A City Set Upon a Hill Cannot Be Hid (New Song NS-0001) 1976
Back when I first encountered the “Jesus Music” of the 1970’s, I always wondered: what if they ditched the guitars and tambourines of the “Fisherfolk” and did something orchestrally? Evidently someone else had the same idea. The result of that is this album, which is in a class by itself.
This album has always been the mystery album of 1970’s Christian music. Coming from Huntington Beach, CA, it has no credits to its musicians, but gives all the credit to “God the Holy Spirit.” That’s always buffaloed those who want to know the people who actually performed on and produced this unique work.
It’s obvious, however, that New Song Ministries implied that the music came directly from God. That’s a stretch: the rich vocals and instrumentation are frequently overdone, and one gets the impression that what they’re trying to convey is well beyond the power of their expression. But the effort is well worth it.
The last half is a suite based on the book of Revelation. Christian music buffs will draw the parallel with the second half of Daniel Amos’ Shotgun Angel, released the following year. But New Song’s approach is entirely different and, in some ways, dates more gracefully than Daniel Amos. And the end…well, that’s the most powerful moment of the album, you’ll have to experience that for yourself. It begs for live performance.
Update (June 2013): Much of the mystery behind this album is peeled away by the comments of group member Paul Griffo. You can read these below; my comments on them are here.
The songs (for individual download:)
- Sing Praise To God
- Cry Out Hosannah
- Song Of Joy
- Jesus Savior
- Don’t Let Your Heart Be Troubled
- Maybe This Day
- The Bride’s Song
- Behold I Come Quickly
- I Had Never Imagined
- The Harvest Is Past