Reviewed by Ian Hayter
After The Staple Singers, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy are arguably the most commercially successful black gospel group of the 20th century. Formed in the late 1950s by Joe Ligon and the smoother, more urban and urbane Johnny Martin, the five-man group signed to the Peacock label in 1959 and after a slightly uncomfortable dalliance with disco music, have never really looked back. Blurring the boundaries of gospel, R&B and soul, and always singing songs with a powerful message, they have nevertheless had massive hits, including the single "Mighty High" from 1976 which features on this CD, along with 14 other songs which have been brought together to celebrate their 50 years of singing and recording together. With such a huge back catalogue of songs from which to choose, the selection cannot have been easy, but this is a pretty representative set of high-energy, faith-fuelled, worship-inspiring tracks, from the opening "If Jesus Can't Fix It" through to the final "We Shall Overcome". If you've got plenty of their albums already (and there are plenty to choose from), then this is a useful digest to keep in the car. If you haven't come across them before (maybe you've been living on a distant planet), this is a great introduction to the oeuvre of a truly great set of singers.
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