Home > Uncategorized > 260. Hear the Light – Barnabas

260. Hear the Light – Barnabas



It just struck me for all the criticism I have leveled against the Tunesmith label, they sure have placed more than a handful of albums i=on this list. This may have to do with the fact that for a good deal of time they were the only ones willing to release the kind of music they did release. Barnabas’ debut may be the single greatest example of that.

NO ONE else would have released this album with this cover in 1980!

Recorded for literally no money in three different studios when no one else was using them, Hear the Light features an odd, but completely enjoyable, combination of punk, hard rock, heavy metal, disco (sort of), funk, boogie, blues and progressive rock. Some of the above would appear in the same song! Adding a female vocalist to this mix made them controversial and completely unique.

One thing that has stuck out on every Barnabas release is the emphasis on guitar solos. That may seem odd to the average rock music fan, but CCM has always struggled with putting an emphasis on the musical experience rather emphasizing the lyrical content and Gospel message. But Barnabas was always the best band to do “air guitar” to. There is even a bass solo!

Lyrics were straight forward evangelical messages and warnings of a soon coming holocaust. Some tell simple Bible stories in a very diorect manner like the lead cut, Saviour. There’s a New World Coming is self-explanatory while Directory Assistance deal with prayer in a “for then” modern vernacular.

The cover was quite shocking to many bookstore owners and it was very difficult to find initially. But the word of mouth was strong and the band continued to build a fan base despite more obstacles than most bands should have set against them. Later albums would possess more refined sounds and consistent stylings, but Hear the Light was fun for being exactly what was.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 16, 2010 at 3:59 am

    “Adding a female vocalist to this mix made them controversial and completely unique.”

    Fronted by a woman named Mann.

    • low5point
      November 16, 2010 at 4:01 am

      “Jo” Mann 🙂

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 22, 2010 at 3:49 am

    Her bio is harrowing. Very interesting story.

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