Michael Omartian – White Horse – 1974

A good friend, Micheal Anderson, whose album will appear later on this list was having a birthday party for his wife at a wonderful gourmet Chinese restaurant in Beverly Hills. I was seated at a table with my wife and the wonderful Hal Fishman, the late famed local news anchor in Southern California. Seated to my right, though, was a man I had admired my entire music listening life. I have met countless “famous” people over the years and seldom found my self starstruck. That night I was as I was seated next to Michael Omartian. Michael Omartian is easily the most renowned, decorated and successful individual in Christian music. Most of that as a producer in mainstream music for everyone from Michael McDonald and Christopher Cross to Donna Summer and Rod Stewart. Grammys, Doves and Billboard awards cover the portions of the wall not occupied Gold and Platinum albums. He, along with Quincy Jones, produced the most successful single in history, We are the World. In 1974 Omartian released his first solo album on ABC/Dunhill and later that year on Word’s Myrrh label. I was easily the finest produced album the Christian music world had seen at the time. Leaps and bounds above its contemporaries, White Horse is a majestic and stellar album that easily has earned its “classic” status. The album was also one of the most progressive musically any artist had released. Fusing jazz, funk gospel and progressive rock sounds very “current” for the time with some of the finest musicians in the world, White Horse was a revelation and a game changer like nothing the industry had ever seen. Am added plus is that the album is also filled with wonderful songs, both lyrically creative and musically stunning. Omartian collected a line-up of supporting musicians second to none. Larry Carlton, David Hungate, David Kemper, Dean Parks and a host of others lent their talents to this amazing project, Omartian’s voice has touches of Peter Gabriel and Neil Young and he weaves through musical genres as diverse as those he has produced. Touched of Genesis, Yes, Kansas combine with pop, gospel and jazz fusion. Lyrically the album did not reflect the simplistic evangelical approach which was the norm for the time. perhaps the mainstream release did not limit Omartian’s content and his wife, Stormie, provided the bulk of the lyrics. The lead track, Jeremiah, walks through the themes of the minor prophets and relates them both to the historical setting and modern application. The Steely Dan like groove of “Fat City” shows off Omartians stellar keyboard work and an amazing brass section. The title track is a seven minute epic masterpiece. Starting slow and building into an amazing instrumental section driven by Omartian’s keyboard work and Larry Carlton and Dean Park guitar work. The industry had never seen anything like it and it would be quite some time for the rest of the industry to catch up.

Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – Jeremiah – 4:37
2 – Fat City – 3:09
3 – The Orphan – 2:01
4 – Silver Fish – 2:34
5 – Add Up The Wonders – 5:19
6 – Take Me Down – 3:39
7 – Right From The Start – 2:30
8 – The Rest Is Up To You – 2:47
9 – White Horse – 7:06

Backing Vocals – Ann White, Carolyn Willis, Patti Henderson, Stormie Omartian
Cover [Album Cover Artwork By], Artwork [Album Cover Artwork By] – Dave Jarvis
Cover [Album Cover Concept By] – James Fitzgerald
Guitar – Dean Parks, Larry Carlton
Lyrics By – Stormie Omartian
Management [Personal Management] – James Fitzgerald Enterprises, Inc.
Music By – Michael Omartian
Photography By – Harry Langdon
Producer, Arranged By – Michael Omartian
Tenor Saxophone – Don Menza, Jackie Kelso
Trumpet, French Horn – Paul Hubinon
Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion – Michael Omartian

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – ABC Records, Inc.
Copyright © – ABC Records, Inc.
Copyright © – American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
Copyright © – Holicanthus Music
Lacquer Cut At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman
Published By – American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
Published By – Holicanthus Music
Recorded At – Sound Labs, Hollywood
Recorded At – Hollywood Sound Recorders
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time. https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

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