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Willie Mitchell, RIP
January 6, 2010 5:14 PM   Subscribe

The man behind the classic sound of Al Green, Memphis producer and soulmeister supreme Willie Mitchell has passed on. Many of the Al Green sides are legendary, of course, and very well known (as is the fantastic "I Can't Stand the Rain, by Ann Peebles), but be sure and head over to the excellent Funky 16 Corners where you can hear three of his lesser-known but deeply grooving productions. Fat stuff. So long, Willie Mitchell, and thanks for the wonderful music.
posted by flapjax at midnite (24 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Soulful. Graceful. Funky. Sophisticated.

what a legacy

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posted by fourcheesemac at 5:23 PM on January 6, 2010


Guess we'll all be trying to live our lives without him.

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Also, Funky 16 Corners is the best audioblog on the net.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:23 PM on January 6, 2010


Some of the illest, the sickest, the nastiest, funkiest sounds ever. Godspeed sir, you killed it every single goddamn time!
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:37 PM on January 6, 2010


We are very sad here in Memphis tonight.
posted by vibrotronica at 5:44 PM on January 6, 2010


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posted by el_lupino at 5:52 PM on January 6, 2010


Oh, man. Another musical Olympian passed to the other side. There's nothing like those records that he produced for Al Green. "Look What You Done for Me"? Nothing sounds remotely like it that's not a pale imitation.
posted by blucevalo at 6:29 PM on January 6, 2010


I hope wherever he's going Jesus Is Waiting for him.

Al Green's Call Me is one of the best soul albums ever made. This is largely due to the flawless production and engineering of Willie Mitchell. He made the kick drum pop and the snare drum snap.

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posted by swellingitchingbrain at 6:50 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


.

Terrible news. I loved their reunion collaborations very much. I Can't Stop from early 2000 is brilliant.
posted by cazoo at 7:03 PM on January 6, 2010


My favorite part of Jesus Is Waiting is when Al Green comes back in with "sigh for me" and Mitchell just cranks the volume on the vocal track unabashedly. He knew what was up.

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posted by invitapriore at 7:57 PM on January 6, 2010


Also, Funky 16 Corners is a great blog, as is the Stones Throw Records funk compilation by the same name.
posted by invitapriore at 7:57 PM on January 6, 2010


Al Green's Call Me is one of the best soul albums ever made.

Amen. But Al Green fans shouldn't overlook the O.V. Wright stuff; Allmusic's dead-on when it calls "I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy" the equal of any Willie Mitchell-produced Al Green.
posted by mediareport at 8:52 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


crank that motherfucker up and you'll see what I mean
posted by mediareport at 8:52 PM on January 6, 2010


And jeezus listen to his sweet laid-back production on the original "I Can't Stand the Rain" by Ann Peebles.
posted by mediareport at 9:45 PM on January 6, 2010


Willie was a Champion.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:45 AM on January 7, 2010


Obits from Variety, Washington Post, NY Times.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:41 AM on January 7, 2010


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I just discovered the man. "I Wish you were here" was tacked on to the end of a dubstep mix by Slugabed and I was hooked.
posted by monocultured at 3:16 AM on January 7, 2010


Woot, That driving beat is most excellent. Thanks for the Funky 16 corners link, flapjax.
posted by monocultured at 3:29 AM on January 7, 2010


Syl Johnson: "Could I Be Falling In Love With You"
posted by criticalbill at 4:50 AM on January 7, 2010


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posted by lester's sock puppet at 5:47 AM on January 7, 2010


I'm somewhat embarrassed to say I've never heard the original version of "I Can't Stand the Rain" until now, just the Missy Elliot song with samples of it (which I'm not embarrassed to say that I like quite a bit). But this song is just gorgeous. Musically, it sounds like The Beatles experimenting with soul music and completely and utterly succeeding.
posted by kryptondog at 6:34 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting this. I was thinking about making a post about this, but I'm snowed under with work. R.I.P Willie Mitchell.
posted by ob at 7:06 AM on January 7, 2010


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posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 7:08 AM on January 7, 2010


I suppose it should be pointed out that without Willie Mitchell there wouldn't be any Wu Tang, since sampling the Hi Records catalogue kept Rza occupied right up until they became completely shite
posted by criticalbill at 7:53 AM on January 7, 2010


I'd never heard of Willie Mitchell until now. Awesome music.
posted by joost de vries at 9:05 AM on January 7, 2010


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