A Musical Retrospective: Part 1

For most of us, music fills our lives with wonderment and joy.  Through the years, we develop a variety of tastes and likes, and our audio catalog can become dauntingly gargantuan.

If you are like me though, there are few artists that stand the test of time, and listening to their music is like wearing your favorite t-shirt.  It just feels right and it is darn comfortable.  I would like to spend the next few posts re-discovering the music that I can listen to and it never gets old.

I grew up on 80’s hair metal and heavy metal.  I love that genre of music to this very day!  .  When I became a Christian at age 16, I dived whole heartedly into the world of Christian music.  1986 through the early 90’s was a fantastic era of emerging artists of various styles.  I devoted myself to bands like Barren Cross and Guardian and Deliverance and Bloodgood and Vengeance Rising, and of course, Stryper.  But one artist of a different genre caught my attention in 1990 and I’m forever grateful.

Charlie Peacock‘s album, The Secret of Time, somehow caught my eye at the local Christian bookstore.  As a heavy metal enthusiast and fanatic, I still have no idea why I listened to the demo tape of a new wave guy wearing a bolo hat on the cover.

 It was one of those times I stepped outside of my comfort zone and the reward has been 25+ years of great music ever since!!  To be accurate, this isn’t Peacock’s first album, but this was the first I’d ever heard of him.

Charlie Peacock’s The Secret of Time was definitely a “pop” album, but it was also much deeper then that.  The lyrics weren’t sugary Jesus Loves Me I Love Jesus Everything Is Good Blah Blah Blah but were insightful and poetical challenges to be a better person.


The Way of Love

The Way of Love was the second song from the album, and it sets the tone very well.  I fell in love with the gentle guitar paired with the soft but passionate vocals.  The background singer really adds depth to the vocal tracks.


Experience

Experience is the closing song on the album, and I’d have to say it is my favorite.  The bass line is funky and the lyrics are thought provoking:

There is a difference, a qualitative difference, between what I know as a fact and what I know as truth,
It stands as a great divide to separate my thinking from when I’m thinking foolishly and when I’ve understood,
The facts of theology can be altogether cold: though true in every way, they alone can’t change me,
Truth is creative, transforming and alive,
It’s truth that keeps me humble, saved and set free,
It’s the truth that keeps me humble, saved and set free

All in all, The Secret of Time is an album that I love going back and listening to a few times a year.  The music wraps me in nostalgia and helps me remember when life was much simpler before working a full time job and raising a family!

After The Secret of Time, Peacock released LoveLife when I was a sophomore in college.  It was a jazzy, bluesy popsy album, and I listened to it as much as I listened to my metal albums.

At the time we thought it was scandalous that there was a song called “Kiss Me Like A Woman” that proclaimed the beauty of sex within a married relationship.  There wasn’t anything wrong with sex, just that a Christian artist was singing about it!


In The Light

In The Light was probably the most popular song on the album, and it became more successful after DC Talk covered it on their 1995 Jesus Freak album.  I still prefer the original.


Kiss Me Like A Woman

Right away, the drums caught my attention.  Mixed with a strong bass line, this was one of my favorite songs on the album.  As a Christian teenager, I couldn’t wait to get married and um, enjoy the topics of the song!

westcoastWest Coast Diaries, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 were all re-released in 1991 but somehow I only listened to Volume 2.  To this day, it is one of my all time favorite acoustic albums

Peacock covered his own back catalog of music and recorded stripped down acoustic versions of his earlier songs.

The very last song, No Place Closer To Heaven, is the song my wife and I danced to at our wedding and it still holds a special place in our hearts


Psalm 51

Psalm 51 is literally set to music and sung verbatim from the Bible.  I relate to the description of our own shortcomings and need for mercy.  Peacock does a great job conveying strong emotions through his singing.


Unchain My Soul

Unchain My Soul is one of my favorites from this album.  The guitar seems to tell it’s own tale, and it seems perfectly composed.  I could see myself in a small bar watching this song being performed on a small stage.

Everything That’s On My Mind was released in 1994.  Peacock formed a full band for this record and the result is a great pop rock record.  The guitars are bright and dominant, but the keyboard fills in all the cracks and makes for a very unique sounding album.

By this time, I had been married a year and we were expecting our first child.  Life was about to get very busy!


William and Maggie

Cause I’ve been thinking about you and me, and everybody in between,
It seems we’ve suffered one too many dreams of things that weren’t so bad, it’s just they were never things that we could trust,
We must stop pretending they’re enough.

William and Maggie is a story put to music and the lyrics are very intriguing.  The background harmonies on the chorus really augment the song’s tone.


Climb A Tree

Climb A Tree was one of my favorites from this album.  The guitar is strong and makes this an authentic rock song.  Again, the lyrics are insightful and the metaphors are strong.

StrangeLanguage was released in 1996 and I hate to admit I lost track of Charlie Peacock as an artist after this record.  It is an overall good album, but my least favorite.  It doesn’t have that bright feel like the previous record.  It is more pop/synth, which isn’t bad in and of itself.  I just like the pop/rock stuff better!

 


That’s The Point

That’s The Point is one of the two songs I enjoyed greatly.  There is a little bit of guitar work with lots of keyboard.  The lyrics are much more straightforward.


Insult Like The Truth

Insult Like The Truth has a very different vibe.  No guitars to be found here.  The keyboard keeps the beat and Peacock almost whisper the verses ominously.  Like I said, this is a different kind of album.

As I said, time slipped by and I was busy raising a family but then in 2012 I stumbled upon a brand new album by Charlie Peacock!  I was thrilled!

No Man’s Land is neither rock nor pop, but mostly bluegrass mixed with some gospel and country.  It has a much different sound then anything previously released, but I still like it.

 

 


Voice of the Lord

Voice of the Lord is the third song from the album and it mixes genres very well.  It sounds like a new take on an old slave spiritual song.


Ghost of the Kitty Cat

Ghost of the Kitty Cat is just Peacock having fun.  The fiddle and horns play well with the somewhat silly lyrics.  I like seeing an artist just having fun.

I have enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane.  Charlie Peacock is one of those artists that I’ll never grow tired of listening to.

 

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