Holy Soldier – Holy Soldier – 1990

Holy soldier formed in the 80’s by bassist Andy Robbins and guitarist Jamie Cramer and they quickly gained popularity in their hometown of Los Angeles. They commonly played secular outlets but maintained an evangelical message. In 1988 they released a demo and it was very popular in both secular and Christian circles. They were subsequently signed to some sort of deal between Word (Myrrh) and A&M Records. I’m not sure but I think they may have been the first Metal band sign by Word but admittedly I could be wrong. The album did really well in Christian circles and actually had some moderate success with secular audiences. The album achieved two Dove Awards in the hard rock song and album of the year categories. Point of trivia of the album is that is was produced by Bloodgood guitarist David Zaffiro and he did a great job. The album has a polished commercial sound and was as good as anything published at the time in the secular Metal genre.

1 – Stranger – 3:25
2 – See No Evil – 5:28
3 – The Pain Inside Of Me – 6:35
4 – Cry Out For Love – 3:28
5 – Tear Down The Walls – 3:58
6 – When The Reign Comes Down – 5:17
7 – Lies – 4:58
8 – Eyes Of Innocence – 3:55
9 – Love Me – 4:15
10 – We Are Young, We Are Strong – 5:15

A&R [A&R Direction] – Mark Maxwell
Art Direction – Laurie M. Fink
Art Direction, Design – F2 Design
Backing Vocals – Andy, Jamie, Michael, Steven, Terry
Backing Vocals [Additional] – Charles Meserole, Donna Rood, Donny Russell, Evelyn Watson, Marc Anthony, Michael Plissner, Sherie Hopper, Vanessa Beckrum
Band, Bass – Andy Robbins
Band, Drums – Terry “The Animal” Russel
Band, Guitar [Guitars] – Jamie Cramer, Michael Cutting
Band, Lead Vocals – Steven Patrick
Bass [Bass Overdubs] – Jerry Watts (tracks: 3)
Coordinator [Artwork Coordination] – Roz
Edited By [Digital Editing By] – Daniel Hersch
Effects [Keyboard Effects] – Charles Meserole
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Bobby Salcedo, Dave Hackbarth
Engineer [Drun Track Engineer] – John Hanlon
Engineer [Overdub Engineer] – Charles Meserole
Engineer [Second Engineer] – Brian Herbert, Chuck Rodriguez, Jeff Piergeorge
Management [Managed By] – Daryn Hinton
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mixed By – Joe Chiccarelli
Photography By [CD Portrait Photos (b/w)] – Aaron Rapoport
Photography By [Front Cover Photograph] – John Scarpati
Photography By [Live Photograph of Steven Patrick] – Perry Cooper
Photography By [Live Photographs] – Nigel Skeet
Producer [Produced By] – David Zaffiro
Technician [Drums By] – Ross Garfield

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Zaffiro Productions
Published By – Most Triumphant Music
Published By – Dayspring
Published By – Barkloid Music
Published By – Word Music
Recorded At – Wayne Cook Studios
Recorded At – Neverland Studios
Recorded At – Mixing Lab B
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mixed At – Master Control, Burbank
Edited At – DigiPrep
Mastered At – Masterdisk

Amy Grant – In Concert – 1981

This was the first of 2 albums featuring Amy Grant in concert. It was recorded at Mabee Hall in Tulsa Oklahoma and Lloyd Noble Center in Norman Oklahoma. It featured two new songs from Grant, “Mimi’s House” and “Singing a Love Song”. Wikipedia states “Although the two should have been issued as a double album, budget problems forced the two to be released separately.” This is absurd, there was no shortage of money at Myrrh and A&M for their gold mine performer so I’d love to hear the real reason. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary. Point of trivia is that DeGarmo & Key are credited as being on the album.

1 – Medley – Beautiful Music , Giggle, Old Man’s Rubble, Never Give You Up – 9:31
2 – Mimi’s House – 3:26
3 – Father’s Eyes – 5:50
4 – Faith Walkin’ People – 3:56
5 – Walking Away With You – 4:38
6 – Mountain Top – 3:40
7 – All I Ever Have To Be – 3:16
8 – Singing A Love Song – 5:52
9 – Don’t Give Up On Me – 4:04

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Billy Sprague
Art Direction, Design – Michael Harris Design
Backing Vocals – Dave Durham, Gary Pigg, Jan Harris, Teresa Ellis
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Gregg Morrow
Electric Guitar, Vocals – Dana Key
Engineer [“Live Recording” Engineer] – Jack Puig
Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Mike Blanton
Keyboards – Ed DeGarmo
Mastered By – Glenn Meadows
Mixed By [Mix-Down Engineer] – Brown Bannister
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Wyatt Brown
Producer – Brown Bannister
Recorded By [Mobile Recording] – Malcolm Harper
Synthesizer [Oberheim] – Gerry Peters

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Mixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Mabee Center
Recorded At – Lloyd Noble Center, Norman
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Published By – Song Tailors Music
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Published By – Home Sweet Home Music
Published By – Meadowgreen Music, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

Crossection – Before The Dawn – 1989

Crossection were a band out of central Alberta Canada. They actually released this album as a independent release in 1988 but Image 7 Records picked it up and released it in 1989. The album is self produced and usually this is not a good thing but this album is actually very well produced and engineered. My only criticism of the album is that it has several tracks over the 4 minute mark including a whopper at a few seconds short of 7 minutes. That said it’s not much of a criticism as the tracks are good and their length may actually be a plus to most people. Most of the tracks lean to arena rock but there a few that are more pop oriented. Their rock tracks are the best and they really could have had some real success had they just shown up a few years earlier. Unfortunately they joined the market at the start of what I consider it’s demise. They released another album the next year and it’s even better.

1 – Stephanie – 3:23
2 – Things Aren’t The Same – 3:28
3 – How Long – 3:35
4 – Heartbreak City – 3:00
5 – Shadow Land – 4:54
6 – What About Forever – 5:54
7 – Battle For The Minds – 5:31
8 – Cover Feelings – 6:54
9 – Love Is Who You Are – 4:28
10 – Break The Chains – 3:16
11 – If The Son Sets You Free – 4:15

Arranged By, Keyboards, Vocals – Dale Johnson
Bass, Vocals – Bruce Rawling
Drums – Martin Zinger
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Nevin Eggum
Producer – Crossection
Vocals, Guitar – Doug Rawling

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Image 7 Records Inc
Copyright (c) – Image 7 Records Inc
Manufactured By – Image 7 Records Inc

Tony Pilcher – Livin’ For The Light – 1984

This was the only album we got from Tony. He was with DeGarmo & Key for the No Turning Back tour and album as well as the Mission of Mercy album. DeGarmo and Key actually appear on the album on Track 3 “Lift It Up”. This album was released on Voice Box records which was a very small label far better known for their very Easy Listening albums than this Pop album. Tony also had some song writing credits including a song for Mylon LeFevre & Broken Heart off their 1986 album Sheep in Wolves Clothing. Other than that I can’t find much information on him. This is AOR Pop oriented album which was really quite good and I’m a but surprised how little known it is. Some may know I have a real penchant for the Rockabilly/Fifties sound and Tony closed out the album with a great song of this genre, “Roll Away The Rock.”

1 – Livin’ For The Light – 4:14
2 – The Long Way – 3:21
3 – Lift It Up – 2:29
4 – Lord, I Want To Shine – 3:24
5 – Rejoice The Day Will Come – 3:17
6 – Crucible Of Love – 3:36
7 – Higher Power – 3:38
8 – Roll Away The Rock – 3:03

Vocal Duet – Tanya Goodman
Electric Guitars – Tony Pilcher, Greg Reding, B. James Lowery
Acoustic Guitar – B. James Lowery
Drums – Chad Cromwell, Greg Morrow
Bass : Mike Brignardello, Dave Smith
Acoustic Piano : Carl Marsh
Hammond B3 Organ, Synthesizer – Lester Snell
Background Vocals – David Mayo, Jimi Jamison, Debbie Cathey, Tony Pilcher, Dana Key, Tommy Cathey, Dana Key, The Christ Missionary Baptist Singers
Rhodes & Synthesizer – Ed DeGarmo
Saxophone – Andrew Love

Kyle Henderson – More Than The Look Of Love – 1985

After making a name for himself as the leader of the cool, underground, new wave band The Producers, Kyle Henderson became a Christian, left the band and recorded one album for the Christian Music industry. He released the one album on Kerry Livgren’s short-lived label Kerygma. Henderson then disappeared from CCM altogether. But that one album was filed with ten great songs, if not a bit too sparsely produced. Christian radio was generally receptive to this debut and several singles charted. The album was released with a sticker that noted his experience in The Producers. Fans of the Producers were probably somewhat disappointed as the album did not really reflect the music of the classic new wave band, but rather had more in common with Bryan Adams and Benny Hester while his vocals have a Steve Perry (Journey) quality to it. The lyrics were rather common, especially among new Christian in the industry as their earlier releases of “cross over” albums tend to be more direct and testimonial in nature. The same is true here. highlights include the title track, Gift of Grace, Renaissance and the radio hit, Beautiful People. One song of note “He’s Coming Back.” I bring this song up because the production and instrumentation is for some reason superior to the rest of the album and no where near as thin sounding as the rest. As mentioned already the style was more middle American rock and roll like Richard Marx and Bryan Adams with heavy saxophone presence and unfortunately thin production. I have always wondered what would have happened if the album was more successful or how his career may have gone if he continued within the CCM industry.

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

1 – Gift Of Grace – 3:09
2 – Open The Lines – 3:53
3 – More Than The Look Of Love – 3:22
4 – Beautiful People – 4:24
5 – Renaissance – 5:02
6 – He’s Coming Back – 3:44
7 – Sold Out – 3:40
8 – It’s You – 3:30
9 – Fallen Angel – 4:46
10 – All Of My Life – 2:57

Backing Vocals – Dennis Marcellino
Bass – Kyle Henderson
Drums – Greg Eckler
Engineer – Brad Aaron
Executive Producer – Ken Marcellino
Guitar – Bob Marshalek, Kyle Henderson, Mark Moulin (tracks: B3)
Keyboards – Roger Delaney
Lead Vocals – Kyle Henderson
Mastered By – Mike Reese
Producer – Kyle Henderson
Saxophone – Dennis Marcellino
Written-By – Dennis Marcellino (tracks: B2), Kyle Henderson

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow Records

Glad – Champion Of Love – 1985

This was the 6th album from Glad. I can’t compare it to any of their earlier album because as of now I haven’t listened to any of them. It is most definitely an easy listening album with strong horns and strong production. The album had 3 singles, Still On The Side Of Love made it to #18, Where Your Heart Is made it to #38, and The More I Know Of You to #25. I’m actually quite surprised that these songs didn’t climb a little higher as this album was perfect for the CCM charts in 1985.

1 – Still On The Side Of Love – 3:30
2 – Stand Or Fall – 3:39
3 – Where Your Heart Is – 4:07
4 – True To You – 3:35
5 – Champion Of Love – 4:23
6 – God Is My Rock – 1:09
7 – Giant Killer – 3:36
8 – We Know – 4:03
9 – The More I Know Of You – 3:58
10 – For So Long – 4:03

Gary Adams – Trumpet
Mark Baldwin – Songwriter
Tom Beard – Songwriter, Keyboards, Vocals
Billy Brady – Engineer, Mixed
Bill Brumberg – Trumpet
Harvey Coonin – Trombone
Chris Davis – Guitars, Vocals
Larry Day – Horn Arrangements
Glad – Producer
Jimmy Hayward – Tenor Sax
John Jensen – Trombone
Monroe Jones – Songwriter
Bob Kauflin – Producer, Arrangements, Songwriter, Keyboards, Vocals
George King – Executive Producer, Songwriter
The Loudoun Transfer – Background Vocals
Sue McCauley – Background Vocals
Chris McCollum – Songwriter
Don Nalle – Bass, Vocals
Ed Nalle – Producer, Arrangements, Mixed, Songwriter, Percussion, Vocals
Art Noble – Drums
Paul Smith – Songwriter
Dick Tunney – Songwriter

Various – California Metal Volume II – 1988

This 1988 Regency Records sampler featured some of the best California Metal bands of the time and some very exclusive tunes. I have listed below where you can find the albums with the songs. Note that the CD and the cassette have one more track than the vinyl version.

1 – Vision – Runaway – Unreleased
2 – Emerald – Traitor – Unreleased until 2001 then bonus track on Armed For Battle re-release CD
3 – Recon – Light The Fire – Only released on a 1989 Demo
4 – Soldier – Borderline – On 1988 album Babylon
5 – Judea – Heart Of Stone – Unreleased Band
6 – Mastedon – Get Up – On 1989 album It’s A Jungle Out There
7 – Ransom – Sin Killer – Unreleased
8 – Emerald – Born To Die – Unreleased until 2001 then bonus track on Armed For Battle re-release CD
9 – Judea – Knock – Unreleased Band
10 – Soldier – Tears – Unreleased until 2002 then bonus track on The Definitive Collection 1985-1989 CD
11 – Recon – Dreams – On 1990 album Behind Enemy Lines

1 – Vision – Runaway – 4:56
2 – Emerald – Traitor – 2:39
3 – Recon – Light The Fire – 3:25
4 – Soldier – Borderline – 3:33
5 – Judea – Heart Of Stone – 4:32
6 – Mastedon – Get Up – 3:58
7 – Ransom – Sin Killer – 4:34
8 – Emerald – Born To Die – 4:17
9 – Judea – Knock – 4:24
10 – Soldier – Tears – 3:57
11 – Recon – Dreams – 4:59

Siloam – Sweet Destiny – 1991

Siloam was brought together by drummer Brian Lutes. Brian had a checkered past and upon becoming born again wanted to use his life experience and music skills to minister. He brought together an international collection of musicians. Brian was from Canada, Lee Guthrie and Chad Everett hailed from Boston, Ken Maris from Vermont, and Tim Laroche from Iceland. I must say that Lutes did an excellent job of picking band members as they came together very quickly and this album (their first) is very very well done. The band is tight and the songs are great. This album has a very commercial metal sound and in my opinion was as good as anything on secular radio at the time. A copy of the original release is rare so hang on to yours . Luckily for those who hadn’t found a copy Retroactive Records re-issued the CD in 2020.

1 – Here I Am Again – 3:01
2 – Miss Lizzy – 3:36
3 – Child Of Mine – 3:53
4 – Chemical King (Big Fight) – 3:35
5 – Eastern Skies – 6:37
6 – Deceiver – 3:16
7 – After The Fire – 4:54
8 – Lethal Lady – 5:03
9 – Sweet Destiny – 4:28
10 – Decent Souls – 4:12

Arranged By – Frank Levin, Siloam (2), Tom Saidak (tracks: 1, 3-5, 7-10)
Bass, Backing Vocals – Chad Everett
Cover, Layout – Richard A. Yaeger
Drums, Percussion, Executive-Producer – Brian Lutes
Guitar – Rob Durbano
Guitar, Bass – Tom Saidak
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Ken Maris
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals – Tim Laroche
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Lee Guthrie
Photography By – Paul Couvretta
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Keyboards – Frank Levin

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Image 7 Records Inc
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Image 7 Music Inc.
Copyright (c) – Image 7 Music Inc.
Manufactured By – Image 7 Music Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Distortion Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – Future Disc

Larry Bryant – The Artist – 1985

This is the first of 2 albums from Larry Bryant who started his music career by writing songs in the early 80’s. He actually attained a fair amount of success writing songs with his wife Lesa later in the 80’s but I’ll document those in the review for his second album. There actually isn’t much info out there on Larry other then his writing career. This album leans towards AOR but there are a couple of pop songs on it. It did spawn a single with “Thankful On My Knees” making it to #24 on the CCM charts. I think it should have climbed higher but it was probably held back by Larry’s relatively little known work at this point in time. He has done something I strongly respect and that is that he offers his 2 albums free for download. You can get this album at http://www.larrybryant.com/downloads/the_artist_downloads.html

1 – That’s When the Angels Rejoice – 3:12
2 – The Artist – 4:03
3 – Shopping List – 3:21
4 – Shadows – 2:48
5 – Crown Of Thorns – 3:42
6 – Father of Lights – 4:26
7 – Note In A Bottle – 3:58
8 – Take A Chance – 3:30
9 – Never Say Never – 2:59
10 – Thankful On My Knees – 3:52

Keyboards – Michael W. Smith, Shane Keister, Larry Bryant
Guitars – Jon Goin, Greg Jennings
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Mark Hammond
Vocals – Bonnie Keen, Rich Mullins, Jackie Cusick, Wayne Gurley, Nan Gurley, Larry Bryant
Engineer – Mike Psanos
The cast:
keyboards – Michael W. Smith, Shane Keister, Larry Bryant
guitars – Jon Goin, Greg Jennings
bass – Mike Brignardello
drums – Mark Hammond
vocals – Bonnie Keen, Rich Mullins, Jackie Cusick, Wayne Gurley,
Nan Gurley, Larry Bryant
engineer – Mike Psanos
Producer – Joe Huffman

Randy Stonehill – Love Beyond Reason – 1985

This album is often thought of as Randy’s “safe” album. It sounded much more mainstream than his usual work and by mainstream I mean boring in this case. That said the album was actually pretty good just not representative of Randy’s other work. Of course the big single was a duet with Amy Grant, “I Could Never Say Goodbye” that climbed it’s way to #9 on the CCM charts. Though the album is a bit dull it was a star studded affair with Randy being joined by Bryan Duncan, Keith Green, Bryan Duncan, Mark Heard, Tom Howard, and Tonio K. Most only provided background vocals but Mark Heard Engineered the album as well as providing some guitar tracks. Randy also released a VHS tape in conjunction with the album. It included videos of “Love Beyond Reason,” “Until Your Love Broke Through,” “Hymn,” “You’re Loved Tonight,” “Still Small Voice,” (from Celebrate this Heartbeat) and “The Gods of Men.” Though the album wasn’t overly well received the video was very well received as in this time period any videos of artists were rare.

1 – I Could Never Say Goodbye – 3:44
2 – Love Beyond Reason – 3:36
3 – The Gods Of Men – 4:13
4 – Bells – 4:15
5 – You’re Loved Tonight – 5:50
6 – Until Your Love Broke Through – 4:03
7 – Hymn – 2:47
8 – Angry Young Men – 3:35
9 – Judgement Day – 4:55
10 – Cross That Line – 3:30

Tim Aller – Simmons Drum Programming
Milo Carter – Guitar
Bryan Duncan – Background Vocals
Todd Fishkind – Songwriter
Richie Furay – Background Vocals
Rick Geragi – Congas, Bongos, Tambourine, Cabasa, Claves, Percussion
Amy Grant – Duet Vocals
Keith Green – Songwriter
Don Griffin – Guitar
Steve Hall – Mastered
Mark Heard – Engineer, Mixed, Guitar
Tom Howard – Songwriter
Danny Jacob – Guitars
Tonio K. – Background Vocals
Barry Kaye – Producer, Arranger, Fairlight C.M.I.
Jay Leslie – Soprano Sax
Barry Liss – Harmonica
David Raven – Drums
Dan Reed – Engineer
Caryn Robin – Background Vocals
Andrea Saparoff – Fairlight C.M.I. Programming and Arranging
Denver Smith – Synthesizers, M.I.D.I. Technician
Randy Stonehill – Songwriter, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Tata Vega – Background Vocals
Ray Ware – Executive Producer
Steve Wilkinson – Bass
Tom Willett – Executive Producer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sound Vault Studios
Engineered At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mastered At – Future Disc
Duplicated By – Electrosound Los Angeles