Now I know what you’re going to say: this is not the greatest Randy Stonehill record ever – and that could be true. But it was the one that had that duet with Christian pop queen Amy Grant. The next year, Grant would go on to pop radio glory with her duet with Peter Cetera, who was kind of like a big deal in the band Chicago at one time (side note: The Chicago Transit Authority’s debut double record is one of my favourite albums of all time). But in 1985, it was Stonehill and Grant who hooked up for I Could Never Say Goodbye, a duet that curiously also served as Love Beyond Reason‘s first song. It was an interesting track selection, since most bands bury their ballads/duets somewhere in the middle of the record.
And while it was an okay tune, the record really got rolling once I Could Never Say Goodbye was out of the way. There are some real good songs on this Love Beyond Reason. The standouts including Gods of Men (which gets double billing as an extended version at the end of the record), Angry Young Men and Judgement Day, the latter of which is a moody, mid-tempo rocker that features an interesting Caribbean-inspired rhythm section.
All in all, Love Beyond Reason is a solid record from a guy that has made a lot of them. And although I’ve heard a number of Stonehill’s other records, this was the first one I ever owned – I still like it. It certainly has that mid-’80s vibe, with a mix of midi-programming and synthesized sounds, along with an interesting blend of instruments that includes soprano sax, congas and harmonica. And I think the record stands up as a pretty good introduction to Stonehill’s music, combining elements of his work in the ’70s with a dash of ’80s flare. For sure, Stonehill, proved his longevity as a Jesus Music pioneer. He was able to continue to make quality contemporary Christian music years after his 1971 debut, and that’s saying something.
- I Could Never Say Goodbye
- Love Beyond Reason
- The Gods Of Men
- You’re Loved Tonight
- Until You’re Love Broke Through
- Angry Young Men
- Judgement Day
- Cross That Line
- The Gods Of Men (Extended Version)