Forgotten Albums: Brian Free and Assurance – Doing This For You
August 31, 2011 5 Comments
Brian Free and Assurance is currently one of the hottest quartets going. They’ve been in around for about 17 years now, but their history is unique in that it contains a parenthetical period. There was a time from 1998 or so till 2001 when Brian disbanded the group and performed as a soloist while in seminary. Released in 1998, Doing This For You was the last project of the pre-solo quartet era. It featured Brian, Randy Crawford on lead, Jon McBroom on baritone, and Bob Caldwell on bass.
This is an interesting album in that it really didn’t have any mega chart hits, but it did produce several mid-level charting songs. However, don’t let the lack of charting action fool you, this is a tremendous CD that was easily the best of the pre-solo quartet days. The song begins and ends with two tremendous acappella pieces, opening with a lively “Heavenly Parade” and closing with a beautiful hymn medley. Jon McBroom has an incredibly pleasing baritone voice, and his performance of the title track is not to be missed. It definitely qualifies as “Hidden Gem” worthy. Though it has been recorded by several other groups, the power ballad “Who Is This King?” finds its definitive version here, with an outstanding lead vocal from Crawford. There’s some great uptempo stuff here two, with two big winners in “This Is Still My Father’s World” and the Michael English penned “Sign Me Up.” Ernie Haase had the hit with the song, but I’ve always preferred this recording of “What A Difference A Day Makes.” This version features some great power harmony from the quartet.
Quite possibly the strongest song on this album is the power tenor ballad, “So We Could Become Like Him.” Brian Free has always been known for the high tenor ballads, but this one is definitely one of the best. Brian turns in a masterful performance, and by the end of the song the harmony is soaring in the stratosphere. If you’ve never heard this song, you’ve missed a real treat. Great lyrics and a powerful performance highlight this track.
Luckily, BFA is good about having pretty much all of their previous recordings available. If you don’t have this CD, pick it up the next time you see them, or order it from their website. If you already have it, dig it out and stick it back in the CD player. It’s an incredible CD that you’ll enjoy listening to again!