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The Original COMMISSIONED

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Commissioned : Number 7
Commissioned: Matters of the Heart
Commissioned: Irreplaceable Love
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Karl Reid
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Background Track: "I'm Going On" by Commissioned (features Fred Hammond, Keith Staten, Mitchell Jones, Karl Reid, as lead singers; written by Michael Brooks; from the album "I'm Going On")

The Group Commissioned began as a few guys from Detroit named Mitchell Jones, Keith Staten, Karl Reid, and a bass player/singer named Fred Hammond decided to start a band. They added a piano player/songwriter, Michael Brooks, and a drummer, Michael Williams, to became known as the group COMMISSIONED.

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(Go Tell Somebody: From Left to Right: Mitchell Jones (crouching in yellow) Fred Hammond, Karl Reid (in yellow), Michael Brooks (all white), Keith Staten (crouching, blue) and Michael Williams)
 
Go Tell Somebody
(their second album)
 
Tracklist:
Victory
Love Isn't Love
Go Tell Somebody
Cry On
Who Do Men Say I Am?
Hde The Word
Learn To Pray
Running Back To You
 
This was Commissioned's second album from Light Records, released in 1986.
 
This album starts off with the song "Victory", composed by Mitchell Jones and his longtime Commissioned ally (and sometime Commissioned backup vocal), Parkes Stewart. Fred Hammond starts with a nice bass guitar entry, followed by Mike Williams on drums, followed by Mitchell Jones and Commissioned. This song has a portion of the song "Victory Shall Be Mine" included in it ("Hold Your Peace, Vengeance is mine...Victory, Victory Shall be mine...). "Love Isn't Love" was written by Michael Brooks, and features a nice introductory solo by Fred Hammond. The lead guitar on this song is NICE!!! "Go Tell Somebody" is also written by Michael Brooks and is sung by Keith Staten. This is a nice song with a message. The next track "Cry On" is a sort of mellow song, and is sung by Mitchell Jones. This is a Commissioned classic which was also remade by Mitchell Jones and his daughter Adrienne on his album Still Commissioned: The Songs of Mitchell Jones. "Who Do Men Say I Am?" is a song written by Fred Hammond (He also put it on his album "In Case You Missed It And Then Some" in which Keith Staten and later member Marcus Cole are guests in this song along with others). "Hide the Word", the next track, is pretty nice, and features mentionable parts by Karl Reid and Keith Staten, nice bass playing by Fred Hammond at the end. "Learn to Pray" features some nice guitar playing and drumming at the beginning mixed with Commissioned's signature round tenor sound and Fred Hammond's lead voice. The last song "Running Back To You", mainly features Fred Hammond singing solo (an alright song, but I think that it's impact on Fred Hammond been hyped up a little bit - speaking of those who feel that this song put Fred Hammond on the map - however, this song is nice).
 
This album reached number 2 on Billboard gospel charts.
 
 
Selected Sample Tracks
 

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I'm Going On
(their first album)
 
Tracklist:
I'm Going On
'Tis So Sweet
I Can See Jesus
Unworthy
You've Got A Friend
The City
Giving My Problems To You
Surely We Need Him
 
This is  Commissioned's first album, released in 1985 by Light Records. It featured hits such as "I'm Going On"- A nice song for its time, with nice Latin Drumming and Percussion Work done by Michael Williams, followed by the round tenor sounds of Commissioned.  "'Tis So Sweet", lead first by Mitchell Jones, and also Fred Hammond. What I like most about this song is the last part (Lyric: "Yeahoo...Jesus!...Oh I Love You!"). "I Can See Jesus" has an 80's rhythm, and may remind you of one of The Winans' tracks. "Unworthy" is a classic Commissioned song, with a part sung by each of Commissioned's vocalists (Mitchell, Fred, Karl, and Keith). Later member Marvin Sapp even sung it on his 2002 album I Believe. Now What can I say about "You've Got A Friend"? It's lead by Keith Staten, and sounds pretty good, especially the ending. "Giving My Problems To You" is another hit from Commissioned which is also sung by tenor Keith Staten (the horns in the background can make you love this song). "The City" is a quiet, almost hymn-like song (in a sense) sung by Commissioned, with Mitchell and Fred leading various sections of this song. "Surely We Need Him" is a nice song which has a nice pickup late in the song ("Surely We Need Him, Surely We Need Him, Yeah...).
 
Selected Sample Tracks
 

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On The Winning Side

Tracklist:

 

You Keep On Blessing Me

Strange Land

I’m Gonna Let My Love Flow

You Can Depend On Jesus

Only What You Do For Jesus Christ Will Last

What Will You Say?

When Jesus Sings

Perilous Times

Jesus Cares

 

This album is Commissioned's third album from Light Records, released in 1987.

This album starts with "Keep On Blessing Me" written by Michael Brooks, with a nice collaboration of sound for the time. Michael Williams starts drumming while then Fred Hammond comes in on the bass, with a brass sectional collaboration that I like. You have to hear it to know what I'm talking about. "Strange Land" has become a favorite of mine, I like how it begins with an A capella harmony that reminds me of Take 6. "I'm Gonna Let My Love Flow" has grown to become one of my favorites. I like its beginning lyrics, along with Mitchell Jones' singing the intro, "It's been a while my brother..." along with the stints of the bass guitar played by Fred Hammond, his singing is great to. In "You Can Depend on Jesus", Mitchell Jones' singing is like that of a love song, the ending of the song is also exceptional, a beautiful song to listen to if you're going through. In the song "Only What You Do For Christ Will Last", I just recently realized that the repeated refrain "They Must Know" is used in Commissioned's song "They Must Know" written by Wanya Morris (Boys II Men) in Commissioned's later album Irreplaceable Love. The song "Perilous Times" utilizes the urban sound that Commissioned will be known for in their later albums, especially those on Benson Records. Altogether, this album is uplifting especially in songs "You Can Depend on Jesus", and "Jesus Cares". 

Selected Sample Tracks

You Keep On Blessing Me, Strange Land, I'm Gonna Let My Love Flow, You Can Depend On Jesus, Only What You Do For Christ Will Last

 

Did you know that Commissioned and the group Witness are related? Witness was founded at least in part by Michael Brooks, who was also an original Commissioned member. They also had, on occasion, Fred Hammond playing the bass guitar, Eric Brice on lead guitar, and Earl Wright on keyboards/organs (Eric Brice and Earl Wright were not Commissioned Members but did help on their albums - mainly the Original ones). After his departure from Commissioned, Michael Brooks still continued to compose much of Witness' music.

2003-2010, by J. Lawrence. All Rights Reserved

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