The sublimely unique and timeless productions of Willie Mitchell at Hi Records, all with marvelous musicianship, and one amazing voice made Al Green demand the title of The Last Great Soul Singer.
A greatest hits collection is meant to be just that. Not overkill, but more of an introductory album to turn people on, so they in turn, dive into the vaults to get all they can. In that sense, this is the best greatest hits package I have ever seen. There’s only one disappointing omission in "Take Me To the River".
The marvelous musicianship comes courtesy of the unequaled Memphis Horns of Stax Records (Otis Redding, Sam & Dave) fame. The Hi rhythm section consisted of three brothers, Charles Hodges on organ, Leroy Hodges on bass, and Mabon “Teenie” Hodges on guitar. And these gentlemen play like brothers. The telepathic interplay between these wonderful “studio rats” is rivaled only by cross town session legends, the mighty Stax house band, Booker T. & the MGs. The secret ingredient of these soul masterpieces may be in fact, Booker T. & the MGs’ drummer, Al Jackson, Jr., whose infectious grooves are utterly contagious. Nowhere does this masterful combination gel better than on “Love and Happiness, co-written by Green and guitarist, Teenie Hodges. All four musicians are so perfect, yet so soulful. The horn arrangements are spectacular.
There are also bonus tracks, including "Belle", an admittingly touching and inspiring song, where Green's conscience wavers between a woman, "Belle", and God. One can't help but draw the metaphors in the song to Green soon after going from "Here I am, baby" to "Here I am, Lord".