77’s – Ping Pong Over the Abyss (1983)

The 77’s first album was originally released in 1983.  So why review an album that is almost thirty years old?  For starters, Michael Roe decided to make the album available on iTunes a few weeks ago.  So anyone that has an old crusty cassette and nothing to play it on should be very excited.  Also, the iTunes release gives many listeners a chance to hear these unbelievable notes for the first time.


Ping Pong Over the Abyss engages with worldview themes in a way that is uncommon in Christian circles.  If King Solomon wrote lyrics to a rock album, this is what it would be like.  The album tackles several worldviews in a very straightforward way.  A Different Kind of Light questions the notion of finding “truth within.”

They talk about a light inside you
I hope I never get that blind
I don’t want to take my chances
On joining the collective unconscious
I’m waiting for the clouds to break
I’m looking for the road to take
Don’t want the usual merchandise
Recycled in a new disguise

I’m following a different Light
A different kind of light
A different kind of light

It’s So Sad lays bare the worldly philosophy of hedonism and refuses to embrace the lies of Hinduism:

Trying to buy heaven
Right here on earth
The cost will always end up
More than it’s worth
You ponder living
You wonder why
No matter what you do
You’re still going to die

Falling Down a Hole wrestles with a host of worldviews including Buddhism, Islam, Spiritualism, Fatalism, Humanism, Evolution, and Witchcraft:

Is a tired old line
The logos is sleeping
Just give it some time
Evolution is preaching
“From monkey to divine”

Renaissance Man is a frontal assault on atheistic evolution and is a powerful musical apologetic:

It’s from “star stuff” that he’s made
It’s the cosmos that gave him life
How does that help him feed the poor
How does that help him love his wife

A renaissance man
Tearing himself from The Rock
A renaissance man
Tearing himself from The Rock

He’s cast away all thoughts of heaven
His science is full of preconceptions
His answers make me ask more questions
How many can wait on evolution

He needs to live
On the sides of the north
In the city of Reformation
That’s where he’ll find his life

This album is definitely not a typical Christian rock album.  The themes are sobering and tap into the meaningless of man apart from Christ.  A severe blow is delivered to nihilism, humanism, and hedonism.  Something tells me these guys were reading Francis Schaeffer in the late 70’s!

If you like your music raw and realistic and don’t mind a trip back to the 80’s,  Ping Pong Over the Abyss is for you.

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