Barren Cross – Rock For The King – 1986/1990

This was the first on label release for Barren Cross. They had released a self produced EP “Believe” in 1985 that was well received so Star Song gave them a one album deal. They went back into the studio and recorded 3 more tracks to add to their previous 6 songs from the EP. Dino Elefante sat down and mixed it all up for this release. I’m relatively sure Star Song was watching the success of Stryper at this time so they wanted to jump head long into the Metal scene. That said this album does not really compare to Stryper. It is much less commercial sounding and has a much more raw metal sound. I didn’t listen to this style of music back then but I’d be interested to know how Stryper fans reacted to this album. It must have been well received overall as Enigma Records immediately signed the band up for 2 albums. This album was re-released in 1990 by Medusa Records (a division of The Enigma Records) with 6 bonus live tracks (this is the version here).

1 – Dying Day – 3:27
2 – He Loves You – 4:32
3 – It’s All Come True – 4:02
4 – Believe – 2:16
5 – Going Nowhere – 3:47
6 – Killer Of The Unborn (Live) – 3:56
7 – Rock For The King – 5:03
8 – Give Your Life – 2:53
9 – Just A Touch – 3:27
10 – Light The Flame – 5:22
11 – Dead Lock (Live) – 4:20
12 – Cultic Regimes (Live) – 2:47
13 – He Loves You (Live) – 4:13
14 – Living Dead (Live) – 7:11
15 – Heaven Or Nothing (Live) – 4:59

Art Direction, Design – Ed McTaggart
Bass – Jim LaVerde
Concept By [Cover] – Barren Cross
Drums – Steve Whitaker
Engineer [Second] – Matt Cerbin, Mike Miereu
Guitar – Ray Parris
Other [Hair] – Carla
Other [Make-up] – Lisa Kawasaki
Photography By – Ken Baley, Linda Dillon Baley
Producer, Engineer – Dino Elefante
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Mike Lee

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Jubilee Communications, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song Records
Copyright (c) – Star Song Records
Distributed By – Sparrow/Star Song Distribution
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mixed At – Pakaderm Studios
Pressed By – Discovery Systems
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

Philip Bailey – Triumph – 1986

This was Bailey’s second Christian label album as he continued to run a parallel career of albums on both Secular and Christian labels. Of his 3 Christian label albums I think this is probably the best one. It had 3 top 10 CCM chart hits with “The Other Side” doing the best and making it to #4. It also had a 4th single that made it to #13. So 4 top 15 hits is pretty darn good but lets add in a Grammy Award for “Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Male” and I think it can honestly be said that this was one of the most memorable albums of 1986/87. Admittedly however it’s not one that made it into my collection at the time. It just wasn’t my style of music and at the time I wasn’t very good at appreciating quality music that may not be in my taste. But times have changed and I can listen to an album that is good though maybe not my style. This is one of those albums. So if you missed this one in the 80’s take the time to give it a listen, it really is a good album.

1 – All Soldiers – 4:47
2 – Thank You – 3:40
3 – The Love Of God – 3:12
4 – Marvelous – 4:27
5 – The Same Way (You’ve Always Been) – 4:32
6 – The Other Side – 4:45
7 – Bring It To Jesus – 5:38
8 – Triumph – 4:55
9 – Come Before His Presence – 4:31

Arranged By [Vocals] – Philip Bailey
Art Direction – Chuck Beeson
Backing Vocals – Carl Carwell, Josie James, Kathy Hazzard, Lynn Davis, Winston Ford
Bass – Byron Miller (tracks: A5, B1, B2), “Ready” Freddie Washington (tracks: A1, A3, A5)
Design [Graphic Design] – Donald Krieger
Engineer – Ed Cherney (tracks: A1, A3, A5 to B4), Erik Zobler (tracks: A4), Phil Walters (tracks: A2)
Guitar – David Williams (4) (tracks: A3, A5, B3), Jerry Peters (tracks: A3, A5, B2, B3), Kevin Chokan (tracks: A2), Paul Jackson, (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B4)
Horns – Andrew Woolfolk (tracks: B2)
Keyboards – Bobby Nunn (tracks: A2), Greg Phillinganes (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B4), Robbie Buchanan (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B4)
Other [Stylist] – Robert Trachtenberg
Percussion – Paulinho Da Costa (tracks: A1, A3, A5 to B4), Philip Bailey (tracks: A1, A3, A5 to B4)
Photography By – Bonnie Schiffman
Producer – George Duke (tracks: A4), Jerry Peters (tracks: B3), Philip Bailey

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Buckman Studio
Recorded At – Cherokee Studios
Recorded At – The Complex
Recorded At – Le Gonks West
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Printed By – Shorewood Packaging
Made By – Shorewood Packaging

Bash ‘N The Code – Big Mouth – 1987

This is the second album from Bash ‘N The Code but the last with Greg and Rebecca Sparks. I have not listened to the next album so I shouldn’t really comment as to whether this was a good or bad thing but to be honest I really like Rebecca Sparks vocals on this album so for me the next album will likely be a let down. Again the album is an attempt (successfully) to recreate an 80’s pop radio sound. Strangely I actually agree with the the CCM charts on the best song on the album, “He Says” which made it to #19. Rebecca channels her inner Cindy Lauper and does a great job on this track. The best song musically in my opinion is “The B-i-b-l-e” but unfortunately the lyrics are just too cheesy for me, pity because I really like the feel of the song. The CD release of the album had a bonus track, and Extended remix version of “You Are The One” which is moderately OK but nothing to write home about. To sum up a pretty good pop album but they really should have worked to be a little more creative.

1 – The B-i-b-l-e – 3:53
2 – You Are The One – 3:42
3 – Righteous Dance – 4:20
4 – Use This Child – 4:21
5 – Big Mouth – 3:57
6 – Soon And Very Soon – 3:48
7 – He Says – 3:46
8 – Fall Down – 3:50
9 – We Magnify You Lord (I Will Call Upon The Lord) – 3:34
10 – You Are The One (Extended Mix) – 6:23

Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Band [Bash-n-the Code Is], Bass, Vocals, Other [Hoover Upright With Variable Height Adjust] – Kirk Eberhard
Band [Bash-n-the Code Is], Drums, Other [Concussions (Boink!)] – Chris Kearney
Band [Bash-n-the Code Is], Guitar [Guitars], Lead Vocals, Guitar [Bat-Strat (Gadzooks, Batman!)] – Mark Townsend
Band [Bash-n-the Code Is], Keyboards [Keys], Vocals, Other [Whitman Sampler] – Gary Williams
Band [Bash-n-the Code Is], Lead Vocals, Other [Cruise Control] – Jamie Kearney
Band [Bash-n-the Code Is], Vocals, Xylophone [Lead Xylophone] – Keith Lancaster
Design, Illustration – Phillip Spencer
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – David Schober
Executive-Producer – Brian Tankersley
Guest [Guest Performance By] – Randy Stonehill (tracks: 6)
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Musician, Backing Vocals – David Schober, Greg Sparks, Mark Townsend, Mark Maxwell, Marty (Go Greyhound) MacKeever, Rebecca Ed Sparks, Rick Altizer, Trent Dean Musician, Drum Machine [Drum Machine Programming] – David Schober, Eric Persing, Greg Sparks, Rick Altizer Musician, Guitar [Guitars] – Mark Townsend
Musician, Keyboards – Eric Persing, Greg Sparks, Rick Altizer, Tim Hosman
Musician, Lead Vocals – Greg Sparks, Rebecca Ed Sparks
Musician, Programmed By [Keyboard Programming], Sequenced By [Sequencing] – Eric Persing
Photography By [Sleeve Photography] – Cleo Sullivan
Producer [Produced By] – David Schober, Rick Altizer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Wayne Cook Studios
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Published By – Altizer Music
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Published By – Crouch Music
Published By – Sound III Music
Made By – Discovery Systems

Crossection – Breaking Ground – 1990

The Rawling brothers are back with their second and last album as “Crossection”. It’s even better than their first album and I think if this album had been published closer to 1985 these guys would have been known to everyone who listened to CCM music. Unfortunately they were just a little late and as such they never received the credit they should have. This is a fantastic Pop Rock album with hints of Nightranger and Bon Jovi. It is not metal though you will read that in a few spots on the internet. I have no idea what album those people were listening to but it’s not any of the 3 Crossection albums I have listened to. The brothers did go on to do one more CCM album after this one using the moniker “Doug Rawling And The Fourth Watch”. Of course if your Canadian you’re probably well aware of their country music work up until this day. So if you missed this one in 1990 take a bit of time and give it a listen, you will not be disappointed.

1 – River’s Edge – 4:13
2 – Give It A Rest – 4:13
3 – Too Much Sadness – 4:28
4 – Touch The Sky – 4:30
5 – Fork In The Road – 5:08
6 – Where You Go – 5:14
7 – High And Dry – 3:12
8 – Tears For The Taking – 4:42
9 – I’m Missing You – 4:12
10 – Against The Grain – 6:11

Dale Johnson – Keyboards, Vocals
Nevin Eggum – lead & rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Douglas Rawling – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Bruce Rawling – bass, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Martin Zinger – drums, vocals

Companies, etc.
Manufactured For – Image 7 Music, Vancouver
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Image 7 Music Inc.
Copyright (c) – Image 7 Music Inc.

Kansas – Audio-Visions – 1980

The last album to feature the original (at least recorded version) members of Kansas. It is also the first “post-conversion” Kansas album for band leader Kerry Livgren. Lead singer Steve Walsh would soon leave the band to pursue solo ventures. It was also considered that his departure was influenced by the increasing Christian content presented by Livgren and supported by two other recent Christian converts in the band. The album shows a disjointed vision with Livgren’s distinctly Christian content and Walsh’s decidedly worldly lyrical influence. But Walsh was a very special vocalist and hearing him sing Livgren’s work is compelling. He also stayed around long enough to work on the demos for the follow-up album (Vinyl Confessions) and I do have copies of those demos. AV has all the trademarks and trappings of Kansas with progressive, classically influenced rock epics filled with progressive time signature changes, creative arrangements, violin interludes and thought provoking lyrical images. It also contains what could be Livgren’s finest Christian song on a Kansas project, No One Together. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes this song should rank along with Portrait (He Knew), Song For America, Journey from Mariabronn and Magnum Opus in Kansas “epic” lore.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Relentless – 4:55
2 – Anything For You – 3:56
3 – Hold On – 3:45
4 – Loner – 2:26
5 – Curtain Of Iron – 6:08
6 – Got To Rock On – 3:19
7 – Don’t Open Your Eyes – 4:03
8 – No One Together – 6:54
9 – No Room For A Stranger – 2:55
10 – Back Door – 4:20

A&R [Correspondence] – Brad Lentz
Bass, Vocals – Dave Hope
Co-producer, Engineer – Brad Aaron, Davy Moire
Crew – Clay Schell, Jerry Gilleland, Merle McLain, Steve “The Count” Venezia
Design [Album], Art Direction, Illustration [Additional] – Tom Drennon
Design Concept [Album] – Kansas
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Phil Ehart
Engineer [Assistant] – Greg Webster
Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals – Kerry Livgren
Guitar, Percussion, Vocals – Rich Williams
Illustration – Peter Lloyd
Keyboards, Vibraphone [Vibes], Percussion, Lead Vocals – Steve Walsh
Management – Budd Carr
Mastered By – George Marino
Photography By [Inner Sleeve] – Exley
Producer – Kansas
Technician [Studio Assistance] – Jerry Gilleland, Count Venezia
Violin, Viola, Lead Vocals – Robby Steinhardt
Voice [Additional], Sounds – Donna Williams, Joey Jelf, Lisa White, Terry Ehart, The Four Bassmen, Vicci Livgren
Written-By – Hope (tracks: B2), Livgren (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B2, B3), Ehart (tracks: B2), Williams (tracks: B2, B4), Walsh (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B2, B4, B5)

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Axis Sound Studio
Mixed At – Axis Sound Studio
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman
Record Company – Don Kirshner Entertainment Corp.
Distributed By – CBS Records
Distributed By – CBS Inc.
Published By – Don Kirshner Music
Published By – Blackwood Music Publishing
Published By – CBS Music Publishing
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Copyright (c) – Corn & Blood, Inc.

Larry Norman – Stop This Flight – 1986/1997

This version is the Phydeaux CD from 1997, which includes several radio spot interviews and a bonus track of “What’s Wrong With This Body” with extra verses. Stop This Flight was around as early as 1984 with all the songs intact, however the major release of it was in 1986. The songs here are all new, except for “I Hope I’ll See You In Heaven.” That song has appeared as a live cut in several different versions, and a highly polished studio version is on “Down Under But Not Out.” Several tracks are recorded live rather than studio, so clearly they were floating around for a while before this release. This album contributed some classics to Larry’s repertoire. Woman of God and What’s Wrong With This Body stayed in his concert sets for a long time. “Messiah” is an epic piece, and was a show-ending, church-shaking finale for as long as Larry still performed with the band. Larry did a North American tour to support this album, with a full band, including Charly on bass. The 1997 version has a completely different album cover from the originals. The 1986 Phydeaux version had a few snapshots on the cover, later to be replaced by Larry posing with the spaceman on the moon. It seems likely that the change was due to his divorce from Sarah in 1995, since her picture was on the previous album cover. The radio spots here are another creative example by Larry to get his version of the story out. People always wanted to write stories about him, so he simply recorded one side of an interview, leaving the gaps for someone else to put questions in. Radio stations would have the ability to use these clips to make a faux interview, or just play some of the clips on their own.

1 – Finchian Etude / Stop This Flight
2 – A Woman Of God
3 – What’s Wrong With This Body
4 – Don’t You Wanna Talk About It
5 – And We Sing “The Tune”
6 – Out Of My System #1
7 – I Hope I’ll See You In Heaven
8 – Messiah
9 – Radio Interview
10 – What’s Wrong With This Body

Arranged By – Larry Norman
Performer – Charly, Sarah
Producer – Larry Norman
Written By – Larry Norman

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Phydeaux Inc.
Mastered At – Sheffield Lab Matrix – △ 10439
Copyright (c) – Six Blue Lions

Daniel Amos – Motorcycle – 1993

This is the tenth studio album by Daniel Amos and the first one in awhile where they used their full name vs just DA. It also marked the return of longtime guitarist Jerry Chamberlain. This was their second album on the Brainstorm Artists International label which was owned by Gene Eugene and Ojo Taylor. Eugene was also invlved in the engineering of the album. The album was dedicated to Mark Heard though I don’t really feel that any of the songs were written with his passing in mind. The sound of this album was a bit of a step back for the band and a pleasant surprise for their longtime fans. I was reading a review of the album today that called the sound “neo-psychedelia” which made me kind of laugh. By the way if you want a good laugh look up the definition of neo-psychedelia on Wikipedia, it’s hilarious. Anyway here’s a Daniel Amos album with them doing Daniel Amos music with a Daniel Amos sound. Now it’s time for my pet peeve of this album. It is obvious that this album was recorded and engineered for vinyl. Most the songs run together and overlap. While this is fine on vinyl (though I dislike it) it does not work on a CD and I can’t find anywhere that this album was released on vinyl, just cassette and CD. The result is a CD that is choppy and just a nightmare to listen to. I have recreated the tracks here as they are on the CD. I believe this is where the band shows their age and while they were always willing to do do something new and different with their music they unfortunately did not have a good grasp on the changing technology of the industry.

1 – Banquet At The World’s End – 3:47
2 – Traps, Ensnares – 3:49
3 – Hole In The World – 5:33
4 – (What’s Come) Over Me – 3:48
5 – Buffalo Hills – 4:24
6 – Guilty – 4:35
7 – Motorcycle – 3:33
8 – Wonderful – 2:17
9 – So Long – 0:57
10 – My Frontier – 3:48
11 – Grace Is The Smell Of Rain – 4:01
12 – Noelle – 2:44
13 – Wise Acres – 2:15
14 – So Long Again – 2:54

Arranged By – Daniel Amos
Art Direction, Design – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals [Arranged & Performed By] – Jerry Chamberlain, Sharon McCall, Terry Taylor
Bass Guitar – Tim Chandler
Design Concept [Cover] – Bruce Heavin, Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor
Drums, Percussion – Ed McTaggart, Steve Hindalong (tracks: 2)
Engineer [Addtional] – Bob Moon, Chris Colbert, Dave Hackbarth
Engineer [Engineered By] – G. Eugene
Illustration – Bruce Heavin
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Greg Flesch
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Sitar [Electric], Lap Steel Guitar, Percussion – Jerry Chamberlain
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harmonica – Terry Taylor
Mastered By – Doug Doyle
Piano – G. Eugene* (tracks: On “…now For The Cliffhanger…”)
Producer [Produced By] – Daniel Amos, Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor
Synthesizer [Melotron], Organ [Hammond], Piano – Rob Watson
Trumpet – Buckeye Jazzbo (tracks: 2)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Brainstorm Artists International
Copyright (c) – Brainstorm Artists International
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Stunt Productions
Recorded At – The Golden Recording Room
Recorded At – Neverland
Recorded At – McCrum’s
Recorded At – Wax Lips
Mixed At – The Golden Recording Room
Mastered At – Digital Brothers
Published By – Twitchen Vibes Music
Published By – Brainstorm Artists International
Published By – Young And Ambitious Music
Manufactured By – JVC

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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