This was the introductory album from Phil & John. It is probably one of the oddest choices for an premier album in CCM. The entire side 2 of the album is a live recording. Now this may sound like a very strange thing to do but in this case I think it was brilliant. Phil & John really did shine in their live work as they were essentially a comedy team that played music and it really set them apart frm the rest of the industry at the time. I personally love their style which on this album can be best described as 70’s Beatles. Unfortunately I did not give them the the amount of listening time they deserved in the 80’s. If you’ve never heard Phil & John live you should at least listen to side 2 of this album as it’s live where they really shine.
Tracklist 1 – Wasted Years – 2:57 2 – Teenage Millionaire – 3:13 3 – Saturday Night And Sunday Morning – 3:35 4 – You Wouldn’t Let Me Go – 3:25 5 – I Remember – 2:49 6 – Holding On – 4:16 7 – What Do You Do? – 3:10 8 – The Gnome Song – 7:06 9 – Factory Blues – 4:43 10 – Times I Find – 3:45 11 – Watch And Pray – 3:16
This album is actually the sound track to a film/movie about Christ hosted by Dallas. I know absolutely nothing about the film and never saw it or even heard of it until I was researching this album. Obviously it wasn’t much of a success as I would have heard or seen this in 1979. Anyway the album is billed as a Dallas Holm album as opposed to Dallas Holm & Praise though Tim Johnson did join him on the album. The album is pretty standard fare for Dallas with nothing that really stood out to me. Not saying it’s a bad album. In fact for this style it’s excellent.
Tracklist 1 – What Will You Do? – 3:06 2 – Hosanna – 3:54 3 – Do You Believe In Me – 3:28 4 – Father – 5:49 5 – Betrayal Scene (Spoken) – 2:00 6 – Calvary – 3:26 7 – Mary’s Song – 3:40 8 – What Kind Of Man Is This? – 3:52 9 – Rise Again / Hosanna (Reprise) – 6:15 10 – What Will You Do? (Reprise) – 2:15
Credits Terry Blackwood – Vocals Bob Clark – Engineer Jackie Cusic – Vocals Jon Goin – Guitars Dallas Holm – Songwriter, Vocals Ladonna Johnson – Vocals Phil Johnson – Producer Tim Johnson – Vocals Shane Keister – Keyboards Larrie Londin – Drums Norman Neeley – Engineer Steve Schaeffer – Bass Jack Williams – Orchestra and Choral Arranger
Awhile ago I reviewed an album by a band called Freeway that had a limited release in Canada. I remember us listening to the album in the 80’s but it wasn’t really our style. Then recently Artie Dison from the band contacted me to let me know he actually had 2 solo albums in 1989 and 1997. This is the 1989 album. Now I’ll be honest, I was not very excited going into this album as his previous work wasn’t my style. Wow was I surprised as this is a fantastic Rock album. This was several years after his Freeway work and boy did he mature. The album almost has a Kansas feel in places but I hate pigeon holing albums. Listen, it’s just a great Rock & Roll album that deserves to be heard. The best track on the album in undoubtedly “What About Home” which has a great message. That said my favourite track is “I Feel Love” which has an excellent commercial radio sound. If you missed this one in the 80’s don’t miss it now.
Tracklist 1 – Lonely Heart – 3:25 2 – Don’t Run – 4:42 3 – What About Home – 6:01 4 – Crying In The Night – 3:48 5 – Conquest Of Love – 2:45 6 – I’ll Show You The Way – 3:42 7 – Forgiving Eyes – 4:31 8 – Mysteries Of The Sky – 3:43 9 – I Feel Love – 3:06
Credits Art Direction, Design – Pete Claproth Bass [Additional] – Darrell Cook Drums [Additional] – Jim Ripley Drums, Backing Vocals – Donny Henderson Engineer [Assistant] – Brian Davis, Josh West, Steve Vaughan Executive-Producer – Lewis McVay Guitar – Bob Somma Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Artie Dison Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Yabo Obien Photography By – Dave rigg Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Backing Vocals – Tim Jaquette Synthesizer, Programmed By – Dave Spurr
This was the second studio album from Code of Ethics. For this album the lineup was Barry Blaze, Rick Brainer, Scot Kifer. Strangely Barry takes credit for every instrument on the album. I get the vibe he was difficult to work with but I don’t know that for sure. Anyway this is a very techno pop oriented album and is more in the style of an 80’s New Order. I actually really like this album but I absolutely love 80’s New Wave. Of course the problem is that they put this album out in 1993. But apparently it did very very well on Christian Radio even reportedly having a #1 hit with “Something Real” which has a bit of a Depeche Mode feel to me. Anyway there is some real talent here and they were quite successful so my criticisms should probable be ignored.
Tracklist 1 – Eden – 0:23 2 – Freedom – 4:20 3 – True Love – 4:38 4 – Something Real – 4:30 5 – Without Reason – 3:36 6 – World Machine – 3:37 7 – Waiting – 4:19 8 – Satellite Babies – 4:35 9 – Follow On – 4:24 10 – Pain – 4:07 11 – Chasing The Dragon – 4:23 12 – Sands Of Time – 5:48
Credits Artwork – The Riordon Design Group Inc. Booking – Vision Artist Engineer [Assistant] – Darrin Smith, David Hall Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock, Eddie DeGarmo Management, Booking – Artist Aid Management Mastered By – Ken Love Mixed By [Mix Engineer] – John Hiler, John Jaszcz Performer [Code Of Ethics] – Barry Blaze, Rick Brainer, Scot Kifer Photography By – Norma Jean Roy Producer – Barry Blaze Recorded By [Recording Engineer] – Ed Simmonton, Eugene Baker, Jeff Alford, Max Hsu, Steve Bisher Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drum Programming, Programmed By [Synth Programming], Percussion [Live] – Barry Blaze
This was Rick’s last real Rock & Roll album. Subsequent albums to this one too a far more easy listening sound. This however is a pretty good Rock & Roll album and personally is one of my favourite album from him. Rick was joined by his usual studio musicians including Keith Thomas whose keyboard work I always enjoy. I really hate to just classify this as “another Rick Cua” album because it’s quite good but there’s just not a lot to say about this album. Rick had making an album down to an art at this point so you knew you were going to get a great album if you bought one of his albums from this era. Probably the highlight of the album for me is Young Boy Young Girl on which he is joined by Rebecca Sparks wife of Greg Sparks on vocals.
Tracklist 1 – Streetwise – 3:45 2 – I Can I Will – 4:09 3 – Young Boy Young Girl – 4:13 4 – I’ll Be Satisfied – 4:26 5 – Dedicated – 3:33 6 – Somethin’ You Got – 3:35 7 – No Man Will Know – 3:43 8 – Plenty Of Love – 4:11 9 – Tear Down The Walls – 3:17 10 – The Lost Can Still Be Found – 3:30
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Drum Programming, Percussion, Keyboards [Additional] – Tom Hemby Arranged By – Tom Hemby Backing Vocals – Bob Halligan Jr., Jimmy Lee, Kim Fleming, Michael Mishaw, Ron Hemby, Vickie Hampton Drums, Percussion – Mike Mead Engineer – Bill Deaton Guitar – Dave Perkins Keyboards, Synthesizer – Keith Thomas Producer – Tom Hemby Vocals, Bass – Rick Cua Vocals – Rebecca Ed Sparks
Companies, etc. Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd. Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Reunion Records
After Mylon LeFevre & Broken Heart called it quits most of the band seemed to disappear. Guitarist David Payton however did release one solo album. It looks like this was a from scratch project as not one of his previous bandmates seemed to be involved. The album is a little scattered with pop, rock, blues, and even a country oriented song. Annoyingly all of these styles are very well done and I think David could have done a whole album in any of these styles. Unfortunately because of all the differing styles the album really doesn’t flow which is an absolute pity because there is some real talent here. Anyway this was all we got from David but it’s well worth listening to, I for one would have liked to hear some more from him.
Tracklist 1 – He Can – 3:36 2 – I Got Wise – 3:41 3 – Preacherman – 3:21 4 – Oh Where Is The Love – 3:52 5 – Where Do I Go From Here – 4:48 6 – For All That You’ve Done – 3:26 7 – Heaven Is Where I’ll Go – 2:58 8 – Great To Be Alive (Feeling) – 4:14 9 – Gospel Light – 4:40 10 – Fire And Brimstone Blues – 5:12
This is the introductory album from Novella. We were first introduced to them on the 1988 Pure Metal sampler, The Axemen. I knew when I heard their track I wanted to hear more. Unfortunately we had to wait until 1991 for that album. It looks like they couldn’t come to a deal with Pure Metal as this album was on Star Song. If you were waiting for this album you weren’t disappointed. It is a solid Rock offering with just a few hints of Metal. I can’t find any info on the origins of the band so we will just have to be happy with listening to the album. My takeaway track is “Lay It On Me”, it’s on my regular rotation.
Tracklist 1 – Do We Just Surrender – 4:37 2 – Running Home – 5:00 3 – Fire Eyes – 6:05 4 – I Need You – 5:16 5 – Whispers In The Night – 4:24 6 – Give Me Love – 4:51 7 – Lay It On Me (Intro) – 0:39 8 – Lay It On Me – 3:49 9 – Who Are We To Say – 4:04 10 – Sweet Rising Sun – 5:08 11 – Big Sky – 5:28
Credits A&R [A&R Support] – Dez Dickerson Backing Vocals – Arlene Kinsey, Darlene Haynes, Diedre James Backing Vocals [Additional], Backing Vocals [Gang “Whoooos”] – Suzanne Pagano Backing Vocals [Gang “Whoooos”] – Novella Bass, Vocals – Jon Spinola Co-producer, Mixed By [Assistant] – Jonathan Pagano Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Adam Gibson Guitar [On Almost Every Song], Backing Vocals [Gang “Whoooos”] – Steve Paul Illustration, Artwork [Sculpture], Artwork [Logos] – David DeVries Keyboards – Plinky Giglio Layout – Jeff Spencer Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards – Jonathan Pagano Mastered By – Dennis Ferrante Photography – Michael Berry Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Plinky Giglio Vocals [Intro Vocal], Backing Vocals – Henry “Solo” Gilliam Written-By – John Citorelli, Jonathan Pagano, Steve Paul
Branded was a turning point album for Undercover. It has a mature sound but it certainly leaves behind some of the elements that set Undercover apart in their early days. Their first album featured Ric Alba on lead vocals, then on the follow up Bill Walden took over, as Ric had moved on to Altar Boys. Bill recorded lead vocals on two albums for Undercover before this, their fourth where Sim Wilson took over the mic. The mature sound is very dark compared to the original upbeat, peppy happy-go-Jesus songs on their first two albums. The third record started to get more serious, but not brooding like Branded is. Sim’s vocals are powerful and booming, begging you to take seriously everything he says, ensuring you that the drama is all worth it. Most of the band did stick together, so they still have some signature sounds, although this could have been a different band. The band obviously didn’t see it that way because on this, their fourth album they labelled the record “side 7” and “side 8.” Maybe that was apologetic. There are a lot of introspective tracks such as “I’m Just A Man,” “Cry Myself To Sleep,” and “Come Away With Me.”
Tracklist 1 – I’m Just A Man – 3:24 2 – The Fight For Love – 3:00 3 – Where Can I Go – 3:13 4 – Tears In Your Eyes – 2:05 5 – Pilate – 3:00 6 – Build A Castle – 3:25 7 – Cry Myself To Sleep – 2:31 8 – Prelude – 1:55 9 – Darkest Hour – 3:26 10 – Interlude – 0:35 11 – Come Away With Me – 4:44 12 – If I Had A Dream – 5:02
Credits Arranged By – Undercover Art Direction – Harry Barnes, Ojo Taylor Crew [Road] – Buzz Bolton, Kenny Olson Design [Album] – Undercover Engineer – Mike Mierau, Joey Engineer [Second] – Bobby Saucedo, Paul Abajian Executive-Producer – Harry Barnes Illustration, Typography [Lettering] – Dave Gibson Keyboards, Bass – Ojo Taylor Layout – Graphics Gloria Mastered By – Bernie Grundmann Mixed By – Dino Elefante Photography By – David Gomez Producer – Ojo Taylor Vocals – Sim Wilson Vocals, Drums – Gary Olson Vocals, Guitar – Gym Nicholson Voice [Additional] – Gene Eugene, Glenn, Riki Written-By – Gym Nicholson, Ojo Taylor
Companies, etc. Distributed By – Lexicon Distribution Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios Mixed At – Pakaderm Studios Published By – B-1 Music Published By – Royal Commandment Music
Here’s a self produced and released gem from 1977. The album is a mix of Jesus music and progressive rock with one of the more progressive tracks being over 10 minutes long. Interestingly Terry was able to get Greg Hough (Petra) to join him on a few tracks. Greg played the solos, on Anthem and Crosswalk, and a little bit at the end of Let God Arise but other than that the entire album is Terry. The first time I listened to this album I really got that old Petra vibe but after I was lucky enough to have a chat with Terry I decided to re-listen to the album and quite frankly it stands alone. The must hear track is “Theopsychosophy Blues” which is a great fun track and did get some limited airplay. This was all we ever got from Terry who told me he had written a second album but was called to spoken word ministry before the album got any further. Pity, I for one would have liked to have heard more from him.
Tracklist 1 – Anthem – 6:45 2 – Glory In This – 5:33 3 – Theopsychosophy Blues – 1:34 4 – Let God Arise – 6:19 5 – So Much Joy – 2:46 6 – Crosswalk – 6:11 7 – Under Your Hands (Play Me) – 11:07
Credits Bass – John Nanos Design – Dona Nanos Drums – Ed Kotowski Guitar – Greg Hough Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals – Terry Ross Altman Photography By – Henry Posner Producer [Assistant] – Rich Riehl Producer [Assistant], Mixed By – Gary Hedden Saxophone – Jim Koerber Vocals – Carla Thompson Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Claudia Porter Written-By, Arranged By, Producer – Terry Ross Altman
Good News was a band, an album and a song. They were also one of the most talented bands of the Jesus Music era with a line-up that included David Diggs, Bill Batstone, Erick Nelson and a 16 year Bob Carlisle. Though released through Maranatha Music the album was actually recorded independently and there seems to be a sense of freedom in the recording that shows.They would do a follow up “studio band” album in that they never intended to tour to support the second album and recorded just for the purpose of releasing new material. the second album featured Keith Green on piano. The title track was written by Beau MacDougall is a great 70’s pop number with more guitars than the church was accustomed to at the time. But being a band led by Erick Nelson, piano was to be a prominent instrument and the whole album is very piano based and reminds many of Keith Green musically. Lead vocals are shared between Nelson and Yvonne Lewis. Her pretty alto voice is reminiscent of Karen Carpenter and Michelle Pillar which is significant given Nelson’s later project with Pillar that is a true classic in the industry called The Misfit. Most of the songs are common Jesus Music themes of unity, social responsibility of the Church, evangelism and the rapture. The latter seemed to be an official prerequisite for any official Jesus Music release. “Tear Down the Walls” is a great, blues influenced straight ahead rock song common for the time and fit in with what was happening in pop music for the time. “Never Knew” follows the same footsteps as the title track while the album closer, “Why,” is the perfect “altar call” finisher in the vein of Keith Green. The album follows a back and forth rotation of upbeat songs followed by a ballad. Most of the rockier songs’ vocals are handled by Nelson while the ballads are divided up between Lewis and Nelson. Nelson would go on to be an important figure in the birthing of CCM with the aforementioned “The Misfit” album. Batstone would remain a prominent figure in CCM until today as a leading voice in the world of worship music. Diggs has been a major producer, songwriter and jazz musician with a longlist of credits. Carlisle went on the record the biggest song in CCM history with Butterfly Kisses as well as being the lead singer Christian “supergroup” Allies.
Contributor – David Lowman https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Good News – 4:20 2 – Carry Me Along – 3:25 3 – Going Home – 3:20 4 – Tear Down The Walls – 4:18 5 – Picking Up The Pieces – 3:55 6 – Never Knew – 4:00 7 – Follow You – 3:25 8 – Rock Of Ages – 3:52 9 – Why Must You Go – 3:10 10 – Jimmy – 3:20
Credits Arranged By, Conductor [Conducted By] – David Diggs Artwork [Art] – Neal Buchanan Composed By – Erick Nelson, Joy Strange Electric Guitar – Anthony Dean Engineer [Engineered By] – Billy Taylor Handclaps – Eddie Espinosa Performer – Bill Batstone, David Diggs, Erick Nelson, Yvonne Lewis Photography By – Scot Lockwood Photography By [Photo Tinting] – John Carreon Vocals – Bob Carlisle, Chuck Girard, Eddie Espinosa