Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 191. Mourning Into Dancing – 441

191. Mourning Into Dancing – 441



When discussing the Southern California New wave/Punk scene of the 1980’s it is easy to refer to Undercover, the Lifesavors, Altar Boys and the Lifters, but 441 should not be forgotten. After recording only two albums (a later release featured two band members), the band disappeared.

The eponymous debut made an immediate impact as I continued my pestering of the program director of KYMS to try new bands. I was often rebuffed because of the too rocky and edgy music, but with 441 there was an instant appreciation.  More soulful new wave/new romantic styles like that of  Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet on the softer side, the band was more polished, pop and accessible. As a result the bands singles charted heavily on the station and their popularity grew.

But there second album was significantly better, both musically and lyrically as stronger production at the hands of John and Dino Elefante. The band also stood out because they were not afraid to write about the darker, more serious struggles young Christian faced including doubt, purity and self-steem issues. They would wonderfully mask these topics in unforgettable pop.

Lead vocalist John McNamara had a cool swing and swagger that worked with the sound. The album cover should been seriously reconsidered. It was so “demo” and “rock’ looking that it should be considered false advertising. This was clearly before the days of image consultants.

441 was band for their time. Caught squarely in the 1980’s new wave sound, the record sound dated, or better yet, nostalgic. The reason is because they were authentic for the time. They were not behind of ahead of the times, they were squarely rooted in the day. And within that framework they created some wonderful music and one very fine record.

  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    January 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Never much liked this one. Maybe they sound quality soured me on it a bit. I much preferred Mourning Into Dancing.

    • low5point
      January 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      Uh…this is Mourning Into Dancing

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    January 26, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Sorry, Sacrifice. Green cover, inset photo of Glenn McNamara. I did like this one more than I thought. It was the self titled one I didn’t care for.

  3. January 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I was wondering when this one would be listed D Lo! One of my all time favorite 80’s Christian albums. The title track, “In His Presence” and “Say It Right” are songs that constantly get stuck in my head. This album was as you said a true album that captured the sound of its time!

  4. Brian
    January 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Mourning Into Dancing is STILL one of the best CCM New Wave songs of all time.
    Love this album. Never listened to the second one, so now I will have to check it out.

  5. JLR
    February 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Their first album was a fave among a couple of musically hipper Christian friends of mine in college. I recall liking this one, too, as well as Sacrifice.
    Only discovered this blog earlier this week and am awaiting the top 190!

  6. February 5, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Yes I agree JLR, all three of their albums were solid. “Break Out” and “Fish On The Car” from the self titled album and “Pray For Rain” from ‘Sacrifice’ were all killer tunes!

    This album as whole though was their finest in my view! 🙂

  7. adam
    June 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I loved the first two albums… but Sacrifice was AWFUL.

    • October 2, 2011 at 1:04 am

      I thought ‘Sacrifice’ was a pretty good record. The drumming at least was very cool! 🙂 *wink*

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