The Imperials – This Year’s Model – 1987

This was The Imperials first album after the departure of long time tenor Jim Murray and lead singer Paul Smith. Apparently their departure made for a rather odd decision for this album. It is much more youth oriented, and in fact you could argue it was a total pop album. This caused all sorts of consternation from their regular fans who were expecting another worship oriented album. I actually snicker at how they would have reacted on their first listen to this album. The album is well done and actually quite enjoyable. Let’s face it these guys knew what they were doing and probably could have put out a top notch heavy metal album. Try envisioning that for a minute. But alas the new pop sound must not have sold well as the next album they were right back to their worship oriented sound. Pity actually, this was a good album.

Tracklist
1 – Holding On (First Love) – 5:22
2 – Fallin’ – 4:03
3 – Warriors – 4:54
4 – How Do I Get You? – 5:38
5 – Wings Of Love – 4:38
6 – Power Of God – 4:07
7 – Outlander – 6:47
8 – Get Ready – 4:38
9 – Devoted To You – 3:44

Credits
Arranged By [Rhythm Track] – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Artwork [Jacket Concept] – Joan Tankersley, Lynn Nichols
Bass – Jimmie Lee* (tracks: A2, B4)
Drum Programming – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Drums – Paul Leim (tracks: B4, B5)
Engineer [Second] – Bill Whittington, Danny Johnston, J.T., Spence Chrislu, Wade Jaynes
Executive Producer – Lynn Nichols
Guitar – Mark Grendel (tracks: A2 to A4), Tom Hemby (tracks: B2, B4, B5)
Keyboards – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B4, B5), Shane Keister (tracks: A4, B4)
Lyrics By – Chris Eaton (tracks: A3, B3), Jimmie Lee (tracks: A2, B4), Ron Hemby (tracks: B2, B5)
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Nick Froome
Mixed By [Assistant] – Ed Goodreau, Rob Jaczko
Music By – Chris Eaton (tracks: A3, B3), Jimmie Lee (tracks: A2, B4), Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, B1)
Photography By [Back Cover] – Aaron Rapoport
Photography By [Front Cover] – Ellen Schuster
Producer – Brown Bannister
Programmed By [Fairlight] – Carl Marsh, Peter Kaye, Rhett Lawrence, Shane Keister
Programmed By [Synclavier] – Steve Schaffer
Recorded By [Overdubs] – J.B., Jeff Balding
Recorded By [Rhythm Tracks, Assistant] – Joe Schiff
Recorded By [Rhythm Tracks] – Steve McMillan
Synthesizer [Fairlight Iii] – Carl Marsh (tracks: A1, A3)

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Barry McGuire – Cosmic Cowboy – 1978

Barry McGuire regularity put out an album a year and sometimes two. Generally when an artist does this we end up with albums full of “Filler” material. This is especially true when the artist is writing their own material. In this case i is quite the opposite. The album has lots of great tracks and Barry wrote every track except “Good News Shoes”. This album spawned the #1 hit “Cosmic Cowboy” which holds the record for most weeks at #1 on both the AC and CHR charts. Point of trivia, I did not know is that his guitarist and song writing partner Mike Deasy was actually a member of The Coasters (Yakety Yak). Not many guest stars this album but Michael Omartian did play some keyboards.

Tracklist
1 – Cosmic Cowboy – 4:45
2 – What Good Would It Do – 3:21
3 – The Presence – 2:55
4 – Walkin’ – 3:58
5 – Flying Merry-Go-Round – 4:03
6 – Mystery Of Life – 3:05
7 – Good News Shoes – 2:28
8 – My King – 3:15
9 – You An’ Me – 2:39
10 – White Swan – 3:23
11 – Face To Face – 3:05

Credits
Arranged By – Mike Deasy
Arranged By [Strings] – David Diggs
Artwork – John Lykes
Backing Vocals – Barry McGuire (tracks: B5), Bili Thedford (tracks: B5), Mike Deasy (tracks: B5), Sherlie Matthews (tracks: B5), Venetta Fields (tracks: B5)
Baritone Saxophone – Fred Selden
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Design – Stan Evenson
Drums – Bill Maxwell
Engineer, Mixed By – Wally Duguid
Guitar – Mike Deasy
Pedal Steel Guitar – Al Perkins
Percussion – Fred Petry
Piano – Harlan Rogers
Producer – Billy Ray Hearn
Synthesizer [Oberheim] – Michael Omartian

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Distributed By – Prim
Manufactured By – Prim
Printed By – General Printing AB
Recorded At – Buckskin Studio
Mixed At – Buckskin Studio
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering

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Renaissance – Never Have To Run – 1984

When I was handed this album it came with a warning. So with great trepidation I started to listen to it. It has one of those annoying 30 second instrumental opening tracks (I’ve always hated that). First real track, ok, good keyboards, nice guitar riffs, decent vocals then there was the lyrics. Let’s just say this album is lyrically challenged. Now I want to be clear, the music is good, the vocals are good and the ideas for the songs are actually good. I think they just needed to have some help on the lyrics as they are a little simplistic. That said I really like some of the ideas they had with the songs and I’ll admit after listening to the album 3 or 4 times it actually grew on me. The production quality is actually pretty good for what appears to be a self produced album. The cover is a little confusing as it shows a cute girl but there is no girl in the band. Cute girl on the cover are you out there? The band themselves were from Ohio and I can’t find any info on them. So I suggest listening to the album but don’t expect anything spectacular. It’s just a simple fun album.

Tracklist
1 – Scenes – 0:42
2 – Preacher Man – 3:33
3 – Our Own Way – 4:10
4 – Life – 4:38
5 – Lonely People – 3:03
6 – Games – 2:54
7 – Just Passin’ Thru – 2:36
8 – Blues – 3:29
9 – Allright By Me – 4:18
10 – Live For Him – 5:37

Credits
Chris Liechty – Drums
Ken Richer – Lead & Backup Vocals, Keyboards
Gareth Miller – Guitar
Lane Roth – Bass, Backup Vocals
Walt Guy – Producer
Renaissance – Producer

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The Keep – Never Surrender – 1985

The Keep were a Winnipeg Manitoba Canada Band that self recorded and produced this album. It was picked up by Tunesmith records who were well known for finding unknown bands back then. They did achieve some success in the Canadian market but should have been far wider known in Christian music. A full U.S. release would have probably made these guys a youth group name. Excellent guitar riffs and above normal lyric quality are all over this album. While it leans to Rock it’s actually a difficult album to categorize. Not because of different track styles, but because of the very style itself being difficult to categorize. Trivia is that the bands original name was Scepter but had to be changed due to a name conflict with another Christian band. Full disclaimer these guys are a hometown band for me so I do have some bias, but it’s a deserved bias.

 

Tracklist
1 – Discovering Allies – 4:05
2 – Forgiven Again – 4:10
3 – If Your Heart Isn’t In It – 3:12
4 – Pilgrims Progress – 3:00
5 – The Star – 5:20
6 – Good Guys – 3:45
7 – Hang On – 3:30
8 – Nero – 4:25
9 – The Lord Is My Shepherd – 2:08
10 – Eye In The Sky – 4:40

Credits
Joseph Madden – Lead Guitar, Rythym Guitar, Vocals, “Radio Show Host”, Producer
Wendell Koop – Vocals, Rythym Guitar, “Radio Show Guest”, Producer
Gilbert Vielfaure – Drums
Darrell Reimer – Bass Guitar
Gord Kidder – Harp solos on “Allies”and “Shepherd”
Tamera Barkman – “Caller on line 3”
Dave Zeglinski – telephone, wind, all backwards messages, Producer

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Danger Zone – Danger Zone – 1985

This was the only album we got from Danger Zone. It had 4 members, two girls, Christine Huf, and Nagari Job and 2 guys, Steve Huf, and Tim Huf. I have no idea what the relationship is of the 3 Huf’s. Actually I know very little about the band other than they hailed from Australia. The album was produced by Peter Beverage which explains the excellent production quality. The album was released in the United States on Refuge Records. I may not know much about who they are but they put out a fun synth oriented pop album and I would have liked to have had this one in my collection back then.

Tracklist
1 – The Danger Zone – 3:54
2 – Cry For Love – 4:05
3 – Stop And Listen – 4:12
4 – Counterfeit City – 3:48
5 – Perfect Love – 4:26
6 – No Turnin’ Back – 4:34
7 – Exciting Love – 3:27
8 – The Winners – 4:10
9 – Love You – 3:13
10 – Leaving It Up To You – 3:20
11 – Streams In The Desert – 3:42

Credits
Engineer – Paul Rich (2)
Performer [Dangerzone Is] – Christine Huf, Ngari Job, Steve Huf, Tim Huf
Producer – Peter Beveridge

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – Wireless Set Studios
Mixed At – Wireless Set Studios

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Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil – Goliath – 2014

Steve Taylor returned to the studio in 2014 with a new band. Joining him was John Painter (Fleming & John), Peter Furler (Newsboys), Jimmy Abegg (A Ragamuffin Band) and, Danny Seim. The album was very well received by critics and fans. It sounds Like Steve picked up right where he left off in the 80’s and is far better than his work in the 90’s. If you loved his 80’s stuff you’ll love this album as It is perfectly produced and mixed (Bob Ludwig).

Tracklist
1 – Only A Ride – 2:23
2 – Double Negative – 3:37
3 – Goliath – 2:49
4 – Moonshot – 2:57
5 – Rubberneck – 2:49
6 – The Sympathy Vote – 2:53
7 – Standing In Line – 3:54
8 – In Layers – 3:51
9 – Happy Go Lazy – 3:34
10 – A Life Preserved – 3:59
11 – Comedian – 6:27

Credits
Bass, Cello, Baritone Saxophone [Bari Sax], Tenor Saxophone [Tenor Sax], Alto Saxophone [Alto Sax], French Horn, Trumpet, Instruments [Anything Else Lying Around], Backing Vocals [BGVs] – John Mark Painter
Booking – H2O Agency, Scott Huie Co-producer, Mixed By – Danny Seim Design [Album Design] – Jimmy Abegg Drums, Backing Vocals [BGVs] – Peter Furler Executive-Producer – Larry VanArendonk, Martin Turner (5), Nancy VanArendonk, Richard Bickersteth, Rick Law Guitar, Backing Vocals [BGVs] – Jimmy Abegg Illustration [Insert Illustration] – Buddy Jackson Keyboards [Additional Keyboard Flourishes], Effects [Miscellaneous Wizardry] – Danny Seim Lyrics By – ST
Management – Nick Barre, Proper Management
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Music By – ST&TPF
Other [Breathalyzer] – Brendan Jones
Other [Condoleeza] – Steve Keller
Other [Jenga] – Stephen Parolini
Other [Turbinado] – Phillip Holmes
Other [Vodaphone] – Tim And Val Hudson
Other [Zeitgeist] – Sam Sacco
Photography By – Frank Ockenfels III
Producer – Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil
Recorded By – John Mark Painter
Recorded By [Danny Seim Overdubs] – Danny Seim
Vibraphone [Vibes] – Luke Yang
Vocals, Piano [One Hand Piano] – Steve Taylor

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Splint Entertainment
Copyright (c) – Splint Entertainment
Mastered At – Gateway Mastering
Recorded At – IHOF Studio
Published By – Soylent Tunes
Published By – Foiler Music
Published By – Plaid Jams
Published By – Twin Angels Music
Glass Mastered At – The ADS Group

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Watchmen – Fear No Evil – 1987

Watchman formed in Tacoma Washington in 1984 and briefly called themselves Crosswalk before going with Watchman instead. This was their introductory demo released in 1987. It has a strong commercial sound and I noticed that several reviewers at the time compared them to Dio. There are strong keyboards which always sounds a little off to me when listening to a metal album. The standout thing on this demo for me was the quality of the production. It is very well engineered and I’d actually like to know who mixed and produced it. It sounds very well done to me and if they did it themselves they deserve credit for it. Anyway we have here 7 commercial oriented metal songs and a ballad. Regency Records must have liked it as much as I did as they signed them to a record deal after the demo.

Tracklist
1 – Fear No Evil – 4:55
2 – Tug Of War – 3:18
3 – Set Free – 4:12
4 – The Healer – 3:33
5 – Kingdom Come – 4:57
6 – Power From The Lamb – 4:23
7 – Christian Soldier – 3:18
8 – His Song – 5:00

Credits
Vocals – Greg Sweet
Keyboards – Kevin Antholt
Bass – Doug Larson
Drums – Kevin Whisler
Guitars – Dave Van Liew

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Salmond & Mulder – Hoping & Coping – 1981

Vancouver Canada’s Salmond & Mulder are joined by Faye Mulder and Gayle Chambers for their third album. Full disclaimer they themselves describe this album as follows. “It is basically a worship album, focusing on wholeness in Christ and the struggle to hold that truth preeminent in our lives”. They achieve this outshout even vaguely venturing into even a hint of Rock & Roll. In all fairness that description is on the back of the album so hopefully you caught it before buying this album and expecting like their last album. I’m not saying this is a bad album in fact it’s pretty good but it is a worship album and not consistent with their previous work.

Tracklist
1 – Growing Richer – 3:07
2 – Looking At The Sun – 2:50
3 – Never Doubt – 1:32
4 – Father I Know – 4:18
5 – Hoping And Coping – 4:42
6 – Imnunurnmi – 2:52
7 – Give Me The Courage – 3:35
8 – Moving On – 4:55
9 – You Are My Wholeness – 2:55
10 – May The God And Father – 1:15
11 – You Are The Lord – 1:48

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Image VII Records Inc.
Copyright (c) – Image VII Records Inc.
Published By – Image VII Music

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Good News – New Life – 1972

I will have to admit when i grabbed this album I was not too optimistic. It is on the BBC home label and The Salvation Army holds the copyright on the alum. Then there’s the album cover which shows the band all wearing suits. So it was with great trepidation that I listened to this one. Well my fears were completely unfounded. This is a great 70’s Rock & Roll album. This album goes one step further than most Jesus music albums of the period. The guitar work at times convinced me I might be listening to Keith Richards, but alas I’m listening to some guy called Kevin Burton who would never do any other published work. This is probably one of the best rocking Jesus Music albums of the period and it now falls in as one of my favourites of the era.

Tracklist
1 – Spirit – 4:21
2 – Go Peacefully – 3:17
3 – New Life – 4:53
4 – Shape Of Things To Come – 3:12
5 – Best Way Of All – 3:08
6 – You Need My Lord – 2:43
7 – Everybody Sing – 3:07
8 – Maureen & Billy – 4:05
9 – Looking Good – 2:59
10 – I Am Much More – 4:06
11 – Long Lost Cause – 3:40
12 – Kum Bay Ya – 3:04

Credits
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Lio Fivaz
Composed By, Arranged By – Bill Davidson
Coordinator – Sylvia Cartner
Drums, Vocals – Roger Woodrow
Lead Guitar, Piano, Vocals – Kevin Burton
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano – Bill Davidson
Producer, Liner Notes – Ralph Rolls
Sleeve, Design, Photography By – Andrew Prewett
Vocals, Tambourine – Ellen Schram

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – The Salvation Army
Copyright (c) – BBC London

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Servant – Light Maneuvers – 1984

This was the 5th studio album from Servant and their first with Myrrh records. As Myrrh was a much larger label than Servant’s two previous labels this was a highly anticipated album. The album did not disappoint. In my opinion it was much better produced and while it definitely took a turn to the pop side of the industry I think that style suited them and this may be my favourite album by them. It spawned two CCM singles with “We Are The Light” making it to #16 and “Surrender” making it to #30.

Tracklist
1 – Poolside Logic – 3:25
2 – Surrender – 4:42
3 – We Are The Light – 4:30
4 – One At Heart – 4:30
5 – Neighborhood – 3:55
6 – Born In The Fire – 3:48
7 – Battlecry – 3:53
8 – Courage To Burn – 4:27
9 – Zero Minus One – 4:15
10 – War Dance – 3:56

Credits
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Artwork [Retouching] – Beverly Gilbert
Bass – Rob Martens
Drums – David Holmes
Engineer – Mike Fraser
Engineer [Assistant] – Allon Brooks
Executive-Producer – Lynn Nichols
Keyboards – Matthew Spransy
Layout – Lori Cooper
Lead Guitar – Bruce Wright
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mixed By – Bob Rock, Mike Fraser
Percussion – Chris Taylor
Photography By – Craig Stewart
Photography By [Back Cover] – Rob Jaffe
Photography By [Back Cover] – Chris Briscoe
Producer – Bob Rock
Vocals – Bob Hardy, Sandie Brock

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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