Al Green

Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)

Song Review by

Is "Sha La La (Make Me Happy)" flippant? Yes. That's a no-brainer, but it's also great. This 1974 single catches Al Green at peak of his pop and R&B chart reign. Lyrically speaking, Green wasn't reinventing the wheel. Nonsensical though phonetically pleasing words and phrases had been around for aeons. A few years earlier, the Delfonics had their breakthrough hit, "La-La-La Means I Love You." Reporters didn't swarm his concerts trying to find out what all of the words meant. "Sha-La-La" is the first part of making Green happy. Isn't that enough? At this stage, the Memphis sound was ultra-smooth. Producer Willie Mitchell and Green seemed to have a telepathy and the band was right in line with it. Drummer and producer Al Jackson Jr. didn't appear on this track or any of the Explorers Your Mind sessions, but his craft and ear were an essential part of the sound, especially the singles. Of course, like most songs there is a "unfortunate" tinge to the story. In fact, Green was working on this track the afternoon that he met with his upset girlfriend, Mary Woodson. For Green, this song seemed to sum him up, and walking down the aisle wasn't on his mind. Woodson didn't take kindly to Green's nonchalance. The rest of the story is well-known. Green ended up with boiling grits on him while he was in the tub. Woodson went off and committed suicide. What is odd is that such a blithe song was recorded around the time of a tragedy. Music is filled with such dichotomies. This song also became on of the best performances on Green's 1980 import Live in Tokyo.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Explores Your Mind 1974 The Right Stuff 2:59
Al Green's Greatest Hits 1975 Fat Possum Records 0:00
Al Green's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1977 Motown
Sounds of the Seventies: 1974 1990
Various Artists
The Supreme Al Green: The Greatest Hits 1992 Hi Records 2:59
Hi Times: The Hi Records R&B Years [Box] 1995
Various Artists
Al 1995
Beechwood Music
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 16 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 3:01
All About Soul [Castle] 1996
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:58
A Deep Shade of Green 1996 Hi Records 3:00
Royal Memphis Soul 1996
Various Artists
Hi Records / Hibook 2:56
Heart & Soul 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:55
Love of Your Own 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:51
Hi and Mighty: The Story of Al Green (1969-1978) 1998 Hi Records 3:02
Hi Masters 1998 Hi Records 2:56
True Love: A Collection 2000 Music Club International Records 2:58
The Hi Singles A's and B's 2000 Hi Records 2:59
No Image 2000 JVC Compact Discs 2:56
Take Me to the River 2000 Capitol 5:32
The Very Best of Al Green [Shock] 2001 Shock 2:57
Here I Am [Madacy] 2001 EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 2:56
The Very Best of Al Green [Music Club] 2001 Music Club International Records 2:57
Great Legends of Soul 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:56
The Love Songs Collection 2003 The Right Stuff / Capitol 2:57
The Very Best of Love 2003 Madacy 2:56
Radio [Hip-O] 2003
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O 2:57
The Absolute Best 2004 The Right Stuff 3:00
Love Songs 2004 Shock 2:57
The Immortal Soul of Al Green 2004 EMI Music Distribution / Hi / The Right Stuff 2:58
Old School Soul Party 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / TJL 2:57
The Definitive Greatest Hits 2007 Capitol / EMI Records 2:59
100 Hits: Mum 2010
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:57