Songs For The Masses (Bradley BRC 4165/NALR 35178, 1974)
Liberation Theology buffs will recognise the clever double meaning of the album’s title. But this album, which ended up as part of North American Liturgy Resources’ offerings, has some very strange aspects to it.
To begin with, the albums performers are only designated as “students of St. Mary’s Seminary” (which is in Baltimore, MD.) Had Tim Schoenbachler, Tom Schaefer and Dan Ripellino not written the music, the whole business would have been completely anonymous except for the uncaptioned photo of the performers (well, we hope they’re the performers) on the back.
But our three composers get the short shrift in later NALR productions, as one of the songs on this album is later attributed to a St. Louis Jesuit!
That all being said, Songs For The Masses is a good representative of 1970’s Catholic liturgical music. The instrumentation is above average, and the songs are good too (in the case of “Lamentations,” the lyrics are nothing short of jolting.) We’re also positive that Martin Kane (if he’s still with us) won’t care for the endless musical re-enactment of his baptism. But the music for the Mass is good and its revival wouldn’t be the worst thing a parish could do.
Update: as you can see from the comments, this is a popular post, both with the fans of this music and with the artists. Tom Schaefer and Dan Ripellino have started a YouTube channel for their music, which you can find here.
- Rise Up Jerusalem
- The Lord is My Hope
- Psalm 97
- Simeon’s Canticle
- Make Known Your Way
- Baptism Prayer
- People of God
- Memorial Acclamation
- Yes, Lord, Amen
- Be Filled With the Spirit
- A Song for the Masses