Shades of Al Green

Performers Al Green (Vocals)

Hi | March 23, 2004 | Compact Disc

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For SHADES OF AL GREEN, Hi Records collects a variety of tracks by the hall of fame crooner which have been used for samples in the 1990s and 2000s. Tracks by Ann Peebles, O.V. Wright, and Jean Plum appear for good measure.
One of the most intriguing things about hip-hop is how it is really a kind of folk music, reaching back into the beats and songs of the past and bringing key samples forward into the present, transforming them through mixing and digital technology into whole new compositions that retain the DNA of the original source materials in what is, if you think about it, a 21st century version of the folk process. It is a particularly postmodern way of making sure that everything old is new again, and it isn't much different from what Woody Guthrie (and later, Bob Dylan) did when he took old folk melodies and retooled the lyrics into classics like "Pastures of Plenty." Willie Mitchell's Hi Records sound, with its languid but solid backbeat, muted strings, well-placed horn blasts, and churchy organ washes, has been a prime source for hip-hop sampling by artists as diverse as Mary J. Blige, the Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Puff Daddy, and Ashanti, and none of the Hi Records stable of performers has been more sampled than Al Green. With his trademark melismatic falsetto (truly one of the Seven Wonders of the World), easy sexuality, and offhand smoothness, Green is the very definition of classic Memphis soul and gospel, and his peak work for Hi Records in 1972 and 1973 has been combed through many times over by hip-hop archivists. Shades of Al Green collects ten of these classic and oft-sampled tracks, including the mighty "Take Me to the River," the gorgeous, hushed "Simply Beautiful," and the immortal "Love and Happiness," as well as tracks from other heavily sampled Hi artists like Jean Plum, Ann Peebles, and O.V. Wright. All of these sides have been released before in compilations that mine the Hi Records catalog, so there really isn't anything revelatory or new here, but Shades of Al Green does make for a decent 14-track introduction to the great Reverend Green and the treasures of the Hi Records back list. ~ Steve Leggett

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: March 23, 2004

Genre: Contemp. Gospel

Style: Gospel

Number of Discs: 1

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Hi

UPC: 740155219420

Found in: Contemporary - Gospel

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Shades of Al Green

Performers Al Green (Vocals)

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: March 23, 2004

Genre: Contemp. Gospel

Style: Gospel

Number of Discs: 1

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Hi

UPC: 740155219420


Title Track Time
1.Here I Am --
2.I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry --
3.Your Love Is Like the Morning Sun --
4.Take Me to the River --
5.Strong as Death (Sweet as Love) --
6.Jesus Is Waiting --
7.I'm Glad You're Mine --
8.Simply Beautiful --
9.Love & Happiness --
10.Free at Last --
11.Back to You --
12.You've Got the Papers (I've Got the Man) --
13.Mirror of My Soul --
14.Good Day For Lovin' --

Editorial Notes

For SHADES OF AL GREEN, Hi Records collects a variety of tracks by the hall of fame crooner which have been used for samples in the 1990s and 2000s. Tracks by Ann Peebles, O.V. Wright, and Jean Plum appear for good measure.
One of the most intriguing things about hip-hop is how it is really a kind of folk music, reaching back into the beats and songs of the past and bringing key samples forward into the present, transforming them through mixing and digital technology into whole new compositions that retain the DNA of the original source materials in what is, if you think about it, a 21st century version of the folk process. It is a particularly postmodern way of making sure that everything old is new again, and it isn't much different from what Woody Guthrie (and later, Bob Dylan) did when he took old folk melodies and retooled the lyrics into classics like "Pastures of Plenty." Willie Mitchell's Hi Records sound, with its languid but solid backbeat, muted strings, well-placed horn blasts, and churchy organ washes, has been a prime source for hip-hop sampling by artists as diverse as Mary J. Blige, the Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Puff Daddy, and Ashanti, and none of the Hi Records stable of performers has been more sampled than Al Green. With his trademark melismatic falsetto (truly one of the Seven Wonders of the World), easy sexuality, and offhand smoothness, Green is the very definition of classic Memphis soul and gospel, and his peak work for Hi Records in 1972 and 1973 has been combed through many times over by hip-hop archivists. Shades of Al Green collects ten of these classic and oft-sampled tracks, including the mighty "Take Me to the River," the gorgeous, hushed "Simply Beautiful," and the immortal "Love and Happiness," as well as tracks from other heavily sampled Hi artists like Jean Plum, Ann Peebles, and O.V. Wright. All of these sides have been released before in compilations that mine the Hi Records catalog, so there really isn't anything revelatory or new here, but Shades of Al Green does make for a decent 14-track introduction to the great Reverend Green and the treasures of the Hi Records back list. ~ Steve Leggett