Lie Down In The Grass - 30th Anniversary Liner Notes


How to Purchase

Mp3 and Mp4 files are available at all your fine digital retailers such as iTunes and Amazon. The anniversary edition will not be available on Spotify until sometime in 2015 (if at all). These are offered at a discount of $9.99 for twenty songs.

No vinyl or CDs are available for this project. However, knowing that many longtime listeners prefer hi-resolution files, we have created a hi-res bundle available at

Please feel free to burn your own CD from these high quality files.

For vinyl collectors, we have a very limited quantity of the original 10 song version and the A&M version. In addition we have 12" Vinyl "Lie Down in the Grass" singles. If interested, please contact for pricing and purchase information.

Lie Down In the Grass 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Liner Notes


If you landed here, then it’s likely you’re interested in Charlie Peacock’s new 3Oth Anniversary, commemorative edition of LIE DOWN IN THE GRASS (released 12/9/14).

The new re-mastered release contains twenty songs, including the original recordings, bonus cuts, and 2014 remixed masters from Nashville mix engineer Richie Biggs (Chris Cornell, The Civil Wars, The Lone Bellow). See track listing and notes below.

Peacock created the music for his debut 1984 solo release in 1983 and finished mixing and mastering the spring of 1984 with a release soon after. Sangre Productions, a company founded by Mary Neely and administrated by Jan Eric Volz, funded the project. The production company created the Exit Records imprint (home to The 77s, Vector, and Steve Scott), with distribution via Word Records first, then A&M Records, and finally WEA/Island Records in its last few years of existence. According to Peacock, “I think it was actually Word Records that funded the record, as I believe Mary and her husband Louis had worked out some sort of arrangement with then Word Records’ president, Stan Moser. I think we spent $20,000 on it, including mixing with Larry Hirsch at Paramount and mastering with John Golden at K-Disc.”

There are two versions of this release, the Exit/Word version and the A&M version (released in 1985 through a December ‘84 pact with Exit/Word). They are identical except that the A&M version has two previously included songs removed and two new songs added (“Love Doesn’t Get Better” and “Young In Heart”). Initially, Missing Persons keyboardist Chuck Wild was slated to produce these versions but Peacock did not like the direction and scrapped it. As with the original release, Peacock produced the two new songs. With the new version on A&M Records and a music video set to release, Peacock secured a music publishing deal with April/Blackwood and CBS Songs (signed by Deirdre O'Hara and Doug Minnick), management with Bill Graham Mgmt. (Arnie Pustilnick, Mick Brigden), and a booking agent (John Huie and Ian Copeland at Frontier Booking International). Peacock was immediately put on the road as an opener for the UK bands, The Fixx and General Public, along with USA acts Missing Persons, Let’s Active, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The album charted on the College Music Journal charts but did not break the Billboard charts. According to Peacock, “I don’t remember the cumulative album sales being more than 25,000.”

Nevertheless, Lie Down In the Grass, made a significant contribution to the contemporary Christian music genre (despite Peacock solely promoting the album to mainstream pop audiences). Lie Down In the Grass found traction with a small group of advocates in what was then called CCM. First with the original distributor Word Records in Waco, Texas led by Stan Moser and Jeff Moseley. Secondly, Peacock found progressive media advocates in John Styll, Brian Quincy Newcomb, Bruce Brown, and Dan Russell (a magazine publisher/promoter who went on to road-manage for U2 and manage Black Rebel Motorcyle Club).

In the June 1984 edition of Contemporary Christian Music magazine, Lie Down In the Grass received a favorable review, excerpted below:

In this powerful solo debut . . . Charlie Peacock forays into musical territory until now unexplored by Christian musicians . . . a truly relevant and totally contemporary artistic statement – not merely trendy, but trendsetting. Lie Down In the Grass is a truly daring venture for Exit, and one which I believe will not go unrewarded.

Evan Cater, writing for the industry bible All Music Guide added his take on Peacock’s debut: “When Lie Down In the Grass appeared in 1984, the contemporary Christian music industry hadn't really ever seen anything like it. It immediately established newcomer Charlie Peacock as a songwriter of unusual creativity and intelligence with a willingness to go closer to the cutting edge than just about anybody else in the industry.”

Peacock was well received in northern California and on the touring circuit, but not everyone in the Christian community warmed to Peacock’s artistic vision. Though the blogger later enthusiastically retracted it, this recent reflection typifies the more baffled response to Peacock and his debut recording.

“When I first saw this album cover, I have to admit, it didn't fit my idea of what a "Christian" album should be. Listening to the album didn't change my mind much, honestly, and I put it away without any more thought.” –

In 2004, twenty years beyond its original release, writer and personal friend of Peacock, took this look back:

“Charlie’s jazz-influenced, new wave EXIT debut, Lie Down In the Grass, was hip without desperately wanting to be. It was original. It was weighted toward the prow, leaning into the cultural conversation. Lyrically, it seemed to represent a faith that was worn very humanly, both in the secular marketplace and in the Christian subculture. People inside and outside the church found something that resonated with them. The rest of us took a long look at this odd bird, scratched our heads and managed a profound, “Oh.” The old defensiveness suddenly looked a lot less defensible when viewed against this new paradigm of honest, cultural engagement. His early career was marked by the creation of art that was emotional, compelling and varied and by a conscious attempt to dismantle the barrier between artist and audience.
– Douglas McKelvey for Contemporary Christian Music magazine.

Several key people are responsible for helping make Charlie Peacock’s Lie Down In the Grass a reality. Beginning in 1982, musician/painter Jimmy Abegg single-handedly championed Peacock to Mary Neely and Exit Records. After Peacock recorded Mannequin Virtue with the Exit band Vector (produced by Alpha Band member Steven Soles), Neely tapped Peacock for a solo record and hired him to produce the 77s classic, All Fall Down.

According to Peacock, “I got some invaluable help making that record. I’m thinking specifically of Erik Kleven and Eric Heilman on bass, Mike Roe and Jimmy Abegg on guitars, Bongo Bob Smith and Jim Caselli on percussion, Steve Griffith on bass, toms, and backing vocals, Mike Butera on tenor sax and Larry Lunetta on trumpet. Daryl Zachman did a stellar job engineering and Larry Hirsch mixed the whole thing at Paramount – a classic Hollywood studio owned by Brian Brolin, the brother of actor James Brolin. The actor Harrison Ford actually built some of the studio. When I was working there, Clint Eastwood and his girlfriend Sandra Locke stopped by to give Brian a parrot.”

For a full list of credits to the original recording in 1984 and the 1985 version released on A&M Records, see URL below:

For a the best online access to lyrics use the URL below:

Charlie Peacock’s essay published at 11/29/14

This year (2014) is the 30th anniversary of the release of my first solo albumLie Down In The Grass. We are days away from a commemorative digital release of a deluxe version (12/9/14) and my mind is brimming with thoughts. Most obvious is the speed at which time collects and moves on. Less expected is the near absence of sentimentality or any longing for what is often named, the good old days. Though very happy it's even an option to celebrate this debut recording from the past, I'm more grateful for the privilege of still looking forward. As I sang on No Man’s Land from 2012: “I’m swimming in the blessing, not waiting ‘round to die.”

I was twenty-seven years old and living in Sacramento when I wrote the music for this recording. I had a little bungalow on 57th Street with my wife Andi, our daughter Molly (6) and son Sam (3). Most was written in that home, or at my 8 Track studio setup at Double Vision across from KROY. My new Memorymoog was my primary writing instrument. Rhythm-wise, I began with a borrowed Oberheim DMX drum machine, then purchased the LinnDrum LM-2. We were two years into a radical life-change inspired by the Jesus of the gospel accounts. He reportedly said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And so we did, experiencing a promise as trustworthy as the sunrise.

The music fit with the time. Though people often cite Thomas Dolby, Thompson Twins, and Eurythmics as popular antecedents and contemporaries, I was more inspired by other less known sources. Lie Down In The Grass would not have been possible without the version of the Charlie Peacock Group best-known by Sacramentans (1981-82), and producer/co-writer Stephen Holsapple’s encouragement. The group’s recordings are bundled in an album titled The Last Vestiges of Honor. Together we ran several of the harmonic experiments that would be put to good use in my solo debut. I was also intentionally trying to work into my new, more pop sound, what I’d learned from esoteric sources like Carla Bley’s Social Studies and Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports, in which Carla Bley also had a role. Secondly, I had two very talented peers in the persons of Brent Bourgeois and Larry Tagg. We often played each other our music in progress, and as is said, iron sharpened iron. Lastly, if there were a contemporary influence greater than all others, I would point you to the Scottish artist, Roddy Frame. His 1983 Aztec Camera recording titled High Land, Hard Rain meant a lot to me.

Prior to the spring of 1982, and my surprising encounter with the efficacy of Jesus, I was what is termed, a seeker. In the 1981 recording “What They Like” I sang, “I’m looking for a critical mind of the spiritual kind.” My search was rewarded. I had avoided Jesus for as long as possible. I had rightly understood burdensome religion, but wrongly understood Jesus. I had pegged the notion of becoming a Christian as mostly about giving up freedom for salvation – some sort of pact with God where you stop doing stupid stuff and get heaven in return. As I found out, this is not what it means to be a student-follower of Jesus. Do people believe it is? Even those who say they are Christians? Sadly, yes. Gratefully, I have only known increasing freedom.

Lyrically, Lie Down In The Grass represents my first baby steps at describing what I was seeing on the dusty road of following after this teacher and his world-changing claims. I didn't know anything about what constituted a so-called Christian song in the thoughts of other followers of Jesus. Honestly, chalk it up to hubris, but it didn’t enter my mind that I might need to know. Early on in 1982 I’d purchased two albums at Berean Books, a Christian bookstore in Sacramento. Not caring for them at all, I didn’t purchase any more music from the Christian music industry until Amy Grant’s excellent Lead Me On in 1988.

Reading through the lyrics of Lie Down In The Grass in 2014 I see the simple thoughts of a very young follower. It’s to be expected. What is unusual though, is that there's no mention of Jesus. There are two mentions of God – one in general, the other specific to the Word of God. What can be plainly seen, is the very early working out of a theology of God, people and place. The title cut begins with people and place – my Williamson grandparent’s home in Tierra Buena, California – specifically the view out their screen door. The voice of God comes to us in specific places, in the daylight and in our dreams. At their home, and at my Miller great-grandparent’s home on Jefferson Road I was able to experience unfettered play outdoors, unaccompanied by adults. In the tierra buena, the good earth, the bent grass, rye and mustard thrived. With my eyes puffed and tearing-up from allergies, I would run through the tall grasses till out of breath. Then fall back into them and rest – the collect of blade upon blade having the power to catch, cushion, and comfort me. I would jump up just to do it again. Running, falling, trusting. Running, falling, trusting. Always an adventure, always trustworthy.

Now fifty plus years later, and thirty from the debut of Lie Down In The Grass, everything and nothing has changed. Despite an entirely different world, it’s all still trust-fall. I’m looking forward to the future, trusting, swimming in the blessing, not waiting ‘round to die.

Reflections on Lie Down In the Grass by Michael Roe

“With this kind of skill and imagination loose on the premises, we were certain that the album would make its mark with whoever happened to come in contact with it. We were not wrong in that assumption.”

Believe it or not, we are nearly 31 years into this thing now, as tracking for Lie Down began, I think, in the fall of 1983. But 31 doesn’t sound as rounded off as 30 for marketing purposes.

Regarding “Young In Heart” and “Love Doesn’t Get Better”, I was always opposed to the addition of those tracks to the A&M release of the album, as they were not part of the original sessions. I understand why A&M wanted this, but I was unhappy with the decision. Is that Daryla Griser singing backup vocals on the chorus of “Young In Heart?”
Sure sounds like it. And “Young In Heart” was my introduction to the great Lance Taber, who played electric guitar with me on the track. He has remained a lifelong friend.

In 1983, the 80’s British Invasion was in full swing – everything from one-shot novelty a-go-go pop silliness, to doom and gloom, and/or bright and sunny electric guitar jangle, along with a fairly pervasive Tamla/Motown revival going on in England at the same time. In the midst of all this came Aztec Camera’s High Land, Hard Rain album, which featured a little more acoustic guitar than most of the other acts from the British Isles. Charlie seemed to like that, along with the simplicity and lack of clutter and fussiness in the production. While not exactly forming the entire musical template for Lie Down, the quiet influence of ‘High Land’ seemed to give Charlie a new, gentler way of approaching things in the studio during the making of Lie Down In the Grass.

It was from that influence that Charlie invited me in, acoustic guitar in hand, to keep that subtle Aztec Camera vibe going throughout the project. But after awhile, I found myself in the control room sitting across from Jimmy Abegg with both of us holding Stratocasters and Charlie standing above us calling the various musical shots. We got to stretch out and play some pretty cool stuff that drew from every electric guitar influence I can think of, including Duane Eddy twang, Hawaiian, blues, jazz, Dave Edmunds and even a little bit of surf music. None of it was forced. It all felt so natural. We had a wonderful time playing off of each other, and I learned a lot from Chuck, especially how to avoid the obvious in my playing. I would occasionally come up with a line or part and he would forbid me from playing it. Why, I would protest, “It’s the perfect part for right there.” Chuck would retort, “That’s exactly why I don’t want you to play it.” This would frustrate me at first, but I eventually discerned that he was after something more original, something not so hackneyed and obvious.

The song “Lost In Translation” is a case in point. It began with Jimmy Abegg playing an aggressive 'Big Country meets the Wild West' riff. Eventually, Charlie became irritated with Jimmy’s part and stripped the entire track back to a much more introspective approach. I played every single guitar on the track, but felt guilty the entire time because Jimmy’s incendiary part had been obliterated. So, Jimmy was brought back in to play the banjo! I still felt like something at the core had been, indeed, ‘lost in translation’, and suggested that we re-introduce Jimmy’s wild part at the end of the song. Charlie agreed, and the song now ends with Jimmy’s original aggressive riff, which was a perfect way to get out of the tune. I was so grateful that Chuck was the kind of producer that was willing to hear you out if you felt very strongly about something.

On the closing tune “Who Is Not Afraid”, I remembered a technique that Simon & Garfunkel had used for background vocals on their song “The Only Living Boy In New York” from the Bridge Over Troubled Water album. It consisted of singing a long ‘ahhh’ sound at the top of your lungs and layering it several times, then backing the voices way down in the mix. I spelled out the idea to Charlie. He liked it and Steve Griffith and I were given our marching orders. After several takes, Steve and I began to hyperventilate, but we hung in there until the desired effect had been achieved. It was a magical sound that left all of us exhilarated for days. Sure enough, the mixdown engineer buried our voices so far down in the mix that the impact of the effect was lost, but I shall never forget the highs that we all experienced when recording those vocals. It was as if we could reach for the stars with any idea that anyone on the sessions came up with, and Chuck would indulge it just to find out if we could take the project one step further musically. With this kind of skill and imagination loose on the premises, we were certain that the album would make its mark with whoever happened to come in contact with it. We were not wrong in that assumption.

After the Lie Down album was completed, I was fortunate to have another project lined up with Chuck at the helm, the All Fall Down album by my group The 77s. It was as if we didn’t stop recording when Lie Down was finished. We merely picked up where we left off, and that feeling led to a similarly successful artistic achievement for All Fall Down because myself, Charlie and engineer Daryl Zachman remained in the same head and heart space that we had already been in for Lie Down. The results were equally as rewarding and long lasting, and I have been forever grateful to Chuck for that.

It was an honor to be a part of the sessions for Lie Down. It was a challenge to come up with something truly original in the 1980’s, but I know of no other album from that period that sounds anything like Lie Down In the Grass.

30th Anniversary Edition Track Listing

Lie Down in the Grass

Watching Eternity

It’s Gone, It’s Over

Human Condition

Lost in Translation

One, Two, Three (That’s Okay)

Whole Lot Different (Whole Lot the Same)

Till You Caught My Eye

Turned on an Attitude

Who Is Not Afraid

Young in Heart

Love Doesn’t Get Better

Lie Down in the Grass (A&M Version)

Lie Down in the Grass (Island Version)

Lie Down in the Grass (2014 Mix)

Lie Down in the Grass (Bourgeois Tagg Version)

My Marguerite (2014 Mix)

Guilty (2014 Mix)

Young In Heart (2014 Mix)

Love Doesn’t Get Better (2014 Mix)

Charlie's Notes on Track Listing

The first ten songs are as they appear on the original vinyl recording from 1984. Next are the two songs added when the recording was re-released by A&M Records in 1985. Next up are four different versions of the song "Lie Down In The Grass." This includes a unique version offered on the A&M release, a completely reworked version on the 1986 self-titled release on Island Records, a new 2014 release by mixer Richie Biggs, and a live version from my 1980s counterparts, Bourgeois Tagg. The band would often perform the song in concert. I wish I knew the origin of this recording - perhaps someone will hear it and remember.

"My Marguerite" and "Guilty" are never-before-released bonus cuts from the 1980s era performed by the Charlie Peacock Group lineup of Bruce Spencer, drums; Darryl C. Anders, bass; John Weber, keyboards; Jon Skinner, tenor saxophone; Jimmy Abegg, guitar, and Vince Ebo, backing vocalist. It's also very possible that vocalists Clarice Jones and Shelley Burns contributed. Clarice and Shelley often performed with us - including a Gavin Convention gig at the Fillmore with Bourgeois Tagg.

Two lineups participated in the national touring that surrounded the Lie Down in the Grass releases. The first being Mike Roe (guitar), Bruce Spencer (drums), Erik Kleven (bass), and Bongo Bob Smith (percussion). The second included Michael Miller (guitar), Kurt Wortman (drums), Geno Lopes (bass), and Bongo Bob Smith (percussion). Aaron Smith (drums) also played from time to time, along with bassist Eric Heilman. Duane Temme often road-managed us and kept things going.

Finally, the 30th Anniversary Edition closes with two fresh Richie Biggs mixes of "Young In Heart" and "Love Doesn't Get Better."

I want to give special mention to Bongo Bob Smith who championed me and this music during the 1980s. Bongo was the first to take the song "Lie Down in the Grass" to Bonnie Simmons at Bill Graham Mgmt. in San Francisco. As a result, I was hired to write a couple of songs/tracks for Santana that management could have in their back pocket, just in case something more commercial and contemporary was needed for Santana's next recording. Fast forward to 2014, this just seems silly, and thankfully were never used. Nevertheless, Bob's introduction did result in Bill Graham managing me for two years, and I'm grateful to managers Mick Brigden and Arnie Pustilnik for their enthusiasm and kindness. Many thanks to John Huie (and the late Ian Copeland) at Frontier Booking International who took a chance on me and put me out on the road. Doug Minnick took me into CBS Songs and got me my first publishing deal, and for that I'll always be grateful. It's impossible to reflect on this period of my life without including thanks and gratitude to Mary Neely at Exit Records. Mary saw something in me that fanned the flame of her advocacy and support, and she never wavered. Close friends and creative partners like Mike Roe, Jimmy Abegg, Steve Griffith, Aaron Smith, and Darryl Zachman were critical to this period of work. For anyone I've overlooked, please accept my sincere apologies - gently let me know and I'll correct this document.

In closing, I want to thank my wife Andi Ashworth. It is accurate to say that without her none of this would have happened. When there was very little hope to be had, she held on to the belief that one day we could be a healthier family. And so, Andi took one last chance on me and together we found our way out of the darkness into the light of God's love and a renewed love for each other. Then she created a home for Molly and Sam and me where we could flourish - where the music could flourish. And so it has, for the last thirty years.

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