When you think of sunsets and summer evenings, an image like this clichéd yet mesmerizing stock-photo album cover usually tends to spring to mind. I know how often imagery like this is thrown about, especially when it comes to music. However, when it comes to extra-special music like that of the Supreme Jubilees, this sort of imagery seems more than felicitous. Now when I say this album is a gem, I really mean it. The Supreme Jubilees are a six man gospel/soul outfit from Fresno, California. The group consists of an array of brothers and cousins from a gospel choir. I never knew why but inter-family groups used to carry a sense of harmony like no other. And trust me, its doesn’t get more harmonious than this. The group lace the smoothest of grooves with their angelic voices by gifting us with the perfect mix between Soul and Sunday service. The group’s only album was named after the title track ‘It’ll all be over’ and was released in 1981 on S+K Records, named after the two families in the group, Sanders and Kingsby. The album was so much of a hidden gem that a copy of the original was found three decades after its release buried away in a San Antonio record store. The owner of the record clearly heard the talent in the voices of the singers and instantly tracked them down and introduced them to the people at Light In The Attic Records. Together they came together and reissued a crisper, fresher version of the album in 2015.
This week’s favourite track is the title song off the album and probably the smoothest sounding of the lot. Strangely enough ‘It’ll all be over’ is mostly about life after death and easing stress. As nice as it is to listen to, like a lot of protest soul , ‘It’ll all be over’ highlights darker issues. The song has been described as being “both apocalyptic and seductive at the same time” and if you take a plunge not into just the song, but the album as a whole, then you’ll see what they’re all about. Although their focus is on oppression and life’s hardships, the real significance lies in the fact that there is always a way to relax. The Supreme Jubilees offer that sweet, uplifting and elevating goodness which just doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Their sound is strangely nostalgic but yet, rich in hindsight at the same time. Their limbo-like sound gives off a heavenly feel and I’m not the first to think this. When the original record was found years on after the release, a series of notes were found with the vinyl that had been left one stated how “If god had a disco, the DJ would be playing the Supreme Jubilees”. And on a weirder tip, one of the notes said how Leonard Sanders, the lead singer and avid church-goer, had a ‘spiritual experience’ the night before recording and did the whole song in one take. I don’t know what the hell that’s supposed mean but I wouldn’t mind having one if it means i’ll whip up a banger in one take the next day.
Wherever the Supreme Jubilees are, whoever the Supreme Jubilees are, they certainly know how to make that sweet, sweet gospel-soul.
Listen & enjoy here –