Mylon LeFevre & Broken Heart – More – 1983

This is an album I missed back in 1983 and I’m a little surprised at that considering the talent assembled. There are backing vocals from 2nd Chapter Of Acts, Annie Herring, Matthew Ward, and Sevenfold among others. Phil Keaggy is on guitar and Kerry Livgren on keyboards. This is pretty much a super group with all that talent. The album itself is mainly easy listening which is probably why I missed it. The production quality is excellent and the assembled band is tight.

1 – Givers And Takers – 4:18
2 – The Power – 3:19
3 – It’s Almost Over – 3:00
4 – Coming Back Again – 3:38
5 – Free Man – 3:16
6 – My Heart Belongs To Him – 3:58
7 – More (Of Jesus) – 3:52
8 – Children Of The King – 3:00
9 – Praise Hymn – 3:52
10 – The Gift – 2:16

Backing Vocals – 2nd Chapter Of Acts, Angela Street, Annie Herring, Carol Ford, Charlotte Reed, Eveleaner Smith, Jack Holder, Jaquelyn Street, Jimmy Jamieson, Matthew Ward, Nellie Greison, Sevenfold, Valarie Street, Vanessa Ford
Bass, Vocals – Kenny Bentley
Congas, Bongos – Ed Zimmerman
Design [Cover] – Mike McCarty
Drums, Percussion – Ben Hewitt, John Hampton
Engineer – Gary Ham, Joe Hardy, Wally Duguid, Will Eggleston
Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Joe Hardy
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocals – Stan Coates
Lacquer Cut By – L Nix
Lead Guitar – Phil Keaggy
Lead Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals – Dean Harrington
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Tim Huffman
Legal – Joel A. Katz
Management [Road], Engineer [Sound] – Greg Westman
Management [Road], Lighting – George Close
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Mixed By – Joe Hardy
Photography By – Greg Knobloch
Producer – Dean Harrington, Joe Hardy, Mylon LeFevre
Synthesizer [Emulator] – Kerry Livgren
Vocals, Guitar – Mylon LeFevre

Daniel Amos – (self-titled) – 1976

The first album from Daniel Amos might surprise you if you’re an 80’s fan of the band as they actually started as a Country band in the 70’s. While Jesus music was still in full swing at the time of this release this album it doesn’t really have that it feel. It actually sounds and feels like a Country album of the time period. Interesting note is that the band actually auditioned for this album as “Jubal’s Last Band”. The name was very close to Darrell Mansfield’s band “Jubal”. Both bands agreed to a name change with Darrell’s band becoming Gentle Faith and Jubal’s Last Band becoming the Daniel Amos we all know now.

Track Listing:
1 – Jesus Is Jehovah To Me – 3:18
2 – The Bible – 4:20
3 – Abidin’ – 3:24
4 – William – 2:52
5 – Prelude: Servant’s Prayer – 0:47
6 – Don’t Light Your Own Fire – 4:28
7 – Losers & Winners – 3:52
8 – Walking On The Water – 4:38
9 – Ridin’ Along – 2:10
10 – Dusty Road – 3:25
11 – Love In A Yielded Heart – 2:34
12 – Skeptics’ Song – 2:22

Acoustic Guitar [6 & 12 String], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Terry Taylor
Acoustic Guitar [6 String], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Steve Baxter
Bass Guitar – Marty Dieckmeyer
Design, Illustration – Dale G. Waters
Engineer, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Lead Guitar [Electric], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Producer, Mixed By – Al Perkins
Remix [Engineer] – Billy Taylor

Phil Keaggy – Ph’lip Side – 1980 / 1982

Ph’lip Side generally doesn’t get a lot of mention by fans but it honestly deserves to.

The set up of the album is novel in that one side is acoustic guitar and the other electric. The album jacket represents this by having an acoustic guitar on one side and an electric on the other. A novel approach and idea for an album which I like.

Keaggy’s guitar work is flawless as usual and this album gives us examples of his varying styles. The original album was released in 1980 and then re-released in 1982 with a substitute song as well as the order being changed. The 1982 release has stickers on the jacket to represent the changes. Piece of trivia – Greg X. Volz and Matthew Ward both do some backing vocals on this album.

Playlist Includes “Send Out Your Light” courtesy of Elisha Belcher

Track Listing:
1 – Just A Moment Away – 4:00
2 – Sunday School – 4:32
3 – A Royal Commandment – 5:46
4 – Pulling Down – 5:28
5 – A Child (In Everyone’s Heart) – 3:55
6 – Little Ones – 4:27
7 – Spend My Life With You – 4:13
8 – I Belong To You – 4:10
9 – In Your Keep – 3:28

Backing Vocals – Dan Collins, Greg X. Volz, Jamie Owens-Collins, Matthew Ward (2)
Bass [Electric Synthisized] – Leon Gaer
Coordinator [Production] – B. Charlyne Hinesley
Drums – Paul Leim
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Phil Keaggy
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Piano, Piano [Rhodes], Synthesizer – Richard Souther
Producer – Dan Collins, Phil Keaggy

The 77s – (self titled) – 1987

Most people believe this was one of the most important albums in the 80’s CCM scene.

This album was released on Island records not a Christian label. And this wasn’t some unheard of label, Island records was home to U2 at the time. The hope was that this was going to be the true entry of a CCM band into the secular music scene.

Unfortunately not everything worked out as hoped and the album was not a huge commercial success. But that said many believe this was one of the greatest CCM albums of all time.

It is in my top 10 and usually dances in the top 3. As I remember it “Do It For Love” was the radio single and is a darn good song but my favourite was “What Was In That Letter”. Final thought is that the album is solid and there’s no filler content here, just quality music.

Track Listing:
1 – Do It For Love – 4:26
2 – I Can’t Get Over It – 4:38
3 – What Was In That Letter – 3:07
4 – Pearls Before Swine – 8:20
5 – The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes & The Pride Of Life – 3:50
6 – Frames Without Photographs – 4:18
7 – Don’t Say Goodbye – 4:30
8 – Bottom Line – 3:50
9 – I Could Laugh – 7:50

Art Direction, Graphic Design – Marty Gessler
Band [The 77’s Are], Bass [Fender Bass], Backing Vocals [Support Vocals] – Jan Eric
Band [The 77’s Are], Drums [More Pounding & Thrashing] – Aaron Smith
Band [The 77’s Are], Keyboards, Guitar, Backing Vocals [Support Vocals] – Mark Tootle
Band [The 77’s Are], Vocals, Guitar – Mike Roe
Engineer [Assistant Engineer At Quadrasonic] – Peter Sturge
Engineer [Assistant Engineers At Exit] – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Executive-Producer – Mary Neely
Featuring, Backing Vocals, Keyboards – Steve Griffith
Featuring, Bass [Fender 6-String Bass], Electronics [Ibanez Midi Guitar Controller] – Sam Ching
Featuring, Percussion [Ethnic & Orchestral Percussion], Other [Hat Hair] – Bongo Bob Smith
Featuring, Piano [Prepared Piano] – The Cleverly Brothers
Featuring, Saxophone – Jon Skinner
Featuring, Sounds [A.M.S. Sampling] – Pete “Fastfingers” Sturge
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Deborah Wiley, Linda Pearson
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Robert Musso
Recorded By [Live Remote Recording], Recorded By [Pre-Production Demos Extraordinaire] – Steve Griffith

Dennis Agajanian – Rebel To The Wrong – 1981

The third album from Dennis Agajanian has a mixed sound.

Some songs are an older style, some in keeping with the style of the time and at least one that was ahead of its time. Oh and there’s a bluegrass tune just for good measure.

The lead and title track “Rebel To The Wrong” is an excellent tune and was a fairly progressive song for the day. Dennis Agajanian has been popular in the Christian Country Music scene for many years and he’s still going often appearing on several different television evangelists shows but perhaps best known now for his appearances with Billy Graham.

Track Listing:
1 – Rebel To The Wrong
2 – Fool’s Gold
3 – Child’s Cry
4 – Bigger Than All My Sins
5 – Milk And Honey Express
6 – Alive In The Sky
7 – I Can Do All The Things
8 – Daddy’s Girl
9 – Last Of The Good Guys
10 – I’m Thankful To You

Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin – Dennis Agajanian
Art Direction, Design – Rhonda Dempsey
Backing Vocals – Kelly Willard, Pam Mark Hall
Banjo – Wayne Rice
Bass – Joel Hendrickson (tracks: A4), Scott Parrish* (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, B1 to B5)
Drums – Jim Plank (tracks: B2), Mike Mathis (tracks: A1 to A5, B1, B3 to B5)
Electric Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith
Executive-Producer – Bill Cole
Fiddle – Bryon Berline
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Tom Howard
Photography By – Don Wyman
Producer, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Gerry Limpic
Recorded By, Mixed By, Mastered By – Ron Compton
Steel Guitar – Jay Dee Maness

Power Team Soundtrack – 1990

This is a rather odd sampler. The Power Team was a group of Christian body builders and marshal arts athletes headed by John Jacobs.

They toured schools and churches performing feats of strength and martial arts performances while delivering God’s word. In 1990 they released a VHS video and this album.

I can only assume this was the soundtrack for the video and their performances. This is one of the most diverse samplers I think I’ve heard. It’s all here, rap, rock, and easy listening. Kind of a wide sampling what was popular in the late 80’s

1 – Tim Miner – Power – 3:55
2 – Liaison – My God Is A Rock – 3:13
3 – Stephen Crumbächer – Tear Down The Walls – 3:41
4 – P.I.D. – Authority – 5:52
5 – Rick Elias – Run Or Hide – 3:27
6 – Cindy Cruse – Even Now – 3:56
7 – Steve Shannon – Break The Chains – 3:37
8 – Tim Miner – Amazing Grace – 4:20
9 – Angie Alan – It’s Not Worth It – 3:57
10 – D-Boy – God Gave Us The Power – 5:06
11 – Ken Tamplin – Take ‘Em Back – 3:32
12 – Rick Elias – I’ll Be There – 4:01
13 – Steve Shannon – Power To Win – 3:41
14 – Liaison – Who Can Heal The Pain – 4:00

Overdrive – Remembering The Basher – 2006

Overdrive were an late 80’s, early 90’s Christian Metal band from Blacksburg/Radford VA. In 2006 they re-released their work in remembrance of the passing of their drummer Bobby “The Basher” Collins. Overdrive were never officially signed to a label but did get a track on a Benson Records sampler in 1991. Unfortunately it was removed from the sampler due to some foolishness over the use of the word “saints”. Unfortunately foolish things like this often kept quality bands like Overdrive from getting their music to us. The band did however get a chance to share their music by playing the 1990 and 1991 Cornerstone festival in Illinois. Their music is for sale at the link below.

1 – Bring Out The Big Guns – 3:42
2 – Hellbound – 4:25
3 – Shelter And Strength – 3:57
4 – Living Sacrifice – 4:40
5 – Mark My Words – 4:35
6 – Rodent of the Piper – 6:22
7 – Crusade – 4:34
8 – When the Saints – 4:51
9 – Standing in Line – 5:08
10 – Light a Candle for Me 6:36
11 – You Need a Friend – 5:37
12 – Applause – 0:46

Michael Card – Scandalon – 1986

This was Michael’s 3rd studio album and at this point in his music career he wasn’t afraid to make his lyrics a little more challenging to Christians. That said while his lyrics are a little edgy, they are somewhat prose rather than poetry. With the release of this album his music and lyric style is well established and even though this is an worship style album the quality is there.

Track Listing:
1 – Scandalon – 4:00
2 – What Will It Take To Keep You From Jesus – 3:41
3 – The Lamb Is A Lion – 2:52
4 – The Nazarene – 2:40
5 – The Gentle Healer – 2:02
6 – Meditation / Baptism – 5:29
7 – The Wedding – 2:46
8 – Forgiving Eyes – 4:07
9 – God’s Own Fool – 3:16
10 – Jesus Let Us Come To Know You – 1:59

Arranged By, Conductor – Alan Moore (3) (tracks: B1, B3, B4)
Bass – Norbert Putnam (tracks: A1 to A4, B1, B3, B4)
Cello – John Catchings (tracks: A1, A2, B2, B5)
Concertmaster – Gavyn Wright
Design – Buddy Jackson
Drums, Percussion – Larry Londin (tracks: A1, A3, B3, B4)
Featuring – John Catchings – Cellist
Flute – Jim Horn (tracks: B1)
Guitar – Jon Goin (tracks: A1 to A3)
Orchestrated By – Alan Moore
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer, Recorded By – Norbert Putnam
Synthesizer – Dave Innis (tracks: A2)
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizer, Piano, Drums [Digital Drums], Congas – Michael Card

DeGarmo & Key – Straight On – 1979

The second album from DeGarmo & Key was a bit of a transition album.

Their first album had a good rock, blues feel. This album had that also but started to incorporate more keyboards. I believe this album established the “Degarmo & Key sound.

As I re-listened to this album after not hearing it for several years I was struck that it came out in 1979 but I hear almost no remnants of the Jesus music era that was coming to an end at that time. Actually in my opinion this album was 3 or 4 years ahead of its time.

There are so many songs on this album that lived forever that I consider it one of the best CCM albums of all time.

Track Listing:
1 – Jericho – 4:34
2 – Livin’ On The Edge Of Dyin’ – 4:33
3 – Go Tell Them – 3:52
4 – Bad Livin’ – 4:36
5 – Enchiridion – 1:36
6 – Long Distance Runner – 4:09
7 – Let Him Help You Today – 4:15
8 – I Never Knew You – 4:04
9 – Mary – 3:03

Art Direction, Design – Kristen Kasell
Bass – Ken Porter
Drums – Terry Moxley
Engineer – Joseph Hardy
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Dana Key
Keyboards – Edward De Garmo
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Photography By – Gary Heery
Photography By [Inner Sleeve Photo] – Kristen Kasell
Producer – Dana Key, Edward De Garmo, Joseph Hardy
Recorder – Carl Marsh
Saxophone – Lewis Collins

White Heart – Vital Signs – 1984

White Heart’s second album, Vital Signs was a masterpiece of finely produced songs. The band self-produced, with executive help from Chris Christian. The album was released on Chris Christian’s Home Sweet Home Records.

The opening song, “Sing Unto The Lamb” is a big sounding song that would qualify for a modern major Broadway number. The vocals stay true to this big performance sound all the way through the album, which is one of the things that made White Heart so popular. Standout tracks include the high energy “Carried Away” and power ballad “Let Your First Thought Be Love.”

The album was recorded in Nashville and attracted a who’s who of contributing artists. The closing song, “We Are His Hands” includes a choir with (among others) Bob Farrell (of Farrell and Farrell), Scott Wesley Brown, David Meece, Amy Grant, Steve Green, Russ Taff, Chris Christian and Kathy Troccoli. We Are His Hands was their first number one radio single.

Former lead singer, Scott Douglas went to prison in 1986. White Heart continued on with a new lead singer after this album, Rick Florian who was allegedly promoted from roadie to lead singer all at once. Florian remained in the lead post throughout the rest of White Heart’s existence.

Track Listing:
1 – Sing Unto The Lamb – 3:15
2 – Draw The Line – 4:38
3 – Walking In The Light – 3:56
4 – Carried Away (Safe On The Wings Of The Lord) – 4:19
5 – Quiet Love – 3:52
6 – Following The King – 4:05
7 – Let Your First Thought Be Love – 3:51
8 – Undercover – 3:54
9 – Vital Signs – 3:50
10 – We Are His Hands – 4:13

Arranged By – Billy Smiley, Dann Huff, Mark Gersmehl
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Ronn Huff
Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt
Bass Guitar – Gary Lunn
Design Concept [Cover Concept] – Bill Brunt, Mark Tucker
Design Concept [Vital Signs Concept] – Kent Hunter
Drums, Percussion – David Huff*
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Bill Deaton, Brent King, Mike Psanos
Engineer [Assistant] – Doug Sarrett
Executive-Producer – Chris Christian
Graphics [Vital Signs Logo] – Ken Wolgemuth, Ken Wolgemuth
Graphics [White Heart Logo] – Ellen Hodnett, Ellen Hodnett
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Billy Smiley
Producer – White Heart
Recorded By – Jeff Balding
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Dann Huff
Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, Craig Nelson, Dennis Molchan, Gary Vanosdale, David Boyle*, Pam Vanosdale*, Phyllis Hiltz*, Roy Christensen, The Nashville String Machine, Walt Schwede*
Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals – Mark Gersmehl
Vocals – Scott Douglas