on 27 March 2008
From 1962 to 1966 Elvis recorded hardly anything but substandard film soundtracks. He was growing increasingly frustrated with the weak material presented to him and craved a project that would harness his talent and arouse his interest: 'How Great Thou Art' was that project.
According to close friends, if he could have done, Elvis would have recorded nothing but Gospel. He would often warm-up for shows, and wind-down afterwards, by singing Gospel songs at the piano. This deep love of spiritual music shines through on this landmark album from 1967.
Presley is in tremendous voice on these songs, singing with power and dexterity, investing his performances with gravitas and sincerity. He often acts as the lead voice in a choir comprising the Jordannaires and The Imperial Quartet.
The faster numbers, such as 'Run On', 'So High', 'By And By' and 'If The Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side' have a bright, Sunday morning 'revival' atmosphere, and are delivered with bounce and brio.
But it is on the slower tracks that Elvis really excels. The tone of songs like 'Where No-one Stands Alone', 'Where Could I Go But To The Lord', 'Stand By Me' and 'Without Him' is confessional or beseeching and must have appealed to a man going through a personal and artistic crisis. His performances on these, and the outstanding title track, are deeply moving.
You don't have to be a believer (I'm an atheist myself) to enjoy, even be touched by, the songs on 'How Great Thou Art'. They present another fascinating side to Presley's musical personality, one that deserves to be better known.
on 9 November 2004
A classic Elvis Presley album, cut at the May 1966 studio sessions in Nashville, the first under the supervision of producer Felton Jarvis, who would be fundamental in the latter part of Elvis' career. Released amidst a series of formula movie soundtracks, the inspired "How Great Thou Art" appeared as a beacon of hope and the harbinger of artistic revitalization that would eventually result in Elvis' comeback of 1968/69.
The album, grouping 12 traditional religious songs recorded at the May 1966 session, plus "Crying In The Chapel" from 1960, is a treat from start to end. Outstandingly sung and superbly crafted, it earned Elvis a Grammy Award. Highly recommended.
I'm so addicted to this CD it isn't funny.
I know when most people think of Elvis Presley they think of Rock N'Roll, but he was a very talented and versatile entertainer and did manage to do some spirituals as well. This one in particular is my favourite, and I like to play it when I'm dressing for work in the morning which allows the music to stay in my head right through the day.
Sung with deep devotion with that smooth velvet voice; I just
1.Somebody Bigger Than You and I
3.Stand By Me
4.If The Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side
5.Where No One Stands Alone
and the beat goes on.
I love this CD and recommend it for those who have not tried the spiritual side of Elvis. A wonderful gift for a friend!!!
Heather P. Marshall
on 19 March 2006
elvis proves here that he could sing the phonebook and make you listen. there are 3 cds in this collection of all his gospel recordings which you might think is too much for any listener to take in. an unbelievable 87 songs!! some artists dont record 27 songs in their lifetime. but such is the quality of this that it don`t matter what the subject material is. ok some of the lyrics are hard to understand but if you are even the slightest fan of the best male vocalist of the last millenium then you must buy this now. my favourite song is "stand by me" which is on cd1. a must at my funeral. awesome!
on 8 March 2002
In 1966 the Beatles broke new ground with the legendary "Revolver"; and in turn Brian Wilson came up one better with "Pet Sounds."
But whilst all this was going on, Elvis eased into the studio, away from Hollywood and efortlessly made the masterful "How Great Thou art."
This is a classic album of gospel standards, performed by a man who never had to try, it just happened.
The title track is astonsishing, gently sung with wonderful arrangement and backing, whilst "Run On" is fast paced and edgy.
"Crying in The Chapel" is a bonus track from 1961; this was a huge huge hit in 65; #1 in Britain and #3 in America, selling millions.
This is a great multi-platinum album, and is music making at it's finest.
on 25 April 2013
Elvis Presley sings this hymn beautifully and with such emotion that it transports one to another world. I gave it to a friend as a present and he also agrees with me on its quality.
on 24 November 2015
During a time when Elvis was recording nothing other than substandard material for film soundtracks, at best tolerated, at worst hated by him, came along this Incredible Album. One cannot fail to be moved by each performance. Presley truly sang his heart out, & put his soul into this record. I have all his albums, & i believe "How Great Thou Art" to be among his Absolute Best. Standout tracks for me are the title track, "Somebody Bigger Than You and I" and the Exceptional "Stand By Me" . The latter so moving, one can shed a tear or two.
Being religious or not, has nothing to do with it. Presley sings with such conviction , he can be truly enjoyed by All.
on 7 June 2013
What a lovely album , Elvis was a brill rock and roller , but I liked his quiet ballads best and this Gospel C,D is really lovely
on 7 April 2013
Loved this CD but there again I love Elvis music, maybe not for everyone, but he is amazing no matter what he sings
on 11 December 2013
i am very happy with this purchase, as an Elvis fan this cd is beautiful, i have not purchased any Elvis gospel cd's before, but this one is absolutely lovely, thankyou for the prompt delivery, R Nicholls.