In the fall of 1992, I accompanied my brother, Brian, to LaCrosse. He had just graduated high school and was looking for a more high-tech (read: more bass-oriented) speaker system for his 'Stang. We spent the majority of our time at Best Buy and it was there that I got a taste of one of my all-time favorite Christmas records. Garth Brooks was huge at the time and I had already purchased his newest recording, "The Chase". I was aware that he had also released a Christmas disc as well, but I wasn't too interested in Xmas music at the time. The CD was actually released in August of '92. In this way, the title of it definitely made sense.
The album was playing throughout the store that afternoon. I listened to some of the tracks as I browsed. It was good stuff, but a little too heavy for me (Go Tell it on the Mountain, What Child is This). It didn't really seem to have any fun stuff on it. I decided to take a pass on it.
During the holiday season of '93, I was shopping at ShopKo with my mom and the girls. She said I could pick something out for myself. Since it was the season, I decided to give "Beyond the Season" another chance. I put the cassette of it in my mom's cart and continued to browse. Later that day, I listened to the recording at home and quite enjoyed it.
I had a friend named Dean who I liked to hang out with at this time. He was a proud member of CIA (Christians In Action).
We were at his place. He was basically doing dishes, cleaning, things like that. I asked if I could put on a christmas tape of mine. He said that was fine as long as it wasn't Garth Brooks (he felt that Brooks was too bawdy and rowdy, especially with the track, "Friends in Low Places"). I played the tape all the way through for him without saying who the artist was. He didn't seem to mind it too much. In fact after the last track, he said that it was quite good. Imagine his reaction when I told him that the singer of the songs he had just heard, many of which were quite spiritual, was none other than GB. Just goes to show that sometimes it pays to withhold judgment.