It’s the end of the year, and quite a few magazines have best of lists for reissues from nearly every genre. However, the odds of seeing any sort of reissue guide in a Christian magazine or Web site aren’t particularly good; for some reason, the holy end of the music industry has the shortest memory of any of the biz’s significant segments, and only remembers its stars of the moment. Actually, there is a good reason: The majority of the recorded history of Christian music isn’t really worth revisiting—and the stuff that is has often been relegated to labels that no longer exist, so the original copies are scarce and grotesquely expensive, or available only on dubious European bootlegs. Until recently, Daniel Amos was a band who suffered this fate.
“The Shape of Air”:
Formed in the mid-’70s and led by singer-songwriter Terry Taylor, Daniel Amos frequently altered its lineup and its musical approach; by 1987, when the group recorded Darn Floor Big Bite, the quartet had perfected a strange and thoughtful Christian new wave sound. The album was out of print for years until the Portland label Arena Rock reissued it this fall, complete with bonus CD that featured interview material with Taylor. The copy of Darn Floor I purchased from an actual store sounded terrific coming from my car stereo. For some Christian music fans, Daniel Amos was their Velvet Underground. It’s about time one of their releases has had a packaging worthy of its significance.