Mark Heard – Eye of the Storm – 1983

Mark Heard tried something a little different for this album. He put down the electric guitar and did everything on an acoustic. The album definitely has an acoustic feel but I’m not comfortable calling it an acoustic album, it’s much more than that. Mark recorded most the tracks himself at home with his wife Janet manning the board. Additional tracks were recorded at Gold Mine studios but there weren’t many. For the most part Mark recorded and played this album himself. Tom Howard did come over one day and they played around with an Emulator Synthesizer. This album gives us a little exposure to another side of Mark and I would say it’s a nice exposure. This album definitely goes down as one I remember well from those days.

1 – Eye Of The Storm – 3:00
2 – The Pain That Plagues Creation – 3:57
3 – Castaway – 3:16
4 – Well-Worn Pages – 2:44
5 – He Will Listen To You – 2:58
6 – In The Gaze Of The Spotlight’s Eye – 3:59
7 – Gimme Mine – 3:33
8 – These Plastic Halos – 3:02
9 – No One But You – 2:27
10 – Moonflower – 2:24

Backing Vocals – Dave De Coup Crank, Mark Heard
Design [Cover Design], Art Direction – Tim Alderson
Drums [Linn Drums], Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Accordion, Mandolin, Harmonica, Xylophone, Percussion, Other [Voicehorns, Voicestrings] – Mark Heard
Engineer [Assistant], Photography By – Janet Heard
Engineer, Mixed By – Mark Heard
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mastered By [Assistant] – Wally Grant
Pedal Steel Guitar – Al Perkins
Producer – Mark Heard
Saxophone – Brandon Fields
Synthesizer [Emulator], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synthesizer – Tom Howard
Synthesizer, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Phil Madeira
Tambourine, Shaker, Other [Toothbrush, Bowling Pins] – Harry Stinson
Written-By, Design [Cover Design], Photography By – Mark Heard

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Recorded At – Gold Mine
Mastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △25939

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Sheila Walsh – Don’t Hide Your Heart – 1985

This was Sheila’s 6th studio album and by this time she knew what she was doing. This album has a very pop sound and her vocals are very strong. One of my favorite things about Walsh’s work was that she did not try to sound like Amy Grant. I won’t go into any names but so many female artists in this time were just trying to sound like Amy in a reach for her success. In all fairness this was probably pushed by the record companies too. But not Sheila, you could never mistake her vocals for anyone else. The CCM magazine single was “Jesus Call Your Lambs” which is actually a duet with Cliff Richards. It reached #9 on their charts but the real single was “We’re All One” which did very well on the radio charts. It is actually a cover of a 1978 Bryn Haworth song and it was also released on Steve Taylor’s Transatlantic Remixes project. For that release it was heavily remixed by Michael Omartian and that version remains one of my favourite songs of the 80’s. This probably comes in as my favorite Walsh album but most fans don’t rank it that high.

1 – Don’t Hide Your Heart – 4:04
2 – Under The Gun – 3:58
3 – Jesus Call Your Lambs – 4:05
4 – Alpha Omega – 3:20
5 – You’ll Never Be The Same – 4:22
6 – Light Across The World – 3:27
7 – We’re All One – 3:28
8 – It’s All For You – 4:44
9 – Not Guilty – 4:55
10 – Thief In The Night – 4:19

Backing Vocals – Annie McCaig, Chris Eaton, Cliff Richard, Joe Chemay, Kin Bassey, London Community Gospel Choir, Mark Williamson, Mo Turner, Sheila Walsh, Terry Williams
Bass – Abraham Laboriel, Andy Pask
Brass, Percussion – Craig Pruess
Drums – Graham Jarvis, Paul Leim
Guitar – Michael Landau, Phil Manzanera, Rick Fenn
Keyboards – Craig Pruess
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Michael Omartian
Percussion – Dave Mattacks
Saxophone – Gary Herbig, Mel Collins
Strings – Trevor Smith

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – Gallery Studios
Recorded At – Lion Share Recording Studios
Mixed At – Gallery Studios
Mixed At – Lion Share Recording Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc

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Bryan Duncan – Whistlin In The Dark – 1987

This was the third solo album from Bryan and it also marked his departure from Light Records. He appears here on Modern Art Records which I believe was his own label as there was only one other artist, The Joy Circuit, on the label. I don’t think the album was quite as popular as his previous release “Holy Rollin'”. At least I didn’t like it as much. But believe me I am not saying this is not a good album because it is. It had 2 chart singles, “All My Life” made it to #4, and “When I Think Of Home” to #13. Well that’s the CCM charts anyway. Isn’t it amazing that even in 1987 they were still only charting worship songs. The album is full of great singles that probably did fantastic on Christian radio that weren’t run by cowards. Personally I pick “Paradise” as Rays single of the album and it’s charting at about #12 this week in my office.

1 – Whistlin’ In The Dark – 3:34
2 – Paradise – 3:55
3 – All My Life – 3:46
4 – Break Out Of Chains – 4:41
5 – When I Think Of Home – 3:21
6 – Every Heart Has An Open Door – 4:55
7 – You Can Rely On Me – 4:45
8 – Help Is On The Way – 4:05
9 – You’re Never Alone – 3:22

Arranged By, Vocals – Bryan Duncan
Artwork, Design – Peter Green Design Associates
Backing Vocals – Bill Champlin, Bob Carlisle, Tamara Champlin
Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – John Mitchell
Bass Guitar – Jimmy Johnson
Creative Director – Gary Whitlock, Jim Fitzgerald
Drum Programming – Chuck Barth
Electric Guitar – Dennis Brown, Randy Thomas
Keyboards – John Shreiner
Management – Ray Ware
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport
Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Percussion, Arranged By – Larry Brown
Saxophone – Glen Myerscough
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Don Markese
Trumpet – Larry Hall, Stu Blumberg

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Modern Entertainment, Inc.
Recorded At – 440 Sound Recorders
Mixed At – 440 Sound Recorders
Recorded At – Zipper De’ Do’ Da Studio
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Modern Art Records
Copyright (c) – Modern Art Records
Published By – Fanatic Music
Published By – Panda Pals Music
Published By – Chuck Barth Music
Published By – Mind Of The Cell
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Drummer Music

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Mad At The World – Mad At The World – 1987

The story goes that while Roger Rose, the taller and older Rose brother that makes up the band, Mad At The World, was working as a mailman he dropped of a demo tape int he mailbox of Jimmy Kempner, owner of Frontline Records. The tape was passed along and the Rose brothers were eventaully signed by Frontline and in 1987 they released their first of several very successful projects, the self-titled Mad at the World. Completely programmed and synthesized techno music with aggressive 80’s dance beats and a very European vocal styling, the very well produced debut became an instant hit in many Christian circles. Mainstream music was filled with bands like Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears but Christian music’s edgier sounds were usually punk bands of long hair glam rockers like Stryper and Shout. MATW filled a huge void as Christian “dance clubs” were also starting to spring up and techno music was very limited. The lyrics were very “Christian” thematically but dealt with the darker side of life and some people initially struggled with the more dark sounding content. Kids, though, flocked to the album and their reputation spread quickly, especially in Southern California. They were invited to play a New Year’s Eve event at Knott’s Berry Farm, a popular theme park in Orange County. The set consisted primarily of older brother Roger on guitar and keyboards and 15 year old Randy on a bizarre looking electronic percussive contraption. The cool factor was high and their outside show drew huge crowds. Styles would change to darker and heavier rock and eventually to a more Beatlesque pop sound, but it is the first two albums that the band is most remembered for.

Contributor David Lowman –

Track Listing:
1 – Living Dead – 3:28
2 – All The Lonely Sheep – 5:50
3 – I Want To See Heaven – 4:25
4 – No Room Left – 4:05
5 – Easy Way Out – 3:50
6 – Bad Motives – 4:20
7 – No More Innocence – 5:00
8 – It Can’t Rain Forever – 5:00
9 – Here We Go Again – 3:28
10 – Dry Your Tears – 4:10
11 – Mad At The World – 3:55
12 – Change Of Luck – 3:42

Arranged By – Roger Rose
Art Direction – Brian Kay, Ed McTaggart
Artwork [Photographics] – Ken Baley
Backing Vocals, Electronic Drums, Percussion – Randy Rose
Engineer – Roger Rose (tracks: B1)
Engineer [Basic Tracks] – Dave Hackbarth (tracks: A1 to A5, B2 to B5)
Engineer [Vocal Tracks] – Dave Jahnsen (tracks: A1 to A5, B2 to B5)
Guitar, Keyboards – Mike Pendleton
Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Synthesizer, Electronic Drums, Percussion – Roger Rose
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By – Linda Dillon Baley
Producer – Roger Rose

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Recorded At – Asylomar Studios
Recorded At – MATW Studios
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Pressed By – Record Technology Incorporated – 23329
Pressed By – Record Technology Incorporated – 23330

Scott Roley – Within My Reach – 1984

This was Scott’s first solo album and it was a great one. Scott had been a member of the 70’s group Asian and early 80’s group City Limits. This time Scott was joined at Stage III Studios by several top musicians including, the Huff brothers, Phil Madeira, Gary Lunn, and many others. This was some of the greatest headliners and studio musicians of the time. The album shows this talent with it’s Pop / AOR sound. I missed this one in the 80’s and am sure glad I found it now. The album single was “Within My Reach” but I prefer “Mansion Of Opinion” but the album is all great tunes, no dogs on here.

1 – Against The Tide – 3:47
2 – Living In Your Love – 3:14
3 – Satan’s Tragedy – 5:13
4 – Wounded Healer – 3:37
5 – The Messiah – 3:08
6 – Crash The Prom – 2:56
7 – Really Fine Job – 3:27
8 – Pleasure Planet – 3:20
9 – Mansion Of Opinion – 3:45
10 – Within My Reach – 3:15

Arranged By – Bill Deaton, Phil Madeira, Scott Roley
Artwork – Jeff Spencer
Bass – Gary Lunn, Duncan Mullins
Drums – David Huff, John Hammond
Executive-Producer – Bob MacKenzie, Ray Nenow
Guitar – Scott Roley, Bill Deaton, Greg Jennings, Larry Chaney, Gordon Kennedy
Harmonica – Scott Roley
Keyboards – Phil Madeira
Mandolin – James Isaac Elliott
Mixed By – Bill Deaton
Percussion – David Huff, Scott Roley, Lisa Cates
Photography By – Tommy Greer
Piano – Phil Madeira
Producer – Bill Deaton, Scott Roley
Recorded By – Bill Deaton
Vocals – Scott Roley
Written-By – Mark Chesshir, Scott Roley, Van Stephenson, Tom Douglas, John Thompson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Refuge Records
Copyright (c) – Refuge Records
Published By – Rainy Roley Music
Published By – Stage III Music
Published By – ATV Music
Published By – Warner Bros. Music
Published By – Little Dude Music
Published By – S.C.L. Music
Published By – Saddleshoe Publishing
Published By – Whole Armor Publishing Co.
Record Company – Refuge Record Company
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Lacquer Cut At – Masterfonics

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The Visitors – Death Of A Gunfighter – 1983

Before The Lead there was The Visitors. They self produced this 7″ in 1983. It highlights their punk roots and quite frankly I wish they would have kept this style as they were good at it and quite frankly CCM needed this style right at this time. But alas they would do punk for a few more years and then switch to thrash. But it’s fun to hear where they came from.

A – Death Of A Gunfighter – 4:06
B – I’ll Never Know – 2:38

Written-By – Julio Rey
Vocals, Bass – Peter Lopez
Vocals, Guitar – Julio Rey
Drums – Juan Carlos

Idle Cure – Inside Out – 1991

This was Idle Cure’s 4th album and it pretty well picked up where 2nd Avenue left off. The style is very similar. That style being highly polished hard rock / light metal. The band lineup essentially remained the same and if you didn’t know better you might have thought they recorded this album at the same time as the previous, it’s that similar. From what I understand this album did not sell as well as 2nd Avenue but who knows. Christian record companies weren’t well known for releasing sales numbers. So if you like your metal light or your rock hard and polished this is an album you will enjoy.

1 – We’ve Lost Ground – 4:03
2 – Who Cries For Me – 4:13
3 – Holy Mountain – 4:26
4 – Mind Games – 3:51
5 – Redline – 4:18
6 – Innocent Again – 4:44
7 – I Will Hold On – 3:47
8 – Where Is The Love – 3:39
9 – The Higher We Climb – 4:01
10 – Tear Down The Walls – 3:19

Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Coordinator – Beth Jahnsen
Design – Brian Godawa
Drums – Clark Edmond
Engineer – Bill Baumgart, Dave Jahnsen
Guitar [Additional] – Glen Pierce
Guitar, Vocals – Mark Ambrose
Illustration – Steve Firchow
Keyboards [Additional] – Tim Heintz
Keyboards, Vocals – Pete Lomakin
Mixed By – Dave Jahnsen
Photography By – Wayne Armstrong
Producer – Bill Baumgart
Vocals – Steve Shannon
Vocals [Additional] – Bob Carlisle

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Record Company – Frontline Music Group
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia
Produced For – Asylomar
Recorded At – The Mixing Lab
Mixed At – Mixing Lab A
Mixed At – Front Page Studios

Justo Almario – Forever Friends – 1985

This is Justo Almario’s 3rd album. It is part of the ongoing Meadowlark Records series of easy listening albums. This is a strong Jazz album that may have slipped by you in the 80’s if you are a Jazz fan as these Meadowlark albums weren’t very well promoted. This one however must have had some success as it has been re-released 3 times. I’m not a fan of Jazz or easy listening but I’ll admit there is a couple tracks on here I quite liked. Perusing the credits I noticed that most of Koinonia was on the album at some point. Good work guys.

1 – Sharing – 6:08
2 – Song For Lea – 6:11
3 – Forever Friends – 5:05
4 – Siciliano – 3:13
5 – Beautiful – 5:05
6 – Skipping Pebbles – 4:14
7 – To The Praise – 3:50
8 – My Love – 3:50

Acoustic Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith
Arranged By, Conductor – Abraham Laboriel (tracks: B4), Jimmy Tanaka (tracks: A1 to B2), Justo Almario (tracks: B3)
Bass – Abraham Laboriel, Larry Klein
Bass [Melody Bass] – Abraham Laboriel
Design – Buddy Jackson
Drum [Log Drum] – Jimmy Tanaka
Drum Programming [Rhythm Programming] – Alex Acuna
Drums – Alex Acuna, Bill Maxwell
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Jimmy Tanaka, Russell Ferrante
Engineer – Win Kutz
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Matthew Warnick
Flute – Justo Almario
Flute [Pan Flute] – Alex Acuna
Guitar – Abraham Laboriel, Hadley Hockensmith
Lyricon – Justo Almario
Percussion – Alex Acuna, Bill Maxwell
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano [Acoustic Piano] – Jimmy Tanaka, Russell Ferrante
Producer – Bill Maxwell
Producer [Associate Producer] – Jimmy Tanaka, Justo Almario
Soprano Saxophone – Justo Almario
Synthesizer – Russell Ferrante
Synthesizer [DX-7] – Jimmy Tanaka
Tenor Saxophone – Justo Almario
Vocals – Bill Maxwell, Jimmy Tanaka, Justo Almario

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – The Sparrow Corporation
Marketed By – The Sparrow Corporation
Distributed By – The Sparrow Corporation
Designed At – Jackson Design
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – Monterey Sound Studios
Mixed At – Monterey Sound Studios

Kerry Livgren – Seeds of Change – 1980

Kerry Livgren made the big announcement in 1980 that he had become a born-again Christian. That caused a bit of friction with some of his bandmates in Kansas, although they continued making albums together after that. The album cover features a baby in the womb of a diamond. Kansas albums were always big on imagery, and I think this could be discussed at length (by someone), but the baby seems to be a pretty clear reference to being born again. Notably though, Kerry did the majority of his Christian themed writing for his solo projects and with his new band, A. D. This record includes vocals from Christian rock artist Mylon Lefevre on a few tracks, as well as lead vocals by famed metal guitarist Ronnie James Dio on “Mask Of The Great Deceiver” and “To Live For The King.” This is a 7 song affair, with some marathon song lengths reaching over 8 minutes long. There is only 1 song under 5 minutes on the album. The musical offering here continues on from a consistent arc where Kerry left off with Kansas at the time. It’s a record that would not isolate any fans, and the high level of talent he had to make this album certainly shows. It’s a great transition album for him, aptly named “Seeds of Change.”

1 – Just One Way – 5:46
2 – Mask Of The Great Deceiver – 7:36
3 – How Can You Live – 4:13
4 – Whiskey Seed – 5:33
5 – To Live For The King – 4:55
6 – Down To The Core – 5:18
7 – Ground Zero – 8:36

Kerry Livgren – Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, Vocals
Brad Aaron – Producer, Background Vocals
Barriemore Barlow – Drums
Bobby Campo – Trumpet
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Phil Ehart – Drums
John Fristoe – Background Vocals
Gary Gilbert – Bass
Paul Goddard – Bass
Joey Jelf – Background Vocals
Darryl Kutz – Harmonica
Mylon LeFevre – Vocals
Victoria Livgren – Background Vocals
Davey Moire – Vocals
David Pack – Vocals
Jeff Pollard – Vocals
Robby Steinhardt – Violin
John Thompson – Drums
Steve Venezia – Background Vocals
Steve Walsh – Vocals
Donna Williams – Background Vocals

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – CBS Records
Manufactured By – CBS Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Copyright (c) – Corn & Blood, Inc.
Recorded At – Axis Sound Studio
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Published By – Don Kirshner Music
Published By – Blackwood Music Publishing

Steve Scott – Lost Horizon – 1988

This was Steve’s second album though I don’t think that a lot of people listened to the first one. I think Steve was well aware of this as this release had 3 tracks from his first album but he did remix them. The CD contained 4 tracks that were not on the cassette version. Steve has also said that there are several tracks from an album that was recorded in 1986 but never released. This album was produced by Charlie Peacock, Mike Roe, and Steven Soles which is quite the lineup of producers. Personally I think you will feel Mike Roe’s influence the most. All 3 producers also played on the album and again you can hear and feel their influence. If you were a fan of any of these 3 guys you are going to love this album. It is easily one of the best albums of 1988 of this style.

1 – Not A Pretty Picture – 4:04
2 – No More Parades – 3:57
3 – Something’s Got To Change – 3:29
4 – What Is The Mystery? – 4:41
5 – Call Of The Wild – 4:41
6 – Touch – 5:30
7 – Shadow Play – 4:16
8 – Wall Of Tears – 5:27
9 – Love In The Western World – 4:57
10 – Emotional Tourist – 3:58
11 – When Worlds Collide – 4:14
12 – Ghost Train – 3:18
13 – This Sad Music – 5:12
14 – Ship Of Fools – 3:39
15 – Minor Characters – 3:52
16 – Sound Of Waves (12″ Version) – 7:06

Bass – Gary Landaker
Drums – Aaron Smith
Executive-Producer – Randy Layton
Guitar – Mike Roe
Keyboards – Mark Tootle
Producer – Charlie Peacock, Mike Roe, Steven Soles
Vocals – Steve Scott
Written-By – Steve Scott

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Exit Studios