Al Green

L-O-V-E (Love)

Song Review by

Like Little Richard and others, Al Green struggled with the diametric opposites of the secular and the spiritual. Is it any wonder since Green's musical roots are steeped in gospel? Some attribute his mid-'70s conversion from romantic love songs to more message-oriented inspirational songs to his October 1974 brush with death when ex-girlfriend Mary Woodson threw a pot of hot grits on the singer while he was taking a shower before taking her own life; others say it began after Green took a near fatal fall from a Cincinnati stage in 1979; while the singer himself says that he became a born-again Christian in 1973. For a latter-day perspective, read Green's 2000 autobiography Take Me to the River. Then again, a listen to the radio-aired LP track "Jesus Is Waiting" from his 1973 LP, Call Me, shows that the seeds had been planted. On "L-O-V-E (LOVE)," Green sings of salvation and heaven against a string section that at times mirrors Philly soul. Producer Willie Mitchell admittedly was an admirer of Gamble, Huff, and Thom Bell. Written by Green, Mitchell, and guitarist Mabon Hodges, "L-O-V-E (LOVE)" laid at number one R&B for two weeks in spring 1975.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Al Green's Greatest Hits 1975 Fat Possum Records 0:00
Al Green Is Love 1975 Fat Possum Records 3:09
Al Green's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1977 Motown
Sounds of the Seventies: 1975 - Take Two 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:06
The Supreme Al Green: The Greatest Hits 1992 Hi Records 3:04
Hi Times: The Hi Records R&B Years [Box] 1995
Various Artists
Al 1995
Beechwood Music
Rock-N-Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time: Late 70's, Vol. 1-2 1995
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:04
A Deep Shade of Green 1996 Hi Records 3:05
Royal Memphis Soul 1996
Various Artists
Hi Records / Hibook 3:02
Sex & Soul, Vol. 3 1997
Various Artists
Capitol 3:05
R&B Relix: 1974-1975 1998
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 3:08
Hi and Mighty: The Story of Al Green (1969-1978) 1998 Hi Records 3:05
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:02
Hi Masters 1998 Hi Records 3:03
Great Rock & Roll, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:04
Everlasting Love [Crimson] 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
The Hi Singles A's and B's 2000 Hi Records 3:04
No Image 2000 JVC Compact Discs 3:02
Take Me to the River 2000 Capitol 3:06
The Very Best of Al Green [Shock] 2001 Shock 3:03
Here I Am [Madacy] 2001 EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 3:04
The Very Best of Al Green [Music Club] 2001 Music Club International Records 3:03
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Another Helping of Celebrating Life 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 3:02
Great Legends of Soul 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 3:04
The Love Songs Collection 2003 The Right Stuff / Capitol 3:35
Best of Smooth Love R&B 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:08
The Very Best of Love 2003 Madacy 3:04
The Absolute Best 2004 The Right Stuff 3:10
Love Songs 2004 Shock 3:03
Body + Soul: The '70s 2004
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:03
Slow Jams Collection [2 Disc] 2004
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:07
The Immortal Soul of Al Green 2004 EMI Music Distribution / Hi / The Right Stuff 3:08
The Definitive Greatest Hits 2007 Capitol / EMI Records 3:09