A Love Song Remaining Strong 50 Years On

A half-century plus one year ago, despite its best efforts to avoid doing so the music industry released the two most essential albums in modern Christian music history: “Only Visiting This Planet” by Larry Norman, and the eponymous debut album by Love Song. In December 2022, the latter was re-released with new mixes by a host of top-flight studio talent, spearheaded by Whiteheart veteran Billy Smiley. It’s well worth a listen.

Whereas Norman was openly antagonistic toward the Christian music industry of his time and was intent on remaining in the regular music world but not of it, starting in 1970 Love Song ingrained itself into the church. The band formed in the late 1960s as an undirected spiritually-minded outfit, its members accepting Christ along the way. Still individually and collectively brand new in the faith, Love Song approached Calvary Chapel Santa Ana pastor Chuck Smith to ask if it could play at one of Smith’s services.

He said yes, and Love Song created what became known as “Jesus Music.” It was a genre rooted in the quieter side of pop, folk, and rock, heavily influenced by the nearby Laurel Canyon sound exemplified by the Eagles and Joni Mitchell. Lyrically, every song burst with joy over newly found faith, reassuring fellow believers while reaching out to the unsaved. This was a time when youthful evangelists believed Christ’s Second Coming was imminent by man’s time-measuring mechanisms. Thus, a heavy emphasis on personal salvation, the sooner the better, permeated everyone’s music and message.

So how does an album that sold an unheard-of (at the time for Christian music) 300,000 copies hold up? Surprisingly well. The remixes definitely help. However, no amount of studio wizardry can disguise inept songs or performances, and Love Song was anything but inept.

A factor playing into the album’s wonderful freshness is that when originally recorded, the band rejected adding artificial sweeteners: no strings, horns, or fade-outs. The recordings were duplicates of how the band played its songs live. This removes a considerable portion of what often severely dates the 1970s’, or any past decade’s, recordings. Certainly, the album is unmistakably a product of its time. However, it is not an exercise in sheer nostalgia, lacking the necessary depth for current listening.

Although the album was blatantly Christian, the United Artists label initially released it without knowing how to market it to Christians. However, there was an unexpected benefit to this initial arrangement, as despite its brevity, “A Love Song” became a #1 hit … in the Philippines.

 

 

Love Song made one more studio album in 1974 before disbanding. Its members, most noticeably Chuck Girard, went on to successful Christian music and ministerial careers. A band documentary is in the works.

In their time, Love Song impacted Christianity in ways that are impossible to overstate. It showed you could simultaneously play rock and praise the Lord. Forever memorialized in the revival that blazed through Orange County, California, in the early 1970s, Love Song’s eponymous debut album remains a cherished memory that now has been given a fresh coat of aural paint for young and old alike.

Welcome back indeed, old friend.

 

 

Trending on RedState Video

You May Also Like

College basketball odds, pick Tuesday

Commercial Content 21+ Indiana showed us just how dangerous it can be…

Rep. Rosa DeLauro looks ahead to President Biden’s State of the Union address tonight

Rep. Rosa DeLauro looks ahead to President Biden’s State of the Union…

Ukraine says Russia endured deadliest day so far

Ukraine’s military on Tuesday claimed that the last 24 hours of fighting…

2 injured, transported to hospital following car accident in Bibb County

BIBB COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Two people were left injured following a…

Netflix’s Full Swing stars Rory McIlroy but fails to capitalize on LIV Golf plotline teed up 

Golf is undoubtedly having its moment, and it has the chance to…

How to save on gas or electric bills with a smart thermostat

Google Are you warming up to the purchase of a new smart…

‘I was framed:’ Las Vegas politician accused of killing journalist speaks from jail

Telles asks 8 News Now for interview Monday LAS VEGAS (KLAS) —…

Biden vows to crack down on surprise hotel fees and airlines charging families $50 to sit together 

‘They aren’t even resorts’: Biden WHISPERS as he vows to crack down…

WATCH: Republicans Shout Down Biden From the Floor During SOTU, Call Him a 'Liar'

I have to admit, I was not looking forward to the State…

Microsoft packs Bing search engine, Edge browser with AI in big challenge to Google

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft is revamping its Bing search engine and Edge Web…

Jennifer Lopez insists she had ‘the best time’ with Ben Affleck at Grammys

Jennifer Lopez has insisted she had “the best time” with her husband…

Memphis cop charged in deadly beating of Tyre Nichols took a PHOTO of him bloodied

One of the five Memphis police officers charged with brutally beating a…