Greatest Gospel Hits

Greatest Gospel Hits

by Al Green
     
 

When Al Green hung up his loverman's robe and took up the ministry's cloth, R&B's loss was the Gospels' gain. Just check out GREATEST GOSPEL HITS, a spirit-moving collection of Reverend Green's sacred sides from the '80s, and you'll wonder if Green's best love songs weren't more sanctified than previously assumed. Accordingly, those not usually moved to buy gospel… See more details below

Overview

When Al Green hung up his loverman's robe and took up the ministry's cloth, R&B's loss was the Gospels' gain. Just check out GREATEST GOSPEL HITS, a spirit-moving collection of Reverend Green's sacred sides from the '80s, and you'll wonder if Green's best love songs weren't more sanctified than previously assumed. Accordingly, those not usually moved to buy gospel music will find a lot to like -- there's no fire and brimstone, and the pastor doesn't shout his message, preferring instead to get up close and personal. Imagine the greatest soul singer of the '70s as your own spiritual advisor. Green is at his best when given room to stretch his gifted voice over slow, spacious beats, and the tracks here give him ample opportunity. Continuing the relaxed intensity he perfected on his pop outings, selections such as "God Blessed Our Love" and Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" smolder, threatening to flame at every downbeat. "Ocean Blue (I'll Rise Again)" peaks as chimes and acoustic guitar give way to driving strings and Al's chilling falsetto -- as much a relief as a surprise when it finally arrives. The traditional "Amazing Grace" is another standout, featuring refined vocal harmonies over a groove slow and deep as a river. With several of Al Green's gospel albums currently unavailable, GREATEST GOSPEL HITS is a welcome return of the best of his uplifting material. Karl Hagstrom Miller

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
If you like Al Green's gospel material but are hesitant to check this out since there was a previous best-of-Green's-gospel compilation -- One in a Million -- there are a few good reasons not to be wary. Right off the bat, it should be clear that there is little duplication between Greatest Gospel Hits and One in a Million, as only two songs from the latter ("Amazing Grace" and "Where Love Rules") are on the former. Also, Greatest Gospel Hits has 17 tracks, whereas One in a Million only has ten. Plus, it definitely seems as though Greatest Gospel Hits has been conceived as a more accessible introduction to Green's gospel world: One in a Million was heavy on spiritual standards, while Greatest Gospel Hits leans toward gospel with a soul bent. That's evidenced by the greater presence of more contemporary material, including songs written or co-written by Green, and covers of Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" and Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready." The chronological span is also wider, covering 1974-1995, although the focus is largely upon his 1980s work. As for the music, there are two ways of looking at this. One is that it's going to have far more secular appeal than most gospel, since Green is an excellent soul singer in both the pop and gospel contexts and uses much the same style in gospel as he did on his classic soul sides. On the other hand, it's the 1970s soul records that are stronger, musically speaking, and which will be preferred by most casual listeners, even if his vocals on the gospel sides are equal in ability and command to those on the soul discs. It's still a decent overview, particularly for those who want a taste of Green's gospel material without getting deep into his gospel catalog.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/28/2000
Label:
The Right Stuff
UPC:
0724352528226
catalogNumber:
25282

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