Holm, Sheppard, Johnson – Soldiers Again – 1989

Dallas Holm, Tim Sheppard, and Phil Johnson first came together in 1981 and put out a self titled album. At the time they were all under contract to Greentree Records so there was no contractual issues to work out. They had to wait until 1989 to put out a second album as along the way they were under contract to different record companies and this can cause unsurmountable legal issues. In 1989 none of them were under a contract so they were able to record a follow up album. This is that album. I actually consider them to be a supergroup as they were 3 very top ranked vocalists. Now you normally wouldn’t apply the term supergroup when it comes to the worship genre but I think they deserve it. The album was fairly successful on the CCM charts with “Feel Every Heartbeat” making it to #3 and “Soldiers Again” just poking on to the charts at #40. If you’re a fan of worship oriented music don’t miss out on listening to this one, I’m guessing you’ll love it.

1 – Feel Every Heartbeat – 4:25
2 – Give Me This Water – 4:31
3 – Fighter – 3:13
4 – Standin’ There – 4:00
5 – Child In His Arms – 4:02
6 – Run For The Finish Line – 3:36
7 – City – 4:16
8 – Wisdom – 4:57
9 – I Can See Your House – 3:06
10 – Soldiers Again – 4:17

Acoustic Guitar – Mark Baldwin
Arranged By – Smitty Price
Art Direction – Amy Linde, Terri Short
Bass – Gary Lunn
Cello – John Catchings
Design – Ken Spradley
Drums, Percussion – Dennis Holt
Electric Guitar – Jerry McPhearson, Mark Baldwin
Engineer [Additional] – JB, Smitty Price
Engineer [Assistant] – John Harley, John Kunz, Michael Vasquez
Keyboards – Reed Arvin, Smitty Price
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Photography By – Neill Whitlock
Producer – Neal Joseph
Recorded By [Vocals] – Paul Mills
Recorded By, Mixed By – JB
Saxophone – Mark Douthit

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Dallas Sound Lab
Recorded At – Digital Recorders
Recorded At – BDR Sound
Mixed At – Dallas Sound Lab
Mastered At – Mastermix

The Call – The Call – 1982

This album was our introduction to The Call. Well in my case it honestly it was their second album, I missed this one almost entirely. Actually I think a lot of people missed this first album which is a pity because it’s actually very good. There isn’t much information on the formative years of The Call but we do know they formed in 1980 in Santa Cruz, California. The original lineup was Michael Been (lead vocals, guitar), Scott Musick (drums), Tom Ferrier (guitar), and Greg Freeman (bass). Steve Huddleston (keyboards) joined 1981. This album would set the sound we would come to love but this album only did moderately well and didn’t rank in the U.S. top 100 album chart. It just didn’t have a breakout single, that would wait for their second album. The chosen single was “There’s A Heart Here” but really I think “Bandits” would have been a much better choice but who am I to question the record company gurus. Anyway if you joined The Call on their second album be sure to take the time to listen to this one and hear where it all started.

1 – War Weary World – 4:18
2 – There’s A Heart Here – 2:56
3 – Doubt – 4:19
4 – This Is Life – 3:06
5 – Fulham Blues – 3:13
6 – Who’s That Man – 3:05
7 – Upperbirth – 3:38
8 – Bandits – 3:28
9 – Flesh And Steel – 4:54
10 – Unbearable – 2:37
11 – Waiting For The End – 5:15

Bass, Vocals – Greg Freeman
Drums, Vocals – Scott Musick
Engineer – Hugh Padgham
Engineer [Assistant] – Andy Lyden, Howard Grey, Steve Prestage
Guitar, Vocals – Tom Ferrier
Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards – Michael Been
Producer – Hugh Padgham
Synthesizer, Piano, Saxophone – Garth Hudson
Written-By – Michael Been

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – PolyGram Records, Inc.
Copyright © – PolyGram Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – PolyGram Records, Inc.
Marketed By – PolyGram Records, Inc.
Lacquer Cut at – Sterling Sound
Made By – Hauppauge Record Manufacturing Ltd.

Sam Phillips – The Indescribable Wow – 1988

This is Leslie Phillips first album using the moniker Sam Phillips. It is also her first release in the secular music stream. Much has been written of her departure from the Christian music market but I will quote her instead of offering my opinion. In an interview with Enio Chiola in 2011 this is what she stated “I found out through that whole process that I wanted to learn how to write songs and make music better than I had before, and I realized that a lot of the fundamentalist people didn’t care about that, or were judgmental about that. It seemed that they had a very utilitarian view of art. That art was only to serve one purpose, which was to get across their point of view, and I didn’t agree.” I think I can safely say there were “artistic differences” between her and Myrrh records. For her first pop album T-Bone Burnett came on board to produce and the result is probably the best cross over album of any artist. It is no surprise to my regular readers that I am a huge T-Bone fan and this album is one of those reasons. After this album came out T-Bone and Leslie/Sam confirmed they were in a relationship and they did marry a year later.

1 – I Don’t Want To Fall In Love – 2:50
2 – I Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye To You – 3:18
3 – Flame – 2:33
4 – Remorse – 3:43
5 – What Do I Do – 3:52
6 – I Can’t Stop Crying – 3:17
7 – Holding On To The Earth – 3:00
8 – She Can’t Tell Time – 3:35
9 – What You Don’t Want To Hear – 2:59
10 – Out Of Time – 4:26

Arranged By – T Bone Burnett (tracks: 5), Van Dyke Parks, Van Dyke Parks (tracks: 5)
Bass – Jerry Scheff
Cello, Double Bass [String Bass] – Buell Niedlinger
Coordinator [Production Co-ordinator] – Tim Davis
Drum Machine – Ralph Forbes
Drums – Mickey Curry, Steve Jordan
Engineer [Assistant] – Brian Soucy, Clif Norrel, Dave Knight
Harpsichord, Harmonium, Bass – David Miner
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Mixed By – Kevin Killen
Organ – Mike Utley
Percussion, Drums – Alex Acuña
Producer, Guitar, Mandocello, Marxophone – T-Bone Burnett
Recorded By – Rik Pekkonen
Recorded By [Additional Recording] – Tchad Blake
Recorded By [Assistant] – Mike Ross
Trumpet – Darrel Leonard
Written-By – Sam Phillips (tracks: 1 to 10), T Bone Burnett (tracks: 7, 8)

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Virgin Records America, Inc.
Copyright © – Virgin Records America, Inc.
Distributed By – WEA
Recorded At – Ocean Way Recording
Recorded At – The Sound Factory
Mastered At – Masterdisk

Margaret Becker – Immigrants Daughter – 1989

After a wonderful debut and solid sophomore effort something happened to Margaret Becker that would change the direction of her musical progression for the better and help her create one of the truly great female rock albums in CCM history. Someone introduced her to Charlie Peacock. With Peacock’s help Becker created “Immigrant’s Daughter,” a thoughtful, and rock filled pop album with alternative underpinnings. Sounding now a little more like Annie Lennox than Ann Wilson, Becker’s vocal chops expanded and sounded more current and original. Subdued when needed and blowing up when necessary, her vocals here would not be matched until much later on some independent releases. Also with Peacock’s oversight, the songwriting became more introspective and universal. Christian themes combined with real human experiences to create a more passionate and authentic record. The personal expression is found immediately with the title track and continues throughout the project. The album also sounded more “current” and pulled Becker out of the “Chick Rocker” track and allowed to expand and grow as an artist and songwriter. Wonderful rockers and paired with ballads and “modern” musical expressions that also found radio to be quite responsive. Not every ballad has to be “These dreams” or “Alone” as sometimes the softer side provides a more memorable and authentic experience. There are so many strong songs here but a few worth receiving special notation include: Solomon’s Shoes, This Is My Passion, Stay Close to Me and the title track. The cover of “People Get Ready” is also a nice touch to close the album.

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

1 – Immigrant’s Daughter – 4:25
2 – This Is My Passion – 4:03
3 – Stay Close To Me – 3:08
4 – The Hunger Stays – 4:06
5 – Just Come In – 4:25
6 – I Commit – 4:22
7 – Honesty – 3:44
8 – Solomon’s Shoes – 3:13
9 – Laugh A Little – 3:42
10 – People Get Ready – 3:39

Acoustic Guitar – Jimmy Abegg, Margaret Becker
Art Direction – Barbara Hearn, Larry Vigon
Backing Vocals – Annie Stocking, Brent Bourgeois, Charlie Peacock, Jeanie Tracy, Margaret Becker, Vince Ebo
Bass – Larry Tagg
Design – Larry Vigon Studio
Drums – Mike Urbano
Electric Guitar – Jimmy Abegg
Engineer [Additional] – Bill Deaton, David Houston
Executive-Producer – Peter York
Liner Notes – Margaret Becker
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jeff Balding
Mixed By [Assistant] – Derek Marcil, Jared Held
Organ [Hammond B-3] – Roger Smith
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano, Keyboards – Charlie Peacock
Producer, Arranged By – Charlie Peacock
Recorded By – Rick Sanchez
Recorded By [Assistant] – Jim “Watts” Vereecke
Written-By – Charlie Peacock (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 8, 9), Curtis Mayfield (tracks: 10), Leonard Ahlstrom (tracks: 6), Margaret Becker (tracks: 1 to 9), Mike Demus (tracks: 6)

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Studio D
Recorded At – Moon Studios, Sacramento
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Studio 55, Los Angeles
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – The Sparrow Corporation
Published By – His Eyes Music
Published By – SBK Blackwood Music Inc.
Published By – Andi Beat Goes On Music
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Published By – Sunday Shoes Music
Published By – Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

Peter Beveridge – Loving Again – 1980

There’s not a lot of information on where Peter Beveridge came from (not physically as I know he’s from Australia). This was his introductory album and I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it is. The opening track is one that I would never have imagined would have been released in 1980 CCM. It appears it was only released in Australia and Canada and I am not surprised no U.S. label wanted to touch it. The lead track “To Hell and Back” probably sealed it’s U.S. opportunities. That said it is a fantastic rock tune with a great message. Unfortunately the album settles down after this track and has an easy listening Jazz and funk sound. For a first CCM album Peter deserves credit. This is a great album that most of us probably missed in the 80’s so thank goodness we can listen to it now.

1 – To Hell And Back – 3:48
2 – Trusting – 4:11
3 – Loving Again – 3:53
4 – Crown Of Thorns – 3:58
5 – A Prayer Trilogy – 4:11
6 – Heaven Or Hell – 4:34
7 – See A Tear – 3:43
8 – For Me To Know – 4:28
9 – Help The Man – 2:34
10 – How Can You Love Me? – 3:10

Arranged By – Gilbert Beveridge, Peter Beveridge
Artwork By, Layout – Graham Chaseling
Backing Vocals – John McConnel, Mike Haughton, Naomi Warne
Lyrics By – Debra Walker, Peter Beveridge
Lyrics By, Music By – Gilbert Beveridge
Mixed By, Recorded By – Ross McGregor
Music By – Peter Beveridge
Percussion – Bruce McCormac
Photography By – Roger Hanlon
Synthesizer, Producer, Piano [Acoustic Piano], Electric Guitar, Concept By [Cover], Backing Vocals – Peter Beveridge

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Nightlight Music Pty Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Rhema Music
Recorded At – Axent Studios
Mixed At – Axent Studios
Produced For – Nightlight Music

Megamouth 2 – The Great Skateboard Adventure – 1988

This is the second of 2 children’s albums done by Terry Taylor and Greg Flesch. This one is centered on a skateboarding theme with a story line of competing in said sport. Apparently this idea didn’t get much traction but I commend them for trying. This project didn’t age very well but it may have been cool in the 80’s if I was 10 years old.

1 – Megamouth Theme – 3:12
2 – You’re One In A Million – 4:24
3 – We’re Bad, That’s Good, and We’re Ugly (Viper’s Theme) – 5:22
4 – Quantized (Be a Good Sport) – 4:03
5 – Practice Makes Gnarly (Spinner’s Song) – 5:47
6 – Viper’s Theme Part 2 (Megamouth’s Answer) – 7:03
7 – Ready, Steady, Go – 8:00
8 – Tubin’ It – 1:21
9 – Getting Vertical (By Trustin’ The Lord) – 22:35

Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Cover – John Dickenson
Engineer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Doug Doyle
Illustration – June Valentine
Mastered By – John Matousek
Producer, Arranged By, Recorded By, Mixed By, Instruments, Written-By, Concept By – Greg Flesch
Producer, Arranged By, Recorded By, Mixed By, Written-By, Concept By, Voice Actor – Terry Taylor
Vocals – Amy Watson, Lisa Grimaud*, Nancy Hanson, Nancy Marquez
Voice Actor, Vocals – Dan Rupple, Dennis Bowen, Diane Meador-Pemelton, Scott Rummell

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mixed At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.

Ransom – Ransom – 1991

Ransom was started in the mid-eighties as First Aid by bassist Michael Ciado and vocalist Lisa Faxon. The band changed names and produced a 3 song demo in 1988 as Ransom. Shortly after that Intense Records signed them and this is the result. Ransom was one of the few Christian metal bands with a female singer so they stood out on that front. The album has a strong commercial metal sound and is actually quite heavy with ballads which was odd in this genre at the time. I believe that generally ballads were put on albums because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Ransom however actually seemed to like ballads and put more effort into them. As for the album it’s very well produced and all the instrumentation is really good. Songwriting is a little weak at times but this is a first album so that’s not uncommon. Personally I rank it a little better than most reviews of the time but I have always preferred my metal with a commercial slant. The album was re-mastered and re-issued on Intense Millennium Records in 2011 and they included the 3 tracks from their demo as a bonus. I have read that the drummer listed as Randy Kantor was actually Joseph Galletta from Shout but I can’t actually confirm this and there’s some confusion on the issue on different web sites.

1 – Lasting Love – 4:26
2 – Rumors – 4:22
3 – Memories Of You – 3:18
4 – Fool That I Am – 4:26
5 – Break Into Darkness – 3:01
6 – Tonight – 4:17
7 – Etched In Stone – 3:42
8 – Fallen Angel – 5:07
9 – Your Broken Heart – 3:56
10 – I’ll Never Leave You – 4:31
11 – When I Die – 2:44

Art Direction, Design – Ed Mctaggart
Backing Vocals [Additional] – J.J. Honeycutt, Michael Jolly, Steve Manning
Backing Vocals [Additional], Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Doug Beiden
Backing Vocals [Additional], Keyboards [Additional] – Jim Morris
Bass, Backing Vocals – Michael Ciado
Drums – Randy Kantor
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Tony Ortiz
Keyboards – Brent Jeffers (tracks: 6)
Mastered By – John Matousek
Photography By – Michael Seeley
Producer, Engineer, Keyboards [Additional Musician] – Jim Morris
Technician [Technical Director] – Tracy Henry
Vocals, Backing Vocals – Lisa Faxon

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Intense Records (10)
Copyright (c) – Intense Records (10)
Recorded At – Mixing Lab A
Mixed At – Mixing Lab A
Recorded At – Mixing Lab B
Mixed At – Mixing Lab B
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia
Mastered At – Soundworks West

Harvest – Voices – 1984

This 1984 release from harvest was their last on the Milk & Honey label before switching to Greentree Records. This album is pretty well much like their others as their worship style music didn’t really change much from album to album. This album had 4 charting singles with The Battle Is The Lord’s climbing the highest at #9. Really the album did not do as well as they usually did in the period. I of course listened to the album and I didn’t find it any better or worse than their other albums of the time. Of course this isn’t really my forte style of music but I thought it was pretty good as worship albums go.

1 – The Battle Is The Lord’s – 2:50
2 – Burn Me With Your Love – 3:30
3 – The Court Of The Gentiles – 6:10
4 – On The Water – 3:20
5 – Creator’s Song – 3:35
6 – Get Me To The River – 3:03
7 – One Thing I Ask – 3:20
8 – The Name Of Jesus – 2:45
9 – Know That I Am God – 4:55
10 – Voices – 4:30

Bass Guitar – Brian Tankersley, John Scudder
Conductor – Wayne Watson
Drums – Mark Hammond
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Jon Goin
French Horn – Bruce Kenny
Percussion – Russell Dunlap
Performer – Jerry Williams
Performer, Piano – Ed Kerr
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer – John Schreiner
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Kirk Whalum
Synthesizer – Paul Mills
Trumpet – Fletch Wiley

Kerry Livgren / AD – Prime Mover – 1988

After the demise of AD Kerry Livgren and Warren Ham came back together to record and release this album using the AD name. It is said that this album was put together to fulfill contractual obligations and raise some funds. I’m not really sure if I believe this but it is said that Kerry said this but I can not find the actual quote. Kerry supplied all of the instruments with the exception of harp and sax supplied by Ham and this gives the album a rather unique sound and I really like it. I’m not disrespecting the rest of the band I’m just saying I really like this sound. The track “Portrait II” is actually a re-write of Portrait (He Knew), from the 1977 Kansas album Point of Know Return. Kerry rewrote it to be about Christ rather than Albert Einstein. Strangely the entire album was re-recorded and re-released in 1998 as Prime Mover II with 5 additional tracks. One last point of trivia of this album is that the UK vinyl version stated the title as “Prime Cuts” on the vinyl label. Rather odd error but errors on vinyl labels are actually quite common.

1 – Don’t Pass Me By – 4:24
2 – Fathers And Sons – 3:56
3 – Portrait II – 5:35
4 – Children Of The Shadows – 4:49
5 – Wandering Spirit – 4:04
6 – I’ll Follow You – 3:55
7 – New Kind Of Love – 3:37
8 – One More Song – 4:09
9 – T.G.B. – 5:58

Design – Nick Newton
Illustration [Photo Illustration] – Mark Fokol
Instrumentation By [All Instruments By] – Kerry Livgren
Lead Vocals – Warren Ham
Mastered By – Glen Meadows
Producer [Produced By] – Steve Walsh
Recorded By, Mixed By – Kerry Livgren
Vocals – Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Dean Heitkamp, Michael Gleason

Companies, etc.
Produced For – GrandyZine Productions Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Kerry Livgren Productions,Inc.
Copyright (c) – Kerry Livgren Productions,Inc.
Recorded At – The Peach, Covington, GA
Mixed At – The Peach, Covington, GA
Mastered At – Masterfonics

Gideon’s Army – Grace – 1990

The third and last album from Gideon’s Army picks up where Warriors Of Love left off but it has a feel of maturity to it. At this point I think the band had settled into the style that they liked as there was some style fluttering in their first 2 releases. Unfortunately this was the last album from their band and I feel they were just hitting their stride. Darin Warren stepped in to replace Dave Angles on guitar and his sound fit in well with the band. I missed this band entirely in the 80’s and really wish I could have seen them live, I just get the feel that they were good live. Original copies of this release are apparently few and far between which suggests to me that it just didn’t sell well. Luckily it was re-released in 2015 by Retroactive Records so it’s easy to get a copy now.

1 – Knowing You – 3:45
2 – Lonely Lover – 4:20
3 – Christina – 4:45
4 – Grace – 5:21
5 – Make Up Your Mind – 3:10
6 – Open Arms – 4:23
7 – Tough Love – 3:24
8 – With The One I Love – 4:21
9 – Turn Up The Heat – 4:11
10 – Sending You – 4:08

Mark Greves – Lead Vocals & Bass
Darin Warren – Lead Guitar
Doug Naruo – Keyboards
Jerry Anderson – Drums & Lead Vocals
Brenda Perdue – vocals
Melody Lynn – vocals
Ron Davis – vocals
Dave Angeles – guitars on 7, 8, 10
Don Walker – drums on 7, 8, 10