Amazing Grace - Aretha Franklin, Gospel Greats 1999 album

Aretha Franklin's Gospel Greats 1999 album are songs that were originally released as a double LP in 1972, Amazing Grace cracked the Billboard Top Ten upon its release, making it one of the bestselling gospel records of all time. Grace was recorded in a large Baptist church with aultraenthusiastic, loving audience in the pews and a full, funky, band as well as the Southern California Community Choir under the direction of her mentor Rev. James Cleveland. Her voice is melismatic and intensely emotional, yet pure and controlled--as if she were directly channeling the Holy Ghost. Aretha's father, the brilliant preacher Rev. C.L. Franklin, makes a brief, proud appearance, remarking how "she has never left the church!" Highlights include the beautiful "Wholy Holy," an 11-minute, heart-stopping "Amazing Grace," and Inez Andrews's stirring song "Mary, Don't You Weep." Way more than a return-to-the-roots record, the set is an inspired gospel-soul workout that arguably showcases Aretha's strongest singing ever. Parts extracted from review by Mike McGonigal.
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