Jon Gibson – Jesus Loves Ya – 1990

It is with “Jesus Loves Ya” that many believe Jon Gibson found his artistic center. Though it may not be his best album it remains his most consistent and completely Jon Gibson. Longer and more progressive songs without fear of needing to create three minute radio friendly singles, Gibson here explores more musical diversity and allows the songs to be rather than editing them for record company suits. The result was the longest running number one single in CCM history clocking in at over 6 minutes with no “radio edit” ever released by the record company. The single stayed at number one despite its length and the album also hit number one on the CCM sales charts. Too bad more record companies and radio stations never learned this lesson in artistic freedom and the listeners’ desire for real good songs no matter the length. The album remains Gibson’s “grittiest” and most “street sounding of his career. The quiet soulfulness of Body and Soul is gone and the slick pop of the follow-up Forever Friends had not yet surfaced. Here Gibson’s penchant for scat, improvisation and “vamping” is given free reign and results are stellar. As the song continues and builds Gibsons’ passionate soul draws the listener in. The album also contains more rap than any other album with several guest appearances as well as Gibson’s own blue-eyed rap style. But the most important influence on this album is clearly the late Gene Eugene (Adam Again) whose production help and funk grooves gave Gibson more a polished platform to perform. The drum and bass sounds are unmistakably Eugene. Along with title tracks claim to fame, Love Come Down also reached Number one and Preacher Man made it to the Top 5. The latter really stands out as something wonderful from Gibson with the rousing brass section and sounds like something off of “Songs in the Key of Life.” This album may not be Gibson’s best or most popular but it clearly may be the most important album in his career.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Enough Is Enough – 4:32
2 – Love Come Down – 5:45
3 – Jesus Loves Ya Intro – 0:10
4 – Jesus Loves Ya – 6:26
5 – From Heaven – 5:34
6 – Call On My Love – 4:59
7 – Everlasting – 6:08
8 – Straight On – 3:09
9 – Preacher Man – 3:26
10 – In Too Deep – 4:25
11 – Forever Now – 4:32
12 – His Love Is Strong – 5:08
13 – Watching All My Days Go By – 6:51

Credits
Bass [5 String Bass] – Myron Dove
Clavinet – G. Eugene
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Electronic Drums, Programmed By – Jon Gibson
Organ [B-3], Strings – Rob Watson
Rap – Jon Gibson, M.C. Peace
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar – Dave Koval
Drums, Congas – Cubby Ingram
Rhythm Guitar – Rick Zunigar
Saxophone – Doug Webb
Vocals (Kids) – Kumari Lewis, Vivian Lewis
Backing Vocals – Ray Sidney, Shelly Penir, Vivian Lewis
Lead Guitar – Tony Palacios
Arranged By [Clavinet] – Gene Eugene
Arranged By [Drum, Piano, Synth And String] – Jon Gibson
Arranged By [Horns] – Rob Watson
Arranged By [Rhythm Guitar] – Rick Zunigar
Arranged By [Saxophone] – Doug Webb
Art Direction, Design – Ed McTaggart
Mixed By – G. Eugene
Photography By – Michael Seeley
Recorded By – G. Eugene
Written-By – Jon Gibson

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – The Mixing Lab
Mixed At – The Mixing Lab

CD Case Front
CD Case Back
Inside 1
Inside 2
Inside 3
Inside 4
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Jon Gibson – Body & Soul – 1989

Jon Gibson would score higher sales (Jesus Loves Ya) and radio success (Forever Friends) elsewhere, but his true artistic triumph came on this sweet little record, Body & Soul. Combining an obvious Beatles influence with his Stevie Wonder grooves helped Gibson create an utterly unique and never duplicated release. The album would also feature Gibsonsd most transparent, thoughtful and poignant songwriting. The soulful crooning and Gospel infused Church Anthems still remain, but there is a distinct musical quality, a fresher, more earthy appeal, that sets the record apart. It also remains the finest production work in Bill Baumgart’s career. The sub-three minute Beatle’s directed “Heart of Gold” kicks off the album with a great Abbey Road era sound to the opening strings followed by Bill Baumgart’s great piano that would prove to be the central instrumentation for the whole project. “In the Name of the Lord” follows and remains one of Gibson’s biggest radio hits despite many stations rejecting the song based on the term “good God” used in the chorus. But it is with the ballads that Gibson becomes most personal and intimate. Whether biographical or not, many of the slower songs capture a hurting and striving artist. Most notably is “Merry-Go-‘Round.” The sense of loss and repentance found in the words of a father seeking redemption are at times chilling. “God Will Find Ya” has Gibson with a psuedo-falsetto vocal that whines through a hypnotic melody that never pushes the groove. Possibly the strongest ballad is “Father, Father.” Another song of repentance builds and builds as it moves to a great vocal climax, more emotional than many other Gibson ballads. Two last songs of note are the great cover of Stevie Wonders “Have a Talk With God,” that features a cameo by Wonder on harmonica and the killer closer, Everyone Needs the Lord.” The later is Black Gospel masterpiece that Smokie Norful really needs to cover. Starting slow and building up both the passion and pace as it moves, the song would become a moderate hit and great live experience. With it Gibson continued to prove he was easily the most soulful artist in CCM at the time, and maybe ever. the only criticism is that it is clearly 3 minutes too short!

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Heart Of Gold – 3:02
2 – In The Name Of The Lord – 4:38
3 – Merry-Go-Round – 4:46
4 – God Will Find Ya – 4:36
5 – Father, Father – 3:52
6 – Have A Talk With God – 3:28
7 – Long Ago – 4:32
8 – Us Now – 3:07
9 – Everyone Needs The Lord – 3:56

Credits
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Belinda Stewart (tracks: 2,6), Beverly Williams (tracks: 2,6), Crystal Blake (tracks: 3), Francine Williams (tracks: 2,6), Jon Gibson, Lisa Russo Judd (tracks: 2,6)
Choir – The Friendship Baptist Choir
Co-producer – Jon Gibson
Engineer – Bill Wolfer
Engineer [Assistant] – Eric Kibbe, Jon Gibson
Executive Producer – Brian K. Tong
Guitar – Jon Gibson, Kit Charlton
Harmonica – Stevie Wonder (tracks: 6)
Keyboards, Drum Programming, Synthesizer [Bass Synth] – Bill Wolfer
Keyboards, Guitar, Lead Vocals – Jon Gibson
Keyboards, Programmed By – Paul Gottschalk
Lead Vocals – Cubby Ingram (tracks: 8), Jon Gibson
Mixed By – Bill Wolfer
Percussion [African Drums], Cuica, Djembe – Vinx
Photography By – Ken Kloster
Producer – Bill Wolfer

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Mixing Lab B
Mixed At – 7th Street Sound