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Gospel According To Al Green (DVD)
In the early and mid-1970s, the release of songs like “Let’s Stay Together,” “Love and Happiness,” “Tired of Being Alone,” and “Take Me to The River” made Al Green one of the most successful soul and pop singers in the world. However, as the decade progressed, Green suffered an existential crisis, prompted by a questioning of his own increasingly decadent lifestyle, as well as by the death of a girlfriend who scalded him with hot grits before shooting and killing herself. He also claims to have had a religious reawakening after performing a concert at Disneyland, as well as periodic meltdowns on stage. All of this led to his abandonment of popular music, his purchase of a Memphis church building, his installation of himself as the pastor of that church, and the start of a part-time career as gospel artist.
Robert Mugge’s 1984 film GOSPEL ACCORDING TO AL GREEN documented the seventh-anniversary service at Green’s Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, a rehearsal in his Memphis recording studio, an extended interview and a concert at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. Also interviewed for the film were legendary record producer Willie Mitchell, who produced and co-wrote Green’s most famous soul hits, and music and TV critic Ken Tucker, who helped to place Green’s accomplishments in a larger cultural context.
In short, as presented in the film, Green’s story is a mythic tale about a rhythm and blues artist who started out singing love songs to women, but ended up singing similar songs to God. Thanks to the film’s 4K remastering, the power of Green’s performances and the intimacy of his storytelling have never shone more brightly.
90-minute audio interview, reflections by director Robert Mugge, concert excerpts, extended song, extended audio excerpt of church service, and original theatrical trailer
Let’s Stay Together
Free At Last
People Get Ready
Straighten Out Your Life
Hallelujah (I Just Want to Praise the Lord)
Let’s Stay Together (commercial recording)