STYLE: Pop RATING 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!
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