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
RRP: £9.99

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.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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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, it’s 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 Lisa Almeida in Maryland @ 22:57 on Dec 29 2019

Is this cantata out of print?? I’ve been desperately searching for it, but to no avail. Are we allowed to photocopy it? Thanks!!

Reply by jim in north carolina @ 03:38 on Apr 11 2020

The original "Alleluia--A Praise Gathering For Believers" is out of print but it was rearranged and re-released in 1993 on it's 20th anniversary as "Alleluia--The Praise Continues." That version is still in print, and is available here:

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Posted by Pam Mullinax in Alabama @ 04:50 on Jul 19 2019

Our choir performed this cantata, Alleluia, many times in different churches in Alabama. I have witnessed lives being changed and difficult decisions being made by people who were at these services. The testimonials of the different choir members (we didn't know who it would be until just before the performance) is what made the experience so powerful; just as it is today when I listen to it. You gotta have faith. You gotta have hope. You gotta have love. Then you can receive the true message of this work.

Posted by judi barry in rochester nh @ 17:33 on Jul 13 2019

if i buy the original album, how do i make it into a cassette?

Posted by Bert Williams in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma @ 13:18 on Jan 7 2019

How old are you, Tony? Were you even alive when this music was released? In order to understand this album you'll need to understand the event.

Posted by Lynn Ayers in GA @ 04:09 on Dec 5 2018

This is my mother's all-time favorite album, but it is wearing out. Where van I get a CD to replace the vinyl album? Thanks so much!

Posted by George Williams in Tennessee @ 12:25 on May 23 2017

Amazing when a reviewer writes in a void! You still know so little!! This musical changed the landscape of modern worship music unlike any other piece. It produced style and experiential meaning to virtually the entire church world. I was blessed to be at its premier in Dallas in 1972, then because my job covered a 9-state area, I watched the impact of this project jump virtually every barrier. The recorded project was produced as a low-budget choral listening product to promote the sales of the SATB choral book. For a choral recording, made as a demonstration recording to help choirs learn the music, to achieve platinum status is nothing short of a miracle!! The genius was a collaboration of: the Gaithers, Ron Huff and Bob McKenzie as producers/arrangers and Bob Benson, as the "pastor" and spiritual writer to the group. All four contributed to this miracle. This musical was a force that greatly contributed to the explosive spiritual awakening of the 70s.

Posted by Paula Smith in Dexter, Mo @ 20:33 on May 1 2017

We would love to purchase the Alleluia CD. Can you tell me where I can go to order it? Thanks!

Reply by Irapuan Noce in Rio @ 02:51 on Nov 20 2017

Apple Music 715608472

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Posted by David Brown in Virginia @ 14:04 on Sep 14 2016

I received a box of vinyl records from friends that had found the box in their attic when they bought an older house. There are numerous spiritual records in this collection. Alleluia: A Praise Gathering for Believers on Impact Records was amongst the collection. I am about to spin it for the first time. I first researched the album to find this conversation. 43 years after it's release it is about to get it's first spin on my turntable and, most likely, it's first spin on any turntable in unknown years. The record is in mint shape, cant wait! I will post my viewpoint after several listens to soak it all in.

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

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

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