Various – Sparrow Spotlight Volume 2 – 1984

This was one of the more boring Sparrow samplers. But in all honesty I was not the target market for this one. It was obviously more pointed at the worship crowd. Below I’ve listed the tracks and the album they came from;

1 – Steve Green – Lift Up A Song – Steve Green
2 – Debby Boone – Can You Reach My Friend – Surrender
3 – Wendell Burton – Spreading All Over The World – Closer
4 – Sheila Walsh – Surrendering – Triumph In The Air
5 – Terry Talbot – I Am He – Terry Talbot Sings Stories Of Jesus
6 – Phil Driscoll – I Exalt Thee – I Exalt Thee
7 – John Michael Talbot – Glory To Thee (O God Of Life) – The God Of Life
8 – Michele Pillar – Reign On Me – Reign On Me
9 – Dennis Agajanian – If You Say – Where Are The Heroes
10 – Steve Camp – Living In Laodicea – Fire And Ice

1 – Steve Green – Lift Up A Song – 2:29
2 – Debby Boone – Can You Reach My Friend – 4:07
3 – Wendell Burton – Spreading All Over The World – 3:06
4 – Sheila Walsh – Surrendering – 4:30
5 – Terry Talbot – I Am He – 5:01
6 – Phil Driscoll – I Exalt Thee – 4:05
7 – John Michael Talbot – Glory To Thee (O God Of Life) – 7:23
8 – Michele Pillar – Reign On Me – 3:05
9 – Dennis Agajanian – If You Say – 3:18
10 – Steve Camp – Living In Laodicea – 2:38

Scarlet – Scarlet – 2010

Though released in 2010 these tracks were originally recorded from 83 to 87 and they should not be confused with Scarlet Red. While the band never released an album “Stop Runnin’”, was actually a top four finalist on MTV’s Basement Tapes. Though they split in 1988 they had been able to record several demo tracks and FnA Records stepped up in 2010 to release them. The album has a bit of a commercial metal feel and has a couple great hook tracks including “Right Reason” and “We’re Gonna Rock”. The album closes out with a track from singer Darla Bernath and while it doesn’t really fit on the album it is very good.

1 – Right Reason – 2:43
2 – Lisa – 3:25
3 – Stop Runnin’ – 3:05
4 – We’re Gonna Rock – 3:24
5 – Armor – 3:58
6 – I Declare War – 3:02
7 – Treasure – 2:51
8 – Beginning – 3:57
9 – Friends – 4:53

Jeff McDonald – Vocals & Guitars
Michael Flake – Guitars
Ronnie Lewis – Bass & Keyboards
Jimmy Moore – Drums
Darla Bernath – Lead Vocals & Piano
Kip Thompson, Mark Busto & Jimmy Eggert – Drums

Terry Talbot – Face To Face – 1985

I find it so difficult to review Terry’s albums. To me they all sound very similar as I just don’t love his style of music. That said I have great respect for Terry as an artist. He put out an album almost every year through the 80’s which is a lot of work considering he writes almost all of his songs. HIs guitar work is also very good so I really hate saying “Here’s another Terry album ……” He really deserves more of my respect but I just struggle with his style but that’s a personal problem. There are a few upbeat tracks on this album that I thought were pretty good but his vocals just don’t suit them in my opinion. Anyway Here’s another Terry album for his fans and I know he has lots of them.

1 – Face To Face – 3:40
2 – Mighty Rushing Wind – 4:14
3 – So As You’ve Done – 4:18
4 – I Have Overcome – 4:17
5 – The Christ – 4:22
6 – Lay Down The Stones – 3:56
7 – Father’s House – 4:06
8 – Narrow Is The Gate – 4:20
9 – Greater Things – 4:49

Acoustic Guitar – Terry Talbot
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Design – Jim Shanman (tracks: Lyric Sheet), Stan Evenson (tracks: Album Jacket)
Design [Album Jacket Design By] – Stan Evenson Design, Inc.*
Drums – Bill Maxwell
Dulcimer – Carol Koening
Engineer – Mike Ross-Trevor, Ron Capone, Win Kutz
Executive-Producer – John Michael Talbot
Mastered By – Herb Melton, Steve Hall
Orchestrated By – Denney Bouchard
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Photography By – Raul Vega
Producer – Terry Talbot
Songwriter – Terry Talbot
Synthesizer – Denney Bouchard
Twelve-String Guitar – John Michael Talbot (tracks: A1, B2), Terry Talbot
Vocals – Howard Smith, Karla Thibodeau, Steve Amerson, Tata Vega, Terry Talbot, Wendy Talbot

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Westwind Studio
Recorded At – CBS Studios, London
Remixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – Future Disc
Manufactured By – Word Records Limited
Copyright © – Birdwing Music
Published By – The Sparrow Corporation
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation

Michael Sweet – Michael Sweet – 1994

This was the first solo album from Michael after leaving Stryper in 1992. He actually had a demo in 1992 and a few tracks from it made it onto this album. I was really surprised when I first listened to this album. I was expecting something much heavier but this is a rock/pop album and a damn good one. I have criticized Stryper in the past as I think they rode the “we’re heavy metal” horse a little too much. But after listening to this album I think I might have been wrong. This album shows some real talent by Michael and quite frankly the songwriting is excellent. The album was produced by Gregg Fulkerson (Blue Tears) and he also wrote 4 of the tracks. He also provided some guitar and keyboard work. All in all this is a really good album and while I shied away from it at first I’m really happy I took the time to listen to it. There’s a few tracks here that are going into my regular rotation.

1 – Together – 4:10
2 – Take Me Home – 4:40
3 – Tomorrow, Tonight – 4:37
4 – All This And Heaven Too – 4:07
5 – Someday – 4:52
6 – J.E.S.U.S. – 4:27
7 – All I Wanna Do (Is Love You) – 4:06
8 – Forever Yours – 4:24
9 – I Think You Hear Me Knockin’ – 3:56
10 – Ain’t No Safe Way – 3:14

Art Direction – Connie Harrington
Artwork By [Hair] – Debbie Frayer
Artwork By [Make-up] – Kyle Sweet
Backing Vocals, Organ [Additional], Keyboards, Programmed By – Doug Beiden
Bass Guitar – Michael Spears
Co-producer – Doug Beiden
Design – The Riordon Design Group Inc.
Drums, Percussion – Jamie Wollam
Engineer, Mixed By – Doug Beiden
Executive-Producer – Troy J. VanLiere
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Programmed By – Michael Sweet
Management – Rendy Lovelady Artist Management
Mastered By – Chris Bellman
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer – Gregg Fulkerson, Michael Sweet
Rhythm Guitar, Organ, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Programmed By [Additional Programming] – Gregg Fulkerson
Written-By – Gregg Fulkerson, Michael Sweet

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Copyright © – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Distributed By – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Distributed By – R.G. Mitchell Family Books, Inc.
Published By – LifeSong Music Press
Published By – Sweet Milena Music
Published By – Fulkersongs
Published By – Irving Music, Inc.
Published By – Could Be Music
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mixed At – Pakaderm Studios
Recorded At – Sound Revolution
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering

Eric Champion – Eric Champion – 1990

This is Eric’s first album and he came into CCM with a bang. Well not really a bang but more of a keyboard entrance. This was my first exposure to him and I really like this album. That said me liking this album is not really a good thing. I love this album because of it’s mid 80’s sound but the problem is that the album came out in 1990. Personally i feel it was a few years late but in CCM that’s not really a big deal. This album has a real mid 80’s pop feel with overtures of Prince. Some reviewers say there’s a feel of Michael Jackson which I can see musically but not vocally. In fact Eric owns his vocals and as such I’m going to stop comparing him to other artists.

1 – Forever Love – 4:38
2 – Brother, Brother – 5:20
3 – Peaceful – 6:16
4 – We Are The Young – 6:05
5 – River’s Edge – 5:32
6 – Everyday People – 7:29
7 – Heaven On Earth – 5:04
8 – Friends In High Places – 4:29
9 – Ready And Willing – 3:44
10 – Above It All – 4:21

Art Direction [Associate Art Director] – Roz
Art Direction, Design, Artwork [Logo] – F2 Design
Engineer – Paul Salveson, Ronnie Brookshire
Engineer [Overdub Engineer] – Jon Carey
Executive-Producer, Mixed By, Keyboards – Chris Christian
Guitar – Jerry McPherson
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Paul Salveson, Ronnie Brookshire
Photography By – Russ Harrington
Producer, Mixed By, Keyboards, Programmed By [Programming], Backing Vocals – Eric Champion
Production Manager [Production Coordinaton] – Michelle Hodges
Saxophone – Mark Douthit
Snare [Snare Fills] – John Hammond
Voice [Lord’s Prayer On] – Michelle Hodges
Voice [People Yelling And Screaming At Each Other On] – Michelle Hodges, Ronnie Brookshire, Tim Craft

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Home Sweet Home Records
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Pressed By – Disctronics S
Made By – Player Print & Design
Printed By – Player Print & Design
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Mixed At – Gold Mine Studio, Dallas, TX
Mastered At – Future Disc

Split Level – glo.bal – 1997

Originating from the fruitful music motherland of Ireland in the mid-1980’s, Split Level with a pop riven alternative band that fit right into the mold of British music of the day. For fans of The Baby’s, The Tubes, The Imitators et al, the band garnered a decent following in Europe, though struggled to really breakthrough in the states. After moving to England the band found itself releasing an independent project that sounded more like demos before releasing the highly coveted, “Sons of Liberty” on the British imprint of What? Records. The band would exist for nearly two decades, but only release albums occasionally. The album spotlighted here is their final studio project, “glo.bal.” Released through Pamplin Music (where artists went to die), the album was only a blip on the rock/alternative scene even in the US. Limited marketing and a sound that didn’t fit the accepted sound of Christian music at the time (acoustic folk or hardcore), this was the least “European” sounding album of their career. It is also ranks among their best. “Everything” kicks off the record with what should have been the biggest rock radio hit. Easily palatable to fans of The Elms, Smalltown Poets and Seven Day Jesus, the song has a monster hook chorus and radio friendly vibe. Occasionally the melody got lost in questionable production, where the distortion of the guitar overplays its hand and distracts from the melody. Such is the case with “Twister,” which could have been a mainstream radio single in the early 90’s. The best chance for mainstream Christian radio airplay is the mid-tempo ballad, “Emily.” Touches of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Blind Melon, Dinosaur Jr. and other similar bands with a hooky chorus driven be bass and acoustic guitar. The order of songs is really interesting. Starting with more melodic pop rock, the album becomes much more experimental and introspective as it closes. And much mellower. The second half of the album could easily been released under the moniker, Smalltown Poets. Great acoustic rock with smart melodies. In a way, the band seemed to hit its stride in finding an identity that could have proven successful in the states, but it would unfortunately serve as the last studio project as only a live album would be released a few years later.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Everything – 3:58
2 – Twister – 3:58
3 – Emily – 3:54
4 – Healed – 4:40
5 – The Things I Do – 3:54
6 – Shrinking Brain – 3:38
7 – Circles – 5:45
8 – If I Should Leave – 4:46
9 – Fly – 2:53
10 – Pinlight – 4:25
11 – Got Your Number – 3:09

$B Dash 3 – Musician
David Bach – Art Direction
Rob Craner – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Dan Donovan – Art Direction
Rick Elias – Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Producer, Vocals (Background)
Chris Grainger – Mixing Assistant
Russ Long – Engineer, Mixing, Percussion, Theremin
Phil Madeira – Musician
Trevor Michael – Studio Assistant
Ben Pearson – Photography
Gary Randall – Executive Producer
Mark Roth – Cover Design, Photography
Split Level – Primary Artist
Hank Williams – Mastering

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Pila Music
Manufactured By – Pila Music
Record Company – Organic Records
Distributed By – Pamplin Music

Phillip Sandifer – Never Steal The Show – 1981

Phillip Sandifer wrote and recorded this album while a student at University Of Texas at Austin. It was recorded on a very tight budget and Phil retained the rights to the album. Retaining the rights to his music is something Phil was well known for and was due in part to his relationship with his godfather, Dallas lawyer Shannon Jones who helped bring the Buddy Holly bill. This effort to retain rights doesn’t appear to have hurt his career as he was very successful. This album was self released but some sort of deal was cut with Urgent records for it to be released on their label. This is a great easy listening album and was very popular for very good reason.

1 – Detour – 3:06
2 – Always Have The Time – 2:56
3 – You Are The Cause – 2:54
4 – Lessons – 3:54
5 – Given Back To You – 1:28
6 – Open Up – 2:59
7 – Another Day – 2:38
8 – Simply I Love You – 3:47
9 – Never Steal The Show – 2:49
10 – Purity – 4:18

Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Backing Vocals, Conductor, Producer – Gary Powell
Art Direction – Steve Freeman
Backing Vocals – Chris Crawford, Mike Sandifer, Tom Cantrell
Bass – Spencer Starnes
Cello – Mary Ann Dresser
Drums – John Treanor
Guitar – Mark Lang
Guitar, Backing Vocals, Engineer, Producer – Larry Seyer
Guitar, Backing Vocals, Written-By, Composed By – Phillip Sandifer
Keyboards – Bill Ginn, Neil Pederson, Tony Taliaferro
Mastered By – Stan Ricker
Percussion – James Fenner
Photography By – Sandy Wilson
Viola – Doug Tabony, Ed Lawrence, Shirley Blair
Violin – Dorothy Goodenough
Woodwind – John Mills

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – PSP Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – PSP Records
Produced For – GP Studio Productions
Published By – Jesmax Music
Recorded At – Austin Recording Studio
Mixed At – Austin Recording Studio
Mastered At – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

Compassion All​-​Star Band – Live​ @ ​Cornerstone ’87 – 1987

You may be familiar with the Compassion All Star Band album 1 By 1 Live! released in 1989 but somewhere on the interwebs is this 1987 recording using the same name. To be clear the “Compassion All​-​Star Band” wasn’t a set group. It was the name used when several artists would come together to raise funds for Compassion International. I have no idea where this was released but it was recorded in 1987 at Cornerstone. This album mostly consisted of secular tracks which is what made it very appealing to me. My favourite track is Rick Cua & Randy Stonehill’s version of I Still Believe which features some excellent guitar work by Phil Keaggy. Also cool is the Phil Madeira & Randy Stonehill cover of Dylan’s “Forever Young”.

1 – October (Glen Kaiser) – 1:14
2 – Eminence Front (Phil Madeira) – 7:14
3 – We Can Work It Out (Phil Keaggy/Randy Stonehill) – 2:51
4 – Presence Of The Lord (Glen Kaiser) – 4:46
5 – Rick Cua Rap – 2:14
6 – I Still Believe (Rick Cua/Randy Stonehill) – 6:07
7 – Randy Stonehill Rap – 10:25
8 – Who Will Save The Children (Randy Stonehill/Phil Keaggy) – 6:45
9 – Help (Randy Stonehill/Phil Keaggy) – 2:20
10 – Phil Madeira Rap – 2:19
11 – Forever Young (Phil Madeira/Randy Stonehill) – 6:03
12 – Darrell Mansfield Intro – 1:31
13 – Walkin’ Chicago Blues (Darrell Mansfield) – 9:43

Phil Keaggy- Guitar, Vocals
Randy Stonehill- Guitar, Vocals
Glen Kaiser- Guitar, Vocals
Joe English- Drums, Vocals
Rick Cua- Bass, Vocals
Phil Madeira- Keys, Vocals
Darrell Mansfield- harmonica, Vocals

Crystavox – The Bottom Line – 1992

This is the second and last album from Crystavox as they broke up shortly after it was released. I was quite surprised while I was researching this album that most reviews were either very positive or very negative. Personally I think it’s a pretty good album. It has a nice commercial metal feel and sits nicely amongst the metal albums of the day and I would rank it above average for the time. Luckily for their fans the band reunited and signed with Roxx Productions, who released a compilation album and DVD, “The 20 Year Mix”. In 2018 this album was reissued on a limited vinyl run of 500 pieces. 350 in black vinyl and 150 in translucent red.

1 – The Big Picture – 3:33
2 – Break Down The Wall – 4:41
3 – Rise Up – 4:59
4 – Snakes In The Grass – 3:44
5 – Stick To Your Guns – 3:34
6 – Paradise – 4:45
7 – Cry Out – 2:57
8 – Shame – 4:40
9 – Rockin’ A Hard Place – 5:46
10 – No Boundaries – 3:57

Bass Guitar – Brent Ford
Design, Layout – Fred Helm
Drums, Percussion – Fred Helm
Engineer – Loren Holmquist, Michael Geiser
Lead Guitar – George Ochoa
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Tony Lopez
Mastered By – Doug Doyle
Mixed By – Adam Lee Kemp, John Sarappo, Loren Holmquist
Music By – Crystavox
Photography By – Andrew Watrous
Producer – Adam Lee Kemp, Loren Holmquist
Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Keyboards – Loren Holmquist
Vocals [Additional Vocals] – Jamie Rowe
Vocals, Keyboards, Lyrics By – Adam Lee Kemp

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Ocean Entertainment, Inc.
Copyright © – Ocean Entertainment, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Ocean Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – Digital Bros.

Steve Green – He Holds The Keys – 1985

This is Steve’s second solo album and it follows along with his previous album. Quite frankly it’s hard to believe he was a member of White Heart at one point. I say this because Steve turned to a very Easy Listening style. Now let’s be fair, he’s very good at this style and he was very popular in that genre. This is the album that made him very well know and he actually received the Dove Award for Male Vocalist of the Year in the CCM category. So if you like your CCM music in the worship style this album is for you.

1 – Praise To The King – 2:30
2 – Celebrate His Good Life – 3:18
3 – He Holds The Keys – 5:25
4 – The Lord Is Lifted Up – 3:11
5 – That’s Where The Joy Comes From – 3:12
6 – I Can See (On The Emmaus Road) – 5:30
7 – Honor The Lord – 2:26
8 – When His Kingdom Comes – 5:42
9 – Touch Your People Once Again – 3:58

Bass – Craig E. Nelson
Conductor [Strings] – Alan Moore, Greg Nelson
Drums – James Stroud, Mark Hammond
Engineer – Ed Seay
Engineer [Assistant] – Tom Harding
Guitar – Jon Goin, Pete Bordonali
Keyboards [Synthesizers] – David Innis, Shane Keister
Mastered By – Herb Melton, Steve Hall
Orchestrated By – Alan Moore
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Piano – Bill George, David Huntsinger
Producer – Greg Nelson
Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, The Nashville String Machine