Welcome to the first installment of Album per diem, where yours truly dives into an album and discusses it each and every day. Up first is Al Green and his album Full of Fire which was released 40 years ago this month in 1976. Green has writing credits on seven of the nine songs on the album. Let’s dive in.
- “Glory, Glory” – Nothing groundbreaking with this tune, that being said it is a nice little toe-tapper of soul. The horns featured throughout the song need to be commended. All in all, it’s a nice little kickoff to the album.
- “That’s the Way It Is” – This song is just plain groovy. It’s heavier than “Glory, Glory”, but in a good way. Any song that ends with hand-clapping when there was no hand clapping in the previous 3:30 seconds of the song is a great song by my standards.
- “Always” – If you’re looking for a new song for Valentine’s Day playlist, I have found one for you. This song oozes the sound of love, not overly sexual, but lovely love. The kind of love that’s on Hallmark. Simply this will be a great love song for… always.
- “There’s No Way” – Let’s keep that Valentine’s Day playlist rolling my friends, because this song knocks it out of the park. It’s one of those love songs that make you wanna cry. The first verse is pure magic: “If I could live my life all over, I’d do everything the same/The film in my camera would reveal everything the same / Like kissin’ you every mornin’, lovin’ you day by day/ Dreaming dreams of you and every old way will”. It’s absolutely brilliant. Not to mention the high note that is belted as the song fades out is something everybody should hear.
- “I’d Fly Away” – The best vocal on the album so far comes on the last track of the first side. Green puts on a wonderful vocal and the combination of that with the instrumentation makes it actually seem like you are flying or, at the very least, floating. The phrase “away, hey, hey” shows up a lot throughout which is a good thing, because every time it occurs it results in a nice crescendo into the last hey which is immediately followed by a cool lick from the horns.
- “Full of Fire” – The song results in another nice vocal, but the lyrics really do leave something to be desired. Basically, he’s full of fire, likes this girl and he can dance. Cool. It’s hard to hate on this song because, again, I love the arrangement, but in an album full of beautiful love songs, it just doesn’t really cut it.
- “Together Again” – When you think Al Green, you also think Buck Owens, right? Well, Buck Owens wrote the song and Al Green sure brought it to life in his version. The song stretches five minutes and it might have about 100 words total, but it’s beautiful. If you want a long slow-dance about being back together again and in your lover’s arms this is the song for you.
- “Soon As I Get Home” – At my funeral, someone will be required to stand outside the church with the future’s equivalent of a boombox and play this song. Simply, home is heaven in this song and Green is telling us all once he’s going to do when he gets there. It’s kind of weird song to have on an album with a bunch of love songs, but it still works.
- “Let It Shine” – This is an excellent closing song. It feels like the end of church when you’re supposed to ‘go forth’ and such. It’s a nice happy little send off to the rest of your day/life/whatever. Everybody has a light, you just gotta let it shine.
I’m scared after listening to this album. I fear I might have done one of the best albums that I’m ever going to do on day one. If you like some old school soul music, I’d highly recommend this album. I’d love to point to my favorite track, but I can’t really pick one out. “Always”, “There’s No Way” and “Together Again” are all great love songs that I really dig. I hope you dig them, too.
Next up: Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night.
May the music ever be in your favor.