The album was to come out on Freddie Piro's new label, "Good News", but Freddie was pretty much leaving us alone in regard to the choice of songs and putting the album together in general. Freddie's mother owned a condo in Malibu Beach in Southern California. We all went down there to spend a weekend, and to pray about the sequence of the album even before we set foot into the studio to record. I think one of the phenomenal things about this album was that the sequence we prayed about that weekend went down on the final album with absolutely no changes. In those days we made vinyl record albums, and the sequencing of an album was largely dependent upon the mechanical limitations of that medium. You could only put so much music on one side or the needle could literally be tossed out of the groove. More often than not, sequences did not go down as planned. Long fadeouts, slower tempos and other factors often demanded that songs be switched around in order to get them on the album. But not this album. The sequence went down without a hitch, and confirmed to us that we were creating something very special. The album was recorded at Gold Star Studios, which was famous for the fact that Phil Spector had recorded groups such as The Ronettes, the Crystals, and The Righteous Brothers there. Many hits by other artists such as the Beach Boys, Dick and DeeDee, and Sonny and Cher had been recorded there as well. Actually, from a historical standpoint, our album was the very last album recorded on the historic old sound board that had recorded so many of these hits. This board was so old that it had rotary pots as opposed to the sliding pots used on boards today. I was told by Stan Ross, co-owner of the studio, that when our album was finished, the board was to be shipped to the Smithsonian Institution to be forever displayed there as a historic artifact of the recording industry.
I don't remember to much about the tracking, but do remember that it was our intent to track the songs with the same instrumentation that we used in live performances. Other than the doubling of voices, we did not want to add anything to the songs. There were no string overdubs, or any additional "sweetening". If you notice, there also are no fadeouts. Each song ends just like it does when we perform it live. Vocal overdubs on the album were fairly routine, in most cases backgrounds were just doubled. Lead vocals were added later as usual, and were usually the last step. For me, I remember having to go into overdub two lines on the song "Freedom", because the notes were so high and difficult to hit. These were specifically the two lines "He's the Lord, He's the Lord", about halfway through the song. I remember the relief I felt when I finally got these two lines on tape.
The album was actually mixed twice. The first mix was done at Gold Star. I remember how weird it was when we mixed because no one in the group was really making final decisions, and there was no producer assigned to the project. The group this time was functioning democratically, which really doesn't work in religion or music. I remember how comical it looked to see each member of the group with his hand on the knob that controlled his instrument. This would usually be the recipe for disaster in mixing, but somehow it all came out okay and the mixes sounded pretty good in the studio. When we took the tapes home to listen, we all felt that the mixes lacked "sparkle" on the high-end. All the mixes sounded as if a blanket had been put over the speakers. Looking back, I suppose this could have been corrected in mastering and probably would have been just fine. But being the paranoid perfectionists that we were at the time, we wanted to remix the whole album. Sound Labs, a studio known for its technical excellence, was booked. We hired a "hot" young mixer, Eirik Wangberg, to do the mixes, but this time everyone respectfully kept their distance and let Eirik do what he did best. This time we all liked the sound of the mixes and the album was finally released. It went on to sell over 250,000 units over the course of its lifetime, and even though such statistics were not charted in those days, these sales were phenomenal for the times.Chuck Girard - Jan 1998
"Front Seat, Back Seat"(Tom Coomes/ Chuck Girard)
"Let Us Be One"(Tom Coomes)
"And The Wind Was Low"(Chuck Girard)
"A Brand New Song"(Chuck Girard/Fred Field)
"Feel the Love"(Chuck Girard)
"A Love Song:(Reprise)"(Chuck Girard, Jesse Johnston)