Phil & John – Count Me Out – 1983

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.

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

Dallas Holm – His Last Days – 1979

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Greentree Records
Copyright © – Greentree Records
Copyright © – Dimension Music
Published By – John T. Benson Pub. Co.
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Remixed At – Great Circle Sound

Artie Dison – Forgiving Eyes – 1989

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Made By – PDO, USA
Copyright © – Asaph Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Asaph Records
Recorded At – Asaph Recording Studio
Mixed At – Asaph Recording Studio

Rick Cua – Midnight Sun – 1989

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.

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

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

David Payton – I Got Wise – 1991

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.

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

Novella – One Big Sky – 1991

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Trax East
Mixed At – Trax East
Recorded At – Omega Mix Recording Studios
Mastered At – BMG Studios, NY
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Star Song
Copyright © – Star Song
Record Company – Star Song Communications
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia

Undercover – Branded – 1986

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.”

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

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

Terry Ross Altman – Crosswalk – 1977

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Spiritsword Music, Inc.
Mixed At – Hedden West Studios

Good News – Good News – 1975

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

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

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

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Erick Martin Nelson
Copyright © – Joy Strange
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s

Mylon & Broken Heart – Crank It Up – 1990

Unfortunately this is the final album for Mylon & Broken Heart. Mylon did put out one more album in 1992 but this was really the last show for them. Mylon was still recovering from his heart attack in 1989 but the band did tour in support of this album so it doesn’t look like it was a messy breakup. Instead it looks like they went out as friends. The band didn’t do much after this though guitarist David Payton did release an album in 1991 which I just got my hands on but have not listened to yet. As for this album it’s yet another excellent Rock & Roll album that we came to expect of them. In fact I think this album may have some of their best Rock tunes. If you only have time for one track I truly recommend “World Changer” which is a kicker Rock & Roll track.

1 – Crank It Up – 3:44
2 – Denomination Demolition – 3:18
3 – New Attitude – 3:53
4 – Letter From The Front – 4:51
5 – Give It Away – 4:27
6 – Shower The People – 4:03
7 – Dancing In The Light – 3:05
8 – Heaven – 4:06
9 – World Changer – 3:39
10 – Going Home – 4:41

Art Direction, Design – Mike McCarty
Backing Vocals – Michael Gleason
Bass, Vocals – Kenneth Bentley
Drum Programming – Scott Meeder
Drums – Ben Hewitt
Engineer – Jeff Brugger, Joe Neal, Kurt Bush, Larry Rust, Ricky Keller, Russ Fowler, Tag George
Engineer, Guitar – Sonny Lallerstedt
Engineer, Mixed By, Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Programmed By [Keyboard Programming] – Joe Hardy
Guitar, Vocals – Scott Allen, Trent Argante
Keyboards – Oliver Wells
Keyboards, Programmed By – Cheryl Rogers
Keyboards, Vocals – Marshall Pratt
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Percussion – John Hampton
Photography By – Jimmy Collins
Producer – Joe Hardy, Scott Allen
Producer, Vocals – Mylon LeFevre
Vocals [Rock Vocal Ululation And Terpsichore] – The Techless Abandon Men’s Chorus

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow/Star Song Distribution
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Star Song
Copyright © – Star Song
Published By – Angel Band Music
Published By – Country Road Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Recorded At – Twelve Oaks Studio
Recorded At – Southern Tracks
Recorded At – Doppler Studios
Recorded At – Southern Living At Its Finest
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia