Wednesday, April 24, 2013

call me

Al Green had a religious awakening and expanded his smooth and sultry sound during the creation of this introspective and inspired soul classic.  'Call Me' was recorded at the converted theater of Hi Records' Royal Studios in Memphis with Al Green on vocals and production; Willie Mitchell on production and engineering; Charles Chalmers on background vocals and horn arrangements; Howard Grimes and Al Jackson, Jr. on drums; Jack Hale on trombone; Charles Hodges on organ and piano; Leroy Hodges on bass; Mabon "Teenie" Hodges on guitar; Archie Turner on piano; Wayne Jackson on trumpet; Ed Logan and Andrew Love on tenor saxophone; James Mitchell on baritone saxophone and horn arrangements; Donna Rhodes and Sandra Rhodes on background vocals; and strings by The Memphis Strings.

Mitchell describes their process:   "I'll take a set of chord changes and then Al Jackson and I will get together and discuss the changes, the melodic lines or what-have-you. We'll spend a couple of days listening, taking out changes, putting in other changes. When we get the song where it sounds like something, we'll call Al Green and play the changes for him. He'll sit down and listen and take fifteen minutes to go out and write the story. Al Jackson will be getting the direction of what the rhythm should be, deciding what we need for the rhythm section to do. Then we go in and cut the track, and I add the strings, voices and so on. And then Al Green comes in and cuts the vocal."

Green says:   "Jackson will go to Jamaica or the Bahamas and stay there for three or four days just to pick up on some kind of rhythm. Then he'll come to the studio and get back there on the drums, in his corner by himself. He'll stay back there for hours, just beating the drums with his eyes closed. I thought he was crazy at first: five or ten minutes, fine, but hours? Anyway, he'll beat one rhythm for a while and then he'll change it. It sounds so close, you can't really tell if he changed it or not, but it's different. Willie will figure the musical changes for this particular rhythm that Al gets in his head."

Green had an epiphany that year:   "Well, then, I didn't know the Lord. There was champagne, there was finer clothes, finer houses. Then you started getting into sports cars and, you know, and a little more this, and a little more of this (imitates snorting cocaine) and a little bit more of smoking and alcohol and girls, and that's what it was ... I was born again when I was playing Disneyland in 1973. I'm not a spiritualist so I can't explain it, but I woke up rejoicing and was a changed man - which is not to imply that I was unhappy prior to that. I've never been unhappy. Do I look unhappy now? No I do not. I attribute my happiness to drinking Perrier water. (He laughs uncontrollably.) ... About 4:30 that morning, man, I woke up praising and rejoicing. And I had never felt like that before, and I have never felt like that again. So many things were changing so fast, and I had this input, like a charge of electricity ... I woke up born again. Now how and what, I just felt brand new. I think it might have been my mind. It was so sweet...I was knocking on people's doors. I knocked on a white couple's door and I told them, I says, 'Excuse me, but I've been born again.' The guy said, 'Hon, call security. There's a little black guy here talking about how he been born again. Call the police'." 

'Call Me' went to number ten on the US album chart and became the third of five consecutive gold certified chart toppers on the US R&B album chart. 

"Call Me (Come Back Home)" hit number ten on the US pop chart and number two on the R&B singles chart. 

"Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" went to number ten on the US pop chart and number two on the R&B singles chart.

"You Ought to Be with Me" went to number three on the US pop chart and number one on the R&B singles chart.  

"Jesus Is Waiting"

'Call Me'
full album:

All songs by Al Green; except where noted.

1. "Call Me (Come Back Home)"  Al Green, Al Jackson Jr., Willie Mitchell 3:03
2. "Have You Been Making Out O.K." 3:42
3. "Stand Up" 3:25
4. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" Hank Williams 3:10
5. "Your Love Is Like the Morning Sun" 3:09
6. "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" Green, Teenie Hodges 4:14
7. "Funny How Time Slips Away" Willie Nelson 5:33
8. "You Ought to Be with Me" Green, Jackson Jr., Mitchell 3:15
9. "Jesus Is Waiting" 5:36

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