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203. Just Like Real Life – Prodigal

JUST LIKE REAL LIFE (1985)

Prodigal

Throughout this exploration of the greatest music in Christian Music history, much has been said about the shame that it is one of CCM’s great realities: great bands don’t sell and disappear much too quickly. The greatest (worst?) example of this axiom if the band Prodigal. The great crime of CCM is that this amazing band only made three unbelievably impressive albums and then…

…nothing!

Their swan song was the impressive “Just Like real Life,” an album filled with so much great music and original concepts that any description will really not do it any justice. Ranging from hard “new wave” to American rock and roll there are ten fantastic tracks here. Production quality is through the roof fantastic for what was, I am sure, a minuscule budget.

The vocals are as diverse as the music as three different lead vocalist shared the duties. the most notable is Loyd Boldman and his HUGE voice. Boldman always seemed to tackle the big rock numbers and so is often recognized as the lead vocalist though that is really not the case. It should be noted that quite often his songs are the most memorable. This is the case here.

Future Now starts with a musical introduction that always reminds me of the soundtrack to movie St. Elmo’s Fire, especially the primary song, “Man in Motion.” “Safety in Numbers” starts off with a great guitar lick the harkens to Daniel Amos’ “I Love You #19.” Throughout the entire record great riffs and monster walls of sound permeate every song.

What is truly impressive about the band, though, is their lyrical content. Not content to recite the normal CCM diatribes, Prodigal placed themselves directly into the songs and transparently admit their failings along with those around them. A constant theme is the alienation of the modern world and need for honest and actual relationships. Both with God and with one another.

These themes were best explored on their previous album which will be discussed at a later time.

The

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  1. Brian
    December 20, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Just an awesome album for sure.

  2. Wayne
    January 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    My favorite songs are “The Big Sleep”, “The Next Big Thing”, and “Burn It Up”. I also like the way “The Next Big Thing” ends cold and then “Burn It Up” starts off with a big rock sound. All of the songs go so well together. A complete project. Too bad this was their last one. Oh, and I always liked the album cover art too.

  3. Rick Giovanetto
    February 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Prodigal was absolutely one of the most underrated and “missed” bands in CCM. Three amazing LP’s and equally amazing live.

  4. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Never realized they were three seperate singers. This album will always be my favorite because it was the first I heard. But their 2nd release “Electric Eye” has really grown on me.

    You can actually find a couple of their videos on youtube!

  5. adam
    June 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    As I understand it, it was the deal with their record label that held them back and ultimately snuffed them out. A true tragedy, as they were wildly creative, especially for their time.

  6. St. Ralph
    June 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Prodigal keyboardist Loyd Boldman did release a solo album, “Sleep without Dreams.”

  7. July 17, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Prodigal’s entire catalog has finally been released to CD as of June 1st, 2014. You can now find them at http://www.prodigalnow.com, they are being sold as a box set by the remaining band members. Loyd Boldman passed into Eternity as of April of 2014. May you shine on like Neon, old friend.

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