Sunday, May 06, 2007

Get on Down With the Mighty Clouds of Joy!

The Mighty Clouds of Joy - Mighty High

The Mighty Clouds of Joy have been featured on this blog before, in reference to the one-time membership of Bunker Hill. Outside of Bunker's involvement with the group, the legacy of the group is on-going. The Mighty Clouds were one of the more electrifying groups in gospel in the '60s and '70s, as their dynamic showmanship and willingness to adapt their sound to the times positioned them as the vanguard group. By the mid-70s, the group was part of the ABC Records roster after the label's purchase of Duke/Peacock. In 1976 the group hooked up with producer Dave Crawford and broke yet newer ground by putting a disco groove to their gospel and hitting big with today's selection.

"Mighty High," not unlike the stuff the Staple Singers had done for Stax, was religious but not overtly so. Jesus' name does not appear on the record, although God is mentioned, so it's not exactly spelled out what it means to "ride mighty high." The group doesn't have to say, however, because by the time the two short verses are dispatched and Willie Ligon's famous growl takes over for the rest of the song, you know absolutely that this song is straight-up church, despite the disco groove. Get on down with the mighty glory - ride mighty high!

No comments: