The Best Of The Gospel Years Dion

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Gospel
Label:
Ace Records
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 644

Few if any of the class of the late 50s survived, never mind flowering & developing creatively - Dion is an exception. Ace Records is proud to continue a long association with his music on this deeply moving expression of his beliefs from his 80s gospel albums

Attitude. That's where it all begins. That's the spark that gets somebody out of the crowd and onto a stage. That's the spark that the kid recognises and relates to when he buys that somebody's record. Rock'n'roll is the only art form truly born of rebellion. And that rebellion is in the attitude. In the late 5Os and early 60s Dion embodied that attitude. Not quite the Elvis good ole boy, or James Dean angst - although there was some of that. It was more like Brando's wild one, but that was still too country. No this was new for rock'n'roll. Pure Bronx-New York- Italian-Streetgang- Wiseguy ATTITUDE. His streetgang was the Belmonts and the records were I Wonder Why and That's My Desire.They were part doo wop, part R&B, part bluesy, and part, uh... attitude. Very original, actually. They basically produced themselves- uncredited of course- and the records they made emphasised a unique combination of black and white style. Dion told me the reason the vocal parts were unique was partly because they were hearing horn parts but couldn't afford horns! Lucky us. After the Belmonts, Dion continued to sell millions of records (Runaround Sue, The Wanderer, Ruby Baby), and regardless of what was transpiring offstage, the attitude remained. It remained for us, the audience. It was still largely show business in those days-.-the illusion was all that mattered. But somewhere along the way the spark eventually, inevitably went out. What ignites that spark in the first place? Is it anger? Frustration? Loneliness? The need to communicate? To connect? The search for some inexpressible need? A need, perhaps, to fill an unrecognised emptiness inside? Probably some or all of these demons initially serve to motivate us. As time goes on, traces of these elements may remain, but the unconscious "attitude" created by them cannot alone sustain anyone forever. You get five choices: You die. You burn out. You get out of the business. You go l00% into the world of showbiz. Or you realise that you have stumbled into something that really is an art form capable of communicating the most deeply felt self- expression. Again, lucky us. After helping to pioneer rock'n'roll as we know it today, Of on found a way of expressing his deepest, most honest feelings through gospel music and, in doing so, avoided what befell too many of the first and second generation rockers. Namely bitterness, terminal nostalgia, bankruptcy, busted dreams or an early death, l think is difficult sometimes for the later generations of rockers to appreciate a time when there were no rules, no expectations. Not to mention no luxury buses, no stage monitors to hear yourself, no legal protection and no artists controlling their own destinies. Just a bunch of street singers regarded by society as degenerate infidels, one small step away from jail or the gutter. It was this relatively small group of singers, writers, and producers who very often sacrificed everything society told them they needed, including, sometimes, their lives, to create something the world had never felt anybody needed- an international means of communication for young people. It was, by the way, those sacrifices that enabled those of us in the third or fourth generation to do what we do so naturally. It was the inspiration of the eternal attitude of Dion (and partly the buying into the show business illusions) that allowed us the freedom to avoid most of the traps of the business - the "act", the slavery contracts, the drugs, the short-term exploitation, etc. We live it the way we assumed they lived it. that's why we don't change our clothes to go on stage. Or our attitude. I thank Dion for that. And I am honoured to call him my friend.Now I'm going to lay down and enjoy this album- but I can tell you this- there's a lot more music to come. (Taken from the liner notes)

Track listing

Side 1

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