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The Mighty Clouds Of Joy - Family Circle (1963)

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The Mighty Clouds Of Joy - Family Circle (1963)

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A1 	Family Circle 	
A2 	Lord Hold My Hand 	
A3 	Judgement Day 	
A4 	By Faith 	
A5 	My Precious King 	
A6 	Glory Hallelujah 	
B1 	I Came To Jesus 	
B2 	Nearer To Thee 	
B3 	Meeting Tonight 	
B4 	How I Found The Lord 	
B5 	Amazing Grace 	
B6 	You'll Never Know

 

Incredible. This is stomping hard-gospel that will appeal to fans of early RnB/Soul/RnR. It's amazing how much the great Wilson Pickett styled his voice on the hair-raising gospel shouts that grace this record. ---hillsidestranger, rateyourmusic.com

 

Contemporary gospel's preeminent group, the Mighty Clouds of Joy carried the torch for the traditional quartet vocal style throughout an era dominated by solo acts and choirs; pioneering a distinctively funky sound that over time gained grudging acceptance even among purists, they pushed spiritual music in new and unexpected directions, even scoring a major disco hit. The Mighty Clouds of Joy were formed in Los Angeles during the '50s by schoolmates Joe Ligon and Johnny Martin; while still in their teens, the original group -- which also included Leon Polk, Richard Wallace, and brothers Ermant and Elmo Franklin -- made their recorded debut in 1960 with "Steal Away to Jesus," cut for the Peacock label. Their debut LP, Family Circle, arrived a year later. In the years that followed, the Mighty Clouds joined the ranks of gospel's greatest showmen; one of the first groups to incorporate choreographed moves into their act, their nimble footwork and bright, color-coordinated outfits earned them the sobriquet "The Temptations of Gospel."

More importantly, they were the first group to add bass, drums, and keyboards to the standard quartet accompaniment of solo guitar, resulting in a sound that horrified traditionalists but appealed to younger listeners -- so much so, in fact, that the Mighty Clouds became the first gospel act ever to appear on television's Soul Train, where they performed their disco smash "Mighty High." Their crossover success continued with opening slots for secular pop stars including Marvin Gaye, the Rolling Stones, and Paul Simon, whom the group backed during a monthlong stint at Madison Square Garden. While lineup changes plagued the Mighty Clouds throughout their career, they remained active into the new millennium; in addition to co-founders Ligon and Wallace, their latter-day incarnation also included Paul Beasley, Michael McCowin, Wilbert Williams, Johnny Valentine, and Ron Staples. As the years advanced, Ligon took a more supportive singing role, with lead vocals performed by ex-Gospel Keynotes vocalist Beasley. Ligon died in December 2016 at the age of 80. ---Jason Ankeny, allmusic.com

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