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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

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Album Review

This discount-priced compilation is drawn from the Mighty Clouds of Joy's earliest recordings for Peacock Records, starting with their first session on September 28, 1960, and continuing up to August 1965. Although Universal also controls the ABC and Dunhill catalogs that contain the group's R&B hits of the 1970s, this collection is restricted to their more traditional early material, on which the gravel-voiced Joe Ligon leads them through familiar hymns like "Amazing Grace" and "Nearer to Thee." "Family Circle" is the same song as what is known in country music as "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." "A Bright Side (Sermonette)" is a seven-and-a-half minute peroration by Ligon that amply demonstrates his preaching side. David Walker spells the leader on his composition "You'll Never Know," and "Nobody Can Turn Me Around" has high-pitched vocals reminiscent of the Impressions, but for the most part, the Mighty Clouds of Joy's music is dominated by Ligon's emotive, cavernous voice. This is a good sampler of the group's early work, but it is not the collection you want to get if you're looking for big hits like "Mighty High."

Customer Reviews

Mighty Clouds of Joy

This album takes you back home to the south, when the roads were still dirt and the churches were small and the pastor spent as much time in the fields as you did. On Sunday mawnin' we all had "chuch" and we felt the music down to our bones.This music will take you there.

Biography

Formed: 1959 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporary gospel's preeminent group, the Mighty Clouds of Joy carried the torch for the traditional quartet vocal style throughout an era dominated by solo acts and choirs; pioneering a distinctively funky sound which over time gained grudging acceptance even among purists, they pushed spiritual music in new and unexpected directions, even scoring a major disco hit. The Mighty Clouds of Joy were formed in Los Angeles during the mid-'50s by schoolmates Joe Ligon and Johnny Martin; while still in...
Full Bio

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