Between 1970 and 1975 there wasn’t a better soul singer on the planet than Al Green, and this 34-song, 2-CD Best Of collection wisely gathers the bulk of its material from the six timeless albums Al made during those years. The last of the classic soul singers, Al Green could do it all—croon like Sam Cooke, shout and testify like Otis Redding, and plead and moan with the suave assurance of Marvin Gaye—and this set proves it. All of the numerous Top 10 hits are here (“Tired of Being Alone,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “You Ought To Be With Me,” “I’m Still In Love With You,” and many more), along with a smattering of the singer’s late ’70s material. Two previously un-issued tracks (good, but not Al’s best work) tempt the completist, but the real reason to spring for the extra CD—rather than settling on Motown’s comparable single-disc Greatest Hits compilation— is simply that you owe it to yourself to hear twice as much of that unmistakable voice meeting those strutting horns and silky strings. This is as essential as American music gets, and the genius of Al Green can’t be contained on just one disc. For those willing to delve a little deeper, Absolute Best is an excellent choice.