Awesome God

Compilation Albums in Gospel

Compilation albums in Gospel have never been more popular as they are now. Whether it's CD collections of current hits or valuable assemblies of classic Gospel that you've never been able to find on CD before, the choice is becoming diverse. Below are several that may catch your attention.

Walter Hawkins and Love Alive
Best of Love Alive
Light Records

CD Walter Hawkins' Love Alive series spent their time with Light Records for the first three albums from the late 70's to mid 80's, before venturing over to Savoy for Love Alive IV and then GospoCentric for Love Alive V. But what a treasure those early albums gave us on Light.

The rejuvenated label has apparently been spending much time reveling in their storied catalogue lately, as May 2002 saw them issue this Best Of series, pulling together ten hits from Love Alive I through III. "Dear Jesus I Love You", "Be Grateful", "He's That Kind of Friend" and the never to be forgotten "Changed" with Tramaine Hawkins on lead, they're all included.

So if you were one of the hundreds of thousands who bought the LPs when they first came out and want to capture ten-pack of songs on CD, or if you want to experience this greatness for the first time, then this one is for you.

Various Artists
Gospel Greats Vol. 8: Diary of a Worshipper
Verity Records

CD Subtitled Diary of a Worshipper, the eighth installment of Verity's eclectic compilation series is a wonderful grab bag of material pulled from the very recent to the near-forgotten past. All the songs are in that ultra smooth vein, and together offer an hour of soulful worship.

Kudos to album compiler Monica Coates, who has dug out gems such as Dawkins & Dawkins' "I Will Rest In The Lord", originally heard on their 1993 debut on Benson, and Twinkie Clark's "Awesome" (produced by Donald Lawrence and with blissful acoustic guitar accompaniment from Eric Brice). Early Smallwood (Dottie Jones singing lead on "I Love The Lord" before Whitney Houston latched on to it), and some soothing Commissioned, Fred Hammond and Virtue tunes are also in the mix, along with Monique Walker on LFCC's "How Can I Say Thank You" and Donnie McClurkin's very recent "I'll Trust You Lord".

Ben Tankard
The Best of Ben Tankard: The New Gospel Legends Series
Verity Records

CD Ben Tankard's trademark sound of jazzed keys and soft synths is celebrated on this installment of the New Gospel Legends series from Verity Records. Along with some of the most memorable moments from the multiple instrumental projects that he's released since the early 1990's ("Be With You", "Spend Some Time With Me", "Git Yo Praize On!"), this set also includes a sizeable collection of tracks that feature a 'Who's Who' of guest vocalists.

Yolanda Adams on "You Bring Out The Best In Me", Mark and Joey Kibble of Take 6 on "You Will Know" and Fred Hammond and RFC on "Don't Stop" bring back some great memories.

Various Artists
Liquid 8 Gospel Series
Liquid 8 Records

CD Itís the Golden Age all over again as James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar, Albertina Walker, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Rev. Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers and several others come re-packaged —and stunningly so —in a re-issue series of albums pulled deep from the masters and rich vaults of HOB Records. See more.

Lamar Campbell and Spirit of Praise
The Praise Collection
EMI Gospel

CD Lamar Campbell has put out three projects for EMI Gospel, along with his Indianapolis-based Spirit of Praise choir. His contemporary sounds are pulled together for this "best of" set, and several bonus original entries are thrown in for good measure.

Urban sounds prevail on "What Cha Here 4", and also on the slower "I Really Want To See You". Popular lead vocalist Denise Clark sings on the traditional "Just For Who You Are". Of course, Clark's lead can be heard elsewhere, the hit "Closer" is an obvious inclusion on this project, along with other populare songs such as "It's All About The Love", which comes with a bonus remixed version as well.

Check out the following previous compilation CD reviews. All were released in 2002.

Great Gospel Moments: Men of Gospel
Legends of Gospel: Andrae Crouch
The Very Best of the Winans
Commissioned : Original
Chicken Soup for the Gospel Soul
WOW Gospel 2002

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