Manna – Calling You – 1983

Manna started out as a successful secular band called The Wilton Brothers but in 1981 they changed genre to Christian music and changed their name to Manna. Though original the band consisted of the 4 Wilton brothers they were joined by Wilf Truchon on guitar and Jeff Chaignon on bass to round out Manna. Out of Edmonton Alberta Canada they stated touring the local Alberta and British Columbia area. In 1982 or 83 they went into the studio and recorded this album. I have spoken with lead singer Dennis Wilton and he wasn’t really that impressed with the engineering/production on the album. He feels that the album didn’t truly capture the sound of the band. I would have to agree after listening to some of their live recordings which are available on Dennis’s soundcloud’s channel. The band was far more Rock oriented than this album represents and I think we can blame this on Tunesmith Records who unfortunately often thought they knew better than the band. Unfortunately this was all we got from the band which was also fairly common with Tunesmith records. Pity really as I feel they were headed in a good direction judging from their live work.

Tracklist
1 – Calling You – 4:33
2 – Eyes To See – 3:10
3 – Stand Up – 5:00
4 – Worthy Is The Lamb – 5:49
5 – Choose Today – 4:31
6 – Devotion Song – 3:00
7 – Open Your Heart – 4:36
8 – Greater Is He – 3:37
9 – Be Still…Be Silent – 3:20

Credits
Lead Vocals – Dennis Wilton
Lead, Rhythm Guitars, Vocals – Wilf Truchon
Keyboards, Vocals – Rick Wilton
Keyboards, Vocals – John Wilton
Drums, Vocals, Birdcalls – Paul Wilton
Bass Guitar, Co-Producer – Jeff Chaignon
Concert Engineer – Kevin Phelps
Executive Producer Charles H. Clements II
Producer – Rob Hewes
Engineers – Dean McElwaine, Rob Hewes
Mixed & Remixed – Dean McElwaine

Companies
Recorded At – Zone Five Studio, Edmonton
Record Company – Tunesmith

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Contagious – Free Indeed – 1988

I actually read a few reviews of this album before I listened to it and they weren’t that great. In fact they were all bad. Most of you are aware that metal is not my chosen style of music but I buckled down, got a soda and started listening. My first surprise was that all the songs were mislabeled. Turns out the album and the CD had different track orders but the CD used the back of the vinyl jacket for it’s track listings meaning they were all in the wrong order. As a result the software I use immediately mislabeled all of the tracks. On the upside I actually had to listen to the album to pick out the tracks properly. I really don’t know why this album was disliked as much as it was. Yea the vocals aren’t stunning but I don’t expect every metal singer to have a 5 octave range. I found the vocals to be adequate and the guitar was very very good. Bass was…. well it was bass and the drums sounded pretty good to me. Now I do agree that the album could have had better production quality. It was produced by Randy Thomas (Sweet Comfort Band) and maybe production isn’t his strong suit or maybe he just wasn’t familiar enough with this style of music. Personally I found the album to be OK but again this is not my favored style of music so my opinion might be completely wrong.

Tracklist
1 – Free Indeed – 4:03
2 – Fighting The Good Fight – 4:09
3 – Backslider – 4:15
4 – Building On The Rock – 4:46
5 – The Provider – 2:56
6 – Hebrews 13:8 – 3:33
7 – Turn – 3:11
8 – To The King – 3:03
9 – Children Of The Father – 5:18

Credits
Backing Vocals – Thomas Mitchell III
Bass [Fretless] – Mark Lewis (tracks: 8)
Drums, Backing Vocals – Ryan Crampton
Executive-Producer – Contagious
Keyboards – Mark Lewis (tracks: 3), Ryan Crampton (tracks: 8)
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Scott Sifton
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bass – Mark Lewis
Producer – Randy Thomas

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Allies Recording Studio
Mixed At – Allies Recording Studio

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Archers – Colors Of Your Love – 1991

This is the album that wrapped it all up for The Archers after a twenty year run. It was also a return after a five year hiatus during which most of the band were working on solo projects. This albums appears to be a one album deal with Reunion Records and a part of me thinks there is a story behind this rather weird timeline. Furthermore the album only has 1 song written by Steve and Tim with the rest being penned by other songwriters. All in all this album has a rather odd story but I searched to find the story as it’s not out there so I’ll just be happy with the album, which brings me to the album. Most of the songs are standard Archers ware but there a couple good pop songs on the album if you prefer your music a little more upbeat. The album spawned 3 radio singles. “Be Our Guest” made it to #6, “I Love You Lord” made it to #10 as did “Run To You.”

Tracklist
1 – All Things – 3:34
2 – I Love You Lord – 4:32
3 – All Because You Love Me – 4:52
4 – The Colors Of Your Love – 4:37
5 – Run To You – 4:04
6 – Music (All Around The World) – 4:53
7 – Back On Track – 4:49
8 – Be Our Guest – 4:34
9 – Beneath Your Blood – 4:09
10 – We Need Each Other – 4:58

Credits
Arranged By – Smitty Price
Arranged By [Vocals] – Jonathan David Brown, The Archers
Art Direction – Buddy Jackson, D. Rhodes
Bass – Gary Lunn, John Patitucci, Spencer Campbell
Design – Sam Knight
Drums – Keith Edwards, Mark Hammond
Executive-Producer – Michael Blanton, Richard Headen, Terry Hemmings
Guitar – Marty Walsh
Guitar [Additional] – Jerry McPherson
Keyboards – Smitty Price
Keyboards [Additional] – Carl Marsh, Phil Kristianson
Mastered By – Ken Love
Percussion – Eric Darden, Johnny dB
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Saxophone – Mark Douthit

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – 41B Studios
Overdubbed At – Eagle Mountain Studios
Overdubbed At – Digital Recorders
Mixed At – Johnny dB’s Basement
Mastered At – Mastermix
Designed At – Jackson Design

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Margaret Becker – The Reckoning – 1988

This was Margaret’s third album and probably her most Rock oriented one. Sparrow gave her some latitude on this album and she took full advantage of it. We knew she had a good voice but here we learn she can do Rock also. To say the album was a success is an understatement. It had 4 singles, “Find Me”, “Who Am I”, “Streets Of Innocence”, and “Come Quickly Lord”. “Find Me” made it to #3, “Streets Of Innocence” to #4, “Who Am I” to # 5, and “Come Quickly Lord” to # 23. Three top 10 hits on one album is no easy feat. Oh and guess who appears as a guest on the album? Dann Huff, I think he was on 90% of the best albums of the era.

Tracklist
1 – Light In The Darkness – 3:28
2 – You Can’t Take It With You – 3:49
3 – Find Me – 3:42
4 – Take Me Away – 3:23
5 – Pico Boulevard – 4:22
6 – Who Am I – 4:52
7 – Start The Fire – 4:20
8 – ‘Til My Feet Don’t Move – 4:05
9 – I Don’t Want To Be Without You – 4:19
10 – Come Quickly Lord – 4:43
11 – Streets Of Innocence – 3:40

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Dann Huff, Margaret Becker, Tim Pierce
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Backing Vocals – Andrea Robinson, Bob Carlisle (track 10), Kurt Howell, Margaret Becker, Tommy Funderburk
Bass – John Pierce
Cello – Kevin Toufec
Design – 5 Penguins Design, Inc.
Drums – Mike Baird
Electric Guitar – Dann Huff, Tim Pierce
Executive Producer – Peter York
Keyboards – Alan Pasqua, Smitty Price
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Percussion [Additional] – David Huff
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer – Dan Posthuma
Recorded By [Rhythm Tracks], Mixed By – Csaba Petocz
Recorded By [Vocals And Overdubs] – Dan Garcia

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Temperance – They Gotta Know – 1987

Temperance were an unsigned band out of Naples Florida that self produced this album in 1987 and what an album it is. It goes without saying that growing up in Canada I have never heard this album before. What a pity as this is a great Rock & Roll album save the one Reggae track. Yes there’s a Reggae track and it’s just fun so don’t take it too seriously. But back to the Rock. I can’t believe these guys and gals were never signed to a record label. This album was good to go with no production or engineering required. This may be the best production I have ever heard on a self released album. A few of the tracks are very very reminiscent of Barnabas, so mush so that you could easily be fooled into believing it is them. If you missed this one in the 80’s, and I’m betting you did, you need to listen to this album.

Tracklist
1 – Start Praisin’ the Lord – 4:28
2 – Defenders of the Faith – 3:22
3 – Jesus – 3:48
4 – Out of Control – 4:27
5 – Give It to Him – 4:44
6 – They Gotta Know – 4:05
7 – The Great I Am – 3:14
8 – Lord, Lord – 4:07
9 – It’s a Lie – 3:11
10 – Yah Mon – 2:29

Credits
Bass – Eric Bennett
Drums, Percussion – Fred Corr
Keyboards – Beth Clear
Lead Guitar – Scott Carroll
Lead Vocals – Bill Kullen, Sandy Knight

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The Predators – Social Decay – 1983

I have no idea how I ever got copies of the three albums from The Predators back in the early 80’s. I don’t even know how the were distributed here in the US. I don’t even remember buying them. All I know is that I love all three and this, Social Decay, is just fabulous. When the dictionary defines “new wave” they should have a picture The Predators. Heavy keyboard dominated dance music with guitar stylings taken straight from The Knack and vocals at times sounding eerily like Bill Walden of early Undercover fame. In fact, the first Undercover album may be a decent comparison, though much more musical and stronger songwriting.But it is not a stretch to hear comparisons to Weber and the Buzztones, Quickflight, Elvis Cotello and even Ishmael United. There is a great combination of straight ahead evangelical lyrics and thoughtful and vague pop themes, but all with a Biblical worldview. “Man in My Room” has the feeling of a stalker story until you realize the song is about the Holy Spirit. “Stand Up and Be Counted” is a Christian anthem and “Nasty Video” addresses the problem of modern cinema and its impact. Their catalog is a tough find but worth the effort for those with an affection for early 80’s new wave pop.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Jack – 3:10
2 – Free World – 3:09
3 – Man In My Room – 4:07
4 – Stand Up And Be Counted – 3:45
5 – Lost At Sea – 3:48
6 – 2 Out Of 7 – 3:49
7 – One More Time – 3:12
8 – Wipe The Tears – 4:16
9 – Nasty Video – 3:02
10 – Never Say Die – 3:26

Credits
Bass, Vocals – Andy Rayner
Drums, Percussion – Francis Johnson
Engineer – Mick Robson
Guitar – Kelvin Allwood
Keyboards, Vocals – Brian Westhead
Producer – John Pantry
Vocals – Kevin Smith

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Oracle – Danger Zone – 1984

I bet that most of you are asking who was Oracle? For the main part I have the exact same question but I do know a little bit. First of all do not confuse this band with a Heavy Metal band of the same name. This is not them regardless of what you may read on line. This Oracle has more of a rock pop mix I’d say leaning slightly more to rock. I have no idea who the guys in the band were because they used nondescript nicknames on the album. This is something I’ve always disliked and this album is an example of why. They apparently were from Edmonton and this was all we have from them. The album came out on Tunesmith records who were well known for signing unknown bands with varying success. In this case I don’t think there was much success as I’m from Canada and I have never heard of these guys. The album cover is actually pretty cool for 1984 but really doesn’t suit the album. The quality of the music isn’t fantastic but this is in part because I don’t think the production is very good. The songs are simple but have some catchy riffs and choruses and with better production we might have heard more from these guys. Unfortunately this is a common story when it comes to Tunesmith artists.

Tracklist
1 – Stranger In Paradise – 3:46
2 – Songmaker – 5:04
3 – Joker – 3:20
4 – Final Show – 5:12
5 – Court Jester – 3:20
6 – Heroes – 4:29
7 – Love Song – 3:50
8 – Breakdown – 2:24
9 – Listen To The Voice – 4:03

Credits
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Rock
Bass – Gary Anthony
Keyboards, Vocals – J.J.
Drums – Klark
Executive Producer – The Wizard
Mastered By – Dave Ellsworth
Producer – Oracle

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Praise Industries Corp.

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Stryper – The Covering – 2011

The boys of Stryper got back together in 2011 to record this album of cover tunes. The claim is that these are the songs that helped to shape the band’s sound and musical identity. The album does have one original track, “God” written by Michael Sweet. The cover versions are good and you will probably enjoy listening to them but I wish they would have actually put more of their own sound into the recordings. However it is apparent they were trying instead to keep them as close to the original as possible. This idea was done by a few CCM bands in this era but few did it as well as Stryper.

Tracklist
1 – Set Me Free – 3:45
2 – Blackout – 3:58
3 – Heaven And Hell – 6:11
4 – Lights Out – 3:45
5 – Carry On My Wayward Son – 5:16
6 – Highway Star – 5:45
7 – Shout It Out Loud – 3:15
8 – Over The Mountain – 4:21
9 – The Trooper – 3:53
10 – Breaking The Law – 3:02
11 – On Fire – 3:08
12 – Immigrant Song – 2:18
13 – God – 4:55

Credits
Art Direction – Richie “Britley” Hughes
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Timothy Gaines
Design [Illustration/Graphic Design] – Kaeli Ellis
Drums, Cymbal [Cymbals] – Robert Sweet
Edited By [Additional Editing By] – Kenny Lewis
Executive-Producer – Bill Edwards
Guitar, Vocals – Oz Fox
Illustration [Cover Illustration] – Chris Parks
Keyboards, Organ, Piano – Charles Foley
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Michael Sweet
Management – Union Entertainment Group
Mastered By – Mark Donahue
Producer [Produced By] – Michael Sweet
Recorded By, Mixed By – Danny Bernini

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Big3 Records, LLC
Copyright (c) – Big3 Records, LLC
Recorded At – Spirit House
Mixed At – Spirit House
Edited At – Mixed Emotions
Mastered At – Soundmirror, Inc.
Published By – Sweet Milena Music
Glass Mastered At – Arvato Digital Services Bertelsmann, USA – JL40601

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Bloodgood – All Stand Together – 1991

Michael Bloodgood and the boys return for their final studio album until a 2013 reunion. This album deviated from their Metal style to a very commercial Hard Rock. The album did not do well and I believe I know why. Most Bloodgood fans liked Bloodgood because of their Heavy Metal sound so a commercial Hard Rock album is not what they wanted but because of their Heavy Metal history the album didn’t attract new fans who may have preferred the hard rock sound. The other problem with the album is that I believe it was a little dated for 1991. It sounded more like a mid to late 80’s album to me. All that said this is my favourite Bloodgood album. I love the Rock & Roll styling and quite frankly there are a few tracks on this album that easily could have got secular radio play. The lead track “S.O.S.” is an absolutely great Rock & Roll song and my favourite track. Final point of album trivia is that David Huff (White Heart) supplied the drum tracks.

Tracklist
1 – S.O.S. – 3:52
2 – All Stand Together – 4:19
3 – Escape From The Fire – 5:27
4 – Out Of Love – 2:39
5 – Say Goodbye – 3:41
6 – Kingdom Come – 4:12
7 – Fear No Evil – 3:47
8 – Help Me – 4:21
9 – Rounded Are The Rocks – 4:09
10 – Lies In The Dark – 4:50
11 – Streetlight Dancer – 3:49
12 – I Want To Live In Your Heart – 4:31

Credits
Arranged By – Bloodgood
Art Direction, Design – Robert Beeson
Backing Vocals – Biff Vincent, Bret Pemelton, Darrell Devlin, Diana Meador, Joyce Carlsen, Meagan Cherry
Bass, Backing Vocals – Michael Bloodgood
Drums – David Huff
Engineer, Backing Vocals – Charlie Watts
Executive-Producer – Steve White
Guitar – Paul Jackson
Keyboards – Tim Heintz
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Les Carlsen
Mastered By – Chris Bellman
Photography By – Karen Moskowitz
Producer, Arranged By – Phillip Biff Vincent

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Broken Records (7)
Copyright (c) – Broken Records (7)
Recorded At – Front Page Recorders
Mixed At – Front Page Recorders
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Published By – Dana Point Music
Published By – Deolinda Music

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2nd Chapter Of Acts – Singer Sower – 1983

Unfortunately this 1983 album from 2nd Chapter Of Acts falls in the “this was another album” category. One of the problems with their style of music is that the albums all start to blend together after awhile. The interesting track on this album is the opening track “Room Noise”. Not the best song I ever heard but it is kind of a cool song. The first single was “Takin’ The Easy Way” which peaked at #2. “Spin Your Light” was the second single which only made it to #31. The album wasn’t a stand out but fulfilled a need by their fans for another album. One point of trivia for the album is that Kerry Livgren played some guitar and synth tracks for the album.

Tracklist
1 – Room Noise – 4:05
2 – Beware My Heart – 4:30
3 – Ocean Liner – 4:33
4 – Takin’ The Easy Way – 4:02
5 – No One Will Have A Secret – 4:00
6 – Spin Your Light – 3:26
7 – Open Up My Blind Eyes – 4:22
8 – I’m Wastin’ No More Time – 3:42
9 – Lift Me Up – 3:33

Credits
Arranged By [All Vocal Arrangements By] – 2nd Chapter Of Acts
Arranged By [Instrumental Arrangements By] – Michael Omartian (tracks: A1, B2, B5)
Bass – John Scudder, Leland Sklar
Drums, Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – Jack Kelly
Guitar – Dean Harrington, Matthew Ward
Piano – Anne Herring, Si Simonson
Piano, Synthesizer, Soloist [Synth Solo] – Michael Omartian
Producer – Buck Herring
Synthesizer, Guitar – Kerry Livgren

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Easter Song Studios

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