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Ultimate Gospel

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Album Review

Though RCA released only three LPs and an EP of dedicated gospel material during the lifetime of Elvis Presley, it's likely that he sang more gospel than any other type of music. Late at night, after a session or a show, Elvis would seek out and keep awake anyone who could carry a tune, in order to pore over the nuggets of gospel music he had soaked up during his early years at the Assembly of God churches in Tupelo and Memphis. And among Elvis' most prized awards, among hundreds, were his four Grammy awards for Best Sacred Performance or Best Inspirational Performance. Elvis: Ultimate Gospel completes RCA's cycle of Elvis gospel remasters, which began in 1994 with the two-disc Amazing Grace: His Greatest Sacred Songs and continued with the three-disc box set Peace in the Valley. This one is a solid single-disc sampler, simple but stellar, including roughly half of his officially released gospel material. The selections are judiciously spread from throughout his career; two come from the 1957 EP Peace in the Valley, six are from 1967's How Great Thou Art, and seven each are from 1960's His Hand in Mine and 1972's He Touched Me. The only caveat is the disorienting sequencing that finds songs from different eras scattered across this collection; consider the fairly large step required to move from the sweet, reverent Elvis of 1960's "Crying in the Chapel" to the grandiose Elvis of 1967's "You'll Never Walk Alone." Everything else about this collection is accomplished, but fans of gospel in general or Elvis specifically should consider either the two-disc collection or an original album like His Hand in Mine, which stands out as among the best recordings in Elvis' discography. [A 2007 import reissue featured a darker hued cover and adds the track "In My Father's House".]

Customer Reviews

True Gospel

I really do believe that Elvis had to love God to sing the way he did and there is no doubt that he is in heaven. The Bible says, " man looks at the outward appearance but, " God looks at the heart". Looking forward to seeing you in heaven one day!

Elvis and his gospel songs

I like all his gospel music.

Can't go wrong with this one

Get me in the wright way

Biography

Born: January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, MS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Elvis Presley may be the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music. Not necessarily the best, and certainly not the most consistent. But no one could argue with the fact that he was the musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level. Viewed in cold sales figures, his impact was phenomenal. Dozens upon dozens of international smashes from the mid-'50s to the mid-'70s,...
Full Bio