The Louvin Brothers - The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection

Published Thursday 2nd August 2018
The Louvin Brothers - The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection
The Louvin Brothers - The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection

STYLE: Country
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 171147-26976
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

One of nostalgia label Big 3's long running series of greatest hits compilations, this three-disc 60-track collection focuses in on the work of influential country duo Charlie and Ira Louvin. Famous for their sharp note harmonies and Ira's notable mandolin playing, this set highlights the fact that the Louvins were near matchless purveyors of the lovesick song with the likes of "Must You Throw Dirt In My Face?", "How's The World Treating You?" and "Plenty Of Everything But You" paving the way for countless subsequent country artists to try and echo something of the utter believability found in their heroes' performances. The brothers' parallel output of Christian material is arguably more intriguing and, whilst you could be forgiven for assuming that any spiritual work from a traditional country act would be sentimental and sanitised, there is not one iota of watering down the message that the Louvins obviously felt compelled to put across. For example, some pretty hefty themes are covered ranging from spiritual warfare (the seminal "Satan Is Real"), temptation ("Satan's Jewelled Crown") and desperation ("The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea") whilst the sense of urgency for people to turn to Jesus before it's too late remains tangible to this day in the likes of "Insured Beyond The Grave", "The Great Atomic Disaster" and the tale of domestic trouble "The Angels Rejoiced Last Night". Whilst the selected output found here will act as an adequate introduction to prospective fans, calling any compilation "absolutely essential" is a bold claim and the general vanilla feel of this release - most notably the lack of any liner notes or background information - is something of a let-down. For a few pounds more in order to get a fuller Charlie and Ira experience, better to invest in 2013's 'The Christian Life: The Definitive Louvin Brothers Story' anthology which contains 48 more songs as well as a 24 page biographical booklet.

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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