Al Green, "Let's Stay Together" (1972)
As soul music evolved in the Seventies, the dancing in the street of the civil rights era gave way to the sound of making out behind closed doors. No singer combined down-home grit with boudoir suavity as effortlessly and audaciously as Al Green. He follows a heartfelt "You'd never do that to me" with a confidently spoken aside "Would you baby?" as though he's improvising the whole song on the spot over a beat roughed up just enough by the Hi Rhythm section and an arrangement polished just enough by producer Willie Mitchell.