BarlowGirl

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BarlowGirl
BarlowGirlLifest2006 (cropped).jpg
BarlowGirl members from left to right: Lauren, Alyssa, and Rebecca.
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Christian rock, contemporary Christian music, alternative rock, rock music
Years active 2000–2012
Labels Fervent
Website www.barlowgirl.com
Members Alyssa Barlow
Lauren Barlow
Rebecca Barlow

BarlowGirl was an American Christian rockCCM all-female band from Chicago, Illinois. The band was composed of sisters Alyssa (lead vocals, bass, keyboard), Rebecca (backing vocals, guitar), and Lauren Barlow (co-lead vocals, drums).[1] The band has won several awards in their genre; their song "Never Alone" was the longest-running No. 1 song in 2004 on Radio and Records Christian Hit Radio (CHR) and Christian Rock charts,[2] and was the "Song of the Year" on both charts. BarlowGirl became the best selling new Christian artist of 2004.[2]

Their song "I Need You to Love Me" was released at the end of 2005. The single broke the record on Christian Radio & Retail Weekly's (CRW) Christian CHR chart by holding the No. 1 spot for 13 consecutive weeks.[2][3] BarlowGirl was the second most played artist CHR artist of 2005 behind Sanctus Real.[2] It was the most played song on Christian Hit Radio in 2006.[4] BarlowGirl was voted the January 2006 winner in Yahoo!'s Who's Next after viewers were shown the video for the song. BarlowGirl is also among the twelve artists selected to be a part of the first volume of the Big Shiny Planet [UP] Bible Study in 2007.[5] The three sisters were youth ambassadors for the National Day of Prayer in 2007.

On October 24, 2012, BarlowGirl announced that they would be "retiring the band".[6]

On Monday, October 29, 2012, they officially retired the band with a final live on-line chat and acoustic session. This appearance also premiered their final song "Hope Will Lead Us On".

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The Barlows' father, Vince Barlow, created youth CDs at his church, Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois.[7] He was hired to perform at events all over the United States.[7] He brought his daughters as his backup band in the late 1990s.[2] BarlowGirl began writing songs and performing them at his performances. The trio stopped touring with their father when Rebecca and Alyssa began college, but they did perform at his nearby concerts. The trio had written around ten songs by 2002.[7]

The Barlow sisters were given a paid trip to the Gospel Music Association's Music in the Rockies seminar at Estes Park, Colorado, in mid-2002. The sisters were not informed that the seminar was a record industry event for unsigned artists, nor that it was a competition. They reached the finals of the event. Record companies became interested in the sisters after word of mouth spread about the seminar.[7]

The group's name became famous before the group released their first CD. The group Superchick included a song titled "Barlow Girls" on their initial release, Karaoke Superstars, as a tribute to the actual Barlow sisters and their stand for purity, and effectively introduced the sisters to the music world.[2][8]

The sisters were signed to Fervent Records on October 14, 2003.[9]

BarlowGirl and "Never Alone" (2004)[edit]

BarlowGirl in concert

BarlowGirl released their first studio album BarlowGirl on February 24, 2004.[9] The album included the longest-running No. 1 song in 2004 on R&R's CHR and CRW's Rock charts, "Never Alone" was named Song of the Year on each of these charts. The CD had sold over 250,000 units by April 2005, and featured the singles "Never Alone" and "Mirror". These No. 1 songs earned the trio four 2005 Gospel Music Association (GMA) awards (formerly the Dove Award) nominations, including the Best New Artist award, Best Rock Song, and Rock Album. The trio was the best-selling new Christian artist of 2004. BarlowGirl received a 2006 GMA award nomination for Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year for "Mirror". "Never Alone" was also featured on the WOW Hits 2005 CD.

The CD also featured a hidden track titled "Image", which listeners could only find by loading the CD into their computers and accessing a hidden website. To date, it's the second-only track where oldest sister and guitarist Rebecca sings a solo. She sings the middle part of each verse.

There is also a Family Christian exclusive version which contains the bonus track, "We Pray", which, among others, also features artists Mandisa, Jackson Waters, and Rebecca St. James.

Another Journal Entry and "I Need You to Love Me" (2005-2006)[edit]

Their second album, Another Journal Entry, was released on September 27, 2005.[9] The album debuted at No. 3 on Soundscan's Christian album chart, and had reached eighty-five on Billboard's Top 200 Current Albums chart by October 10, 2005. The trio was nominated for three additional 2006 GMA awards - "Group of the Year", "Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year", and "Rock Recorded Song of the Year" for "Let Go".

The trio are featured as guest vocalists on Big Daddy Weave's "You're Worthy of My Praise" from their 2005 album What I Was Made For.[10]

The first single from the album, "Let Go"', was a free download of the week from iTunes. Their next single from the album, "I Need You to Love Me", quickly climbed to No. 1 on the Weekend 22 countdown in April 2006. The single held on to the No. 1 position on the R&R Christian Hit Radio chart for 9 weeks, and the CRW Christian Hit Radio chart for a record 13 weeks.[3] The single was the most played song of 2006 on Christian Hit Radio as played on the Weekend 22.[4] The band filmed a music video for their hit song "Never Alone" for release on mainstream radio and music video television channels, but it did not chart in the mainstream.

The members of BarlowGirl were the youth ambassadors for the National Day of Prayer in 2007. They recorded the song "We Pray" (written by Clint Lagerberg and Otto Price) for the event, along with other artists such as Rebecca St. James. The song is available on the Family Christian exclusive version of their self-titled album.

BarlowGirl re-released this album August 2006 as Another Journal Entry: Expanded Edition. It features all 11 tracks from Another Journal Entry and five bonus tracks; three acoustic versions of previous songs ("On My Own", "I Need you to Love Me", "Porcelain Heart"), a radio edit version of "Never Alone" and one new song, "For The Beauty of the Earth", which was included on the soundtrack of the 2006 film The Nativity Story). Also included on the enhanced CD was their "Never Alone" music video.

How Can We Be Silent (2007-2008)[edit]

BarlowGirl again recorded with producer Otto Price for their third studio album How Can We Be Silent. The album was released on July 24, 2007. How Can We Be Silent debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Christian Chart, and No. 40 on Billboard's Top 200 album. It was the first album by an all-female rock band to reach the top 40 on the Billboard 200 since "Everything" by the Bangles in 1989. The CD was also released in a special edition format that comes with a DVD that features the music videos for their earlier hits "Never Alone" and "I Need You To Love Me", over 90 minutes of bonus footage, and personal interviews with the three band members. BarlowGirl partnered with longtime producer Otto Price.

Compared to earlier singles, however, songs from How Can We Be Silent performed poorly on radio. The first single from the album, "Here's My Life", was released in June 2007. It peaked at No. 12 on R&R's Christian contemporary hit radio charts and at No. 29 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart. Their second single, "Million Voices", was released to rock radio a few weeks later.[citation needed] The third single, "I Believe In Love", was released on October 8, 2007. No chart history is available for the two latter songs.

BarlowGirl announced on their official online podcast that they were back in the studio recording a Christmas album during mid-2008. Home for Christmas was released on September 26, 2008 in the US and other countries. The song "Carol of the Bells/Sing We Now of Christmas" on the album became one of the top 20 most downloaded Christmas songs on iTunes holiday section at one point in 2008.[11]

Home for Christmas (2008)[edit]

Home for Christmas was released on September 23, 2008,[1] and peaked at No 180 on the Billboard 200 No. 15 on the Christian Albums chart and No. 2 on the 2008 Holiday Albums chart.[12]

Love & War and Our Journey... So Far (2009-2011)[edit]

BarlowGirl's most recent album, Love & War, was released on September 8, 2009. The song "Beautiful Ending" is on this album. BarlowGirl made a website for users to submit their beautiful ending.[13] "Beautiful Ending" is the album's lead single. It peaked at No. 28 Billboard magazine's Christian Songs chart in November 2009[14] and reached the No. 3 position on the Christian contemporary hit radio charts. The second song "Stay With Me" was released in early 2010.

About a year after the release of Love & War, BarlowGirl released Our Journey... So Far on September 14, 2010. It contains songs from all of their previous albums, plus a FredTown Manilla remix of their greatest hit single to date "I Need You to Love Me."

Band retiring and "Hope Will Lead Us On" (2012)[edit]

On October 24, 2012, BarlowGirl announced that they would be "retiring the band" and did not elaborate any future plans.[6] On Monday, October 29, 2012, the trio made their final public appearance as with a live on-line chat and acoustic session where they premiered their final song "Hope Will Lead Us On".[15]

Musical style[edit]

BarlowGirl were known as a Christian rock band. Their style includes three-part harmony mixed with rock guitars. Their songs range from ballads to guitar rock.

The ladies' lineup during their initial years featured Rebecca on guitar, Alyssa on bass and Lauren on drums. BarlowGirl was therefore a power trio. During the Love & War era, however, Alyssa identified solely as a singer and keyboardist.[16][better source needed] This also occurred in some of BarlowGirl's older music as an example of breaking the power trio mould.

Band members[edit]

Alyssa Barlow[edit]

Alyssa Katherine Nicole Barlow (born January 4, 1982) was the bass guitarist and keyboardist for BarlowGirl.[17] She also splits lead vocals with her sister Lauren. Alyssa was homeschooled from the fourth grade on.[18]

When Alyssa was 17, she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), following a sprained ankle. Barlow initially gave up when the doctors told her she would never walk normally again. She credits God for her ultimate recovery.[19]

Lauren Barlow[edit]

Lauren Ashley Nicole Barlow (born July 29, 1985) was the drummer for BarlowGirl. She also splits lead vocals with her sister Alyssa. Lauren is the youngest of the three and is also known as Lo-Lo and Odie. Barlow was homeschooled from the first grade on.[18]

Barlow was chosen as the general editor for the book Inspired by Tozer, which is a book of different artists, authors, athletes, and pastors writings that were inspired by the author A.W. Tozer.[20]

Rebecca Barlow[edit]

Rebecca "Becca" Elizabeth Marie Barlow (born November 24, 1979) sang background vocals and played both electric and 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars. She was homeschooled from the seventh grade on.[21] She has traditionally been the quietest member of the band.

In her final appearance as a member of BarlowGirl, she stated that her dream guitar is a 1957 Gibson Les Paul "Black Beauty" with gold plating on the Bigsby pickups & bridge.[citation needed]

Rebecca has also recovered from an eating disorder, which she developed at around the age of 18. "Every time I looked in the mirror, I told myself 'My goodness, how fat. You look terrible today.' It never seemed to get any better, and I felt worse and worse," she writes.[22] Reading a magazine story about a woman's struggle with an eating disorder prompted Barlow to follow the same path. She ate very little and worked out "for two or three hours per day". Eventually she reached emotion exhaustion. "When I was nineteen, I found myself one day with my cheek pressed against the cold tile of the bathroom floor, with nothing left to give, no energy no hope: I was done trying. As I lay there, God touched my heart. He revealed to me that all my destructive efforts to shrink my body were not making me feel any better about myself [...] I was so completely grateful for His healing that I pledged on that spot to love and serve Him for the rest of my life."[22]

Gallery[edit]

Philanthropy[edit]

BarlowGirl partnered with Mercy Ministries, an organization which seeks to help women. The charity, however, has faced some controversy in the United States and in Australia. Despite this, the partnership remained and led to Lauren choosing Mercy founder Nancy Alcorn to be one of the 59 contributors for her book Inspired by Tozer.

Following the release of How Can We Be Silent, BarlowGirl led a Never Silence Life campaign in 2009 to express their pro-life views and their concern for the protection of prenatal life.[23] Mercy also shares similar pro-life views. They have a pro-life message in the song "Tears Fall" from Love & War, which they sing with the Fisk Jubilee Singers.[24]

Dating[edit]

The band was quoted as saying, "We believe that God has one perfect man already chosen for us; therefore we have no need to worry ourselves in searching for him. When the time is right, we know God will bring us together. In the mean time, we are not hiding in a closet avoiding all males, we are still living our lives, just without the pressure of having to have a boyfriend."[25]

Discography[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • More Than Music (2006) was bundled with the Fan Pack of Another Journal Entry.
  • Our Journey… in Pictures (2009) was a photo book sold to promote the Our Journey… So Far compilation album. Their family friend Sarah Barlow helped create this picture collection. Only 500 books were published, each being numbered. Despite the book claiming a 2009 publication date, sales of it did not begin until September 2010.
  • Inspired by Tozer (2011) featured Lauren as the general editor, as well as Alyssa and Rebecca as two of the 59 guest contributors.

Awards[edit]

GMA Dove Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2005 New Artist of the Year Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Never Alone") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Mirror") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (BarlowGirl) Nominated
2006 Group of the Year Nominated
Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Let Go") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Mirror") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Another Journal Entry) Nominated
2007 Group of the Year Nominated
2008 Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Million Voices") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (How Can We Be Silent) Nominated
2009 Christmas Album of the Year (Home for Christmas) Nominated
2010 Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Love & War) Nominated
Short Form Music Video of the Year ("Beautiful Ending") Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "BarlowGirl". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Biography at YourMusicZone.com. Retrieved July 16, 2007 Archived September 26, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b 1cubed.com "BarlowGirl's 'I Need You To Love Me' Breaks Radio Record" June 19, 2006
  4. ^ a b As played on the January 7, 2007 Weekend 22 countdown
  5. ^ "Big Shiny Planet". Archived from the original on March 29, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b "A Letter From Us To You". BarlowGirl. October 24, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d Biography at yahoo.com. Retrieved March 24, 2008
  8. ^ Review of self-titled debut CD at Jesus Freak Hideout
  9. ^ a b c "Profile at". Christianmusic.about.com. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Big Daddy Weave, "What I Was Made For" Review". Jesusfreakhideout.com. July 26, 2005. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  11. ^ Lauren Summerford (September 21, 2008). "BarlowGirl, "Home For Christmas" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  12. ^ "BarlowGirl – Home for Christmas". Billboard. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Upcoming Album Release Dates". Jesus Freak Hideout. Archived from the original on June 22, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009. 
  14. ^ "BarlowGirl Christian Songs chart". [[Billboard (magazine)|]]. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Live Chat On Monday, October 29". BarlowGirl. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  16. ^ Barlow, Lauren (October 20, 2011). Inspired by Tozer. Ventura: Regal. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-8307-5929-3. 
  17. ^ "Who is BarlowGirl? - Profile of Christian Rock Band BarlowGirl". Christianmusic.about.com. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b The Old Schoolhouse BarlowGirl interview[dead link]
  19. ^ Amy Hammond Hagberg. "Alyssa Barlow: Not the Same Old Song and Dance". positivelyfeminine.org. Retrieved July 20, 2008. [dead link]
  20. ^ Barlow, Lauren (2011). Inspired By Tozer. Regal. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8307-5929-3. 
  21. ^ The Old Schoolhouse BarlowGirl article[dead link]
  22. ^ a b BarlowGirl; Andrew Barlow (2006). More Than Music. Word Entertainment, LLC. pp. 53–54. 
  23. ^ "Never Silence Life". BarlowGirl. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  24. ^ Love & War album.
  25. ^ "Barlowgirl Biography". Sing365.com. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 

External links[edit]