Now we may know why ten-time Grammy winning soul icon Al Green joined Twitter earlier this week, because on Thursday (Sept. 13) the “Love and Happiness” singer released his first single in a decade, a cover of Freddy Fender’s “Before the Next Teardrop Falls.” The single, a part of Amazon’s original series Produced By, was issued exclusively on Amazon Music.
The Produced By series pairs producers with a collection of some of today’s top artists across various genres to create exclusive, new recordings for Amazon Music listeners. Green worked on the track with Grammy Award-winning, Memphis-based producer Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell) for the series bringing back the singer’s signature sound to the soul scene.
Together the duo combined bluesy keys, feel good guitar riffs and bass lines, and Green’s smooth, soulful vocals to create a cover that put a rejuvenating spin on the country classic while still managing to maintain its original and vulnerable beauty.
“As a lifelong Memphian, I’ve always been a massive fan of Al Green and his Producer Willie Mitchell,” explains Matt Ross-Spang in a release announcing the project. “Together they created some of the most enduring soul music. Sonically speaking, Willie and Al also really invented a distinct sound that separated them from STAX or Motown. Growing up in a such a rich musical heritage I became captivated by these records and long dreamed of working with Al Green. I’ve always loved the Linda Martell version of ‘Before the Next Teardrop Falls’ and kept it back pocket as a great cover idea for him. It follows in the footsteps of Willie and Al reinterpreting country songs like ‘For the Good Times’ and ‘Funny How Time Slips Away.’ I still can’t believe we actually got to do it!”
“Teardrop,” written by Vivian Keith and Ben Peters in 1967, first hit the country chart in 1968 for Duane Dee, but became a No. 1 Billboard Hot Country Singles smash in 1975 thanks to Fender’s version.
Check out Green’s new single “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” below.