Sandi Patti – Songs From The Heart – 1984

Sandra generally put out an album a year and this was her album for 1984. It was one of her most successful with 4 charting singles including 2 making the top 10. “Sing To The Lord” made it to #1 and “We Will See Him As He Is” made it to #4. She was also nominated for the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Female but lost out to Amy Grant who pretty well owned the category for the decade though Sandra did win it in 1987. She did however win the 1985 Dove award for Inspirational Album. As for the album it is your standard worship album with nothing that really stands out in my opinion. I’m not saying it isn’t a good album I just find so many of these female worship albums to be too alike.

1 – Give Him The Glory – 2:37
2 – Sing To The Lord – 2:58
3 – We Will See Him As He Is – 3:42
4 – Cradle Song – 2:59
5 – Wonderful Lord – 2:34
6 – Via Dolorosa – 4:34
7 – Shine Down – 3:29
8 – Pour On The Power – 3:11
9 – Glorious Morning – 3:29
10 – Purest Praise – 2:01
11 – The Stage Is Bare (I Need Thee Every Hour) – 5:52

Arranged By [Backing Vocals] – Alan Moore, Sandi Patti
Arranged By [Brass] – Jerry Hey
Arranged By [Rhythm] – Greg Nelson, Sandi Patti, Shane Keister
Arranged By [Strings] – Alan Moore
Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – David T. Clydesdale
Backing Vocals – Bonnie Keen, Cozette Byrd, Craig Patty, Dave Durham, Gary Music, Jackie Cusick, John Mohr, Lori Brooks, Luanne Mohr, Marty McCall, Melodie Tunney, Mike Patty, Rick Gibson, Sandi Patti, Sandie Hall Brooks, Steve Green
Bass – Craig Nelson, David Hungate, Larry Paxton
Brass – William Reichenbach, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, Kim Hutchcroft, Lawrence Williams
Cello – David Christensen, David Vanderkooi, Inez Boyle, Mark Tanner, Martha McCrory, Roy Christensen
Concertmaster – Carl Gorodetzky
Conductor – Greg Nelson
Design – Bill Brunt
Double Bass [Bass] – Craig Nelson, Edgar Meyer, Nathan Kahn
Drums – James Stroud
Engineer – Joe Neil
Executive-Producer – John Helvering
Guitar – John Darnall, Jon Goin
Harp – Mary Alice Hoepfinger
Percussion – Bill Wiggins, Farrell Morris
Photography – Michael G. Borum
Piano – Mitch Humphries
Producer – Greg Nelson, Sandi Patti Helvering
Strings – The Nashville String Machine
Synthesizer – Shane Keister
Viola – Connie Collopy, Gary Vanosdale, John Borg, Kathy Plummer, Kris Wilkinson, Virginia Christensen
Violin – Charlie Everett, Chris Teal, Connie Heard, Dennis Molchan, George Binkley, Janet Hazen, Larry Harvin, Laura Molyneaux, Lee Larrison, Pamela Sixfin, Phyllis Mazza, Rebecca Lynch, Rosemary Harris, Stephanie Woolf, Ted Madsen, Bill Fitzpatrick
Vocals – Sandi Patti

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Impact Records
Copyright (c) – Impact Records

Randy Matthews – All I Am Is What You See – 1972

This is Randy’s second album and it marked an important change in CCM music that many may not know about. He was under contract to Word records but they were very hesitant to release this album as the felt it went a little too far into the world of Rock. As such it was decided by Word would open a subsidiary label called Myrrh to handle the “Jesus Music” market. This changed the whole industry as it condoned releasing Rock music even if you had to do it a little sneakily. Of course Myrrh went on to be a dominant face in the Christian music industry. Anyway on to the album. It is definitely a more Rock oriented album than his premiere but seems relatively tame compared to what would come in the industry. His acoustic guitar work is excellent and I particularly like the track “Important Things” which while a little gimmicky it has a great message even in current times. If you missed this one back in the day listen to it now as it really was a game changer in the industry.

1 – Revolutionary Cause – 3:02
2 – All I Am Is What You See (Self Portrait) – 2:20
3 – Johnny – 3:30
4 – Power Through You, People – 3:02
5 – Time To Pray – 3:29
6 – Sunny Day – 2:59
7 – Leader Liberator – 2:25
8 – Flesh Of My Flesh – 3:10
9 – Important Things – 2:05
10 – Country Faith – 2:10

Arranged By, Conductor – Bergen White
Engineer – Les Ladd
Music By, Lyrics By – Randy Matthews
Photography By [Cover] – Bill Grine
Producer – Billy Ray Hearn

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Pressed By – Columbia Records of Canada, Ltd.

Seraiah – Carnival World – 1990

This is the first of two albums from Seraiah. They were formed in Indiana in 1985 by drummer Kyle Dietz and guitarist Quinton Gibson. They did release a demo in 1989 which as of this writing I haven’t heard yet but I have been told it’s quite good. There were some lineup changes before they finally got a mainstream record deal with Pure Metal for this album. The “single” was Rise Up and I understand it received fairly good airplay on Christian radio stations that dared play metal. Other than that I can’t find much info on the band but the album is pretty good and has a bit of a commercial metal feel and sound.

1 – Carnival World – 4:48
2 – Devastating Daydream – 5:23
3 – Hear Their Cry – 5:46
4 – The Nature Of Things – 4:29
5 – No More Tears To Cry – 5:02
6 – Rise Up – 3:56
7 – You Know – 3:47
8 – Helpless Without You – 4:45
9 – Let Him Take Control – 5:02
10 – Fallen Heart – 6:13

Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals – Michael McClung
Drums – Kyle Dietz
Guitar, Mandolin, Backing Vocals – Quinton Gibson
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Bradley Beckey
Mastered By – Jim Lloyd
Mixed By – Steve Griffith
Producer [Produced By] – Jim Erdman (tracks: 1 to 8, 10), Steve Griffith (tracks: 9)
Recorded By – Alan Chase
Written-By, Arranged By – Seraiah

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pure Metal
Copyright (c) – Pure Metal
Distributed By – Spectra Distribution
Record Company – Star Song Communications
Recorded At – Grand Slam Studios
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pure Metal
Copyright (c) – Pure Metal

Larnelle Harris – I’ve Just Seen Jesus – 1985

Larnelle has been doing solo albums since 1975 and is still releasing them as of 2018. This is perhaps one of his most liked album. Considering how many albums he has I can’t confirm that of course. It was successful. It had two charting CCM singles, “How Excellent Is Thy Name” made it to #7 and his duet with Sandi Patty, “I’ve Just Seen Jesus” made it to #13. He also won the Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, Male based on this album. However quite frankly he shouldn’t have. Russ Taff was also nominated in the category based on his album “Medals” and I think most would agree that Medals was a far better album, in fact not even close. But the Grammy’s are a funny beast, lot’s of record industry politics involved. As for the album it is the epidemy of a worship album and I have no doubt some of these tracks are begin sung in churches these days.

1 – How Excellent Is Thy Name – 2:04
2 – Amen – 3:07
3 – Road In The Wilderness – 3:25
4 – For Unto Us – 1:48
5 – His Grace Is Greater – 4:55
6 – I’ve Just Seen Jesus – 5:42
7 – God’s Kingdom Is What I’ve Got – 2:19
8 – Desert Of My Days – 4:15
9 – Let Freedom Ring – 5:45

Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – David T. Clydesdale
Backing Vocals – Beverly Darnall, Bonnie Keen, Dave Durham, Gary Pigg, John Darnall, Jon Mohr, Judy Clydesdale, Karla Worley, Kristi Cleary, Marty McCall, Melodie Tunney*, Rick Gibson, Sherry Paige
Bass – Craig Nelson, Gary Lunn
Drums – Mark Hammond
Guitar – Jon Goin
Harp – Mary Alice Hoepfinger
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Piano – David Huntsinger
Strings – The Nashville String Machine
Synthesizer – Mark Gersmehl, Shane Keister

T-Bone Burnett – T-Bone Burnett – 1986

T-Bone changes it up a bit for this album. It’s essentially an acoustic guitar country album. That said T-Bone is one of those artists that it is difficult to squeeze into a particular style category. I categorize all music flowing through the studio here but in the end I have given up on categorizing T-Bone. Instead I have just categorized all his work as T-Bone. I had to do a similar thing with Larry Norman. So far that’s the only 2 artists I have done this with. The album has a bit of an odd label lineage. It was first rereleased on Dot Records which is a pretty oddball label but just the nest year it ended up on MCA Records. Finally it showed up on Universal which is just odd. Anyway if You’re a T-Bone fan you will like this one but if this is the first T-Bone album you have listened to I suspect you won’t enjoy it much and quite frankly it’s not really representative of his work so give a different album a listen before deciding if you like him or not.

1 – River Of Love – 3:30
2 – Poison Love – 2:33
3 – Shake Yourself Loose – 3:00
4 – No Love At All – 2:54
5 – Annabelle Lee – 5:01
6 – I Remember (Instrumental) – 2:21
7 – I Remember – 3:39
8 – Little Daughter – 3:29
9 – Oh No Darling – 3:49
10 – Time – 4:59
11 – Little Daughter (Instrumental) – 3:23
12 – Song To A Dead Man – 3:34
13 – Bird That I Held In My Hand – 3:04

Dobro, Lap Steel Guitar – Jerry Douglas
Double Bass [String Bass] – Jerry Scheff
Fiddle – Byron Berline
Guitar, Accordion, Vocals – David Hidalgo
Producer – David Miner
Recorded By – Rik Pekkonen
Snare – Steve Duncan
Vocals – Billy Swan

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – MCA Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – MCA Records Canada
Distributed By – MCA Records Canada

Russ Taff – Walls of Glass – 1983

This was Russ’s first album after leaving the Imperials and I’m pretty sure it’s success confirmed to him that he had made the right decision by going solo. The lead single “We Will Stand” sat at #1 on the CCM charts for 15 weeks. That’s a pretty respectable first album single. He also won the 1983 Grammy award for Best Male Gospel Performance. As for the album I’m pretty sure Myrrh records pulled out all the stops as the production quality and over all quality of the album is very high. If your a fan of Russ’s albums after this one you might be surprised a bit at how mellow this one is. It is definitely a transition of styles from the Imperials to his more rock style on subsequent albums. We did get a hint of what was to come with “Inside Look” which is actually a pretty darn good Rock track. While this album doesn’t make many “Best of the 80’s” lists I think it probably deserves a spot.

1 – Tell Them – 4:23
2 – Walls Of Glass – 3:57
3 – I Want To Change – 5:05
4 – Pure In Heart – 3:59
5 – We Will Stand – 4:37
6 – Jeremiah – 4:02
7 – Inside Look – 4:01
8 – Just Believe – 4:26
9 – Kathryn’s Song – 4:24
10 – Unto The Lamb – 2:42

Mike Baird – Drums
Laury Boone Browning – Choir, Background Vocals
Bonnie Bramlett – Background Vocals
Raymond Brown – Songwriter
Harry Browning – Choir
Robbie Buchanan – Songwriter, Synthesizer Bass, Rhodes, Synthesizer
Don Cason – Choir
Lenny Castro – Percussion
Bill Champlin – Background Vocals
Tamara Champlin – Background Vocals
Cynthia Clawson – Choir
Ragan Courtney – Choir
Charlotte Crossley – Background Vocals
Nathan East – Bass
Daniel Garcia – Assistant Engineer
Bill George – Songwriter, Rhodes
Gary Grant – Horns
John Hammond – Drums
Joann Harris – Background Vocals
Susan Pyron Heard – Choir
Jerry Hey – Horn Arrangements, Horns
James Hollihan – Songwriter, Guitar
Richard Hopkins – Bass
Abraham Laboriel – Bass
Michael Landau – Guitar
David Lasley – Background Vocals, Choir
Charlie Loper – Horns
Arnold McCuller – Choir, Background Vocals
Dony McGuire – Background Vocals
Bobby Messano – Choir
James Newton Howard – Songwriter, Piano, Synthesizer
Michael Omartian – Songwriter, Piano, Rhodes, Synthesizer
Stormie Omartian – Songwriter
Jeff Porcaro – Drums
Frank Previte – Choir, Background Vocals
Jack Joseph Puig – Vocal Production, Engineer
Reba Rambo – Background Vocals
Patti Roberts – Songwriter
Doug Sax – Mastered
Bill Schnee – Producer, Engineer
David Schober – Assistant Engineer
Russ Taff – Songwriter, Vocals
Tori Taff – Songwriter, Choir
Keith Thomas – Songwriter
Carmen Twillie – Background Vocals
Marty Walsh – Guitar
Ernie Watts – Horns, Sax Solo
Gary Whitlock – Choir

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △26106

Jimmy Hotz – Beyond The Crystal Sea – 1980

The definitive and original Christian progressive rock album, Beyond the Crystal Sea is the masterpiece of an artist that may be one of the most important people in the history of all of rock music that very few may even be aware of.Musicians around the world have been indebted to Hotz’s work and may not even realize it. He is the inventor of the Hotz Box, Midi Vest, Atari Hotz Box, MIDI Translator and host of other commonly used and creatively important electronic advances. In fact, Hotz is also responsible for integrating 3D Graphics and manipulating their movement through computer technology. Hidden amongst his technological achievements is also a brilliant composer, arranger, instrumentalist and songwriter. his musical vision met his technological genius ion 1980’s brilliant Gospel themed “Beyond the crystal Sea.” Like much or progressive rock Hotz borrows from fantasy literature and themes and infuses them into clear Biblical messages. This album is “Art Rock” at its finest. Fans of early Genesis and experimental rock fans of Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd will love what Hotz creates here. Songs are complex, with intricate changes and musical instrumental breaks interspersed with more commercial rock vocal influences. But one great joy is Hotz ability to remain accessible with this album and not alienate those outside of the limited “art rock” fan base. There are layers of vocals, keyboards and guitars creating a much larger than life wall of sound. There is no doubt that modern Progressive Rock legends like Dream Theatre and Neal Morse were heavily influenced and inspired by Hotz’s work. It should also be noted that Hotz also had a hand in producing the classic Ark Angel album to be discussed later.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Observations Of A Larger Reality – 8:32
2 – Night Passage – 2:12
3 – Vision Ship – 5:35
4 – Teton – 3:18
5 – Beyond The Blues – 4:53
6 – Alpine Magic – 1:42
7 – From Love Life Did Begin – 4:37
8 – Long, Long Ago – 5:47
9 – The Gates Of Time – 3:45

Artwork By [Front Cover Art By] – Bruce Eagle
Backing Vocals [Vocals (Backup)] – Bob Farrell, Carol Chambers
Bass – Brian Tankersley, Wayne Six
Concept By [Cover Concept By] – Jimmy Hotz
Drums – Gary Ingram, Rocky Mountain, Russell Dunlap
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Brian Tankersley
Keyboards – Paul Mills, Phil Huston
Layout – Lex Zachary
Producer, Engineer – Jimmy Hotz
Recorder – Kemper Crabb
Remastered By – J. Powell
Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards – Jimmy Hotz

Companies, etc.
Remastered At – Steinhaus
Recorded At – Rivendell Sound Recorders
Mixed At – Rivendell Sound Recorders

Larry Norman – Live at the Mac – 1998

Larry apparently released this album almost grudgingly because he did not have many decent live recordings from this era of his touring and there were bootlegs making the rounds that he didn’t like. Larry stopped distributing Roll Away The Stone (although he continued to encourage people to buy it if they could find it), and he considered Live At The Mac a better version of that. The combination of bad recordings and bad timing haunted Larry’s late 70s work. He was touring but never did get good recordings done with a full band. Later works like the Live At Flevo recordings made up for it in a way, but they are not the same as Larry in this era. To hear it as it was, all we have are some bootlegs and some primitive recordings. This concert was August 18, 1979 in Eugene, Oregon. This CD was released in 1998 through Solid Rock Records and apparently only 200 were made, although some later versions were evidently sold by Solid Rock that were done up as CD-R with the same packaging.

1 – Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus – 4:58
2 – I’ve Searched All Around The World – 5:33
3 – Soul On Fire – 6:48
4 – Watch What You’re Doing – 8:36
5 – Let The Tape Keep Rolling – 5:00
6 – UFO – 10:16
7 – The Outlaw / If God Is My Father – 8:26
8 – Song For A Small Circle Of Friends – 3:37
9 – Shot Down – 2:41
10 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – 2:44
11 – The Rock That Doesn’t Roll / Exit – 3:25
12 – Lonely By Myself – 6:15

John Schlitt – Unfit For Swine – 1996

This is the second solo album from John Schlitt who was the Lead singer of Petra from 1986 forward. John really turned it up for this one and it is a great Rock & Roll album. It was partly produced by the Huff brothers (Giant/Whiteheart) and partly by Mark Heimermann. You can really hear the Huff influence with some tracks having killer guitar riffs and those guitar riffs were supplied by George Cocchini from the Joe English Band. This album was certain to be a success with this killer lineup. While it can certainly be said That John did some great work with Petra in my opinion he really shines with his solo work. John summed up this album by saying “This is not a safe record for me, but I like it”

1 – Save Me – 3:37
2 – God Is Too Big – 3:42
3 – Can’t Get Away – 4:18
4 – We Worship You – 4:12
5 – Need I Remind You – 4:15
6 – Take You On – 3:53
7 – Helping Hand – 4:49
8 – There Is Someone – 3:45
9 – I Killed A Man – 3:57
10 – Don’t Have To Take It – 3:48

A&R – Bubba Smith, Lynn Keesecker
Art Direction – Christy Coxe
Bass Guitar – Jackie Street
Design – Astrid Herbold
Drums, Percussion, Overdubbed By – David Huff
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – George Cocchini
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Overdubbed By – Dann Huff
Engineer [Assistant] – Mike Wrucke
Engineer [Assistant], Overdubbed By – Eric Elwell
Engineer, Mixed By – Joe Baldridge
Keyboards – Mark Heimermann
Management – Mike Keil And Associates
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Overdubbed By – The Dobbs, Todd Robbins
Photography By – Matthew Barnes
Producer – Dann Huff, David Huff (tracks: 1, 7, 8, 10), Mark Heimermann (tracks: 2 to 6, 9)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Epic
Distributed By – Epic
Recorded At – Dark Horse Recording
Overdubbed At – Fun Attic Studio
Overdubbed At – Dobb’s Palace
Mixed At – Sixteenth Avenue Sound
Mastered At – Mastermix

Kreyson – Angel On The Run – 1990

Kreyson is a Czechoslovakia metal band started 1989 by Ladislav Křížek after he left Citron. The album was not released in North America so I have no idea how it became so popular here. Kreyson was popular in the Nordic countries as well as Czechoslovakia and actually went on to record 3 more albums in the 90’s They also reformed in the mid 2000’s and released 3 more albums. It is obvious they were very popular in their home country and I admit I had no idea there even was Christian music in Czechoslovakia. The album itself is a great metal album and I was really impressed with the quality of their work. The album has very good production but that’s not surprising as the producer is probably the top producer there was in Czechoslovakia. Eventually this album was released in more markets and today is available digitally. Thank goodness for that as this album deserves to be heard by everyone that likes this style of music.

1 – Kreyson – 4:05
2 – Skalp – 3:11
3 – Deep In The Night – 4:29
4 – No Blue Skies – 4:15
5 – Faraway – 4:22
6 – Angel On The Run – 3:07
7 – Dreamin’ – 3:59
8 – Golden Ark – 3:34
9 – Need You – 5:48
10 – Fade Out – 3:14

Arranged By – Jan Němec, Kreyson
Bass Guitar – Karel Adam
Co-producer – Rolf “Rock ‘N’ Rolf”
Drums – Robert Vondrovic
Engineer – Jan Němec
Guitar – Daniel Krob, Jaroslav Bartoň
Lead Vocals – Ladislav Křížek
Lyrics By – A. Winter
Lyrics By [Original Czech Lyrics] – J. Krůta (tracks: A5), L. Křížek
Music By – J. Bartoň (tracks: A5, B8, B10), L. Křížek
Performer – Kreyson
Producer – Jan Němec

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Tommü Records
Recorded At – Studio M
Mixed At – Studio M