Rev J M Gates - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 5: 1927

Published Tuesday 20th February 2007
Rev J M Gates - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 5: 1927
Rev J M Gates - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 5: 1927

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 10285-9725
LABEL: Document DOCD-5449
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

During 1926 when he was a one-man gospel preaching sales phenomenon, the Atlanta preacher was hugely over-recorded often cutting the same sermon, or at least the same theme, over and over again. Thankfully, by 1927 he'd slowed down a bit and stopped making the gruelling trips to New York or Chicago studios and, in the main, waited for the recording men to come to him. The more relaxed atmosphere produced many of his best sides as demonstrated on the 23 compiled here. "The End Of The World And Time Will Be No More" is apocalyptic preaching at its best with Gates straining to good effect; "Hell Is God's Jail House" has the Rev Gates sharing his sermonising with Deacon Leon Davis and is in-your-face evangelising; "You May Be Alive Or You May Be Dead, Christmas Day" which features a rendition of the song the Rolling Stones "borrowed", "It May Be The Last Time, I Don't Know"; and "Are You Bound For Heaven And Hell" which showcases, in the words of the sleevenotes, "perhaps Gates' most fervent and ferocious preaching on record." Like all the Document compilations, not every track is A plus and sometimes we are subjected to substandard stuff of interest only to completists and ethnomusicologists (like "Hell Wasn't Made For Man" where an off key unidentified singer ruins the track). But there's still much here which is exciting, raw and packing a considerable spiritual wallop.

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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