The Five Blind Boys of Alabama

Collectors Edition

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This collection of the Blind Boys' early 1980s output is a wellspring of great rhythm and blues-inflected gospel, featuring the "original" line-up, which includes lead vocalist Clarence Fountain, bass vocalist Johnny Fields, and tenor George Scott. Among the highlights are the dynamite "Morning Train," with its funky breaks and galvanizing, double-time "I'm going home" finale; and the sustained high-note testifying of "Beams of Heaven." Spoken-word moments--as when baritone Olice Thomas recalls a near-fatal highway accident as a prelude to "I'll Always Be in Love with God," or the call and response of "Shackled by a Heavy Burden"--add a live-at-the-pulpit authenticity to the proceedings, making this not just of a collection of great gospel, but a bona fide spiritual event. Fans of the group's later albums will be delighted to discover this hip-shaking, soul-quaking collection. Between all the raw love and gratitude in the voices, the sweet electric guitar, muscular bass, and rollicking Hammond B-3 organ, it's got the power to heal the pain in any heart and move the devil out of any pair of feet.

blue highlight denotes track pick