Helen Baylor – Highly Recommended – 1990

Helen actually had a very successful music career in the late 60’s and 70’s. She worked as a session musician for several big acts and was actually in the musical “Hair”. Unfortunately her career faltered in the 80’s due to drug addiction. In the late 80’s she turned her life around and after becoming a Christian and started to reignite her music career. This is her first album and it is pretty darn good. It has a solid pop sound and feel. It was produced by John Bokowski who didn’t usually work with Christian labels but I’m guessing Helen and him knew each other previously. The album was very successful. It had 2 CCM charting singles, “There’s No Greater Love” made it to #8 and “Victory” to #17.

1 – Highly Recommended – 5:09
2 – There’s No Greater Love – 5:02
3 – Victory – 4:23
4 – Thank You Jesus – 6:00
5 – Hunger For Holiness – 5:50
6 – Lifting Up The Name Of Jesus – 4:44
7 – Can You Reach My Friend – 4:09
8 – Temporary Pain – 4:18
9 – Wounded Soldier – 5:19
10 – Fear Not My Child – 4:58

Backing Vocals – Gertrude Bradley, Helen Baylor, Jackie Simley, Jeanette Williams, Pam Hutchinson, Sara Henningburg, Suandra “Pan” Alexander
Bass – Freddie Washington, Weldon Gate
Bass, Guitar – Jerry Williams
Co-producer – Helen Baylor
Drums – Ron Bruner
Guitar – Charles Fearing, Tony Maiden
Keyboards – John Bokowski
Lead Vocals – Helen Baylor
Producer – John Bokowski

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Record Company – Word Records Limited
Record Company – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Produced For – King’s Court Productions, Inc.
Produced For – One A’Chord Productions
Made By – JVC Disc America

David Baroni – From The Heart – 1981

This is the first album form David Baroni. I didn’t hear of him in the 80’s so this is my first exposure to him. He actually had 11 albums so I’m kind of surprised I hadn’t at least heard of him. His style is not my preferred genre so I’m not surprised I hadn’t listened to him but I should have at least heard of him. His albums were on relatively small labels so I guess that could be the reason. As for this album it appears it was initially released on Gary Paxton’s own label but then appears to have been picked up by LifeStream Records which was a division of Calvary Records. Anyway that’s the history of the album ad as for the album it is a very Easy Listening effort but is pretty well done. The one upbeat track “Mr. Money” actually isn’t too bad and quite frankly I would have loved to hear Stonehill cover it. The album did have a charting single, “We Need To Meet Them There” made it to #24.

1 – From The Heart – 3:42
2 – Are You Reachin’ Out – 3:23
3 – It Won’t Be Long (‘Til We’re Home) – 4:40
4 – Soldier Of The Light – 3:59
5 – The Man You Thought You Already Knew – 4:39
6 – Port In The Ragin’ Storm – 3:25
7 – We Need To Meet Them There – 4:27
8 – At Your Door Knockin’ – 4:25
9 – Mr. Money – 3:14
10 – The Light That’s Always Burning – 5:08

Arranged By – David Baroni, Gary Paxton
Art Direction, Layout – Smokehouse Studio
Engineer – Bob Whyley, Gary Paxton, Gene Rice, John Erickson, Mike Poston
Photography By – Dill Beaty
Producer – Gary Sanford Paxton
Written-By – David P. Baroni

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Parkerson Productions
Copyright © – Parkerson Productions
Published By – Gary S. Paxton Publications, Inc.
Recorded At – Waxworks Recording Studio
Lacquer Cut At – Masterfonics

Seth – Psalms – 1975

While you may not have heard of Seth you have probably heard of a few of their members. Kelly Willard, who was Kelly Bagley at the time went on to have a long career with Maranatha! Music. Jonathan David Brown would go on to be a top notch producer and song writer. Keith Edwards eventually became a drummer for Amy Grant and Rhenda Edwards Tull, later sang on Parable’s first album. So while you may not remember Seth you have certainly heard their members. The album is a very good 70’s album and I’m rather surprised I had never heard it before today but as it was on Shalom records I”m not that surprised as this was a relativity unknown label.

1 – A Man Called Jesus – 3:15
2 – Many Years – 4:46
3 – A Psalm of Love – 3:19
4 – This Christ – 4:25
5 – My Friend – 2:55
6 – Ready – 5:00
7 – I Will Praise Him – 4:44
8 – Keep Holdin’ On – 4:30

Band – David Wayne Hines, Debbie Newell Scott, Jonathan David Brown, Keith Alan Edwards, Rhenda Edwards Tull

Trace Balin – Champions – 1988

This was Trace’s first album and lets just say she came out with a bang. The album sprouted 3 top 10 CCM chart songs, “Only For You” Made it to #4, “We Need Each Other” #5, and “All I Wanna Do” to #6. Rounding out the singles for the album was “We Are An Army” which made it to #17. That’s pretty darn good for a first album. That said the album was set up for success as some of the top songwriters in the industry penned the songs and even Greg X. Volz did some backup work. Personally my favourite track is “Rock These Rafters” which is an excellent song and I really think it might have suited Petra a few years earlier. The opening track “Champions” is also pretty good and displays her great vocal skills.

1 – Champions – 4:22
2 – All I Wanna Do – 3:15
3 – Only For You – 4:25
4 – We Need Each Other – 4:55
5 – We Are An Army – 3:52
6 – Walk In The Spirit – 4:50
7 – Take Me There – 4:20
8 – Rock These Rafters – 4:28
9 – Use Me Jesus – 4:42
10 – I Don’t Deserve Your Love – 4:16

Arranged By – Brett Teegarden, Carl Marsh, Joel Balin, JDB
Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt Designs
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Carol Becker-Rizzo, Greg X. Volz, Trace Balin
Bass – Spencer Campbell, Tommy Sims
Cover [Coordination] – Terri Short
Executive-Producer – Lynn Keesecker
Guitar – Dann Huff, Jerry McPherson
Keyboards – Brett Teegarden, Carl Marsh, JDB, Phil Kristianson
Management, Booking – Painter Associates, Richard Painter
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By – Mike Mitchell
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Programmed By [Programming Assistance] – Joel Balin
Recorded By [Assisted By] – Brett Teegarden*, Howard Levy

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Record Company – Word Records Limited
Record Company – Word (UK) Ltd.
Recorded At – The Pond
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Made By – Discovery Systems

The Awakening – Into Thy Hands – 1988

I’m going to preface this short review by saying that if you want to read a little bit more about the aftermath of this album you need to read Ian Tanner’s blog on Bandcamp. It is a very well written explanation of the aftermath of the album and how it all went wrong but I will cover a few points of his story here. The album was released in the summer of 1988 and had a great single “Lonely Place” which made it to #25 on the CCM charts with very little support from their album label. In fcat they had so little support that this would end up being their last album. The record label also made no effort to set up a support tour for the band and the band themselves had trouble setting up a tour. The band were not a bunch of 20 year olds who could live on spam and as a result they needed an actual money making tour as they were adults with families and careers. This is such a pity as the album is great and they should have had a successful tour but it was not to be. So instead we are left with a great album and one that probably would have had a few more singles if it had been properly promoted.

1 – Remember Me – 2:30
2 – Don’t Wait For Me – 5:25
3 – Wrestling In The Jungle – 4:21
4 – Thoughtful – 3:50
5 – Again – 4:20
6 – Lonely Place – 4:46
7 – Where Is The Love? – 4:58
8 – Knife Of Life – 3:55
9 – Into Thy Hands – 4:31
10 – Onward – 4:39
11 – Never Say Goodbye – 4:59
12 – Clear Day – 4:16

Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt Designs
Artwork [Sculpture], Illustration – Tony Novak
Bass, Percussion – Allan Powell
Co-producer – The Awakening
Drums [Ludwig Drums], Percussion, Backing Vocals – Michael Powell
Engineer [Additional Engineering By] – Darren Walters
Engineer [Additional Engineering By], Mixed By – Lloyd (Froid) Walker
Engineer [Engineered By] – Richard Hutt
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – Andrew Horrocks
Executive Producer – Jeff Moseley, Terry Hemmings
Guitar – Andrew Horrocks
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Programmed By [Computer Programming], Grand Piano – Ian Tanner
Producer [Co-produced By], Mixed By – The Awakening
Producer [Produced By] – Richard J. Hutt
Programmed By [Additional Programming By] – Glenn Koehler, Mike Powell
Programmed By [Keyboard and Computer Programming By] – Ian Tanner
Programmed By [Keyboard and Computer Programming By], Mixed By – Richard J. Hutt

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Cedartree Recording Studio
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Reunion Records
Copyright © – Reunion Records
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.
Published By – Topographic Music Ltd.

Andrus And Blackwood – Holiday – 1984

This was the final album from Imperials alumni Sherman Andrus and Terry Blackwood. To say they wet out with a bang is an understatement. This album had three charting CCM singles. “Amen Again” made it to #18, “The Prayer” to #33, and “I Can Do All Things” to #34. Not the best positions but 3 charting singles is nothing to sneeze at. Both artists went on to have solo careers but they weren’t as successful as they were as a duo. as for the album it is a fun pop AOR album and I really like the direction this duo was headed in but obviously they felt their time together was done. Too bad actually I think they could have done a better job musically together.

1 – Builder Of Bridges – 4:06
2 – Warriors – 4:12
3 – The Love In His Eyes – 3:46
4 – Witness – 3:12
5 – Joy And Peace – 3:22
6 – Amen Again – 4:51
7 – The Prayer – 3:27
8 – I Can Do All Things – 3:58
9 – Nothing Separates Me (From His Love) – 5:01

Backing Vocals – Alfred McCrary, Charity McCrary, Gail Farrell, Linda McCrary, Melissa Mackay, Sandi Hall, Susan McBride
Bass – Leon Gaer
Drums – Cactus Moser, Jack Kelly, John Ferraro
Guitar – Marty Walsh
Keyboards – John Rosasco, Smitty Price
Percussion – Alex Acuna
Saxophone – Brandon Fields
Synthesizer – Art Wood, Rhett Lawrence
Vocals, Backing Vocals – Sherman Andrus, Terry Blackwood

Companies, etc.
Mastered At – Future Disc
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Nissi Records
Copyright © – Nissi Records

Debbie Amstutz – No Other One – 1980

This is another artist I can’t find any info on. I can’t even find much info on the album which is rather surprising consider it was produced by Dallas Holm and Phil Johnson. Furthermore it appears to have had 2 pressings as the cover changed, unfortunately the second cover is as bad as the first one. Even stranger is the fact that the album had #4 single on the CCM charts. “No Other One”, It’s actually a duet with Dallas Holm so I understand why it singled but I’m still surprised I can’t find anything out about Debbie. This was her one and only album so I guess we will just have to listen and enjoy it. As for the album it is a easy listening album but is pretty good if you like that genre.

1 – Don’t You Think It’s Time – 3:26
2 – So Much – 2:14
3 – Don’t Be A Fool – 3:08
4 – Jesus, I’m An Open Book – 3:37
5 – Trusting Jesus – 3:04
6 – No Other One – 3:31
7 – Rose Petal Lady – 3:13
8 – Praise Song – 3:18
9 – Softly and Tenderly – 2:23

Backing Vocals – Debbie Amstutz
Bass, Strings, Arranged By – Jack Williams
Drums – Kenny Malone
Engineer, Remix – Bob Clark
Guitar – Jon Goin, Steve Gibson
Keyboards – Dony McGuire
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Shane Keister
Lyricon, Saxophone – Denis Solee
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Photography By – Michael Borum
Producer, Backing Vocals – Dallas Holm, Phil Johnson
Remix – Warren Peterson
Songwriter – Debbie Amstutz
Strings – Shelley Kurland’s Strings

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Remixed At – Great Circle Sound
Mastered At – Woodland Mastering
Designed At – Michael Harris Design
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Greentree Records
Copyright © – Greentree Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Copyright © – John T. Benson Publ. Co.
Copyright © – Dimension Music

Albrecht, Roley And Moore – Take It To The People – 1980

This was the final album from this trio and while they did have a charting single on their previous album this one didn’t achieve very much success. I think it’s a pretty good album but 1980 was a transition time for CCM music and they didn’t appear to be making that transition. Albrecht and Moore appear to have retired but Roley went on to form City Limits. As for the album it’s a solid 70’s effort and quite freckly I really like it.

1 – Confrontations – 3:39
2 – Take It To The People – 2:55
3 – Sonlight Feel On Me – 4:29
4 – Looking For A Lifetime Love – 3:27
5 – Living Nightdream – 3:39
6 – Cross On Over – 3:42
7 – Son Of Man – 2:54
8 – Someone Is Waiting – 4:14
9 – Letter To Laura – 3:24
10 – I’m On My Way – 4:07

Acoustic Guitar – Al Moore, Michael Jon Albrecht, Scott Roley
Arranged By [Rhythm], Keyboards – Richard Souther
Art Direction – Stan Evenson
Bass – David MacKay
Design Concept – Linda E. Reksten
Drums, Percussion – Dallas Taylor
Electric Guitar – Randy Mitchell, Rick Vito
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Bobby Warford
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig, Tom Trefethen
Executive-Producer – Ray Nenow
Executive-Producer, Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Greg Nelson
Lacquer Cut By – Steve Hall
Photography By [Cover & Liner] – Donald Miller
Photography By [Group] – Robert Blakeman
Producer, Arranged By [Rhythm], Pedal Steel Guitar – Al Perkins

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Spirit Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Spirit Records
Manufactured By – Hartsong Corporation
Distributed By – Hartsong Corporation
Recorded At – Soundcastle
Recorded At – Martinsound
Lacquer Cut At – MCA Recording Studios

Parable – Illustrations – 1977

One of the often overlooked “Maranatha Bands” of the 1970’s was Parable. They recorded two albums before disbanding. Parable was lead by Chuck Butler, who had previously been a part of the band Country Faith, one of the great Jesus Music bands to never have recorded a full album despite great responses for the songs they had recorded on many different samplers. The first album, More Than Words, was more folk-rock with a country feel. Imagine The Eagles with a male and female lead vocals. the album was very well received. After The Way disbanded guitar virtuoso John Wickham joined the band for this second album and added a significantly more rock sound with some amazing guitar work. Stylistically the band went more pop with a rock emphasis and may remind some readers of early Servant and Petra. But it was really the guitar work that set the album apart along with very strong writing with very memorable hooks. There’s a reason and Come Untangled kick the album off with a strong rock emphasis and straight ahead evangelical messages before “The City” slows things down, at least initially. Sounding similar to a The Eagles or Chicago ballad before kicking into gear and finishing with one of the best guitar solos in Christian Music to that point. The only other albums at that time with such great guitar work were those by Phil Keaggy and Paul Clark. Female vocalist Lisa Faye Irwin takes the reins on several songs including “A Friend,” a song very reminiscent of Servant from the same era. The album is very consistent and memorable throughout, though side 2 is noticeably mellower than side 1, with very impressive production for the time, and far superior to most of the music coming out of Maranatha Music at that time. Both albums have been re-released on CD be the group and is still available as best as I can tell.

Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – There’s A Reason – 4:30
2 – Come Untangled – 3:24
3 – The City – 5:27
4 – A Friend – 3:23
5 – The Plain Truth – 3:34
6 – Act 3 – 3:55
7 – The Promise – 3:20
8 – Ladder Song – 4:24
9 – Got To Decide – 3:54
10 – A Prayer – 4:08

Arranged By [Horns] – Kim Hutchcroft
Arranged By [Strings] – Jim Stipec
Art Direction – Neal Buchanan
Bass Guitar – Gary Arthur
Drums – Don Kobayashi
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig, Jonathan David Brown
Guest [Vocals] – Becky Ugartechea, Virgil Beckham
Handclaps – Malcolm & The Honeys
Horns – Allen Gregory, Glen Myerscough, Kim Hutchcroft
Illustration – Larry McAdams
Keyboards – Alan DiCato
Layout – Neal Buchanan
Lead Guitar – John Wickham
Lead Vocals – Chuck Butler, Lisa Faye Irwin
Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Organ [B3] – Mike Escalante
Percussion – Alex MacDougall, Donnie K.
Producer – Tommy Coomes
Rhythm Guitar – Chuck Butler
Vocals – Alan DiCato, Gary Arthur, John Wickham
Written By – C. Butler

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Martinsound
Mixed At – Martinsound
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Maranatha! Music
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – Δ22675

Illustrator – Illustrator – 1987

Illustrator appears to be a new version of Eternity Express. Nathan Gaub, Dan Gaub, Mark Matthews,Kirk Allen are all from Eternity Express and this version is joined by Dawndee Gaub. I’ll be honest that there is a pretty different sound here than Eternity Express. The album is much more pop oriented and quite frankly much better than the previous Eternity Express album. One last point is that neither this version or the original Eternity Express ever had a charting single on the CCM charts. How is that even possible?

1 – Lonely Hearts For Sale – 4:21
2 – Love’s Not Your Enemy – 4:15
3 – Hidden Pain – 4:04
4 – Let It Go – 3:20
5 – Out Of Time – 3:28
6 – Don’t Change Your Heart – 4:46
7 – Gina – 4:37
8 – Holding On – 4:25
9 – End Of The Line – 4:53

Drums, Percussion [Electronic] – Kirk Allen
Engineer – Steven Ford, Wes McGuire
Engineer [Additional Assistance] – Mike Buster
Mixed By – Win Kutz
Producer – Illustrator
Vocals, Bass Guitar, Keyboards – Mark Matthews
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion – Dan Gaub
Vocals, Keyboards – Dawndee Gaub
Vocals, Keyboards, Programmed By [Synth & Computer] – Nathan Gaub

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Ocean Records
Copyright © – Ocean Records
Recorded At – Nick’s Place Recording Studio
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Eagle Mountain Studios
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Wakefield Manufacturing – 47497