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363. Through His Eyes – Steve Archer

THROUGH HIS EYES (1983)

Steve Archer

There are a handful of families who could possibly lay claim to being the “First Family of CCM” including the Wards, Rambos, Winans, Cruze’s and the Archers. There was a time from the late 1970’s until the mid-80’s that the Archers were the biggest thing in CCM. Not too many CCM artists can claim to be invited to the Grammy Awards during that time, let along being asked to perform on the program…twice!

The siblings of Steve, older brother Gary and little sister Janice recorded several albums, hit the top of the charts regularly, toured extensively and were the face of CCM for many years. One of their albums will also appear later on this last.

In the early 80’s Steve was wanting to broach a solo career while maintaining a schedule with the family’s music plans. His first release “Solo” was warmly received and caused enough reaction to call for a follow-up. That follow-up was “Through His Eyes,” an album that, for the time, would be considered a “mega-hit” record with strong sales, topping the CCM sales chart and unbelievable radio support. It also featured what many people consider the first legitimate music video in CCM.

Most albums start with an upbeat tune to grab the listener’s attention. Archer went against the norm and started with the title track, one of the few songs in CCM to deserve the “classic” title. The ballad was huge…I mean HUGE! Despite its sugary string arrangement (I want to blame Chris Christian) the song actually has an emotional center where concern for the lost and hurting around us is authentic. The song is call for those disenfranchised to see themselves as Christ sees them. This was not the normal “Jesus makes me happy” lyric that dominated (still?) Christian radio.

Archer’s “blue-eyed soul (is that term overused enough?) is reminiscent to Hall and Oates (I’ll Do My Best) or a softer Bryan Duncan (Believe It). The album is filled primarily upbeat pop numbers and strong, radio friendly ballads. Archer bridge a generational gap and was a safe artists within Church circles, which allowed him to benefit from programs like “Hour of Power” and other national programs. This only increased his fan base. This fan base carried him for several more years both as a solo artist and with his family.

I understand that music critic elitist simply do not understand the world of pop music and shutter when certain genres receive recognition. But within every genre are artists who are clearly superior in their craft. In the world of family and Church safe CCM no artists in his generation matched what Archer was able to accomplish.

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  1. Jacob
    November 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    A couple of comments on this great review.

    One, Steve did start with an up-tempo opener (I’ll Do My Best). My family happens to have the original LP and it starts with that song and then “Through His Eyes of Love” (which I agree is a classic). Also, Steve’s older brother’s name (at least the one in this group) is Tim Archer, not Gary.

  2. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Indeed “Through His Eyes Of Love” was the second track on the album and as sugary sweet and compelling as you mentioned. I throw this album and his next occasionally into my playmix. My sister was really big on “Everything I Am” from “Safe” and was constantly asking me to sing this in church.

  3. July 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    The only real reason I kept this one in my collection for as long as I did was for the Mark Heard song that was on it. One of the few times that a Mark Heard tune got covered by someone else during his actual life time. Not exactly a great rendition of it, but still worth listening to.

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