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This Year's Model

The Imperials

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Album Review

When This Year's Model appeared in 1987, there was considerable buzz in the CCM world about the "new" Imperials. Setting aside their image as neatly coifed purveyors of conservative inspirational music, the band's four male vocalists (Ron Hemby, Jimmie Lee, David Will, and Armond Morales) donned leather jackets, laced their hair with styling gel, backed their act with all the musical technology available in the '80s, wrapped it up in shimmering space-themed art direction, and generally sent the message to church youth groups nationwide that this was not their fathers' Imperials. The ultra-sleek pop production, replete with sweeping synthesizers, gritty bass runs, and rockin' electric guitar solos, was courtesy of Brown Bannister, who brought the same big, electronic sound to other '80s CCM records like Michael W. Smith's The Big Picture, Amy Grant's Unguarded, and Charlie Peacock's Secret of Time. As it turned out, This Year's Model was aptly titled. By their next album, the new Imperials had gone the way of the moonwalk, as the band turned in the styling gel and retreated to the safer, church-friendly vibe that made them famous. The album was probably destined to be a period piece, but some of the songs, like the opening "Holding On (First Love)" and the breakdanceable "Fallin'," hold up surprisingly well over the years.

Customer Reviews

the imperials at there best!!!

this album was and is the breakthrough for the legendary group which hasnt recorded an album in 5 years now ( new album out in late 2006) with this album the group has made the move to pop.. reaching the younger group of listeners, and songs like power of god, and how do i get you, show the many different styles they could do, ron hemby, armond morales, and dave will...which would make this the eventual album of change that would later usher in steve shipiro, and armond's son jason morales who now runs the legendary group..this album rocks and blesses with a big message!!!!!!!

The best

This is the best album from the imperials....ever. I hae been looking for this thing forever. Have it on vinyl...no record player. But I DO have an iPod. This is still an amazing record to listen to these guys in their prime. The only other album I would put close to this is Russ Taff's "Medals". They don't make them like this anymore....and it's a shame.

SUPERB!!!

Oh my gosh I LOVE this album it was and is still soooo good. The best ever by the Imperials they hooked me in with the cool cover as a teen in '87 and then broke my heart when they went back to the typical CCM of the day with Free The Fire. Jimmy Lee Sloas was the only reason this album was so good and he was way to hip for the Imps thats why he was gone so soon, too bad, they were never the same again. I still can't get enough of this cd buy and play it over and over again.

Biography

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The Imperials have been making music since 1964 and have in that time undergone many personnel and stylistic changes before returning to the close harmonies and straight Southern gospel songs that originally made them popular. As of the mid-'90s, Armond Morales is the only charter member of the Imperials; he and Jake Hess founded the quintet. Over the years, 18 different singers have come and gone, including such legends...
Full Bio
This Year's Model, The Imperials
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