Northbound – Northbound – 1983

At first I had considered listing this album amongst those chosen as a “guilty pleasure.” Everyone, critics and fan, have these albums. The ones that you’re not supposed to like and that you know the hyper-critical snobs will scoff at as being “too commercial” or “too pop” or “too whatever.” But spending months compiling the list and listening over and over to many albums I came to the conclusion that the inclusion of Northbounds one and only album is not only well deserved, but that is more than just a guilty pleasure, but a great pop album that stands up well nearly 30 years later. Touches of Hall & Oates, Toto, Chicago, The Eagles and even Bryan Duncan, Kenny Marks and the first Prodigal album (for the CCM fans) can be heard throughout this incredibly well produced project. For a debut (and unfortunately only) release this was one of the best produced projects with bright high ends, diverse musical arrangements and some killer saxophone. The album kicks off with what could be the catchiest songs in CCM history, Dancin’ In the Aisles. This ode to a more expressive form of worship has such a monster hook that I mentioned the band’s name to a friend of mine in Christian radio and he immediately began singing the chorus despite not playing the song since around 1985. “Maybe Tonight” slows things down to something akin to a mid-tempo rocker by The Eagles with a bit more soul. The nearly 6 minute ballad “What Do You Do” is reminiscent of Kenny Marks’, “The Party’s Over,” with a slow build that ends huge with great passionate vocals. The question raised about gaining the whole world while losing your soul is timeless and works well within the storytelling nature of the song. The more “Seawind,” jazzy tunes work really well on this project. Songs like Evening Song, Life Without Your Love and When I Look In Your Eyes are great examples. “You Got Me Singing” is the “singing” version of Dancin’ in the Aisles. The albums closer, “Easy Street,” has a “Desperado” sort of feel with the solo piano arrangement builds as the song progresses. This is a clear AYSO, though it may be nearly impossible to find. The album was released nearly 30 years ago and was not amajor hit. It, along with David Edwards’ “Get the Picture” and Dion’s “I Put Away My Idols” were released with a free LP of various Myrrh artists that is also a tough find.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Dancin’ In The Aisles – 3:31
2 – Maybe Tonight – 5:10
3 – Livin’ In The Light – 4:21
4 – What Do You Do – 5:48
5 – Evening Song – 4:07
6 – Life Without Your Love – 4:39
7 – You Got Me Singin’ – 3:29
8 – When I Look In Your Eyes – 3:33
9 – Easy Street – 3:02

Arranged By [Basic Tracks] – Mike Utley (tracks: B1, B4, B5)
Arranged By [Vocal And Instrumental] – Bill Bottrell, Bob Book, Ron Gollner
Bass – Tim Camp
Drum Machine [Linn] – Bill Bottrell
Drums, Vocals – Dave Workman
Engineer [Assistant] – David Marquette, Larry Nefzger, Mitch Gibson, Paul Erickson
Executive-Producer – Buddy King
Guitar [Additional] – Bill Hawkins
Guitar, Vocals – Bob Book
Keyboards [Rhodes “Dyno-my-piano” / Moog / Prophet V], Vocals – Ron Gollner
Lead Vocals – Bob Book, Ron Gollner
Organ [Hammond] – Dave Danieli
Piano – Dale Walker
Producer, Mixed By – Bill Bottrell
Programmed By [Synthesizers] – Ron Gollner
Saxophone [Sax Solos] – Steve Allen

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Word Music
Copyright (c) – Pure Joy Music
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word Music
Recorded At – Triad Studios
Recorded At – Soundcastle
Mixed At – Soundcastle
Mastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – ?26221
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – ?26203

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time.

One thought on “Northbound – Northbound – 1983”

  1. I wasn’t too sure about this album when I first bought back in the day. But the more I listened, the better I liked it. And you’re right, it still holds up.

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