17 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer/guitarist Michael Roe leads his bandmates through a brace of consistently strong songs that combine the melodic sparkle of classic California pop with the instrumental muscle of early-‘70s British rock. A natural showman, Roe delivers a spooky near-baritone vocal on “Pearls Before Swine” and unreels a jangling guitar lead on “The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes and the Pride of Life” (featuring the Byrds’ Chris Hillman on bass and background vocals). Tracks like “What Was In That Letter” and “Bottom Line” touch upon God-centered themes in nuanced, intriguing ways. The most powerful track is the brooding acoustic number “I Could Laugh,” a portrait of a tormented young hipster sung by Roe with a bleak Lou Reed-like edge. Several upbeat tunes — especially “Do It For Love” and “Don’t Say Goodbye” — have the feel of hit singles. Seventy Sevens is a neglected gem, worthy of rediscovery by Christian and secular fans alike.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer/guitarist Michael Roe leads his bandmates through a brace of consistently strong songs that combine the melodic sparkle of classic California pop with the instrumental muscle of early-‘70s British rock. A natural showman, Roe delivers a spooky near-baritone vocal on “Pearls Before Swine” and unreels a jangling guitar lead on “The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes and the Pride of Life” (featuring the Byrds’ Chris Hillman on bass and background vocals). Tracks like “What Was In That Letter” and “Bottom Line” touch upon God-centered themes in nuanced, intriguing ways. The most powerful track is the brooding acoustic number “I Could Laugh,” a portrait of a tormented young hipster sung by Roe with a bleak Lou Reed-like edge. Several upbeat tunes — especially “Do It For Love” and “Don’t Say Goodbye” — have the feel of hit singles. Seventy Sevens is a neglected gem, worthy of rediscovery by Christian and secular fans alike.

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About 77s

Described by Larry Norman as being "too Christian for the radio, and too radio for the Church," the 77's were formed in Sacramento in the early '80s by Mike Roe (vocals, guitar) Mark Tootle (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Jan Eric Volz (bass, guitar, vocals) and drummer Mark Proctor. Known at first as the Savage Young Scratch Band, the Christian band changed their name and released Ping Pong over the Abyss in 1982, and then replaced Proctor with Aaron Smith for All Fall Down two years later. Mark Tootle left after the 77's live album 88, but the group split up after 1990's Sticks and Stones. Roe then re-formed the band with Smith and two-thirds of the Strawmen: Mark Harmon (bass, vocals) and David Leonhardt (rhythm guitar, vocals). Seventy Sevens (originally titled "Pray Naked") was released in 1992. Drowning with Land in Sight appeared in 1994, and was followed by tom tom Blues. Roe has also recorded as a solo artist and with the Lost Dogs. In the late '90s, the group formed their own Fools of the World label and reissued many of their older albums, as well as releasing 1999's EP and 2001's A Golden Field of Radioactive Crows among other new titles. ~ John Bush

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