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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tammy Faye (Bakker) - Run Toward The Roar

Artist: Tammy Faye (Bakker)
Album: Run Toward the Roar
Year: 1980
Style: Gospel Pop
Similar Bands: ???? 50's female vocalists, perhaps?
"One-Word" Review: lite-joy-cry-gospel
Based Out Of: North Carolina
Label: PTL Club Records and Tapes
Run Toward The Roar - Cover & Sleeve
Run Toward The Roar - Back & Record

Run Toward The Roar (1980)
  1. Fill Me Up Lord / Thank You Lord for Loving Me The Way That You Do 5:37
  2. Lord I Need You Right Now 3:57
  3. Alleluia / Rejoice, You're A Child of the King 4:44
  4. Before the Rocks Cry Out / I Live / He Is Exalted 5:00
  5. My Dependable Friend 3:32 /
  6. Run Toward the Roar 2:56
  7. Oh, How I Love Jesus / Thou Art Worthy 5:12
  8. Love Song for Grandma 2:56
  9. All in the Name of Jesus 3:47
  10. Its Real 4:51
Album Rating (1-10): 2.5

Members & Other Bands:

Tammy Faye Bakker - Vox, Front Cover Design & Layout, Back Cover Design
Gary Sanford Paxton - Produced, Arranged, Engineer, Remix Engineer, Backing Vox, Front & Back Cover Layout, Back Cover Design
Gene Rice - Engineer, Remix Engineer
Warren Peterson - Engineer
Steve Halger - Engineer
John Darnell - String / Horn Arrangement, Conducting
Buddy Skipper - String / Horn Arrangement
Don Tweedy - String / Horn Arrangement, Conducting
PTl Singers - Background Vox
Heritage School of Evangelism Choir - Backing Vox
Jeannie C. Riley - Backing Vox
Reba Rambo - Backing Vox
Brad Kelley - Backing Vox Arrangement
Pax Superpickers - Music
Jerry Carrigan - Drums
Bob Nickerson - Drums
Gene Chrisman - Drums
Bob Gelotte - Drums
Steve Schaffer - Bass
Bobby Wood - Keys
Morris Chapman - Keys
Alan Steinberger - Keys
Novella Williams - Organ
Pete Wade - Guitars
Harold Bradley - Guitars
Cindy Reynolds - Harp
Bill Wiggins - Percussion
Terry McMillan - Percussion, Harmonica
John Darnell Section - Horns
Shelly Kurland Sections - Strings
Glen Meadows - Mastering
Charles McCallen - Front & Back Cover Layout
Boomer & Linda Castleman - Front Cover Design & Layout & Photos
Phil Egert - Cover Photos & Back Photos
Greg Crouse - Back Cover Layout
Lloyd & Juanita Tytlandsvik - Owners of TN Game Farm & Lions.

So I saw this record, and yes, I know who Tammy Faye is. That is exactly why I had to get this album. Most gospel or god records, have images of stained glass, or people reading/singing hyms, or just your typical religi-crap. But this, this goes beyond that, running with the lion/king metaphor a great distance into fantastic artwork. Since it drops all the normal religious imagery, opting for a stylish atmosphere (however weird or awkward it comes off) I can only hope that this is an attempt to cross-over from religious music to pop; or since it was 1980, into new wave. I’d love to hear an evangelical attempt at modern (at the time) music, trying to gain fans with what was going on in pop music and spread her word of “faith” by sacrificing all her choir beliefs and values. However, the songs are religious titles, and do not try to mask her platform. But the surreal Tammy Faye poses on the back and the background of lions in collage makes a great argument as to what this record could hold. My hopes and expectations are set very high by this artwork.
Album Review: “Fill Me up Lord / Thank You Lord for Loving Me The Way That You Do” Is the first medley of the album. It is a gospel ballad with Tammy Faye singing over simple piano and a choir of ooooing in the back. After the drums kick in (kinda) the choir echoes Tammy’s lyrics, and they do a team chant. The organ is added in verse three, but it is not much, and does not detract from the vocals. But do any of them realize the sexual nature of the song…I mean to make a porno version of this song, you would not need to change a word. This is the Lord Juice song. After the third verse, the medley changes to the Thank You section, and the gospel gets a bit more groovy with brass and an R&B beat. It slows down, but maintains its Motown groove. We get glimpses of emotional singing, but it never goes into full-blown energy. “Lord I Need You Right Now” begins like the first song did: as a gospel ballad with piano and vocals/choir in echo. A very slow drum beat is added and the horns come back. We then get story time around 2:15, where Tammy gives an inspirational monologue about how people need to be saved. Then her tearful, strained siren voice wails for the remainder of the song, and she gives a little cryptic reminder that “you are they to someone” in her high pitch talking voice. “Alleluia / Rejoice, You're A Child of the King” is the next medley, that opens like Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” The Alleluia is uttered over and over again, in a similar fashion to Leonard Cohen’s version, but not quite. This is the orchestral ballad section of the medley that continues for the first 3 minutes of the song before it hits the theatrical gospel section. Her voice shakes, almost sounding like Sleater Kinney or something that is oddly comparable. Except that it is nothing like them. “Before the Rocks Cry Out / I Live / He Is Exalted” begins as a waltzing ballad with a little orchestral flair. This too is theatrical in its singing and composition. It smoothly transitions to the “I Live” section, picking up the horns a bit more, with the same melody. But it slows down to a near stop to finish out the medley for over 2 minutes. A swirling orchestra emerges building up the atmosphere, but it settles into another couple of refrains of “He Is Exalted” with only a little more energy. “My Dependable Friend” is a story song about how it was to be without Jesus, and how she met him. I can just see if sung after a bit of a dialogue on their evangelical telethon of a show, about how Tammy personally found religion. It is a slow and confidently sad song. The tempo is that of a sad Country and Western song.

“Run Toward the Roar” is the title track, and begins like a country and western tempo disco track. The song is a complete metaphor of young Jesus and its transition into King. I think. Don’t quote me; I am trying to listen as little as I can. Something about roaring lions are Satan, and he’s defeated, but run toward his ugly head. Weird. I really don’t get it. However, there is a cat’s meow sampled at the very end. Ohhhh! I (still don’t get it). Another gospel slow sing-along begins in “Oh, How I Love Jesus / Thou Art Worthy.” The music picks up a little, but is not a fun song. The song reverts to a quiet number with the second part of the medley. But triumphant trumpets sound and her voice slowly croons over the lyrics. You can hear the famous tears of joy stream down her face, leaving virtual deltas of mascara deposits along the way. It ends in over exuberant passion, with building orchestra and a held final note. “Love Song for Grandma” is a country blessing to the memory of her grandma. It stands out from the rest of the songs, as it is not a total religious rapping of the knuckles. It is sung like a camp fire sing-along. The same verse chorus melody repeats over and over as a way to make it easy to memorize. Swirling strings and a piano begin “All in the Name of Jesus” yet another in a long string of old fashioned vocalist displays, evilly embedded with religious banter. Around 3 minutes, she begins reciting what sounds like a bible verse to end the song, finally ending with: “So said the man. Jesus.” A more standard gospel tempo begins “Its Real.” It is not the floor stompin’ and soulful bellowing, hand clapping good gospel, but it is better than the slow orchestral stuff on here elsewhere. It is Tammy’s vocals buried under the chorus of the choir. Then her voice stands out with a bull frog deep baritone man’s voice underneath doing “ba-roops.” The organ is there buried in the background and the horns and strings are minimally used as well. But the song builds in a grand sense toward the end, and settles back in on itself as the final note is held.

Stand Out Track: Fill Me Up Lord / Thank You Lord for Loving Me The Way That You Do (only because of the obvious sexual innuendo the song portrays)


1 comment:

  1. If you don't know anything about the gospel of Jesus Christ, I would suggest that Tammy's given you ample reason to read it. She obviously wanted those of you who don't know what a lion's roar is, to look it up and find out. She loved you. She wanted you to be curious about her faith to find what she believed in and why. The lion's roar is Satan's tactic to create fear in us...but those who know that JESUS has defeated him have no fear of him because we have the courage from faith in Jesus that he has no power over us anymore unless we give it to him.