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The Definitive Southern Gospel Collection – 2003

legacyfive2003londonmaxHave you ever wondered what the best Southern Gospel albums were, by year?  I have attempted to come up with a list of the 20 definitive albums released by year.  Look back over this category to see the years already covered.  Today I want to go back ten years to the year 2003.

goldcity2003walkthetalk1502003 was one of the best years in the modern era of Southern Gospel music for albums released.  I weeded through a list of over 60 albums to come up with what I consider to be the 20 best.

Gold City (quartet), Hoppers (mixed group) and Greater Vision (trio) won their respective categories at the Singing News fan awards in 2003.  Album of the year was Quartets (Greater Vision) and song of the year went to “We Need To Thank God” (Jeff Steele) performed by the Inspirations.

The Crabb Family dominated the Dove awards winning Southern Gospel song (“Don’t You Wanna Go”) and Southern Gospel album (A Crabb Collection).

lordsong2003refusetobeafraid150The twenty best albums released in 2003 are:

  1. London – Legacy Five (Daywind)
  2. Great Day – Hoppers (SpringHill)
  3. Going On With The Song – Kingdom Heirs (Sonlite)
  4. Quartets – Greater Vision (Daywind)
  5. Walk The Talk – Gold City (Cathedral)
  6. This Is The Day – Perrys (Daywind)
  7. rac2003betterland150Stand By Me – Signature Sound Quartet (Cathedral)
  8. Booth Brothers – Booth Brothers (SpringHill)
  9. The Walk – Crabb Family (Daywind)
  10. Places To Go, People To See – Hoskins Family (Daywind)
  11. Refuse To Be Afraid – LordSong (Daywind)
  12. Greater Still – Brian Free & Assurance (Daywind)
  13. Betterland – Ricky Atkinson & Compassion (Lamp Music Group)
  14. Nothing Less Than All – Anchormen (AMG)
  15. dunaways2003beautifulday150Born Again – Dove Brothers Quartet (Ambur)
  16. The Message – Talley Trio (Horizon)
  17. For His Glory – Karen Peck & New River (SpringHill)
  18. A Thing Called Love – Taranda Greene (ACA)
  19. Beautiful Day – Dunaways (Family Music Group)
  20. Remember The Time – Down East Boys (Crossroads)

 

Listen to a mash-up of music from the twenty best albums released in Southern Gospel music in 2003.  Enjoy!

The Definitive Southern Gospel Collection – 1999

greatervision1999farbeyondthisplacemaxThis week, the definitive Southern Gospel collection series shines the spotlight on the year 1999.

The year 1999 will be forever remembered as the year the Cathedrals would retire from the road.  They won quartet of the year at the Singing News fan awards while the Hoppers (mixed group) and Greater Vision (trio) won their respective categories.  The Cathedrals won album of the year (Faithful) as Greater Vision picked up song of the year (“My Name Is Lazarus”).

The Gaither Vocal Band swept the Dove Awards winning Southern Gospel album (Still The Greatest Story Ever Told) and Southern Gospel recorded song of the year (“I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary”).  The Homecoming Series also captured the Grammy award in 1999 for the Kennedy Center Homecoming.

kingsmen1999shelter150The Twenty Best Albums Released in Southern Gospel in 1999:

  1. Far Beyond This Place – Greater Vision (Daywind)
  2. Pray – Crabb Family (Family Music Group)
  3. Shelter – Kingsmen (Horizon)
  4. God Is Good – Gaither Vocal Band (SpringHill)
  5. Signed Sealed Delivered – Gold City (Daywind)
  6. Walkin’ On The Good Side – Booth Brothers (Elim)
  7. Strong In The Strength – Legacy Five (Homeland)
  8. poetvoices1999pilgrimsongmaxTurn It Loose – Karen Peck & New River (SpringHill)
  9. The Final Sessions – JD Sumner & Stamps (New Haven)
  10. The Journey Home – Kingdom Heirs (Sonlite)
  11. Forgiveness – Tony Gore & Majesty (Promised Land)
  12. Harbor Of Hope – Ruppes (SpringHill)
  13. Wonderful Story – Greenes (New Haven)
  14. Pilgrim Song – Poet Voices (Sonlite)
  15. Life Story – Talley Trio (Parable)
  16. A Brighter Day – Paid In Full (Custom)
  17. comptons1999liveinsavannah150Absolutely Positively Live – Perrys (Daywind)
  18. Windows – Martins (SpringHill)
  19. Reflections Of Life – Anchormen (Zion)
  20. Live In Savannah – Comptons (Galilee)

Listen to a mash-up of music from the twenty best Southern Gospel albums released in 1999.  Enjoy!

The Tax Man Cometh

If you’ve held off until the absolute last-minute, today is the deadline to get those taxes filed.  Being an accountant, I see plenty of tax returns in a year to last a lifetime.

While the tax man took his share of my personal finances this year, I’m glad to know that there was one debt I had that was already taken care of.  I thought it would be nice to post a few YouTube clips to remind myself that the ultimate debt has been paid.  Enjoy!

1.  “Paid In Full” – Hemphills (published by scottsogo)

2.  “The Debt” – Talley Trio (published by hollywood02)

3.  “Paid In Full (Through Jesus, Amen)” – Greater Vision (published by TheSevenBright)

Smack Down!! – “Winds Of This World (Jesus Is With Me)”

With Halloween just around the corner I thought I would do a monster song covers smack down this week.  Instead of the normal two artists going head to head, this week’s smack down feature has four artists in a battle royal of smack downs.

Charles Johnson penned this week’s smack down song; “The Winds Of This World (Jesus Is With Me)”.  Charles Johnson and the Revivers recorded the song on their hit 1993 album Let’s Have Church.  This song is in the Gospel tradition and was a crowd pleaser.  Charles Johnson will take the first verse.

The Talley Trio decided to cover the song on their 2008 recording Life Goes On.  Featuring Lauren, the song stays in the Gospel tradition with its arrangement.  The Talley Trio will be featured on the second verse.

2011 brought another cover of “The Winds Of This World”, this time by the Bowling Family.  Recorded on the specialty album Feels Like Sunday, the Bowling Family will be featured on the closing chorus.

Finally, our final cover of “The Winds Of This World” comes from the Gaither Vocal Band.  Recorded on their 2012 release Pure And Simple, Michael English gets the feature on the Gaither Vocal Band’s version.  The Vocal Band will take the third verse.

So who takes the monster smack down this week?

Album Covers To Rank – Set 11

Last week, I chose six quartet albums to rank.  This week I have chosen six mixed group albums to rank.  In the comments section rank the following albums from 1 to 6 (1 being best, 6 being worst).  Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Home Cookin’ – Hemphills (1979)

Places To Go, People To See – Hoskins Family (2003)

Journeys – Nelons (1986)

Gloryland Gold – Lesters (1983)

It’s Out Of This World – Paynes (1982)

Rise Above – Talley Trio (2006)

Smack Down!! – “Good Things”

This week’s smack down feature highlights the feel good song “Good Things”.  Penned by Joel Hemphill, “Good Things” was first recorded by the Hemphills on their 1981 album of the same name.  This song was another in a string of hit radio songs the group had during this time period.

The Hemphills will take the first verse and chorus of this feel good tune.

The first cover of the song included in this smack down feature comes from Tony Gore & Majesty.  Recorded on the group’s 1997 recording Healing, Tony Gore & Majesty’s arrangement is similar to that of the original.  Featured vocalist on Majesty’s version is Daniel Riley (of Gold City), who spent time with the group in the late ’90’s.

Tony Gore & Majesty will take the second verse and chorus of “Good Things”.

The most recent cover of “Good Things” is from the Talley Trio on the 2010 effort Stories & Songs.  Of the three versions, the Talley Trio take a modern arrangement of the song to make it a bit different.  The Talley Trio will also take the second verse and chorus.  Enjoy!

Stories & Songs – Talley Trio

OVERALL RATING: 7.95

CRITERIA:

  1. Creativity/Originality = 7.5
  2. Lyrical Content = 8.5
  3. Production = 8.5
  4. Song Selection = 7.5
  5. My Recommendation = 7.73 (11 song average)

 

I will admit, it gets tough reviewing albums from an artist who has such an extensive body of work like the Talley Trio.  My overall rating on any new review is based on how the new recording stacks up to the artist’s entire body of work.  How did Stories & Songs stack up to the Talley Trio’s other recordings?

A recording I didn’t get around to reviewing in 2010, Stories & Songs hit retail outlets 11/21/10.  This recording missed making my year’s best list in 2010.  The uneven nature of the recording was the main reason.  The first half of the recording starts with great song selection and strong lyrical material.  The second half of the recording then falls a bit flat.

The Talley Trio’s best recordings to date include Testament (2000), Hope For Tomorrow (2002), The Message (2003) and Rise Above (2006).  Stories & Songs doesn’t quite match the caliber of those recordings.

In light of that, there are still some really great things about this recording.  The knock-out punch of tracks #4 and #5 are the best songs on the recording.  “He Is With You” takes a page from the country songwriting playbook and creates a gospel lyric that meets you where you are at in your every day life.  There are several lines in that song that felt like they were speaking directly to me.  This song would work well as a radio single.

Next up is a tried and true Talley Trio power ballad.  “Thou O Lord” has #1 written all over it.  The melody continues to build throughout the song creating that power ending that takes the listener along for the ride.

The album kicks off with a cover of Joel Hemphill’s “Good Things”.  While there have been several covers of this song in the last decade the Talley Trio add a different arrangement and make it a great opening number on the album.  Debra then turns in another great performance in “Who Will Pray”, followed by the story song “Someone Had To Die”.

If the second half of the recording was as strong as the first half, this would’ve been one of the top releases of 2010.  “Hands Of Grace”, “Tell Somebody” and the lounge feel on “I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say” didn’t gel with the rest of the recording.  Also, without the risk of sounding anti-patriotic, the inclusion of “God Bless America”/”America The Beautiful” also felt out-of-place.

The Talley name has become an institution in Southern Gospel music.  I have been following this group’s career since the beginning.  I remember going to the local Christian bookstore (when they were still around) in 1984 and buying the group’s first Canaan Records album Wherever I Am.  While there are some great moments on Stories & Songs, I would include it as a companion piece to fit between the group’s landmark albums.

SONG LIST:  1. “Good Things”  2. “Who Will Pray”  3. “Someone Had To Die”  4. “He Is With You”  5. “Thou O Lord”  6. “Hands Of Grace”  7. “Applause”  8. “Tell Somebody”  9. “God Lives There”  10. “I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say”  11. “God Bless America/America The Beautiful”

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