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The Love Songs Collection

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Al Green 25//2013

Review

"Love songs" collections have become de rigueur around Valentine's Day, and EMI catalog imprint The Right Stuff's Al Green compilation puts a soul twist on the genre. The conceit, as usual, is that most pop singers spend most of their time singing about love anyway, and that's certainly the case with Green (that is, when he's not singing about God). The only categories of material that would seem to be off-limits are tracks that are a bit too up-tempo (the idea here is to feature ballads that will contribute to that romantic Valentine's Day mood) or that express romantic frustration. Thus, Green hits like "Can't Get Next to You" and "Tired of Being Alone" are out. But most of his output fits the concept, and the selection is heavily weighted toward his early-'70s hitmaking days. Technically, the collection stretches from 1967's "Guilty" to 2002's Ann Nesby hit "Put It on Paper," which featured Green. But 12 of the 17 tracks date from Green's 1972-1973 heyday, and ten of the 16 pop chart entries he scored between 1971 and 1975 are included. Hence, the album functions as a de facto hits collection as well. Beyond the hits, there are interesting, stretched-out interpretations of Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times" and the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart." Despite his religious commitment, Green has always been an accomplished loverman, and this album provides 17 convincing arguments why. [Fat Possum's 2013 reissue added a bonus track.] ~ William Ruhlmann
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 L-O-V-E (Love) Al Green 3:5
  3. 2 I'm Still in Love with You Al Green 3:10
  4. 3 Livin' for You Al Green 3:8
  5. 4 Here I Am (Come and Take Me) Al Green 4:12
  6. 5 You Ought to Be with Me Al Green 3:12
  7. 6 I'm Glad You're Mine Al Green 2:54
  8. 7 Wait Here Al Green 2:40
  9. 8 For the Good Times Al Green 6:10
  10. 9 Love and Happiness Al Green 5:3
  11. 10 Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy) Al Green 2:55
  12. 11 What Is This Feeling Al Green 3:39
  13. 12 Let's Get Married Al Green 5:31
  14. 13 Call Me (Come Back Home) Al Green 3:0
  15. 14 Guilty Al Green 2:57
  16. 15 How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? Al Green 6:20
  17. 16 Let's Stay Together Al Green 3:15
  18. 17 Put It on Paper Ann Nesby 5:3
  19. 18 How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? Al Green 6:59

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