Cross Rhyhtms February 20, 2014
2-CD Deluxe Edition
By Mike Rimmer
First a full disclosure: I rate Daniel Amos as one of the best Christian music bands ever and over the years they have recorded some of the most innovative and interesting albums of Christian music. They've had a few misses too and long periods of silence but in band leader Terry Taylor they have a hugely talented visionary songwriter who hasn't been scared to let the band change and develop over the years, unlike the majority of today's bands emerging from Nashville who sound one dimensional by comparison.
This 1976 debut album is where it all started. Born out of a time when the emerging Jesus music was emanating from the west coast of America, we shouldn't be surprised that this features the country style popularised by bands like The Eagles and Poco. The album may have its roots in west coast country but in a move that would typify Taylor's entire recording career, there are also other influences coming into play so there are early nods to The Beatles and there is even a comedy show tune. The album starts pure country with the acoustic "Jesus Is Jehovah To Me" which refutes the claims of Jehovah's Witnesses which were becoming popular at the time, and "The Bible" which has some great electric guitar work and harmonies. The country swing of "Abidin'" was repeated on 'Shotgun Angel' on the song "Black Gold Fever" and Taylor's confident vocal style was already developing. "Don't Light Your Own Fire" sees the band move away from pure country into something incorporating pop and again points towards their second album. Tracks like "Walking On Water", "Ridin' Along" and "Dusty Road" take an easy west coast country style and like a lot of the songs on this album have very solidly Christian lyrics.
Like much '70s Jesus music these songs wear their faith firmly on their sleeves. There's even a bit of '20s swing in the humorous "Skeptics Song" and humour/satire was to become a huge part of their future repertoire. One of the most popular songs on 'Daniel Amos' was "Happily Married Man" which prior to its appearance on this album had appeared on an album showcasing the talent coming out of Maranatha Music in the mid '70s.
The second disc which makes this a collector's edition is an extended lifting of the lid of early Terry Taylor forays into the beginnings of recording and songwriting so there's an interview with Taylor reflecting on this era of his life. It's obvious that he has plenty of affection for his roots and you get some live recordings and demo songs from bands prior to Daniel Amos including when the group were called Jubal's Last Band and the wonderfully named Judge Rainbow & The Prophetic Trumpets. Stunt Records are to be thanked for putting this handsome package out to Joe Public.
Fan Reviews for Deluxe Edition CD Reissue
from the DA message board, DADL and other sources
Wow, I don't know how else to say it ....again wow. I just received the
30th Anniversary edition, JLB and I was blown away. The sound quality is
great the songs were great. It was a long wait but I am glad that a high
quality product was the outcome. I know that DA always produces great
stuff but being that technology has changed over the years I thought that
some of the older songs and interviews would be a bit on the fuzzy side
but it sounded great. Thanks Terry, Jerry, Marty, Steve for the 30th as
well as Greg, Ed and Tim for all the great years of DA. God bless you
and again, thanks for the your bringing a joyful noise to my ears and
sharing Christ in a UNIQUE way. - Denis, Whitesboro, NY
I got mine yesterday. I listened to all 3 discs this morn. Very pleased. great
resource & nice Sat morn music (when one's not watching CatScratch, of
course) - Peawinkle, DAmb
The sound was much cleaner than I thought it would be. You know, the last
time I heard this album was my parents cassette when I was a kid. Brought
back memories. Yes! Meal was completely different. Very interesting
evolution of that song. - Dorfsmith, DAmb
I got mine yesterday! What a surprise it was... I must say, however, that
it looks and sounds wayyyyy better than I expected or imagined it could.
The bonus preorder disc is really good, too. WELL WORTH THE WAIT! - Bjorn
Just got the package today and ran once through the three CD set. To say the
least, impressive, very, very well done. So many lost (if not completely
polished) gems. Also interesting to see how some of the songs we
do know developed from the early years. And thanks for the bonus CD. The
packaging and artwork are also first-rate. This one was worth the wait.
Thanks to everyone involved for this gift. - John
I got mine today and it looks and sounds great. Thanks to all involved! - Rob
Lur King wrote:
WOW this is a great set. looks great sounds great Thank You - Lur King, DAmb
I love it! Wow! That's the best reissue for these guys yet! - Tony
It is interesting to hear many early recordings of terry in his various
groups prior to and after the formation of Daniel Amos, as heard in 2nd
and the 3rd (bonus) cds, l am pleasantly surprised to hear so many demos
and unreleased material that is of such a high standard... Super songs of
lovely melodies and great song writing as is the renowned of Terry's gift,
simple expressions of faith in Christ. - Rob