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I Believe Out Now - Updated

March 12, 2009 | Music

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”).

Alt. cover art I BelieveThe 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.


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Ken in Tasmania wrote on March 11, 2009
So which cover are we using for this box set...The one shown here or the original one as shown on all the web sites...
tornado wrote on March 11, 2009
The sound is just great on that set. No doubt in my mind. We may argue till the ed of time if this set was necessary. To each his own demands and wishes. There is nothing wrong with that box-set, only that Miracle Of The Rosary should have been included for Elvis made any kind of music his own and if he choose to record Miracle Of The Roasary, then the song is part of his gospel legacy. Period. Only it should be mentionned that for us collectors, there is a new unreleased take here of Sweet Down Sweet Chariot. Of course we will get it down the line when FTD will present it's version of the soundtrack of Trouble With Girls. So for those of us who don't want to buy this costly set just for one unreleased take - a pretty good one by the way - just wait for the FTD's 7 inches.
Bill (BW) wrote on March 11, 2009
The sound is excellent. The cover is the one shown on the various websites, at least in the U.S.A. "Swing Down Sweet Chariot" is an alternate take, or at least the backing track is different. It escapes me why "Miracle of the Rosary" was omitted, assuring that this is not, as advertised, Elvis' complete gospel works.
TBG wrote on March 12, 2009
Since when was "I Got A Feelin' In My Body" a gospel song??? And how often did he do "Crying In The Chapel" live - once?? Hm, it's a nice article about the box-set but with a lot of errors, like .."the classic LPs Peace In The Valley..." Oh well..is the sound really that good on this box-set, is it noticable for the average listener?
Jerome-the-third wrote on March 12, 2009
dear TBG, did you ever listen to the lyrics of "I Got A Feelin' In My Body"?..
JerryNodak wrote on March 12, 2009
Don't have the box set yet, but if the versions of the Peace In The Valley EP, His Hand In Mine and How Great Thou Art tracks are as remastered by Vic Anesini then yes, the sound is markedly better. Alt. take of Swing Down Sweet Chariot? Are you referring to the version from The Trouble With Girls? If so, then it's likely the same movie version found on the Peace In The Valley set years ago. Although as I say I haven't listened yet so you may be correct. It may be an alt.
lamp light wrote on March 12, 2009
Ok so which cover are they going with? Can't they make up there mind or did they forget which cover they used first when this box set was first announced.
JustPretend1975 wrote on March 12, 2009
i have the boxset. the cover for the box is like the large picture in this article, the 22-page booklet inside the box has the cover with the 'if i can dream' picture.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on March 13, 2009
The booklet photo, should have been the boxset cover. From what I hear, the remastering is excellent.
tornado wrote on March 14, 2009
I heard from a good source that Miracle Of The Rosary was omitted because a network of gospel purists from the "Bible Belt" didn't want it because it related to the Virgin Mary wich they considered to be solely from the catholic tradition. Wich for me is annoying because Elvis in the first place didn't make a difference. Sam Phillips once said that Elvis was colored blind when it came to choosing his songs, the same applies for religions.
JerryNodak wrote on March 14, 2009
Wouldn't doubt that a bit. It's an overly politically (and apparantly) over religiously correct society we live in these days. I still have the original version of 'Ultimate Gospel' with 'Miracle Of The Rosary.' Wouldn't trade it for the 'correct' version.
dgirl wrote on March 16, 2009
If that is truly the reason the song was omitted, I would urge all to boycott this release. Are music releases now being ruled by the religious fanatics? Screw the bible belt. I happen to love that song.
JerryNodak wrote on March 16, 2009
William: You are correct. The movie version of "Swing Down Sweet Chariot" found on this box set is different. The movie master has male voices, no horns. This version has female voices and horns. I'm not sure whether it's the master with overdubs or an alternate take. Hard to tell, but I think it's the latter.
JerryNodak wrote on March 20, 2009
From what I've read on various forums it would seem that the version of "Swing Down..." found on this box set is the master with overdubs.
JerryNodak wrote on March 24, 2009
This release has NOTHING to do with FTD. It's a mainline Sony/Legacy release. Even if you have the previous gospel boxsets buy this one. The improved sound on this set BLOWS those away. Mastered by Vic Anesini.