Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 121. Songs From the Earth – LYRIX

121. Songs From the Earth – LYRIX

SONGS FROM THE EARTH (1982)

Lyrix

The Mark Williamson Band released in the UK virtually same album, sans a different name, cover and very different mixes. The album was released as a “Larry Norman Presents” project which really caught my eye when it was released my Junior year in High School. The MWB version lacked the crisp production and punch the same songs delivered here. The nearly space age backing vocal production (think ELO) really creates a unique and original sound throughout.

Though the most notable name to come from the group ended not being Mark Williamson, but rather Chris Eeaton, all four band members seemed to really know what they were doing in the creation of great “new” music with a decidedly pop edge. the only real drawback to the album is that “back in the day” artists could get away with an 8 song release.

Eaton and Williamson were responsible for the songwriting, though it would be Williamson that would carry most of the lead vocal responsibilities. Several of the songs would be covered by others and the band would break up right about the time of this release.

If Christian radio had progressed to where it is now, this album would have been a monster release with a ton of radio singles! Sheila Walsh would score a hit a few years later with a cover of the lead track, “Don’t Turn Your Back on Jesus.” The original here is vastly superior.

Initially sold into America as a British “New Wave” band the only song that fit that bill was the lead track. The rest id strong pop/rock with a soulful influence vocally. Big production with great backing vocals. In fact, the album may contain as many ballads as rockers. The ballads are stellar, emotional and run very long (five to six minutes).

One of the best of those ballads is “Susanne.” The song details the wavering of an individual when it comes to share the Gospel with a friend and sharing the love of Jesus with them. This theme runs throughout “Somebody Told me” and the albums closer “I Would have Listened.” This thought is an apparent theme that run from one song and through the next. The closer steals the show and has the album best vocals, shared here with Eaton.The change midway to a funkier rock groove really sets it apart. The song (and album) closing with the bright guitar riff after the vocal is just perfect.

This is a very hard to find AYSO if for no other reason that the historical implications. Fortunately it is clearly a great album that was a bit ahead of the CCM industry in the US and was missed by way too many. If any of the albums from the era deserve a CD release, the production and song quality of this one makes it a top deserving release.

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  1. Brett C
    March 10, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I bought this when it came out and yes it is another album that definitely deserves a release on CD.

  2. TopekaRoy
    March 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Wow. I didn’t remember this album at all and thought I had never heard of “Lyrix” before … until I downloaded and listened to it. As soon as I heard the line “Don’t turn your back on Jesus …” it started coming back to me. I remember now, playing that song and “I Would Have listened” on the radio at Greeneville College. I also remember thinking what a clever name “Lyrix” is, because in Christian music, it’s all about the lyrics!

    Thanks for unearthing (in my memory) this “forgotten” gem.

  3. Don
    April 8, 2011 at 4:30 am

    GREAT ALBUM, probably not as great as I remember it to be, but close.

    • low5point
      April 8, 2011 at 4:32 am

      Part of the “rules” I put on myself was to judge a release within its time frame of release. In retrospect some albums may not be as great as you remember them, but were better considering when they came out

  4. May 4, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I had my original converted to CD and am listening to it right now. This album got me through some really dark spots and is a joy to hear now. It is as good as I remember – musically and lyrically. Somebody Told Me is still a deeply penetrating song. Amazing stuff – If I could find similar current CCM I would be thrilled.

  5. Christopher Register
    February 9, 2012 at 12:47 am

    I wish they would release this album on CD.

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