364. Good News – Good News

GOOD NEWS (1975)

Good News

Good News was a band, an album and a song. They were also one of the most talented bands of the Jesus Music era with a line-up that included David Diggs, Bill Batstone, Erick Nelson and a 16 year Bob Carlisle. Though released through Maranatha Music the album was actually recorded independently and there seems to be a sense of freedom in the recording that shows.They would do a follow up “studio band” album in that they never intended to tour to support the second album and recorded just for the purpose of releasing new material. the second album featured Keith Green on piano.

The title track was written by Beau MacDougall is a great 70’s pop number with more guitars than the church was accustomed to at the time. But being a band led by Erick Nelson, piano was to be a prominent instrument and the whole album is very piano based and reminds many of Keith Green musically.

Lead vocals are shared between Nelson and Yvonne Lewis. Her pretty alto voice is reminiscent of Karen Carpenter and Michelle Pillar which is significant given Nelson’s later project with Pillar that is a true classic in the industry called The Misfit. Most of the songs are common Jesus Music themes of unity, social responsibility of the Church, evangelism and the rapture. The latter seemed to be an official prerequisite for any official Jesus Music release.

“Tear Down the Walls” is a great, blues influenced straight ahead rock song common for the time and fit in with what was happening in pop music for the time. “Never Knew” follows the same footsteps as the title track while the album closer, “Why,” is the perfect “altar call” finisher in the vein of Keith Green. The album follows a back and forth rotation of upbeat songs followed by a ballad. Most of the rockier songs’ vocals are handled by Nelson while the ballads are divided up between Lewis and Nelson.

Nelson would go on to be an important figure in the birthing of CCM with the aforementioned “The Misfit” album. Batstone would remain a prominent figure in CCM until today as a leading voice in the world of worship music. Diggs has been a major producer, songwriter and jazz musician with a longlist of credits. Carlisle went on the record the biggest song in CCM history with Butterfly Kisses as well as being the lead singer Christian “supergroup” Allies.

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  1. paul
    October 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    This is truly a great and often overlooked album. One of my favorites from the 70’s.

    • Yvonne Carrillo
      January 9, 2011 at 3:58 am

      Thank you, Paul! I was blessed to be a member of this group and appreciate your comment very much!
      Yvonne Lewis

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