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Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings

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Editors’ Notes

A landmark reissue, Rhino’s expanded edition of Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace ought to give even die hard fans a new found appreciation of one of Franklin’s greatest and most unique recordings. Upon its initial release in 1972 Amazing Grace marked a significant departure from Aretha’s chart busting string of late sixties deep soul masterpieces. Though the backwoods soul and low slung grooves so much in evidence on outings like I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, and Lady Soul crop up in Aretha’s renditions of tunes like “Wholy Holy” and “Precious Memories” the majority of the record is given over to meditative, extended gospel workouts, led by Franklin, Reverend James Cleveland, and Reverend C.L. Franklin. Less a live performance than a full fledged musical service, Amazing Grace finds Franklin revisiting many of the gospel standards that she performed during her mid sixties tenure with Columbia records but these performances are possessed of a slow burning majesty that the younger Aretha could never have approached. Rhino’s reissue presents the two day service from which the album was drawn in its entirety. It’s a marvel to hear these remarkable performances in their original context.

Customer Reviews

A truly unique and spirit-filled masterpiece

My mother had the double album in vinyl. She would put it on and let it play on Sunday mornings as we prepared for Sunday School and Church. She would also play it when she was feeling down. I thank God for blessing us through this recording. This is simply an old fashion Baptist musical. The power can be felt when Ms. Franklin sings "How I Got Over." "Mary Don't You Weep," reminds us that God is on our side always. Pure and simple, this recording is my favorite recording of all. Simply put it on, kick back and enjoy.

Amazing Grace:

Aretha's voice is at its purest in her career and she feels at home as the showpiece of the choir. However, I wish I had not purchased the complete album. The album is laden with small introductions and talking prior to songs. In addition, on two or three of the longest songs (15 plus minutes) there are periods where the melody is lost to histrionics (screeches, shouting, dramatics). I recommend listening to the selections and purchasing by the song.

Amazing!!!

I loved every minute of this masterpiece of gospel. While listening I felt like was actually there during this recording. Aretha's voice was amazing!! Rev. James Cleveland was truly a master. I felt like we got to know him a little better through the interludes he would speak. I would definetly recommend buying the whole album. Enjoy! I know I am!!

Biography

Born: March 25, 1942 in Memphis, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records — "Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and several others — earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since. Yet as much of an international...
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