Zion – Thunder from the Mountain – 1989

This was the one and only album from Zion though there was a release in 2007 by Retroactive Records that I know nothing about. The band seemed to revolve around Rex Scott who joined X-Sinner after this project. This album really dances back and forth between Heavy Metal, Arena Rock, and Hard Rock. This dance however does not hurt the album. It is actually quite good and has a nice rhythm and is a good representation of Rex Scott’s various vocal skills.

Tracklist
1 – Who Pulls The Strings
2 – Kick In The Gates
3 – Is It A Crime
4 – Help Me
5 – Thrillseeker
6 – Sold You A Lie
7 – Roll The Rock
8 – Less Of Me
9 – He Loves You

Companies, etc.
Produced At – Extra Sensory Productions
Recorded At – Extra Sensory Productions
Produced At – MacDonald Recording
Mastered At – Motown Recording Studios
Copyright (c) – Image Records (11)
Copyright (c) – Rock For Eternity Music
Manufactured By – American Helix – E6726

Credits
Arranged By, Guitar, Vocals – Rex Scott
Art Direction, Design – Alex Van Amerongen
Bass – Jeff Johnson (tracks: 1 to 6, 9)
Bass, Backing Vocals – Marlin Saner
Drums – Tommy ”Gun” Bozung
Edited By [Digitally] – Jason Brown
Engineer, Orchestrated By – Charles Meserole
Executive Producer – Dorn Reppert, George Peper III
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – David Moore
Mastered By – John Matousek
Other [Additional Backing Vocals] – David Schueller, Joe Bolock Jr., Joe Bolock Sr., Paula Meserole
Photography By – Doug Reichert
Producer, Arranged By – David Zaffiro

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David Meece – Front Row – 1982

You would swear this was going to be David’s pivot into a comedy career. David is a great entertainer, and as talented as he is musically he obviously loves to tell stories.

This is his 6th of 12 albums and it is an enduring one just for the fun it comes with. The epic story of “Mother, Muffler, Mozart & The Beatles” was one I heard at more than 1 or 2 youth group nights.

Even with all the story telling and entertaining, he manages to fit in 8 of his biggest songs up to that point. The live energy he brings to this performance brings all of them to an even higher level than the original studio recordings.

Track Listing:
Heaven Knows 2:35
Jesus 4:31
Rattle Me, Shake Me 4:30
Mother, Muffler, Mozart & The Beatles (6:28)
(Mozart Sonata A Minor 1st Movement)
(Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
All The Time 4:14
Never Gonna Serve Anyone Else But You 2:40
Gospel Train 3:05
Comin’ Back 3:12
Crucifixion (15:56)
(There Once Lived A Man)
(Intermezzo)
(Ten Thousand Angels)
(The Bystander)
(Were You There)
(We Are The Reason)

Credits
Backing Vocals – Donna McElroy, Glenda Smith White, Kim Flemming
Bass – Craig Nelson
Design [Album Design] – Barnes & Company
Drums – Keith Edwards
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Engineer [Remix Engineer] – Bob Clark
Executive-Producer – Mike Blanton
Guitar – Brent Rowan, Jon Goin
Horns – Billy Puett, Buddy Skipper, Dennis Solee, George Tidwell, The Nashville Hornworks, Roger Bissell
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Shane Keisten
Percussion – Farrell Morris, Mark Morris
Photography By – Larry Dixon
Piano – David Meece
Producer – Brown Bannister
Recorded By – Malcolm Harper

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Published By – Duchess Music Corp.
Published By – Word Music (2)
Published By – Maclen Music, Inc.
Published By – Lillenas Publishing Company, Inc.
Recorded At – Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO
Remixed At – Great Circle Sound
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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Undercover – Branded – 1986

Branded was a turning point album for Undercover. It has a mature sound but it certainly leaves behind some of the elements that set Undercover apart in their early days.

Their first album featured Ric Alba on lead vocals, then on the follow up Bill Walden took over, as Ric had moved on to Altar Boys. Bill recorded lead vocals on two albums for Undercover before this, their fourth where Sim Wilson took over the mic.

The mature sound is very dark compared to the original upbeat, peppy happy-go-Jesus songs on their first two albums. The third record started to get more serious, but not brooding like Branded is. Sim’s vocals are powerful and booming, begging you to take seriously everything he says, ensuring you that the drama is all worth it.

Most of the band did stick together, so they still have some signature sounds, although this could have been a different band. The band obviously didn’t see it that way because on this, their fourth album they labelled the record “side 7” and “side 8.” Maybe that was apologetic.

There are a lot of introspective tracks such as “I’m Just A Man,” “Cry Myself To Sleep,” and “Come Away With Me.”

Tracklist
1 – I’m Just A Man – 3:24
2 – The Fight For Love – 3:00
3 – Where Can I Go – 3:13
4 – Tears In Your Eyes – 2:05
5 – Pilate – 3:00
6 – Build A Castle – 3:25
7 – Cry Myself To Sleep – 2:31
8 – Prelude – 1:55
9 – Darkest Hour – 3:26
10 – Interlude – 0:35
11 – Come Away With Me – 4:44
12 – If I Had A Dream – 5:02

Credits
Arranged By – Undercover
Engineer – Mike Mierau
Engineer [Second] – Bobby Saucedo, Paul Abajian
Keyboards, Bass – Joey
Mastered By – Bernie Grundmann
Mixed By – Dino Elefante
Producer – Joey Taylor
Vocals – Sim Wilson
Vocals, Drums – Gary Olson
Vocals, Guitar – Gym Nicholson

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Lifesavors – A Kiss Of Life – 1986

Not only did they change the name from “Lifesavors” to “Lifesavers” on this one, but the band took a sudden turn with this album, sounding a lot more like Flock of Seagulls than like a Cali-punk band.

Smooth production, serious looking photography, and a clean sound make this a pop album. Subsequent releases from Lifesavers all share this mature style but some of them manage to bring the edge back rather than the adult contemporary sound of 80s oldies.

Throughout, they manage to keep thoughtful lyrics and passionate delivery.

The band’s energy comes through again on songs like “Choose To Be True,” a truly catch tune. The classic “Turn Turn Turn” also makes an appearance on this album. It seems to be more an homage to Ecclesiastes than to Pete Seger or The Byrds though.

Tracklist
1 – She’s On Fire – 3:39
2 – I Pray You Pray – 3:34
3 – I Can’t Wait – 3:42
4 – Choose To Be True – 2:28
5 – Highway To Zion – 3:02
6 – Dreamin – 4:20
7 – Love Boy Love Girl – 3:13
8 – Turn, Turn, Turn – 3:39
9 – We Live For The Sun – 3:44
10 – Free Her – 3:18
11 – See Me Fall – 4:48

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Broken Songs

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Michael Knott
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Kenny Samuels
Bass Guitar – Brian Doidge
Drums – Kevin Lee
Electric Guitar – Doug Doyle, Michael Knott
Engineer – Doug Doyle
Keyboards – Doug Doyle, Michael Knott
Layout – Ed McTaggart
Liner Notes – Craig A.J. Keyzers
Percussion – Kevin Lee, Michael Knott
Photography By – Brian Ray
Producer – Doug Doyle
Saxophone – Allen Palmer
Vocals – Michael Knott
Written-By – Bill Robinson (tracks: 2), Chris Lizotte (tracks: 2), Jim Akin (tracks: 2), Michael Gerard Knott (tracks: 1 to 6, 7, 9 to 11), Pete Seger (tracks: 2)

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Servant – Swimming In A Human Ocean – 1984

Servant went through a series of musical changes between their 1979 debut and this 1985 release. They were searching for the new wave sound and look, finding it in what looks like borrowed clothes on the album cover, complete with beret, sweaters, skinny tie and big hair.

The musical sound is the 1985 radio-friendly stuff of Starship and softer Tears for Fears sounds.

This doesn’t take anything away from them lyrically or musically but it is a noticeable change from the simple rock reachings of Fly Away and Suburban Josephine.

Tracklist
1 – Power – 4:48
2 – The Dance – 3:53
3 – Timeless Love – 3:44
4 – Look Through His Eyes – 4:05
5 – Human Heart – 3:57
6 – I Will – 3:27
7 – Harder To Finish – 3:40
8 – Million – 4:04
9 – Love Never Fails – 3:44

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Grand Slam Studios
Recorded At – Quad Recording Studios
Mixed At – Quad Recording Studios

Credits
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Bass – Rob Martens (2)
Design – Joan Tankersley
Drums – David Holmes (18)
Engineer – David Schober
Engineer [Assistant] – Jay Healey, John Jenkinson
Executive-Producer – Lynn Nichols
Graphics – Lori Cooper
Guitar – Dave Perkins
Keyboards – Matt Spransy
Lead Guitar – Bruce Wright
Lighting Director – Lori Martens
Photography By – Chris Callis
Producer – Dave Perkins
Rhythm Guitar – Owen Brock
Vocals – Sandie Brock
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Eric Odell

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911 – Time Will Tell – 1986

911 was a band formed in Las Vegas in the late 70’s by Cathi Demman, her husband at the time, her brother and sister, and Brother in Law. Yes it was a real family affair. They originally used the name “Son Song Band” but changed their name to 911 relatively quickly. This is their one and only album which was well received but not well enough for Exile Records to record a second album.

Tracklist
1 – Time Will Tell – 3:45
2 – Do You? – 3:22
3 – Believe – 2:48
4 – Is It Any Wonder? – 2:12
5 – A Memory – 3:41
6 – Where Are You Now? – 4:01
7 – Too Cool – 3:23
8 – Pick Me Up – 2:57
9 – East From West – 4:30
10 – Are You Willing? – 3:25

Credits
Jeff Lams: Arranger, Keyboards, Synthesizers
Mark Wiegand: Vocal Arranger, Songwriter, Keyboards
Cathi Demman: Songwriter, Lead and Background Vocals
Cristina Stretz: Lead and Background Vocals
Kiko Campo: Lead and Background Vocals
Hap Smith: Guitar
John Klingbiel: Bass
Brian Hicks: Keyboards, Synthesizers
Nelson Kole: Keyboards, Synthesizers
Eric Stretz: Songwriter, Drums

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Various – Jubilation! – 1975

This 1975 Myrrh Records sampler had some of the early 70’s best Jesus Music. Strangely, it had the exact same name (Including the exclamation mark) of an album released the same time from The Kingsmen. The album only had one unreleased track, Larry Norman – Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn. Larry did finally release the track in 1993 on the So Long Ago The Garden re-release as a bonus track.

Include below is the info on which album the songs were released on

Tracklist
1 – Barry McGuire – Enter In – 5:35 – Seeds
2 – Lamb – The Sacrifice Lamb – 5:09 – Lamb
3 – The Sonlight Orchestra – Easter Song – 2:45 – Love Songs And Other Greats
4 – Randy Matthews – Johnny – 3:30 – All I Am Is What You See…
5 – Petra – Back Sliding Blues – 4:31 – Petra
6 – Walt Mills – You Got The Power – 2:55 – Sincerely, Walt Mills
7 – Ron Salsbury And J.C. Power Outlet – I Choose To Follow You – 5:15 – Forgiven…
8 – Evie – Clean Before My Lord – 3:05 – Evie Again
9 – Parchment – Light Of The World – 4:00 – Light Up The Fire
10 – The Pat Terry Group – I Can’t Wait – 3:42 – The Pat Terry Group
11 – 2nd Chapter Of Acts – I Fall In Love/Change – 4:22 – With Footnotes
12 – Ray Hildebrand – Didn’t He – 5:08 – Special Kind Of Man
13 – Honeytree – Heaven’s Gonna Be A Blast – 2:22 – The Way I Feel
14 – Aleksander John – Days Go By – 3:15 – Days Go By
15 – Love Song – A Love Song – 1:46 – Love Song
16 – Larry Norman – Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn – 2:36 – Unreleased until 1993
17 – Malcolm & Alwyn – Tomorrow’s News – 3:30 – Fool’s Wisdom
18 – Ken Medema – Come Let Us Reason Together – 3:35 – Fork In The Road
19 – Chuck Girard & Love Song – Think About What Jesus Said – 4:54 – Final Touch
20 – Marijohn – Where I’m Going – 3:58 – Where I’m Going

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Torn Flesh – Crux Of The Mosh – 1989

Torn Flesh was a thrash metal band out of Chesapeake, Ohio. I searched my memory banks and can say this is the only band I have ever heard of from there secular or Christian. The members of this band had started an organization called “Psalms 150 Ministry” and were ministered on the streets of Huntington, WV (Just across the river from Chesapeake) and were getting a lot of recognition for their successful efforts. At some point they decided that starting a thrash metal band would be a great help in their proselytizing. This album was a result of that effort. The album had some success, but it appears not enough for a second album.

Tracklist
1 – Torn Flesh (Crux Of The Mosh)
2 – End The Fight
3 – World Pollution
4 – Dead To The World
5 – Fire Escape
6 – Happy Birthday
7 – Kill The Dead
8 – Gay Rights?
9 – Man’s Best Friend
10 – Innocent Eyes
11 – Hollywood Heaven
12 – The Ultimate Finale

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Narrowpath Records
Copyright (c) – Narrowpath Records
Distributed By – Pure Metal

Credits
Bass – Mike Holbroo
Drums – Jim Brown
Guitar – Aaron Brown, Jason Matthews
Vocals – Greg Hudson

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Chuck Girard – Chuck Girard – 1975

This is the first solo Christian album from Chuck Girard. He had a successful secular career in the 60’s playing with the Castells and later the Hondells and sang lead on the Hondells single “Little Honda”. However, in the 70’s Chuck was looking for something a little more satisfying. He was a part of the Jesus music era and was in a band called Love Song until 1974. He then released this album and it did well for the time. Most believe his song from this album “Sometimes Alleluia” to be his best song ever.

Tracklist
1 – Rock ‘N’ Roll Preacher – 2:44
2 – You Ask Me Why – 3:14
3 – Evermore – 3:26
4 – Quiet Hour – 3:27
5 – Everybody Knows For Sure – 4:30
6 – Galilee – 3:19
7 – Tinagera – 3:47
8 – Lay Your Burden Down – 5:18
9 – Slow Down – 4:08
10 – Sometimes Alleluia – 5:28

Credits
Bass – Joe Osborne, Joe Puerta
Drums – Burleigh Drummond, Jim Keltner
Guitar – David Pack, Dean Parks
Harmonica – Tommy Morgan
Piano – Christopher North, David Paich
Producer – Chuck Girard

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Randy Stonehill – Between The Glory and The Flame – 1981

This follow-up to 1980’s The Sky Is Falling was a much more refined studio approach. Randy recruited a lot of top CCM artists to help out.
Producer Terry Taylor (of Daniel Amos) recruited his entire band to play on the album along with, Tom Howard, another Larry Norman and Solid Rock Records protege.

The result is a tight band performing Randy’s songs in the studio, giving a much more polished sound than we were used to getting from him up to this point.

The song “Die Young” is an example of Randy’s cynical but honest approach, calling out the typical Western lifestyle centered around short term thinking. His combination of humour and truth-telling was present throughout his career.

“Christine” is one of Randy’s reaches out to a lonely and desperate person. It has a significant parallel to the song Christmas at Denny’s, which we get many years later on the Return To Paradise album.

This album established Randy’s ability to move beyond performing as a singer-songwriter.

Tracklist
1 – The Glory And The Flame – 3:10
2 – Die Young – 3:15
3 – Fifth Avenue Breakdown – 2:50
4 – Granfather’s Song – 3:24
5 – Find Your Way To Me – 3:42
6 – Christine – 3:29
7 – Rainbow – 3:49
8 – Givin’ It Up For Love – 4:13
9 – Letter To My Family – 4:58
10 – Farther On – 2:56

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Rebel Base Productions
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Mixed At – Whitefield Studios
Published By – Prime Cut Publishing
Published By – CanaanLand Music
Published By – Tong Songs Music
Published By – Joyful Road Music

Credits
Guitars, Background Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain
Bass – Marty Dieckmeyer
Background Vocals, Songwriter, Synthesizer String Arranger, Piano, Harmonium, Acoustic Guitar – Tom Howard
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Drums, Percussion – Ed McTaggart
Engineer – Thom Roy
Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals – Randy Stonehill
Producer, Slide Guitar – Terry Scott Taylor

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