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Al Green – The Definitive Greatest Hits Review

by Zane Ewton

Between Motown and disco there was the sensational Al Green. With producer Willie Mitchell, Green laid down steamy soul classic after classic.

On the heels of his 2003 comeback to secular music, an updated version of the best selling Al Green Greatest Hits collection was released, and now a few years later the Definitive Greatest Hits, with added songs and a bonus DVD has been released to ignite interest for a new generation.

In the early 1970s the combination of Green's soulful charisma and Mitchell's gorgeous production influenced the likes of Marvin Gaye and created a slew of pale imitations.

30 years later, these recordings remain immediate and timeless. The attraction begins with the beat; it pleads on "Let's Stay Together", thumps on "Take Me to the River", and absolutely throbs on "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)".

Mitchell subtly layers horns and keyboards for memorable hooks above the rhythm section and Green's voice is the sweetest icing on top of the cake. From a slight whisper to a soaring falsetto, Green has the ultimate R&B soul man pipes.

In his heyday, Green dominated the R&B charts and was a consistent name in the Top 40. By 1976, Green pushed towards gospel music. After losing Mitchell, who didn't want to record gospel, and committing a few missteps at half-heartedly bridging his sexy persona with the Sunday sounds of a gospel choir, Green went strictly to gospel.

Al Green became the Reverend Al Green and to this day attends to his congregation in Memphis, Tennessee.

A duet with Annie Lennox on "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" urged Green back into secular recordings. By 2002 he reunited with Willie Mitchell for I Can't Stop. The results were well received and now Green balances the life of a recording artist with his duties to his church.

The Definitive Greatest Hits is a must have for anyone with a pulse. If you have a previous version of this collection, then the new edition is a fantastic update. This version includes a DVD with performances that range from demure to rousing. Including the video for "I Can’t Stop" and two 2004 acoustic performances for VH1 Classic.

CD Info and Links

Al Green – The Definitive Greatest Hits

Label:Capitol / EMI Records

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