Sunday, September 22, 2013


Gideon’s Army was a San Francisco Bay Area based rock/hard rock band dating back to the 70’s.  Warriors of Love was originally released in 1985. Retroactive Records has been able to remaster and re-release this lost and forgotten gem of Christian Music. Perhaps with one of the most iconic covers in the history of the genre.

Perhaps it’s my loss that I never had a chance to see Gideon’s Army in concert during the 80’s.  I don’t remember them ever playing clubs but primarily performed as a prison ministry and I’m sure there were church concerts as well but alas I guess I wouldn’t be able to connect.

That all being said Warriors of Love is solid album of 80’s infused Bay Area rock/hard rock. Trending ground similar to later Jefferson Starship, Journey and more commercialized Night Ranger. Hooks are abundant as are the keyboards and synthesized sounds that permeate this release, yet they take a back seat to the guitar driven solos throughout.

With easily accessible  and immediately memorable songs such as Moment by Moment, Runaway and Backsliding Brother it’s a wonder why this group wasn’t signed to one of the major Christian labels back in the day. Another of the great mysteries in my mind that continues to baffle as to why almost none of the SF Bay Area bands were ever signed (save for Veil of Ashes).

The title track itself is a precursor of the power ballad but strikes with more energy then most of their later contemporaries.  This is a strong song that demands a repeat play right after listening, and I’m not a ballad guy at all. A few quirky pop moments appear in the form of No Fun and Video complete with drummer Jerry Anderson playing Simmons drums.

Recorded in Hayward’s Master track Studio (if memory serves correctly. The same place Soldier would record their classic Babylon tape) there is reverb a plenty but that was the sound at the time. Once again the genius of J Powell at Steinhaus has breathed fresh life into a recording that has accepted the infusion of clarity well and is better for it.

Thanks to Dave Johnson who tipped Retroactive Records about Gideon’s Army desire to see this material reissued. I for one am glad that its here and now we can enjoy it for posterity. Fans of 80’s rock n roll will want to add this solid slab of rock to their musical library.

8 axes
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