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26 Mar 2017

Jeff Johnson “Please Forgive Us Lord” 1978 US Private Xian Pop Folk Rock on Ark label

Jeff Johnson “Please Forgive Us Lord” 1978 US Private Xian Pop Folk Rock on Ark label
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Superb early venture with some songs venturing into the art rock style from a Christian perspective that later might be called “new age” sound. Not quite fully developed but quite a different style than most late 70’s stuff, on his own ARK label. Nice gatefold cover with lyrics booklet. Of course in the super Jesus Music reference guide by Ken Scott called the Archivist…………..

Amongst the glut of folk, pop, rock and everything else that the church cranked out in the ’70s, Jeff Johnson was one of the few loners that ventured off into unexplored territory. Please Forgive Us Lord often crosses over into what one might call “contemplative art rock”, or moody expressions that foreshadow “new age” music. At last, a true artist not conforming to the Christian wave, as evidenced not only in the lyrics and musical approach, but also in the deluxe packaging which includes Escher-esque pen and ink drawings on the gatefold cover, a 16-page lyric/photo booklet, and a bonus 7″ single entitled ‘Songs For Loved Ones’. This set reveals a fuller sound than Anvil, with synthesizers and spacey sounds beginning to play a bigger role, as on the instrumental ‘Fugata’ and the mysterious haunting title track. Often laced with classical influences, not only from the strong piano presence, but also from periodic string orchestration. Some nice folky Eastern vibes surrounding ‘Come, Let Us Walk’. “Secret Agent Christian Spy’ is an interesting piece that includes a suave Perry Mason horn section, the topic being stealth-minded Christians who leave their “witness’ (i.e., tracts) on car windshields. Better things were yet to come, yet this remains Johnson’s rarest and most sought after lp – understandably so. (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition)…….

A1 We Wish You A Merry Christmas 0:37
A2 Coventry Carol 1:27
A3 Away From The Manger 5:55
A4 Everyday 3:09
A5 Everyday Tag 0:38
A6 Jerusalem, City Of Gold 4:58
A7 We’re Gonna Live Forever 2:18
A8 Intermission Song 1:12
B1 Secret Agent Christian Spy 5:56
B2 Come, Let Us Walk 3:02
B3 Fugata 1:28
B4 Please Forgive Us Lord 4:41
B5 Teach Me Thy Way O Lord (Ps. 86: 11-13) 2:10
B6 Afterthought 1:04 

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