Bill Mason Band – No Sham! – 1979

In early 1981 I got my first job at a Christian bookstore in Orange, CA. Before the days of computerized listening centers or even tape decks with headsets you had to listen to something on the stores overhead system. Suffice it to say, considering the age and demographic of the average Christian bookstore shopper, there were few chances to hear anything like the Bill Mason Band album. In fact, the demo album had never been opened and the store owner let me buy it for a buck! That one dollar bought an album that has been played more often over the years than any LP I own except maybe Zionic Bonds. Though it has been released on CD I have yet to get a copy. I sometimes wonder if the pops and clicks that are son ingrained in my mind will disrupt the listening of a pristine CD version. As for the album itself, it is clearly an AYSO! Punk rock that is still so very cool to listen to. Touches of ska are here and there, but for the most part it is a Clash like rock version of punk with Elvis Costello’s pop sensibilities. Completely British, raw and irresistible. Produced, surprisingly, by John Pantry, the album had a cup of coffee in the US through a limited release on Star Song. The band stands out on the faster cuts like Billy and the Rotas, Stand Up and Be Counted and radio. The latter is a personal favorite and some 30 years later there still “ain’t no God on that radio.” Another favorite is “Get Inside,” a longer song at nearly 5 minutes that builds and builds into a raucous finish. I always wanted to hear Mike Roe cover the song. The album is actually pretty well produced, especially for the time and sounds great today. It is the definitive punk classic for Christian music from the 70’s. The reader must remember this preceded Undercover, Lifesavors and the Altar Boys by a few years. There was literally nothing else like it.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Billy & The Rota’s – 3:27
2 – Detectives – 3:45
3 – Out On The Streets – 2:00
4 – I Don’t Want You – 3:24
5 – Stand Up And Be Counted – 2:57
6 – Radio – 2:19
7 – I Got The Answers – 2:21
8 – Mr. G – 3:41
9 – Get Inside – 4:41
10 – Lost Years – 6:36

Backing Vocals – Paula Holmes
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals – Iain Beeston
Congas, Noises [Whale Noises] – Steve Gilbert
Drums, Percussion – Dave Rawding
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synth [Korg Synth], Piano [Acoustic Piano], Vocals – Phil Holmes
Engineer – Steve Foely
Guitar, Backing Vocals, Written-By – Si Hawthorne
Lead Vocals, Percussion, Written-By – Bill Mason
Producer – John Pantry

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Smile Studios
Published By – ThankYou Music

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Side 1
Side 2