Monday, June 13, 2011

It took some time

Paul and Sharon Take The Time. 1978. Producer Pete Yates-Round. Grapevine 121.
It's taken me some time to get to grips with this quirky, Irish production by Paul and Sharon Reid. I wanted to like it, and have quite liked listening to it. In fact I've heard it quite a few times. 

Eventually it dawned on me. It rocks! It has rock and it has gospel and in many ways is a true blend of rock and gospel - without a great deal in between.  Like so many other Grapevine records, the producers spotted interesting guitar work and it is the guitars that set the pace throughout. Sharon follows, singing along to complex melodies. Sometimes she goes up when she might do better going down.

Once or twice the pace slows. Windsong is a lovely, harmonised Celtic melody and shows another side to the couple.  In the main however it represents, possibly, one of the earliest attempts to use rock, rather than folk, for praise music. Choruses such as "I want to praise you" and "Glory, Power to Jesus Our Lord" abound. It's hard to imagine  congregations managing to sing along to Paul and Sharon's choruses - but maybe, with some mellow arrangement.

The songs are all composed by Paul and Sharon. There are backing vocals from Pete Yates-Round and Sue McClellan and a string synthesiser. I had assumed Paul and Sharon played the electric guitar - but in fact that was provided by the ever-present Mo Witham.

* I have just checked Ken Scott's the Archivist review. "Acceptable but not Grapevine's best" is the verdict. However Ken thinks the album is more 'mellow' than I do -"mostly mellow songs with pop leanings," he says. Well, it's not a band - but it is high-paced and melodically complex.

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