Psalm 150 – Make Up Your Mind – 1974

Psalm 150 included Bob Carlisle (Allies, Good News), Jack Blades (Damn Yankees, Night Ranger), and Randy Thomas (Allies, Sweet Comfort Band). To say this was a great group of musicians is putting it mildly. Several other members also went on to very good studio careers. The album lists 8 members of the band but there were actually many more that came and went. With that many members there’s no way anyone ever made any money so we have a group of people who were actually in the business to preach to the masses. Remember that most bands in the Jesus music movement at this time were more folky but not these guys. This was a solid late 70’s sound with even a little disco mixed in. Unfortunately but not unsurprising this is the only album we got from them. Too bad as they had a great style of seventies sound that was welcome in the genre at the time.

1 – God Be Magnified – 3:36
2 – Live In Me – 3:57
3 – Decision – 3:36
4 – Your Life Is At Hand – 6:28
5 – Get Yourself Together – 5:42
6 – Change It – 4:07
7 – My Father’s Business – 3:50
8 – Wonderful World – 7:34
9 – Make Up Your Mind – 7:26

Arranged By, Producer – Psalm 150
Backing Band, Bass – Jack Blades
Backing Band, Vocals – Chris Brock
Bass, Guitar, Vocals – James Felix
Design – Ray Storey
Engineer – Frank Kejmar, Paul Elmore
Guitar – Bob Anglin
Keyboards, Vocals – Mike Escalante
Percussion, Vocals – Jimmy Erickson
Producer – Hal Spencer
Trumpet – Allen Gregory
Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals – Greg Eckler

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Manna Records
Recorded At – Whitney Recording Studios

The Lonely Now – Captive – 1986

First of all I would like to apologize for the poor quality of this release. We did the best we could with a 35 year old cassette that sounds like it was recorded on a 4 track with a potato. Now I’m gonna cut the band some slack here because they admit they recorded it in their house so it probably was recorded on a 4 track. My real criticism is for Narrowpath Records who should never have released an album with this quality. Normally we wouldn’t release something this poorly recorded but in this instance we decided due to high quality of the songs we are going to. The Lonely Now was Greg Sostrom (Strange), Kevin Riemer, and Phil Watson and wow did these guys mesh nicely. This album has some of the best New Wave in the Christina Genre. This became one of my favourite New Wave bands of the 80’s instantly upon hearing it. Or at least after I worked on it for several hours trying to improve the quality. So my whole point here is try to forgive the quality because the music here is fantastic if you like New Wave.

1 – Reject A Thought – 3:19
2 – If I Could – 3:52
3 – Running Faster – 4:05
4 – A.R.C. – 3:22
5 – All My Dreams – 3:19
6 – Captive – 3:36
7 – Dead Of Night – 3:47
8 – Thunderclouds – 3:39
9 – Traitor – 3:28
10 – No Secrets – 3:00
11 – How Many More – 3:17

Greg Sostrom – Lead vocals, guitar
Kevin Riemer – Vocals, drums
Phil Watson – Vocals, bass guitar

Companies, etc.
Label – Narrowpath Records

Age of Faith – Age Of Faith – 1991

This is the first album from Age of Faith who at this point were just Jimi Ray and Rick Harwell. That said for this album I think they had the entire Huff family join them. Brothers David, Clayborn, and Rayborn Huff along with David’s son Lance are all on this album. David Huff also sat at the production table where is well suited. With all these great people involved it’s no surprise that this album is outstanding. There’s even an excellent cover of Donna Summer’s song Unconditional Love. I was actually quite surprised how great this album was. In my opinion 1991 was the era of Christian music going to the dogs but not this album. It’s definitely a must listen.

1 – God’s Got An Army – 4:56
2 – Take The Low Road – 3:32
3 – Sarah – 3:33
4 – Love – 3:59
5 – For Heaven’s Sake – 4:19
6 – Unconditional Love – 3:39
7 – The Way That You Trust Me – 4:37
8 – Arms Of Mercy – 3:38
9 – Tender Mercies – 3:51
10 – Last Night – 4:54
11 – Grace – 3:42

Mark Baldwin – producer, arranger, arranging, songwriter, guitar, keyboards, slide guitar, solo, acoustic guitar
Andy Ivey – executive producer
Bret Teegarden – keyboard, overdubbing, keyboards, additional recordings, mix engineer
Ronnie Brookshire – recording engineer
David Huff – producer, guitar, background vocals, engineer, remixing
Jimi Ray – songwriter, guitar
Rick Harwell – songwriter, keyboards, background vocals, hammond, melodica
Leonard Ahlstrom – songwriter
Ron Collins – songwriter, background vocals
Billy Smiley – songwriter
Donna Summer – lyrics
Michael Omartian – music
Brian White – songwriter
John Hammond – drums, drum, samples
Gary Lunn – bass, drum programming
Chris Rodriguez – background vocals
Rick Florian – background vocals, harmony vocals
Mark Pogue – background vocals
Youth of First Baptist Church – guest, children’s chorus
Lance Huff – drums
Clayborn Huff – bass guitar, background vocals
Rayborn Huff – keyboards, additional programming, background vocals
Lloyd Bustard – background vocals
Joe Hogue – keyboards
Eric Darken – percussion
Kim Thomas – guest, vocals, autoharp
Scott Carter – engineer, assistant mixer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Copyright © – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Distributed By – Benson Music Group
Distributed By – R.G. Mitchell Family Books, Inc.

Writz – Writz – 1979

This was the one and only album from Writz but they have a long history of many albums from many different names. Writz was Bev Sage and Steve Fairnie, (Later to be the Techno Twins), Steve Rowles who was a member of Fish Co. with Steve Fairnie, along with Arry Axell, Jules Hardwick, and Nick Battle who did some work with After The Fire and Iva Twydell. Let’s further complicate things because Writz was actually called Famous Names for the purposes of their U.S. and Israeli audiences. Yes it’s a complicated story. Anyway they had a great B52’s, Devo sound and as near as I can tell were the only band doing this sound in this Genre. As I said they only had this album but even that’s a little complicated as they recorded an album using the name Famous Names but it never got released. I have that album and plan on releasing it later. It should be noted that they were supposed to play Greenbelt 79 but apparently for ego related issues they did not. Lucky for the fans because After The Fire played instead and had one of the best sets in the history of Greenbelt. Writz did however play Greenbelt 1980 using then name Famous Names.

1 – Night Nurse – 3:00
2 – Luxury – 3:20
3 – Swinging With The Reptiles – 3:50
4 – Drive Away – 3:30
5 – Super Heroes – 3:59
6 – Movies – 3:04
7 – Robberoni – 3:47
8 – Private Lives – 3:50
9 – TV Times – 5:07
10 – Muscle Culture – 6:06

Arranged By – Writz
Artwork, Design – Dobney Johnson Studios
Bass – Nick Battle
Drums – Arry Axell
Guitar Synthesizer, Guitar – Jules Hardwick
Photography – Paddy Eckersley
Producer – David Rees
Vocals – Bev Sage, Steve Fairnie
Vocals, Guitar – Steve Rowles
Written-By – Steve Fairnie, Steve Rowles

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Trident Studios
Mixed At – Trident Studios
Mixed At – DJM Studios
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Noeland Productions Ltd.

After The Fire – 80-f – 1980

This album has a bit of an interesting backstory. Before this album Ivor Twidell left the band to work on a solo project and the band had Nick Brotherwood (Alwyn Wall Band) step in on drums. They recorded it at Utopia Studios and Tony Mansfield mixed and produced the album. It was presented and subsequently rejected by CBS records. CBS sent them back to a studio in Germany with ex-Fly’s drummer Peter King and producer Reinhold Mack. They reworked the album dropping 4 tracks and added 3, Wild West Show, Why Can’t We Be Friends, and Joanne. Somehow in all this confusion Epic Records ended up releasing the newly recorded album. Now here’s where it gets really interesting. In 1982 after the band had split Epic released a compilation album but used the Nick Brotherwood versions of Love Will Always Make You Cry, Starflight, and 1980-F. Anyway now I’ll give my opinion of the album. Bottom line CBS wrecked it. The 3 tracks they added are the 3 weakest tracks on the album. I have heard bits and pieces of Tony Mansfield’s production it was far superior. Tony knew the sound the band was trying to achieve and was able to mix it to that sound. Instead this album is poorly mixed and produced by Reinhold Mack and completely misses what the band was trying to record. Unfortunately I can only assume this didn’t help the morale of the band and probably contributed to the band splitting in 1982. ON a high note the album has one of the greatest songs of all time “Who’s Gonna Love You When You’re Old And Fat And Ugly?”

1 – 1980-F – 2:32
2 – Love Will Always Make You Cry – 3:30
3 – Can You Face It? – 3:15
4 – Who’s Gonna Love You (When You’re Old And Fat And Ugly?) – 4:05
5 – Starflight – 4:13
6 – Wild West Show – 3:30
7 – Billy, Billy – 4:40
8 – It’s High Fashion – 3:07
9 – Why Can’t We Be Friends? – 2:46
10 – Joanne – 4:10

Bass, Vocals – Andy Piercy
Drums – Pete King
Engineer – Pete Hammond
Guitar, Backing Vocals – John Russell
Mastered By – Kevin Metcalf
Producer [Backing Track] – Tony Mansfield
Producer, Mixed By, Engineer – Reinhold Mack
Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Peter “Memory” Banks

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – CBS Records
Produced At – Utopia Studios
Mixed At – Utopia Studios
Engineered At – Utopia Studios
Published By – Heath Levy Music Co. Ltd.

Keith Green – No Compromise – 1978

This is Keith’s second solo album and last on Sparrow as he would go on to start his own record label. The album was very successful with 2 top 10 singles, “Dear John Letter” and “Soften Your Heart”. “Asleep In The Light” also made it up to number 11 so I think we can round up and say 3 top 10 singles. The success of this album though changed the way Keith was thinking about the business. He bought his was out of his Sparrow contract as he and his wife wanted to have “free” concerts and albums. In reality it would be pay what you want but I think this says a lot about Keith’s reasons for playing Christian music. He obviously wanted to use it to minister to people instead of make money. I can respect him for that but ministry isn’t free and his ministry always struggled to have the cash it needed. Personally I think somewhere in the middle of business model and free ministry sits a sweet spot for artists in this genre.

1 – Soften Your Heart – 2:48
2 – Make My Life A Prayer To You – 3:21
3 – Dear John Letter (To The Devil) – 3:20
4 – How Can They Live Without Jesus? – 3:03
5 – Asleep In The Light – 4:25
6 – My Eyes Are Dry – 1:57
7 – You! – 3:33
8 – I Don’t Wanna Fall Away From You – 3:07
9 – Stained Glass – 2:45
10 – To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice – 3:17
11 – The Victor – 4:20
12 – Altar Call – 3:34

Acoustic Guitar – Al Perkins, Hadley Hockensmith, Jay Leach, Mike Deasy
Arranged By [Strings] – Lennart Sjöholm
Backing Vocals – Danniebelle Hall, James Felix, Keith Green, Matthew Ward
Choir – Annie Herring, Chris Beatty, Jamie Owens-Collins, Keith Green, Matthew Ward, Melody Green, Nelly Greisen, Steve Greisen, Tommy Funderburk
Congas – Lee Pastora
Electric Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith, Mike Deasy
Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith, Mike Deasy
Marimba – Mark Z. Stevens
Organ – Harlan Rogers
Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Harlan Rogers, Keith Green
Producer – Bill Maxwell, Keith Green
Recorded By – Peter Granet
Steel Guitar – Al Perkins
Tambourine – Bill Maxwell
Triangle – Lee Pastora

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Recorded At – Sound Castle Recorders, Los Angeles
Recorded At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios
Mixed At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Published By – Ears To Hear Music
Published By – April Music
Published By – Lexicon Music
Lacquer Cut At – The Mastering Lab

Bobby Michaels – I Have A Reason – 1985

So often when a new album wanders into the studio I do some research on it before processing it. I saw that someone in authority, looking at you Word Records, had categorized it as Ballad, Vocal, Synth-pop, That’s not a common classification so I was thinking maybe something like David Meece. The album cover said worship but I have learnt a long time ago not to trust album covers on this genre. Anyway came time to process it and surprise, it’s actually Easy Listening/Worship just like the cover implied. Of course that first listening didn’t go well because I was expecting something else. So I gave it a few days and came back to it today with no illusions on what I was going to hear. Now that I had that out of the way I was surprised how good this album is. Yes it’s not my style but I know good music when I hear it and this is a good album. I doubt any of it will end up in my regular rotation but I will say that this is a pretty darn good Easy Listening/Worship album.

1 – Shepherd Of My Heart – 3:45
2 – I Have A Reason – 2:45
3 – Celebrate The Lord – 2:58
4 – May I Call You Jesus – 4:10
5 – Messiah – 2:58
6 – Seek The Blesser, Not The Blessing – 2:22
7 – I Can – 3:04
8 – Praise Him Now – 3:51
9 – That’s Something Else – 3:46
10 – You Are Most Blest – 6:23

Arranged By – David Diggs
Backing Vocals – First Call Singers
Conductor, Producer – Kurt Kaiser
Design [Cover Design] – Dennis Hill
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Eric Tomlinson
Engineer [Recording Engineer], Mixed By [Mixdown Engineer] – Bob Clark
Liner Notes – Kurt Kaiser
Photography By [Cover Photos] – Kenn Duncan

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Olympic Studios
Recorded At – EMI Studios
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Mixed At – Great Circle Sound
Published By – Manna Music
Published By – Coronation Music
Published By – Charlie Monk Music
Published By – Laurel Press
Published By – Yellow House Music
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Paragon Music
Published By – First Monday Music
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – △27033

Ivor Twidell – Waiting for the Sun – 1978

We’re a little confused at the crediting of this album. We have credited it to Ivor Twidell but it may actually be instead the name of the band, Waiting For The Sun. We also apologize for the low quality of these songs but the fact that we got a copy at all was exciting as this is pretty rare album. Anyway this is the first appearance of Ivor (Iva) in the music scene and came out right when he joined After The Fire. It has a folksy seventies sound and is nothing like his later work. We tried to look into Ivor’s history before this album but we were unable to find out anything. This album has been re-released on CD in 2015 but so far we can’t find a copy but we are looking.

01 – Waiting For The Sun – 3:51
02 – Dear Lord – 3:03
03 – I Want To Dance – 2:21
04 – Old Fashioned Dreamer – 3:12
05 – Come Up Smiling – 2:54
06 – I Can’t Take – 4:02
07 – This Thing’s Gone On Long Enough – 3:41
08 – The Carpenter’s Son – 4:01
09 – Maybe I’m A Fool – 3:18
10 – Come To Me – 4:26
11 – Safe With Me – 3:02

Bass – Robert Michael
Drums – Ivor Twidell
Electric Guitar – Dusty Miller
Flute – Ivor Twidell, Tamsin Ginger
Guitar – Ivor Twidell
Lacquer Cut By – Spikey
Percussion – Ivor Twidell
Synthesizer – Ivor Twidell
Violin – Nick Battle
Vocals – Ivor Twidell, Nick Battle

Rick Riso – Shouting At The Walls – 1986

This is the second album I’ve covered by Rick. When I listened to the first album I really couldn’t find much info on Rick but since then I’ve learnt much more about him. While he only had 3 solo albums he also has 5 albums with his wife Cathy and I look forward to listening to them soon. He is also very active in the Christian community and still travels and sings in many sanctuaries. As for the album it’s a fun easy listening pop album which was the style of the day. The only charting single of the album, “Faithful” made it to #21 on the CCM charts and quite frankly there’s a few more tracks that could have singled in my opinion.

1 – Forever – 3:53
2 – Faithful – 4:05
3 – Even If – 4:34
4 – I Find Your Love Again – 4:00
5 – Sure Thing – 4:30
6 – Shouting At The Walls – 4:50
7 – No Fear Of Flying – 4:43
8 – Heart’s Desire – 4:25
9 – Edge Of Darkness – 4:35
10 – See The Light – 4:44

Artist – Rick Riso
Arranged By – Brad Cole
Composer – Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin, Randy Thoma
Engineer – Tim Jaquette
Executive Producer – Chris Christian
Producer – Rick Riso, Tim Jaquette

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Home Sweet Home Records
Copyright © – Home Sweet Home Records
Recorded At – Studio Masters
Mixed At – Studio Masters
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.

Talking Drums – Reassembly – 1985

I have a rather strange relationship with Talking Drums. I was a fan of theirs and played several tracks of theirs while I was a Disc Jockey outside of the Christina industry. Their albums were only available as imports but I fell in love with them. I had no idea they were a Christian band or band of Christians if you prefer. This is their first full length album and built on the success of their EP Courage. Between Courage and this album they actually released a very well produced demo that was very popular in the underground scene. Two tracks from that demo, Reassembly Of The Heart, and What Do You Want? were rerecorded (or possible just remixed) for this album.

1 – Pretend A Stranger – 3:34
2 – I Do Not Fret – 4:10
3 – You Do Cry A Lot – 3:13
4 – Reassembly Of The Heart – 4:13
5 – What Do You Want? – 2:16
6 – Tell Me – 3:37
7 – Much Too Much – 3:41
8 – Sweet July – 3:20
9 – Grown-Up Children – 3:33
10 – Innocent Love – 4:04

Engineer [Creative Engineering] – Rico Conning
Performer [Talking Drums:] – Carol Moore, Charlie Irvine, Dot Irvine
Producer [Production] – Steve Butler
Sleeve – Box
Written-By – Charlie Irvine

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Illegal Music Ltd.
Copyright © – Illegal Music Ltd.
Recorded At – Guerilla Studios
Recorded At – Utopia Studios