I have to admit, as much as I love music of all types from all eras, I know next to nothing about certain artists who are recognized as "classic." Al Green is one of these. I'm already thankful that I started this countdown, because I can see that I'm going to learn a lot.
Before today, I could have sung you the chorus to "Let's Stay Together," and would have known "Take Me To The River" only because a cover version later became a greatest hit for another member of this year's Bonnaroo lineup (and one of my personal favorites). Beyond that, if you had said, "Al Green" to me before today, I would have had little response to offer besides the customary Jamie Foxx, "Al Green...Al Green, a-heeeeyyyyy!"
But look at all this great knowledge I have now... Al was the sixth of ten children. He had 4 Gold singles on his second LP, 1970's Al Green Gets Next To You. He became Pastor Al when he was ordained by the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976. He was assaulted by his crazy girlfriend in 1974. When he refused to marry her (even though she was already married) she doused him with a pot of boiling hot grits while he was (holy shit!) in the shower.
Knowledge, knowledge, everywhere, and I consider myself better for it. Of course, the only real way to get to know an artist is through their art, so I'm going to go ahead and put on the big headphones as and venture down Al Green boulevard. Whether you're a lifelong fan or a lame-ass n00b like this guy, sit back and enjoy this fantastically '70s rendition of "Sha La La" along with me. Ladies and gentlemen, the soulful stylings of Mr. Al Green!
UPDATE: Groovin to "Love and Happiness," picking up on the J5 sample. I knew I'd like Al Green. Don't worry, Smellson, I promise I won't miss his set.
Get your Green on :
Al Green's albums
Al Green Wiki
Al Green Official Site
Al Green Bonnaroo artist bio