OK, I hope to god that everyone reading this is familiar with "Let's Stay Together," perhaps Al Green's most-played track and simply one of the greatest soul songs ever. Songs this incredible seem to will their greatness out of the mere fact of their existence, and there's really no point in me pontificating on the reasons for said greatness. Although no other song here achieved the commercial success of the title track, there's not a lick of the "let's tack some filler onto the hit single to make an album" style that was so prevalent back in the day - this is an album, and a great one at that. We're talking Al Green in his pre-hot-grits-in-the-face prime, backed by one the tightest bands ever, and led by southern soul legend Willie Mitchell. Tracks like "So You're Leaving, Old Time Lovin" and "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" are soulful masterpieces that showcase Green at the height of his power and mastery as a vocalist - his confidence as he cries, whispers, and moans his way through these tracks is utterly compelling. Doing audio picks for this album was a bit like using loaded dice - you just can't lose. If you don't own this, shame on you - buy it and get busy in the company of a special friend with the quickness. Essential listening on a super-loud 180g vinyl pressing.
- music label: Fat Possum 2009