Dion - The Best Of The Gospel Years

Sunday 1st June 1997
Dion - The Best Of The Gospel Years
Dion - The Best Of The Gospel Years

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Ace Records CDCHD644

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

It is bitterly ironic that it's taken a secular company to lovingly put together this gem of a collection, rather than Word who originally recorded the 'Inside Job' (1980), 'Only Jesus' (1981), 'I Put Away My Idols' (1983), 'Seasons' (1984), 'Kingdom Of The Streets' (1985) and 'Velvet And Steel' (1986) albums which are the source of these tracks. The Christian music industry didn't do well by Dion Dimucci. Maybe the one-time million selling pop star who'd once crooned '50s doowop classics like "Teenager In Love" and '60s rock 'n' roll opuses like "The Wanderer" was simply too much of a maverick. But as these tracks demonstrate, Dion has one of the GREAT pop voices, an oily, sinuous world weary whine which made the blues sound like it was born on the Bronx sidewalk. The budgets for these albums were tiny but Dion assembled superlative backing bands crammed full of names beloved by sleevenote trivia freaks and sang bluesy, haunting and at times achingly personal songs of faith. Tracks like "Center Of My Life", "New Jersey Wife", "Sweet Surrender" and "The Truth Will Set You Free" all from his classic 'Inside Job' album are breathtakingly good songs though there are one or two cuts I miss ("Only Jesus" for instance). Trevor Churchill, the Ace boss (who I last saw when he was passing me Bell Records soul classics to review way back in the '60s), has done a great job in bringing the spotlight back on one of the giants of pop whose songs of faith still have the potential to move the spirit.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by roger in australia @ 09:20 on Apr 9 2009

his music from inside job helped me greatly during my early twenties..thanks for your faith Dion

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