Love and Happiness (5:00)

Cover of Al Green

From Al Green and 65 other releases

“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.

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.” Writing in Vibe, Alan Light called it “perhaps his most perfect song.”

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.”

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.

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