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Let's Stay Together

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Nov. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum
  • ASIN: B001TIQT9S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,399 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Few artists have the effortless grace of Al Green. Born the son of a sharecropper and raised in the Baptist church, his voice is simply unmistakable. Economic, passion-filled and authentic, he can convey more emotion in a simple phrase than other singers, overworking and over- wringing, can strive for across their entire careers.

Let’s Stay Together, his fourth studio album, marked a high-watermark of Green’s collaboration with Hi Records and producer Willie Mitchell. Their paring is one of the greatest in soul music – they’ve left a body of work that is so identifiable that it’s up there with Holland-Dozier-Holland’s recordings with The Supremes or Jerry Wexler’s with Aretha Franklin.

The gospel-influenced title-track is one of the best-known love songs ever recorded. Perfectly yet not clinically played and sung very much from the heart, it’s as if every scrap of Green’s life and love depended upon it. A number one in the States and a sizeable hit over here, the song was later to revive Tina Turner’s career in 1983 – but her version is like cava to Green’s Moët. The zenith of Mitchell and Green’s partnership, it has all the trademarks of their relationship – close microphoned instruments, swooningly soulful brass performed by the Memphis Horns underpinned by Charles Hodges’ Hammond.

Few artists have exhibited such mastery of their material. On So You’re Leaving, when Green breaks into scat, the pathos is writ larger than, say, Marvin Gaye’s; you feel you are overhearing a man in desperation. However, amid all the self-penned material, it is a cover that comes and steals the show – How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, the 1971 Bee Gees hit, is turned into a tour de force, supported by astonishing musicianship. Green wrests every scrap of emotion out of the lyric, yet not once overdoes it. It is with good reason Q magazine described it as taking "the soul ballad to new levels of artistry and refinement".

Green left secular music at the height of his fame in the mid-70s to become a minister at the Full Tabernacle Church in Memphis, and has since returned to pop-soul sporadically, memorably turning in a spectacular Glastonbury Sunday afternoon performance in his white suit in 1999. Let’s Stay Together is a fabulous reminder of him at the apex of his career.

Customer Reviews

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By Andy Edwards VINE VOICE on 14 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
As the 70's dawned, much was changing in R&B and Soul. Amongst other things, the 3 minute single formula which suited radio plays was being challenged as artists focused on producing albums and both of the dominant Black music labels (Motown and Stax) had experienced upheaval.

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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By A Customer on 25 Sept. 2000
Format: Audio CD
Lets Stay Together was Al Green's third of nine albums for the Hi label, but it was the landmark where his eventual long time producer, Willie Mitchell, persuaded him to adopt the sound that would make him a star. This "sound" is best illustrated on the title track - surely one of the greatest love songs ever written. A regrettful Al pleads with heartfelt sincerity for an unnamed love to come back to him, displaying a previously unheard tenderness in his voice. Similar themes crop up in "Judy", but here he seems far more content and in control. Al's other great talent was to take songs by other artists and produce so much more. His cover versions here include "I've Never Found a Girl" by Eddie Floyd, and also his greatest acheivement - his take on "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?" by The Bee Gees. Again, Willie Mtchell's influence is evident, with Al exercising all his restraint in expressing his pain, but inexorably leading to an explosion of feeling after six gorgeous minutes, finding emotion in the song that I'm sure the Gibb brothers were unaware existed. With songs as great as these, the future of Al Green was assured. A must have chapter in the story of soul music, and a great introduction to a soul legend. This is what soul music should be.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Although I am not a huge soul music fan I like this record it is a romantic record, one my desirable tracks are 'lets stay together', and 'how can mend a broken heart' is of the tracks I really enjoy, It sounds pretty great on vinyl, and this is essential.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Pure class. If you want an Al Green as a taster, get this, great for enjoying when driving - smooth and very sexy and then get all his CD's when you can afford to, worth the money.
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Having first heard Al Green in the very early seventies I am struck by the pure emotions in the man's voice,friends used to say his music was sad but I disagreed strongly.
The partnership of Al Green and Willie Mitchell was unique and brought a whole new meaning to soul music
If you like pure soul music then this is the cd for you,enjoy it
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Loved this back in the day.Still love it now.His singing is so effortless.The soulful singing is supreme chill out, but it's more than that it get's to your heart and soul.He is a master of his art.If you haven't heard him before now,please take the time,you will not regret it.
This seller is to be recomended.Prompt and value for money
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Played it in Barbados during our blessing to of our wedding
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