Saturday, June 18, 2011

96 – Face The Music- Mylon LeFevre and Broken Heart

Mylon LeFevre was born into a family which was a legacy in Southern Gospel music, although he only recorded one album in the Southern Gospel vein. As a 17-year-old, he achieved a certain amount of fame and fortune when Elvis Presley recorded his song “Without Him”. Soon a number of artists recorded the song and the royalties started pouring in. But Southern Gospel was not what he wanted his musical future to be. He wanted to speak to his generation in their language- he wanted to record a rock album. In 1969 he recorded the album We Believe, and became somewhat of an outsider in both his church and his family.
In 1970 Mylon signed with Atlantic Records and released several albums over the decade, the most well-known being an album with Alvin Lee entitled On The Road To Freedom, featuring guest musicians such as George Harrison, Steve Winwood and Ron Wood. He also acquired a heavy drug habit, almost dying of a heroin overdose in 1973. He entered a drug treatment program that year and came out clean.

In 1980 he gave his life to the Lord at a concert by the group 2nd Chapter of Acts. He chose to give up the music industry at that point, giving up all of his royalties and taking a job as a janitor at his church. In 1982 he began to write music again and formed the band Broken Heart with members of his church.

Face The Music was released in 1988. It took me awhile to warm up to this one, which is one reason I originally listed it in the 101-125 list. Side 1 (remember album sides?) is decent pop-rock music, ending with the worship song “Mercy Seat”. Side 2 begins with a Bruce Hornsby-soundalike song entitled “Again and Again”. A really good song, but the Bruce Hornsby-like pianos are all over it. After the mellow “Again and Again”, the song “Change” comes barreling out of the speakers, a powerful song both in the intensity of the music as well as the expression of the heart of man to change.
I am not the man I will be
When He cracks the sky
Bit I know I'm getting closer

Here's the reason why
Jesus wrote new legislation
In my state of mind
Giving me a revelation
Every day I find
I've got a change
Thank You Lord, I've got a change of heart
The next song, “Rock of Safety”, takes the intensity down a little. The final song, “Lamb of God”, is still being sung in churches 20 years later. The lyrics are simple, expressing John the Baptist’s proclamation in John 1:29- “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” We sang this song many times in college fellowship groups, where one acoustic guitar and simple songs could bring heaven to earth.

Mylon LeFevre will show up in this countdown again. His music has had as much effect on my early Christian life as any other group in this countdown.


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