Terry Scott Taylor – A Briefing For The Ascent – 1987

If you like footsteps you’ll love this album. I ride Terry pretty hard for his conceptual album ideas because a lot of the time it just comes off as silly to me but in this case it really worked on this album. I feel he thought through his idea and didn’t silly it up and because of it this is probably my favourite solo album from Terry. One of the odder tracks on the album is “Long, Long, Long” which is actually a cover of a Beatles song. I didn’t like the original so I kind of struggle with this track but I will say for the record that I believe Terry’s version is much better than the original. That said the song fits where it is on this album. At one time artists and producers really thought about the order of tracks on their albums and this album is an example of a perfectly structured album.

Tracklist
1 – A Briefing For The Ascent – 4:34
2 – Somewhere To Elsewhere – 2:02
3 – Beyond The Wall Of Sleep – 3:13
4 – The Wood Between The Worlds – 3:49
5 – Changeless – 4:02
6 – My Love, My Love – 4:18
7 – Wars Of The Heart – 0:45
8 – Capture Me – 4:08
9 – Where Dreams Come True – 2:59
10 – Long, Long, Long – 3:38
11 – Prelude – 1:26
12 – Going Home – 2:08

Credits
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Crystal Lewis, Jerry Chamberlain, Montebello First Baptist Church Choir, Rob Watson, Terry Taylor, Tom Howard
Bass – Tim Chandler
Concept By [Conceived By], Directed By – Terry Taylor
Design Concept [Album Cover Concept] – Ed McTaggart, Terry Taylor
Drum Programming – Ed McTaggart, Ed McTaggart, Terry Taylor
Drums – Ed McTaggart, Steve Hindalong
Engineer – Dave Hackbarth
Graphics [Photographics] – Ken Baley
Guitar – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Mastered By [Digitally Remastered] – Doug Doyle
Mastered By [Originally Mastered] – John Matousek
Mixed By – Doug Doyle, Terry Taylor
Mixed By [With] – Greg Flesch
Orchestrated By [Orchestrations Constructed By], Arranged By [Orchestrations Arranged By] – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Percussion – Alex MacDougall, Greg Flesch
Photography By – Bob Rowe
Producer [Produced By] – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Synth [Treatments] – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Vocals – Terry Taylor

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Record Company – Frontline Music Group
Distributed By – FMG Distribution
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mastered At – Hitsville
Remastered At – Digital Brothers
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia
Published By – Broken Songs

The Overflow Band – Hazardous Driving Ahead – 1984

I really don’t know anything about this band nor can I find any info on them. The album is on Morada Records who were pretty well known for signing some real oddball acts that no-one heard of before. This appears to be one of those cases. Side 1 of the album is a great Rock & Roll album with a great opening track. It has a bit of a 70’s Rock sound but is easily listenable in the 80’s. I did read that side 2 are demo tracks and this is believable as the production quality goes down as you listen through the album. Anyway here it is anyway, a pretty darn good Rock & Roll album and I would have loved to hear more.

Tracklist
1 – Ready For Action
2 – Right Road
3 – Walkin’ In Desolation
4 – Rock Bottom
5 – Hold On
6 – Makes No Sense To Me
7 – Jesus Is The Answer
8 – Angela
9 – Hey Why Don’t You Believe

Credits
Artwork – Rod Fick
Drums – Robbie Robinson
Guitar & Bass – Thai Page
Guitar & Bass, Songwriter – Mario Colagrossi
Lead Vocals – Chris Timburg
Production Director – Teresa Dodson-Baskin

The Crimson Bridge – The Crimson Bridge – 1972

When the concept of important groundbreakers in Jesus Music and CCM is discussed, the names most often considered are Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy and maybe even Bill Gaither and Ralph Carmichael. But one name that should be mentioned in the same breath is the legendary Thurlow Spurr. Spurr served as Music Director for Youth for Christ International, and in that capacity created several travelling “youth music pioneers.” Most notably the Spurrlows, the group that bore his name. But also birthed from his outreach work was a group called Re’Generation. And born out of members of both groups came the psychedelic, folk, pop, jazz, Latin, funk band Crimson Bridge. Horns, guitars, driving bass and pounding drums and cymbals, the church in 1972 was not ready for Crimson Bridge. Not only was the music way ahead of the average church music, the lyrics were also at times a little edgy for the day, incorporating terms like “baby,” “blow your mind,” and “havin’ a good time.” There are also plenty of grunts, screams and “all rights” thrown into the mix, especially in the lead off track, “Better Times.”. Think touches of Blood, Sweat and Tears and incorporating a Mamas and the Papas harmony. The latter comparison is most notable on the ballad, “Easy Ways.” The next few songs maintain a mellower, folk like sound. But then the funk returns with “Birthright,” a funky, soulful tune with plenty of bass and trumpet driving the track. But it’s side two that eventually would garner Crimson Bridge their greatest accolades. Three lengthy psychedelic, progressive “suites” or movements, that walk through the conversion experience using both lyrics and musical composition to provide the mood and passion. Not only are the three movements vastly different, there are multiple changes within each movement that make it sound more like a rock opera the pop album. Lasting about 20 minutes combined, this truly set the group apart, especially so early in the Jesus Music experiment. Myrrh must have been a bit uneasy releasing such a progressive and creative album. Fortunately for us, they did.

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

Tracklist
1 – Better Times – 3:15
2 – Easy Ways – 2:34
3 – Comin’ – 4:07
4 – He’s Alive – 4:10
5 – Birthright – 3:45
6 – First Suite – 1st Movement (Searching In Reality) – 6:16
7 – First Suite – 2nd Movement (Experience) – 5:26
8 – First Suite – 3rd Movement (The Beginning Of Joy) – 8:26

Credits
Norm Bakker – Trumpet
Dave Dyer – Bass
Russ Gregory – Songwriter, Guitar, Vocals
Carol Healy – Flute, Vocals
Billy Ray Hearn – Producer
Roger Heuser – Trombone
Gary Rand – Songwriter
Trish Rattan – Vocals
Carolyn Shafer – Keyboards, Vocals
Gary Shafer – Drums
Terry Winch – Songwriter, Trumpet

Companies, etc.
Printed By – West Brothers Printers Limited
Published By – Word (Uk) Ltd.

Kim Boyce – Time And Again – 1988

The Queen of CCM Pop is back with her second album. Now I know a few of you are shouting that Amy Grant was the Queen but let’s face it, Amy didn’t do Pop. You can’t even classify her as AOR, she was easy listening that’s it. Kim on the other hand embraced the Female Pop sound of the 80’s and this album is proof. I will say that the album opens with a rather odd track. It’s a Pop cover of Rare earth’s “I Just Want To Celebrate” and well, it’s different. Of all the 70’s songs I would have “Popped” up I doubt I would have chosen this one. I still haven’t decided if I like it or not. I didn’t like the original song so maybe that’s causing my confusion. Strangely this track also made it to #2 on the CCM charts. Given the rather internal politics of the CCM charts I find this odd. Speaking of the charts this album also had two more top 10 hits, “You Can Be Mine” and “You’re Always There”. It had two more singles that didn’t break the top 10, “Not For Me” made it to #15 and “Lovin’ You” made it to #37. So in total the album had 5 charting singles which is pretty darn good. The added bonus is that you can listen to the album without falling asleep, pretty rare for a CCM album with this many charting singles.

Tracklist
1 – I Just Want To Celebrate – 3:35
2 – Not For Me – 4:05
3 – You Can Be Mine – 4:43
4 – Say It – 3:34
5 – Lovin’ You – 4:24
6 – Save Me – 4:42
7 – Lonely Man – 4:23
8 – Stop Fighting – 5:08
9 – You’re Always There – 4:00

Credits
Susie Allenson – Songwriter
Kim Boyce – Vocals, Backing Vocals, Songwriter
Spencer Campbell – Bass
George Cocchini – Guitar, Songwriter, Arranger
Trent Dean – Songwriter, Arranger, Drum Programming
Dino Fekaris – Songwriter
James Hollihan – Songwriter, Arranger, Keyboards, Drum Programming, Guitar
Chris Rodriguez – Backing Vocals
John Andrew Schreiner – Keyboards, Bass, Arranger
Jimmie Lee Sloas – Backing Vocals, Songwriter, Electric Piano, Bass, Duet Vocals, Drum Programming
Brian Tankersley – Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Bass, Drum Programming, Backing Vocals, Songwriter, Guitar
Kirk Whalum – Sax
Nick Zesses – Songwriter
David Zycheck – Guitar

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – GBT Productions
Recorded At – Cat Head Studio
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Mixed At – Mastermix
Mixed At – Rivendell Recorders
Published By – Jobete Music Co., Inc.
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Marquis III
Published By – Dayspring Music
Published By – Promiseland Music
Published By – James Hollihan Music
Published By – Cheerful Earful Music
Made By – Discovery Systems – 2C60900B

Glenn Kaiser – You Made The Difference In Me – 1998

Though this was Glenn’s 4th solo album it is one of the most important. At this point Resurrection Band was done creating new music so Glenn was free to dedicate more time on his solo work. This album almost has a 70’s big band feel and is very heavy on horns. You would swear you’re hearing the Tower Of Power but we don’t really know who the horn section was as they went uncredited. Come on Glenn, let’s support your supporting artists by making sure they’re on the credits list. Anyway, I quite liked this album. It’s certainly not the hard rock sound we’re perhaps expecting from Glenn but instead it’s fun late 70’s feel pop album.

Tracklist
1 – More And More – 3:22
2 – Diggin’ My Own Grave – 5:16
3 – Evidence – 3:26
4 – Faith, Hope, And Love – 4:41
5 – Troubled World – 4:29
6 – Self-Control – 3:59
7 – Wind Me Up – 3:46
8 – Marry Me – 4:49
9 – Nothin’ But Love – 3:47
10 – I Would Choose You – 3:49
11 – You Make Me Happy – 4:56
12 – It’s A Beautiful Thing – 4:16

Credits
Art Direction, Layout, Design – Noah Benjamin Krogh
Bass – Steve Huff
Drums – Oscar Seaton
Electric Guitar – Stu Heiss
Engineer – Roger Heiss
Guitar – Keith Henderson
Organ – Richard Gibbs
Photography – Terry Wheeler
Piano, Clavinet – Chris Cameron
Producer – Tom Cameron
Producer, Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica – Glenn Kaiser
Written-By – Glenn Kaiser

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Grrr Records
Copyright © – Grrr Records
Distributed By – Diamante Music Group
Recorded At – Tone Zone Recording

Xalt – History – 1991

The 3rd album from Xalt really turns up the production value. I was actually surprised at the quality of production on this album. When I checked to see who produced it I discovered that he (Tony Miceli) is an unknown in the industry. This in fact was his first production job and he only had a few more after this. He is best known as a vibraphone artist though he did help on keyboards on this album. This album has a very commercial metal sound that I’m sure took some of their fans by surprise. My fav track is “Unconditional Love” which is a rock ballad in the feel of the mid 80’s. It has a real Bon Jovi feel but I do think the vocals are a little weak. That said I believe the talent was there, it just needed a few more takes and a little more effort. All in all a pretty good album here but a little late as it has a mid 80’s feel to me.

Tracklist
1 – Standing – 4:01
2 – Heart Of Stone – 4:31
3 – Babel Again – 3:44
4 – Walk Away – 3:06
5 – Unconditional Love – 5:01
6 – History – 2:57
7 – Build My World – 4:28
8 – The Tree – 4:29
9 – Reflection – 4:16
10 – Lord, Lord – 1:25

Credits
Art Direction – Toni Thigpen
Backing Vocals – John Heald, Scott Doerfler, Tony Miceli
Bass – Randy Carlson
Co-producer, Engineer – Paul Orofino
Design – Dale Wehlacz
Drums – Steve Luongo
Executive-Producer – Dez Dickerson
Guitar – James Erdman
Keyboards – Tony Miceli
Lead Vocals – Scott Doerfler
Mastered By – Roger Seibel
Photography By – Russ Harrington
Producer – Tony Miceli

Companies, etc.
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia
Recorded At – Millbrook Sound Studios
Mixed At – Millbrook Sound Studios
Mastered At – SAE Mastering

Phillip Sandifer – On My Way – 1984

This is Phillip’s second album and it was on the same label as his first. At this point in history Phillip was the only person on Urgent Records with his two albums being the only 2 on the label. That said Urgent had a distribution deal with Sparrow and it must have been a good relationship because this album did very well. It had 2 charting singles with “On My Way” made it to #18 and “More Than A Moment” snuck onto the charts at #35. The standout track that didn’t single is “Listen To The Children” which features The Texas Boys Choir. While the track isn’t my cup of tea it is a very good song and deserved to be on the charts too. To sum up this is an easy listening album and is one that should be listened to if you’re looking for something new for Sunday worship tracks.

Tracklist
1 – More Than A Moment – 3:23
2 – Let Her Dance – 3:37
3 – Who Will Be There – 3:43
4 – Don’t Shoot The Wounded – 3:06
5 – Listen To The Children – 4:10
6 – On My Way – 2:55
7 – This Side Of Heaven – 2:46
8 – Should It Ever Rain Again – 2:52
9 – I Am Everyman – 2:54
10 – Brian – 3:32

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Mitch Watkins, Phillip Sandifer
Concertmaster – Edward Lawrence
Design [Cover] – Steve Freeman
Drums, Percussion – John Treanor
Electric Bass – Spencer Starnes
Electric Piano [Rhodes], Synthesizer [Overdubs] – Brian Green
Engineer, Mixed By – Larry Seyer
Management – Ronald Lee Deutschendorf
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Photography By – Tomas Pantin
Piano, Synthesizer [Overdubs] – Bill Ginn
Producer, Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – Gary Powell
Written-By – P. Sandifer

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Urgent Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Urgent Records
Distributed By – Sparrow Distribution
Published By – Jesmax Music
Published By – Meadowgreen Music Co.
Published By – River Oaks Music Co.
Produced For – Powell Studio Productions, Austin Texas
Recorded At – Austin Recording Studio
Mixed At – Austin Recording Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc

77’s – Sticks And Stones – 1990

How great of a band is The 77’s? Well, how many bands could release a collection of rejects, B-sides, cast-offs, demos and throw-aways and still have it be one of the best album released for that year and one of the best albums of all time? Pretty much only The 77’s. After the dissolving of Exit Records and the greatest shame in the history of CCM rock music (the Island 77’s not becoming the biggest album at the time), Mike Roe and mates moved to Broken Records, headed by Ojo Taylor of Undercover, released a bunch of demos and rejects and made one of the most enjoyable and listenable albums in their storied career. It is actually one of the most commercially pleasing and accessible albums Roe has been involved with. Great alternative pop with killer hooks and a ton of memorable songs. In fact, the lead track (MT) made its way onto popular teen television show, Beverly Hills, 90210. But that was not the only hit song from the album. Christian rock radio jumped all over Nowhere Else and the reworked “This Is the Way Love Is.” But it is the more self-indulgent songs that became long standing concert favorites and true 77’s classics. Perfect Blues had been a long standing live favorite that finally saw the light of day on this album and shows Roe’s mastery of guitar in all styles. “Don’t, This Way” is one of the most haunting and beautiful songs of Roe’s career and is also one of the best live songs the band performs. Here, it’s Roe’s subtlety as a musician that shines. Just stunning and mesmerizing. God Sends Quails is anything but subtle and shows Roe’s appreciation for the 60’s and 70’s psychedelic blues, jam bands and would even appeal to fans of Glass Harp and Blind Faith.

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

Tracklist
1 – MT – 3:57
2 – Nowhere Else – 4:13
3 – This Is The Way Love Is – 5:11
4 – Perfect Blues – 6:10
5 – Don’t. This Way – 7:31
6 – You Walked In The Room – 4:23
7 – The Days To Come – 4:25
8 – The Loop – 3:54
9 – God Sends Quails – 6:34
10 – Love Without Dreams – 4:52
11 – Do It For Love – 3:14
12 – The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes & The Pride Of Life – 3:23
13 – Pearls Before Swine – 8:18
14 – Bottom Line – 5:48

Credits
Bass – Jan Eric
Drums [Still More Pounding & Thrashing] – Aaron Smith
Guitar – Mark Toole, Michael Roe
Keyboards – Mark Toole
Mastered By – David Houston
Mixed By – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Producer – Michael Roe, Steve Griffith
Recorded By – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Voice – Jan Eric, Michael Roe

Companies, etc.
Mastered At – Moon Studios, Sacramento
Distributed By – Word Australia
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – TT’s Ltd
Copyright © – TT’s Ltd
Recorded At – The Late Great Exit Studio
Mixed At – The Late Great Exit Studio
Recorded At – The Music Annex
Mixed At – The Music Annex

Common Bond – Anger Into Passion – 1987

One of the many amazing bands to come out of the Orange County Christian Music scene and the spearheading label, Frontline Records, Common Bond was unfortunately much overlooked. They released two nationally recognized releases and the much sought after “White Album,” and independent project I still own. In fact, the white album will rank much higher as it remains quite possible the finest independent releases of that time period. A trio that consisted of three amazing musicians; Kenny Samuels (bass, vocals), Steve Durham (guitars) and Chuck Cummings (drums). Cummings was later replaced by the amazing Terl Bryant. And an unheralded part of this project is producer Doug Doyle. His studio cranked out many great Frontline albums and the industry is indebted to his vision and greatness in the studio. The first project “Heaven is Calling” hinted at what was to follow in “Anger Into Passion,” an amazing record that would unfortunately be the last. The style is difficult to pin down with Samuel’s higher pitched voice that is reminiscent of Ian Cussick, Geddy Lee (without all the annoying whining) and former Love Song drummer John Mehler. Musically it falls into the world of later Police and the more progressive and smart alternative music of the late 80’s. The title track kicks off the album with a sound reminiscent of something from Vector’s “Mannequin Virtue.” Great groove and atmospheric like vocals that draw you into a more passionate chorus. My favorite cut is the following track, “In My Youth.” Another track comparable to the Vector sound is “Smile and a Tear.” The song builds and builds and ultimately driven by the drumming of Chuck Cummings. In fact, the drumming is so strong throughout. Lyrically very smart and creative. Musically astute. There is a rare combination. One special note of interest, the album contains a very cool cover Daniel Amos’ “Wall of Doubt.”

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

Tracklist
1 – Anger Into Passion – 4:12
2 – In My Youth – 3:28
3 – The Great Divide – 3:18
4 – Smile And A Tear – 3:26
5 – See The World – 4:25
6 – Tarry – 3:41
7 – Free From Me – 3:33
8 – Face To Face – 3:42
9 – Walls Of Doubt – 2:24
10 – The Promise – 4:06

Credits
Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Bobbi White, Maxayne Moriguchi, Walter S. Harrah
Backing Vocals, Written-By – Terry Taylor
Bass, Lead Vocals – Ken Samuels
Design Concept [Cover Concept], Music By – Common Bond
Drums, Percussion – Chuck Cummings
Graphics [Photographics] – Ken Baley
Guitar – Steve Durham
Illustration [Cover Stamp Illustration] – John Fraze
Lyrics By – Ken Samuels
Mastered By – John Matousek
Photography By – Linda Dillon Baley
Producer, Engineer, Keyboards [Supplemental Keyboards] – Doug Doyle

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Published By – Broken Songs
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mixed At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mastered At – Hitsville
Licensed To – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Distributed By – Nye Toner / Teovision, kingsway Publications Ltd.,Finngospel,Sephora Diffusion,La Sorgente Music,GMI Records,Jata,Master Music,Master-Vision-S.A.,Viva Music,Kir Music,Kingsway Music,Premier Music

Anthem The Rock Band – Cuttin’ Thru’ – 1982

Actually recorded by “Anthem the ROCK Band,” but most commonly referred to as simply Anthem, “Cuttin’ Thru” was quite a groundbreaking release for its time, as many of the Tunesmith releases were. A female led rock band at a time when only Servant and Resurrection Band (partially) were female led bands. For the history behind the band, please check out the interview with guitarist Michael Manthei on the Legacy podcast. The album breaks ground immediately by kicking the album off with an instrumental rock track, “Spiritual Warfare.” This was actually a bit controversial for the time given that most albums in Christian bookstores were purchased by parents and were “previewed” at listening centers. At a time when rock music was still taboo in many circles and the popularity of anti-rock critics and “backwards masking” investigators, leading off with screaming guitars and no “Jesus message” was virtually unheard of, especially for a debut project. But the song does kick off the album quite nicely. But when the title track kicks we get to hear the powerful and soulful voice of female lead vocalist, Mary Pinkley. Big, strong and aggressive, Pinkley’s voice reminds me of a edgier Pauline Wilson (Seawind) more than a Janice Joplin or Grace Slick. It doesn’t have the growl of the aforementioned, but rather rests on the power it possesses. The vocal description fits best in the following track, “Word.” More soulful and bluesly, this song easily would fit on an early Petra album or Servant’s “Shallow Water.” Here the guitar takes center stage with a great blues riff throughout. “Cheap Thrill” shifts to a more Southern Rock flair with a warning message regarding playing with sin. It may be the one song on the album that Pinkley shows a more raspy, gutsy vocal style. Possibly “Doctor” would fall into this descriptor, with a more bluesy direction. One of the things that really separates this album from many of its contemporaries is that it doesn’t bounce between rockers and ballads and give some sort of 50/50 representation. The first 9 songs are straight ahead rockers, with even the slower songs being full throated blues rockers. The only ballad is the worshipful closer, “Morning Star.” Original vinyl copies can be difficult top find as the label was beginning its financial struggles and would close up shop before this band could release a sophomore album. Production ended up being relatively limited, so it is seen as somewhat of a rarity.

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

Tracklist
1 – Spiritual Warfare – 3:19
2 – Cuttin’ Thru – 2:09
3 – Word – 3:13
4 – Cheap Thrill – 2:32
5 – Free You – 3:47
6 – Winners – 3:51
7 – On Your Knees – 3:19
8 – Doctor – 3:11
9 – Don’t Be Deceived – 4:01
10 – Morning Star – 2:56

Credits
Drum – Gene M. Grammatico
Electric Bass – Kent Vander Weide
Engineer – Alan Schuman, Tom Russell
Guitar – Doug Cordell, Michael Manthei
Lead Vocals – Mary Pinkley
Producer – Eddie Everitt