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Greatest Hits
Al Green

Hi 32089
Released: March 1975
Chart Peak: #17
Weeks Charted: 21

Al GreenThis LP is a compilation of previously recorded hits from Green's foot stompin', hand clapping, high energy tunes to the easy, mellow ballads. Instruments on this album, although some selections date back a few years, are very much in keeping with the singer's current sound. This LP was produced by Willie Mitchell and Green. Best cuts: "Love & Happiness," "Livin' For You," "Full Of Fire."

- Billboard, 1975.

Bonus Reviews!

Green is less open and imaginative than Sam Cooke and less painfully word-wise than Smokey Robinson, but he belongs in their company, that of two of the half dozen prime geniuses of soul. His musical monomania substitutes Memphis for James Brown's Macon, and the consistency of his albums is matched only by Otis Redding. But because he spins his music out over an area not much larger than a hankie, the albums also translate beautifully to a greatest hits format, and this is flawless. For those who refuse to believe the LPs contain hidden treasure and don't care that the singles "all sound the same." And for those, like me, who can go both ways with him. A

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

Admittedly, Al worked in a narrow spectrum of material, but with his wondrous, elastic voice, he worked every nook and cranny of it. The fourteen cuts cover all of Green's seventies hits, and while their sonic sameness discourages repetition, they all contain a sinuous sensuality that is compelling and makes them ripe material for certain of life's moments. Willie Mitchell's production precision pays dividends on the CD reproduction -- the drums, always a sound marvel on his recordings, have a lifelike presence, and there is an open, smooth quality to the sound that is noticeably superior to the LP. Several tracks are marred by hiss, however. B+

- Bill Shapiro, Rock & Roll Review: A Guide to Good Rock on CD, 1991.

The title says it all, ten songs that define Southern soul in the mid-'70s. * * * * *

- Rob Bowman, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

Greatest Hits, a superb collection of the hit singles was made even better in its latest incarnation by adding later recordings "L-O-V-E," and "Belle" to what was already one of the great romantic soul albums of all times. * * * * *

- Roger Catlin, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.

The honey-voiced Green made some of the most visionary soul music of the Seventies at Hi studios. "In Memphis you just do as you feel," he told Rolling Stone in 1972. "It's not a modern, up-to-par, very glamorous, big-red-chairs-and-carpet-that-thick-studio. It's one of those places you can go into a stomp out a good soul jam." This collection, with hits such as "Let's Stay Together" and "Tired of Being Alone," sums up an amazing six-album run in the early Seventies. That period ended in 1974 when a spurned woman threw a pot of hot grits on Green and then shot herself; soon after, Green bought a church in Memphis and became a minister.

Greatest Hits was chosen as the 52nd greatest album of all time by the editors of Rolling Stone magazine in Dec. 2003.

- Rolling Stone, 12/11/03.

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