In 1973, Al Green released Call Me, the album widely considered his finest. Featuring soul classics such as the title track, ‘Here I Am (Come and Take Me), and ‘You Ought To Be With Me,’ as well as covers of country hits ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ and ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,’ this is am excellent introduction to the range and silky smooth sound of the Reverend.
Soul isn’t my genre, so I haven’t given Call Me as many listens as it deserves, but every time I do it’s a transporting experience.
Today’s random selection is the third track from Al Green’s 1973 album Call Me. I’ll get around to 1973 in my Decades series pretty soon, and this album will definitely make an appearance.
One interesting aspect of this soul classic is that two of its nine tracks started as country tunes: Hank Williams’ ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ and Willie Nelson’s ‘Funny How Time Slips Away.’
Unlike movies, television and books, music is an art form that allows for passive appreciation. Many songs reward careful attention to the lyrics, the melody, the production. But some music is best heard in the background — of a dinner party, a restaurant, a club, even a grocery store.
I don’t know if it’s an insult to say that I consider Al Green a perfect passive artist. I love the man’s voice and the general vibe of his music, but it isn’t the sort of thing I’ll sit down and dissect over headphones. And I won’t play it in my car, which I consider active listening. But as the backdrop when company’s over, slam dunk.
I have some albums that I never, ever play but would be perfectly happy to have on in the background at a dinner party. I guess it’s the difference between active and passive listening.
I feel that way about this 2003 comeback album by Al Green. I feel that way about all of Al Green’s music, to be honest. He has a legendary voice, the songs are soulful and classy, but they don’t command my full attention.
I’ve had an Al Green song sitting my ‘drafts’ queue for months now, and I’ve never gotten around to posting it as a Song of the Day until today because, well, I just don’t have anything to say about it.
Originally the song was ‘Here I Am (Come and Take Me)’ but it’s since been pulled down for copyright infringement. I then switched to ‘Call Me,’ the title song from the same album. Call Me is an excellent album, featuring those two soul classics as well as ‘Funny How Time Slips Away,’ ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ and a handful of other slow burners.