We’re going to call him Rev. Al Green, because that’s who he is today. He was still just Al in 1972, when he recorded “Let’s Stay Together,” a vocal masterpiece.
This was the second of seven consecutive gold singles. Green brought his full talents to the song, reaching down to growling low notes, then soaring up immediately into falsetto. My favorite part in the song seems like an ad lib – after he sings, “You’d never do that to me” in the second verse, he says quietly, “Would you, baby?”
Green is a product of the Memphis soul movement, not Motown. Some of the Otis Redding sound is evident from time to time, especially in the horns.
Of course, he is now Rev. Al Green, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis. He’s learned to balance his gospel music with his soul singing. However he works it out in his own mind, we’ll always have the near perfection of “Let’s Stay Together” to enjoy. It was ranked no. 60 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.