Temperance – They Gotta Know – 1987

Temperance were an unsigned band out of Naples Florida that self produced this album in 1987 and what an album it is. It goes without saying that growing up in Canada I have never heard this album before. What a pity as this is a great Rock & Roll album save the one Reggae track. Yes there’s a Reggae track and it’s just fun so don’t take it too seriously. But back to the Rock. I can’t believe these guys and gals were never signed to a record label. This album was good to go with no production or engineering required. This may be the best production I have ever heard on a self released album. A few of the tracks are very very reminiscent of Barnabas, so mush so that you could easily be fooled into believing it is them. If you missed this one in the 80’s, and I’m betting you did, you need to listen to this album.

1 – Start Praisin’ the Lord – 4:28
2 – Defenders of the Faith – 3:22
3 – Jesus – 3:48
4 – Out of Control – 4:27
5 – Give It to Him – 4:44
6 – They Gotta Know – 4:05
7 – The Great I Am – 3:14
8 – Lord, Lord – 4:07
9 – It’s a Lie – 3:11
10 – Yah Mon – 2:29

Bass – Eric Bennett
Drums, Percussion – Fred Corr
Keyboards – Beth Clear
Lead Guitar – Scott Carroll
Lead Vocals – Bill Kullen, Sandy Knight

The Predators – Social Decay – 1983

I have no idea how I ever got copies of the three albums from The Predators back in the early 80’s. I don’t even know how the were distributed here in the US. I don’t even remember buying them. All I know is that I love all three and this, Social Decay, is just fabulous. When the dictionary defines “new wave” they should have a picture The Predators. Heavy keyboard dominated dance music with guitar stylings taken straight from The Knack and vocals at times sounding eerily like Bill Walden of early Undercover fame. In fact, the first Undercover album may be a decent comparison, though much more musical and stronger songwriting.But it is not a stretch to hear comparisons to Weber and the Buzztones, Quickflight, Elvis Cotello and even Ishmael United. There is a great combination of straight ahead evangelical lyrics and thoughtful and vague pop themes, but all with a Biblical worldview. “Man in My Room” has the feeling of a stalker story until you realize the song is about the Holy Spirit. “Stand Up and Be Counted” is a Christian anthem and “Nasty Video” addresses the problem of modern cinema and its impact. Their catalog is a tough find but worth the effort for those with an affection for early 80’s new wave pop.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – Jack – 3:10
2 – Free World – 3:09
3 – Man In My Room – 4:07
4 – Stand Up And Be Counted – 3:45
5 – Lost At Sea – 3:48
6 – 2 Out Of 7 – 3:49
7 – One More Time – 3:12
8 – Wipe The Tears – 4:16
9 – Nasty Video – 3:02
10 – Never Say Die – 3:26

Bass, Vocals – Andy Rayner
Drums, Percussion – Francis Johnson
Engineer – Mick Robson
Guitar – Kelvin Allwood
Keyboards, Vocals – Brian Westhead
Producer – John Pantry
Vocals – Kevin Smith

Oracle – Danger Zone – 1984

I bet that most of you are asking who was Oracle? For the main part I have the exact same question but I do know a little bit. First of all do not confuse this band with a Heavy Metal band of the same name. This is not them regardless of what you may read on line. This Oracle has more of a rock pop mix I’d say leaning slightly more to rock. I have no idea who the guys in the band were because they used nondescript nicknames on the album. This is something I’ve always disliked and this album is an example of why. They apparently were from Edmonton and this was all we have from them. The album came out on Tunesmith records who were well known for signing unknown bands with varying success. In this case I don’t think there was much success as I’m from Canada and I have never heard of these guys. The album cover is actually pretty cool for 1984 but really doesn’t suit the album. The quality of the music isn’t fantastic but this is in part because I don’t think the production is very good. The songs are simple but have some catchy riffs and choruses and with better production we might have heard more from these guys. Unfortunately this is a common story when it comes to Tunesmith artists.

1 – Stranger In Paradise – 3:46
2 – Songmaker – 5:04
3 – Joker – 3:20
4 – Final Show – 5:12
5 – Court Jester – 3:20
6 – Heroes – 4:29
7 – Love Song – 3:50
8 – Breakdown – 2:24
9 – Listen To The Voice – 4:03

Lead Vocals, Guitar – Rock
Bass – Gary Anthony
Keyboards, Vocals – J.J.
Drums – Klark
Executive Producer – The Wizard
Mastered By – Dave Ellsworth
Producer – Oracle

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Praise Industries Corp.

Stryper – The Covering – 2011

The boys of Stryper got back together in 2011 to record this album of cover tunes. The claim is that these are the songs that helped to shape the band’s sound and musical identity. The album does have one original track, “God” written by Michael Sweet. The cover versions are good and you will probably enjoy listening to them but I wish they would have actually put more of their own sound into the recordings. However it is apparent they were trying instead to keep them as close to the original as possible. This idea was done by a few CCM bands in this era but few did it as well as Stryper.

1 – Set Me Free – 3:45
2 – Blackout – 3:58
3 – Heaven And Hell – 6:11
4 – Lights Out – 3:45
5 – Carry On My Wayward Son – 5:16
6 – Highway Star – 5:45
7 – Shout It Out Loud – 3:15
8 – Over The Mountain – 4:21
9 – The Trooper – 3:53
10 – Breaking The Law – 3:02
11 – On Fire – 3:08
12 – Immigrant Song – 2:18
13 – God – 4:55

Art Direction – Richie “Britley” Hughes
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Timothy Gaines
Design [Illustration/Graphic Design] – Kaeli Ellis
Drums, Cymbal [Cymbals] – Robert Sweet
Edited By [Additional Editing By] – Kenny Lewis
Executive-Producer – Bill Edwards
Guitar, Vocals – Oz Fox
Illustration [Cover Illustration] – Chris Parks
Keyboards, Organ, Piano – Charles Foley
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Michael Sweet
Management – Union Entertainment Group
Mastered By – Mark Donahue
Producer [Produced By] – Michael Sweet
Recorded By, Mixed By – Danny Bernini

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Big3 Records, LLC
Copyright (c) – Big3 Records, LLC
Recorded At – Spirit House
Mixed At – Spirit House
Edited At – Mixed Emotions
Mastered At – Soundmirror, Inc.
Published By – Sweet Milena Music
Glass Mastered At – Arvato Digital Services Bertelsmann, USA – JL40601

Bloodgood – All Stand Together – 1991

Michael Bloodgood and the boys return for their final studio album until a 2013 reunion. This album deviated from their Metal style to a very commercial Hard Rock. The album did not do well and I believe I know why. Most Bloodgood fans liked Bloodgood because of their Heavy Metal sound so a commercial Hard Rock album is not what they wanted but because of their Heavy Metal history the album didn’t attract new fans who may have preferred the hard rock sound. The other problem with the album is that I believe it was a little dated for 1991. It sounded more like a mid to late 80’s album to me. All that said this is my favourite Bloodgood album. I love the Rock & Roll styling and quite frankly there are a few tracks on this album that easily could have got secular radio play. The lead track “S.O.S.” is an absolutely great Rock & Roll song and my favourite track. Final point of album trivia is that David Huff (White Heart) supplied the drum tracks.

1 – S.O.S. – 3:52
2 – All Stand Together – 4:19
3 – Escape From The Fire – 5:27
4 – Out Of Love – 2:39
5 – Say Goodbye – 3:41
6 – Kingdom Come – 4:12
7 – Fear No Evil – 3:47
8 – Help Me – 4:21
9 – Rounded Are The Rocks – 4:09
10 – Lies In The Dark – 4:50
11 – Streetlight Dancer – 3:49
12 – I Want To Live In Your Heart – 4:31

Arranged By – Bloodgood
Art Direction, Design – Robert Beeson
Backing Vocals – Biff Vincent, Bret Pemelton, Darrell Devlin, Diana Meador, Joyce Carlsen, Meagan Cherry
Bass, Backing Vocals – Michael Bloodgood
Drums – David Huff
Engineer, Backing Vocals – Charlie Watts
Executive-Producer – Steve White
Guitar – Paul Jackson
Keyboards – Tim Heintz
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Les Carlsen
Mastered By – Chris Bellman
Photography By – Karen Moskowitz
Producer, Arranged By – Phillip Biff Vincent

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Broken Records (7)
Copyright (c) – Broken Records (7)
Recorded At – Front Page Recorders
Mixed At – Front Page Recorders
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Published By – Dana Point Music
Published By – Deolinda Music

2nd Chapter Of Acts – Singer Sower – 1983

Unfortunately this 1983 album from 2nd Chapter Of Acts falls in the “this was another album” category. One of the problems with their style of music is that the albums all start to blend together after awhile. The interesting track on this album is the opening track “Room Noise”. Not the best song I ever heard but it is kind of a cool song. The first single was “Takin’ The Easy Way” which peaked at #2. “Spin Your Light” was the second single which only made it to #31. The album wasn’t a stand out but fulfilled a need by their fans for another album. One point of trivia for the album is that Kerry Livgren played some guitar and synth tracks for the album.

1 – Room Noise – 4:05
2 – Beware My Heart – 4:30
3 – Ocean Liner – 4:33
4 – Takin’ The Easy Way – 4:02
5 – No One Will Have A Secret – 4:00
6 – Spin Your Light – 3:26
7 – Open Up My Blind Eyes – 4:22
8 – I’m Wastin’ No More Time – 3:42
9 – Lift Me Up – 3:33

Arranged By [All Vocal Arrangements By] – 2nd Chapter Of Acts
Arranged By [Instrumental Arrangements By] – Michael Omartian (tracks: A1, B2, B5)
Bass – John Scudder, Leland Sklar
Drums, Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – Jack Kelly
Guitar – Dean Harrington, Matthew Ward
Piano – Anne Herring, Si Simonson
Piano, Synthesizer, Soloist [Synth Solo] – Michael Omartian
Producer – Buck Herring
Synthesizer, Guitar – Kerry Livgren

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Easter Song Studios

DeGarmo & Key – Street Light – 1986

This 1986 release from the D & K was the start of a more refined sound for the band. They finally started drifting away from so much electronics and started to lean to more guitar driven songs. The album opens with a Springsteenish track “Every Moment” which was well received though isn’t one of my preferred tracks. My preferred track is “She Believes” which is a strong rock tune in more of their traditional style. The album did not have a CCM chart single which is a nod to how good an album it really is. So if you liked the old D & K I think you will like the feel of this album and if you preferred their later stuff I believe this was a transition album to that more guitar feel.

1 – Every Moment – 3:51
2 – War Zone – 3:19
3 – Addey – 4:09
4 – Soldier Of Fortune – 4:00
5 – Don’t Stop The Music – 3:40
6 – Don’t Throw Your Love Away – 3:16
7 – Video Action – 3:39
8 – She Believes – 4:15
9 – Holy Hustle – 3:08
10 – Up On A Cross – 2:45
11 – Inside Out – 2:58

Dan Brock – Executive Producer
Tommy Cathey – Bass, Background Vocals
Eddie DeGarmo – Producer, Songwriter, Keyboards, Background Vocals
John Hampton – Producer, Engineer, Mixed
Dana Key – Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Lead Vocals
Bob Ludwig – Mastered
Greg Morrow – Drums, Background Vocals
Gary Westman – Assistant Engineer

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Power Discs
Phonographic Copyright (p) – DeGarno & Key
Copyright (c) – DeGarno & Key
Distributed By – Capitol Records, Inc.

D.O.X. – D.O.X. – 1986

D.O.X. appears to be another project of the boys from D.A. Rob Watson, Terry Taylor, and Tim Chandler were involved in this album in some way. Most the songs were written by Mark de la Bretonne the lead vocalist but Terry Taylor penned 2 of the tracks. The album has a bit of a Idle Cure sound at times and at other times i am hearing a more pop oriented version of Daniel Amos. The band were all individuals with little or no relationship to Daniel Amos but the boys form D.A. were obviously deeply involved with the project with all 3 listed as backing vocals and Terry Taylor being the producer. This is a pretty good album that was perfect for the time it came out. The vinyl is very hard to come by now so if you own it keep it safe.

1 – The Hungering Dark/Light Ship – 4:47
2 – Aim For The Heart – 4:30
3 – Lighthouse – 4:00
4 – Zero To None – 3:38
5 – Feel The Fire – 3:30
6 – Lonely Without You – 3:15
7 – (In My) Dream Of Heaven – 3:18
8 – Guiding My Way – 5:03
9 – Morningstar – 4:20

Arranged By – Terry Taylor
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Rob Watson, Terry Taylor, Tim Chandler
Bass Guitar – Jeff Foster
Drums – Robert Foster
Engineer – Doug Doyle
Keyboards – Rob Watson
Layout – Ed McTaggart
Lead Guitar – Rick Lane (7)
Painting – Jeff Foster
Percussion – Robert Foster
Piano – Mark de la Bretonne
Producer – Terry Scott Taylor*
Rhythm Guitar – Rick Lane (7)
Saxophone – Alan Palmer
Vocals – Mark de la Bretonne

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.

First Call – Undivided – 1986 – Full Album

First Call is the term given to a musician or vocalist who are the top of every producer’s list to appear on a project. They are usually paid the highest amount and are known for needing the least amount of studio time to get it right, actually saving the studio money even though they can charge a higher rate. The group first call earned their name. The trio headlined by Marty McCall (Fireworks) were a famed studio trio that appeared on countless albums and earned a record contract. McCall’s experience with Fireworks and Mel Tunney and Bonnie Keen’s studio work made them seasoned veterans without ever performing live together. Undivided is seen as the groups official first album even though the previous year they were the primary force behind one of the finest CCM Christmas albums ever, An Evening in December. The Christmas album, though, also featured other named CCM artists at the time. Undivided starts with a sound similar to what was coming out of Nashville at the time with inspirational balled and medium tempo songs like the title track, which went on to be a huge hit. The group, though, really excelled and separated themselves when they ventured into more jazz and Manhattan Transfer styled compositions. But even in the more common fair their vocals and arrangements, especially on songs like “The Future” put them in a class all by themselves.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – Messiah – 3:25
2 – Undivided – 4:12
3 – Campmeetin’ Tonight – 3:33
4 – Bless, Ye The Lord – 4:25
5 – God Is Greater – 3:22
6 – One Step At A Time – 2:58
7 – Step Of Faith – 3:12
8 – The Future – 3:08
9 – Snap To It – 2:33
10 – Just As True For You – 4:15

Bass – Craig Nelson, Gary Lunn, Jimmy Lee Sloas, Mike Brignardello
Brass – Chris McDonald, Ernie Collins, John Rommell, Mike Haynes
Drums – Mark Hammond, Paul Leim
Guitar – Gary Burnette, Greg Jennings, James Hollihan, John Darnall, Jon Goin, Mark Baldwin, Tom Hemby
Keyboards – Dick Tunney, Phil Naish
Keyboards, Drum Programming – Keith Thomas
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Percussion [Anatomical] – Terry McMillan
Piano [Acoustic] – David Huntsinger
Saxophone – Dennis Solee, Doug Moffet, Jim Horn
Vocals – Bonnie Keen, Marty McCall, Melodie Tunney

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.

Prism – Blue – 1986

I have to admit I completely missed this one in the 80’s but I assume the cover would have made me skip right by this one. If I had to describe this one it would sort of be the Christian version of Kidz Bop but not really. The album consist mainly of cover versions of vacation bible school and campfire songs we all know though they are very popped up. This project was the brain child of Chris Harris and Mark Heimermann with some studio musicians and some kids. Strangely I can’t find any record of who the kids were. There are two original songs on the album penned by Heimermann. “Heads or Tails” and “Selah.” Both have a fun 80’s pop sound and are actually pretty good. Many of you grew up with this series of albums so we get a lot of requests for the entire series. We’re here to please so we will post them all.

1 – Jesus Loves Me – 1:54
2 – This Little Light Of Mine – 3:07
3 – This Is The Day – 3:24
4 – Heads Or Tails – 3:38
5 – Stand Up – 3:12
6 – Wise Man – 3:13
7 – Selah – 2:35
8 – Jesus Loves The Little Children – 2:55
9 – My Prayer – 4:15
10 – Into My Heart – 2:40