Computer Program Found on 35-Year-Old Prodigal Album

Growing up in the ’80s, I watched technology change rapidly. It’s changing even faster now but there was something about that era that still fascinates me today.

During that time of discovery and growth, a lot of musicians experimented with computer technology and included digital tracks on their albums.

Christian bands were doing the same and one band, Prodigal, went so far as to include a small program written for the Commodore 64 in the runout track of their album Electric Eye.

A YouTuber, Robin Harbron, tells about how he heard about the Easter egg and shows the process he went through to get the program to run on a C64.

The program is just nine lines of code and contains two quotes:

Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.” —Albert Einstein

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” —Jesus Christ

The late Lloyd Boldman had this to say about the Easter egg in an interview with Pop Dose:

On Electric Eye, we put a “stop-groove” at the end of Side Two that would “catch” the vinyl record and wouldn’t allow it to eject on an automatic turntable. If you picked up the needle and set it down again on the other side of the stop-groove, you’d hear a packet of computer code that could be deciphered by a Commodore 64, the most popular computer of that time. If you used a cassette drive, the Commodore would show you lyrics and graphics and some facts about the album. To my knowledge, this is the first and only time something like this was ever done.

This is the type of creativity and experimentation that I think modern CCM is missing. I’d like to see something like this from musicians today instead of the typical milquetoast that gets repeated on the radio every day.

Featured image credit: 8-BIT SHOW AND TELL/YOUTUBE

Author: John

Husband, Dad, Podcaster, Blogger, Writer, and Speaker struggling every day to follow Jesus.

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