Various Artists
Back In The Day &
Top 20 Gospel, Volume 2

Compilation projects are a popular item so far this year, judging from the increasing number that are becoming available. We've selected to throw the spotlight on two brand new collections that reflect on the sounds of Gospel from a few years back.

CGI Records makes available a collection entitled Back In The Day, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more descriptive or fitting title. With this 2-disc box set, the people at CGI have mined their archives and come up with this jewel Back In The Dayof compilation that includes classics such as Daryl Coley's "I'll Be With You", Howard Smith's "I Wanna Get To Know You", and "We Need To Hear From You" from Sandra Crouch and Friends. Other cuts included come from a veritable Who's Who of Gospel greats from the past few decades: Walter Hawkins, Douglas Miller, Vickie Winans, Commissioned, Beau Williams, LA Mass Choir, The Winans. Also included in the box is a useful and comprehensive 8-page photo-filled booklet that outlines the origins of Gospel music.

Another retrospective 2-disc compilation that deserves some attention is Top 20 Gospel, Vol. 2: Through The Refiner's Fire from Tyscot Records. This one is intriguing, for it demonstrates how this independent, family-owned label has been a proving ground of sorts forTop 20 Gospel Vol. 2 some of Gospel's most recognizable names today. Some of the highlights include Kim Burrell singing "Something On The Inside" with The Trinity Temple Mass Choir, Marvin Sapp singing "Your Deliverance" with The Greater Grace Temple Choir, and an incredible flashback cut "He'll Step In On Time" featuring Beverly Crawford from when she was with Bobby Jones & New Life. It is definitely worth examining the liner notes to see how keen your ear is, for this 120+ minute collection of mostly choir material also peppers various cameos and guest spots of well-known artists such as James Moore, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Carnell Murrell, Bishop Paul S. Morton and Shirley Caesar throughout. Certainly this is one of the more fascinating compilations available on the shelves this year.

Producers: Various
CGI Records (Back In The Day)
Tyscot Records (Top 20 Gospel, Volume 2)

reviewed by Stan North

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