Paradise - The Best Of Paradise

Published Monday 23rd August 2010
Paradise - The Best Of Paradise
Paradise - The Best Of Paradise

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 95307-17010
LABEL: Fierce! FIERCD6058
RELEASE DATE: 2010-08-16
RRP: £2.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Well done Kingsway for digging these classic slices of UK gospel R&B out of the vaults and indulging in a bit of tape baking and re-mastering! As you know if you read the recent Cross Rhythms article, Paradise were pioneers of contemporary gospel music in Britain and when they started in the late '70s, performing in this style was frowned upon by most black majority churches. The band weren't the first British act to integrate funkiness into their recordings, that honour would go to Kainos. But they were the first to really establish and develop funky British gospel over three albums and a number of singles. The tracks they recorded for Pilgrim and Priority have long been deleted but here are a dozen of their very best songs featuring their best loved singers Doug Williams and Paul Johnson. Through a number of line up changes, the quality always remained high and this compilation really does show the band in its best light. From the gorgeous ballad "It's Up To You" to the "controversial" reggae groove of "Light Of The World", there are so many highlights. The title track of their second album "Worlds Midnight" benefits from a no expenses spared production. The superb brittle funk of "Keep The Fire" and the catchy "Love Is The Answer" show the relative gifts of the band's two singers. The almost hit "One Mind, Two Hearts" shows what happens when it all comes together and a few more places up the chart (it stalled at number 42), the Paradise story might have been a considerably longer one. If you are a hardcore devotee of Brit funk you've probably already got your order in for this set. And if you're simply a fan of good music, this is some of the best Christian music ever recorded in the UK. Only two quibbles. Surely Kingsway could have squeezed more than 12 tracks on here! And where's their amazing cover of The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" with that blistering vocal performance by Johnson. Ah well! It's great to have these songs at last released on CD!

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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Product Description

Way back – and we mean way back – at the end of the 1970’s a new sound emerged from British black churches. A fusion of disco funk, street soul and old gospel classics, the buzz grew as the mainstream sat up and listened.

Paradise were the pioneers of this gospel funk sound, and represented a unique subgenre of UK black gospel music which was influenced by 70’s giants like The Commodores and Earth Wind and Fire.

Reader Comments

Posted by Michael Vaughan in Australia @ 12:51 on Mar 16 2017

I'm trying to find a copy of this album, Paradise, the best of Paradise. I'm not having much luck and am hoping you can point me in the right direction. The company that now owns the record label say it's too old but i'm hoping someone, somewhere has a copy for sale.

Reply by Steve Alexander Smit @ 10:59 on Apr 22 2017

Micheal me on, might be able to help.

[report abuse]

Posted by JOY in SEATTLE @ 20:14 on Aug 12 2014

Well done; excellent music. I'm looking for a particular song that tells a story about how God remembers; even what you did on prom night... does that sound familiar.

Posted by mar jon in atl ga @ 17:28 on May 28 2012

I am still listening to this album today. Gospel music is really timeless regarding words and meaning.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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