The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“Our choir consists of people from all walks of life. We are dedicated to one common cause – making the humanistic teachings of Jesus Christ part of our daily lives. Our inspiration is a lifestyle demonstrated by our pastor, James W. Jones.
Join us as we sing, in the joyous Gospel style, to the Glory of God Made Real. He has touched us in numerous ways, and we can truly say, “He’s able!””
To start off this review, let me give you (the people who have no idea who the People’s Temple was) a brief history lesson. So, there is this guy, Jim Jones (not the rapper.) and he decides he is going to make a church for everyone, (keep in mind, it’s 1955 when he does this.) So, he does up a church that allows anyone to join. 1973 rolls around, Jim Jones sets up camp in Guyana, naming the village thing, “Jonestown” – anyways, skip ahead to 1978, some heavy stuff goes down, U.S. Officials are alerted, they send Congressman Leo Ryan over with some of his people, at five PM, he and his people are greeted by Jones’ people with machine guns. Five people dead, later that day, the cult commits mass suicide. 909 people dead. This record is by those people.
The album opens with the song “Welcome” which is sung by the children of Jonestown. It’s not that bad actually. Just eerie. Then comes “Walking With You Father” and let me say this, this music is amazing. The vocalists and musicianship is beyond amazing, it’s Gospel with electric guitar solos. Then comes “Set Them Free” which isn’t a full choir song like the previous track, it’s sung by a woman. Then it’s a song sung by a male, “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” and it too, is another very good track. Next up, “Hold On, Brother” which is sung by another woman, and I don’t believe it’s the one from the first song, and the whole choir chimes in and once more, it’s an amazing song on this album. The A-Side ends with “Down From His Glory” sung by a baritone voiced man, it’s rather slow, not my favorite track on this side and a rather weak point on the A-Side.
Onwards with the B-Side! So, the B-Side opens with the title track, “He’s Able“, it’s sung by a woman, (I wish I knew the names of the singers, but Jim Jones was really self-centered and made the album solely about him.) she’s a great singer, a lot of these singers could’ve gone on to do wonderful albums if they had left the cult. “Something Got A Hold of Me” comes up next, and it’s absolutely amazing! I cannot get over how great this album is. It’s terrific. Then comes “Because of Him” – which is another great track, by another talented artist whose life ended too early. Then comes “Simple Song of Freedom” – and did I mention that the song has a lot of funk guitar riffs? Oh, also, the guy singing “Simple Song of Freedom“, yea, he’s talented too. Rev. Jones knew how to pick ’em. Then comes to ever-so-eerie, “Black Baby” which features very minimal background music, and just a very soft spoken female singer. The album closes with the track “Will You?” sung by the whole choir, and it’s a good way to end the album, definitely a good album. Tragic end.
The label has children on it.
The record also came with a lyric sheet.
A1 – Welcome
A2 – Walking with You Father
A3 – Set Them Free
A4 – Walk A Mile in My Shoes
A5 – Hold On, Brother
A6 – Down from His Glory
B1 – He’s Able
B2 – Something Got A Hold of Me
B3 – Because of Him
B4 – Simple Song of Freedom
B5 – Black Baby
B6 – Will You?
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
All songs written, arranged and produced by The People’s Temple Choir
Other Albums I Own by The People’s Temple Choir: