Aerobic Celebration (NewPax NP33133) 1982



1982 was the year Christian women realized that they too could have buns of steel And those that already did would no longer have to compromise by working out to the tune of raving pagans like Richard Simmons. All because of that inspiration of the century known as Christian Aerobics! Take the music of your favorite gospel artist like The Imperials, Amy Grant, Farrell & Farrell, or even the Happy Goodmans. Then add exercise voice-overs from way-too-happy female instructors and you’ve got the perfect recipe for melting away that ungodly pear shape. I’m not sure which of these was the first to hit the shelves (Aerobic Celebration makes that claim), but it seemed only a matter of a few weeks before the market was inundated. All these records pretty much follow the same format and include big fat illustrated instruction booklets or posters. Take for example Believercise where one of the featured cuts is Leon Patillo’s ‘Dance Children Dance’. The choreographer cheerfully leads us through a continual exhortation of “left! right! double right!”, punctuated by phrases like “have fun!”, “you look great!” and “oh you’re truly free!”. Firm Believer gets my award for cleverest title, plus you get not one but two babes… er I mean ladies to lead you through the motions. These gals aren’t quite as bubbly in their delivery, but they certainly get right down to business. The opening notes of Denny Correll’s ‘Living Water’ have barely begun before you’re commanded to pull in your abdomen and buttocks (which I’m sure is exactly what Denny had in mind when he wrote the song). The independent two-album set Praise-r-cise, however, is my personal favorite. Each of the routines is given a Biblical name: the Heavenly Stretch, the Damascus Walk, Jonah’s Run, and the potentially blasphemous Jehovah Jiration. The founder of the program opens with prayer and a personal testimony, and includes photos of herself before (porkified) and after (slim and trim, new hairdo, hot pants). Rockers might require a straitjacket while listening to the routine on facial exercises, wherein expressions of “ha ha”, “he he”, “ho ho”, “hu hu” and a maneuver called the balloon blow are all done to a cute bouncy little Amy Grant ditty called ‘Giggle’ (the booklet includes photographs of the choreographer’s face actually mouthing each phrase). I find all of these albums to be deliciously tacky, perfect for when I’m in the mood for some grueling self-torture. Now I know a lot of folks take this stuff seriously and I suppose that’s cool. But when a copy sneaks outside of its circle of acceptance into warped hands like mine you’ve got to expect a little good-natured ribbing. Try actually gruntin’ through the moves to more fully behold the moment. (The Archivist, 4th Edition by Ken Scott).

I have not acquired this album yet. Thank you Donald for the rear cover photo and the track list.


Song #Song TitleTime
1-1Nancy Grandquist - Until He Comes Home
1-2Brown Bannister - Nature Of Love
1-3Nancy Grandquist - Look To Love
1-4 Patrick Henderson, West Angeles Church Of God Choir - Look To Jesus
1-5Gary McSpadden - He Is The King
2-1Gary S. Paxton - Jesus Keeps Takin' Me Highter And Higher
2-2Farrell And Farrell - Jailhouse Rock
2-3Farrell And Farrell - Highwire
2-4JJ Lee - Angels
2-5Farrell And Farrell - He That Overcomes