Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Albums of 1973: Al Green: Call Me

Release Date: April 1973

Produced by Willie Mitchell, Al Green

Side One: Call Me (Come Back Home); Have You Been Making Out Ok; Stand Up; I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry; Your Love is like the Morning Sun

Side Two: Here I Am (Come and Take Me); Funny How Time Slips Away; You Ought to Be with Me; Jesus is Waiting

Widely considered one of the best Soul albums of 1973 (if not for all time), Call Me yielded three hit singles. At 36 minutes each track is meticulously produced with grace alongside Green's stunning vocal performances.

"Call Me (Come Back Home)" declares devotion but not desperation, the organ, strings, and the steady drumbeat compliment Green's performance. Green's vocal is double tracked on "Have You Been Making Out Ok", a melancholy message to someone who's moved on. "Stand Up" is aimed at a friend undergoing hard times. A Hank Williams country classic, "I'm So Lonesome I could Cry" is reimagined as a soulful Gospel song. An expression of longing, "You Love is Like the Morning Sun", Green sang as if in prayer as the morning sun hits the windows.

"Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" employs a more rocking groove. "Funny How Time Slips Away" was written by Willie Nelson was a 1961 hit for Jimmy Elledge and covered by many others, Green's version became a hit, capturing all the melancholy and heartbreak. "You Oughta Be with Me" hit number one on the Soul singles chart. "Jesus is Waiting" is another gospel infused song, closing out the album with a sense of renewal. 

Call Me flies by at 36 minutes, each track blending into each other, yet each constructed like a sculpture of pure emotion. The steadiness of the production serves as a guiding light on a record suited for good and trying times. 

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