I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU – Al Green – Hi Records – 1972
Al Green’s 1972 album I’m Still In Love With You is a personal one: an album for smooth Saturday nights and sweet Sunday mornings, for both weddings and double digit anniversaries. It recalls time spent with family, friends, and lovers, and inspires memories to be made in the future. It’s an album made for lasting connections, and is undoubtedly one that is best enjoyed when shared.
In this episode, we examine the foundation of this iconic record and explore the greater musical landscape from which it was born. We discuss the one-of-a-kind house band that gave the album its distinct sound, the Southern stronghold that informed the album’s character, and the producer who oversaw it all, mixing all the elements together to create what is arguably one the greatest American soul records of the 20th century. An album is only as good as the sum of its parts, and here, we examine how I’m Still In Love With You remains an upstanding example.
(ps — while you’re there, please rate and review us in the iTunes store so more people can discover us and we can all be friends who talk about music together!)
Episode notes and postscript corrections
- Here’s a brief history of Memphis soul and Hi Records’ and Stax’s places within it.
- The Hi Rhythm Band released their own album in 1976 — listen to it here.
- Debate: Did they make a banjo funky or is it like the flute, whose presence in funk is bad, like, 99 percent of the time? (Debate that flute opinion with us, too, if you want. Peep these comments — it wouldn’t be the first time we had that discussion.)
- Here’s a simple, science-y explanation for why sound quality on vinyl can degrade the closer you get to the center of the album — hence, why Carrie assumes making a full, deep song like “I’m Still In Love With You” the very first track was more of a quality control choice than a creative one.
- The Al Green drum sounds are SO. GOOD. You can thank Al Jackson, Jr. and Howard Grimes for that.
- Here’s a brief explainer about Al Jackson, Jr.’s contributions to soul music.
- And here’s a brief explainer about Howard Grimes.
- Peep our further reading section below to read an in-depth Rolling Stone article on Al Green and Willie Mitchell circa 1973 where Mitchell talks about this two drummer technique.
- Listen to Chance the Rapper’s “Give and Take” in our master playlist on Spotify.
- We both kind of, sort of think the second side of this album is weak. Good and enjoyable, but it all starts to run together. Tell us if you disagree.
- Al Green’s life has been interesting since the release of I’m Still In Love With You.
- Here’s a brief explainer on that girlfriend-burn altercation thing, which was insane.
- Green went back to gospel music not long after this and is now an ordained reverend who primarily releases gospel music.
- Just a few artists Green has influenced (and whose music you can find in our playlist): Prince, Sade, James Blake, John Legend, Leon Bridges, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake… the list goes on and on and on.
- Any questions? We might have answers over on our ever-evolving FAQ page.
- Come say hi! Follow us on Facebook, @ us on Twitter, or shoot us an email. We love new friends!
Favorite track: Love and Happiness (Carly) | Love and Happiness (Carrie)
Least favorite track(s): For The Good Times (Carly) | For The Good Times and One of These Good Old Days (Carrie)
- Al Green — lead vocals
- Howard Grimes — drums, rhythm section
- Al Jackson, Jr — drums
- Ali Muhammed Jackson — drums
- Charles Hodges — drums, organ, piano
- Leroy Hodges — bass
- Mabon “Teenie” Hodges — guitar
- Wayne Jackson — horn section, trumpet
- Andrew Love — tenor horn, tenor saxophone
- Ed Hogan — tenor horn, tenor saxophone
- Jack Hale, Sr. — horn section, trombone
- James Mitchell — string and horn arrangements, tenor horn, baritone saxophone
- Donna Rhodes — background vocals
- Sandra Rhodes — background vocals
- Sandra Chalmers — background vocals
- Charles Chalmers — arranger, horn arrangements, string arrangements, background vocals
- Larry Walsh — mastering
- Pam Brady — assistant
- Pete Welding — assistant
- Robert Gordon — liner notes
- Tom Cartwright — project director
- Willie Mitchell — engineer, producer
Al Green’s Kennedy Center Honors induction | 2014
Take Me To The River (documentary about Memphis music and bridging the generation gap) | 2014 | Full Documentary (Netflix) • Watch the trailer
Al Green live concert (source unknown) | 1974
Willie Mitchell on Al Green and Hi Studio | Date unknown
Down To Earth (short doc on Memphis soul) | 2009
R&B Gold: Leroy Hodges Goes Hi | Bassplayer (June 2017)
Al Green, the soul legend and Kennedy Center honoree, is still tired of being alone | The Washington Post (December 2014)
100 Greatest Singers of All Time: Al Green | Rolling Stone (December 2010)
Let’s Stay Together/I’m Still In Love With You/Greatest Hits reissue review | Pitchfork (April 2009)
Memphis Magic: The Al Green Sound | Rolling Stone (October 1973)
I’m Still In Love With You review | Rolling Stone (November 1972)
Hi Records’ history | Hi Records official site (date unknown but hella old school and accessed through WayBack Archives because this page doesn’t *actually* exist anymore)