STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 80700-15483 LABEL: Sony FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 4
Reviewed by Dave Brassington
I was a little surprised with the release of this package as it is now one of several current re-issues all purporting to be "the definite collection" of Elvis Presley's gospel music. However, it leaves out one or two items and gives you a couple of new tracks, which makes it not a good buy for anybody who already has one of these previous sets. Having said all that it does contain in my opinion not only some of the finest music that the so called king of rock and roll recorded, but some of the best gospel music recorded by a solo artist! That will surprise some people who only know the seamier side of Elvis's life but it is a little known fact that it was for his gospel albums all recorded here in almost their entirety: 'Peace In The Valley', 'His Hand In Mine', 'How Great Thou Art' and 'He Touched Me', that Elvis received his only three Grammy Awards. Some historians of contemporary gospel music have said that it was Elvis's recording of Bill Gaither's "He Touched Me" that propelled Christian music in the States into the major category that it has since become. These recordings date from 1956 when Elvis first astonished the musical world by recording some gospel tracks (for which he was widely rounded on by many Christian people!) right up to his later recordings during the late '60s and early '70s. As one who has been listening to much of this music for as long as he can remember, it is very hard to pick a favourite track, for when it came to singing gospel Elvis was right on the money! and many feel that the real soul of Elvis can be found in such classics as "Peace In The Valley", "In My Father's House", "Where Could I Go But To The Lord" and especially "How Great Thou Art" which he regularly performed on stage. In addition this four CD set contains some gospel tracks from films and many live recordings. This is simply a fantastic set which deserves to be in any gospel music fan's collection.
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