Not only were these Southern Californians one of the first on the scene with a “contemporary musical expression: The Beat”, they had one big advantage over other Christian beat outfits of the time (mostly UK bands), and that’s the support of a mainstream label. And boy does it ever show. This one’s got the heaviest garage sound for the era, ‘Praise We The Lord’ probably being the closest Christian music ever got to the raw punk energy of early Who (it’s actually a rip-off of The Yardbird’s tune ‘You’re A Better Man Than I’). The irresistibly catchy twangy pop of ‘With The Lord At Our Side’ coupled with the Association-like title cut prove the band’s own compositions to be the best. Solidly electric sound throughout, plenty of riffs, solid drumming, some Duane Eddy-derived leads on beat interpretations of ‘Battle Hymn’ and ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ that probably caused a few stirs among the ecclesia. For beat sounds this side of the Big Pond, this one’s the top banana. Too bad they never achieved the status of labelmates The Standells and Chocolate Watch Band, but such is life. Both stereo and mono versions exist with subtle differences (note the two entirely different guitar solos on ‘With The Lord At Our Side’). (Ken Scott – The Archivist).
- Danny Altcholer -- lead guitar
- Fred Barnett -- guitar
- Jeff Barnett -- drums, percussion
- Walt Flannery -- keyboards
- Mike Joyce -- bass
The Crusaders - Make A Joyful Noise With Drums And Guitars (1966)
[Tower – T 5048 - LP]
Their debut album The Crusaders Make a Joyful Noise with Drums and Guitar, which was also recorded in 1966, and produced by Levine and Goldberg, was released by the middle of November 1966. The album's liner notes claim: "For the first time, God is praised in song through the most contemporary musical expression: The Beat!".Jesus music historian David Di Sabatino indicates that "this album is important in establishing that there were a handful of artists performing 'gospel rock' music well before Larry Norman or any other of the Jesus music artists emerged in the early 1970s". Kelly Lawler argues that "One of the very first releases that could clearly be considered a Christian Rock release, the Crusaders' Make a Joyful Noise with Drums and Guitars, stands as a landmark LP".