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Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings
Aretha Franklin
Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings
Genres: Pop, R&B, Gospel
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2

This Rhino re-release of Amazing Grace is at least as much a work of love as of marketing. The sound is beefier and clearer, but most importantly, the two-day church sessions are included. So, there's much more church (spe...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Aretha Franklin
Title: Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Original Release Date: 5/4/1999
Release Date: 5/4/1999
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, R&B, Gospel
Style: Soul
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 081227562724, 081227562762

Synopsis essential recording
This Rhino re-release of Amazing Grace is at least as much a work of love as of marketing. The sound is beefier and clearer, but most importantly, the two-day church sessions are included. So, there's much more church (specifically, Reverend James Cleveland's marvelous orating) on the record, as well as contemporaryisms such as a cool organ rendition of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord." Originally released as a double LP in 1972, Amazing Grace cracked the Billboard Top 10 on its release, making it one of the best selling gospel records of all time. Grace was recorded in a large Baptist church with an ultraenthusiastic audience in the pews, a full, funky band, and the Southern California Community Choir under the direction of Franklin's mentor, Cleveland. Her voice is melismatic and intensely emotional, yet pure and controlled, as if she is channeling the Holy Ghost. Franklin's father, the brilliant preacher Reverend C.L. Franklin, makes a brief, proud appearance, remarking, "She has never left the church!" Other highlights include the beautiful "Wholy Holy," an 11-minute, heart-stopping "Amazing Grace," and Inez Andrews's stirring "Mary, Don't You Weep." Way more than a return-to-the-roots record, this set is an inspired gospel-soul workout that arguably showcases Franklin's strongest singing ever. --Mike McGonigal

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CD Reviews

J. Brady | PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC United States | 09/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you think Aretha Franklin's early Atlantic albums were the perfect combination of gospel, soul and rock, and you haven't heard this set, then you need to. It is in my opinion the best record of her career. Recorded live, with a few overdubs, during two nights at a church, she is backed by a great band, and a truly amazing choir. She is joined on occasion by the Reverend James Cleveland ( most notably on an awe-inspiring and spine tingling rendition of Precious Memories ). Amazing Grace was originally two compact discs, but was much shorter, and had most of the sermons taken out. This re-issue is the COMPLETE 2 nights,sermons included, and with all of the original overdubbing removed. If you have listened to both versions as many times as I have , you will spot the few overdubs that were removed. This is Aretha in a voice more primal, more moving, more soulful than at any time in her long recorded career. Everything else pales in comparison. A truly gifted woman at her prime. This is a must have fans of Franklin or fans of Gospel music.
You'll Never Walk Alone
David Bradley | Sterling, VA USA | 12/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There was a time, not too long ago, when the Rhino label was ridiculed because it wasted a lot of time and effort releasing oddities that nobody needed--triple-disc box sets from one-hit wonders and the like--but, for my money, Rhino has become one of the most important labels in the industry.That's because they have turned their attention to saving some forgotten classics from the dustbin. And don't kid yourself for a second, though it may never have been heard on LP-format FM radio when it was released in a more abbreviated format in 1973 (though it is one of Franklin's best selling LPs), AMAZING GRACE is one of the absolute classics of it's time, a chunky R&B treatment of Gospel by thE Queen of Soul.Aretha Franklin ranks with Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as one of the all-time great American singers, and this CD showcases her amazing pipes in a perfect setting: piano, organ, a bit of drums and guitar, but mostly the power of Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir carrying things along. The mix gives Franklin room to breathe and move. The result is one of the earthiest albums you'll ever hear."How I Got Over" is a real Southern Baptist shouter, but it's the tunes that start off in a gentle slide that most clearly demonstrate Franklin's mastery: "You'll Never Walk Alone," "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," and "Amazing Grace."There's even a great instrumental, Baptized version of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord."This is a tour de force which everyone should own, and one of my all-time favorite records."
Queen of Soul Still Reigns!!
Sylvia | North Carolina | 12/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have just reviewed this CD and I also own an original cassette of the concert live,which i've played to death!I'm a minister of music for my church and I have never heard a more touching gospel ablum.That touches the soul as this one.Each moment on this CD is power packed!Especially the sound clips of Rev.Cleveland Aretha's dad.That really took me all the way back.And who can not enjoy hearing the legend of Gospel himself Rev.James Cleveland who opened his heart and doors of his church to this great project?He has to say something on the occasion.The audience was so pumped you could feel the spirit.That's churchin!(For those who remember)But I can't help but wonder was there a video done on this one,I would gladly pay to see it!!Every dime spent on this project is blessed!This is a recording well worth calling "Gospel At It's Best,From The Heart.""