Forgotten Albums: Gold City – Windows Of Home

When I started this Forgotten Albums series, I had two Gold City albums specifically in mind.  In fact, they are sequential albums, but I did the later album, Answer The Call, first.  Windows of Home was Gold City’s mainline release in 1990, and to me is a turning point for the group.  The album produced one of the group’s biggest hits, “One Scarred Hand”, which the group still uses in their concerts, even 20 years later.  The problem is the rest of the album is pretty much entirely forgotten.  If my memory of its chart position serves me correctly, “Nobody’s There” was also a #1 single on the Singing News chart from this album.  Inexplicably, though it’s a great song and a huge hit, “Nobody’s There” seems to be entirely forgotten from Gold City’s catalogue of hits, as it very rarely appears on any compilations, and hasn’t been performed in concert since it was a current chart hit (it does appear on the Live Live Live video that is in one of the Heritage Series of DVDs).

Even more importantly, though, is the signpost that this album provides in Gold City’s career.  Everything was turned up a few notches for this album.  The arrangements were more complex and advanced, the tracks were more fully developed, and the song selection was much stronger on this album than on any previous Gold City album.  Windows Of Home is the first Gold City album to leave the listener with a high class, polished image of the group.  Even the cover is a higher quality, more classy type of art.  This album features one of the premier “hidden gems” I’ve posted, “The Saving Kind”, which is a song I’d still love to hear brought back, whether it’s by Gold City or someone else.  There were some other standouts as well: “Do It By The Book”, which remained a concert staple for several years, the title cut, a terrific flowing ballad by Kyla Rowland that is still one of my favorite Ivan Parker vocals, “Not Made With Hands”, a wonderful convention style song that opens the album, and one of Gold City’s first forays into a more AC/Inspirational type sound along with “The Saving Kind”, the closing track “He Sat Down.”

The incredible advances in production quality as well as song selection and arrangements from Windows Of Home allow it to serve as a major turning point in Gold City’s history and really point the way toward the pinnacle of their recording career in Pillars Of Faith that would occur a couple of years later.  If you have this album and haven’t listened to it in a while, pull it back out and give it a spin.  I predict when you’re done, your thought will be: “You know, that really was a great album, why didn’t I remember it being so good?”  I think that same thing  just about every time that I listen to it.

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

13 Responses to Forgotten Albums: Gold City – Windows Of Home

  1. Brian says:

    I like this album also. It’s my third favorite from the Parker/Free/LeFevre lineup. (behind Double Take and Portrait) You hit on most of my high notes, like “One Scarred Hand” and “Not Made With Hands”. My third favorite song from the album, which you didn’t mention, is “Love Bigger Than Heaven”. It’s beautiful in its musical simplicity and has very strong lyrics.

    • burkesbrainwork says:

      Agreed, I’ve always enjoyed “Love Bigger Than Heaven.” It fit Mike Lefevre’s voice perfectly too.

    • SouthernGospelFan says:

      Does anyone know the words to the line Brian Free sings in the final repeat of the chorus for “Not Made with Hands”? It starts, “I have a home,……”, and then continues.

      Thanks!

    • SouthernGospelFan says:

      Does anyone know the words to the line Brian Free sings in the final repeat of the chorus for “Not Made with Hands”? It starts, “I have a home,……”, and then continues.

      Thanks!

  2. coomercove says:

    Although WoH isn’t as good as “Pillars”, I still consider it my favorite project of the Brian and Ivan era.

    “Nobobdy’s There” peaked at #2 or #3… it did not hit the top. You are correct in that it seems to be forgotten. Song writer Daryl Williams has posted on the subject asking why a top 3 song is NEVER included on any of the “Best of” Gold City compilations. Of course, he is after royalties since he wrote the song, but he has a point. It is a great song that someone should bring back. I like the song enough that I recently “pitched” the song to the group my dad sings with. It would be a great, upbeat song to sing around Easter.

    Didn’t Brian Free record “The Saving Kind” on one of his solo projects?

    • burkesbrainwork says:

      OK, I couldn’t remember for sure if it hit #1 or not. I know it was close. I remember Daryl Williams posting on that as well, and I have to agree with him.

      Saving Kind was on Brian’s “Call of the Cross” CD. It’s good, but doesn’t match the original. I did like the updated track though.

  3. stephen says:

    I have always thought this was probably the best project GC did with the Parker/Free/Riley lineup. I even think it is better overall than POF, although it didn’t do as well commercially. I agree that it was a shift from what they had been doing in the past and that is probably the reason it did not garner such a great response. The song selection is at least as good, if not better and the production is better. “The Saving Kind” is a great song and someone should definately pick it up. I always liked “Nobody’s There” along with the others mentioned. I do not hit skip on any song, but I can’t say the same for POF. That’s how I determine it is a better project.

  4. Graeme Newton says:

    I still have my “Windows of Home” CD in my collection and like you, I can listen to every track quite happily. I used to do a Sunday night dj slot on a radio station which was down in Rotorua called Classic Country and “One Scarred Hand” featured as a favorite of mine on the playlist.

  5. quartet-man says:

    By album, I presume you mean CD. In that case, CD aren’t “spun” the laser is what moves around. 😀
    As far as the project, it never stood out to me at the time. Although I really like Gold City, I just overall never thought they had as good material as the Cathedrals did overall. Some songs GC had were great and done well. However, except for the live projects (Live and Live again), their great songs seem to be scattered (a good one here and there). I think having the two live projects and the Masters of Gospel compilation captures most of their good stuff say before Pillars.

    • burkesbrainwork says:

      Ever opened a CD player before hitting the stop button? The CD sure is moving in a circular pattern awfully fast for it to not be “spinning”, and that little laser eye sure looks like it’s sitting still… 😉 As far as this particular project goes, “at the time” may be the operative phrase. If you haven’t listened to it in years, pull the CD out and listen again. I’d be interested to see what your reaction is: is the album as “meh” as you remember, or is it better than you remembered it?

      • quartet-man says:

        Yeah, I guess you are right about the spinning (at least on the portables);. I just thought I remembered reading that the laser is what moved. I wonder if only the portables move for some reason. I might have to listen to the songs and see what I think.

  6. JR says:

    This was my first CD! I listened to this one constantly! “The Saving Kind” might just be the most beautiful song Brian Free ever sung, and I personally think “He Sat Down” was one of the best Ivan Parker songs ever. Between “he Sat Down” and “Jesus The One and Only”(Southern Praise) I had thought maybe Gold City would move more that direction, but alas, that was it.

  7. Matt says:

    I too still have this in cassette. At the time I was just discovering Gold City after hearing Midnight Cry and falling head over heals with Southern Gospel. I have pulled this tape out many times and still love the way Brian,Ivan,Mike and Tim did it. The guys today and in the past since have done great but I’ll always long for more of these days. Also because of this album I learned of Kyla Rowland and what a wonderful songwriter she is and always stop to listen closely to her lyrics no matter what artist sings them. Thanks for reminding us of this but I have to say this one for me will never be forgotten !

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