Freddie immediately brought Bob together with Tommy, Jay and Chuck for a weekend at his place in Malibu. The four musicians played through just about every song they knew, exchanging ideas on song arrangements, guitar and vocal parts. "We had a really good time that weekend," remembers Bob. "They got to know me as a person and I got to know them as people. A lot of time was spent just playing guitars so they would get to know me as a musician, too. After all, that's what they were looking for. By the time the weekend wets over, they had invited me to join the group.
While still in Malibu, the following days were spent discussing what direction the album should take. Although everyone seemed to have an opinion on how the arrangements were to sound, there was no question as to what the basic concept of the record was to be. Love Song wanted the album to reflect a crystal clear gospel message.
Of the twenty-five songs the group had written to that point, eleven were chosen and sequentially arranged so that their meaning would have the greatest possible impact on the listener. "The first album was really a group effort," says Jay. "All of us in the group, including Freddie, participated in every aspect of it. A lot of time was taken just to come up with a concept. Then we'd sit down and play the tunes to see how they would run together. The album really took a lot longer than any of us had anticipated, but the end result, I feel, was well worth it."
Despite some of the complications that arose, due somewhat to inexperience in recording techniques and the inconvenience of using an old recording studio, Love Song's album emerged in the early part of 1972 an instant masterpiece. It was a unified collection of songs which illustrated every aspect of the Christian experience and illuminated the one true answer to life, Jesus Christ.
the first album
First the listener is asked to "lend and ear to a Love Song." Then the story unfolds: "Here's the reason why I feel so good tonight/...Keeping close to Jesus that's the way it's got to be/...Knowing that this feeling will flow eternally/...And I'm leaving all my emptiness behind." Next they invite the listener to: "Accept Him with your whole heart." And the result directly affects the local church: "They're talkin' 'bout revival and the need for love/...That little church has come alive/...Working with each other for the common good/...Puttin' all the past aside." As for the new believer, his joy overflows: ‘He’ll do the same for you/ ...(He'll give you freedom)/...He's reaching out for you/... (He'll give you freedom)." To the backslidden, a message of love: "Welcome back to the things that you once believed in/...Welcome back to what you knew was right from the start." To the careless, a warning: "I was runnin' from my Master/ And I tried out every new thing I could find/...But my life turned into one disaster/...Without the Lord I almost blew my mind." Then, a prayer for unity: "Lord don't let me strive against my brother/...Let us be one in You." And the subsequent enlightening power of the Holy Spirit: "I then began/...To understand/...The blessed meaning/ Oh, Creator, your perfect wisdom/...Then came the fire!...The strong desire/... To really serve Him." With all of this one can only respond to God with praises: "Sing unto the heavens with a brand new song/...And sing a song of love/ ...And sing a song of gladness/...So sing unto the Lord and sing with feeling." And to man with a spirit of concern: "Now's the time to change your foolish way/...Feel the love the Son of God can bring/... By believing/...By receiving Him."
Bob admires his picture!
Unlike so many musical expressions before it, Love Song's message was direct and to the point. As Bob puts it, "The album was like a fresh ray of light through a filthy window that was finally being scrubbed." Because of its approach, "Love Song" penetrated new areas of ministry for the group. Says Chuck, "We felt we had put all that we could into the album, and, when it was released, we committed it to the Lord. What happened after that was nothing short of unbelievable. We thank the Lord continually for the widespread acceptance the album has received and for the doors He opened for the group."