Friday, September 5, 2014

A few things about Al Green

Been playing Al Green's imported best-of CD THE SUPREME AL GREEN at work a lot lately, and here's some of the things that have impressed me as I've hummed along with Reverend Al:
* That sneaky descending guitar figure that comes in at the end of "Call Me," his vocal throughout, and the modest lyrics: "Just remember the time we had/And how right I tried to be...."
* The horns and organ on "Let's Get Married," and the fact that Al isn't really that thrilled about getting married -- the depth of his commitment is "Might as well...."
* The really great simple-as-a-nursery-rhyme choruses on "L-O-V-E, Love."
* The way he sings these lines in "Take Me to the River": "I wanna know/Can you tell me?/Our love will stayyyyyyy...."
* The lyrics on "Love Ritual" -- the ones I can make out -- are pretty great ... if "lyrics" is the right word to describe the words on a piece that seems so improvised. I hated it at first, thought it was a comedy throwaway, but it works, the groove's pretty great -- and Al's feeling about how sacred love is really comes across. Not sure about some of what he's ... chanting(?) though.... (I hear "wanna" and "loser" -- can that possibly be right?)
* On "Full of Fire," the way he sings: "There's some things that I know/But I want the horns to blow...."
* There's a hilarious one-liner near the end of his remake of the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You," ... which I will leave for you to discover....
* After all of this, "Full of Fire" (his last big hit?) almost sounds like a return to the basics, fairly simple dance music. Its sound doesn't seem that far from his first hit "Tired of Being Alone."
* True confessions: I HATED most of these songs when I was growing up. They weren't loud enough or obvious enough for me then. I thought "Let's Stay Together" was great, but the rest just left me cold and I was turning the radio dial trying to find something else. As a result, these songs really hit me now -- just like with Aretha and Otis Redding and....
* So, I love about a dozen out of 18 tracks on the best-of.
* But so far, I can't take ANY of the SLOW stuff. It's EXCRUCIATING!

...Got 40 more pages of THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE proofread on Thursday, only 40 pages to go. It might be done before Christmas. I like parts of it very much. And it's still 90-percent all-new stuff....
...The silly horror story I sent to back in April got REJECTED, I found out in an e-mail yesterday. That's OK -- I didn't really expect them to take it. It was just a joke I couldn't resist writing. It was either TOO silly or not silly ENOUGH. So I may look at it at some point and send it out again....
More soon....

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