Rev Counta & The Speedoze – Life Begins At Thirty – 1980

This is yet another project from Ishmael (Ishmael United). It follows in the footsteps of Ishmael’s usual style which was fun/punk/reggae/rockabilly. Yea good luck in categorizing this album. Personally I categorize it as fun. Ishmael actually re-released this album along with Ishmael United as a single CD set. This album was a real treat for me when I found it as Ishmael United is one of my favourite albums and I had no idea there was more. In fact there are a few more albums, Ishmael never really used the same band name twice. For those who don’t know Ishmael has gone on to release over 20 very popular Christian children’s albums.

1 – All Mixed Up
2 – Love So Great
3 – Motex
4 – Hell Ain’t For Heroes
5 – For What We’re About To Receive
6 – Dr Heckle & Mr Snide
7 – Marksman
8 – No Coincidence
9 – 2 Years On A Camel (Full Of Eastern Promise)
10 – Every Circus Needs A Strongman
11 – Marmite Sandwiches
12 – Ferguson’s Mule
13 – Miss Us
14 – Wot A Life

Mike Warnke – Hey Doc! – 1978

Mike gets on stage to bring some Christian humour and talking about his service in Vietnam. Though dated I still find this album quite humorous.

It should be noted that Warnke was revealed as a liar and fraudster in 1991 by Cornerstone magazine. This recording is offered as a historic record of what was being listened to in the Christian community in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Cover [Concept] – Dennis Hill
Cover [Design] – Charles Wallis, Inc., Patrick Pollei, Roger Sanders
Management – Dharma Artist Agency, Inc., Wes Yoder
Narrator – Mike Warnke
Photography By – John Miller
Producer – Mike Blanton*, Wes Yoder
Recorded By – Malcolm Harper

Companies, etc.
Published By – Warbird Publishing Company
Recorded At – Century II Concert Hall, Wichita, KS
Recorded By – Reelsound
Edited At – Studio 1, Nashville, TN
Edited At – Reelsound
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Warbird Publishing Company
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Warbird Publishing Company

Vengeance Rising – Human Sacrifice – 1988

Originally known as Vengeance they had to change their name to Vengeance Rising due to a name conflict with a band from the Netherlands. This album used the name Vengeance for the first 1000 pressing but subsequent pressing used Vengeance Rising. The band constantly had different members and the only regular member was Roger Martinez. Martinez has since claimed to be a Satanist and then an atheist and actually plans to release atheist/satanist albums using the same band name. It has been surmised that he was actually never a Christian and was just in it for the shock value. As such this is the only album that Real 80s CCM will release by this band/person. I’m not a fan of thrash metal as a whole but really this album isn’t even good as Thrash metal. The whole popularity of the album was the shocking style which was new to CCM music. Quite frankly if you want to listen to Thrash Metal try listening to The Lead, they are much better at it.

1 – Human Sacrifice – 2:42
2 – Burn – 3:52
3 – Mulligan Stew – 3:00
4 – Receive Him – 0:06
5 – I Love Hating Evil – 3:58
6 – Fatal Delay – 3:18
7 – White Throne – 3:09
8 – Salvation – 0:16
9 – From The Dead – 4:37
10 – Ascension – 5:24
11 – He Is God – 0:53
12 – Fill This Place With Blood – 2:53
13 – Beheaded – 3:13

Art Direction – Atticus Farlow, Farlow Lark
Artwork [Cover Art Make Up & Special Effects] – Christopher Keene
Bass – Roger Martin
Drums – Glen Mancaruso
Engineer [Neverland Studios] – Dave Hackbarth
Engineer [Sutton Place] – Jason Brown, Robert Feist
Guitar – Doug Theime, Larry Farkas
Mixed By – Ron Goudie
Photography By [Back Photos] – Nar, Ruby Michael
Photography By [Cover] – Nar
Producer – Caesar Kalinowski
Vocals – Roger Martinez

Companies, etc.
Published By – Broken Songs
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Intense Records
Copyright (c) – Intense Records
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

The Archers – All Systems Are Go – 1984

The Archers took a break from making albums 81 – 84 reportedly because Steve was off doing the solo thing. Strangely in the middle of his solo career he returned to the family to do this album. The Archers “80’d” it up for this album with an album cover that best displayed my personal clothing choices of that year. Yea looking back not so stylish. Janice turned up the 80’s hair and was probably entirely responsible for me listening to this album in 1984. Anyway they turned up John Andrew Schreiner’s keyboards to 11 in an effort so seem a little more with the times. But in the end they were the same Archers the world had come to love and as such the album sold very well. As far as the charts “Heaven In Your Eyes” charted at #2 and “All Systems Are Go” made it to #33. Very respectable numbers but don’t be fooled by the 80’s look, the album is still The Archers that you love or hate.

1 – All Systems Are Go – 4:09
2 – What’s It Gonna Take? – 4:24
3 – Heaven In Your Eyes – 4:00
4 – Get Ready, Get Right – 4:10
5 – My Hope – 4:22
6 – Walk Like He Walks – 3:42
7 – Winnin’ Again – 4:26
8 – Don’t Let It – 3:22
9 – Every Good And Perfect Gift – 6:28

Arranged By, Keyboards – Herb Jamerson
Art Direction – Kernie Erickson
Bass – James Jamison
Cover – Bob Payne (2)
Drums – Lee Kicks
Executive-Producer, Management – Tim Archer
Guitar – Bob Somma
Keyboards – John Andrew Schreiner
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Percussion – Joe Lala
Photography By – Craig Incardone
Producer – Steve Archer, Tim Archer
Producer, Engineer – Skip Konte
Saxophone – Albert Wing

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Straight Ahead Productions (2)
Recorded At – Front Page Studios

Salmond & Mulder – Stumbling Heavenward – 1979

This was the second album from Canadian duo Salmond & Mulder. They were very popular in Canada but I’m doubtful if their album was released anywhere else in the world as they seem relatively unknown outside of Canada. This album has a seventies sound and is well produced. Not much more to day other than that but if you’re a fan of 70’s CCM you should give this album a listen. Guest appearances on the album included Al Perkins and Tom Howard.

1 – Hearthungers
2 – Silent Lady
3 – Tumbleweed
4 – Here I Am
5 – You In My Heart
6 – Like A River
7 – Greatest Lover
8 – Bear The Burdon
9 – Sunshine In The Rain
10 – Most Of All
11 – Stumbling Heavenward

The Mirrors – I Am Not Afraid – 1990

Yes this is The Mirrors from Malcolm And The Mirrors, kind of. Mike Minardi and Richard Cimino from the original Mirrors are joined by Scott Stewart, Terry McNabb, Bill Walden (Undercover), and Rob Watson (DA). This a pretty good line up for a CCM band and it doesn’t disappoint. This actually appears to be a relatively unknown release but it was on Asaph Records which was a very know label. The album itself has a strong mid 80’s New Wave feel and quite frankly I wish i had heard it earlier because it is a fantastic album. I suspect they were a little late with the sound so that may be part of the reason it is a lesser known release.

1 – I Am Not Afraid – 4:05
2 – What Do You Say – 3:27
3 – Longing To See You – 5:51
4 – 4,000 Monday – 5:22
5 – I Will Believe In You – 4:05
6 – Psalm 40 – 4:32
7 – Day Of Understanding – 4:13
8 – Hello My Friend – 3:26
9 – I Will Stand – 3:49
10 – Run Away – 4:53

Arranged By – The Mirrors
Art Direction – Antonio Lozano
Backing Vocals – Bob Thomason (tracks: 1, 4, 5), Rob Watson (tracks: 5 to 7), Stephanie Watring (tracks: 7, 9)
Bass – Scott Stewart
Drums – Terry McNabb
Engineer [Assistant] – Josh Jaquette
Engineer, Mixed By [Drum Mixing] – Brian Davis
Executive-Producer – Chuck Smith, Lewis McVay
Keyboards – Rob Watson (tracks: 1, 3 to 10)
Lead Guitar – Mike Minardi
Mixed By [Drum Mixing], Mixed By, Mastered By – Doug Doyle
Percussion – Danny Ybarra (tracks: 3, 9, 10)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By [Drum Mixing], Mixed By, Mastered By, Arranged By – Rob Watson
Rhythm Guitar – Richard Cimino
Vocals, Keyboards – Bill Walden

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Calvary Chapel Publishing
Copyright (c) – Calvary Chapel Publishing

The 77’s – All Fall Down – 1984

All Fall Down was the much anticipated second album by The 77s. Expectations were high after Ping Pong Over The Abyss and the band didn’t let us down. The band and record label picked Charlie Peacock to produce this album. Strangely Charlie was recording his own album as he was producing this one but this doesn’t appear to have had any effect on the quality of his work. Video’s were produced for both “Mercy Mercy” and “Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba ” and both did get some limited airplay on MTV. In my opinion the quality of both videos were as good as anything on MTV at the time. I remember at the time really hoping that this would be the crossover album from CCM to secular but alas no it didn’t. The album will go down as one of the best ever CCM albums ever and is in my personal top 10.


1 – Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba – 4:14
2 – Under The Heat – 3:19
3 – Mercy, Mercy – 2:50
4 – You Don’t Scare Me – 5:51
5 – Make A Difference Tonight – 3:05
6 – Caught In An Unguarded Moment – 3:17
7 – Someone New – 3:35
8 – Something’s Holding On – 3:13
9 – Your Pretty Baby – 3:59
10 – Another Nail – 4:47

Art Direction – Mark Swanson
Bass, Guitar, Vocals [Vocal] – Jan Eric
Coordinator [Executive Coordinator] – Jan Volz
Drums [Pounding & Thrashing On Gretsch Drum Kit] – Aaron Smith
Engineer [Assistant], Featuring [Background Vocal] – Steve Griffith
Executive-Producer – Mary Neely
Featuring [Ethnic & Orchestral Percussion] – Bongo Bob Smith
Featuring [Linn Program, Background Vocal, Keyboard] – Charlie Peacock
Keyboards [Keyboard], Vocals [Vocal], Guitar – Mark Tootle
Mastered By – John Golden
Mixed By – David Coe, Patrick Cyccone
Other [Special Thanks] – Don McKenney
Photography By [Back & Sleeve] – Dave Howard
Photography By [Front] – Sam Emerson
Producer – Charlie Peacock
Recorded By, Mixed By – Daryl Zachman
Vocals [Vocal], Guitar, Organ [Mouth] – Michael Roe
Written-By – D. Saterlee (tracks: A1), G. Mascoli (tracks: A1, B2, B3, B4), J. E. Volz (tracks: B1), M. Proctor (tracks: A3, A5, B1), M Tootle (tracks: A2, A5, B5), M. Roe* (tracks: A1, A3 to A5, B1, B2 to B4)

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – A&M Records
Distributed By – A&M Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sangre Studios
Recorded At – The Warehouse, Sacramento
Mixed At – Salty Dog Studios
Mastered At – K Disc Mastering
Published By – Sangre Productions
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Western Sierra Music
Published By – Dayspring

Steve Grace – Children Of The Western World – 1988

Steve Grace is another excellent artist out of Australia. This is his first album which sold very well in Australia and when it eventually made it to North America it sold relatively well here also. It was also the first Christian album in Australia to be released on CD. The album was produced by Beeb Birtles (Littler River Band) who also assisted with some of the songwriting. It would probably be categorized as AOR here in North America but I found it to be a well produced album with above average lyrics. When it did arrive in North America in 1990 “Big Dreams” singled hitting #16 on the CCM charts and lingering around for 12 weeks. If you missed this one in the 80’s you should give it a listen. It’s another example of the great music scene in Australia which we knew very little about here in North America. As an aside, the cut “Australian Country Towns” is begging to be a number one hit on the Austrailia Country charts if someone would cover it.

1 – Land Of The Rock – 4:38
2 – Big Dreams – 3:45
3 – Song For Kerrie – 4:22
4 – Life And Times – 4:26
5 – Edward Kelly – 5:56
6 – Children Of The Western World – 6:14
7 – To The Dealer – 3:59
8 – Lessons Of The Heart – 4:48
9 – Australian Country Towns – 4:00
10 – Prodigal Son – 3:04
11 – Solid Rock – 1:30

Cover, Art Direction – Mykl Pratt
Engineer – Doug Brady, Phil Butson
Engineer [Assistant] – Kaj Dahlstrom, Trevor Reading
Mixed By – Beeb Birtles, Doug Brady, Phil Butson
Photography By – Kirsty Chalmers
Producer – Beeb Birtles
Vocals – Steve Grace

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Word
Distributed By – Word
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Recorded At – Sing Sing Studios
Mixed At – Metropolis Audio

Katsbarnea – O Som que te faz Girar – 1989

Completely unbeknownst to me until very recently there was a huge CCM music scene in South America. Now of course the music was in Portuguese or Spanish but it was a huge scene that for some reason I had never heard of until I met friends though this project. This particular band was one of the big ones. This was their demo that they released in 1989. Apparently it sold very very well and it included future hits such as “Extra” and “Grito de Katsbarnea. The band actually had 12 members including a horns section but don’t let that fool you, this is a Rock & Roll band and a darn good one at that. The band went on to great success with multiple albums all the way until 2013. So if your looking to broaden your CCM knowledge give this one a listen. At least listen to the single “Extra” It’s actually a very good song.

1 – Contato
2 – Retrovisor
3 – Grito de Katsbarnea
4 – Etéreo
5 – Viagem da Oração
6 – Pacote Salvação
7 – Extra
8 – Corredor 18
9 – Salve a tua Paz
10 – Brisa

Brother Simion – vocal, guitarra rítmica e harmônica
Tchu Salomão – baixo e vocal em “Brisa”
Fábio – bateria
Paulinho Makuko – percussão e vocal em “Corredor 18”
Marquinhos – saxofone
André Mira – guitarra solo
Cláudia Bastos – vocal de apoio
Sandra Simões – vocal de apoio
Patrícia – teclado

Leviticus – Setting Fire To The Earth – 1987

Björn Stigsson returns with his latest version of Leviticus. Ez Gomér was brought in to replace Håkan Andersson on bass, and vocalist Terry Haw was added. Terry’s vocals really shine thorough on this album and he was an excellent addition. The album does take a more commercial turn but it worked well for them and their die hard fans did not abandon them which often happens when bands take a more commercial sound. If you like your CCM with lots of hair this one is for you.

1 – Flames Of Fire – 3:23
2 – Saved – 4:11
3 – The First And The Last – 3:43
4 – I’m A Believer – 4:00
5 – Don’t Go Out – 3:39
6 – Elijah On Carmel – 4:54
7 – The Suffering Servant – 4:53
8 – Get Up – 3:42
9 – Love Is Love – 4:03

Arranged By – Leviticus
Arranged By, Recorded By – Peo
Artwork By – Ez Gomér
Bass, Vocals – Ez Gomér
Drums, Vocals – Kjell Andersson
Guitar, Vocals – Björn Stigsson
Lead Vocals – Terry H.
Mixed By – Pontus Olsson
Producer – Peo Pettersson
Recorded By – Benny Lundin
Written-By – Björn Stigsson (tracks: 1, 3-7, 9)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Royal Music Productions
Copyright (c) – Royal Music Productions
Recorded At – Royal Music Studio
Mixed At – Sonet Studios, Stockholm
Made By – Discovery Systems