Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 212. This Time Thru – DeGarmo & Key

212. This Time Thru – DeGarmo & Key

THIS TIME THRU (1978)

DeGarmo & Key

The very first album I ever bought with my own money.

As a 13 year old taking care of a neighbor’s lawn I saved money to begin regularly purchasing my own music. The first album I bought at The Pink Lady Christian Bookstore (yeah, I know…a story for a different post) was DeGarmo & Key’s “This Time Thru.” I would buy it several more times until it finally found release on CD over a decade later.

Built upon the blues, D&K originally created progressive rock with a decidedly intelligent approach. Eddie DeGarmo’s Hammond organ and Dana Key’s “Robin Trower” like blues guitar mastery lead a band that was musically light years ahead of most CCM at the time.

But not only did they write good songs and perform them well, D&K also brought production values and artistic ingenuity into an industry built primarily on an “evangelism first” mandate. Here we have instrumental intros, progressive changes, musical diversity and a never ending desire for quality.

“Emmanuel” starts with a gentle, classical acoustic guitar intro before Key’s heavier blues guitar rips through and takes the listener by the throat. the later recorded live version would be a nearly 10-minute instrumental delight. “Addey” follows as a strong acoustic ballad that would be rerecorded later and remains a classic. Easily a Top 50 song of all time. Another ballad that could crack that list would be “Alleyways of strife.” Here it is Key’s vocals that shine brightest.

The more country influenced “Only the Meek Survive” would have fit nicely on the first two Daniel Amos albums. “To Far, Too Long” fits the initial description of progressive rock with many instrumental breaks, time signature changes and creative musical direction changes. The cover of the classic “Wayfaring Stranger” is an album highlight and contains some of key’s best guitar playing on the entire album as well as giving DeGarmo moments to shine.

The album, though, is built around “In the Days of Thy Youth/Chase the Wind.” Though not a medley in the truest sense the former instrument introduction leads directly into the latter’s classic and progressive rock masterpiece. Everything works on this song. Lyrically, musically and creatively this is D&K at their very best. Starting slow, building and then going full force into a killer progressive rock song that sounds like one written by Kerry Livgren.

The same can be said for the album closing title track. Here again the more progressive influences shine. In fact, the entire “side Two” of the album ranks amongst the best sides to an album in CCM history.

Several years later many initial fans would complain about the musical direction change with the more synthesized approach, and it is the passion for this initial debut that caused such displeasure amongst the long term fans. Brilliant from first note to last, i\any reasl fan of Christian Rock cannot be without the album.

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  1. Brett C
    December 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    This is one brilliant album and probably my favorite of DeGarmo & Key’s albums. (their first three are all brilliant BTW). The guitar playing and the vocals are great and a notch above most other CCM of the era. So Sing Praise!

  2. Brett C
    December 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Oh and it definitely belongs in the top 50 IMHO.

  3. TMc
    December 9, 2010 at 3:40 am

    A high school friend and I pooled our resources when it first came out, bought it, and took it back to his basement to listen to it right away. I couldn’t afford to buy it by myself. We were in awe and listened to it through a second time while I recorded a cassette copy. We had thought Gary S. Paxton was cool and edgy back in those days. I think I actually have that cassette somewhere yet. I went to their concerts a few times in the early years and loved those as well. Great tunes. Great guys.

  4. Mike
    December 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    This was the first CCM album I ever bought, along with Phil Keaggy’s Love Broke Thru and Daniel Amos’ Shotgun Angel. I quickly followed them up with D&K’s second album.

    All were purchased at the old Logos Bookstore in East Lansing, MI. I miss that place.

  5. Shawn McLaughlin
    December 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

    So…Now we know what it takes for a Christian Rock artist to make it into the GMA Hall of Fame: Death. Keith Green is in, Norman finally made it in posthumously and now, DeGarmo and Key…….before Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Terry Scott Taylor, Love Song……Wow. Not saying D&K don’t deserve it……just…….wow!

  6. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    “Emmanuel” starts with a gentle, classical acoustic guitar intro before Key’s heavier blues guitar rips through and takes the listener by the throat. the later recorded live version would be a nearly 10-minute instrumental delight.

    Indeed.. love their interaction on that live album. Eddie seemed a little ahead of himself on the solo in “Let Him Help You Today” but he just barely manages to sneak that mistiming thru.. love it.

    Oh anyways back to this album. I am so glad they re-released their first four on CD or I would have never discovered these classics.

  7. Greenchili
    March 26, 2011 at 6:06 am

    For anyone interested here is a concert with DeGarmo & Key. They do “Emmanuel”, “Wayfaring Stranger”, and “In the Days of Thy Youth/Chase the Wind”.

    http://www.hischannel.com/BackQ/200/20007/.php

    Note the drummer gets a little ahead of himself on “Emmanuel”.. lol

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