Guardian – Fire And Love – 1990

This is the second album from Guardian. There were a few personnel changes with Jamie Rowe coming in on vocals and Karl Ney on drums. Jamie Rowe had been with Tempest and was a great fit with Guardian. Though this album is often called a metal album I disagree. To me it’s more Hard Rock but I admit does have a few metal “moments”. Often it’s compared to Bon Jovi but again I don’t really agree. It really does have it’s own sound but I more often hear Def Leopard than Bon Jovi. Further enhancing this album is the fact that John & Dino Elefante were involved in the project with John helping with Songwriting and Keyboards. Both brothers engineered and produced the album. There was a music video produced for “Power Of Love” but no one seems to know if MTV ever played it. Guardian definitely turned it up a notch for this album and it definitely deserves a listen.

Tracklist
1 – Power Of Love – 4:33
2 – Send A Message – 4:00
3 – Time Stands Still – 4:26
4 – Forever And A Day – 5:11
5 – Takin’ On The World – 3:52
6 – Fire And Love – 3:25
7 – Turnaround – 4:18
8 – Time And Time Again – 4:52
9 – The Rain – 5:31
10 – Never Say Goodbye – 5:06

Credits
Accordion – Glen Hirami
Art Direction, Design – Terry DeGraff
Backing Vocals – Max Alpha, Dino, Jamie, John, Tony
Bass – David Bach
Cover [Consultant] – Sandra Ney
Drums – David Raven, Karl Ney
Engineer – Dino Elefante, Jeff Simmons, John Elefante, Mike Mierau
Guitar – Tony Palacios
Keyboards – John Elefante
Lead Vocals – Jamie Rowe
Mixed By – Dino Elefante, Mike Mierau
Mixed By [Assisted By] – Gil Griffith
Pedal Steel Guitar – Ron Eglit
Photography By – Jeff Jones
Producer – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Vocals – David Bach, Karl Ney, Tony Palacios

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pakaderm Records
Copyright (c) – Pakaderm Records
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Denon Digital Industries
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mastered At – Precision Mastering

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Gary Davis – Numbered Days – 1983

I simply could not find out anything about Gary Davis. I do have a bit of info on the album though. It was released by Ministry Resource Center who we’re starting to be a real powerhouse label right at the time this album was released. It appears however that it was not distributed and instead was a mail order item. The album was also initially released with the tracks incorrectly ordered on the vinyl label but subsequent releases caught this and stickers were applied to the label to correct the error. That’s all I know about this album. As far as the album goes it is an easy listening album. The lyrics and music are good, nothing outstanding but good and definitely a worthwhile listen.

Tracklist
1 – Lukewarm
2 – Willing Vessel
3 – Unless The Spirit
4 – The Prophet’s Warning
5 – Little By Little
6 – In Christ
7 – Numbered Days
8 – Kingdom Way
9 – Song For Those Who Thirst
10 – Guidance Song

Credits
Lead Vocals – Gary Davis
Background Vocals – Gary Davis, Bobbi Vandevort, Carla Piper, Kathy Dittmer
Piano and Rhodes – Andy Narell
Synthesizers – Frank Martin
Guitar – Steve Erquiaya
Bass – Rich Girard
Drums – Paul VanWageningen
Percussion – Kenneth Nash
Sax – Marc Ruso, Larry Schneider
Produced/Arranged – Kenneth Nash

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Ministry Resource Center
Copyright (c) – Ministry Resource Center

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Paul Janz – High Strung – 1985

A lot of 70’s fans of Deliverance don’t even know that Paul Janz went on to have a successful solo career after Deliverance dissolved. They might further be surprised that he went on to release 4 albums in the secular market. This is the first of those 4 albums. This album was released in Canada (Paul’s home country), the U.K., Greece, and Japan. It was not released in the United States. It did very well in the Canadian market with the first single making it to #29 on the Canadian Charts. “Don’t Cry Tonight”, “High Strung”, and “Close My Eyes” were also released as singles but did not do better than #85. Now a quick warning that if you are expecting a Deliverance sound you won’t get it and no one from Deliverance appears anywhere on this album other than Paul. Instead this is a straight up 80’s pop album. I will be honest that I remember it playing on Canadian radio and I honestly never made the connection to Deliverance until many years later. It should be noted that Paul did not turn on his faith but instead just changed himself to the category of a Christian artist as opposed to an artist doing Christian music.

Tracklist
1 – High Strung – 3:40
2 – Don’t Cry Tonight – 5:32
3 – Close My Eyes – 4:16
4 – Solid Ground – 3:38
5 – All I Have – 4:25
6 – Go To Pieces – 3:21
7 – Suggestions Of Love – 4:17
8 – Cover To Cover – 3:55
9 – Right From The Start – 3:47
10 – Waiting – 4:00

Credits
Bass – Doug Edwards, Peter Clark (tracks: B1)
Drums – Chris Taylor (tracks: B1), Darryl Burgess, Jim Vallance (tracks: A3,A4,B3)
Guitar – David Sinclair, Harris Van Berkel
Keyboards [Main] – Dave Pickell
Organ – Robbie King (tracks: A4)
Percussion – Jim McGillveray (tracks: A1, B2), Ken Chalmers (tracks: B1, B3)
Saxophone – Tom Colclough (tracks: A3)
Vocals, Percussion, Keyboards, Effects – Paul Janz

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – A&M Records Of Canada Limited
Distributed By – A&M Records Of Canada Limited

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Lisa Welchel – All Because Of You – 1984

I believe I am safe to say that Lisa was the only Mouseketeer to have a CCM album. It’s gonna be embarrassing if I’m wrong on that one. Lisa was a Mouseketeer in 1977 – 1978 and by all accounts one of the popular ones. Was there an unpopular Mouseketeer? Anyway she went to start in the TV show “The Facts of Life” which I think is where most people know her from. Interestingly she refused a story line of losing her virginity on the show so the story was shifted to a different character and Lisa did not even appear on the episode, the only one she missed. In 1984 she decided to try her hand at music and released this album. I remember this album but unfortunately I remember it for who she was and not the album itself. I’m not saying it’s a bad album just not really memorable. Now lets be clear, albums like this were a dime a dozen in secular music but rarer in Christian music. The album isn’t bad and it even had a single, “How High, How Deep, How Wide” which struggled it’s way to #42 on the charts. The standout track on the album is “Good Girl” which was written by Steve Taylor and it’s immediately recognizable as being in some way connected to him. So if you haven’t listened to this one since the 80’s try listening to it again. If you just can’t do it at least listen to “Good Girl”

Tracklist
1 – Love Believer – 3:42
2 – Just Obey – 4:06
3 – How High, How Deep, How Wide – 4:11
4 – Real Possibility – 4:05
5 – Good Girl – 3:55
6 – Shelter – 3:43
7 – Set Me Free – 4:12
8 – Cover Me Lord – 3:52
9 – All Because Of You – 3:32
10 – He Sings Me To Sleep – 4:52

Credits
Backing Vocals – Charity McCrary, Howard McCrary, Linda McCrary, Melissa Mackay, Sandie Hall Brooks, Susan McBride
Bass – John Patitucci, Leon Gaer
Design [Cover] – Stan Evenson
Design [Lyric Sheet], Coordinator [Cover] – Craig Ross
Directed By [Lisa’s Vocal Direction and Coaching] – Roger Love
Drums – Bob Wilson (3), John Ferraro
Engineer – Mike Ross, Tim Roberstad, Wally Grant
Executive-Producer – Robert Cotton
Guitar – Marty Walsh
Keyboards – John Rosasco, Smitty Price
Management – Robert Cotton Management
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Robert Cotton*, Wally Grant
Photography By – Greg Gorman
Producer, Arranged By – John Rosasco
Synthesizer [Programming] – Rhett Lawrence
Vocals – Lisa Whelchel
Woodwind – Brandon Fields
Written-By – John Rosasco (tracks: A1-A4, B1, B4)

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow Distribution
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Geodesic Music
Published By – Triune Music
Published By – C.A. Music
Published By – Emmaus Road Music
Published By – Willing Heart Music
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Recorded At – Paramount Recording Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Nissi Records

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Vision – Vision – 1985

Though promoted heavily as a band featuring two members of the classic Southern Rock band, Lynard Skynard, Vision was really driven by the guitar and vocals of Rocco Marshall. Lynard Skynard pianist Billy Powell lends both credibility and chops as the piano is a central force and Powell delivers. The comparisons to Skynard are not quite as accurate as is something more akin to 38 Special and even Kansas as there are some very progressive moments included. More pop infused than Skynard Southern funk, Vision was unfortunately short lived. Heartland records did not survive very long and seemed unable to introduce the band to the CCM world at large. This should not keep the reader from doing whatever possible to track down a copy of the CD which has been recently released. This is another AYSO!

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

Tracklist
1 – Dynamos – 4:10
2 – Lord Is My Joy – 3:45
3 – Old Man – 3:19
4 – Dedicated – 3:40
5 – Soldiers Song – 3:40
6 – Standing On The Rock – 4:25
7 – Don’t Say It’s Over – 3:54
8 – Psalm 23 – 3:52
9 – You Are My Only Lord – 3:24
10 – You’re The One – 3:17

Credits
Bass – Greg McNeily (tracks: A5, B3), Martin Tomlinson
Design – Stephen Wells
Drums, Vocals – Mike Maple
Engineer [Assistant] – Andy Deganahl, Chuck Kjergaard, Shawn Hurley
Mastered By – Mike Fuller
Photography By – John Petrey
Piano – Billy Powell
Producer, Engineer – Greg McNeily
Saxophone – Keith Holmes
Synthesizer – David Jinright
Synthesizer [Additional] – George Atwell
Vocals, Guitar – Rocco Marshall
Vocals, Guitar, Violin – Leonard Jones

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – New Covenant Ministries
Overdubbed At – Starke Lake Studios
Mastered At – Criteria Recording Studios
Mixed At – The Full Sail Dream Machine

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Vision – Mountain In The Sky – 1984

In 1984 Vision came into the scene with this album which was actually self titled. Strangely their second album was also self titled. However at the time hardly anyone even knew about this album never mind bought it so this wasn’t an problem. But when it was re-released in 2010 the conflict became a problem so the album was given the title of “Mountain In The Sky”. This album is actually quite rare and a vinyl copy of it is quite valuable. Continuing the strange story of this album many of these tracks we also on their next album but with quite different arrangements. Anyway let’s talk about the album. This has a definite late 70’s rock sound which isn’t surprising as it had 2 members from Lynyrd Skynyrd. The album was also recorded and mixed at Pat Travers’ studio in keeping with it’s 70’s vibe. Anyway this is a great Rock & Roll album and I’m thankful it was re-released or I probably would never have heard it.

Tracklist
1 – Mountain In The Sky – 7:02
2 – Coming Soon – 4:40
3 – Old Man – 3:23
4 – Dynamos – 4:10
5 – Standing In The Light – 5:25
6 – Dedicated – 3:23
7 – Fight The Good Fight – 3:54
8 – Soldiers Song – 3:31
9 – Lord Is My Joy – 4:42

Credits
Bass – Leon Wilkeson
Concept By [Album Cover Concept] – Stan Coates, Vision
Concept By [Album Cover Concept], Artwork [Cover Artwork], Photography By – Tony Ricardo
Drums, Percussion – Mike Maple
Executive-Producer [Reissue Executive-Producer] – Matthew Hunt
Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Rocco Marshall
Mixed By – Bill Ande (tracks: 1-3, 5), Ray Lynn (tracks: 4, 6-11)
Photography By – Wayne Davis
Piano – Billy Powell
Remastered By – J Powell
Synthesizer, Organ, Vocals – David Jinright
Violin, Flute, Guitar Synthesizer, Vocals – Leonard Jones

Companies, etc.
Remastered At – Steinhaus
Distributed By – Brutal Planet Distribution
Recorded At – Pat Travers’ Rehearsal Studios
Recorded At – Stark Lake Studios
Recorded At – LEI Studios
Overdubbed At – Stark Lake Studios
Mixed At – LEI Studios

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The Cause – Do Something Now – 1985

Not to be outdone by Bob Geldof and the Band Aid project, Steve Camp decided the CCM bands needed to do something similar. As a project this is quite amazing. The collection of artists is the Who’s Who of the industry. It’s actually quite astonishing how many he brought together. This project would have been much harder than it’s secular version. The secular record industry has limitless money to make things like this work but the Christian scene has always been tightly budgeted and just the cost of flying everyone in would have been tremendous. All in all I think they all need to be commended for a job well done. I do have one criticism however and that is the song itself. The song was written by Steve and unfortunately it just comes off as a copy of the Band Aid project but in his defence these songs are essentially choirs so there’s only so much you can do. Steve was a great songwriter and I just wish he had put together a bit of a better song. The album had the final studio version on one side and a commentary/interview version on side B. There was also a music video released and it is included in the above playlist.

Tracklist
1 – Do Something Now! – 5:15
2 – Do Something Now! (With Commentary) – 13:05
3 – Do Something Now! (Music Video) – 11:54

Credits
Choir – Amy Fletcher, Angie Lewis, Billy Crockett, Billy Sprague, Bob Farrell, Bobby Jones And NewLife, Brown Bannister, Cam Floria, Candy Hemphill, Chris Christian, Connie Scott, David Meece, Dennis Agajanian, DMB Band, Doug Oldham, Ed DeGarmo, Flo Price, Found Free, Gary Chapman, Gary McSpadden, Geoff Moore, Glad, Glenn Kaiser, Gloria Gaither, Jim Murray, John Fischer, Karen Kelly, Kim Perry, Lanny Wolfe, Larry Bryant, Lisa Whelchel, Michael Card, Morgan Cryar, Owen Brock, Pam Mark Hall, Pete Carlson, Rick Cua, Rob Frazier, Robin Crow, Rusty Goodman, Sherman Andrus, Shirley Caesar, Silverwind, Steve Green, Sue Dodge, Tami Gunden, Bill Gaither
Directed By [Uncredited] – Cam Floria
Lead Vocals, Choir – Amy Grant
Lead Vocals, Choir [Uncredited] – Second Chapter Of Acts, Dana Key, Evie Karlsson, Jessy Dixon, Kathy Troccoli, Larry Norman, Matthew Ward, Michele Pillar, Mylon LeFevre, Phil Keaggy, Russ Taff, Sandi Patti, Scott Wesley Brown, Sheila Walsh, Steve Taylor
Producer [Choir Tracks, Uncredited] – Greg Nelson, Jack Joseph Puig
Producer, Arranged By, Synthesizer [Arrangement, Uncredited], Lead Vocals, Choir – Steve Camp
Synthesizer [Arrangement, Uncredited] – John Rosasco
Written-By – P. Madeira, S. Camp

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow Distribution
Published By – Birdwing Music
Copyright (c) – Compassion International

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Dreamer – Full Metal Racket – 1991

Dreamer was a metal band from Toronto Canada formed by vocalist Dan McCabe of Daniel Band. This was their only release and it was on tiny label Image Records. You can definitely hear the Daniel Band influences but it is still a distinctly new sounding album. It has a great commercial Metal sound and in my opinion is even better than Daniel Band’s last release. I’m a little confused how these guys got lost in the shuffle of early 90’s metal bands especially with Daniel Band’s lead singer fronting the group. That said I did not follow the Metal scene in the early 90’s so I am no expert on the topic. All I can say is that this is an excellent album and they deserved a deal to give us more.

Tracklist
1 – Full Metal Racket – 5:13
2 – Cryin’ – 3:25
3 – Don’t Stop Now – 3:43
4 – Someone Cares for You – 3:51
5 – She’s My Angel – 4:47
6 – Heartache – 4:08
7 – Never Alone – 3:56
8 – Shake the Dust – 3:32
9 – Love from Above – 3:42
10 – Take It Away – 6:06
11 – Thank You Lord – 3:13

Credits
Dan McCabe – Vocals (lead, backing), Bass, Keyboards
Troy Cole – Drums, Vocals (backing)
Daniel McAffee – Guitars (lead)
Neil Charter – Guitars (rhythm)
Bill Davidson – Bass

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Douglas Trowbridge – Songs Unspoken – 1985

When I first listened to this album I didn’t really think there would be anything interesting to write about but I was surprised that the story of this performer is actually quite interesting. This performers real name was Richard Douglas Trowbridge Souther. He put out both albums on piano and synth. On his piano albums he used the name Douglas Trowbridge and on his synth albums he used the name Richard Souther. This being a piano album we’re listening to Douglas Trowbridge. Anyway this album is a nice piano instrumental album that may lull you to sleep but he is definitely a good pianist. Apparently the whole album was played on a 1940 Steinway. It’s a good album but don’t listen to it while operating heavy machinery.

Tracklist
1 – Daybreak Communion – 3:36
2 – A Most Remarkable Meeting – 3:48
3 – Beyond The Shadows – 4:44
4 – Unending Melody – 2:08
5 – Where Dreams Are Born – 3:33
6 – For A Season – 2:44
7 – Finlandia – 3:57
8 – Matters Of The Heart – 2:25
9 – Upon His Arrival – 2:35
10 – The Farewell – 5:58

Credits
Arranged By – Douglas Trowbridge
Composed By – Douglas Trowbridge (tracks: A1 to B1, B3 to B5), J. Sibelius (tracks: B2)
Design – Buddy Jackson
Engineer – Bernie Kirsh
Engineer [Assistant] – Ira Rubnitz
Mastered By – Bernie Kirsh, Steve Hall
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano [Improvisation] – Douglas Trowbridge
Producer – Peter York

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Capitol Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – Birdwing Music
Published By – Birdwing Music
Recorded At – Mad Hatter Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Designed At – Jackson Design
Manufactured By – The Sparrow Corporation
Marketed By – The Sparrow Corporation
Distributed By – The Sparrow Corporation

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DeGarmo & Key – Commander Sozo And The Charge Of The Light Brigade – 1985

The 8th album from D & K wins for their dumbest named album. In fact it’s in my top 5 worst album names in CCM. That aside it is one of my favourite D & K albums. It is more synth driven than their earlier work and this is one of the things I like and D & K. If I’m in the mood for rock I can listen to them. If I’m in the mood for synth I can listen to them. If I’m in the mood for New Wave I can listen to them. For most bands these varying styles would probably be a negative but as they they did all these styles so well it worked for them. The album did have 2 chart singles. Destined To Win made it to #5 and most people from this era will well remember that song. Casual Christian also singled but only made it to #20. This album was a solid effort and should be fondly remembered by most from this era.

Tracklist
1 – Activate
2 – Competition
3 – Temporary Things
4 – Apathy Alert
5 – Charge Of The Light Brigade
6 – Destined To Win
7 – No More Goodbye
8 – Jesus Is Coming
9 – Rise Up
10 – Casual Christian

Credits
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Carl Marsh
Art Direction, Design – Susan De Garmo
Bass, Backing Vocals – Tommy Cathey
Drums, Backing Vocals – Greg Morrow
Engineer [Strings] – Frank Baratta, John Timperley
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock
Management – Brock & Associates, Inc.
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Dean Dixon
Producer, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Written-By – Ed De Garmo
Producer, Lead Vocals, Guitar, Written-By – Dana Key
Recorded By, Mixed By – John Hampton
Strings – London String Orchestra
Vocals [Duet] – Jessy Dixon (tracks: B1)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Power Discs
Copyright (c) – Power Discs
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Recorded At – Angel Studios
Mixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk

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