With Greatest Gospel Hits
He’s a soul icon. He’s a preacher.Producers: Various
album release date: April, 2000
With his trademark wails and patented soulful falsetto, Al Green’s pipes hardly need description here. Equally capable of delivering smoothness and grit, he has one of the most recognizable voices in the business.
Green’s contribution to Gospel music has been compiled into a welcome collection of 17 tracks on this project from The Right Stuff. While he gained his recognition in the 70’s, it was during the 80’s that Green delivered his Gospel material, reflecting his turnaround conversion, as he returned with conviction to his origins (he began his career in The Green Brothers, a Gospel quartet composed of family members). You can now prefix ‘Reverend’ to his name, as he is an ordained minister, and pastors his congregation at his Memphis-based Full Gospel Tabernacle.
It’s from his 80’s period that many of the classic cuts such as “The Lord Will Make A Way” and “Everything Will Be Alright” are pulled together on this album, combined with earlier gems such as “God Blessed Our Love”. Also included are “He Is The Light”, where he reunites with producer Willie Mitchell (who helped garner Green much of his R&B success on Hi Records in the 70’s).
Covers of “Amazing Grace” and “People Get Ready”, “Lean on Me” and his own interpretation of Diane Warren’s “Your Heart’s In Good Hands” complete the set.
Bringing old school soul into Gospel, this collection really hasn’t aged much. Beds of strings with punchy horns and steady unprogrammed rhythms make it a throwback delight.
You can now go beyond Ally McBeal’s hallucinatory musings and concretize Al Green by including his sacred works in your own music collection. This disc lets you do that, with much love and happiness.
The Right Stuff / EMI Gospel
reviewed by Stan North —
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