Bill & Gloria Gaither - Alleluia! A Praise Gathering For Believers

Published Thursday 12th March 2009
Bill & Gloria Gaither - Alleluia! A Praise Gathering For Believers
Bill & Gloria Gaither - Alleluia! A Praise Gathering For Believers

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 50615-15035
LABEL: Whole World Media Group 5060162263267
RELEASE DATE: 2008-10-31

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

I was looking through a list of Christian music all-time best sellers recently (well, we've all got to have a hobby!) and was puzzled by the listing for 'Alleluia! A Praise Gathering For Believers by Various Artists which, according to this list published by GMA went platinum (1,000,000 units sold) for Heartwarming Records in 1973. How come such a huge hit had completely missed my radar I mused and made a note to do some digging to investigate further. Then, low and behold, the said item gets reissued on CD - with one major change - unlike that vinyl original Bill And Gloria Gaither are now given front cover billing. Ho hum, I thought, such is the pulling power of the Gaithers' names since their marathon Homecoming Friends series made them rich and famous, such slight of hand on the sleeve designer's part can be forgiven particularly as the husband and wife team wrote all the songs here. So what of the music? Well, I have to advise that the 35 odd years since its original release have not been kind to 'Alleluia!'. This album, described at the time as "a praise and worship musical" and on the sleeve "the first inspirational album ever to achieve gold status by the RIAA - over 500,000 copies sold" (strange, that GMA list had it as a million) suffers from a production by Bob Mackenzie and Ron Huff which is so overblown it boarders on parody. Imagine a big string-filled orchestra, a very straight-laced choir (The Trevecca Nazarene College Concert Choir), various soloists like Dallas Holm, Doug Oldham, The Bill Gaither Trio and Suzanne Johnson and a whole heap of voices acting out parts (The Tax Collector, The Woman At The Well), giving testimony or offering blessed thoughts. The constant interjections of speech give the album a very fragmented atmosphere destroying any real sense of worship. In fact, during one track I literally jumped when a particularly strident exhortation followed a saccharine choir passage. The whole thing is stupifyingly overblown, exceedingly dated and surely too far from true Southern gospel to appeal to too many Homecoming Friends fans. Historically important 'Alleluia!' may be. But large parts of this high kitsch item are unlistenable today.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Let's Just Praise The Lord [Listen]
2. There's Something About That Name [Listen]
3. King Of Kings - Lord Of Lords [Listen]
4. Bethlehem ...Galilee...Gethsemane [Listen]
5. God Gave The Song [Listen]
6. Let's Just Praise The Lord [Listen]
7. The Longer I Serve Him [Listen]
8. The Rugged Cross Made The Difference & I Believe In A Hill Called Mt.Cavalry [Listen]
9. Because He Lives [Listen]
10. Something Beatiful [Listen]
11. Lets Just Praise The Lord [Listen]
12. Get All Exited [Listen]
13. Because He Lives [Listen]
14. Alleluia [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version. You should not assume that products purchased through Cross Rhythms Direct will necessarily have identical track listings to those shown.

Product Description
Originally released in 1973, this was the first inspirational album ever to achieve gold status and the first of its kind - a praise and worship musical. But more than a musical, itís an event, a meeting together of both audience and artist in worship. A time when scriptures are read, testimonies from the Word shared and everyone (audience and those on stage) celebrate and worship together in song.

Reader Comments

Posted by Debbye McClurg in Claremore, OK USA @ 12:30 on Jan 22 2015

I had an 8 track of this WONDERFUL collection of songs by Bill and Gloria Gaither and later had it on cassette. If available, I would LOVE to have it again, on CD as it remains one of my all time favorites. It introduced me to some of my favorite praise and worship songs that are still being sung today. It is certainly NOT OUT DATED.

Posted by Rev Clive J. Pillay in Cape Town South AFrica @ 15:03 on May 7 2014

TOny Cummings your opening remark "was puzzled by the listing for 'Alleluia! A Praise Gathering For Believers" says it all. Granted things can sometimes get messed up with "remakes" but the orginal (of whihc I have the vynil) is pressless, irreplaceable, memorable, uunforgettable and the fore-runner of everything Gospel that followed. Did to Gospel music what Elvis did to Rock and roll music

Posted by abel araiza in san antonio tx @ 19:24 on May 16 2013

I have two LPs bought in the early 70s. Need five CDs to pass to my children, great-grandchildren. My beloved wife and I listened to this music over the years, but she is now in Heaven with Jesus. Amen

Posted by Ed Thompson in Houston @ 16:10 on Apr 3 2013

Now I have 42 SATB songbooks, the piano book, the organ book, the recent CD, an original LP, a CD made from the original CD, one copy of the SAB songbook, and a complete official lyric/worksheet. My choir director has asked to take a look at the collection. So maybe we will get to bring it back to life.....I want an orchestra book and an accompaniment tape but haven't located them yet...

Posted by Ed Thompson in Houston @ 23:49 on Nov 12 2012

This was done by our choir very early after it came out, and I still love it so much. I have 36 singer songbooks and some other pieces, I might sell

Posted by Nancy Alexander in Kentucky @ 01:21 on Oct 21 2012

I also would like to give this. I need to know where I can get the cd and maybe a accompaniment(sp) cd. I heard this in the 70's and it still moves me.

Posted by Tammy Pool in Texas @ 22:58 on Jun 24 2012

I first heard this (on cassette) at the tender age of 13 and I was moved then, especially the woman at the well's testimony, at which I lost it all together. This is timeless, because true worship (recorded or live) including His Word, honors God.

Posted by Curtis Hansen in New Berlin Wisconsin @ 05:50 on Jan 17 2012

I have the 8 trac version from Impact records and would love to have it on CD. Is it available any where on CD. This is a truly insperational musical experience. I did listen to it over and over again when I had a 8 track player. I would also like to find the sheet music or music score to be able to perform our own worship service

Posted by Nancy Nelson in West Virginia @ 19:05 on Dec 22 2011

This is one of the greatest cantatas of all times. We did it in our church when it was on reel- to- reel. One of the greatest services ever in our church. I am looking for the soundtrack to it. I would love to do it again.

Posted by Michael Hill in Chowchilla, CA @ 06:54 on Jan 2 2011

Come on Tony..."out dated"? This is a 1973 original release. If you're in church, what are you listening to in 1973?...typical, redone, slow, organ blasting hymns that your father's father sang possibly. There was no "contemporary" Christian music or Praise and Worship and even Southern Gospel wasn't sung in mainstream churches on Sunday morning. This album opened a door to a different type of music that would be sung in churches. Look at the number of songs that were included in the 1980's additions of church hymnals. And the idea of an interactive cantata I don't think wasn't heard of before this little number.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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