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Al Green - Greatest Hits Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 February 2002

Al Green

Greatest Hits
format: DVD-Audio
label: Right Stuff/EMI
release year: 2003
performance: 9.5
sound 8.5
reviewed by: Jerry Del Colliano

Image This DVD-Audio title is an excellent introduction to the format for new users because, as a greatest hits collection, the record is loaded with familiar tracks, welcoming melodies and funky grooves. The Reverend Al Green is one of the greats in the world of 1970s R&B. His layered and soulful songs have passed the test of time and still hold up today.

The DVD-Audio format proves to be very kind to this collection of vintage 1970s recordings. I honestly expected them to sound somewhat dull and the mix to be overly conservative. I was dead wrong. The 5.1 mix features incredible depth, detail and a warm analog sound that only benefits from the added resolution of DVD-Audio’s MLP surround sound.

On “I’m Still In Love With You,” the subtle instrumentation really shines. Slight snare hits really pop. The strings blend into the background of the mix, but the detail of the string section stays coherent even without the audio spotlight on them.

The classic “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” is one of the more recognizable tunes and emits more bass energy than other tracks on the DVD-Audio disc. Really nifty R&B guitar rifts are intertwined between the horns, strings and drums. The track is very smooth-sounding and seems to benefit from a good shot of volume. As the volume goes up, the 360-degree soundstage opens up even more.

“Love and Happiness” is the smash hit of the record, featuring the best overall sound and the most intriguing surround sound mix. This is the track you would play for your friends when they come over to your place for a demo of your system. Green’s vocals are beaming and forward but warm-sounding. The organ tone is killer-sounding, muted yet rich. The background vocals reach an all all-time high on this track but the guitars are what lure me in most. Mellow strumming of the most soulful chops adds an essential spice to the musical recipe of this song. The horns adorn the rear speakers, sharing time with the background singers.

This disc will play on any DVD player with a Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 track, as well as the highest resolution MLP 5.1 version. There are a number of tasty bonus tracks on the DVD-Audio version of Green’s greatest hits, notably including “Belle” and “Sha La La (Make Me Happy).”

This DVD-Audio disc is a must-have for anyone who listens to music in surround sound from their DVD player. The Reverend Al Green is an ageless performer whose music gets new life thanks to the advances of the DVD-Audio format. Put this disc at the top of your list for your next trip to the record store.

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