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He Touched Me

By Blogcritics/ David Bowling, July 25, 2008 | Music
Elvis returned in early April 1972 with his third and last gospel album release. While He Touched Me sold slowly; it would continue to sell and eventually pass one million units sold. The album would also be a critical success, as it would win Elvis his second Grammy Award. He Touched Me continued Elvis’ passion for gospel music. His commitment to the recording process is evident as the songs are universally well performed and presented. Elvis’ personal life aside, he always had a respect for gospel music and it would show.
The title song, “He Touched Me,” was an old Bill Gaither tune. Gaither was one of the early and popular pioneers of American spiritual music. Elvis invests himself in this song and modernizes it. He was always able to remain true to his pop roots when singing religious songs and this style made him unique in the 1970’s. Elvis took gospel out of the church building and made it accessible to all.

Elvis also proved that gospel music could not just be up-tempo but could also be presented within a rock setting. Elvis just rocks through “Seeing Is Believing.” “I’ve Got Confidence” was originally recorded by Andre Crouch. Elvis takes his soulful orientation and turns the song into an all out rocker. It also contains one of the great lines in gospel music; “Job said honey, that’s all right.”

“Amazing Grace” is taken in an almost blues-type direction by Elvis. This song has probably been recorded a thousand or so times but Elvis’ is one of its more unique renditions. “An Evening Prayer” places a simple emphasis on his vocal with piano. “Reach Out Jesus” shows off Elvis’ extensive vocal range. He hits some of the most amazing notes of his career. Johnny Cash recorded “A Thing Called Love” as a straight country song. Here Elvis adds some brass and takes the song in a pop direction.

He Touched Me was a final gospel gem by Elvis. If only he had lived the music that he loved the most, his life may have gone differently. What we are left with is a fine album that should still be appreciated.

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Rob Wanders wrote on July 25, 2008
great album. Though I prefer the alternate take of Amazing grace; much more bluesy than this mastertake. But a real nice album with that great Bosom of Abraham!
sitdown68 wrote on July 25, 2008
Lead me, Guide me...my alltime favourite. And if it comes to this song there's no greater version than the "round the piano" scene from "On Tour"...shivering
Steve V wrote on July 25, 2008
Agree exactly with Rob. In fact, I feel this is last great album Elvis released in his lifetime and by that I mean, all the songs were good. From this point on, his albums were mediocore to me with some great songs here & there but never a full album's worth. They just seemed thrown together to get a product out as the tours took hold. The creativity was gone.
JerryNodak wrote on July 25, 2008
Of his three gospel albums this is my least favorite. I don't play it very often.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on July 26, 2008
Well JerryNodak..he won a Grammy for this album. this is my all time favorite Gospel Album together with the other 2
JerryNodak wrote on July 26, 2008
I know he won a Grammy for the album. Nevertheless, it's still my least favorite. He also won a Grammy for HGTA, which is my favorite.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on July 26, 2008
ok : ) Jerry Nodak , but i guess it is one of your favorites, HGTO is indeed better
JLpResLey wrote on July 26, 2008
I agree, there is only good songs on this album. The best gospel album, don´t know why so many prefer HGTA and His hand in mine. HTM is kind of different from the two other gospel albums. You can´t find a song like I´ve got confidence on the two earlier albums. My favorite is lead me, guide me, but there is no god but god is often overlooked and does not get the credit the song deserves, it´s awesome
OtisBlue22 wrote on July 26, 2008
One of my favourite albums. 'A Thing Called Love' is catchy as heck while 'Reach Out To Jesus' is one of his great recordings, with one of the most impassioned vocal climaxes I have heard. It gets me every time.
circleG wrote on July 27, 2008
This a fine album but a bit dis-jointed when compared to the other two gospel albums. Probably because he was doing a marathon recording session that required a gospel album, a pop album plus singles AND a christmas album all at the same time! Credit to the man - he pulled it all off! Another interesting note is just how much Elvis had his ear to the ground when it came to gospel music at this time. He covered an Andre Crouch song and Andre was not a big name at this time.
Sandman wrote on February 01, 2010
The third and last gospel album. A more modern sound. Actually pretty good.
sugartummy wrote on April 11, 2013
If I could rate this album here (why can't I) , I would give it 5 stars. It sounds more modern than the other two, which isn't better or worse, just different. Great.