Russ Taff – Walls of Glass – 1983

This is the debut album from Russ Taff.

It is best described as an upbeat light listening album. Most tracks are rather typical 80’s gospel easy listening. That said “Inside Look” is much closer to Rock and Roll and served as the “single” for younger CCM listeners such as myself at the time.

It’s a well rounded album that was able to attract buyers from a broad range of CCM listeners.

Track Listing:
1 – Tell Them – 4:23
2 – Walls Of Glass – 3:57
3 – I Want To Change – 5:05
4 – Pure In Heart – 3:59
5 – We Will Stand – 4:37
6 – Jeremiah – 4:02
7 – Inside Look – 4:01
8 – Just Believe – 4:26
9 – Kathryn’s Song – 4:24
10 – Unto The Lamb – 2:42

Credits:
Arranged By [Horns] – Jerry Hey
Co-producer [Production Assistant] – Janet Heard*
Engineer – Bill Schnee
Engineer [Additional] – Jack Joseph Puig
Engineer [Assistant] – Daniel Garcia
Engineer [Assitant] – David Schober
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Producer – Bill Schnee

Randy Stonehill – Equator – 1983

There were moments when 1983’s CCM version of Weird Al Yankovic was Randy Stonehill. His sense of humour comes through on a number of songs in this collection.

Randy was a serious musician and had been for a long time. He has several very serious songs on this album, including the opener “Light of the World”, “China”, and “Turning Thirty.” However there is a good collection of novelty songs on this one. He always enjoyed hamming it up, going all the way back to “Lung Cancer” on his Welcome to Paradise album.

American Fast Food, Shut de do, Cosmetic Fixation, Big Ideas, are all fun songs but not light on message.

Track Listing:
1 – Light Of The World – 4:10
2 – Big Ideas (In The Shrinking World) – 4:37
3 – Shut De Do – 2:46
4 – Even The Best Of Friends – 4:52
5 – American Fast Food – 3:19
6 – China – 5:32
7 – Cosmetic Fixation – 4:17
8 – Turning Thirty – 3:49
9 – Hide Them In Your Love – 3:29
10 – World Without Pain – 3:54

Credits:
Art Direction – Paul Gross (3)
Concept By [Album Cover] – Randy Stonehill, Terry Taylor
Engineer [Engineered By] – Thom Roy
Illustration – Kurt Triffet
Management – Ray Ware
Musician, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals – Randy Stonehill
Musician, Bass Guitar [Base Guitar] – Tim Chandler
Musician, Drums, Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Musician, Keyboards [All Keyboards] – Tom Howard
Photography By [Inner Sleeve Photography] – Charles Allen (7)
Producer [Produced By] – Terry Taylor

Rick Cua – Koo-Ah – 1982

Rick Cua is one of 49 members of The Outlaws over the past 6 decades or so. The “Southern rock” sound of The Outlaws translated somewhat into his solo career, but Rick has his own sound.

Rick left The Outlaws after turning to Christ and wanted to start making music with a message. He made several Christian albums, but never quite made it to household name status.

This debut from 1982 is a classic to me nonetheless. It reminds me of those teenage years spent listening to music in the basement, and all the time spent with friends back then.

Listening to it now, I think this was a greatly underrated record.

Track Listing:
1 – Fly Me To Heaven – 3:38
2 – Spirit – 3:53
3 – The Rock Was Rolled Away – 3:14
4 – Eternity – 4:07
5 – Heaven Was Made For Everybody – 3:34
6 – You Can Still Rock ‘N Roll – 3:01
7 – Crossfire – 3:19
8 – Just A Little Bit More – 3:56
9 – I Wanna Be Like You – 4:46
10 – Melt My Heart – 2:53

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Diane Tidwell, Donna McElroy, Lisa Silver
Design [Album Design] – Bill Brunt
Drums – David Dix, Joe English
Engineer – Jeff Levine
Engineer [Assistant] – Haran Hunter, Jim Baird
Executive-Producer – Ray Nenow
Guitar – Freddie Salem, Will McFarlane
Lacquer Cut By – HW
Lead Vocals, Bass – Rick Cua
Percussion – Matt Greeley
Photography By – Larry Dixon
Piano – Mike Duke
Producer, Arranged By – John Rosasco, Rick Cua
Synthesizer – Alan Steinberger
Written-By – Greg Nelson, Rick Cua, Scott Roley

Larry Norman – Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer: Anthology – 2008

This double album was released on vinyl shortly after Larry’s death in 2008. I have a lot of different anthologies that he released over the years. White Blossoms from Black Roots being one of the ones that was meant to be career-spanning at the time. This one includes his real mainstays, the songs he became known for, and probably the ones that were his favourites.

It’s pressed on heavy vinyl and I’ve only played my copy a few times. I remember discovering each one of these songs decades ago, and I think that’s the point of the collection.

This would have been the last thing Larry worked on before he died. Larry wrote short descriptions for each song on this record in September of 2007. They are included in the liner notes pictured, check out the photo.

The opening track is the version of I Love You from his time with the band People!. The recording sounds a little 1969 because it is. This was a radio single at the time and would have been released under Columbia Records. After that, Larry struggled with releasing his music on his own with complete control, and there is probably a lot that we will never hear.

True to LN fashion, the back of the jacket lists 5 tracks on each side of disc 1, but there are 4 on side A and 6 on side B. The same thing happened on disc 2. Ha Ha World is listed as the last song on side A but it is actually the first song on side B. At least the record labels are correct. Not a big deal, but the details always seemed to be a killer at SR Studio.

The lead-out etching on side 1 of disc 1 says “Death is conquered while you slumber.” This is an obvious homage to Larry’s passing. He used that phrase many years earlier in liner notes and it seemed to come up here and there. The other half of the rhyme is “Seven is the perfect number,” which is etched in side 2 of disc 1.

The 20 songs in this collection come from only 6 different albums, and 6 tracks are from Only Visiting This Planet, and 5 are from In Another Land. Larry obviously considered this to be his core work.

The etching on side 3 says “quasioxymoron: numbers don’t count.” This is a riddle we saw in the liner notes of Something New Under the Son. We have our guesses about it but no official sources ever answered any questions about Larry’s most cryptic notes.

Side 4’s etching says “Only Visiting This Planet Larry Norman (1947-2008)” Fitting. And the 7 is backwards.

Track Listing:
1 – I Love You
2 – I’ve Got To Learn To Live Without You
3 – I Am The Six O’Clock News
4 – The Great American Novel
5 – Moses: A Blues Recital And Meditation Of 40 Years On The Road
6 – Peacepollutionrevolution
7 – Pardon Me
8 – Reader’s Digest
9 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?
10 – Baroquen Spirits
11 – Nightmare #71
12 – Watch What You’re Doing
13 – Without Love, You Ain’t Nothing (Righteous Rocker)
14 – The Outlaw
15 – Ha Ha World
16 – U.F.O.
17 – I’ve Searched All Around The World
18 – I Wish We’d All Been Ready
19 – Rosemary’s Baby (The Omen-666)
20 – The Sun Began To Rain

Larry Norman – Barking At The Ants – 1981

This rather odd release from Larry Norman features 4 tracks of his own work on side 1 including a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman”.

Side 2 is a sampler of British acts signed to Solid Rock records. This album was not licensed so it received no airplay and I’m mystified about the legalities of covering a Bob Dylan song.

If you only have time for one song I would suggest Alwyn Wall’s “Doctor Doctor”.

Track Listing:
1 – Larry Norman – The Tune (Almost)
2 – Larry Norman – Why Can’t You Be Good
3 – Larry Norman – Just Like A Woman
4 – Larry Norman – Deep Blue
5 – Various – The British Invasion (Medley With Cliff Richard, Lyrix, Sheila Walsh, Bryn Haworth, Steve Scott, Alwyn Wall, Barratt Band)
6 – Lyrix – Don’t Turn Your Back On Jesus
7 – Alwyn Wall – Doctor Doctor
8 – Sheila Walsh – Love In My Life

Ever Call Ready – (self titled) – 1985

Ever Call Ready were a one album Gospel Bluegrass band.

The band was better known as the Flying Burrito Brothers and it appears they used this new name to put out a entirely gospel album. The album consists of several gospel covers as well as some original material.

All in all this is an excellent bluegrass album but doesn’t really leave us with a lasting reason to remember it. Trivia point for this album is that the lead singer of the band, Chris Hillman, is actually one of the original members of The Byrds.

Track Listing:
1 – River Of Jordan
2 – I’ll Be No Stranger There
3 – Don’t Let Them Take The Bible Out Of Our School Rooms
4 – God Loves His Children
5 – It’s Beginning To Rain
6 – Livin’ In The Name Of Love
7 – Boat Of Love
8 – Men Are So Busy
9 – I’m Using My Bible For A Road Map
10 – Panhandle Rag

Credits:
Bass – Jerry Scheff
Fiddle, Electric Guitar – David Mansfield
Lead Vocals, Mandolin – Chris Hillman
Resonator, Guitar, Tenor Vocals – Al Perkins
Tenor Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Bernie Leadon
Art Direction – Alex MacDougall
Design – Cluny Rakestraw
Executive Producer – Mary Neely
Illustration – Dave Swaney
Photography – Kent Lacin
Producer – Al Perkins
Recorded By – Daryl Zachman, Joe Bellamy

Larry Norman with Q-Stone – Live at Flevo – 1989

This album was recorded live during the Flevo Festival in the Netherlands in August 1989.

If you find Larry’s music to be a little too 70’s, here’s a much much more Rock & Roll sound.

The backup band is Q-Stone who are/were a Finnish blues rock band and surprisingly their sound goes well with Larry’s songs. Point of trivia on this album is that Larry’s brother, Charles provided guitar licks.

Track Listing:
1 – My Feet Are On The Rock – 4:10
2 – Nightmare #49 (Part One) – 3:00
3 – He Really Loves You – 4:33
4 – Letters To The Church – 4:00
5 – Medley (Everybody Work/Twist And Shout/Shout) – 6:30
6 – Twelve Good Men – 4:34
7 – Be Careful What You Sign – 4:58
8 – Why Should The Devil – 3:18
9 – Medley (Soon I Will Be Home/It’s Only Today That Counts/I Am A Servant) – 11:00
10 – The Outlaw – 3:50
11 – Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus – 3:58
12 – Rock That Doesn’t Roll – 5:24
13 – Medley (I Wish We’d All Be Ready/UFO) – 7:00
14 – Messiah – 5:25

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Elisabeth Ødegård, Maria van der Pol, Marian Lisland
Guitar – Charles Norman
Keyboards – Dan Cutrona
Saxophone – Dan Michaels
Vocals, Producer, Arranged By – Larry Norman

Jerusalem – Can’t Stop Us Now – 1983

Jerusalem’s 4th album “Can’t Stop Us Now” was a departure from their previous style.

Up until this album they had been a 70’s style rock band. Surviving in the 80’s required an updated sound and they easily achieved it. The new pop rock sound was poorly received by their regular listeners but gained new fans like myself.

The album sold much better than their previous offerings proving their direction change to be a good idea. My personal favourite was the heavily popped song “Let’s Go (Dancing)”.

Track Listing:
1 – Can’t Stop Us Now 4:02
2 – Loves You More 3:58
3 – The Wind Is Blowing 4:24
4 – Tomorrow’s World 5:34
5 – The Waiting – 4:33
6 – Let’s Go (Dancing) – 3:41
7 – Mourner’s Parade – 4:35
8 – Read Between The Lines – 4:08
9 – The Missing Piece – 3:43
10 – Heartbeat – 3:15

Credits:
Bass – Peter Carlsohn
Drums – Mikael Ulvsgärd*
Keyboards – Dan Tibell
Vocals, Guitar – Ulf Christiansson
Composed By – Ulf Christiansson
Layout, Design – Scott Waters
Producer [Produced By] – Andy Kidd
Remastered By – Rob Colwell

Daniel Amos – Dopplegänger – 1983

Alarma Chronicles volume 2. Vox Humana completed the trilogy, but Doppleganger was a better match and more of a completion of the punk/new wave vision of Alarma.

Between volume 1 and 2 of this trilogy they switched record labels and got a new bass player. Terry Taylor’s guidance clearly held things together though. This release is peak 80s culture. It fit the model of what was happening in music at the time, even if nothing of the sort was happening in CCM outside of DA.

This visionary album was on par with everything else in the scene at the time, but limited by being marketed to the CCM audience.

Track Listing:

1 – Hollow Man – Terry Scott Taylor – 2:15
2 – Mall (All Over The World) – Terry Scott Taylor – 3:13
3 – Real Girls – Gerald Parker Chamberlain, Terry Scott Taylor – 2:57
4 – New Car! – Terry Scott Taylor – 2:00
5 – Do Big Boys Cry – Terry Scott Taylor – 2:05
6 – Youth With A Machine – Terry Scott Taylor – 2:42
7 – The Double – Terry Scott Taylor – 3:50
8 – Distance And Direction – Terry Scott Taylor – 2:48
9 – Memory Lane – Terry Scott Taylor – 3:48
10 – Angels Tuck You In – Terry Scott Taylor – 2:38
11 – Little Crosses – Gerald Parker Chamberlain – 2:35
12 – Autographs For The Sick – Gerald Parker Chamberlain, Terry Scott Taylor, Tim Chandler – 1:40
13 – I Didn’t Build It For Me – Gerald Parker Chamberlain, Terry Scott Taylor – 2:48
14 – Here I Am – Terry Scott Taylor – 3:18
15 – Hollow Man (Reprise) – Terry Scott Taylor – 0:43

Credits:

Arranged By [Keyboards] – Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor, Tom Howard
Backing Vocals – Ed McTaggart, Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor, Tim Chandler
Backing Vocals [Occasional] – Derald Daugherty*, Dori “Game Show Girl” Howard*, Emelia Emulator, Janet McTaggart, Mark Cook (2), Randy Stonehill, The Three Women From Istanbul, Tom Howard
Bass Guitar – Marty Dieckmeyer (tracks: 1), Tim Chandler
Bass Guitar [8-string] – Tim Chandler
Bass Guitar [Fretless] – Tim Chandler
Drums [Skins, Tubs, Traps] – Ed McTaggart
Engineer – Thom Roy
Engineer [Second] – Derald Daugherty*
Keyboards – Jeff Lams (tracks: 3,13), Mark Cook (2) (tracks: 8), Marty Dieckmeyer (tracks: 1), Rob Watson (tracks: 2,3,5 to 7,14), Tom Howard (tracks: 4,7,9 to 11,14)
Lead Guitar – Jerry Chamberlain
Lead Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain (tracks: 11), Terry Taylor
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Percussion – Alex MacDougall, Ed McTaggart, Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor, Tim Chandler
Performer [Da Is] – Ed McTaggart, Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor, Tim Chandler
Producer – Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor
Remastered By – Doug Doyle
Rhythm Guitar – Terry Taylor
Saxophone – Bill Colton

Randy Adams – Songs From Seven Years – 1979

Randy Adams is one of the originating members of Dallas Holm and Praise. He did however record this solo album while still with Dallas Holm and Praise.

Randy has gone on to have a very successful career as a sound engineer.

Track Listing:
1 – I Believe
2 – Just Like You
3 – Miracle In Me
4 – Just One Thing
5 – Apology
6 – Broken Man
7 – Count It All Joy
8 – Mary
9 – Psalm 30
10 – The Dream

Credits:
Producers: Randy Adams, Wayne Donowho, Darrell A. Harris
Vocals: Randy Adams
Drums: Ric Norris, Carl Napoli
Percussion: Russell Dunlap
Piano: Tim Sheppard, Teresa Mauney, Rick Meilke, Tim Johnson
Organ: Paul Mills, Dr. Dan Williamson
Keyboards: Paul Mills
Synthesizer: Brian Tankersley
Guitar: John Davis, Randy Adams, Dave Marshall
Steel Guitar: Jimmy Powell
Mandolin: Dave Martini
Cello: Craig Weaver Oboe: Jay Volney
Harnonica: Kemper Crabb
Bass: Randy Adams
Flute & Recorder: Fletch Wiley
Handclaps: Wayne, Russell, Xen
Autoharp: Randy Adams
Background Vocals: The Bowen Sisters
Choral Vocals: Gigi Gresham, Audrey Adams, Kevin Snow, Mark Schulz, Pat Dorflinger, Erick Nelson, Michelle Pillar