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Elvis Australia : Official Elvis Presley Fan Club

Review: Elvis : Peace In The Valley (The Complete Gospel Recordings)

By Elvis Australia
Source: David Adams
June 1, 2013 - 6:13:00 PM

Peace In The Valley 3 CD Set
Peace In The Valley 3 CD Set
Elvis : Peace In The Valley (The Complete Gospel Recordings) is a long overdue triple CD release from BMG. In 1994 we were treated to the excellent double album 'Amazing Grace' and more recently to a number of good (if forgettable) mid-price gospel albums.

However, the complete record of Elvis' gospel songs is one of the most important BMG releases ever in that it showcases a genre of music that involved Elvis totally and utterly in strength of feeling and a sincerity sometimes missing from some of his other recordings. As a catalog of one type of music, Peace In The Valley represents Elvis at his best, a peak rivaled only by his seminal rockabilly and rock & roll recordings from 1954 to 1956 and the superb, eclectic output from his American Studio Sessions in 1969.

Many fans will be surprised at the breadth of tracks on this release, many familiar, probably many more unfamiliar. Standards such as How Great Thou Art and Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho are nicely complemented by the revivalist I've Got Confidence (a recording that would have fitted easily into Elvis' last narrative movie, Change Of Habit) and three of Elvis' lost singles: Life; Why Me, Lord? and Help Me. The soulful I Got A Feeling In My Body is an interesting inclusion while the '68 Comeback Special gospel medley is as fresh today as it was 32 years ago.

Fan favourites including His Hand In Mine and He Touched Me are complemented by An Evening Prayer and the searching Reach Out To Jesus. Forgotten movie tracks in the underrated Let Me Pray and the jaunty When The Saints Come Marchin' In sit well alongside arguably Elvis' most famous gospel recording (certainly his biggest selling gospel single) Crying In The Chapel. Songs like He Knows Just What I Need are so honestly sung by Elvis that you are virtually removed to another (spiritual) plane.

Listeners experience the strength of Elvis' bond with gospel music in songs such as I Believe In The Man In The Sky, while the inclusion of the technically inferior (due to the context of their recording), but nevertheless important home recordings, and the impromptu Million Dollar Quartet Session from the Sun Studios in December, 1956 provide a finely balanced and involving 87 track set.

The album comes with an attractive, atmospheric cover reminiscent of those from the Mario Lanza era and a booklet filled with fan pleasing photos and detailed liner notes by Cheryl Thurber.

Peace In The Valley will provide great solace to those whose spirits are low and reinforcement of beliefs for those with a religious leaning. Listening to the 87 tracks on this set it is clearly evident why Elvis received three Grammy awards for his gospel recordings during his lifetime. This set is a fitting testament to an often under-appreciated segment of Elvis' incredible musical legacy.

There are still several musical genres BMG can cover: Elvis - Reconsider Baby (The Complete Blues Recordings) has tremendous potential for critical acclaim while Elvis - Gentle On My Mind (The Complete Country Recordings) would be a major sales hit in the US.

Buy Elvis : Peace In The Valley (The Complete Gospel Recordings)

Disc 1

His Hand in Mine (His Hand In Mine) - I'm Gonna Walk Dem Golden Stairs (His Hand In Mine) - In My Father's House (His Hand In Mine) - Milky White Way (His Hand In Mine) - Known Only To Him (His Hand In Mine) - I Believe in the Man in the Sky (His Hand In Mine) - Joshua Fit the Battle (His Hand In Mine) - He Knows Just What I Need (His Hand In Mine) - Swing Down Sweet Chariot (His Hand In Mine) - Mansion Over the Hilltop (His Hand In Mine) - If We Never Meet Again (His Hand In Mine) - Working On the Building (His Hand In Mine) - Crying In the Chapel (45 Single) - How Great Thou Art (How Great Thou Art) - In the Garden (How Great Thou Art) - Somebody Bigger Than You And I (How Great Thou Art) - Farther Along (How Great Thou Art) - Stand By Me (How Great Thou Art) - Without Him (How Great Thou Art) - So High (How Great Thou Art) - Where Could I Go But To The Lord (How Great Thou Art) - By And By (How Great Thou Art) - If the Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side (How Great Thou Art) - Run On (How Great Thou Art) - Where No One Stands Alone (How Great Thou Art) - We Call On Him (45 Single) - You'll Never Walk Alone (45 Single) - Who Am I ('69 Memphis) - Life (Love Letters From Elvis).

Disc 2

Only Believe (Love Letters From Elvis) - He Touched Me (He Touched Me) - I've Got Confidence (He Touched Me) - Amazing Grace (He Touched Me) - Seeing Is Believin' (He Touched Me) - He Is My Everything (He Touched Me) - Bosom Of Abraham (He Touched Me) - An Evening Prayer (He Touched Me) - Lead Me, Guide Me (He Touched Me) - There Is No God But God (He Touched Me) - A Thing Called Love (He Touched Me) - I, John (He Touched Me) - Reach Out To Jesus (He Touched Me) - Miracle Of the Rosary (Elvis Now) - Put Your Hand In the Hand (Elvis Now) - I Got a Feeling In My Body (Good Times) - Help Me (Promised Land) - If That Isn't Love (Good Times) - Help Me (Live in Memphis'74) - Why Me, Lord (Live in Memphis'74) - How Great Thou Art (Live in Memphis'74) - Farther Along (That's The Way It Is - Special Edition) - Oh Happy Day (That's The Way It Is - Special Edition) - I, John (On Tour '72) - Bosom of Abraham (On Tour '72) - You Better Run (On Tour '72) - Lead Me, Guide Me (On Tour '72) - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Nearer My God to Thee (On Tour '72)

Disc 3

When the Saints Go Marching In (1956 Home Recording) - Just a Little Talk With Jesus (Million Dollar Quartet) - Jesus Walked That Lonesome Valley (Million Dollar Quartet) - I Shall Not Be Moved (Million Dollar Quartet) - Peace In the Valley (Million Dollar Quartet) - Down By the Riverside (Million Dollar Quartet) - Farther Along (Million Dollar Quartet) - Blessed Jesus (Hold My Hand) (Million Dollar Quartet) - On the Jericho Road (Million Dollar Quartet) - I Just Can't Make It By Myself (Million Dollar Quartet) - I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling (Million Dollar Quartet) - When the Saints Go Marching In (Million Dollar Quartet) - Softly And Tenderly (Million Dollar Quartet) - Peace In the Valley (EP,Peace In the Valley) - It Is No Secret (EP,Peace In the Valley) - I Believe (EP,Peace In the Valley) - Take My Hand Precious Lord (EP,Peace In the Valley) - I Asked the Lord (The Home Recordings '59) - He (In A Private Moment) - Oh How I Love Jesus (In A Private Moment) - Show Me Thy Ways (The Home Recordings) - Hide Thou Me (In A Private Moment) - When the Saints Go Marching In / Down By the Riverside (Frankie And Johnny) - Sing You Children (Easy Come Easy Go) - Swing Down Sweet Chariot (Trouble With Girls) - Let Us Pray (Change Of Habit) - Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Up Above My Head/Saved ('68 TV Special) - The Lord's Prayer (A Hundred Years From Now '71) - How Great Thou Art (Elvis In Concert '77) - Peace In the Valley (Ed Sullivan Show '57).


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