Southern Gospel’s Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds

In rock music, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds are widely regarded as the two landmark albums of rock history. Both albums were full of great songs, no “filler” and produced several major hits. They also had a major influence on artists following them.

What would be considered the landmark albums in Southern Gospel history? Applying the same criteria as above, I would have to posit Gold City’s Pillars of Faith and the Cathedrals Symphony of Praise. Both albums have nothing on them that are really considered filler, as all of the songs are great, and both provided several hits. For GC, “There Rose A Lamb”, “If God Be For Us”, and “One More Time Will Do It” were all major chart hits. For the Cathedrals, you have “Champion Of Love”, “This Ol’ House”, and “For What Earthly Reason”. Those are the two that first come to my mind, but I am certainly open to other suggestions. Have at it. Remember, every song has to be great, and several hit singles (3 or more) that have withstood the test of time, as well as influencing artists and later recordings.

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

11 Responses to Southern Gospel’s Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds

  1. coomercove says:

    I don’t know what songs were chart hits off the project (if any… Mike English left after this project and that probably hurt the chart success of the songs), but I would say the Singing American’s Lari Goss produced Black And White project goes along with the two projects you mentioned. Check out the song list (not in order):

    “Welcome To Heaven”
    “Victory Side”
    “Black And White”
    “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”
    “Jesus Got A Hold Of Me”
    “I’d Still Want To Go”
    “Great Day”
    “After A While”
    “God Be With You”
    “I Want To Make Heaven My Home”

    Outside the criteria of major chart hits, I’d say this project is better than “Symphony Of Praise.”

    This post reminds that when the Singing News did their “Young Artist” profile every month, it included the artist’s favorites. It seemed to me that five projects always seemed to be one of the favorites every month:

    1. Pillars of Faith
    2. Acapella Gold
    3. Symphony Of Praise
    4. Live And Alive
    5. Black & White

    This is a great topic, Wes. I hope a lot people comment about this. It should be a great discussion.

  2. Kyle says:

    The Kingsmen Big & Live is an album that everyone remembers. It was the first real big hit for the group, and really showcased the Kingsmen’s style and performance. Just about everyone has heard (and imitated) “Gloryroad,” too….

  3. I’d have to agree with Kyle–I’d say that Big & Live has probably influenced more artists than just about any other, especially because the artists who can afford a Symphony for Praise are few and far between. šŸ˜•

  4. Quaid says:

    “Chatanooga Live” is the pinnacle of the Kingsmen’s live recording list, IMO.
    Look at the strong song list, that includes..
    Travelling Home
    Lovely Name Of Jesus
    Standing On The Solid Rock
    Ship Of Zion (most recognized song from this album)
    We Do Not Die (first recorded spotlight feature for “there’s that tenor”, the ” Little Giant” Ernie Phillips)
    It’s all great songs on Paul Heil’s “Gospel Greats Of The ’80’s”.
    I know, this wasn’t a “original project” from a group, and may not exactly fit in the catagory.
    But hands down, this is THE BEST project I own and have ever heard.
    A true landmark recording that includes,
    Beulah Land
    Step Into The Water
    When He Was On The Cross
    Comming Soon
    We Shall See Jesus
    I Bowed On My Knees
    John Saw
    Champion Of Love
    Mercy Built A Bridge
    Midnight Cry

  5. Quaid says:

    I almost forgot to mention, as a original group project, Legacy 5’s “London”.
    I say that this is far better than “Symphony Of Praise”. L5 outdid themselves and produced possiably the best recording of this decade.

  6. volscot says:

    The albums that I would propose have already been mentioned. Before I read the comments, Black & White immediately came to my mind.

  7. burkesbrainwork says:

    I’ll definitely agree with “Black and White”. “Big & Live” is an interesting choice, you guys may really be on to something there. I know many groups had done live albums before, but the live album really changed after “Big & Live”. There seemed to be more excitement, and more charisma on that project than on previous live albums.

  8. coomercove says:

    I believe I remember hearing Jim Hamill say that the night “Big And Live” was recorded, Foxy had a meeting with the record label about removing a lot of the noise/sound from the audience. The label wanted to take it out or lower it, Foxy told them that if they did that, the Kingsmen wouldn’t release the record. I believe this was told on the 40th Anniversary Kingsmen Reunion video filmed at NQC.

    The excitement from the audience was allowed to come across because Foxy fought for it. After the success of that project, I guess everyone left more sound from the audience on live projects.

  9. Pingback: Sports Rant 1: Patriots taping since 2000 « Coomer Cove

  10. jgurnett says:

    With respect to post #5 (and with all due respect), are you off your rocker??

  11. Quaid says:

    jgurnett, I perfer “London” because it has more songs featuring the orchestra than “Symphony”. I don’t really understand why half of the songs on the Cathedrals project are acapella when they made all the effort to use the orchestra. Perhaps the budget was tight and they couldn’t use the orchestra on more songs. I don’t know.
    Another thing, I don’t like the mix and tones on “Symphony”. I think less stacks and a cleaner, shorter reverb could have helped. But then again, recording quallity has come a long way within the 2 decades between “Symphony” and “London”.

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