After the Best of British Trevor Simpson aims his arrows at Elvis’ “Songs of Praise”, resulting in the first volume of a FTD/ Flaming Star series
I understand the font choice, but in my opinion the different colours and styles makes the cover a bit messy. Thankfully that is only the cover, since the layout of the book itself is great. Overall a two column layout, a wide one for the text and a smaller for decorating images. A lot of full page photos take care of a good balance.
After a foreword by Elvis himself (compiled from several interviews) there is an introduction to Elvis and his love for gospel music. This turns soon out to be just that, an introduction to an amazing body of work. The monks in the monasteries would have been proud of Trevor, I am pretty sure of that.
The religious songs (and more) are listed from A-Z. The amount of information mr. Simpson grabbed together is amazing. Common things like authors, recording date, location and master take are listed for every song. So far nothing really special, but then the cherries are placed on the cake. Gathering the background information on the songs must have been a real pain, especially on the ancient ones. Listed are history of the authors, who else recorded it, and so on. Of course it is not all essential information, but I for one like to know the background of things like this. I take a deep bow for Trevor Simpson, this research must have taken many, many hours (if not days, months, years).
Personally I would not have included the non-religious songs like America The Beautiful, Trilogy or Bridge over Troubled Water (to name a few), or one-liners like Ave Maria. On the other hand one can see them as a bonus tracks (on the soundtracks they were often better than the movie songs).
The CD contains mainly outtakes, a weird inclusion of only 55 seconds of Amen (too much in my opinion), and a radio show from 1967 (Palm Sunday). A fun listen every now and then.
Another treasure from the hand of Trevor Simpson, of which I am happy to have it in my collection. This is one of those books that I will thumb through regularly, finding myself back a couple of hours later.