Amazing Grace (Aretha Franklin album)

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Amazing Grace
Live album by
ReleasedJune 1, 1972
RecordedJanuary 13–14, 1972
GenreGospel, soul
LabelAtlantic (#2-906), Rhino
ProducerJerry Wexler, Arif Mardin, Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin chronology
Young, Gifted and Black
Amazing Grace
Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky)

Amazing Grace is the fourth live album by American singer Aretha Franklin. Released on June 1, 1972 by Atlantic Records, it ultimately sold over two million copies in the United States alone, earning a double platinum certification. As of 2017, it stands as the biggest selling disc of Franklin's entire fifty-plus year recording career as well as the highest selling live gospel music album of all time. It won Franklin the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance.

The double album was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles during January 1972. A film documenting the making of the album was set to be released in 1972, but was shelved by Warner Bros. Amazing Grace was remastered and re-released in 1999 as a two-compact disc set with many unreleased takes.

Track listing[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauB+[2]
Rolling Stonefavourable[3]

Disc one

Side one
1."Mary, Don't You Weep"Spiritual7:29
2."Medley: Precious Lord, Take My Hand / You've Got a Friend"Thomas A. Dorsey, Frank Frazier / Carole King5:34
3."Old Landmark"W. Herbert Brewster, Adeline M. Brunner3:40
4."Give Yourself to Jesus"Robert Fryson5:16
Side two
5."How I Got Over"Clara Ward4:22
6."What a Friend We Have in Jesus"Joseph M. Scriven, Charles Crozat Converse6:03
7."Amazing Grace"John Newton10:45

Disc two

Side three
1."Precious Memories"J.B.F. Wright7:20
2."Climbing Higher Mountains"Traditional2:32
3."Remarks by Reverend C.L. Franklin" 1:56
4."God Will Take Care of You"Traditional8:48
Side four
5."Wholy Holy"Marvin Gaye, Renaldo Benson, Al Cleveland5:30
6."You'll Never Walk Alone"Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II6:31
7."Never Grow Old"Traditional9:57
  • Adeline M. Brunner is also known as Herman Lubinsky.[4]

Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings[edit]

Information is based on this edition’s Liner Notes[5]

Disc 1
(Thursday Night Show - 1/13/72)
  1. Organ Introduction (On Our Way) - Performed by Kenneth Lupper
  2. Opening Remarks - Performed by Rev. James Cleveland
  3. On Our Way - Performed by Southern California Community Choir
  4. Aretha's Introduction - Performed by Rev. James Cleveland
  5. Wholy Holy
  6. You'll Never Walk Alone
  7. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  8. Precious Memories - Featuring Rev. James Cleveland
  9. How I Got Over
  10. You've Got a Friend/Precious Lord (Take My Hand)
  11. Climbing Higher Mountains
  12. Amazing Grace
  13. My Sweet Lord (Instrumental)
  14. Give Yourself to Jesus
Disc 2
(Friday Night Show - 1/14/72)
  1. Organ Introduction (On Our Way)/Opening Remarks
    Performed by Ken Lupper and Rev. James Cleveland
  2. On Our Way - Performed by Southern California Community Choir
  3. Aretha's Introduction - Performed by Rev. James Cleveland
  4. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  5. Wholy Holy
  6. Climbing Higher Mountains
  7. God Will Take Care of You
  8. Old Landmark
  9. Mary Don't You Weep
  10. Never Grow Old
  11. Remarks by Rev. C.L. Franklin - Featuring Rev. James Cleveland
  12. Precious Memories - Featuring Rev. James Cleveland
  13. My Sweet Lord (Instrumental)
  • Unless otherwise indicated, All tracks (except for "Remarks by Rev. C.L. Franklin") are performed by Aretha Franklin.


Amazing Grace, a documentary/concert film directed by Sydney Pollack for Warner Bros., was set to be released as part of a double bill with Super Fly in 1972.[6] However, Pollack was unable to complete the film because he had not used a clapperboard to synchronize the picture and sound at the beginning of each take.[7] The film ended up in the studio vaults for over 38 years. Before Pollack's death in 2008, he turned the footage over to producer Alan Elliott, who after two years succeeded in synchronizing the picture and sound and completing the film.[7]

Elliott first planned to release the film in 2011, but was prevented from doing so when Franklin sued him for using her likeness without permission.[7] However, Franklin's original contract for the film was later discovered at Warner Bros., and Elliott planned to show the film at the Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Chicago International Film Festival in 2015.[7][8] Franklin once again sued and was granted an emergency injunction against the Telluride screening, saying she had not given permission to screen the footage.[9] Franklin issued a statement saying, "Justice, respect and what is right prevailed and one’s right to own their own self-image."[10] Due to the ongoing litigation, the film was then removed from the schedules of both the Chicago[8] and Toronto[11] festivals as well.

The film premiered on November 12, 2018, three months after Aretha's death.[12][13]


Unless otherwise indicated, Information is based on the album’s Liner Notes[14]

  • Aretha Franklin - producer, musical arrangements
  • Rev. James Cleveland - choir director
  • Jimmy Douglass - assistant recording engineer
  • Rev. Alexander Hamilton - assistant choir director
  • Wally Heider - recording engineer
  • Robert Honablue – recording engineer[15]
  • Arif Mardin - producer, remixing, music editing
  • Gene Paul - assistant recording engineer
  • George Piros - assistant recording engineer
  • Ray Thompson - recording engineer
  • Jerry Wexler - producer


  1. ^ "Allmusic review".
  2. ^ "Robert Christgau review".
  3. ^ "Rolling Stone review".
  4. ^ “Adeline M. Brunner”. Discogs. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  5. ^ Aretha Franklin, et. al. “Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings” (Album Notes). Rhino Records. 1999.
  6. ^ Burlingame, Jon (January 7, 2010). "'Grace' film finally near". Variety.
  7. ^ a b c d Willman, Chris (2015-09-04). "Sydney Pollack's 'Amazing Grace': The Tortured 4-Decade History of the Film Aretha Franklin Wants to Stop". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  8. ^ a b Romano, Nick (2015-09-06). "Amazing Grace documentary pulled from Chicago Film Festival". Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  9. ^ Clark, Noelene; Robinson, Will (2015-09-04). "Aretha Franklin blocks Amazing Grace screening at Telluride Film Festival". Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  10. ^ Romano, Nick (2015-09-05). "Aretha Franklin responds after blocking Amazing Grace screening at Telluride Film Festival". Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  11. ^ Siegemund-Broka, Austin (2015-09-08). "TIFF: Aretha Franklin Doc 'Amazing Grace' Screening Canceled". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  12. ^ Powell, Alicia (November 13, 2018). "Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace' concert film finally debuts". Reuters. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Morris, Wesley (November 15, 2018). "Aretha Franklin Didn't Want You to See This Movie. But You Must". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Aretha Franklin, et. al. “Amazing Grace” (Album Notes). Atlantic. 1972.
  15. ^ “Robert Honablue: Engineer”. LinkedIn. Retrieved 30 August 2018.

External links[edit]