Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rap, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 358. Mission of Mercy – DeGarmo and Key

358. Mission of Mercy – DeGarmo and Key


DeGarmo and Key

Childhood friends Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key joined forces in their late teens to create music and for three decades were responsible for some of the popular CCM ever recorded. Millions of albums and millions of miles traveled. Even after they had gone their separate way musically their single minded ministry and deep, personal friendship never wavered. I had always hoped for one reunion tour. I, and everyone else, will have to wait for quite some time as earlier this year Dana Key went home to be wioth the Lord.

D&K were the first band I ever used my own money to buy. It was their debut album, This Time Thru. I wore out three vinyl copies of their second album, Straight On, Their live album is one of the best live records ever recorded in CCM. And during the Summer after I graduated from High School I was eagerly anticipating their latest release. It was not what I expected. the progressive and blues infused, guitar centered rock and roll had been replaced by a heavy dose of synthesizers and strings.

At first I was appalled and saddened that I had lost “my band” and that my childhood CCM heroes hadAs time went on, though, I not only earned to appreciate the album foir what it was, I actually began to love it. For what it is, it is very, very good. Top notch production, great and memorable arrangements and some very finely crafted pop tunes. And though they will never get the credit for it, they really were early pioneers in the world of modern worship music. “Let the Whole World Sing,” the monster number hit from the album is a modern worship chorus that should have been a church standard.

Mission of Mercy would be the first in what I have dubbed, “The Techno Years.” Sandwiched between nearly two decades of straight ahead rock were three albums of keyboard driven pop. MoM, Communication and Commander Sozo built a substantially larger fan base for the group and expanded their ministry opportunity. Many years later I came to understand the duo was keeping with the times and would not be defined by any previous release. I learned to live with it.

Of those three album the first, Mission of mercy, would be the best even though it featured the least amount of guitar. When it came right down to it, it contained the best songwriting with more than a handful of huge hits. “That the Way God Planned It” would remain a popular live song for the band while Ready or Not and When It’s Over would all top the charts.

Oddly enough , for a band noted for their rock style they had always been an amazing ballad band, mainly because of Dana Key’s stunning and compassionate vocals. Of all of the songs on the album the most like their earlier music is the ballad “All the Losers.” This great song ranks up with Addey, Mary and Only the Meek Survive. It’s also the strongest song lyrically.

A great record that was a record for its time and must be regarded as such. Also, when taken within that framework it is a wonderful record with wonderful songs by a wonderful and unforgettable band.

God Bless Dana Key. RIP…Rest In Paradise

  1. Brian
    October 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    This ways point of entry to D & K
    So it has sentimental value for me
    I later went back and rediscovered their earlier stuff

    Dana’s tortured vocals on All the Losers Win were impossible to ignore but the song Soecial Kind of Love hit me in such a way at a certain time in my life that I will never forget it or let it go

    Still listening to it after all of these years

  2. Brett C
    December 1, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Love this album, but their earlier stuff is my fav. DeGarmo & Key

  3. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I’m suprised you included this one on the list. I actually was introduced to DeGarmo & Key during their “Techno Years”. It was many years later with the CD release of their either works that I was able to hear their early work. Which I would have to say that overall I liked better.. but I still liked their later stuff regardless. You are right “No Turning Back” is a great live CD and really showcased Dana’s guitar playing abilities (unlike Rock Solid “Live” where Dana seemed more constrained). I also get the impressoin RSL had some recording/production issues.

    One thing I can say about their “Tech Years” is I really liked the composition of the synths and Key’s guitar work on “Street Light” is still good, as well as on D&K their shoestring budget release.

    I’m sure you know they went back to their earlier sound some with their last two releases. I absolutely love “Too Extremes” and my wife occasionally asks to borrow it.

  4. Don
    April 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    First D&K album I had was This Ain’t Hollywood. It was not pressed correctly and warbled the whole way through. (can’t remember if it was a cd or an LP now, come to think of it). Ruined a great album. When I got it on CD – WOW – that is what I had been missing.

    I remember this as being very good and still have it on LP even though I don’t have a turntable anymore!

  5. Don
    April 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Edit – “can’t remember if it was a cassette or LP…”


  6. Greenchili
    June 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Hrmmm… “No Turning Back” and this. Makes you kinda wonder if they knew when making the live album that they were about to make a style change…

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