Following is a press release from BMG regarding a new gospel compilation.
BMG/RCA TO RELEASE “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” ON MARCH 23RD
First-Ever Greatest Hits Gospel Album Features all of Elvis’ Greatest Inspirational Recordings
Elvis Presley is an entertainment legend whose influence on the music industry is unsurpassed. While many people may at first associate Elvis with rock music, some of Elvis’ most profound influences, and his most popular recordings, have been gospel music. More than 250 million Elvis gospel recordings have been sold in the U.S. alone, but never before has there been a greatest hits collection of these inspirational songs. On March 23rd, BMG Strategic Marketing Group/RCA Music Group will release the single-disc Elvis gospel compilation: “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL.”
Growing up, religious music played a central role in Elvis’ daily life. The Presley family attended The First Assembly of God Church in small-town Tupelo, Mississippi. When Elvis was just three or four years old, he would walk up to the choir in the middle of church and start beating time. As a teenager in Memphis, Elvis and his friends would sneak into churches in primarily black neighborhoods just to listen to the music. The welcoming congregations and stirring music inspired Elvis’ appreciation of the multiple facets of religious music. Elvis and his family were also fans of the Grand Ole Opry, a syndicated Nashville radio broadcast with country music stars who often included religious songs in their repertoire. Elvis went on to record gospel albums himself, with his first, "How Great Thou Art" winning Elvis his first Grammy Award. “How Great Thou Art” mesmerized many fans who had never even heard gospel music. Elvis went on to win two more Grammy Awards in his lifetime for his gospel efforts.
Scheduled for release on March 23, 2004, “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL,” is one of the most highly-anticipated CDs of the year. The long-overdue album is the first-ever greatest hits single-disc Elvis gospel compilation from BMG, with all of Elvis’ greatest inspirational recordings. With more than an hour of music on 24 tracks, this album is the ultimate collection of Elvis gospel hits. “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” provides testament to Elvis’ musical excellence and acknowledges the priceless contribution of the talented songwriters, musicians and producers involved.
“The importance of gospel music in the life of Elvis Presley cannot be overstated,” said Joe DiMuro, Executive Vice President BMG Strategic Marketing. “‘ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL’ is a fundamental, and long overdue, addition to the Elvis catalog.”
The 24 tracks on “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” are Elvis’ most inspirational recordings. They include such timeless religious songs as “Amazing Grace,” “Crying In The Chapel,” ”How Great Thou Art” and ““Peace In The Valley.” All of the tracks were mastered from original master tapes using DSD technology to ensure optimum sound quality. The clean, elegant album cover features a photograph of Elvis’ famous profile, head bowed and eyes closed.
Elvis’ musical contributions are unsurpassed: He is the only artist to be inducted into all three music Halls of Fame, including Rock n’ Roll, Country and Gospel. He holds the record for most top 10 pop singles (40), the most gold and platinum awards (148) and is the world’s best selling artist, having sold more records than any other artist in history. His popularity remains intact to this day as there are more active Elvis Presley fan clubs around the world than for any other artist – dead or alive.
The historic release of “ELVIS 30 #1 HITS” by BMG/RCA in 2002 not only thrilled long-standing Elvis enthusiasts, but introduced millions of new fans to the music of Elvis for the first time. In 2003, BMG/RCA followed up the triple-platinum “#1”s with another, complementary compilation of hits, “ELVIS 2ND TO NONE,” which has already been certified platinum. “ELVIS 2ND TO NONE” presented an even broader range of Elvis’ talents and incorporated multiple musical genres including R&B, rock ‘n roll, pop, country, dance and rockabilly. Now, “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” will be a true testament to the musical legend’s incredible breadth of work.
How Great Thou Art
Crying In The Chapel
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Swing Down Sweet Chariot
Milky White Way
His Hand In Mine
I Believe In The Man In The Sky
Where Could I Go But To The Lord
If The Lord Wasn’t Walking By My Side
He Touched Me
Bosom Of Abraham
Lead Me, Guide Me
Joshua Fit The Battle
If We Never Meet Again
Reach Out To Jesus
Who Am I?
Miracle Of The Rosary
Take My Hand, Precious Lord
(There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)