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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2003
What else can be said that hasn't already been said about this masterpiece by the Queen of Soul?
NOTE: this is the original version that made its debut in 1972, with added studio "high notes" and cut versions of the longer songs. Don't worry, it's all good...especially if you're just becoming familiar with Aretha's catalog. However, if you're a hardcore fan and want to hear how this concert really unfolded, I would also recommend "The Complete Recordings" version of this album. Simply "amazing."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2000
i decided to buy this album when i heard a recording of "mary, don't you weep," and felt that aretha actually channelled the voice of God in this recording. i'm not a very religious person, but this is definitely the kind of music that makes your hairs stand on end and goose bumps pop up on your flesh. even from someone who doesn't believe in the Christian messages of the songs. the kind of album that makes you think, "damn, this world is an amazing place". favorite tracks include "mary, don't you weep", "you've got a friend in jesus", and "wholly holy". awesome album.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
So what if I'm a long-term, retreat-going, cushion-sitting, Heart Sutra-chanting, daily-practicing Buddhist?

I defy anyone to listen to the 11-minute rendition of "Amazing Grace" by Aretha and not be Christian for at least 11 minutes.

Or have some sort of religious experience.

Wholly holy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2003
Is it possible that the genre could have produced anything better than this? Humbly, I say, "not likely."
Aretha The Queen of Soul was lead singer on the soundtrack of my youth. The day our mother brought home "Amazing Grace" was transforming for my sisters and me. During those days, it was not usual for a pre/teenager to just sit and listen to music, and it was even more unheard of for the parents to sit there with them, all having the same experience inspired by the music. That's the way "Amazing Grace" affected my family and me back then.
And it hit me the same way recently. I was at my mother's house when that familiar sound stirred the air and my soul. I ran to the room from which it wafted and I was filled with the most incredible joy--the joy of remembering and the pure enjoyment of the now.
I'd forgotten all about "Amazing Grace," and there my mother had the CD.
Gospel music and singing is the best thing that church offers to me, and this CD, "takes me to CHUCH!!"
Aretha's voice is so pure and unaffected. She clearly experienced these songs as well as sang them, and nearly 30 years later, I experienced them again too. It is impossible not to get emotional when the choir comes up, then hushes, then rises again.
When Aretha sings, "God will take care of you" I, tearfully, KNOW it is true.
A truly beautiful collection. I look forward to filling my heart and my home with it and sharing it with my children.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
While many artists come under intense criticism when they cross from the secular to the sacred, Aretha Franklin is unique in that she can just about do it all. After three decades, Franklin's "Amazing Grace" stands as one of the greatest gospel recordings of all time.
As an "essential" for the fan of both the singer and gospel music, there is not a wasted cut on this release. Franklin takes Marvin Gaye's passionate "Wholy Holy" to an entirely stratospheric level while James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend" transcends its pop beginnings. "How I Got Over" and "Climbing Higher Mountains" can literally "raise the dead" in their respective thunderous executions by Franklin and the Southern California Choir.
But "Precious Memories" and "Mary, Don't You Weep" are unparalleled as examples of the majesty and power of Black gospel.
One can't get any better than this and the current crop of hip-hop friendly gospel singers need to return to their roots...specifically THIS album.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2003
There are very few singers who have been able to have a succesful gospel album after they left the church to sing other genres. Aretha Franklin is without a doubt an exception. My grandmother had this C.D and after she died, I was cleaning out her old C.D's. I said that I would keep her Gospel C.D's. I started to throw out this one but I got out of bed and went to the collection I was gonna throw away. Thank God I didn't get rid of this because I play it every day. My favorite songs are MARY DONT YOU WEEP, OLD LANDMARK, HOW I GOT OVER, AMAZING GRACE, CLIMBING HIGHER MOUNTAINS, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU, and PRECIOUS MEMORIES with James Clevland. James and Aretha's vocals on that song MOVE me like no other. If you had James Clevland on ANYTHING that sung about the Lord, you know it's a hit. Aretha can sing ANYTHING. Thats what makes her a TRUE singer. This is where Aretha got her start and let me say, in the words of her father, SHE'S NEVER LEFT THE CHURCH. If you're looking for something moving, I strongly recomend this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 1999
This is one of Aretha's finest recordings. The voice, choir and music are all in perfect harmony and each give peck performances through out the entire album. This is a live recording of a concert, performed in a black church. Although, I heard a critic say that "Wholly, Holy" was juiced up in the recording studio. There is also a documentary that was made of this concert under the same title. I believe Sidney Pollack (Out of Africa) was the director. Please, bear in mind, if you are expecting Kirk Franklin or new jack swing style gospel ... forget it! For those adults out there, who like me, grew up in the black church, you will feel as though you taking a trip back in time. Memories will come rushing in! The arrangements of the traditional songs and using secular songs like "You Got A Friend" turning them into gospel songs was innovative and considered "hip" at that time. You MUST have this album in your collection if you are a fan of Aretha's or gospel music!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2005
Aretha clearly peed on herself as she blew the roof off of the church. All young vocalists must have this CD to know what the best singer in the world sounded like at a younger age. Aretha is still the greatest singer alive! I just remember needing to see actual footage of this concert to believe that a person could actually sing like this. It was just too amazing for me to belive that someone could really do this "live." I recently saw Aretha in NY 07/05'at the McDonalds Gospel fest, and she blew the roof off the place.

God really favored and gifted her with the finest vocal instrument in the world in my opinion. Ray Charles once said "no one in the world can sing like Aretha,...my one and only sister!" There will never be another Aretha, nor will there be another album like this. Long live the Queen!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
This is a must have 2-cd set. First I must say, that you also should get the "original" concert disc. This version is the clean and lean cut of the original live performance tracks. No matter what Aretha Franklin cd you get, you're guaranteed an award-winning electrifying vocal arrangement. Honest to God, Aretha is thee Queen of Music (in general). It's like her father Rev. C.L. Franklin said, "Aretha can sing Three Blind Mice; She's a stone singer." That's soooo darn true. Sister Aretha ("Aree-ree") is a stone solid singer. God Bless You, Sister Aretha. You're one of the best of our times. I'm so glad now the world knows this and is moved by your grace and spirit. Right on..Right on...We're On Our Way!! **A**
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 1999
With this CD purchase, this makes, probably, a dozen times I have bought Aretha's "Amazing Grace" in its various forms. In so many of these songs, one can just feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in the choir, in the congregation, and certainly within Aretha! Oddly enough, I do not own a CD player, but I'm off to get one to listen to the CD version of "Amazing Grace." If you ever need a real uplift, let Aretha and the Southern California Community Choir "just do it!"
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