Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Live at the Hollywood Bowl – The Beatleslive-at-the-hollywood-bowl-the-beatles
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I had the album version – The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl that was released in 1977. That version was produced by the Beatles’ legendary producer George Martin. This version, including four bonus tracks, has been remixed and mastered from the original three-track tapes by Martin’s son Giles, who worked with his father on the Beatles 2006 Love album. In David Fricke’s liner notes, the reissued album is described as the essential companion to Ron Howard’s acclaimed documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years. 
The album is comprised of songs from the Beatles 1964 and 1965 concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The concerts were the first and last times the Beatles were officially recorded in concert. The album contains recordings from three different concerts, which took place on August 23rd, 1964 and August 29th and 30th, 1965. Giles remixed and mastered the songs at Abbey Road with engineer Sam Okell. He has spoken about how advancements in technology since his father worked on the tapes almost forty years ago has resulted in in improved clarity, so that “the immediacy and visceral excitement can be heard like never before”.
This remains the Beatles only official live album, and shows that despite the constant screaming from teenage girls that they had to contend with, making it difficult for them to hear themselves playing and singing, they were still a really good live band, thanks to the thousands of hours they played in Hamburg, Germany and at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
The album features good liner notes and photos, including George Martin’s original notes from the 1977 release, in which he states that he reluctantly worked with engineer Geoff Emerick to bring the performance (the only live recordings of the Beatles in existence, minus inferior bootlegs), back to life.
The bonus tracks included here for the first time are “You Can’t Do That”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, George’s cover of Carl Perkins’ “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” and “Baby’s In Black”.

pet-soundsPet Sounds – Beach Boys (50th Anniversary Edition) (2 CD)

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I recently read Brian Wilson’s excellent new autobiography I Am Brian Wilson, in which he writes extensively about the making of his classic Pet Sounds 50 years ago, widely considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded, with Rolling Stone having it at #2 on their list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Wilson tells of John Lennon calling him about the album and Beatles producer George Martin saying that Pet Sounds was the chief motivation for the Beatles own classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album a year later in 1967.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this classic recording, an anniversary edition including 104 tracks, all but 14 of which had been previously available, has been released. I picked up the two-CD version, which includes the original 13 song, 36 minute version of the album in both mono and remastered stereo, an instrumental version and some previously unavailable live recordings from 1966 – 1993.
Casual fans of the band will recognize much loved songs such as “Wouldn’t it Be Nice”, “Sloop John B”, “God Only Knows” (which Paul McCartney told Wilson was one of his all-time favorite songs), and “Caroline No” (which is Wilson’s favorite song on the album). But the genius of Pet Sounds and Wilson is the entirely of the album, not the hit singles. Listen to what Wilson did in the studio with the session musicians who would become known as the Wrecking Crew, while the Beach Boys were on the road. You can also see this depicted in the 2014 film Love and Mercy.
Even though there have been numerous reissues of Pet Sounds, I previously only had an early CD release, which was not of a very a good sound quality. Listening to the stereo version on this reissue produced by Mark Linett opened up new sounds on the album that I had not previously heard.  To really appreciate Wilson’s songs and the talents of the Wrecking Crew listen to the instrumental versions of the songs.  Wilson is currently on a Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour, playing the album live in its entirety.
music news

  • U2 in the News. U2 recently announced that they would be going back on the road in support of the 30th anniversary of their classic The Joshua Tree album, including one date at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Here are a few U2-related items I wanted to share with you, one new and two favorites you have seen before: The Edge Interview. U2’s guitarist the Edge recently spoke to Rolling Stone about the band’s upcoming The Joshua Tree tour and their delaying of their already completed album Songs of Experience in light of Donald Trump’s election.   Bono’s Testimony. When a reporter asked Bono of U2 to talk about his faith and belief in God, he didn’t flinch. This is about as bold a take on God, Jesus, prayers and miracles as you’ll ever hear.  Bono & Eugene Peterson on the Psalms.  This short film documents the friendship between Bono of U2 and Eugene Peterson (author of contemporary-language Bible translation The Message) revolving around their common interest in the Psalms. Based on interviews conducted by Fuller Seminary faculty member David Taylor and produced in association with Fourth Line Films, the film highlights in particular a conversation on the Psalms that took place between Bono, Peterson, and Taylor at Peterson’s Montana home.
  • Why Congregational Singing Matters Today More than Ever. Keith Getty writes “Singing is also a privilege, a foretaste of heaven. After all, one day in the future every tribe, language, nation, and people will sing as one congregation before the throne of the risen Lamb. Until then, we find a microcosm of that day in the unimpressive form of congregational worship. As we anticipate the matchless glories of heaven, there’s immeasurable value in our singing together on earth. The extent of this importance becomes increasingly realized in three ways.”
  • Love Broke Thru Video. Watch TobyMac’s new video for his song “Love Broke Thru” The Eric Welch-directed video tackles the subject of protest over police violence around the country. It shows a young man grappling with his anger amidst his grandfather’s calls for peace.
  • In the Water. Watch the video for Gawvi’s new single “In the Water”. Read about his fund raising with Charity: Water.

Music Quotes:chris-tomlin-quote

  • I’ve never thought of the US as a “Christian nation”, but most Trump supporters would disagree. This ban puts the notion in real jeopardy. Fernando Ortega

  • Learn to distinguish between the voice of God that says “be humble” – & the voice that tells you “you’re nothing”. (paraphrase of Henri Nouwen) Matt Redman

  • Complexity can make compassion challenging, yet we are still asked to be Christ-like. Tedashii

Song of the Week Blessings by Lecrae featuring Ty Dolla $ign

This week’s song of the week is Lecrae’s new single “Blessings” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Read about the song here and watch the lyric video here.

[Ty Dolla $ign:]
If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson
I won’t ever think I’m better than the next man
I’ve been down before the come up, I ain’t stressin’
Baby I’m too busy countin’ all these blessings

[Lecrae:]
Yah, yah, yahblessings
Count it up, count it up, count it up

Line ’em up, line ’em up, line ’em up
Swear the sun shinin’ on me in my huddle
No matter the trouble surroundin’ us
They don’t see that it’s a lot of us
Everybody move anonymous
Won’t take that credit, I know where we get it
Them blessings be comin’ from God above
I was doin’ all kinda bad
Where the choir at? Tell ’em I need a verse
Hit the pew and tell God he’s first
Hit the studio to body a verse
I remember pushin’ mama’s little white Hyundai with no gas money
I just bought a car, cash money
I ain’t even tryna brag on it
I just tell it how it really is
I ain’t trippin’, they ain’t feelin’ this
I ain’t sayin’ I deserve nothin’
I’m just tryna talk about the benefits
I’ve been punchin’ in the clock
Tryna keep the kitchen stocked
Man it’s a blessin’ ’cause we ain’t ever had a lot
But all we need is all we got

[Ty Dolla $ign:]
If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson
I won’t ever think I’m better than the next man
I’ve been down before the come up, I ain’t stressin’
Baby I’m too busy countin’ all these blessings, blessings

Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Blessings
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Blessings

I put my mama in the crib, said, “Stop stressin'”
I put my girl in a brand new diamond necklace
She said she need more of my love and affection
‘Cause lately I’ve been workin’ harder than ever
She said, “Baby, you a boss, baby, clear your schedule
Dolla you a boss, let’s do somethin’ special
Take me on a PJ, we should go to Mexico
I’ve been down for you, boy since when the money was low”
Anything for my bae ’cause she a blessing
If you woke up this morning it’s a blessing

If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson
I won’t ever think I’m better than the next man
I’ve been down before the come up, I ain’t stressin’
Baby I’m too busy countin’ all these blessings, blessings

Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Blessings
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Blessings

[Lecrae:]
I took so many losses
Coulda lost it
Left ’em leakin’ like a faucet
Almost cost me
Everything that I got, all of my fam
Part of the plan
I was eatin’ fried bologna out of the pan
Y’all don’t understand
I was tryna get it
I’m in that studio tryna keep it pushin’
Petty pies, boy I kept ’em cookin’
All I needed was the Mary Mary
But the God in me was havin’ commentary, woo!
I got angels all around like Anita Baker
Blessings fallin’ in line, guess I need a taper
And every loss is a lesson
Tell my haters I confess
Treat ’em like the green bubbles on the iPhone
I probably never read the message

[Ty Dolla $ign:]
If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson
I won’t ever think I’m better than the next man
I’ve been down before the come up, I ain’t stressin’
Baby I’m too busy countin’ all these blessings, blessings

Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Blessings
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Count it up, count it up, count it up
Blessings

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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