The new gospel compilation "I Believe" is out now. The images shown yesterday (see below) below is the cover of the 22 pages booklet that comes with the four CD set.
This is what Nashville's CityPaper wrote about it:
Every conceivable type of American vernacular music influenced Elvis Presley, but perhaps the least recognized of these styles was gospel.
That was not only an incredibly important part of his arsenal, it was the only genre in which Presley ever won a Grammy award, something that speaks volumes about that process.
Indeed, Presley won three Grammys for spiritual music, and his choices in that realm were just as diverse as the ones in the secular arena. White or black, quartet or choral, Presley knew and loved many composers, vocalists and groups, and he made sensational gospel albums. Presley also often included gospel numbers in films that were otherwise rather forgettable, providing moments of awe in the midst of tedium on such movies as The Trouble with Girls and Easy Come, Easy Go.
The often spectacular four-disc boxed set I Believe — The Gospel Masters (RCA/Legacy) finally puts all the Presley spiritual material in one collection, with every selection remastered from the original master tapes via the newest engineering process called DSD. Whatever that means, if you’ve ever heard the originals, these are much cleaner, yet haven’t had the life processed out of them to the point that the results are sterile and lifeless.
The first three discs contain all the songs from the classic LPs Peace in the Valley, His Hand in Mine and He Touched Me. The 51 selections include old time spirituals, hymns, numbers he often worked into live performance like “Crying in the Chapel” and some other pieces where he would sometimes cut loose with a sound or two that wasn’t far removed from the rock mode (“I Got a Feelin’ in My Body,” and “Put Your Hand in the Hand”).
The fourth disc blends cuts that appeared in films with songs included in his 1968 comeback special, most notably a rocking medley of “Where Could I Go but to the Lord/Up Above My Head/Saved” and the masterful “If I Can Dream.” There are also definitive live versions of “How Great Thou Art” and “Help Me,” plus some bonus cuts from the “Elvis on Tour” sessions and three home recordings that nicely complement the package. These are three beautiful pieces culled from private Presley home recordings, among them “Show Me Thy Ways, O Lord” and “Hide Thou Me.”
Presley once unsuccessfully tried out for the Blackwood Brothers, and he was a lifetime lover of the Statesmen Quartet. Who knows how the course of popular music history would have changed if Presley had made the Blackwood Brothers and San Cooke never left the Soul Stirrers.
While neither of those things occurred, I Believe shows that Elvis Presley might have enjoyed the same impact in spiritual circles that he did in secular ones had he opted to concentrate solely on gospel.