March 22, 2012

Thursday Tunes: Simply Beautiful...Al Green

I am a child that had her musical teeth cut on old soul, blues, and R&B. There wasn't a Saturday that went by growing up that the house wasn't filled with oldies on the weekend...and Al Green was on heavy rotation.  I have so many fond memories of Rev Al. He was my late aunt Madonna's favorite male singer...Normally loud and boisterous...if she heard some Al Green....she would hit the proverbial "Owwwwww", snap her fingers,  and sway to the beat of his music....I think she liked the ballads the most.

Albert Green, born April 13, 1946 in Arkansas, is a Gospel and R&B sensation, whose peak was in the 1970s. Green's debut album with Hi Records was Green Is Blues, a slow, horn-driven album that allowed Green to show off his powerful and expressive voice, with Mitchell arranging,engineering and producing. The album was a moderate success. The next LP, Al Green Gets Next to You (1970), included a hit remake of the Temptations classic "I Can't Get Next to You", and more significantly, Green's first of seven consecutive gold singles, "Tired of Being Alone". Let's Stay Together (1972) was an even bigger success, as was I'm Still In Love With You (1972). Call Me was a critical sensation and just as popular at the time; it is one of his most fondly remembered albums today. Al Green Explores Your Mind (1974) contained his own song "Take Me to the River", which was later turned into an R&B hit (#7) by label-mate Syl Johnson and also covered by Talking Heads(#26 Pop) on their second album.


And although he had an unfortunate incident with a jealous  lover and some hot grits....nothing can deny that Al Green is still the man with a voice that sounds the same.

And the most perfect ballad to me is his song "Simply Beautiful". With nothing but a basic electric guitar accompanying him, he croons with damn near erotic perfection on the 1972 classic. His falsetto executed perfectly...The lyrics are devastatingly simple. He mostly wails and moans with so much Gospel tinged perfection you forget about the bare-bones lyrics.

My favorite lyrics:
If I gave you my love
I tell you what I'd do
I'd expect a whole lot of love out of you
Ha

You got to be good to me
I'm gonna be good to you
There's a whole lot of things you and I could do
Huh, ha, ha




Rev. Al Green is everything. A little bit of Gospel, a great big heaping of soul and a whole lot of romance. I dare you not to put on some Al and NOT get pregnant (LOL..or come super close....)

4 comments:

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Maxwell's version of this song! Great pick

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  2. Nobody has a voice like Al Green, nobody!!! Love this song.

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  3. I agree @Y.... his voice is sheer perfection. Maxwell's version is great..but...the original is that deal.

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  4. I prefer Maxys version better

    ReplyDelete

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