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Shotgun Angel

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Album Review

Daniel Amos' Shotgun Angel is their transitional album between country and the more straight-ahead rock of Horrendous Disc. A comparison with the Eagles is unavoidable, especially on the title track and "Father's Arms." The group's penchant for silliness shines through on the cowpunk country rave-up "Meal." Side two of the album contains an eschatological rock opera of sorts based on scenes from the book of Revelations. A little too wide-eyed and doomsaying for most modern audiences, but an appropriate song cycle for a band named after two minor prophets. From this song cycle, a notable track is "Better," which sounds uncommonly like psychedelic Beatles. The title track is a cover from another southern California Jesus rock band called the Road Home, whose principal songwriter, Bill Sprouse Jr., had passed away as Daniel Amos was beginning to make themselves known. ~ Mark W. B. Allender, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Eagles and Beatles

Daniel Amos is one of those entities that if you don't like their music now wait for the next cd. Their first
was all country, Shotgun Angel the second record is one half Eagles(the first half) and like the Beatles in the second half. As the review for this album states it was the transition from country to rock that started on this
offering. They later went on to new wave and then modern rock. Terry Taylor, the lead singer and songwriter
is heavily influenced by the Beach Boys and the Beatles and it shows on this album. Father's Arms and Praise
Song are the best of the first and the second half is sequential so you need to listen to all of it together.
These guys as Daniel Amos, DA and several other versions have a lot of great music and are very entertaining in
concert. This is one of their better efforts, listen and laugh and enjoy!

Beatles, Eagles, and...

One reviewer likened DA to the Beatles and the Eagles. Yes, there are echoes of both influences though this is probably their most Eagles influenced sounding album. However, the secular group I hear the most in DA is The Mothers of Invention. Had Frank Zappa been a believer and lived long enough to evolve he would probably have been this band.

Brilliant!

I first listened to the Daniel Amos masterpiece, “Shotgun Angel,” in 1977 shortly after its release on vinyl. It would be a good 35 years before listening to it again. This record has lost none of its musical relevance nor does it sound the least bit dated as so many of Daniel Amos’ future recordings do.

Not that being dated is necessarily a bad thing. It’s not. DA responded to the times with music and a message that is as relevant today as it was in the early 1980’s. This took real courage and commitment on their part, especially given the mindset of the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) establishment during those early years. Original Christian artists were often judged and even accused of losing their faith for straying beyond the accepted bounds of Christian Music normalcy. Thank God DA did not lose sight of their vision and buckle under the pressure. Music (and Christian Music in particular) is far richer for it.

There have been more than a few comparisons drawn between “Shotgun Angel” and other pinnacle rock records of the 60’s and 70’s, mostly due to the operatic theme of side two. I disagree that it is inspired directly by any of these works. It sounds nothing like them. Perhaps it is the ‘thematic’ approach of side two and its similarity to the highly popular ‘concept album’ that peppered the musical landscape of that era that feeds the comparisons. Say what you will about “Shotgun Angel” and its similarities, I believe it is a work that stands very well on its own. These comparisons don’t serve to make it any better than it already is.

And if there is such a thing as a ‘Desert Island Record,’ this one would definitely top my list, right alongside “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Tommy,” and “So Long Ago The Garden.” Lofty praise indeed, but well deserved. Terry Taylor and his band-mates put together an astonishingly refreshing and original work that has stood the test of time. This is a great record. Being a believer is by no means a prerequisite for enjoying it, but being familiar with the themes certainly helps.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Founded (for the most part) in 1975, Daniel Amos, or DA (or Da or dä), has been one of the most creative bands in the history of Christian music; indeed, their aggressive creativity and song craftsmanship are seldom paralleled in the whole genre of pop music in general. Led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Terry Taylor, Daniel Amos has been on the forefront of pop music both musically and lyrically, with lyrics exploring the subject of spirituality and the relationship between God and humanity. Starting...
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Shotgun Angel, Daniel Amos
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