Long-Forgotten Star-Strewn Rock Oratorio Prepared For Release

Religion-tinged concept albums are rarely popular, “Jesus Christ Superstar” being an exception, and still, the disappearance of a similarly styled 1977 record from most of radars doesn’t fail to surprise, given that the double-LP set “The Bible: A Rock Testament” – featuring British rock elite as instrumentalists and Demis Roussos and Jeane Manson as two of the singers – had been issued in, at least, US, Canada, France and Japan. How could such a gem vanish? “It was complicated,” remarks, when asked, renowned arranger and conductor Martyn Ford who, together with the late Paul Buckmaster, masterminded and produced the “mammoth project” whose tapes were recently digitized and remastered with a prospect of release.

Now referred to as “Testament” and credited to ELIXIR, it was laid down at London’s Trident and Air Studios with a stellar cast, including guitarists Ray Russell and Hugh Burns, keyboard players Ann Odell, Tony Hymas and Francis Monkman, bassists Paul Westwood and Dave Markee, drummers Simon Phillips and Barry de Souza, percussionists Ray Cooper and Morris Pert, and violinist Graham Preskett. The results can be currently heard on Reverbnation – yet, as per maestro Ford, famed for his work on platters by Paul McCartney, BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, CAMEL, Phil Collins and Kate Bush, to name but a handful of artists, there hopefully will be a CD version out in the future, with a 5-track EP titled “Risen” put out on March 15th, in time for Easter.


Old Testament:
1. The Greatest Story
2. The Garden Of Love
3. Cain And Abel
4. Noah
5. Father Of Faith
6. They’ve Got To Be Free
7. The Commandments
8. Beyond The Years
9. Land Across The River
10. Love Will Grow
11. Perfect Man
12. Shepherd Boy
13. I Will Not Fear
14. All Is Vanity
15. Prophet of Doom
16. Opening The Book
17. Build It Again
18. I Can Hardly Wait For The Day

New Testament:
1. There Is Born A Child
2. Change Your Ways
3. Come And Follow
4. Words From The Mountain
5. Born Again
6. The Law Of Love
7. I Hope You Know
8. Let Your Heart Be Troubled
9. What Did He Do To You
10. Thy Will Be Done
11. It Is Finished
12. He Is Risen / Tell The Whole World

March 18, 2024

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