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Testify!: The Gospel Box [Box]

Testify!: The Gospel Box [Box]


Certainly, it seems like it would be easy to compile a definitive gospel box set, much like Rhino's definitive Doo Wop Box. After all, much classic gospel was never widely distributed and has been out of print for years, and many listeners would like one sweeping set that captures the best of the music. This is especially true since gospel is always mentioned as an influence, on everything from rock to rap, but there's no good, basic introduction to the music for neophytes or curious listeners. It would seem that Rhino's three-disc set Testify: The Gospel Box would be the answer, but it suffers from two perennial Rhino curses -- a desire to tell a full chronology and a yen for novelty. It could be argued that completeness is a virtue in a box set, since it can be nice to get the full scope of an artist's career, but it's considerably more difficult when the set is simply about one particular genre. Testify runs from the beginning of the '40s to the end of the '90s -- an enormous amount of time to consolidate into one set. Especially when most casual fans of gospel (ie, rock fans) have, at best, a passing interest in gospel recorded past 1970 or 1972, which accounts for the last two discs of the three disc set. And that means, of course, that only the first disc covers the golden era of gospel, the music that both the casual and the devoted consider to be recorded gospel's peak years. To be sure, there's some great music on this disc, but it's marred by novelty tunes -- "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition," "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" -- that are of interest to collectors, but hardly provide the basic introduction that the set intends to provide. There's enough great music on the first disc to balance out the novelties on the whole, but that one disc isn't enough for many listeners, since the classic gospel disappears so quickly. Disc two is devoted to music recorded in the '70s and early '80s, disc three picks up where that left off, taking listeners all the way to the end of the century. In theory, this is good and some listeners may even want a set that runs through the history of recorded gospel, which this certainly provides. Problem is, Testify isn't satisfying listening -- it's merely a textbook, tracing the evolution of gospel. Instructive it may be, but like many textbooks, it doesn't bring the music to life, which is a sad irony for such a joyous music. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Rhino (Label)
  • UPC: 081227573423
HPB pick - Out of stock
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Track listings

  • Disc 1:
  • 1. Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition The Southern Sons Quartette
  • 2. Stalin Wasn't Stallin' Golden Gate Quartet
  • 3. Milky White Way The Trumpeteers
  • 4. Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around The Fairfield Four
  • 5. That's Enough Dorothy Love Coates/The Original Gospel Harmonettes
  • 6. Just A Closer Walk With Thee Sallie Martin Singers
  • 7. Our Father The Original Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi (Jackson Harmoneers)
  • 8. Too Close To Heaven The Bradford Specials
  • 9. Let's Go Out To The Program The Dixie Hummingbirds
  • 10. Amazing Grace Rev. Maceo Woods
  • 11. Alone And Motherless The Original Five Blind Boys Of Alabama
  • 12. Somewhere To Lay My Head The Highway Q.C.'s
  • 13. Uncloudy Day The Staple Singers
  • 14. All Things Are Possible The Harmonizing Four
  • 15. Didn't It Rain Mahalia Jackson
  • 16. Love Of God, The Voices Of Tabernacle/James Cleveland
  • 17. Precious Lord La Vern Baker/Prof. Alex Bradford & The Bradford Singers
  • 18. Mary Don't You Weep The Swan Silvertones
  • 19. One More River To Cross Meditation Singers/Earnestine Rundless
  • 20. Good Enough For Me Rev. James Cleveland & The Gospel Chimes
  • Disc 2:
  • 1. Mighty High The Mighty Clouds Of Joy
  • 2. Oh Happy Day The Edwin Hawkins Singers
  • 3. Lord, Don't Move The Mountain Inez Andrews
  • 4. Mary, Don't You Weep Aretha Franklin/James Cleveland/Southern California Community Choir
  • 5. I'll Trade A Lifetime The O'neal Twins
  • 6. I Go To The Rock Danniebelle Hall
  • 7. Goin' Up Yonder Walter Hawkins/Love Center Choir
  • 8. No Charge Shirley Caesar
  • 9. Peace In The Valley The Gate City Singers
  • 10. Take My Hand, Precious Lord Marion Williams/Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey
  • 11. How I Got Over Clara Ward & The Ward Singers
  • 12. Walk Around Heaven All Day The Caravans
  • 13. Strange Man Dorothy Love Coates
  • 14. Changed Walter Hawkins/Love Center Choir
  • 15. My Tribute Andra‚ Crouch
  • Disc 3:
  • 1. Show Up! New Life Community Choir/John P. Kee
  • 2. Stand Ron Winans Presents Family & Friends Iv
  • 3. Spread Love Take 6
  • 4. Tomorrow The Winans
  • 5. Rough Side Of The Mountain Rev. F.C Barnes & The Red Budd Combined Choir
  • 6. Be Encouraged William Becton & Friends
  • 7. Message For The Saints, A Donald Lawrence/Tri City Singers
  • 8. I Believe Sounds Of Blackness
  • 9. Deep River / Campground Cissy Houston
  • 10. How I Depend On You The Williams Brothers
  • 11. Holy Is The Lamb Oleta Adams
  • 12. Order My Steps Gmwa Women Of Worship/Mimi Redd
  • 13. Battle Is The Lord's, The Yolanda Adams
  • 14. Dear God Boyz Ii Men
  • 15. I Love The Lord Whitney Houston/Georgia Mass Choir
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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