Personnel: Al Green (vocals); Michael Baker (guitar, background vocals); Larry Lee, Mabon Hodges (guitar); Gerry Peters (keyboards, synthesizer); Jesse Butler (keyboards); Ray Griffing, Steve Cobb (bass); Steve Potts (drums); Linda Jones, Debra Carter, William Brown (background vocals); Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
Recorded at American Music Studio, Memphis, Tennesee.
Recording information: American Music Studio, Memphis, TN.
Photographer: Alan Messer.
One of Al Green's earlier Gospel efforts, I'LL RISE AGAIN finds the singer in a state of transition. Though there's some synth work, Green hadn't yet adopted the more electronically based production techniques of later '80s efforts like SOUL SURVIVOR, he was still moving away from the organic, Willie Mitchell-produced sound of his '70s Hi recordings. Consequently, much of the production here is by-the-book pop/R&B, with backing vocals, strings and keyboards serving mainly as additional colors, not elements of the groove. While Green's singing is uniformly excellent, there's an odd distance to the mix here, and it often sounds as if Green is singing from far away. Advocates of his spiritual leanings might say it's evocative of the higher plane to which he was constantly aspiring.