#258: British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #258, on the subject of British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.

It was again the early 1970s; I had a pirated tape of their debut album Fool’s Wisdom.  I’m not really certain what to say about them–call it mixed feelings.

They were a short-lived band, producing only the two albums, the second called Wildwall.  I’m sure I heard the second (I know I saw it), but I don’t recall anything from it.  On the other hand, despite the fact that I must have listened to the first for several years (until my tape recorders died), I remember only two songs from it, although obviously listening to it now I recognize the rest.  I think of them as good songs, and I’ll get to them in a moment.

From the beginning, Malcolm Wild and Alwyn Wall struck me as the Simon & Garfunkel of Christian music, what was then called Jesus Music, but that they were a British duo.  I thought they were very good, and they were certainly enjoyable.  I did not know at the time that they had come to America and were friends with Larry Norman, but he wrote a song about them entitled Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn.

The title song of the first album, second track Fool’s Wisdom, was all the rage in my first college.  I was certainly not the only person who learned how to play it and could perform it, and indeed I performed it at my most recent concert, although I had not done so for decades, just because I’d promised to do some covers and it was a good one that I knew.  One thing about Luther College is that there were a lot of singers there and not a few instrumentalists, and it was not at all uncommon for someone to start playing a familiar song and everyone to improvise harmonies.  This song lent itself to that, and I’ll confess to having thrown in a few more modern sounds to the chorus than the original sported.  It was well-loved because of that.

I played another song from that album, though, one called Growing Old, fourth track.  I liked it when I heard it, and I learned it (it was simple, really).  I never played it in concert and never played it with anyone else, but every once in a while would play it just for myself.  Then after my father died, I happened to try to play it–months later, no connection to his death–and almost didn’t get through it.  When I put together the program for my next concert, I included it.  It was the only song that got specific mention from audience members after a two-hour concert.

I’m sure there were other good songs, and that I just don’t remember them.  They released the first two albums in 1973 and 1974, then broke up, but reunited to do a live album in ’81.  Both did solo albums, and both are now pastors.

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple AndraĆ© Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.

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