CCM Classic Blog

From Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, To JESUS....Mylon LeFevre; By Philip Mayuabb

Most Christian rock fans instantly recognize the name Mylon LeFevre...he was the leader of Broken Heart, one of the most popular bands of the 80s, and he is a member of the Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame.  Our fourth album of the May "Rock Into Summer" event on Vinyl Revival, is "Look Up", which Mylon and Broken Heart recorded and released in 1986 for CBS Associated records.  Although the band's name was changed for the purpose of the one album, it is still Broken Heart from start to finish, and delivers some very solid work that is still enjoyable even today.

Mylon LeFevre has had a very interesting career in music,  to say the very least.  After starting off in southern gospel music, and singing with his own family group, The LeFevres, as well as spending some time with JD Sumner and The Stamps Quartet, Mylon migrated to a career in rock and roll during the 70s, and was rather successful at it.  After receiving Christ as his personal savior in 1980, he decided to put all his musical experience to use for the Lord.  After becoming friends with Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key, and working with them on the album "This Ain't Hollywood", Mylon put his own band called Broken Heart together with some guys from his bible study group, and the rest is history.

Mylon's friendship with DeGarmo and Key was initiated by a phone call in 1980.  Dana Key had heard Mylon perform in 1972, as he (Mylon) was opening a concert in Memphis for the band Mountain.  Key then proceeded to tell his bandmate DeGarmo about Mylon, and they both became fans of his music.  In 1980, the phone rang at Ardent Studio in Memphis, and when Eddie answered the call, the caller identified himself as Mylon LeFevre...it seems Mylon had listened to a copy of The DeGarmo And Key Band's album Straight On, and was blown away by a song called "Long Distance Runner".  Now a Christian himself, and wanting to play Christian rock, Mylon asked for Eddie and Dana's help, and they were happy to oblige. They invited Mylon to sing and co-write on their upcoming album "This Ain't Hollywood", and Eddie played some extra keyboards on Broken Heart's 1982 debut album, Brand New Start, and a solid friendship was born.

That friendship plays a huge part in our album Look Up...it seems that Mylon received a phone call from CBS records, a label for which he had recorded several of his rock albums a decade earlier.  They informed Mylon that he owed them one more record, but they were not looking for a standard Broken Heart LP, instead they wanted a "generic" message album, with basically no references to Jesus or Christianity.  So for starters, the band changed its name for the CBS release to "Look Up", and went to work writing for the project. Eddie DeGarmo, Dana Key, and Joe Hardy were called in to co-produce the album with Mylon, and although most of the album's nine songs were written by the tandem of LeFevre, DeGarmo, and Key, they brought in material from writers such as Kerry Livgren and Dave Perkins to round out the set list.

The record company had stated that they were interested in an album that wasn't "preachy" or overtly Christian, so the message was tweaked to meet that criteria.  The lyrics are obviously written from a Christian point of view, just without the usual  ministry that would be included on a Christian record label.  That does not make the album inferior in any way, just changes the dynamics of the lyrics slightly.  There is a terrific remake of Love Is All You Need, a song that DeGarmo and Key had recorded on This Ain't Hollywood, as well as solid songs such as Peace Begins Within, It's Alright With Me (the album's first single), The Gunfighter, and Heart Of Iron.  One of the most interesting tracks on the album for me is San Fransisco, due to the fact that it is Dana Key, and not Mylon, who sings the lead vocal on the track. According to Eddie DeGarmo, he and Dana had written the song with Mylon, and had already recorded a demo of the song, intending to record it themselves.  However before they could, Mylon heard the demo, and liked it so much that he requested not only to include the song on Look Up, but leave Dana's vocal on it as well. It is certainly nice to hear the late Dana Key's voice on this album, reminding you just how good of a lead vocalist he really was.

So this week, we get a good dosage of Mylon And Broken Heart, even though they were known as Look Up for this album.  In the end, this is still a very good, solid album, which should be included in any Broken Heart collection.  It's a shame that Sony Music never released this album on compact disc, but we still have it for you this week on Vinyl Revival!

Tracklist:

1. It's Alright With Me

2. Love Is All You Need

3. Peace Begins Within

4. San Fransisco

5. I Wish I Hadn't

6. The Gunfighter

7. Heart Of Iron

8. Saturday Night

9. Got To Get Used To It



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