Urgent Cry – Demo 041187 – 1987

Urgent Cry were a band out of Vandalia, Ohio. They released 2 demos but were never signed by a label. This is their first demo and it’s pretty good. It has a nice pop rock sound and is musically sound. Unfortunately the vocals are a bit weak. I think the vocal skills were there but Steven just needed a little guidance. This is a good example of the difference a good producer could have made. While the engineering was actually very good I think they needed a producer to pull it all together. One thing I really like that this band did was to release their demo cassette with all 4 tracks on each side. This means the cassette would last twice as long. Given the quality of these bulk cassettes I really liked it when bands did this.

1 – Cry In The Wilderness – 3:57
2 – Unexpected – 3:48
3 – Christ Is The Answer – 3:51
4 – No Pantomime – 4:06

Darryl Gibson – Drums, acoustic guitar
Kevin Landon – Bass, keyboards
Bill Kuhn – Lead Guitar
Steven Mikel – Lead vocals, flute

Jon Gibson – On The Run – 1986

Recently David Lowman said the following, “If there was any real justice in the world of 80’s CCM, artists Jon Gibson and Tim Miner would have sold out arenas.” Upon reading that I broke out a Tim Miner album and he was right on that one so next I broke out a Jon Gibson album and he is dead on in this one also. In fact I liked this album even more than the Tim Miner album. This is Jon’s second album but his first was on a secular label so this was his first CCM offering. The album was quite popular and had a #1 single, “God Loves a Broken Heart”. In a foreshadowing of what would make him even more popular he did a quasi rap track “Ain’t It Pretty”. Not my favourite track on the album but I’m not a fan of that style. My personal pick for best track is actually “It’s True”. This is a great pop R&B album and as David said deserved to be much better known.

1 – Metal Machine – 4:20
2 – Ain’t It Pretty – 4:24
3 – On The Run – 4:02
4 – God Loves A Broken Heart – 4:24
5 – It’s True – 3:07
6 – Standing On The One – 4:04
7 – Are You Gonna Stay – 4:00
8 – I Love Her Anyway – 3:52
9 – Nation In Need – 3:48
10 – Dreams – 3:52

Art Direction – Terry Dresbach
Backing Vocals – Chrystal Blake, Felton Pilate, Jon Gibson, Phillip Ingram, The Waters
Bass Guitar – Gary Jackson, Nathan Watts
Creative Director – Ed McTaggart
Drums – John Robinson, Jonathan Moffett, Tony Lewis
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Clifford Coulter, Tony LuFrano
Executive-Producer – Sam Conti
Guitar – Ben Bridges, Felton Pilate, Greg Doty, Joe Satriani, Mickey Free, Sneaky Pete, Snuffy Walden
Keyboards, Drum Programming, Programmed By – Bill Wolfer, Felton Pilate, Tom Coster
Lead Vocals – Jon Gibson
Mastered By – Bill Cutler, George Horn
Percussion – Cubby Ingram, Wayne-O-Millstein
Photography By – Fredrica Drotos
Producer – Felton Pilate, Jon Gibson, Tom Coster
Saxophone – Larry Williams
Synthesizer [Synth Bass] – Felton Pilate, Joey Gallo
Written-By – Jon Gibson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Distributed By – The Master’s Collection
Distributed By – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Pressed By – Nimbus, Virginia

Tim Miner – I Know You Think You Know – 1988

Recently David Lowman said the following, “If there was any real justice in the world of 80’s CCM, artists Jon Gibson and Tim Miner would have sold out arenas.” Upon reading that I broke out this album, Tim’s second, and gave it a listen to see if I agreed and David is absolutely correct. This is a fantastic 80’s pop album. 1988 might have been a little too late for it but really Christian music was always a little behind the secular trends and this was actually a good thing in my opinion. While Tim had been writing music for others, about the time of this album is when his writing skills really took off and his songs appear on many hit albums. He also started producing at this point in his career and his skills in that capacity are excellent. If you only have time for one track I suggest “Too Casual”, it’s easily the best track on the album.

1 – Hey You! – 3:55
2 – I Know You Think You Know – 4:14
3 – Did I Forget To Say – 4:08
4 – Too Casual – 3:43
5 – Cover Me – 4:08
6 – Smarter Than Crack – 4:24
7 – Degeneration – 3:07
8 – You Know I Love This Feelin – 3:55
9 – Masquerade – 3:09
10 – Now (I Lay Me Down To Sleep) – 3:00

Arranged By [Horn Arrangement] – Don Wallace, Tim Miner
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Angie Winans, BeBe Winans, Cindy Cruse, Cliff Jones, Debbie Winans, Debra Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Gavin Potter, Janice Archer Cruse, Janie Cruse Stone, Joe Cruse, III, John Cruse, Karen Cruse Adams, Mark Freeman, Nancy Cruse, Nicole “Bubbles” Bruce, Rob Johnson, Ronnie V., Todd Walters
Backing Vocals – David Pack
Backing Vocals – The Winans
Bass – Tommy Sims
Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By, Backing Vocals, Engineer, Mixed By, Producer – Tim Miner
Design – Peter Nomura, Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Drums – Ric Norris
Engineer – Kelly Hemphill, Ron Lagerloff
Engineer, Mixed By – Loyd Harris, Randy Adams
Guitar – James Dillingham, Michael Gallaher, Michael Landau, Phil Keaggy
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Michael Sembello
Guitar, Keyboards, Engineer – Brian Tankersley
Keyboards, Programmed By, Programmed By, Engineer – Rhett Lawrence
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By [Remixing] – Brian Tankersley, Don Wallace, Loyd Harris, Tim Miner
Percussion – Charles Barnett
Photography By – Bonnie Schiffman
Photography – Mark Tucker
Piano, Keyboards, Strings, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals], Engineer, Mixed By – Don Wallace
Producer – Brian Tankersley, Don Wallace, James Everette
Trombone – Keith Adkins
Trumpet – Jay Saunders, Keith Jourdan, Scott Marsrow

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – KnightLight Studios
Recorded At – “Rhett’s Place” Studio
Recorded At – Eat Yourself Into A Coma Studio
Recorded At – Motown Recording Studios
Recorded At – Selah Studios, Detroit, MI
Recorded At – Eagle Mountain Studios
Recorded At – Bossa Nova Hotel
Recorded At – Mighty White Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation

Bill Baumgart – The Kindling – 1988

I want to start out being clear about one thing. Bill is/was an excellent producer and in fact I believe he’s one of the best in the business. That said when it came to his own album my praise for him falls short. As you listen to this album know that the following artists all chipped in on the project, Dann Huff, Phil Keaggy, John Elefante, and David Huff. With that line up you would think that this should be an excellent album. Unfortunately it’s just an average album. Not a bad album, just a dull album. This is not the first time I’ve seen this from a producer. I can only theorize that their opinion of their own musical skills clouds the proper ability to produce a great album. That said the album does have a real high point with “Turn Your Heart Around” being an excellent duet with Crystal Lewis. Bill produced her albums so this seems like a natural pairing. So as I usually say in these situations, not a bad album, just not a great album.

1 – The Kindling – 4:14
2 – The Only Game In Town – 4:33
3 – Could It Be You Knew? – 4:58
4 – Turn Your Heart Around – 3:31
5 – No More Night – 4:22
6 – Heaven – 5:30
7 – Return The Favor – 3:48
8 – Lost Inside Of You – 4:32
9 – I Will Be There – 3:55
10 – Theme For A Child – 4:33
11 – Take It – 4:31
12 – Praise Medley – 5:02

Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Artwork [Litho Prep] – Gershwin Graphics
Backing Vocals – Allison Beech, Bill Baumgart, Bob Carlisle, John Elefante
Bass – James Jamerson, John Patitucci
Drums – David Huff, Pete Pfiefer
Engineer – Bill Baumgart, Dave Jahnsen, Eric Kibbe, Kirt Shearer, Tim Heintz
Guitar – Bob Somma, Dann Huff, Phil Keaggy
Illustration [Cover] – John Dickenson
Keyboards – Bill Baumgart, Tim Heintz
Photography By – Michael Seeley
Producer, Arranged By – Bill Baumgart
Saxophone – David Koz
Trumpet [Tpt] – Greg Prechel

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Published By – Broken Songs
Published By – House Of Mercy Music
Published By – Word Music
Recorded At – Asylomar
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia

Robin Crow – Seven Seventy-Seven – 1985

This is Robin’s 3rd album and his first on a larger label. Robin was well known for his heavy touring schedule and I’m pretty sure this album increased that schedule. This is a great 80’s pop album but I haven’t heard his previous 2 albums yet so I don’t know if this is the style he was previously doing. The only strange this about the album is that there are 3 instrumental tracks which is rather odd for a pop album. While a lesser known album this is one that deserves a listen.

1 – Titanic – 3:28
2 – God So Loved – 3:04
3 – Starting Over – 3:50
4 – Let The Truth Come Out – 4:32
5 – Lift Up Your Voices – 3:17
6 – Beatitudes – 2:55
7 – Seven Seventy-Seven – 3:15
8 – Quiet Times – 4:26
9 – Third World – 3:05

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Producer, Music By, Lyrics By – Robin Crow
Bass – Michael Rhodes
Design [Cover] – Jeff Spencer
Drums – David Lawbaugh
Electric Guitar, Co-producer – George Cocchini
Engineer – Dave Perkins, Doug Sarrett
Engineer, Mixed By – Chris McCollum
Executive-Producer – Ray Nenow
Mastered By – Benny Quinn
Mixed By – Brent King
Photography By – Clark Thomas
Synthesizer – Shane Keister

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Fortress Records
Copyright © – Fortress Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Published By – Snellsong
Published By – Banamax Publishing
Produced For – Sherwood Productions Inc.
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Recorded At – Sound Stage Studios
Recorded By – The Reelsound Remote Bus
Mastered At – Masterfonics

Semaja – Hear My Cry – 1980

This was Semaja’s first album. I does not appear to have been released in North America but instead looks like it was limited to Germany, their home country. I am really surprised that an American label didn’t grab this album. This may be one of the best 70’s sound albums I have heard and I’m not talking about 70’s Jesus music, I mean straight up 70’s rock. I can’t find out much about the band but I know their second album was released in America and was pretty well received. Anyway if you love seventies rock (not Jesus music) this just might be the album for you.

1 – Sometimes – 4:35
2 – Hear My Cry – 4:30
3 – Jeden Tag (Jesaja 55) – 6:45
4 – This Life – 4:12
5 – Jesaja 53 – 7:35
6 – The Wind – 7:35
7 – Big Noise – 5:52

Artwork – Dirk Pape
Bass, Vocals – Wilfried Herrmann
Design – Peter Klüger
Drums – Harald Nagel
Engineer – Achim Bosch
Guitar, Vocals – Ulrich Plinke
Keyboards – Claus Feldmann
Lead Vocals – Markus Egger
Lyrics By, Music By – Semaja
Percussion – Klaus Hermann
Producer – Manfred Wieczorke

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Wind Music
Manufactured By – Sonopress
Printed By – Sonopress
Recorded At – Spygel Studio
Remixed At – UTV Studio

Jessy Dixon – You Bring The Sun Out – 1979

One of the veterans of The soul Christian music scene is back with his second solo credited album. Let’s be clear however this is actually his 15th album. As I’ve commented before I was completely unaware of the whole soul gospel music scene in the 80’s. Since starting this project I have heard so many great soul albums that I suspect I would have liked in the 80’s and this would have been one of those albums. I would classify it as soul light actually and it has a far more mainstream sound. At times I would classify it as late 70’s pop. I truly believe that anyone who was a fan of the Imperials at this point in history would have also loved this album.

1 – Christ Has Made The Difference – 4:28
2 – He Never Let Me Down Before – 3:53
3 – I Can’t Thank Him Enough – 4:14
4 – Your Love – 4:04
5 – Love Lifted Me – 4:00
6 – You Bring The Sun Out – 4:05
7 – Nobody But You – 4:41
8 – He’s Precious To Me – 3:47
9 – More Than Anything – 4:48
10 – We Praise You – 5:03

Arranged By [Vocal] – Andraé Crouch, Bili Thedford
Artwork, Design – Thel Arthur
Engineer [@ P. S.] – Danny Leake, Paul Sorrono
Engineer [@ Pumpkin] – Gary Lorizzo*
Engineer [@ Western] – Gordon Shryock
Executive-Producer – Bill Cole
Mixed By – Bill Maxwell, Bob Cotton
Vocals, Producer, Mixed By, Arranged By [Vocal] – Jessy Dixon

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Lexicon Music, Inc. – 1979
Recorded At – P.S. Recording Studios
Recorded At – Pumpkin Studios
Recorded At – Western Recorders
Mixed At – Paramount Recording Studios
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering

Gabriel – Rescued – 1981

Gabriel is Robin Lyle and Jeff Walter. I actually can’t find much info on them which I find odd as they actually had 4 albums. This particular album was self released which I also find odd as it is easily good enough to have been picked up by a label. Tim Sheppard produced the album and did a really good job. The album cover isn’t exactly indicative of the album but I will give them a break as it was self released. It had a nice late 70’s pop feel and I quite enjoyed it though it does lean to easy listening on several tracks. Anyway, if you missed this one in 1981, and I’m guessing you did, give it a listen, it’s actually a pretty good album.

1 – You Rescued Me – 3:45
2 – Alive For A Purpose – 3:40
3 – A Heart That’s True – 3:50
4 – All Like Sheep – 5:00
5 – Now I Can Fly – 3:20
6 – I Found A Friend – 3:40
7 – Alone Tonight – 5:00
8 – Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful – 3:55
9 – How Much Longer – 4:15

Rohn Bailey – Background Vocals
Bud Guin – Guitar
Robin Lyle – Songwriter, Vocals
Ruby Lyle – Songwriter
Jerry McPherson – Guitar
Bob Peeples – Engineer
Jake Pittman – Associate Producer, Engineer, Bass, Background Vocals
Smitty Price – Piano, Synthesizer
Tim Sheppard – Producer, Engineer, Piano, Organ, Background Vocals
Brad Smith – Drums, Percussion
Bill Tillman – Soprano Sax, Flute
Jeff Walter – Songwriter, Vocals
Hank Williams – Mastered

Crystal Lewis – Beyond The Charade – 1987

This is Crystal’s first solo album. She had previously appeared on albums with the Lifters/Wild Blue Yonder. She was offered this album deal at only 17 years old. It’s a pretty good album though I think it’s a little heavy on the keyboards on a few tracks. That synth pop sound doesn’t really work with her voice in my opinion. The track “Breakdown” best suits her vocals in my opinion. That said her vocals are so good she overcomes some questionable music to make a pretty darn good album. Crystal was one of CCM’s greatest vocalists but never got the recognition she deserved from the industry.

1 – Frustrated – 3:34
2 – Precious Lord – 3:37
3 – Without You – 4:21
4 – Runnin’ – 4:34
5 – Turn Your Heart Around – 3:33
6 – Breakdown – 3:53
7 – One More Heart – 3:46
8 – Special Love – 3:57
9 – Let Them Know – 4:15
10 – Tonight – 4:06

Backing Vocals – Brian Tong, Dave Jahnsen, Michael Campion, Mike Mac Lane, Paul Daldwell
Drums – Pete Pfiefer
Engineer [Mixing] – Dave Jahnsen
Guitar – Bob Somm, Terence Elliot
Keyboards – Tim Heintz
Producer, Vocals, Backing Vocals, Engineer – Bill Baumgart
Saxophone – Eric Marienthal
Vocals – Billy Hufsey
Vocals, Backing Vocals – Crystal Lewis

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company

Daniel Amos – Kalhoun – 1991

Kalhoun is the ninth album from Daniel Amos but it was actually released under their moniker dä. The band had taken a break for 4 years while working on other projects. The album was perceived as being rather anti government in the aftermath of the Gulf War but it’s not in your face, it’s rather subtle. Strangely the track “If You Want To” was later rerecorded by the Lost Dogs for their 2004 album MUTT. The album is true to their earlier rock sound and we don’t hear much new wave sounds on the album. I think that makes this album probably the best of their 90’s work.

1 – Big, Warm, Sweet, Interior Glowing – 3:36
2 – If You Want To – 3:58
3 – Kalhoun – 3:20
4 – I Will Return – 4:18
5 – Tracking The Amorous Man – 3:08
6 – Virgin Falls – 4:14
7 – Gloryhound – 4:40
8 – Prayer Wheel – 3:39
9 – Note To Anna – 2:41
10 – Father Explains – 4:32
11 – Gate Of The World – 4:11

Art Direction – Court Patton, Terry Taylor, Tom Gulot
Bass, Guitar [Additional] – Tim Chandler
Cello – Miles Tackett
Design, Layout – Patton Brothers Design
Drums, Percussion – Ed McTaggart
Engineer – G. Eugene
Film Technician [Film Imaging] – Ed McTaggart
Guitar, Accordion, Organ [B-3], Violin – Greg Flesch
Illustration [Illustrations] – Court Patton
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Terry Taylor
Mastered By – John Matousek
Mixed By – G. Eugene, Terry Taylor
Other [Organ Donor] – Travis Sheets
Pedal Steel Guitar – Greg Kellogg
Photography – Brian K. Tong
Producer – Daniel Amos, Terry Taylor
Technician [Drums] – Dave Raven
Trumpet – Dave Hackbarth

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Brainstorm Artists International
Copyright © – Brainstorm Artists International
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Stunt Productions
Recorded At – The Mixing Lab (2)
Recorded At – Neverland Studios
Mixed At – Neverland Studios
Mastered At – Sound Works West
Published By – Twitchen Vibes Music
Published By – Brainstorm Artists International