Although all of the numbers in the Discogs Database can’t verify this claim, “Let’s Stay Together” is probably the No. 1 song from Al Green in most people’s hearts — it was, after all, his only No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single. This soul hit can also be found in Discogs’ No. 1 most-wanted Al Green album, the titular 1972 release, and his most popular, his Greatest Hits from 1975.
We’re taking a moment to breakdown some of his best work by the numbers. Among our rankings of his highly coveted and collected albums, you’ll find well-known releases from the famous soul artist. The lists are determined by how many Discogs users added the record to their Collection (most popular) or their Wantlist (most wanted).
His long discography has had a lasting influence on neo-soul, hip-hop, R&B, and electronic. However, he was drawn to Christian music following a series of tragedies in his life and walked away from the pop charts by the 1980s to work on gospel albums, which resulted in some religious hits and Grammys. He didn’t stay away from soul long, though; even his gospel music was dripping with the genre, and he returned to the secular charts by the end of the decade and has been pumping out soul music steadily since. Green’s most recent release, 2008’s Lay It Down, was produced by the one-and-only Questlove.
Photo by Charlie Gillett, courtesy of Fat Possum Records
These lists won’t include albums featuring Green’s voice or lyrics, such as Tyler, The Creator’s Igor, a compilation album like Shaolin Soul, or covers by The Talking Heads. Among Green’s many credits on Discogs, “Let’s Stay Together” and “Take Me to the River” are the most popular tracks either covered or sampled. According to our friends over at WhoSampled, Green has been sampled 605 times and covered no less than 168 times.
“I’m Glad You’re Mine” takes the top spot as the most sampled track. The drums are definitely the most attractive snippet (I mean, just listen to the intro alone). Notorious B.I.G. used this Green beat on several albums, but his songs have been reworked by everyone from Kanye West to Nas. For a more discernible example of a sample, listen to Green’s “Simply Beautiful” then Talib Kweli’s Kanye-produced “Good to You.”
Most Wanted Albums
Most Popular Albums
Published in partnership with Fat Possum Records.