369. What You Need – The English Band (Joe English)
WHAT YOU NEED (1985)
The English Band (Joe English)
The best of all of Joe English’s contribution to the world of CCM was also his last. There was band name from The Joe English Band to just The English band and a decidedly much more contemporary sound than the previous albums that seemed dated, even by the standard of the day, despite having some wonderful songs and killer production attached to them.
Joe English entered the Christian Music world with a bang with name recognition high as the drummer for the band Wings of Paul McCartney fame. After producing a few pop albums in a distinctly 70’s feel there was clear need for a change. That change came in the form of a new label, new musical direction as well as the previously mentioned band name change.
More “modern” sounds with heavier guitars, bigger and glossier production, electronic drums (a thankfully short lived music experiment in the world of music) and more contemporary musical arrangements made the album a pretty big hit with several Top 10 radio hits.
His back up band were an amazing group of musicians that also recorded a solo record of their own under the name Forerunner with former Petra member John Lawry handling the vocals.
What You Need, The Master, Yield to the Spirit and Children of the Light are all stand outs. It may be difficult for some to listen to the album now is it was clearly impacted by the sound of the day and does not translate as well as other album. But for the time the album was a standard. The musical direction also impacted groups like the Imperials.
English would return to do a solo album a few years later that did not make a dent. He then simply disappeared and was unable to continue drumming due to some physical ailments regarding his ankles. He has also recently been seen filming a video for a questionable and controversial Church in the south where he denounces his years in CCM as a fraud, claiming to have never been a Christian during those days.