Come For The Children

by Oden Fong

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Marla Hawks
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Marla Hawks Love your music to infinity...and BEYOND!!! Favorite track: Come For The Children.
Eric Unright
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Eric Unright At one time this was the most expensive Christian Rock album ever produced. Of course that was in the 70's. Oden Fong's spiritual expression is sincere and at times heart breaking. But it all works out in the end....just like in the bible. Favorite track: White Eagle.
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about

COME FOR THE CHILDREN (1979)

Oden Fong

Oden Fong was responsible for two of the most highly regarded classic Jesus Music albums. As a member of Mustard Seed Faith he played guitar and sang on their classic “Sail on Sailor” and then a few years later released his first solo album, Come for the Children. It is the latter under consideration here.

Taking his influences from late 60’s folk rock and psychedelic rock and infusing it with 70’s progressive rock, Fong created a true classic Christian rock album for the time. Many of his contemporaries were content with folk and country influences, but Fong was more rock and even found influences in eastern musical expressions. The production (except for what will be noted later) was far ahead of the curve for the time in Christian music and was a real standard setter.

The album starts with the haunting “The Mask,” which also describes in a beautiful lyrical context that struggle many have with attempting to present themselves as something other than who they are. The song fades into the following “Natural Man” with its initial Eastern influenced recorded intro before becoming a straight ahead 70’s progressive rock gem with just a touch of the Beatles. In fact, it has a little “Horrendous Disc” feel to it.

Crazy Voices sound way too much like Steely Dan’s “Back Jack” while “White Eagle” became the biggest radio hit (for the time) by including a more country rock influence than anything on the album and sounding the most like Mustard Seed Faith.

The line-up on the album must be recognized. The liner notes reads like a who’s who for the late Jesus Music era. John Mehler, John Wickham, Alex MacDougall, Hadley Hockensmith, Michelle Pillar, Bob Bennett and was produced by the legendary Jonathan David Brown. One of the engineers on this album, Thom Roy, would later go on to play an important part in the early 80’s Christian new wave and punk scene working with many of the bands already discussed on this list out of Southern California.

A review would not be complete without a review of the classic title track that clocks in at well over 7 minutes. Fusing progressive and 70’s rock into a great classic rock song. The song is not afraid to possess a lengthy instrumental break. I have always wanted to hear the album remixed with a better guitar mix as what is going on is wonderful, just a bit hidden as was the tradition for the time as an attempt to be not as controversial. A special note of commendation to Gabriel Katona’s impressive keyboard work on this song as it carried the tune.

There really isn’t a weak song on the whole album and a classic of this magnitude is clearly an AYSO.

credits

released July 12, 2016

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Oden Fong California

The son of an actor, gospel singer Oden Fong had spent his childhood amid the flamboyance of the Hollywood glitterati, and it was in these environs that the seeds of his faith were sewn.

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