Randy Stonehill - Welcome To Paradise (Vinyl)

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  • Pre-Owned Vinyl
  • Gatefold with original Story of Solid Rock Insert
  • 1976 Solid Rock Records

Welcome to Paradise is one of the greatest albums in music containing spiritual lyrics. The theme is very biblical, so it may shock some listeners. It is a rock 'n roll album but it has many acoustic melodies. It is quite close to Neil Young's early works but not exactly - perhaps it could be compared to Bob Dylan, John Lennon or other 60's/70's male artists in rock & folk. Randy Stonehill's vocals are good and his guitar work is even more amazing. The lyrics are very good although there are minor missteps.

"King of Heart" is a favorite. It is a beautiful, emotional start for this album, "Keep Me Runnin' is a great rock song with uptempo melody. "The Winner (High Card)" is another fantastic song. "Lung Cancer" uses irony to make smokers think what they are doing. It is a controversial song which may shock many people. It is dealing with serious issues but the songs uses humor - it is OK because it is obvious that Randy Stonehill wants smokers stop buying and smoking cigarettes because it affects both their health and wealth. "Puppet Strings" is another brilliant song, among with "King of Hearts" and "Keep me Runnin'" it's one of my three favorite songs of the album.

"First Prayer" starts the second half of the album and I love the lyrics and the melody - the emotions are high. "I've Got News for You" is perhaps the most rocking song of the album. I really love the music, and it is a better song than "First Prayer". "Song for Sarah" is a lovely song which tries to say that Jesus loves Sarah (and other women and also men) the way humans don't. "Christmas Song for All Year" has a very good melody but the lyrics sound quite awful. "Good News" is good but it is not one of the strongest songs of the album - probably the second least favorite of mine. It is rocking and uptempo but quite simple.

The album is one of the greatest releases in CCM - an absolute classic!
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(Paradise Lost) Side One
  1. King Of Hearts 4:53
  2. Keep Me Runnin' 5:57
  3. The Winner (High Card) 3:43
  4. Lung Cancer 3:31
  5. Puppet Strings 4:25
(Paradise Regained) Side Two
  1. First Prayer 3:08
  2. I've Got News For You 3:49
  3. Song For Sarah 3:28
  4. Christmas Song For All Year 'Round 3:56
  5. Good News 3:18


Pioneering Christian rocker Randy Stonehill began playing guitar at age ten, within three years winning grand prize in a citywide talent contest held in his native San Jose, CA. He issued his debut LP, Born Twice, in late 1971, and in 1973 recorded Get Me Out of Hollywood, which was never officially released; Welcome to Paradise, his first major album, followed in 1976. After a four-year hiatus from recording, Stonehill resurfaced with The Sky Is Falling, his final collaboration with longtime producer Larry Norman; Between the Glory and the Flame, his first release for the Myrrh label, followed a year later. By now one of CCM's elder statesmen, Stonehill enjoyed his most prolific period during the mid-'80s, issuing at least on album annually between 1983 and 1986; after 1988's Can't Buy a Miracle, he began work on the next year's Return to Paradise, the long-awaited sequel to his breakthrough effort. With 1994's The Lazarus Heart, Stonehill inaugurated his own label, Street Level Records.

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