Al Green is great, Ann Peebles was great, O.V. Wright was great, but I honestly believe that Willie Mitchell (and Duck Dunn and Tennie Hodges) were as responsible for those records becoming hits as the singers were. To take nothing away from the live bands that toured with Green and Peebles, the live versions of those songs have NOTHING on the studio versions. That big fat snare and the prominence of the church organ – I never really thought about it, but Pimp C probably had a few Hi records in his collection next to all the Meters stuff.
Just a few weeks ago I was thinking about how that Ann Peebles OG version of “Rain” sounds a lot less dated, a lot more “future” than Tina Turners 80s version (which is actually kinda underrated nevertheless) or Missy and Timbos take on it. R.I.P.