Amazing Grace: Complete Recordings (Aretha Franklin)

Amazing Grace: Complete Recordings (Aretha Franklin)

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Recorded live in front of a willing Los Angeles congregation, Amazing Grace is an astounding display of artistry and faith from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. After dabbling in jazz with Columbia and absolutely defining strong-woman soul on several classic Atlantic releases, Aretha exposed her roots with this 1972 gospel collection, leaving little doubtSee more details below

Overview

Recorded live in front of a willing Los Angeles congregation, Amazing Grace is an astounding display of artistry and faith from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. After dabbling in jazz with Columbia and absolutely defining strong-woman soul on several classic Atlantic releases, Aretha exposed her roots with this 1972 gospel collection, leaving little doubt that her royal line rose right out of the black church. Franklin fires through gospel standards such as "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and the driving "Old Landmark," as the Southern California Community Choir punctuates her phrasing with spot-on trad gospel arrangements. The open arrangements leave time and space for Franklin to stretch her voice and interpretations, resulting in some of her most inspired performances on record. With nary a radio-friendly cut (most clock in well over the 3-minute pop nugget limit), Amazing Grace may have seemed like a commercial risk, even for an artist admittedly at the top of her game. Yet Franklin's vocal might on cuts such as "Precious Lord/You've Got a Friend" and "Mary Don't You Weep" drove the original double LP into the national top ten. Many critics continue to identify the album as one of Aretha's best, and the tour-de-force title track alone is worth the price of admission. This version, released in 1999, contains the entire 1972 church performance, adding even more remarkable music to the mix. Karl Hagstrom Miller

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Among Aretha aficionados, Amazing Grace has long been considered one of her high-water marks, since it captured her glorious return to her gospel roots in front of a live audience. The original 1972 album contained just 14 tracks, culled from two live performances with the Southern California Community Choir, Ken Lupper, and the Rev. James Cleveland at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Fans have long wished for the release of the two complete concerts -- which is exactly what Rhino's Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings gives them. Over the course of two discs and 29 tracks, every performance Franklin gave that January, along with comments from Cleveland and solo tracks from Lupper and the Choir, is unfurled, and if anything, the music is even more impressive when heard complete and unedited. Of course, the nature of this set makes it of interest primarily to dedicated fans, but they'll likely be delighted by the entire package.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/04/1999
Label:
Atlantic
UPC:
0081227562724
catalogNumber:
75627
Rank:
15569

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