Richard Smallwood - Beginnings

Published Saturday 16th June 2012
Richard Smallwood - Beginnings
Richard Smallwood - Beginnings

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 122979-19006
LABEL: Word 080688851026
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RELEASE DATE: 2012-01-23
RRP: £12.99

Reviewed by Stephen Luff

The Richard Smallwood Singers were formed in 1977 but it was in the late '80s when they reached their peak with three albums produced for Word Records, 'Textures' (1987), 'Vision' (1988) and 'Portrait' (1990), which supply the material for this 15-track compilation. Leaving aside the observation that 'Beginnings' is a pretty inaccurate title for a composer/choir director who has been recording albums (not represented here) since 1982, I can report that the funky "He's Able" opens the album with a great feel, which continues with tracks like "Holy Holy" and "Vision" with its enjoyable classical opening! The only downside to the album is that time has not been kind in terms of the production values and arrangements and a number of tracks have a distinct '80s feel, for example "I Will Pray" with its slap bass and electronic drums. Best cuts are the uplifting "Your Love Divine" and the inspiring "Center Of My Joy" written by Richard alongside Bill and Gloria Gaither. Richard's songwriting has been a blessing to many and down the years he's made a pretty big impact on black gospel music development. In truth, he deserves a more wide-ranging and thought through compilation than this one.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. He's Able [Listen]
2. I Give You Praise [Listen]
3. Holy Holy [Listen]
4. I Will Pray [Listen]
5. The Center Of My Joy [Listen]
6. Holy Spirit [Listen]
7. You Did It All [Listen]
8. Calvary [Listen]
9. Joy Will Come [Listen]
10. I've Come Too Far [Listen]
11. Vision [Listen]
12. You Better Mind [Listen]
13. Your Love Divine [Listen]
14. The Glory Of The Lord [Listen]
15. The Lord's Prayer [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Product Description
Richard Smallwood's illustrious career began at Word Records with the release of three no. 1 albums; Textures, Portrait and Vision. This 15-song collection features the biggest hits and top fan favourites from these three records. For current fans, this compilation showcases the Beginnings of what is today, a stellar career!

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