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You Gave Me Love (When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer) [Remastered]

B.J. Thomas

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Album Review

You Gave Me Love (When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer) opens with a heavy dose of mawkishness — a children's choir singing along with "Using Things and Loving People," which is a bit more sweetness than this sparkling singsong tune deserves. Nevertheless, this does indicate that You Gave Me Love (When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer) is a considerably bolder affair than its predecessor, Happy Man, boasting a greater palette of sonic colors along with a few lively tempos to boot. This cheerfulness does not outweigh the ballads that remain the focus of Thomas here. Sometimes the production is a little bit too exacting, a choice that slows the paces of those ballads and therefore the record at large, but generally this is a nicely balanced and sharp late-'70s CCM album.

Customer Reviews

You Gave Me Love ( When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer )

I grew up listening to this back in 80's, it's great to have it on iTunes. Good lyrics to meditate on.

BJ Thomas Contemporary Christian Music

I used to listen to Contemporary Christian Music as a child. It was great to see the songs from the "Happy Man" project on ITunes. Please add more of his music such as songs from the "For the Best" and "Walkin On a Cloud" projects. Thanks.

He's reachin' out with my hands, helping someone make a right choice.

In a way, this is B.J. Thomas' sophomore album...as a Christian, that is. There is not even a ounce of "slump" in this record. If possible, it's better than 1978's "Happy Man." (See my review there as well.)

My Dad bought this one 1st, I think. As I remember, it's because he had heard the opening track on a Christian radio station--WRBS in Baltimore. And he thought, "this will be nice for the kids."
I can't tell you how many times I've seen him cry through "You gave me love when nobody gave me a prayer--that's why I call you Saviour," and "I'm gonna see Jesus; I'm gonna look into his eyes someday," and "Even though the world says I'm a man...Lord, I'm just a baby, teach me how to walk."
(But 30+ years later, I'm the one downloading it! So maybe he was right at first.)

This record focuses a bit more on the concept of "a new Christian" with tracks 4 and 6, but it still keeps a very personal, humble, reassured tone. You feel like B.J. is sharing his heart with you (although again, many of the songs were either written or co-written by Archie P. Jordan.) Also, thematically there seems to be more of a focus on Jesus in this record. Not in concepts, like what we sway to in church nowadays, but like a true consideration of Jesus--his hands, his feet, his voice, his smile. I could do with a bit more of that instead of the 90's "Jesus is my boyfriend" crap or today's "Jesus is my air, my breath, my everything" ambiguity.

The main difference I see here, musically, from "Happy Man" is that there's more of a balance between the toe-tappers and the contemplative pieces. But it doesn't feel like you're being forced through it, as a listener. I can still listen to this over and over again, today. The gospel BGV's and the 70's instruments are still there, but again, it's the words and the voice that are absolutely timeless:
"I can see dark clouds comin' my way. I know they're gonna try to rain on me...but I must say, I'm just as happy as can be, just because I've got Jesus on my mind."
"Remember when I didn't have a dream to call my own--so blinded by my pride that I could not see? Remember me the one who said, 'I'll make it all alone?' Well, take a look at what Your love did for me."
"When there's trouble all around me and my soul cries out for rest. When I feel that I'm failing even though I've done my best. When decisions get so heavy and there aren't answers that I need: I know it's time to just be still and let God love me."

It's just powerful. I don't know how else to put it.
I highly recommend the whole album. And while I absolutely cannot pick favorites on this one, I will say it's the words of tracks 2, 3, 8, & 10 that come to me the most during a regular day. Again, so glad that WORD finally remastered this property for the digital age!

Biography

Born: August 7, 1942 in Hugo, OK

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

B.J. Thomas (born Billy Joe Thomas) straddled the line between pop/rock and country, achieving success in both genres in the late '60s and '70s. At the beginning of his career, he leaned more heavily on rock & roll, but by the mid-'70s, he had turned to...
Full Bio
You Gave Me Love (When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer) [Remastered], B.J. Thomas
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