Not to be in any confused with CCM stalwarts, Caedmon’s Call, this is Caedmon, a progressive, medieval folk, blues, Celtic, jazz quintet from Edinburgh University that unleashed a completely original and creative project embraced a both sides of the pond and both sides of the music realm, garnering great reviews in Christian and mainstream publications. The group started off as a trio of veterinary students that primarily performed traditional British folk tunes and Church hymns and spirituals. The group expanded, as did their repertoire. They played with Water Into Wine, After the Fire, Larry Norman among other Jesus Music artists of the 70’s in Britain. But like many contemporaries…they disappeared quickly. Though the desire for the music has prompted a few re-releases over the years. Whether it’s the Celtic like folky number, “Ten Maidens fair” that kicks off the album or the moody, folky jazz tune, “Man Maker” that follows, the production is top notch, the quality of musicianship, originality and harmonies are simply compelling. Male and female lead vocals trade off with each song and often within each song. But one of the more compelling aspects is the vocal arrangements. There is really a lot going on here. “Sea Song” starts off like an old British shanty, then moves into a progressive rock like instrumental section with a killer guitar solo. The beautifully returns to its roots. Other true stand out tracks include “Living in the Sunshine” and “Columbas’ Song.” This a truly a brilliant gem that most likely would appear much higher on this list of I didn’t come to it so much later in life. I assume if I had owned this throughout its life cycle it would appear much higher on this list. I expect complaints from many claiming it deserves a higher ranking and an equal amount revealing they have never heard of it. The latter would do well to track it down as a phenomenal re-release with vastly improved sonics took place in the past year or so.
Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Ten Maidens Fair – 4:17 2 – Maker Man – 3:25 3 – Death Of A Fox – 4:18 4 – Sea Song – 5:35 5 – Aslan – 4:15 6 – Living In The Sunshine – 3:27 7 – Storm – 6:06 8 – Columba’s Song – 2:21 9 – Smile On Your Face – 4:35 10 – Caedmon’s Hymn – 4:15 11 – Give Me Jesus – 6:45 12 – Beyond The Second Mile – 4:15
Credits Acoustic Guitar – Jim Bisset Acoustic Guitar, Spoons [Spoon And Teacup] – Ken Patterson Vocals – Angela Naylor Vocals, Bass Guitar – Sam Wilson Vocals, Electric Guitar – Jim Bisset Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Other [etc] – Simon Jaquet Vocals, Piano, Cello – Ken Patterson
This is the album that started it all for Kathy and for Reunion Records. But lets start a few years earlier. Kathy grew up Catholic but became born again in 1978. She had been working in the music industry struggling to get noticed. Kathy got her break in 1980 when she opened for Glad at her own church. Ed Nalle from Glad took note of her voice and approached her about cutting a demo with his band. Ed shopped that demo to Michael Blanton and Dan Harrell who reportedly were thinking of starting a new record label. This album became the first album on that label, Reunion Records. The release was a smashing success and the album is reportedly the best-selling debut album by a CCM female artist. That said the album only had one charting single with “Stubborn Love” peaking at #2. In my opinion “You’re All I Need To Get By”, a cover of a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrellduet hit, was the best track on the album. But this was 1982 and no way were the CCM chart people going to allow a secular cover to chart. The whole album is great for this genre of CCM music and is easily as good as anything Amy Grant was doing at the time. You probably heard this one in the 80’s so today’s a great day to listen to it again for the memories.
Tracklist 1 – You’re All I Need To Get By – 4:02 2 – Hand In Hand – 3:40 3 – All I Must Do – 3:47 4 – It’s The Small Things – 3:20 5 – Lord I Need You Now – 4:03 6 – There’s Still Time – 3:42 7 – Once In A Lifetime Love – 4:44 8 – Stubborn Love – 4:29 9 – It’s Your Love – 4:22 10 – Love Of My Life – 3:57
Credits Arranged By [Strings] – Alan Moore Bass – Craig Nelson, Mike Brignardello Design [Album] – Dennis Hill Drums – Keith Edwards Engineer – Gene Eichelberger Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Mike Blanton Guitar – Dann Huff, Jon Goin Harp – Cindy Reynolds Keyboards – Gerrit Wilson, Michael W. Smith, Shane Keister Liner Notes – Brown Bannister Mastered By [Runout Etch] – Hank Williams Overdubbed By – Bob Clark Percussion – Mark Morris Photography By [Back] – Mark Pleasant, Wade Jaynes Photography By [Front] – Mike Borum Producer – Brown Bannister Saxophone – Dennis Solee Synthesizer – Shane Keister Vocals – Denny Henson, Diana Dewitt, Donna McElroy, Greg Guidry, Kim Flemming, Sandy Guidry
This was the 2nd album from Paradise and they dialed the funk back a bit for this one. That said don’t worry there’s enough funk here for everyone. Originally recorded for Ebony Records in the U.K. (Paradise is a U.K. band) it was picked up ion North America by Onyx International Records. Apparently it sold well but it’s relatively difficult to find these days and I just say a NOS version for sale for $350 U.S. YIKES!!! I mean it’s a good album but it’s not $350 good. If you really need a copy I’m happy to let you know that it was reissued in the U.K. on CD in 2013. Anyway we don’t post many funk albums but sometimes one slips through the cracks when I particularly like it.
Tracklist 1 – World’s Midnight – 4:58 2 – Here And Now – 3:16 3 – Never Will Turn Back – 3:42 4 – Your Love – 3:34 5 – Something Wonderful – 4:05 6 – Stop And Think – 5:15 7 – Life Assurance – 3:25 8 – Success – 3:11 9 – I’m Going Away – 4:03 10 – Quiet Times – 4:07
This is the third album from Sacred Warrior and perhaps their strangest. Not strange in musical style as it’s pretty well your standard late 80’s metal album but instead it’s the structure and message of the album that’s different. The songs follow a story of child abuse from the eyes of the abused. The tracks are structured to tell a story of abuse until both the abused and the abuser come to God in the end. I’ll give them and their label, Intense Records, credit. This is a touchy issue today never mind in 1990 so it was a pretty gutsy idea. That said the album should be listened to in the proper order of the tracks. The band obviously worked on this whole concept very hard but I feel they may not have worked as hard on the music. There isn’t really a standout track and they all kind of meld together. Then again that might be a good thing as it causes you to concentrate a little harder on the message.
Tracklist 1 – No Happy Endings – 5:09 2 – Little Secrets – 6:18 3 – Standing Free – 5:00 4 – Are You Ready – 3:05 5 – Minister By Night – 3:35 6 – Miss Linda – 4:51 7 – In The Night – 5:58 8 – Warriors – 3:13 9 – Wicked Generation – 4:44 10 – War Torn Hero – 4:57
Credits Art Direction – Ed McTaggart Bass – Steve Watkins Drums – Tony Velazquez Engineer [ADD] – Steve Weeder Engineer, Mixed By – Harry Witz Guitar – Bruce Swift Keyboards – Rick Macias Layout – Joe Potter Photography By – Basement Art Inc. Producer – Jim Homan Vocals – Ray Parra Vocals [Additional] – Alysha Villareal, Bruce Swift, Jim Homan, Kristi Pollock, Rey Parra, Steve Watkins, Steve Weeder Written-By – Bruce Swift, Rey Parra, Rick Macias, Steve Watkins, Tony Velasquez
This was the fourth and final album from Wendy and Mary who were Mary Rice Hopkins and Wendy Hofheimer. Well actually at the time of this album Wendy was going by Wendy Talbot as she was married to their producer and well known CCM artist Terry Talbot. That said sometime in 1985 Wendy divorced Terry and actually married Don Francisco. You just know there’s a great gossip story there. Anyway I’m just speculating but as they broke up as a duo right around this time I can’t help but to think it was a factor. That said they did get back together in 1995 to record together again. As for Mary she went on to write several children’s songs and books. Both apparently attempted solo careers but neither were very successful with the only album produced by Wendy in 2001. I will admit I had never heard of these ladies in the 80’s but I am now fascinated by the whole drama of their undoing. I bet it’s a great story.
Tracklist 1 – Battle Of The Heart – 3:31 2 – Around The Walls – 3:19 3 – No Other Name – 2:36 4 – I Am My Beloved’s – 2:58 5 – In Your Footsteps – 2:58 6 – Lullaby For Grown-Ups – 2:40 7 – If I Could Love You Better – 3:36 8 – You Are My Righteousness – 2:52 9 – Sword And Shield – 3:43 10 – He Who Dwells – 3:43 11 – Sing Alleluia – 2:15
Credits Arranged By, Synthesizer, Programmed By [Synthesizers] – Denny Bouchard Bass – Abraham Laboriel Design [Album Jacket] – Stan Evenson Design Inc. Drums – Billy Maxwell Mastered By – Herb Melton, Steve Hall Photography By – Edward Alfano Producer, Arranged By [Additional], Engineer [Additional] – Terry Talbot Programmed By [Fairlight] – Rhett Lawrence Recorded By, Remix – Ron Capone Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Arranged By [Additional] – Mary Hopkins (2), Wendy Talbot
This album marked Rich’s start to a more country sound. It opens with a beautiful A cappella where he is joined by Ashley Cleveland and Pam Tillis and is the highlight of the album to me. That said the CCM charts disagreed with me. The album had 3 top 10 CCM singles, “While The Nations Rage”, “Alrightokuhhuhamen”, and “My One Thing” with “While The Nations Rage” made it to number 1. It also had 2 other single that lingered around the middle of the charts, “First Family” and “Somewhere”. 5 singles on one album is pretty darn good but that said I’m neither here nor there on the album. It’s not bad, it’s not great. To me it just feels like it’s there. This is probably no fault of the album but instead just my personal taste. This album is where Christian music was headed at the time and if anything Rich was actually ahead of the trend.
Tracklist 1 – I Will Sing – 1:28 2 – Hope To Carry On – 2:35 3 – While The Nations Rage – 4:55 4 – First Family – 3:09 5 – Alrightokuhhuhamen – 4:15 6 – Higher Education And The Book Of Love – 4:53 7 – Bound To Come Some Trouble – 3:40 8 – The Love Of God – 2:52 9 – My One Thing – 3:49 10 – Somewhere – 4:36 11 – The Love Of God (Reprise) – 0:47
Credits Rich Mullins – lead vocals, acoustic piano, hammered dulcimer Reed Arvin – keyboards, Synclavier, string arrangements Jerry McPherson – guitars, mandolin Mark O’Connor – mandolin, fiddle Tom Hemby – guitar solo Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass Danny O’Lannerghty – bass Paul Leim – drums Bill Sinclair – harmonica Ed Calle – saxophone Kris Wilkinson – string contractor Ashley Cleveland – featured vocals Pam Tillis – featured vocals Richard Gibson – backing vocals Donny Monk – backing vocals Guy Penrod – backing vocals Jon Sherberg – backing vocals Gary Smith – backing vocals Chris Rodriguez – backing vocals Bonnie Keen – backing vocals Marabeth Jordan – backing vocals Marty McCall – backing vocals Margaret Becker – backing vocals
As I tried to read up on Larry online I was a bit surprised how little I could find about his Christian years. His bio’s are focused on his time with Grinderswitch but he had a very successful CCM career also. Oh well anyway this is Larry’s second solo album and it’s even better than his first album that was great in itself. Larry turns up the big band sound for this blues oriented album. The band he put together for the album are mostly little known artists with the exception of keyboard player Kenny Smith who had a relatively successful solo career. Anyway if you love the blues you will love this album as it’s one of the best CCM blues albums ever.
Tracklist 1 – Nobody But You – 2:45 2 – Carry Your Brother – 3:54 3 – It’s Only You – 4:43 4 – Shout! – 3:19 5 – Connecting Roads – 3:18 6 – Prisoner Of The Lord – 3:08 7 – Fire – 4:15 8 – (Tell It) Goodbye – 3:55 9 – Don’t Turn Away – 3:25 10 – A Road Leading Home – 5:44
Credits Arranged By [Background Vocal Arrangements] – Donnie Harper Arranged By [Horn Arrangements] – Larry Brubaker Backing Vocals – Carlet Williams, Elnora Williams, Karen Williams Bass Guitar – Slim Powell Design [Album Graphics] – Michael Pierce Drums – Clarence V. Roddie Engineer [Assistant] – Daniel Rudin Mastered By – Benny Quinn Percussion – Emedin Riveria Photography By – Ashlin Brelin Piano, Organ, Synthesizer – Kenny Smith Producer – Gary F. Montgomery Producer, Vocals, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Larry Howard Recorded By, Mixed By, Producer – Tad Bush Tenor Saxophone – Sonny Brown Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Bill Harris Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Rob Debellis
I once coined a phrase called “WayneWatsonitis.” I used it in retail to describe artists that everyone loved their songs, but no one knew there name. It happened when I took my sister to see Wayne Watson at Melodyland in Southern California (across the street from Disneyland). She mentioned before the concert that she was unfamiliar with Watson, but midway through the concert leaned over and said, “I know every one of these songs!” Watson is a prolific artists with mountains if hits, popular church songs and some actual classics and yet is often forgotten when discussing the best of late 70’s and 80’s music. Many may remember his truly classic, “Touch of the Master’s Hand” or even the popular wedding song, “Somewhere in the World” that appears here, but his legacy is much broader and more impactful. This album brought Watson into the mainstream of CCM, moving from a smaller label to Dayspring Records and receiving distribution from mega company Word. But the album is filled with radio favorites and many songs that lasted for decades. “Narrow Way” starts of the album with a safe, CCM pop radio hit. But it was “Lookin’ Out for Number One” that KYMS jumped on and made it into a monster hit. Upbeat and approachable it became the song that brought Watson into the forefront in Southern California. It also allowed the follow up single to become the classic it is now regarded as. “Somewhere in the World” could have easily been just another song about parenting until listeners discovered it was a song about praying for the future spouse of their own child. The emotional chord it struck would only be duplicated a few years later by a song like “Butterfly Kisses.” It became a wedding classic and sold truck loads of accompaniment tracks. Even typing to this as I listen I am struck by the emotional tug that hopefully someone out there is praying for my own young daughter to be the Godly woman fit for their Godly son. The sentiment is emotional, but authentic, and I believe why it struck such a powerful chord with listeners. The album bounces between mid-tempo pop rock and stirring, inspirational ballads. But Watson’s vocals are so pure and naturally emotive that even the most formulaic CCM numbers never come across as trite. It’s fair to say that Watson possessed a voice that ranks among the best in CCM. Most of the album fits quite nicely within the framework of the CCM world at the time and served as a wonderful set up for his classic album that would follow (to be discussed much later).
Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – The Narrow Way – 4:05 2 – Lookin’ Out For Number One – 3:08 3 – Heart Of Hearts – 3:57 4 – Peace That Passes Understanding – 4:02 5 – Somewhere In The World – 3:29 6 – Giants In The Land – 4:18 7 – Born In Zion – 4:23 8 – Look Me In The Heart – 3:16 9 – Changed In A Moment – 3:07 10 – Holiness – 3:52
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Greg Jennings Arranged By – Phil Naish Arranged By [Strings] – Alan Moore Arranged By, Keyboards [Electronic] – Shane Keister Art Direction – Buddy Jackson, Jackson Design Bass Guitar – Mike Brignardello Drums, Electronic Drums, Programmed By [Percussion] – Dennis Holt Engineer [Assistant] – Alan Henry, Bill Whittington, Chris Hammond, Danny Mundhenk, J.T. Cantwell, Keith Penney Executive-Producer – Neal Joseph Keyboards [Electronic & Moog Bass Lines] – Phil Naish Mastered By – Doug Sax Percussion – Terry McMillan Photography By – Mark Tucker Producer, Arranged By – Wayne Watson Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Scott Hendricks Saxophone [Solo] – Sam Levine Strings – The Nashville String Machine
This is Connie’s second solo album and it picks up where the last one left off. While very popular in Canada (she is Canadian) she was only moderately popular in the U.S. That said this album did have 2 CCM charting singles with Lord Of Glory making it to #9 and Jesus In Your Heart to #32. Some interesting trivia is that Connie’s father Gerry was at the time the President of Canadian label Image VII and is listed as the current owner and president of Word Records Canada. I’m assuming that Connie met her husband during this album as he was the producer but that’s only speculation. Anyway this is a pretty good Pop album and while it was the worship oriented tracks that singled there are some solid Pop tunes on the album.
Tracklist 1 – Spirit Mover – 3:21 2 – He’s The Rock – 3:30 3 – Lord Of Glory – 3:31 4 – The Video – 3:10 5 – Jesus In Your Heart – 3:16 6 – D.O.A. – 4:22 7 – For So Long – 4:17 8 – Come On Leah – 4:09 9 – Is There An Orphan In Your Heart – 6:45
Credits Executive Producers – Gerry Scott & Grant Saip Producer – Greg Nelson Engineer – Ed Seay Engineer Assistance – Tom Harding Keyboards & Synthesizers – Shane Keister Electric Guitar – Jon Goin Bass – Mike Brignardello Drums – Mark Hammond Percussion – Farrell Morris Acoustic Guitar on “Jesus In Your Heart” – Mark Baldwin Saxophone on “For So Long” – Jim Horn Strings – Carl Gorodetzky & The Nashville String Machine String Arrangements – Alan Moore Strings Conducted – Greg Nelson Synclavier Programming – Steve Shaffer Manuscript Preparation – Dan Cleary & Eberhard Ramm Background vocals – Marty McCall, Melodie Runney, Bonnie Keen & Connie Scott
Companies, etc. Digitally Recorded & Mixed at Treasure Isle Recorders, Nashville, TN Additional Recording at Castle Recording Studio Inc., Franklin, TN Digitally Mastered at Future Disc, Hollywood, CA by Steve Hall & Herb Melton
Sometimes these Sparrow samplers bewildered me and this one is one of them. How you can have Rez Band, Steve Taylor, and John Michael Talbot on the same sampler? I well remember us buying these samplers for 1 or 2 tracks and I bet a lot of people bought this one with the same intent. Anyway below I have listed all the tracks and their associated albums;
1 – Steve Camp – Help Is On The Way – Shake Me To Wake Me 2 – Connie Scott – Spirit Mover – Spirit Mover 3 – Silverwind – I’m Gonna Follow You – I’m Gonna Follow You 4 – Rick Cua – You’ve Only Got One Life – You’re My Road 5 – Steve Taylor – I Just Wanna Know – On The Fritz 6 – Michael Card – Come To The Table – Known By The Scars 7 – Terry Talbot – Mighty Rushing Wind – Face To Face 8 – AD – The Only Way To Have A Friend – Art Of The State 9 – Debby Boone – Teach Me How To Love – Choose Life 10 – Phil Driscoll – Jesus I Love You – Power Of Praise 11 – Wendy & Mary – Around The Walls – Battle Of The Heart 12 – Sheila Walsh – Light Across The World – Don’t Hide Your Heart 13 – Rez Band – Souls For Hire – Hostage 14 – Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – Look Who Loves You Now 15 – Steve Green – Praise To The King – He Holds The Keys 16 – John Michael Talbot – Lord Every Nation On Earth Shall Adore You
Tracklist 1 – Steve Camp – Help Is On The Way – 4:03 2 – Connie Scott – Spirit Mover – 3:20 3 – Silverwind – I’m Gonna Follow You – 2:59 4 – Rick Cua – You’ve Only Got One Life – 3:37 5 – Steve Taylor – I Just Wanna Know – 4:37 6 – Michael Card – Come To The Table – 3:48 7 – Terry Talbot – Mighty Rushing Wind – 4:11 8 – AD – The Only Way To Have A Friend – 4:15 9 – Debby Boone – Teach Me How To Love – 4:15 10 – Phil Driscoll – Jesus I Love You – 4:36 11 – Wendy & Mary – Around The Walls – 3:17 12 – Sheila Walsh – Light Across The World – 3:23 13 – Rez Band – Souls For Hire – 3:30 14 – Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – 3:18 15 – Steve Green – Praise To The King – 2:31 16 – John Michael Talbot – Lord Every Nation On Earth Shall Adore You (Psalm 72) – 4:14