Rolling Stone - 8/5/93, p.683.5 Stars
- Very Good - "...THE GRAND TOUR is a journey through the American songbook artfully led by an American original..."
Personnel: Aaron Neville (vocals); Dean Parks, Fred Tackett, Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitars); Jaydee Mannes (pedal steel guitar); Ernie Watts, Plas Johnson (saxophone); Freebo (tuba); Greg Smith, Lon Price, Nick Lane, Lee R. Thornburg (horns); Jim Cox (piano, organ) Art Neville (organ, background vocals); Alan Estes (vibraphone); Freddie Washington, Chuck Berghofer (bass); Ed Greene, John Guerin (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); M.B. Gordy (bells); Steve Lindsey (drum programming); Charles Neville, Cyril Neville.
Background vocals: Linda Ronstadt, Alex Brown, Jean McClain, Jackie Gouche, Khris Kellow, Billy Valentine, Tony "T.A." Warren, Dee Harvey, Will Wheaton, Carmen Carter, Peggi Blu, Edna Wright, Alfie Silas.
Aaron Neville's performance of "Don't Take Away My Heaven" was nominated for a 1994 Grammy Award as "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male."
Personnel: Aaron Neville (vocals); Cyril Neville (vocals, background vocals); Linda Ronstadt (vocals); Dean Parks (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Fred Tackett (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar); Charles Neville (saxophone, background vocals); Ernie Watts, Plas Johnson (saxophone); Freebo (tuba); Greg & Bev Smith, Lee Thronburg, Nick Lane, Lon Price (horns); Jim Cox (piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); Art Neville (organ, background vocals); Ed Greene, John Guerin (drums); Ajay Mallery (snare drum); Lenny Castro (percussion); M.B. Gordy (bells); Steve Lindsey (drum programming); Dorian Holley, Edna Wright, D. Harvey, Jackie Gouche, Khris Kellow, Alex Brown, Alfie Silas, Peggi Blu, Tony Warren, Wil Wheaton, Billy Valentine, Jean McClain, Carmen Carter (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Bill Schnee.
Recording information: House of Soul; New Orleans Recording Studios; OceanWay; Saturn Sound.
Director: Billy Graham .
Photographer: Diego Uchitel.
Aaron Neville's 1993 release THE GRAND TOUR continues a string of fine, highly polished recordings that make the most of Neville's silky tenor and New Orleans-bred soul in an adult-contemporary setting. While the slick patina of production (courtesy of Steve Lindsey) is a notable departure from Neville's rootsier early work (both solo and with the Neville Brothers), the singer's pure, lilting voice is still at the forefront here, and his falsetto flights, delicate timbre, and R&B embellishments are as affecting as ever.
What makes THE GRAND TOUR particularly interesting is the choice of material. The album sports songs by writers as diverse as Bob Dylan ("Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight"), Leonard Cohen ("Song of Bernadette"), and George Jones (the beautiful title track, a country weeper that suits Neville's vocals perfectly). Neville also rocks out old-school style on Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell," proving the backbeat still thumps in his musical heart. Neville closes the record with a stirring rendition of "The Lord's Prayer," giving a reading so heartfelt and nuanced it could be selected for broadcast in heaven.