Let's Stay Together
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Let's Stay Together
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The Memphis Sound took its greatest steps toward 1970s smoothness with Al Green. Let's Stay Together is a showcase of the combination of grit and honey that made the singer one of the decade's foremost artist-hit-makers. In addition to the classic title single--a pop and R&B No. 1 in 1972--the album offers prime early examples of other Green trademarks: an unexpected cover (the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart") and the outright eccentricity of "So You're Leaving", which answers gossips with the assurance that if "they'll lie on Jesus, can't you see they'll lie on you and me." --Rickey Wright
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Into this world dropped "Lets Stay Together", with it's Southern Soul roots well in evidence, but with signposts to Al Green's later status as a Soul superstar. Al Green had found his feet as another Sam Cooke or Otis Redding, but once he had hit his stride with this album, there was no looking back for him, or for Hi records, which would become a Memphis powerhouse.
Al was responsible for writing or co-writing 7 of the 9 tracks, including the title track, which was a monster R&B and Pop hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and if you haven't heard it, where have you been? As for the other tracks, the spare production style that became the Willie Mitchell/Hi Records/Al Green trademark pretty much started here. That provided a perfect backdrop for Al Green's unique style, which was never better demonstrated than on the album's prime track "How can You Mend A Broken Heart".
There's a general mid tempo/ballad feel to the album, although several tracks shift gears, most notably on "Leaving Me" which starts softly and ends up a driving Funk track. "Never Found a Girl", the only other cover, could almost be a Motown track, while "Old Time Lovin'" is a laid back gem.
"Let's Stay Together" would be followed by a series of great albums, and many hit singles, but as it was the breakthrough album it is an essential album for all Soul fans.
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