Various – Front Row – 1984

This is a 1984 Refuge Records sampler

Included on this sampler;

Rick Cua – “Changed” from his album No Mystery
Edin-Adahl – “Wake Up” from their album Alibi
Bonnie Bramlett – “White Dove” from her album Step By Step
Per-Erik Hallin – “You Put Another Song In My Heart” from his album Better Late Than Never
Will McFarlane – “That’s How I Know You Called Me” from his album A Colony Of Heaven
Tom Douglas – “Jesus Never Sleeps” which was not released on an album
Forerunner – “Faith Walk” from their album (a.k.a)
Jerusalem – “Time” which was released as a bonus track on the CD release of Can’t Stop Us Now
Lifesavors – “Break In My Head” from their album Dream Life
Bryn Haworth – “Never Give Up On Love” from his album Pass It On
Joe English – “Anthem” from his album The Best Is Yet To Come

Tracklist
1 – Rick Cua – Changed – 3:50
2 – Edin-Adahl – Wake Up – 4:14
3 – Bonnie Bramlett – White Dove – 3:31
4 – Per-Erik Hallin – You Put Another Song In My Heart – 4:13
5 – Will McFarlane – That’s How I Know You Called Me – 3:21
6 – Tom Douglas – Jesus Never Sleeps – 4:10
7 – Forerunner – Faith Walk – 4:04
8 – Jerusalem – Time – 5:50
9 – Lifesavors – Break In My Head – 2:33
10 – Bryn Haworth – Never Give Up On Love – 3:35
11 – Joe English – Anthem – 3:20

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X-Sinner – Peace Treaty – 1991

The second album from X-Sinner took up where their first album left off. As with the first album this album was produced by the infamous Elefante brothers. They were able to recreate the AC-DC sound of the first album all over again. This was a little more difficult than you may think as Rex Scott took over lead vocals from David Robbins. The band found the album to have too soft a feel and they wanted more edge in their sound. Personally, I think this album is excellent, though admittedly I preferred “Get It” only because I felt there were more potential singles.

Tracklist
1 – Peer Pressure – 4:38
2 – Rollin’ Thunder – 4:32
3 – We Need Love – 5:14
4 – Getch Ya – 4:52
5 – Hold On – 2:58
6 – I Take Power – 4:36
7 – Gotta Let Go – 4:04
8 – You Got Me – 4:29
9 – All I Need – 3:38
10 – Don’t Go – 5:25

Credits
Drums – Mike Buckner
Engineer, Mixed By – Mike Mireau
Guitar, Bass – Greg Bishop
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Rex Scott
Musician [Additional Musician], Backing Vocals – Jamie Rowe
Musician [Additional Musician], Backing Vocals, Shaker, Cowbell, Tambourine, Bass [Bass on “Getch Ya”] – John Elefante
Producer, Engineer – John Elefante
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Dino Elefante

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Michael W Smith – The Michael W Smith Project – 1983

The MWS Project introduced us to Michael W Smith, a fresh young musician with stellar keyboard, writing, and arranging skills and a knack for writing catchy worship riffs. The positive, ‘preppy rock’ sound hit most of the popular 80s pop rock notes. His soon-to-be-familiar signature styles get their beginnings here: keyboard-heavy arrangements with plenty of synth; full choirs for backing vocals; emotionally-charged ‘milestone’ lyrics; and the first of many anthem-like worship songs.

Indeed, The MWS Project covers some ground in terms of song types. MWS has always interested me in that he writes for a multitude of occasions and venues, not just moods or subjects. On his debut album we find music for rock concerts, worship services, and even weddings/funerals/graduations:

– high energy biblical storytelling in “Could He Be the Messiah?” and “Be Strong and Courageous” (which always reminds me of Van Halen’s “Jump”)
– high energy exhortations toward the pursuit of Christian living in “The Race Is On” (I saw this in concert, and thought he was going to leap off the stage, he had so much energy), “You Need A Savior” (this lyric warrants some further discussion, but that’s for another time), and “Love In The Light” (this one has stuck with me; every time I read or hear any part of 1 John 2:8-11, it starts playing in my head)
– instrumentals (“Sonata in D Major”, “Looking Up”, “First Light”, “Alpha Overture”)
– a contemplative piece (“Too Many Times”, one of my favourites)

…and of course, two songs firmly entrenched in the collective CCM unconsciousness: Friends, and Great Is The Lord.

One last thought: What was he going for with the original album design?? MWS is a self-professed sci-fi aficionado, so maybe it was meant as a nod to video games, and science fiction movies like Tron… The album was re-released in CD format in 1987 with an updated cover and photo.

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Track listing:
1 – Sonata in D Major – 1:13
2 – You Need A Savior – 3:34
3 – Could He Be the Messiah? – 4:28
4 – Too Many Times – 4:25
5 – Be Strong and Courageous – 3:42
6 – Looking Up – 3:23
7 – The Race is On – 3:41
8 – First Light/Love in the Light – 5:30
9 – Friends – 4:16
10 – Great Is The Lord – 2:52
11 – Alpha Overture – 3:40

Credits:
Music
Michael W. Smith – lead vocals, background vocals, acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, Yamaha GS2 synthesizer, Prophet-5 synthesizers
Shane Keister – OB-X synthesizer, Prophet-5 synthesizers, vocoder
Jon Goin – guitars
Mike Brignardello – bass guitar
Mark Hammond – drums, Roland TR-808 drum machine on “First Light”
Mike Psanos – percussion
Dennis Solee – saxophone
Gary Chapman – background vocals
Jackie Cusic – background vocals
Diana DeWitt – background vocals
David Durham – background vocals
Teresa Ellis – background vocals
Amy Grant – background vocals (“Friends”)
Pam Mark Hall – background vocals
Chris Harris – background vocals
Gary Pigg – background vocals
Kim Smith – background vocals
Production
Michael W. Smith – producer, assistant engineer
Michael Blanton and Dan Harrell – executive producers
Mike Psanos – recording engineer
Brown Bannister – assistant engineer
John Woods – assistant engineer
Jack Joseph Puig – remixing
Recorded at Tree International Studio (Nashville, Tennessee)
Hank Williams – mastering
Mastered at Woodland Sound Studio (Nashville, Tennessee)
Bill Brunt – art direction
Tim Campbell – photography

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The Alarm – Declaration – 1984

This is the first offering from The Alarm and what an offering it was. They had actually released 5 EPs before this album so by the time the album came out many people were familiar with them. Many, if not most of the songs on the album were on those EP’s. The Alarm were still touring as warm up for U2 when this album finally came out and they actually finished the tour with U2. This gave people attending these concerts with what amounted to having two headline acts. The opening track “Declaration” sets the tone for the album letting new listeners they were in for a treat. While “68 Guns” was the huge hit personally I loved “Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke?” This is one of the best albums released in the 80’s and is in my top 20 overall.

Tracklist
1 – Declaration – 0:45
2 – Marching On – 3:35
3 – Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke? – 2:56
4 – Third Light – 3:25
5 – Sixty Eight Guns – 5:49
6 – We Are The Light – 3:16
7 – Shout To The Devil – 4:10
8 – Blaze Of Glory – 6:04
9 – Tell Me – 3:14
10 – The Deceiver – 5:05
11 – The Stand (Prophecy) – 1:15
12 – Howling Wind – 6:44

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals – Dave Sharp
Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Guitar [Bowed], Vocals – Eddie Macdonald
Design, Art Direction – Michael Ross, Simon Adamcewski
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Twist
Engineer – Chris Porter
Illustration – Robert Mason
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica – Mike Peters
Photography By – Stephen Oliver
Producer, Keyboards – Alan Shacklock

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The Holidays – Restless Heart – 1989

I have struggled to learn anything about this band. This was their second and last album. Like their first album this one has a strong New Wave sound and hits on all cylinders. I find it odd that a band that were this good with two albums have no history anywhere I look. This album was Engineered and produced by Ojo Taylor so you think it would have been better known. Bottom line it’s a good album.

Tracklist
1 – Tear The Curtain – 4:13
2 – Two Times Two – 5:07
3 – Round And Round – 4:23
4 – Touch Me – 4:40
5 – Should I Tell You – 3:25
6 – Sunshine – 3:33
7 – Promises – 4:03
8 – It’s A Fight – 2:45
9 – Color Me White – 3:19
10 – My Love – 3:31
11 – The Lines Of Time – 3:51

Credits
Art Direction, Layout – Darin Beaman, Timothy Wu
Band, Drums [Loud Drums] – Rich Michaels
Band, Guitar [Guitars], Vocals – Marky Schrock
Band, Lead Vocals, Bass – Mini Mendez
Engineer [Second] – Dennis Murphy
Keyboards, Lyrics By [Additional], Percussion – Ojo
Lead Guitar – Don Ulrich (tracks: 6)
Percussion – Super C
Photography By – Bruce Heavin
Producer [Produced By], Engineer [Engineered By] – Ojo Taylor
Vocals [Additional Vocals Primarily By] – Dennis Murphy, Inki Svensson, Roger Mantel
Vocals [Also Singing] – Chris Mantel, Gary Olson, Terry Eutsler, Tricia Tyme

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Edin-Ådahl – Alibi – 1983

Edin Ådahl were a band out of Sweden who released some of their albums using english in North America. This was their first release in North America. It was well received getting regular play on Christian radio. One of the odd things about this band is that it was made up of 2 sets of brothers, Bertil and Lasse Edin, and Simon and Frank Ådahl. While some people though the lyric translations didn’t work well I completely disagree, I think it works well.

Tracklist
1 – Wake Up – 3:23
2 – On The Cutting Edge – 3:39
3 – Alibi – 3:13
4 – Bring Back The Joy – 5:29
5 – Let All Of The Earth Proclaim – 4:20
6 – Saviour – 3:08
7 – For The Rain In Your Heart – 3:12
8 – Storm In My Heart – 3:17
9 – Send Me, Send Me – 5:01
10 – Your Heart Is In His Hands – 4:44

Credits
Arranged By, Producer, Mixed By – Edin-Ådahl
Engineer – Lennart Ström, Mats Öberg, Peter Olsson
Executive-Producer – Magnus Erikson
Producer [English Vocals] – Tom Douglas

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Dave Perkins – The Innocence – 1987

This 1987 release by Dave Perkins was his only album in the 80’s. Don’t think you haven’t heard him though. He has worked with some of the best including Mark heard, Steve Taylor, Randy Stonehill, Steve Camp, Phil Keaggy, and many many more. His fingerprints are all over CCM music in the 80’s. His personal effort here is a solid Rock Pop effort and utilizes the wall of sound style. Among the names helping him on this album were Rick Cua and Steve Taylor. The real highlight of the album is a cover of the Byrds’ Turn, Turn, Turn where Perkins sounds like Elvis Costello and it works! It works good!

Tracklist
1 – Revolution – 3:33
2 – (You Can) Make Me Feel – 3:44
3 – Harvest Home – 5:00
4 – Fathers And Sons – 4:14
5 – Catacombs – 4:38
6 – Turn, Turn, Turn – 3:37
7 – Every New Day – 5:15
8 – The Innocence – 4:27
9 – Oribt – 4:57

Credits
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Artwork By – Albert Loudin
Engineer – Brian Tankersley, Dave Perkins, Malcolm Harper, Mike Fraser
Engineer [Additional] – Gene Ford, Lynn Fuston
Executive Producer – Lynn Nichols
Musician – Ann Richards, Brian Butler, Gregary Husted, Hank Carter, Jackie Cusic, Lisa Cates, Mike Mead, Phil Naish, Richard Price, Rick Cua, Rob Frazier, Steve Taylor, Stevie Butler, Tommy Greer
Photography – Caroline Greyshock
Producer – Dave Perkins

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Various – The ’50s in the ’80s – 1988

This is a very rare release from Dayspring Records and as far as I can tell it only came out on cassette. It is basically a collection of various artists that had a 50’s sounding track. Some of the choices are kind of a stretch but it works out pretty good for the main part. Most of the tracks we’ve heard on their original albums but their are a few tracks which while not exclusive to this album, are relatively unknown. The 2 stand out tracks are Kenny Marks – Bon Appetit, and Carman – Spirit-filled Pizza.

Tracklist
01 – New Song – Say Yes
02 – Dion – You Need A Love
03 – The Sharrets – Smile
04 – Randy Stonehill – American Fast Food
05 – Solveigl – My Starlight
06 – Daniel Winans & The Second Half – The American Way
07 – Kenny Marks – Bon Appetit
08 – Allies – It’s Never Easy
09 – Dion – Another Saturday Night In Heaven
10 – The Latinos – The Party’s Over
11 – Carman – Spirit-filled Pizza
12 – Randy Stonehill – Modern Myth 2

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Messiah Prophet Band – Rock The Flock – 1984

Metal done just right. The album starts out with a perfect 1984 hard rock anthem, “Rock The Flock.”

Along with some melodic metal tunes like “Labor of Love” this album keeps the pace up all the way through. The band’s strong vocals, bold drumming and continuous guitar flourishes make a nice blend.

This was the first of only two albums the band put out in the 80s. Although there was room for more, we got all there was of MPB.

Tracklist
1 – Rock the Flock – 3:36
2 – Labor of Love – 3:46
3 – Try to Understand – 4:44
4 – Travel the Rough Road – 4:08
5 – Why Must You Run – 5:34
6 – To the Rock – 3:55
7 – Answer Our Call – 5:21
8 – Riding Out the Storm – 4:50
9 – Sing – 7:09

Credits
Charlie Clark – Vocals
Dean Pellman – Bass
Dave Daubert – Drums
Andy Strauss – Guitars
Rob Clark – Guitars

 

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Resurrection Band – Colours – 1980

This was the third album from Resurrection Band and the first on Light Records. The move to Light Records shocked a lot of people as the label was known for easy listening and worship music. This release changed that up in a rather abrupt manner. This was the only release from Resurrection Band that did not have any keyboards so many consider it a true Rock & Roll album. Resurrection Band continued their social conscience writing on this album especially with “N.Y.C.”, “Beggar in the Alleyway”, and “American Dream”. The album was very well received and many count this as their favourite Resurrection Band album. It is unknown why they chose the European spelling for the title “Colours”

Tracklist
1 – Autograph – 4:02
2 – Colours – 4:59
3 – N.Y.C. 3:23
4 – Hidden Man – 2:49
5 – Amazing – 2:22
6 – American Dream – 3:21
7 – Benny And Sue – 3:54
8 – City Streets – 3:23
9 – Beggar In The Alleyway – 3:57
10 – The Struggle – 3:47

Credits
Bass – Jim Benton
Cover [Album Cover Concept] – JPUSA Graphics
Cover [Outside Cover Art] – Dick Randall
Drums – John Herrin
Engineer – Tom Hanson
Engineer [Assistant] – Mike Szarzynski, Roger Heiss0
Engineer, Mixed By [Mix-Down] – Phil Bonanno
Guitar [Solos] – Glenn Kaiser (tracks: 1, 4, 5, 8)
Guitar, Guitar [Solos] – Stu Heiss
Photography – Tom Fjelstad
Producer, Mixed By [Mix-Down] – Resurrection Band
Vocals – Wendi Kaiser
Vocals, Guitar – Glenn Kaiser

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