I decided to write a little about some of my favorite albums. I thought about doing a top 10, but thats really impossible when I think about all the albums that I love. So heres my 2 cents about an album I absolutely love.
The year was 1994, and I can remember how bummed out I was as a 10 year old to hear that both Brian Free and Ivan Parker had left Gold City. They were on top of the mountain, their last album together, Pillars of Faith (a classic I will eventually get to) had yielded an amazing song, “There Rose A Lamb”, which was an instant classic, and song of the year. Yet both Free and Parker left the group, pursuing new intrests (Ivan a solo career, Free would start Assurance).
This would be the start of a new era for Gold City, a season of change that would not stabilize until late 1996, when Jonathan Wilburn would join. With the opening’s at lead and tenor, the group started the process by moving baritone Steve Lacey to the lead spot. I was, and still am a big fan of this move. Steve had a great voice, and was magnificent on solos. With Lacey promoted to lead, that created an opening at baritone, which would be filled by, in my opinion, the greatest baritone ever, Mark Trammell. Jay Parrack, son of legendary Kingsmen tenor Johnny Parrack, would be hired as the new tenor, and a new nucleus was in place.
This song selection on this album is incredible. In fact 3 songs from this album (Ever Since That Wonderful Day, I’ve Passed Over, Jesus Cares For You) would go on to be re-recorded by the Kingdom Heirs. Other classics include one of my favorite Trammell features, “Calvary Came Through”, as well as the jazzy “Born To Serve The Lord”. A wonderful accapella rendition of “A Mighty Fortress”, and another great GC song, “Going, Going, Gone” are highlights of this album. The two songs that have been the hardest for me to love as much as I love the whole album are both ballads featuring Jay Parrack, “God Of All Gods” and “Stand”. While Jay does a great job on both songs, I loved Jay singing more uptempo songs (In Time, On Time, Every Time, God’s Building A Church etc).
I think this album is every bit as good as Pillars of Faith, but the reason it never became as iconic was because of Lacey’s departure soon after its release. David Hill was his replacement, and the group hurriedly recorded new material, which would be the “Lord, Do It Again” and “Standing In The Gap” projects. Hill would barely last 2 years, till Jonahtan Wilburn took his place. If you ever come accross a copy of “Renewed”, I can guarantee it would be a wonderful addiotion to your library.