Barry McGuire


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The first of what would be many Christian rock albums by Barry McGuire for the Myrrh and Word record labels starting in 1973, Seeds has a stellar cast backing the veteran frontman who is in fine voice throughout. The problem is that the folk singer abandons what made him so special in order to preach and preach some more. "To Know Love" is a pure pop song starting things off, but the "hallelujahs" here don't have the mass market appeal of, say, "Hallelujah I Just Love Her So" or Sweathog's excellent 1971 hit, simply entitled "Hallelujah." Had McGuire re-cut that tune with a no-nonsense approach, he would have gotten his message out to a much wider audience, and would have done so by being a bit more discrete. "Last Daze Waltz" is a boogie woogie ode to The Bible with a nod to Samson and Delilah, while "David & Goliath" is more of the same, only with a harder-rock edge. "Lear Jets"/"Father's Son" goes into revival mode, and the band is absolutely cooking, which makes one wonder about the possibilities had McGuire taken these energies and focused them on the pop mainstream, which made his name for him. It just seems that Jesus was very much into glorifying The Father, not himself, and by missing that message, too many artists limit the range of their music and melodies. "Love Is" has elegant backing vocals and strings, but the use of scripture just seems awkward. The Hart/Davis composition, "Peace," has the same sentiment and style, excellent music with a dilemma: As the lyrics stay focused on one topic, so too the playing becomes somewhat redundant. Both "Peace" and the McGuire co-write "Love Is" appeared on a Sparrow's The Best of Barry McGuire 1982 release, but they aren't truly representative of the man's many talents. 1974's Lighten Up album does just that, and by being more musical, the results are much more appealing. Still, Seeds was the beginning, and as such, is an important statement on Barry McGuire's faith and mission.

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