Al Green – Let’s Stay Together

More Al Green

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  • Two insanely good sides each earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades and the first copy to hit the site in over two years!
  • Both sides here are incredibly big, rich and Tubey Magical yet still clean, clear and spacious; the bottom end is punchy and solid and the vocals are wonderfully breathy and present
  • One of our favorite soul albums that sounds OUT OF THIS WORLD on a copy like this; I can’t imagine this music sounding any better than it does here
  • “Green’s ingenuity produced one of the all-time classics, which has the bounce of a dance cut and the passion of a ballad.” – All Music

It’s very rare that we have copies of this brilliant record up on our site, and it’s not for a lack of effort on our end.

It’s tough enough to find any copies of Green’s early LPs out in the bins, let alone clean copies with great sound. I wish we were able to find more copies of this album, because when you stumble on a good one it’s an absolute thrill. The best pressings give you a big, spacious soundfield and put Green’s vocals right up front. If you’ve got a pressing of your own around, throw it on for comparison’s sake — odds are pretty good that the sound will be dry and grainy, particularly on the strings. We found the sound on most pressings to be either too harsh to enjoy or overly smooth. Hot Stamper copies give you richer, smoother sound but without smearing away all the texture and detail.

What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1972
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on Let’s Stay Together

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Let’s Stay Together 
La-La for You 
So You’re Leaving 
What Is This Feeling 
Old Time Lovin’

Side Two

I’ve Never Found a Girl 
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
Judy 
It Ain’t No Fun to Me

AMG  Review

Prior to this album, Al Green never had a number one song. The title track, “Let’s Stay Together,” achieved that status and held it for nine consecutive weeks. Green’s ingenuity produced one of the all-time classics, which has the bounce of a dance cut and the passion of a ballad. The dynamic soul singer’s whispers, animated cries, and riffing enhance his already stirring delivery… The Arkansas native and his creative partner Willie Mitchell season these selections with lucid rhythm arrangements complemented by the faint strums of a guitar and brawn, unchiding horns.