Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Al Green - Greatest Gospel Hits (2000)

Even though I play contemporary Christian music every Sunday morning at 8:45 with a fantastic praise band, I don't listen to much religious music, so this disc is one of only the few that I own. This compilation covers the years 1974-1995, but concentrates on the Rev. Green's gospel music from the 1980's. Following an assault in 1974, Green felt called to work for the Lord and left secular music for a while. He became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976 and continues to serve in this capacity, delivering services down the street from Graceland. He returned to secular music in 2003 with I Can't Stop. Lovers of Green's soul/R&B music won't be disappointed in these songs. They sound just like other Al Green soul songs, except the lyrics speak of faith, not women. I hate to get preachy here (pun intended), but I'm reminded of something that mega-church pastor Rick Warren wrote in one of his books: "There is no such thing as 'Christian Music,' only Christian lyrics." Well said.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: There are only two traditional gospel songs on this disc, the rest are original material, except for the covers of Curtis Mayfield's People Get Ready and an all-too-short version of Bill Withers' Lean On Me. The best tracks are The Lord Will Make A Way, Truth N' Time, Chariots of Fire, and (even though it sounds very much like cheesy mid-'90s R&B music) Your Heart Is In Good Hands. Green's arrangement of Amazing Grace might be my favorite version of that piece, ever.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I love visiting Memphis and am always tempted to go visit the church when I'm there. This CD reminds me that one day, I will indeed worship with the Rev. Green.

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