Norman Barratt – Barratt – 1988

This is the only true solo album from Norman Barratt which I found surprising considering how many albums he has in one form or another. The album highlights his guitar skills throughout and he also put in part time duty producing the album. Norman only signed on 2 artists to help with the album, Mark Olly on drums, and Steve Boyce on keyboards. While the album only has 8 tracks you get your money’s worth because there isn’t a track shorter that 4:30. While the album was only released in Europe in 1988 Refuge Records did a deal to release it in the U.S. in 1991.

1 – The Last Night – 5:20
2 – I Know Where You Are – 4:24
3 – I Can See It In Your Eyes – 5:01
4 – How I Know – 6:16
5 – Automatic Life – 5:36
6 – Still Waitin’ – 4:32
7 – When The Night Comes – 4:48
8 – Sing A New Song – 5:23

Cover [Cover Design] – Ron Bryant-Funnell
Engineer [Assistant] – Bob Little, Damon Gough
Guitar, Backing Vocals, Producer, Lead Vocals, Mixed By, Engineer [Assistant], Programmed By [Programming], Written-By – Norman Barratt
Keyboards, Producer, Mixed By, Engineer, Programmed By [Programming] – Steve Boyce-Buckley
Management – Bill Hampson
Percussion [Additional] – Mark Olly
Photography By – Johan Van Loo
Producer [Vocals Produced By] – Trevor Taylor (tracks: 4)
Software Instrument [Guitar f.x. And Programs Supplied By] – Neil Costello
Technician [Technical Assistant] – Stephen Naughton

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Edge Records
Copyright © – Edge Records
Licensed From – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Distributed By – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Made By – MPO
Recorded At – Square One Studios
Mixed At – Square One Studios
Published By – Thankyou Music

Scott Roley – Brother To Brother – 1986

This is the final album from Scott in the 80’s and it was also his most successful. The track “Brother to Brother”, a duet with Michael Card, made it to #22 and while there wasn’t a second single there were several tracks that could have in my opinion. The album was produced by David Eastman and British recording star Melanie sang several background vocals. Undoubtedly the album was popular due to appearances from Michael Card but it is a great stand alone album and Scott should be proud of this one.

1 – Brother to Brother – 3:45
2 – Things We Leave Behind – 3:27
3 – Jesus – 3:45
4 – Road To Heaven – 3:41
5 – Isolation – 4:14
6 – How Could I Answer You – 4:44
7 – Perfect Prayer – 3:20
8 – Suffer The Children – 3:00
9 – Eye To Eye – 3:56
10 – Melody Of Praise – 3:48

Linda Elias – The Meaning of Love – 1991

I first met Linda Elias at the Frontline Records offices some time in 1989 when Brian Tong (VP) and Mike MacLane (Marketing and A&R) asked me to come over and hear a new artist they had just signed. His name was Rick Elias. I was working for the Benson Company (Frontline’s distributor) and had just moved back from a year in the Washington DC area. Over the years I had grown accustomed to going by the office regularly (when working for Maranatha Village) and listening to the newest music. This was different. This time they called me. There must have been something very special about this new signee, Rick Elias. Much will be discussed regarding Rick as time goes on! And there was! It was there I first met Linda. She was one of the kindest people I had met and I instantly enjoyed talking to her and discovered that she was part of the Confessions (Rick’s band) and had this great, melodic pop voice that was very much in tune with what was happening in music at the time. A little Belinda Carlisle and a little Susanna Hoffs with a sweetness to the voice. I was very excited to hear Linda’s solo project, “The Meaning of Love,” and it did not disappoint. Immediately the album kicks off with a Belinda Carlisle like title track. Like most of the album the song was written by Linda and Rick. Most of the album stays within this same lane, except a real standout with “Your’s and Mine,” a duet with her esteemed singer songwriter husband, Rick. This tune should have been a legitimate mainstream radio hit. The juxtaposition of Linda’s sweet, at times lilty voice and Rick’s strained and edgy style worked so well together. The blatant Gospel message, though, most likely would have doomed it. Special kudos to great sax solo by Li’l Stevie Crum. Solid throughout, it unfortunately was the only release for Linda.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – The Meaning Of Love – 3:38
2 – Don’t Ever Stop – 3:22
3 – Miracle – 3:25
4 – Make My Heart Like Yours – 4:12
5 – My Only One – 3:27
6 – Don’t Take Your Love Away – 4:20
7 – All I Can Do – 4:06
8 – Your’s And Mine – 3:30
9 – Where There’s Love – 3:49
10 – I Believe In You – 3:17

Acoustic Guitar – Rick Elias
Backing Vocals – Dave Jahnsen, Julie Robbins, Linda Elias, Rick Elias
Bass Guitar – Kelly Burns
Design – Lark
Drums – Doug Mathews
Electric Guitar – Glenn Pearce
Engineer – Dave Jahnsen
Executive-Producer – Caesar Kalinowski, Gavin Morkel
Keyboards – Linda Elias, Tim Elias
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Dave Jahnsen, Rick Elias
Photography By – Kevin Break
Piano – Michele Garcia
Producer – Rick Elias
Programmed By [Keyboards], Drum Programming – Tim Elias
Soprano Saxophone – Lil Stevie Crum (tracks: 8)
Vocals – Linda Elias

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Wonderland
Copyright (c) – Wonderland
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – McCrummy Music Studio
Mixed At – Mixing Lab A
Mastered At – Future Disc
Manufactured By – JVC

Tom Franzak – Walk That Talk – 1983

This was Tom’s first album. Myrrh / Word Records took a real chance on Tom as he was actually Catholic and not evangelical. I’m actually quite surprised they took this chance but it was a good idea as he was quite well received. He had been working in secular music with no success and his faith called him to do Christian music. This album is a little heavy on the worship tracks and strangely none of them singled. Several were certainly good enough for the CCM charts but I suspect there was some hesitance due to his denomination. There are a few good pop tracks and I really like “I Know What Love’s About”. CCM needed more songs like this. HIs next album is better and much better known so if you liked his second album, Shadowboxing, you should give this one a listen.

1 – Walk That Talk
2 – The Call
3 – Messiah
4 – (You’re Only As) Sick As Your Secrets
5 – Piece Of The Mountaintop
6 – HGT (Heavy Guilt Trip)
7 – Thank You For Loving Me
8 – I Know What Love’s About
9 – Live On In My Love
10 – Just Passing Through

Priority Paid – Sometimes We Scream – 1990

This was the second release from Priority Paid who were from Sydney Australia. I can’t really find much info on the band but I do know that their first album was very well received in Australia. This album appears to have been self released but was picked up by Round Music Group in the USA and was distributed in the US and Canada. That said the US and Canadian version included several tracks from their first release “Image” that I don’t believe was ever released in North America. This EP has that great late 80’s sound that came out of Australia. I really enjoyed this album and I’m sorry i missed it back in 1990.

1 – Back To The River – 3:29
2 – All Guns Blazing – 3:34
3 – Madame Trousseau – 3:11
4 – Counting The Gains – 5:03
5 – Footsteps In The Sand – 3:21
6 – Shine – 3:39

Bass, Vocals – O.M. Craig
Drums – R.E.S. Pye
Guitar – I.K.A. McDonald
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – P.D. Downey
Vocals, Keyboards, Harmonica – J.R. Burns

Sacrament – Testimony Of Apocalypse – 1989

This was the first studio album from Philadelphia thrash metal band Sacrament. Their demo came out earlier in the year so I am guessing that after hearing the demo R.E.X. Music couldn’t sign them fast enough. Sacrament was one of the earlier Christian thrash bands and developed a large following. Apparently the lyrics are very good but personally I can’t understand them so I don’t know. The album has been reissued several times over the years by Retroactive Records which must be a testament to it’s lasting popularity.

1 – Testimony Of Apocalypse – 4:06
2 – Slave To Sin – 3:32
3 – Hellfire Denied – 3:04
4 – Repentance – 3:10
5 – Valley Of Dry Bones – 3:12
6 – Mortal Agony – 3:12
7 – Conquer Death – 3:10
8 – Absence Of Fear – 4:01
9 – The Risen – 3:58
10 – Blood Bath – 4:07

Bass – Erik Ney
Drums – Paul Graham
Engineer – Paul Krueger
Guitar – Brian Toy, Mike Didonato
Mixed By – Doug Mann, Paul Krueger
Producer – Doug Mann
Producer [Assistant Pre-producer] – Joe Daub, Kurt Bachman
Vocals – Mike Torone
Written-By – Brian Toy, Erik Ney, Mike Didonato, Mike Torone, Paul Graham

The Wall Brothers – The Door – 1977

Greg and Kraig Wall are back with their second album. I haven’t heard the first one but have read that this one is huge improvement over their first album. Like many seventies act much of the history of the Wall brothers has been lost to time. They appear to have been quite popular at the time and even had a couple charting CCM singles but not off this album. Anyway what we have here is a mainly easy listening seventies style album. It’s quite well done and the brothers dabbled with a bit of Rock & Roll on the track “Since The Day I Was Born” which has a 70’s funk feel and I find myself wishing there were more tracks like this.

1 – Song Of Joy – 1:47
2 – Little Children – 3:01
3 – I Can Depend On You – 3:56
4 – Since The Day I Was Born – 3:49
5 – Can’t You See – 3:47
6 – Sons Of God – 6:30
7 – Isn’t It A Miracle – 2:48
8 – I Never Knew – 2:58
9 – You And I Are One – 3:01
10 – Now We’re Gone – 4:57

Acoustic Guitar – Greg Wall
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Joe Huffman
Art Direction – Dill Beaty
Backing Vocals – Greg Wall, Kraig Wall, Mitch Humphries, Roni Goss
Bass – Roni Goss
Drums – Buster PhillipsElectric
Electric Guitar – Randy Nelson
Engineer – James Goss, Stan Dacus
Guitar – Joe Huffman
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Photography By – Dill Beaty
Piano – Kraig Wall, Lari Goss
Producer – James W. Goss
Remix – Bob Clark
Rhythm Guitar – James Goss
Steel Guitar – Tommy Dodd

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Greentree Records
Copyright (c) – Greentree Records
Recorded At – Mark Five Studios
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Remixed At – Great Circle Sound

Bryn Haworth – Mountain Mover – 1985

This is the eighth studio album by Bryn Haworth. It follows up to where “Pass It On” left off with a very similar sound and feel. During the release of this album Bryn was actually touring with Cliff Richard and also supplied some tracks for a Gerry Rafferty album. He actually appeared on 5 of Rafferty’s albums. There’s really not that much info out there on this album so this is going to be pretty short. Personally this is probably my Favorite album by him and it’s a must listen to if you’ve liked any of his other work. While researching this album I discovered that Bryn never had a single on the CCM charts. Considering he was pretty popular I sure find this odd.

1 – Mountain Mover – 5:15
2 – Forever In Love – 5:13
3 – Reeling And Rocking – 6:01
4 – Slipping And Falling – 4:29
5 – Land Of The Living – 2:52
6 – Teach Me Your Way – 4:01
7 – Victory Song – 3:31
8 – Making The Most Of What You’ve Got – 3:57
9 – Saturday Morning – 4:16
10 – Nature Of The Man – 7:35

Bass – Dave Markee
Drums – Henry Spinetti
Engineer – Laurence Burrage
Horns – Mel Collins
Piano, Keyboards – Chris Stainton
Photography – Nigel Skelsey
Saxophone – Mel Collins
Synthesizer – Jeff Hammer
Vocals, Guitar, Producer – Bryn Haworth
Written-By – Bryn Haworth, M. Aikens

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Word Records Limited
Recorded At – Chapel Lane Studios

Breakfast With Amy – Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt – 1990/1995

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt is the first studio album by Breakfast with Amy and was first released in 1990. I’m a little confused at the release of this album. The band claims it was an Independent release but I see it was released on Narrowpath Records which was a small but established label. Also strangely it was reissued in 1995 on Gray Dot Records which was a new label that year. Furthermore the original version was distributed by Refuge and had a Refuge catalog number assigned to it. Oh and by the way the 1995 version had 3 bonus tracks which are demo’s from their previous sessions. We have included those tracks. Breakfast with Amy is/was an alternative/punk band out of La Habra California. It’s said that the band formed as “Friends Of Amy” as an emergency fill in for a cancelled act for a church in California. You certainly wouldn’t have heard anything like this is my Church which makes me wish I grew up in these California Churches. Apparently this album sold very well and this was the reason for a reissue but the fact that the reissue is on a different label leaves me to believe there was probably more to the story.

1 – Icky – 4:31
2 – Power – 4:09
3 – Cavewoman – 6:04
4 – This Train – 4:18
5 – Mr. Ed – 2:46
6 – Funeral – 3:44
7 – Everything – 4:02
8 – Ferris Wheel – 3:32
9 – Abandoned Houses – 3:37
10 – Social Studies – 4:10
Bonus Tracks
11 – Ferris Wheel (Demo Version) – 9:07
12 – Love Song (Demo Version) – 4:43
13 – Funeral (Demo Version) – 5:32

Drums – Paul Pelligrin
Electric Bass – Bob Wholer, Tennesee Beans
Engineer [Engineered By] – Dan Bush
Guitar – Christopher Colbert
Guitar, Vocals – Caryn Colbert
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Jack A. Smith
Producer [Produced By] – Amy
Recorded By – Chaz Ramirez
Vocals, Guitar – David Koval
Written-By [All Songs] – Breakfast With Amy

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Narrowpath Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Gray Dot Records
Copyright (c) – Gray Dot Records
Distributed By – GDR Distribution
Distributed By – Refuge Records
Recorded At – Casbah Studio
Recorded At – Half Moon Studio
Published By – Doll Light Music, Inc.
Pressed By – American Multimedia, Inc.

1990 Cover
1995 Cover
1995 Back

Idle Lovéll – Surge Et Illuminare – 1984

The first of several Michael Knott (Lifesavers, LSU, Aunt Betty’s) related projects to find its way onto this list, and like the previously discussed “Weber and the Buzztones,” the placement of this album suffers from EP bias. By that I mean if it was a full length release, rather than just six songs, it most likely would have found its way into the upper half of the countdown. Even with that the album is worthy of consideration. It is also quite possibly the rarest of Michael Knott releases. Though listed as a “Blonde Vinyl” release, the limited nature and no national distribution makes the EP a sought after vinyl. Idle Lovell was a segue between different incarnation of the Lifesavers and LSU. The band, despite a limited run, went through a few incarnations itself with multiple musicians making up the band, though along with Knott, members included Vince Pangrazio on bass and Bradford J. Salamon on drums. Longtime friend and collaborator Brian Doidge, who also performed with Knott in multiple incarnations of the Lifesavers, LSU and the Aunt Betty’s. For me, “One Sided Love Affair” is the most Lifesavers sounding song on the album, and would not have been out of place on Dream Life. This one of many attempts by Knott to reach the mainstream market. It also ended up being the first release on Knott’s Blond Vinyl record label. The ultimate irony was that it was also the only Blond Vinyl release to be released on vinyl. Apparently the band wrote and worked on several more songs, but soon disbanded and those songs would find their way onto other Michael Knott related Lifesavers projects. The first real stand out for me is the opening track, “Touch Me in the Wind.” A very “current” tune for the times that would and maybe should have been a hit on mainstream alternative radio stations like LA’s famous KROQ. All six songs are very, very strong tunes with a darker, more dance-like goth feel. Great for fans of The Cure, The Church, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Psychedelic Furs. Two songs would later show up on Lifesaver and LSU projects. In fact, the feel and sound would play a heavy role in the future LSU incarnation with its darker edge. LSU and Lifesaver guitarist Brian Doidge would be a key band member for the live shows. One song of note is “I Can’t Wait,” which would appear on the following Lifesavers “Kiss of Life” project. I have always found it a bit ironic that the Idle Lovell version is much more pop and upbeat sounding to my ear than the version that appears on the much more pop and upbeat “Kiss of Life” album. Idle Lovell serves as a record keeper for the times and the progression Knott was making as a songwriter and performer. Always ahead and on the edge, Knott consistently made memorable music that was much more palatable than his reputation as some sort of avante garde artist would suggest. Hard to find, but worth the effort.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Touch Me In The Wind – 5:02
2 – Shallow – 3:55
3 – I Can’t Wait – 3:55
4 – Only – 4:05
5 – One Sided Love Affair – 3:52
6 – Drone – 5:20

Artwork [Charcoal Drawings], Layout [Cover & Insert] – Bradford J. Salamon
Backing Vocals – Bridget Knott
Bass – Vince Pangrazio
Drums – Bradford J. Salamon
Keyboards – Jim Richards
Keyboards [Additional] – John Gloudeman
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By [Insert] – Colleen Knott
Producer, Engineer – Thom Roy
Vocals, Guitar – Michael Knott
Written-By – Michael Knott