Shotgun Angel  (Maranatha  HS-032)  1977

 

 

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When this animal hit the shelves in 1977 I doubt anyone was really prepared for it.  I can just picture folks putting a needle to their latest slab of freshly acquired Jesus  music and going “Woah, what on earth is this?!”  Well if Norman’s Upon This Rock started the ball rolling,  Shot Gun Angel turned it all on its head and realized new possibilities.  Yes, Christian music could actually be creative!   The pure and simple “country” style of the debut by this time had evolved into “country rock”  —  ‘Black Gold Fever’ and the title track (“got an angel ridin’ shotgun and he’s ridin’ with you all the way”) in particular – but also went far beyond that, most notably the conceptual rock epic comprising the whole of side two.  It’s brilliantly creative opus thematically depicting the end times, starting with the orchestral ‘Bereshith Overture’, on through various Revelation themes such as the mark of the beast (“he’s gonna do a number on you”), and culminating in the second coming where believers are met by a ‘Posse In The Sky’.  The original release comes in a textured single-slip cover, followed by a gatefold second press with catalog number MM032A.  A pivitol album that remains  absolutly important today.  Both the debut and Shotgun Angel had CD re-issues that werebriefly in print.  In 2001 Millenium 8 Distribution released on CD the 25th Anniversity Issue of Shotgun Angel, including three previously unreleased live tracks from the same era (‘Jonah & The Whale’, ‘Takes A Heartache’ and ‘Farther Along’), plus a bonus CD containing an old ‘Rock & Religion Radio Show’ with Terry Taylor and Jerry Chamberlain discussing the album.    (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).

 

 

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Tracks:

Song #Song TitleTime
1-1Days and Nights (Taylor/Chamberlain)
1-2Black Gold Fever (Taylor)
1-3Praise Song (Taylor)
1-4Father's Arms (Taylor)
1-5Meal (Taylor)
1-6Shotgun Angel (Bill Sprouse, jr)
2-1Finale: Bereshith Overture (Stipech/Taylor/Chamberlain/Cook)
2-2Lady Goodbye (Taylor/Chamberlain/Cook)
2-3The Whistler (Taylor/Chamberlain/Cook)
2-4He's Gonna Do A Number On You (Cook)
2-5Better (Taylor/Chamberlain/Cook)
2-6Sail Me Away (Taylor/Chamberlain)
2-7Posse In The Sky (Taylor)

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