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Satan Is Real
     

Satan Is Real

5.0 1
by The Louvin Brothers
 

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The best vocal duo in the history of country music? Few would argue with brothers Charlie and Ira Louvin. Their close harmonies, recorded in the '50s and early '60s, provided the bridge between earlier country brother acts such as the Blue Sky Boys and the later slick pop sounds of the Everly Brothers

Overview

The best vocal duo in the history of country music? Few would argue with brothers Charlie and Ira Louvin. Their close harmonies, recorded in the '50s and early '60s, provided the bridge between earlier country brother acts such as the Blue Sky Boys and the later slick pop sounds of the Everly Brothers and even Simon and Garfunkel. From their start, the Louvin Brothers garnered a reputation for their passionate way with gospel material. Ira's pleading high tenor and frequent sermonettes lent urgency to their Pentecostal message of fire and brimstone. SATAN IS REAL, complete with tales of fear, sin, and gutter-scraping repentance, became the Louvins' best-known and most influential gospel album after its 1959 release. The brothers had traded Ira's mandolin for a more contemporary electric guitar, but their trademark vocal delivery remained center stage on songs such as "The River of Jordan," The Carter Family's "The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea," and the scathing title cut. Unlike most country gospel recordings of the day, SATAN IS REAL focused primarily on new songs, several of which have become standards of the genre. "The Christian Life" was reborn when the Byrds recorded it on SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO. "Satan's Jeweled Crown" and "Dying from Home, And Lost" have also enjoyed a life of their own. But in the end, it is these inspired versions by the Louvin Brothers that continue to make SATAN IS REAL one of the great moments in the history of country gospel music. Karl Hagstrom Miller

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Satan Is Real is the Louvin Brothers' best known album, largely because of its bold title and its eccentric cover artwork, in which Charlie and Ira Louvin, surrounded by flames symbolizing Hades, pose in front of a huge, cross-eyed model of the Devil. While more than a few hipsters have found an ironic laugh in the album's over-the-top imagery, one listen to the music confirms that the Louvin Brothers weren't joking in any way, shape or form. Satan Is Real is an album of fierce, plain spoken sincerity in which the Louvins, who started their career singing gospel material, perform songs that deal with the high stakes of sin and redemption, in which Satan truly does have power to rival the Lord. The opening title track sets the tone for the set, in which a man at a church service tells the congregation how he learned that Satan's treachery is every bit as real as God's love, and while not every song is as grim -- "The River of Jordan" and "There's a Higher Power" are positively jaunty -- the temptations of life in a fallen world and the consequences of sin are touched upon in nearly every track. The Louvin Brothers wrote many of the most memorable songs on Satan Is Real, and they rarely sounded as heartfelt as on "The Christian Life," "Are You Afraid to Die" and "The Angels Rejoiced Last Night"; as usual, their harmonies are luminously beautiful, and while Ira's superb mandolin work is missed, the simple arrangements (often incorporating a subdued gospel organ) are perfectly suited to the material. You don't need to share the Louvin Brothers' spiritual beliefs to be moved by the grace, beauty and lack of pretension of this music; Satan Is Real is music crafted by true believers sharing their faith, and its power goes beyond Christian doctrine into something at once deeply personal and truly universal, and the result is the Louvin Brothers' masterpiece.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/23/1996
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0724383737826
catalogNumber:
37378
Rank:
47895

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Satan Is Real 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tired of Rock'n'roll, soul, ambient,jazz? Need something with a twist and an endearing reality. Try this. It was recorded in 1960, though the album cover looks like Iron Maiden's Number of the beast. The Louvin Brothers are phenomenal. Bluegrass and southern. Twere music ta take up snakes by.