Love and Happiness

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"Love and Happiness"
Single by Al Green
from the album I'm Still in Love with You
Released1973, 1977
Format7" single
Recorded1972
GenreSoul
Length5:07
LabelLondon Records, Hi Records
Writer(s)Al Green, Teenie Hodges
Producer(s)Willie Mitchell
Al Green singles chronology
"I Tried to Tell Myself"
(1977)
"Love and Happiness"
(1977)
"Belle"
(1977)
 
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"Love and Happiness"
Single by Al Green
from the album I'm Still in Love with You
Released1973, 1977
Format7" single
Recorded1972
GenreSoul
Length5:07
LabelLondon Records, Hi Records
Writer(s)Al Green, Teenie Hodges
Producer(s)Willie Mitchell
Al Green singles chronology
"I Tried to Tell Myself"
(1977)
"Love and Happiness"
(1977)
"Belle"
(1977)

"Love and Happiness" is a 1972 song by Al Green from his album I'm Still in Love with You. Green co-wrote the song with Teenie Hodges. It was released as a single in the United Kingdom on London Records in 1973 and in the United States on Hi Records in 1977. It has been covered by Etta James, Al Jarreau, and many other performers.

The song was rated #98 in Rolling Stones's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and #861 in Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. Soul Train historian Stephen McMillian called it "quintessential Al Green" and "one of the greatest soul songs of all time."[1] Writing in Vibe, Alan Light called it "perhaps his most perfect song."[2]

Composition and recording[edit]

Green wrote "Love and Happiness" with Teenie Hodges, with whom he also collaborated in writing "Take Me to the River," "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," "Full of Fire," and other songs. It was produced by Willie Mitchell in the 1972 recording session for the album I'm Still in Love with You. Of the recording process, Green said:

I wouldn’t say it was a return to the old style soul of my early days, but I definitely pulled it from the same source of raw and gritty need. The result was like a slow fever, building on the beat, pushing up the temperature with each breath of the staccato horns and pushing through to delirium as we came up on the fade.[1]

In his 2000 autobiography Take Me to the River, Green said of the song:

"Love and Happiness" was like mixing explosive chemicals — everything had to be added at just the right time and at just the right dose. The tempo was the most important thing to Willie, and, if you listen close, you can hear Teenie counting off with his foot on a cardboard box for the take that nailed it.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

On April 27, 1973, London Records released "Love and Happiness" as a U.K. single, backed with "So You're Leaving" (catalog number 10419).[4] Hi Records, however, did not release the song as a single at the time that the album I'm Still in Love with You was on the charts, instead releasing the title track, "Look What You Done for Me," and "For the Good Times." The song nonetheless gained popularity in the U.S. from radio airplay.[1]

In an attempt to boost Green's flagging record sales, an edited version of the song was finally released as a U.S. single in the summer of 1977, backed with "Glory Glory" (catalog number 45-2324). The single peaked at #104 on the pop chart and #82 on the R&B chart.[5][6]

The song was also featured as the lead-off track on Al Green's Greatest Hits, Volume II (1977) and appeared on reissues of his first greatest hits compilation.

Cover versions[edit]

A cover of the song by Earnest Jackson was released as a single on John Fred's Louisiana-based Stone Records in 1973.[7] It has also been covered by such performers as Etta James, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Graham Central Station, Toots and the Maytals, Lee "Scratch" Perry and Living Colour. A surreptitiously recorded live cover by Mr. Lee & the Rearrangers Band was described by Rocktober magazine as "perhaps the most bizarre 45 in Chicago history." [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c McMillian, Stephen. "Classic Soul Train Album Presents: Al Green’s ‘I’m Still in Love With You’". Soul Train. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Light, Alan (June–July 1996). "Love and Happiness". Vibe: 99. 
  3. ^ Green, Al; Seay, Davin (2000). Take Me to the River. Payback Press. 
  4. ^ "Love And Happiness / So You're Leaving". 45cat. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Green, Al". Badcat Records. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Love and Happiness". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Earnest Jackson". Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  8. ^ The Chicago Reader: The Secret History of Chicago Music: Mr. Lee & the Rearrangers Band