Al Green – I’m Still In Love With You (SHU 8443) (1972)


Nice. A VG+ original UK stereo issue, licensed by London, of the Reverend’s fourth Lp. How much it set you back?

A pound at Wincheap bootfair.

So, whatiya think of it?

Well, it’s great, isn’t it?

I’m interested that you answer the question rhetorically, as if it would be wrong to even question whether an Al Green record could be bad.

That’s not fair, there are plenty of instances where I go against critical orthodoxy, see the recent New Order post; and as regards Al Green specifically, you know full well know I thrifted his 1984 album Trust In God and re-sold it before I even had a chance to post about it. Anyway, consensus by a group of interested, informed people, even if they have some sort of unconscious agenda, is still surely worth consideration, no?

Wow, you had the courage to come out against some pretentious new wave disco band and a mid-80s gospel record. Is there no end to your iconoclasm?

Fuck off. Back to the matter at hand, i.e. I’m Still In Love With You: This is a great record, possibly the most consistent of his popular early Lps, a virtual best of. That Memphis Soul sound, ruff ‘n’ smoove at the same time, is fully mature: thick, hollow snare beats regularly occur on the and of four adding that little hop in the groove; the tight horn charts act as sexy exclamation marks; and the lead singing is a model of controlled passion, full of sensually sibilent S’s. The songs themselves generally have memorable choruses, but sly and expressive verses so idiosyncratic they defy easy singalong.

Okay, if you like Al Green hits, as you profess, why not simply get some stuffed-to-the-gills budget label comp?

I think these records were designed to be heard in this sequence, even with the odd bit of filler. And frankly, it’s partly about the money and supplying my habit inexpensively.

 You can get CDs, very inexpensive Al Green twofers.

C’mon. Those things look like crap and you know it. I want to see original labels and sleeves, heavy cardboard, fold over or tip on style.

Oh, and I thought it was all about the music.

Jesus, it’s just one cheap shot after another with you. Seriously, would you put the Mona Lisa in a cruddy clip frame or a substantial, rococo gilt gesso one with scrolls and swags around the edges.

Uh, that’s not strictly analogous: you view a painting through the frame–it’s part of the experience. You don’t listen to music through its sleeve; the frame is more comparable to the stereo system you use.

You put your finger on it there: “it’s part of the experience”, you said and I agree with that. The sleeve, the liner notes, all that is part of the experience. Okay, howazabout this then: well-preserved, old vinyl has better, more organic sound reproduction than its digital counterpart; and the mastering, etc. decisions were made by people closer to the locus of creation.

Pul-eeze. You’re a self-professed cloth ear.

Not entirely true. I may not be an audiophile, but even I could tell the difference between, say, the first Led Zep CD issues and original vinyl. Why do you think all those Dubstep heads insist on issuing their music on vinyl?

Who are you trying to impress invoking Dubstep?

I’m not trying to impress anyone. It’s a fact that I’ve got a load of Dubstep 12″s. Anyway, the Thrify Vinyl people understand me and my need to feed the beast.

Alright, when was the last time you bought any grimey-dub, or whatever, singles?

Okay, I’ve gone off DS, so it’s been a year or so when I got that Scientist Launches double Lp and I got that James Blake “Limit To Your Love” 10″. Anyway, my listening goes in cycles. It’s been like that  since I was a teen–Christ, remember my Yes phase?

I still don’t get why you have to have “original” issues and all that if you’re buying to listen to and not deal.

As I’ve said before, boot fair and thrift store collecting is fun for its random nature, the thrill of the hunt, the surprise of new discovery, etc. and, I admit, there’s a bit of a snob factor too. Is that what you wanted to hear?

I just want you to be honest with yourself. Hey, off topic, have I told you that you look a lot like Xabi Alonso with your new beard?

Aw, that’s nice. Thank you.

A much older, fatter Xabi Alonso, obviously.


Published in: on June 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. xabi alonso? unlike most of your fellow americans it seems you may have been watching the european “saark-ker” championship!

    talking of which: why is american football so-called when they hardly ever actually touch the ball with their feet? (and they never touch the ball to the ground rugby-style when they go over the scoring line, despite it being proclaimed a “touchdown”)

    having said all that, i would bet on the yankees to beat our limited bunch of english yeoman at football these days…

    what’s that you say about the music? sorry – no comment on that!

  2. Re: Euro 2012, when in Rome…
    Re: American Football. There are regular kicks in the game, same as Rugby Football. “Touchdown” I expect is a holdover from earlier incarnations of the game.
    Re: Team USA soccer, I don’t know, but GB didn’t even deserve a draw v. Spain.
    Re: Al Green, he’s really good.

  3. Before I got to the Xabi Alonso reference I had already decided to comment thus: you are the Spain of the blogging world. Ole!

    Weather challenging for boot sales again this weekend and vinyl thin on the ground, but it only takes one box: very happy with this morning’s haul – Temptations “In All Directions” and original UK Tamla mono issues of Martha & The Vandellas and Temptations Greatest Hits. 50p each and all play much better than they look. Also had to pick up Teena Marie’s ’83 45 Lovergirl. Teena is someone I could happily listen to sing the telephone book. Should have probably also picked up Aretha Live At The Filmore but I generally can’t be doing with live albums.

    Re: Al Green, yes really good.

    • Thank you D and well done with the Temps – a highwater mark of the Whitfield collaboration! I agree with your assessment of live albums generally, but, if it was 50p and in good shape, yes, you probably should have picked up the Aretha.

  4. Is this a conversation with your girlfriend? Pretty funny. Oh man – Al Green, he’s soooo good you gotta love him.

    • This is an internal dialogue between my id, which, according to Freudian psychology functions as unregulated instinct and my super-ego, or the critical/moralizing aspect of consciousness. (though it could just have easily been a conversation with a significant other.)

      • Yes, I had a similar experience when I had to justify to myself the purchase of the Velvet Undergrounds Loaded on pink vinyl even though I already have it on vinyl, CD and the Peel Slowly and See boxed set. I bought it of course – my other vinyl copy has a few pops and crackled from the hammering it’s received since the eighties. justification enough!

        Cool site by the way – great idea. I’ve got my literature site but soon I’m starting one about my vinyl obsession – I have thousands….

  5. To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum in “The Bill Chill”: Rationalization is more important than sex…ever gone a week without a rationalization?

    And you can never have too much Loaded.

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