Monday, November 28, 2011

Simply Amazing: Aretha Franklin

I’ll bring this mini-series of posts highlighting spiritual/gospel music to  a close with one of the best known, best loved and best selling gospel records of all time.

Originally released as a double LP in 1972, Amazing Grace cracked the Billboard Top Ten upon its release, making it one of the bestselling gospel records of all time. Grace was recorded in a large Baptist church with an ultra-enthusiastic, loving audience in the pews and a full, funky, band as well as the Southern California Community Choir under the direction of her mentor Rev. James Cleveland. Her voice is melismatic and intensely emotional, yet pure and controlled--as if she were directly channeling the Holy Ghost. Aretha's father, the brilliant preacher Rev. C.L. Franklin, makes a brief, proud appearance, remarking how "she has never left the church!" Highlights include the beautiful "Wholy Holy," an 11-minute, heart-stopping "Amazing Grace," and Inez Andrews's stirring song "Mary, Don't You Weep." Way more than a return-to-the-roots record, the set is an inspired gospel-soul workout that arguably showcases Aretha's strongest singing ever. (Amazon Reviews)

Don’t like gospel or religious music? Well don’t be a dill and miss this one because its about as brilliant and moving a recital of R&B vocalizing as you’ll ever hear. Regardless of the theme.

            Track Listing:
            01 Mary, Don't You Weep
02 Precious Lord, Take My Hand & You've Got A Friend
03 Old Landmark
04 Give Yourself To Jesus
05 How I Got Over
06 What A Friend We Have In Jesus
07 Amazing Grace
08 Precious Memories
09 Climbing Higher Mountains
10 Remarks By Reverend C.L. Franklin
11 God Will Take Care Of You
12 Wholy Holy
13 You'll Never Walk Alone
14 Never Grow Old

Listen here

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