372. Choices – Farrell and Farrell

CHOICES (1984)

Farrell and Farrell

Bob and Jane Farrell, the married couple that make up Farrell & Farrell were responsible for some of the most memorable and successful pop music in CCM history. For two decades they toured the world and consistently released top selling albums, moving in many different musical direction while never leaving the safety net of worshipful tunes set to very accessible pop arrangements.

Choices was the first of several very technologically driven pop albums where synthesizer and techno dance beat reigned supreme. Earlier works were more traditional 70’s and 80’s acoustic pop music with an occasional rock edge. After a live album the duo returned in 1984 with a new look and decidedly new sound. Influenced by the technology of the day and desire to reach a wider and younger audience, the couple embraced the new technology with abandon.

The album starts off with what is probably the couple’s most recognizable song and biggest hit, Hosanna Gloria. An upbeat worship tune with electronic drums and keyboard string arrangement, the song became a long time favorite on Christian radio. “He Reigns” duplicates the success of the former.

The song the best seems to use the technology is the hit, Get Right or Get Left. The popular jingoist bumber sticker chorus about the popular rapture view uses an electronic recorded vocals as well as instrumentation.

The duo has re-released this album along with all of their earlier works on CD, which none of the early releases had seen before. Bob has proven to be a great songwriter over the years and for ten years or so they were amongst the best selling and most popular groups in CCM.

 

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  1. Brian
    October 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    This album and group along with Cgris Rice are my personal points where CCM began to run afoul of true creativity
    We lost something after the mainstream church jumped on the Farrell & Farrell bandwagon

    Their success changed the course of what CCM records would become the norm much to my dismay

    CCM was so rich and diverse until “the formula” for success with a burgeoning music genre narrowed what was to be produced

    1984 in my opinion was the last great fully creative year for CCM. Though many great CCM albums were still to come in the next 8-10 years they were fewer and farther between

    I still regret the Farrell & Farrell days…
    Because they cost us so much in the long run

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 1, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Brian, I’d be interested to hear why you list Chris Rice. I understand and agree with the theory you posit in relation to Farrel and Farrel.

  3. exdroid
    December 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I loved the 3 albums they did including this one and ‘Jump to Conclusions’, and ‘Manifesto’

  4. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I don’t think this album ever made a CD release, nor “Jump To Conclusions” although many made it to compilations including the two disc compilation (with the hauntingly beautiful “Ransome”) that Bob released on his web page. This album is best listened to with headsets. Listening it with headsets is what really turned me onto th record and it played a big part in my teen years.

    On a side note Dana Key played the guitar parts on this album. They also toured with DeGarmo & Key on the release of this album. Carl marsh also composed alot of their synth works on later releases.

    Bob also was the primary song writer for Sandy Patti’s “Le Voyage” album (for you Patti fans) as well as co-wrote the songs for the musical “Hero” with Eddie DeGarmo.

    I remember programming “Get Right or Get Left” into my midi keyboard (for kids during sunday school) the song definitely had some funky piano parts. I also did “Hosanna Gloria” as well and was quite pleased with myself in modifying the “Chorus Hit” sound in my SY22 to match the one used in the song.

    Farrell & Farrell would probably make the 2nd most used group during my church singing days although most of the ones I did cover were simply played on the piano by the church pianist.

    Exdroid – They actually did an album after “Manifesto” called “SuperPower” and they had (as the write up mentions) a handful of albums before that. Their “Let The Whole World Know” live album would give you a good idea of their better earlier hits.

  5. Jon
    March 10, 2011 at 4:38 am

    I loved this record at the time, and still do, in doses, but I do agree with this being the beginning of what would become formula pop in CCM….

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