Reviewed by Tony Cummings
‘Inside Job’ came out in 1980, the year of my Christian conversion, and I quickly latched on to it. It wasn’t hard to recognise its classic status. A friend of mine had been a hardcore Dion aficionado in the ‘60s and had slowly convinced me that despite being white, Dion DiMucci had one of the bluesiest, most lazily captivating voices in pop music. Now the master of the Bronx blues was a Christian and this, his first gospel project, expressed all the life, hope and joy I too had found in the Son of God. 23 years on, ‘Inside Job’ is still a magnificent album, Dion languidly emoting straight ahead love of Jesus songs with a sparse and marvellously tight band with Paul Harris’ Hammond organ, Joe Galdo’s drums and Tony Baltaglia’s guitar all intuitively produced to make a warm and fluid accompaniment. In 1981 the same musicians accompanied Dion on another gem, ‘Only Jesus’, and though there aren’t quite as many magnificent songs, the title cut composed by John Hanley is an underrated classic. Now it could be said that all the best cuts on these two timeless albums have been compiled on Ace’s magnificent ‘The Best of The Gospel Years’ Dion compilation. But surely devotees of the Dion genius and Christians wanting to replace their scratched vinyl will want to buy these never-before-on-CD albums, lovingly reinstated on an essential twofer.
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