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The Louvin Brothers|Satan Is Real

Satan Is Real

The Louvin Brothers

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Satan Is Real is the Louvin Brothers' best known album, largely because of its bold title and its eccentric cover artwork, in which Charlie and Ira Louvin, surrounded by flames symbolizing Hades, pose in front of a huge, cross-eyed model of the Devil. While more than a few hipsters have found an ironic laugh in the album's over-the-top imagery, one listen to the music confirms that the Louvin Brothers weren't joking in any way, shape or form. Satan Is Real is an album of fierce, plain spoken sincerity in which the Louvins, who started their career singing gospel material, perform songs that deal with the high stakes of sin and redemption, in which Satan truly does have power to rival the Lord. The opening title track sets the tone for the set, in which a man at a church service tells the congregation how he learned that Satan's treachery is every bit as real as God's love, and while not every song is as grim -- "The River of Jordan" and "There's a Higher Power" are positively jaunty -- the temptations of life in a fallen world and the consequences of sin are touched upon in nearly every track. The Louvin Brothers wrote many of the most memorable songs on Satan Is Real, and they rarely sounded as heartfelt as on "The Christian Life," "Are You Afraid to Die" and "The Angels Rejoiced Last Night"; as usual, their harmonies are luminously beautiful, and while Ira's superb mandolin work is missed, the simple arrangements (often incorporating a subdued gospel organ) are perfectly suited to the material. You don't need to share the Louvin Brothers' spiritual beliefs to be moved by the grace, beauty and lack of pretension of this music; Satan Is Real is music crafted by true believers sharing their faith, and its power goes beyond Christian doctrine into something at once deeply personal and truly universal, and the result is the Louvin Brothers' masterpiece.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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Satan Is Real

The Louvin Brothers

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1
Satan Is Real
00:03:01

Charles Louvin, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, Composer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

2
There's A Higher Power
00:02:23

Charles Louvin, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, Composer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

3
The Christian Life
00:02:18

Charles Louvin, ComposerLyricist - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, ComposerLyricist - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

4
The River Of Jordan
00:02:18

Ken Nelson, Producer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist - Hazel Houser, Composer

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

5
The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea
00:02:53

Maybelle Carter, Composer - Helen Carter, Composer - June Carter, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist - Anita Carter, Composer

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

6
Are You Afraid To Die
00:02:37

Charles Louvin, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, Composer - Eddie Hill, Composer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

7
He Can Be Found
00:02:15

Ken Nelson, Producer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist - Ella Barrett, Composer - Faye Cunningham, Composer

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

8
Dying From Home, And Lost
00:02:48

Charles Louvin, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, Composer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

9
The Drunkard's Doom
00:03:16

Charles Louvin, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, Composer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

10
Satan's Jeweled Crown
00:02:58

Ken Nelson, Producer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist - Edgar Edens, Composer

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

11
The Angels Rejoiced Last Night
00:02:21

Charles Louvin, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, Composer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

12
I'm Ready To Go Home
00:03:09

Ken Nelson, Producer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist - Hazel Houser, Composer

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

Album Description

Satan Is Real is the Louvin Brothers' best known album, largely because of its bold title and its eccentric cover artwork, in which Charlie and Ira Louvin, surrounded by flames symbolizing Hades, pose in front of a huge, cross-eyed model of the Devil. While more than a few hipsters have found an ironic laugh in the album's over-the-top imagery, one listen to the music confirms that the Louvin Brothers weren't joking in any way, shape or form. Satan Is Real is an album of fierce, plain spoken sincerity in which the Louvins, who started their career singing gospel material, perform songs that deal with the high stakes of sin and redemption, in which Satan truly does have power to rival the Lord. The opening title track sets the tone for the set, in which a man at a church service tells the congregation how he learned that Satan's treachery is every bit as real as God's love, and while not every song is as grim -- "The River of Jordan" and "There's a Higher Power" are positively jaunty -- the temptations of life in a fallen world and the consequences of sin are touched upon in nearly every track. The Louvin Brothers wrote many of the most memorable songs on Satan Is Real, and they rarely sounded as heartfelt as on "The Christian Life," "Are You Afraid to Die" and "The Angels Rejoiced Last Night"; as usual, their harmonies are luminously beautiful, and while Ira's superb mandolin work is missed, the simple arrangements (often incorporating a subdued gospel organ) are perfectly suited to the material. You don't need to share the Louvin Brothers' spiritual beliefs to be moved by the grace, beauty and lack of pretension of this music; Satan Is Real is music crafted by true believers sharing their faith, and its power goes beyond Christian doctrine into something at once deeply personal and truly universal, and the result is the Louvin Brothers' masterpiece.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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