Thanks to all those who cried out from the wilderness to tell me they enjoyed the blog; hey, a boy needs a reason to carry on every once in a while. I'll stop bugging you now.
I'm pooped from a long day of racing to and fro all over the city in search of God know's what, but I do have one strong recommendation to make: Please do go out and buy the new expanded edition of Al Green's The Belle Album.
I hadn't heard it in a long while; sold the album, don't ya know. (see below). But this record was recorded in in 1977, which was just about the vapor trail-end of Green's astonishing seven year run of making one great album after another. What always struck me about Green was that he was a great R&B singer - the greatest soul singer of his generation, right? - who was both an amazing singles artist and a great album artist.
This was fairly rare in the 70's - for some reason great albums were reserved for other artists in other genres. (P-Funk? Lots of lard there, I'm afraid, but Stevie Wonder qualifies I suppose.) But hot damn, you can go really deep with Green - Let's Stay Together, I'm Still In Love With You, the amazing Call Me -- all of them loaded up with great songs.
The Belle Album was something else altogether - not a smoldering Willie Mitchell workout, but a quieter acoustic record produced by Green himself. It's got intimations of gospel, but it's sexy as all get out. It's exalted and greasy in equal measure. Listening to it as I write this, I'm getting little chills of recognition from the days when I played the fuck out of it in high school, and no one else seemed to care. I don't think it charted that well, though I'd have to look it up. It's so great, though - buy it now please and have yourself a great soundtrack to your weekend.