Of Being Alone

2. I Can't Get Next To You

3. What Am I Gonna Do With Myself

4. Love And Happiness

5. Look What You Done For Me

6. Here I Am (Come And Take Me)

7. It Ain't No Fun To Me

8. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

9. Take Me To The River

10. Let's Stay Together

11. Are You Lonely For Me Baby

12. Let's Get Married

13. One Woman

14. Call Me (Come Back Home)

15. Old Time Lovin'

16. Funny How Time Slips Away

x

Track List: The Definitive Greatest Hits

1. Let's Stay Together

2. Tired Of Being Alone

3. Take Me To The River

4. I'm Still In Love With You

5. Look What You Done For Me

6. Here I Am (Come And Take Me)

7. Love And Happiness

8. Keep Me Cryin'

9. Call Me (Come Back Home)

10. Livin' For You

11. Let's Get Married

12. Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)

13. L-O-V-E (Love)

14. You Ought To Be With Me

15. Oh Me, Oh My (Dreams In My Arms)

16. Full Of Fire

17. Back Up Train

18. I Can't Get Next To You

19. Belle

x

Track List: The Absolute Best

Disc 1

2. Love And Happiness

3. Let's Stay Together

5. I've Never Found A Girl

6. Driving Wheel

7. La-La For You

8. I Can't Get Next To You

9. So You're Leaving

10. Tired of Being Alone

11. Look What You Done For Me

12. I'm Still In Love With You

13. Sweet Song

15. Funny How Time Slips Away

16. You Ought To Be With Me

17. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

Disc 2

2. Here I Am (Come And Take Me)

3. Call Me (Come Back Home)

4. Livin' For You

5. Rhymes

6. God Blessed Our Love

7. Let's Get Married

8. Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)

9. Take Me To The River

10. Oh Me, Oh My (Dreams In My Arms)

11. L-O-V-E (Love)

13. Together Again

14. Full Of Fire

15. Belle

16. Keep Me Cryin'

17. Simply Beautiful

x

Track List: The Immortal Soul Of Al Green

Disc 1

1. Back Up Train

2. Guilty

4. One Woman

5. Get Back, Baby

6. Summertime

7. What Am I Gonna Do With Myself

8. I Can't Get Next To You

9. God Is Standing By

10. You Say It

11. Right Now, Right Now

12. Are You Lonely For Me Baby

13. Driving Wheel

14. Light My Fire

16. Tired Of Being Alone

17. I'm A Ram

18. So You're Leaving

19. I've Never Found A Girl

20. It Ain't No Fun To Me

21. Let's Stay Together

22. Old Time Lovin'

23. La-La For You

24. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

Disc 2

1. I'm Still In Love With You

2. Love And Happiness

3. Simply Beautiful

4. Oh, Pretty Woman

5. Look What You Done For Me

6. Call Me (Come Back Home)

7. Funny How Time Slips Away

8. Here I Am (Come And Take Me)

9. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

10. You Ought To Be With Me

11. Jesus Is Waiting

12. Livin' For You

13. Let's Get Married

14. Beware

Disc 3

1. Take Me To The River

2. So Good To Be Here

3. My God Is Real

4. Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)

5. The City

6. God Blessed Our Love

7. One Nite Stand

8. I'm Hooked On You

10. Love Ritual

11. Rhymes

12. Could I Be The One?

13. L-O-V-E (Love)

15. Oh Me, Oh My (Dreams In My Arms)

16. I Gotta Be More (Take Me Higher)

Disc 4

1. Full Of Fire

2. I'd Fly Away

3. That's The Way It Is

4. Together Again

5. Let It Shine

6. Have A Good Time

7. Keep Me Cryin'

8. Nothing Takes The Place Of You

9. I Tried To Tell Myself

10. The Truth Marches On

11. Belle

12. Georgia Boy

13. Chariots Of Fire

14. Loving You

16. To Sir With Love

17. Wait Here

18. King Of All

19. Starting All Over Again

x

Track List: Testify: The Best Of The A&M Years

1. Put A Little Love In Your Heart (feat. Annie Lennox)

2. Going Away

3. True Love

4. I Feel Like Going On

5. You Brought The Sunshine

6. Power

7. Building Up

8. Everything's Gonna Be Alright

9. You Know And I Know

10. You've Got A Friend

11. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

12. Soul Survivor

13. You're Everything To Me

14. Mighty Clouds Of Joy

15. As Long As We're Together

16. Tryin' To Do The Best I Can

17. I Get Joy

18. So Real To Me

x

Track List: Take Me To The River

Disc 1

1. I'm Glad You're Mine

2. What Am I Gonna Do With Myself

3. Tired Of Being Alone

4. I'm Still In Love With You

5. Let's Stay Together

6. I Tried To Tell Myself

7. Love And Happiness

8. You Ought To Be With Me

9. Look What You Done For Me

11. Call Me

12. Livin' For You

13. L-O-V-E

14. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

15. Take Me To The River

Disc 2

1. Right Now, Right Now

2. So Good To Be Here

4. I Can't Get Next To You

5. Let's Get Married

8. Let It Shine

9. Lean On Me

10. Hangin' On

12. Nothing Takes The Place Of You

13. The Spirit Might Come - On And On

14. There's No Way

15. Belle

x

Track List: The Belle Album: Expanded Edition

1. Belle

2. Loving You

3. Feels Like Summer

4. Georgia Boy

5. I Feel Good

6. All N All

7. Chariots Of Fire

8. Dream

x

Track List: Al Green Is Love

1. L-O-V-E

2. Rhymes

3. The Love Sermon

4. There Is Love

5. Could I Be The One?

6. Love Ritual

7. I Didn't Know

8. Oh Me, Oh My (Dreams In My Arms)

9. I Gotta Be More (Take Me Higher)

10. I Wish You Were Here

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Tired Of Being Alone

2. Call Me

3. I'm Still In Love With You

5. Love And Happiness

6. Let's Stay Together

7. I Can't Get Next To You

8. You Ought To Be With Me

9. Look What You Done For Me

10. Let's Get Married

12. Sha La La (Make Me Happy)

13. L-O-V-E (Love)

14. Full Of Fire

15. Belle

x

Track List: Al Green Explores Your Mind

1. Sha-La-La

2. Take Me To The River

3. God Blessed Our Love

4. The City

5. One Nite Stand

6. I'm Hooked On You

7. Stay With Me Forever

8. Hangin' On

9. School Days

x

Track List: Livin' For You

1. Livin' For You

2. Home Again

3. Free At Last

4. Let's Get Married

5. So Good To Be Here

6. Sweet Sixteen

7. Unchained Melody

8. My God Is Real

9. Beware

x

Track List: Call Me

1. Call Me

2. Have You Been Making Out O.K.

3. Stand Up

4. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

5. Your Love Is Like The Morning Sun

6. Here I Am

7. Funny How Time Slips Away

8. You Ought To Be With Me

9. Jesus Is Waiting

x

Track List: I'm Still In Love With You

1. I'm Still In Love With You

2. I'm Glad You're Mine

3. Love And Happiness

4. What A Wonderful Thing Love Is

5. Simply Beautiful

6. Oh, Pretty Woman

7. For The Good Times

8. Look What You Done For Me

9. One Of These Good Old Days

x

Track List: Let's Stay Together

1. Let's Stay Together

2. La-La For You

3. So You'll Be Leaving

4. What Is This Feeling

5. Old Time Lovin'

6. I've Never Found A Girl

7. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

8. Judy

9. It Ain't No Fun To Me

x

Track List: Green Is Blues

1. One Woman

2. Talk To Me

3. My Girl

4. The Letter

5. I Stand Accused

6. Gotta Find A New World

7. What Am I Gonna Do With Myself

8. Tomorrow's Dream

9. Get Back Baby

10. Get Back

11. Summertime

x

Track List: Back Up Train

1. Back Up Train

2. Hot Wire

3. Stop And Check Myself

4. Let Me Help You

5. I'm Reachin' Out

6. Don't Hurt Me No More

7. Don't Leave Me

8. I'll Be Good To You

9. Guilty

10. That's All It Takes

11. Get Yourself Together

12. What's It All About

13. Lover's Hideaway

x

Track List: Master Hits

1. Back Up Train

2. Hot Wire

3. Stop And Check Myself

4. Let Me Help You

5. I'm Reachin' Out

6. Don't Hurt Me No More

7. Don't Leave Me

8. I'll Be Good To You

9. Guilty

10. That's All It Takes (Lady)

11. Get Yourself Together

12. What's It All About

13. A Lover's Hideaway

x

Track List: Lay It Down

1. Lay It Down

2. Just For Me

3. You've Got The Love I Need

4. No One Like You

5. What More Do You Want From Me

6. Take Your Time

7. Too Much

8. Stay With Me (By The Sea)

9. All I Need

10. I'm Wild About You

11. Standing In The Rain

Comments

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matt61020
Omg
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Algae

Algree
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simp47
Ep
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So classic... So many memories...
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We always wonder if they love us like they say they do??????
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luv luv luv
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ABSOLUTLY. AMAZING
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I never thought I would like Soul, but this is good. I will always keep an open mind.
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This is how my mom and dad met ❤ Am Green live
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@darbyjay302 7 Al green is still good today people today won't know wat real good music is I grow listening to him
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Al back in the 70's was one of the greatest
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now You started reading don't stop! This is so scary put this on 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on your screen in big letters. This is so scary because it really happens
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Being in LOVE ain't always happiness!
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Smooth soul
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catinhat.cd
Hey!you make my world go around no argument to that
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robertkwilli a m s 1
Well said brother frank. This is how I relax
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Ya Motown was where it was at back in the day when life seem to be a little easier, where I was from didn't know any racism but i am sure underneath there was some but I wasn't into it and my life was great. So we need to go back to those ways be kind to one another and show your brother and sister that we have to love one another. We all come from one place and someday it will come light. Have a great evening and enjoy the music.
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geraldine.eh i n g e r
Motown ya good times good feelings.... . . .
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geraldine.eh i n g e r
Motown...... . . . . . h a
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Love me some AL GREEN
REMIND ME OF CARLOS RIP ..
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This Song Is Simply Beautiful ♡
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A BAD MAN
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My guy
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alongstroth
Timeless and wonderful! Loved this genre from the first time I heard it as a kid. This beautiful music helped all races develop an appreciation and a great love for soul or the blues? You found a way to have amazing music artists check out other forms of music, and feel so blessed. I'm so grateful! Great artists, voices, and musicians. I'm older and will always love this music. Great to dance to. I am, so far, a huge fan of PANDORA!
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techcliff
Soul borther #1
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Old school song love me some al green
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aestrada223
Sing it Reverend! I'm Hispanic, but really love the soulful sounds from my youth in the 70's. Why can't the bruthas now, produce something remotely close to this sound.
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Yuu6
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I love al green music
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Love t his song
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cathyrobinso n 7 3 8
Real life real music. Love this song RIPdog loved you
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I truly love his music. This is music with a meaning
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dnnhmptn66
Yes yes yes I love me some al green I grew up on his music.GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS.MR.AL GREEN
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Definitely LOVE me some AL GREEN
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All time Favorite. My Anthem !!
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Lets stay together

LOVE AL GREEN
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dgodley233
I'm a little younger and I must say, writing music and lyrics like this in this day and age, are very very rare! He was a Pioneer. Great talent.
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True Crooner!!!
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Definitely love this song alot reminds of my old school day way back to
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mrmerchent
������������
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Real music right here
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Al Green smooth crooner of R&B....Let's Stay Together...y e s I am feeling this right now.
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This my shite
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I love this kinf of music because it really has meaning to the soul
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I love the 70's.it was the Best of times.The music was and still is the greatest.You really heard it.and FELT it.
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mickeytheplu m b e r
Hi
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m.vanishia
I was raised up on his music
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One of the greatest! Can't stop listening to his songs.
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Don't you know I'm still in love, sho nuff in love with you...
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Booster the song gets I in the mood
Show more

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