The Cover Blurb:
“Inspiring generations with some of the finest harmonies ever recorded, The Louvin Brothers’ 1959 classic Satan is Real features Ira and Charlie singing high lonesome country, angelic melodies, and dark Southern gospel. Includes “The Christian Life” as covered by the Byrds & Gram Parsons on their seminal 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Featuring meticulously remastered audio from the original tapes, 180-gram wax (lacquers cut by John Golden at Golden Mastering), a deluxe “tip-on” gatefold sleeve and new liner notes with rare photos, this is the definitive Satan is Real. Plus a free download card for Audio Commentary with Charlie Louvin, recorded in Nashville, June 2010.
“One of the most important records of all time.”
– Jim James (My Morning Jacket)
“Satan is Real remains a treasured part of my record collection and I’m delighted to be a part of its resurrection with this reissue”
– Emmylou Harris”
The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“BY JOE ALLISON
Within these covers you will hear Ira and Charlie, the Louvin Brothers, pour out their beliefs and convictions born of a deep-seated religion upbringing. You will hear them raise their voices in honest opinion, in quiet beauty, then in the same breath, call out in furious outrage as they conduct, through their music, a personal crusade against the Prince of Darkness… tell you that SATAN IS REAL
When Ira and Charlie, the Louvin Brothers, lift their voices in high country harmony an aura of truthfullness permeates the air. Their sincereity reaches out and grabs you with such authority that you literally become a part of their song. When they sing you can actually see the crimson clover and the bright waving cornfields of their mountain home where they leanred the beautiful old ballads handed down by their kinsmen, and you can see the little country church where they learned to sing the wonderful gospel and spiritual songs they love so well.
I first met Ira and Charlie about a dozen years ago when we worked together on a radio show in Memphis, Tennessee. I was brought up from Texas to emcee the show, and the Louvin Brothers came over with Eddie Hill’s Band, from Knoxville, to provide the music. At our first rehearsal – the first time I ever heard them sing – I knew that here was the greatest country music duet I had ever heard! That first impression has lasted all through these past years. I still think they are the greatest.
Very evidently I was not alone in my admiration because today the Louvin Brothers are number one. They have won the top spot in every major popularity poll. They have written dozens of hit songs. Their Capitol record sales are phenomenal, and they are featured stars on the world famous Grand Old Opry.
This album occupies a very special corner in the hearts of Ira and Charlie – because they are singing the kid of songs they love best.
COVER NOTE: The fiery setting pictured on the cover of this album was conceived and built by the Louvin Brothers themselves, using chiefly rocks, scrap rubber, and lots of imagination. The scene became a little too realistic, though, when Ira and Carlie were nearly burned while actually directing the photography for this dramatic cover photo.”
When I first began collecting records this was the one record every single person asked me if I owned, and if you go to find it on eBay, you’re looking at spending about $500+ on it, but if you order the reissue, you’re spending about $16. So, here it is, in all of it’s glory.
The album opens with the ever famous “Satan is Real” – which starts off with the sung harmony telling us about how Satan is real and how he works, it then goes into soft organ playing – which is joined by one of the Louvin’s talking about church, and Satan, and tells a story about a little old man talking about Satan is Real. You know what? I quite like this one. Next up comes another favorite song of mine, “There’s a Higher Power” – and let me start by saying this is one of my all time favorite Gospel songs, I absolutely adore it. It tells of how Jesus is above us, and he is the higher power, and yea. It’s good, the musicianship is pretty great, and the little background vocals are pretty nice! After that comes “The Christian Life” – which is a slower song, but it’s still a pretty nice song, and I rather enjoy it. I too, like the Christian Life. I definitely love the meaning of the song. It’s so good. Then comes another one of my favorite Louvin Brothers and gospel tracks ever, “The River of Jordan” – I have not heard anyone else, (besides Ricky Skaggs) do this song. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in like, my whole life and it tells a story, which is the best part of a song. Next up is “The Kneeling Drunkards Plea” which was written by the Carter Family (Maybelle, Anita, Helen and June Carter Cash!) and it’s a slower song, with great meaning and it’s basically another amazing song on a great album! The A-Side closes with “Are You Afraid to Die” – which is another slower song, but it’s basically a great way to end the A-Side, heck, even ending the whole album this song would be great.
The B-Side opens with “He Can Be Found” – which is another amazing song, and it’s a great way to open the B-Side. It’s followed by “Dying from Home, and Lost” – I don’t really understand the title, but the song is a terrific song, and yea. It’s followed by “The Drunkard’s Doom” – which is about being a drunk and doomed. It’s a bit slow, but hey, it has good meaning and the vocal arrangement is amazing, with great backing musicianship. Who can complain when listening to the Louvin Brothers? It’s then followed “Satan’s Jeweled Crown” – and well, firstly, I did not know Satan wore a crown. But hey, he does. This song is about it. It’s such a nice song, it’s about how someone wears Satan’s crown, and God came down and took it off the guys head. (or something.) by the way, the piano solo is amazing. It’s followed by “The Angels Rejoiced Last Night” – and the harmonies of the Louvin brothers is quite amazing, I absolutely adore this album! The album ends with “I‘m Ready to Go Home” it’s a slow song, but it makes for an amazing way to end the album. I definitely love the musicianship and harmonies of this album. So nice.
A1 – Satan is Real
A2 – There’s a Higher Power
A3 – The Christian Life
A4 – The River of Jordan
A5 – The Kneeling Drunkards Plea
A6 – Are You Afraid to Die
B1 – He Can Be Found
B2 – Dying from Home, and Lost
B3 – The Drunkard’s Doom
B4 – Satan’s Jeweled Crown
B5 – The Angel’s Rejoiced Last Night
B6 – I’m Ready to Go Home
Light in the Attic Records (Originally Capitol)
LITA 073 (Originally T-1277)
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Produced by Ken Nelson
Other Albums I Own by The Louvin Brothers: