The Archers Rewound: Keep Singin' That Love Song: By Philip Mayabb
Before we begin this week, ask yourself a question...have you EVER known the Archers to produce a bad album, or even a mediocre one, for that matter? Shouldn't take long to answer...the Archers turned out some of CCM's finest recordings from 1972-1991, and even when they took long breaks between releasing new music, they STILL didn't miss a beat. Tim, Steve, and Janice Archer (or Nancye Short, on this album) were able to pack an amazing amount of energy into each one of their albums, and this week, we are featuring one of their very best - 1974's classic "Keep Singin' That Love Song".
After releasing their first album, entitled "Any Day Now" for Charisma records in 1972, the Archers began playing a series of shows to support the album. One particular concert in southern California yielded some big dividends for the young up and coming group. Opening for Larry Norman and Andrae Crouch (who helped immensely with the production of "Any Day Now"), the Archers were approached by none other than Bob MacKenzie, the resident super-producer at the Benson Company in Nashville, who informed them that he loved their music, and wanted to sign them to a national recording contract. After signing with Impact records, their first (and only) album, "Any Day Now" was reissued by the Benson Company, and the name changed to simply "The Archers".
The next point of business was recording a new album, so MacKenzie and the Archers went to work. Tim recalls that working with the producing mogul was easy, partly because he was very open to ideas that they had in regard to the music itself. Instead of using the usual digs in Nashville to record however, MacKenzie instead decided to take the Archers to Los Angeles to record their new album. Very exciting, Tim says, because this was their first experience recording with studio musicians in L.A., as opposed to the mostly touring musicians that played on "Any Day Now". They went into the studio armed with songs written by Nancye Short, Billy Masters, and other Archers' collaborators, and when the last button was pushed in the control room, "Keep Singin' That Love Song" was on its way to post-production.
The results were unbelievable good, as anyone who listens to this album will soon find out. Tim, Steve and Nancye's harmonies were tight, which is of course one of the signature elements of any Archers recording. One of the most impressive things about this albums is that if you compare it to any other album from the emerging Contemporary Christian genre in 1974, it stands toe to toe with any them. From the light, bouncy feel of the opening title track to the Phil Johnson penned "There Is A Light", this is an early CCM must-have for anyone who likes the classic music. Superb vocal performance from start to finish leaves that unmistakable Archers stamp on this wonderful LP, which Tim ranked as his 2nd favorite album of the group's catalog (2nd only to "Fresh Surrender"), and the actual instrumentation provided by the studio musicians leaves a distinctive mark, and clearly differentiates the recording from the CCM sessions in Nashville. Standout tracks include the title song, "Truth, Peace And Joy, Jesus (He Is The Son Of God), and one of the Archers all-time classic tracks, "Little Flowers" which Steve actually covered on his album "Call It Grace", however every track on this album is oustanding.
A quick side note is that Tim also told me that he is in the process of mastering this particular recording for a digital release later this year, so if you like what you hear, you can pick up a copy when it is released. So have a listen with us, you will definitely want to "Keep Singin' That Love Song".
1. Keep Singin' That Love Song
2. Truth, Peace And Joy
3. He Washed My Sins Away
5. Jesus (He Is The Son Of God)
6. Thank You, Lord Jesus
7. Little Flowers
8. Soul Down
9. He Loves You
10. There Is A Light
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