Reviewed by Tony Cummings
With record companies having to face the huge financial challenges brought by The Download Era one of the developments which has kept the industry alive is the rise of the box set. Music companies large and small have come to realise that if their archive material is repackaged in boxes (three-CD, five-CD, even 10-CD) there is a receptive market for such items. Where the mainstream labels have led Christian companies have followed. Over the last few years the worship companies have released literally hundreds of box sets, re-releasing worship songs of various vintages. Unfortunately, though, they have done a poor job with most modern worship box sets being cheaply packaged with minimal (sometimes non-existent) information about the source of the recordings and certainly lacking what mainstream re-issue specialists like Ace Records offer - comprehensive, exhaustively researched sleevenotes. When I heard that Britain's long-running Bible week Spring Harvest were celebrating their 35 years of existence with a compilation of "live recordings from the Big Top" I hoped that we would finally get an authoritative collection of tracks, with sleevenotes, which properly charted the seminal contribution that Spring Harvest has made to modern worship down the years. Sadly, this isn't the case. There are plenty of good tracks here, going as far back as 1984's "The Servant King" by Graham Kendrick, but there is no effort by the compilers to put these into any kind of historical perspective and there is not even any indication on the sleeve showing from which years the tracks emanate. If you don't care about church history, maybe this compilation of worship leaders like Tim Hughes, Sue Rinaldi, Matt Redman, Robin Mark, Mark Tedder, Geraldine Latty and well known songs like "In Christ Alone", "10,000 Reasons", "Days Of Elijah" and several hymn updates will do you okay. But for me this was an opportunity lost. Here's hoping that when they get to 40 years they can a much better job of documenting their history.
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
Interested in reviewing music? Find out