To start off, I painstakingly researched, and came across these albums over many years and decided to not only create a post, but to provide a playlist which includes all of the aforementioned albums below for your consideration. I waded through the substandard to deliver to the listener a solid religious psych experience without the filler. Albums were dismissed if they had only a few good songs. Only the best and consistent records have made it to the playlist. I hope you enjoy!
This religious music playlist features some of my favorite, and listenable Jesus music. The first band, Azitis published an amazingly melodic and psychedelic album entitled, Help! (no, not a remake of the Beatles album, thank goodness). The album’s theme is based around the idea that our world is in trouble and humanity has lost its’ way. Now, this could be done rather poorly, but it wasn’t. Sure, it is lower fidelity soundwise, then a mass produced album of the same year, but it doesn’t take away from the hooks and interesting changes within the music. This is probably the most consistent, and best album in this genre.
Azitis, which is pronounced, “as it is” was a California quartet featuring
Don Lower: vocals, bass
Michael Welch: lead, rhythm guitar, and flute
Dennis Sullivan: organ and piano
Steve Nelson: vocals and drums.
An interesting fact: their name was taken from a verse in the Bible, “Thy will be done on Earth azitis in heaven”, giving more credibility to the groups message.
There was a Greek reissue of this album. I couldn’t find one that had been reissued in the states though, making it an expensive import.
The next album in the playlist is from The Sixth Station, entitled “Deep Night”. The cover looks like a private press for sure, and as a result it is low-fi, fortunately this also fits the music rather well. Upon listening to this album, at one A.M., it immediately grabbed me because of the stark resemblance to one of my favorite private pressed lps, Michael Angelo s/t (Listen Here), both of which were recorded around the same time period. Yet, both of these albums sound like they were recorded in a different decade and left to gather dust.
Deep Night was recorded in 1982 by a Priest. All of the songs are original and heartfelt. This is an album that one will want to listen to repeatedly, on vinyl preferably. The dry drums, and tasteful use of phaser will delight even the most critical listener.
It has been reissued on Numero records. You can get it HERE
Michael Angelo can be bought here for about $16.00. Pretty sweet!
The third album in the playlist, (and probably the most well known) is D.R. Hooker’s The Truth. Recorded in Connecticut in the early 70’s, this album is a grower and considerably stronger than their followup lp.
The two songs I enjoy are: “Forge Your Own Chains”, and the easy meets psych tune, “Fall in Love”. The remainder of the album is no slouch either. The music sounds like the band had a budget, and rehearsal time to make a high quality psychedelic album about God.
What’s also appealing about this album is that it has just the right amount of heaviness applied to it making it sound unique and one of a kind. It also has been reissued on vinyl. Get your copy https://www.vinyl.com/product_id/LPONRE1029 It can be had for about $15.00. Again, an amazing price for a gem of a rarity!
The New Dawn’s album, There’s A New Dawn, is another album with religious undertones. While not overt, there are messages about living in a world that isn’t corrupted by evil and greed.
The album starts off with a spoken word intro that leads into the track, “(There’s A) New Dawn complete with the sound of the beach and tide. Looking at the cover, one might imagine it being recorded there. On the other tracks there is lots of restrained fuzz guitar only adding to the beauty of the album as a whole. You can purchase a copy here: https://www.discogs.com/New-Dawn-Theres-A-New-Dawn/release/3773482
The Tripsichord Music Box, or simply Tripsichord is yet another beauty that has been sadly neglected. It hasn’t been reissued on vinyl in a while. The last time it was, it was done on Akarma, which has put out some great reissues, although the pressings haven’t been the best from my experience.
All of the tracks are winners. I like the song, “We Have Passed Away”, which is countrified and has some vocals reminiscent of the best Pure Praire songs out there. The other compositions are perfect for a dark, foreboding day, or for a long drive from a too short vacation, reminding the listener that life is indeed too short.
The last album is Azitis’ last release, Window Into In. Not as strong as the first, (how could it be?) but full of beauty, God, and all things Psychedelic.