Jo King - In A Class Of His Own

Published Saturday 20th March 2010
Jo King - In A Class Of His Own
Jo King - In A Class Of His Own

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 29033-16470
LABEL: Pulse EER075
FORMAT: 12 inch vinyl Album
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

These days, he's Joe King and he's best known for creating albums of ministry songs and doing spiritually challenging ministry. But back in 1987, King was Leeds-based and his live performances really won him fans for his personable performances and clever songs. I was part of the same church circle for a short period of time and was always surprised that Joe didn't make a wider impact. For his debut album, he took his best songs and recorded them under the auspices of local label Ears & Eyes and it's credit to King's songwriting inventiveness that these songs come across so well since they suffer from a limited budget. Listening again to the crackling vinyl takes me back in time and there are two songs here that always stand out amongst the dated cheap synth sounds. There's the melancholy warning of "Love Makes The Heart Go Blind" which features some haunting oboe from Debbie Bainbridge whose husband Iona's Dave Bainbridge adds his talents to the whole project. The album closes with a song that is dying to be covered in the 21st century, "I Never Believed" which celebrates a life changed by God but contains one of the best lyrics ever in Christian music. "That first Christmas day a virgin they say/Was found to be in the family way/Without so much as a kiss/The explanation is she'd friends in high places." Understated and clever songwriting was King's stock in trade and he deserved a much bigger shot at recording fame. An album well worth seeking out on eBay!

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Colin in NC, USA @ 05:17 on Aug 8 2012

My favourite track is Cafe Royale. I have a tape of this album which got a lot of play when I was a student in Hull between 1988 and 1991. Brings back lots of warm memories. I was hoping it might have seen a CD release, but I guess not.

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