Sardonyx was formed in 1988 with the coming together of two metal bands. The original members were Tom Denlinger on Vocals, Rod Feltman Lead Guitars, Michael Anthony Drums, Tim Swarthout Lead Guitar, and Chuck Turner on Bass. In 1990 the guys came together at the home studio of Dave Kurtz of Thresher and would record this simple 4 song Demo. Shortly after the demo was recorded Tim Swarthout left the band and isn’t credited on the demo. The demo was very popular and while it led to recording offers they went on to forge their own path and release future albums privately. This demo is presented in full on both sides of the cassette which I always thought was a nice touch. Given the destructive qualities of playing a cassette these two sided versions would let you enjoy the music twice as long.
I’ll say honestly I’m a little confused how the Edin Adahl gang decided what albums were solo projects and what were group albums. This project includes Lars Edin obviously but also Frank Ådahl and Simon Ådahl and was produced by Bertil Edin. Anyway Lars was the lead on this project and wrote the music for seven of the tracks while Svenerid Dahl wrote the lyrics for those seven tracks. Simon Adahl wrote one track and strangely but pretty cool are two tracks written by Jeff Lynn as performed by ELO. I don’t really know too much about the project other than that but it’s a pretty good album. It has a bit of an early Edin-Ådahl feel and sound though it is produced better than those early projects.
Tracklist 1 – Summer and Lightning – 3:52 2 – Without Love – 2:54 3 – Right on Time – 3:44 4 – Cause I Need You – 3:46 5 – Unbounded Land – 4:02 6 – Bleeding Heart – 3:33 7 – Stepping Out – 3:27 8 – Confusion – 3:19 9 – I’m the One – 3:55 10 – Waste of Time – 2:58
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar – Simon Ådahl Arranged By – Lasse Edin, Tommy Kaså Backing Vocals – Frank Ådahl, Lasse Edin, Simon Ådahl Bass – Tomas Axelsson, Urban Hedin Design – Carl Åkesson Drum Programming – Frank Ådahl Drums – Johan Franzon Engineer – Bertil Edin Guitar, Lead Guitar – Tommy Kaså Keyboards – Frank Ådahl, Jörgen Ingeström Photography By – Magnus Elgquist Producer – Bertil Edin, Lasse Edin Steel Guitar – Per-Olof Larsson
After the official breakup of After The Fire Andy Piercy hit the studio for a solo album with Producer John Eden. They had some material left over from the final days of ATF so that’s where they started. The album was to be called Free Heat which was an anagram of After The Fire, with the missing letters creating the word “rift”. Musicians who worked on the album with Piercy and Mal Pope included Roger Taylor (Queen), Henry Spinetti & Bob Jenkins – drums, John Giblin & Andy – bass, Alan Murphy & John Russell – guitar, Adrian Lee – keys. Mal Pope and John Russell both did some backing vocals. CBS released “8 Ball in the Top Pocket” (b-side “Deep Waters Still Run”) as a single and it did not get any airplay. They also pressed an extended version of the single but they ditched it before the release though some copies did sneak out. Work on the album had begun to get difficult as the demos were not turning into the tracks Piercy wished for. Then towards the end of recording, the producer, John Eden, told Piercy that he “didn’t like” any of the styles, bands or writers he was aspiring to. The whole project was dropped by CBS and was never released. Piercy recalls “I think they could have been good but I now realize I didn’t get the production help and direction I needed at the time.” Okay that’s enough of the history lesson so now my opinion. The choice of “8 Ball In The Top Pocket” was absolutely the wrong choice. Then they put “Deep Waters Still Run” on the B side which was even a worse decision. Everyone involved in the project knew the single was “Stop Go” followed up by “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” but CBS didn’t care what all the talent thought. Now as for the album as a whole I actually think I agree with Andy that there were production problems. Normally this is where I would scream and yell about the mix but in this case it’s not the mix that is the problem. Actually I think the production is fantastic BUT the problem is that the tracks were mixed in different styles. I feel that there is 3 distinctly different sounds here. I think they’re all good but the album doesn’t have that continuity that great albums have. That said I believe producer John Eden did a good job but it just didn’t work out. One last gripe was the choice of the album name being a negative attitude towards After The Fire. In my opinion that just wasn’t called for or appropriate and knowing that Andy and Peter Banks were still trying to be friends it was in poor taste.
Tracklist 1 – Stop Go – 4:36 2 – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – 4:44 3 – Terry – 6:20 4 – Young Love – 4:32 5 – Deep Waters Still Run – 4:13 6 – 8 Ball In The Top Pocket – 5:04 7 – Break Out – 4:53 8 – One Down For The Highway – 4:12 9 – Jewel In The Night – 4:52 10 – 4th Street Room 101 – 4:23
Credits Artwork By [Design] – Roslav Backing Vocals – Mal Pope, John Russell Bass – John Giblin, Andy Piercy Drums – Roger Taylor, Heny Spinetti, Bob Jenkins Guitar – Alan Murphy, John Russell Keyboards – Adrian Lee Photography By – Eric Watson Producer – Andy Piercy, John Eden Vocals – Andy Piercy
Right off the bat I have to start out by apologizing because some of the videos in this playlist are blocked in some countries. This has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Cliff Richard. He has always had copyright issues and whatever management company he is using now doesn’t understand digital world copyright. I know Cliff has nothing actively to do with his copyright issues but if anyone reads this and talks with Cliff could you please tell him to fire his management company and get one that understands international copyright law in 2023 because it’s not 1980 anymore. Oh and he’s losing money because of them.
Okay and it’s on to the album. As you probably know Cliff put out a smattering of Christian albums in the 70’s and 80’s that sold poorly but were mostly loved in the CCM community. I believe this is probably the best known of those albums even though it was never released in North America. In reality there’s no original work here and the album is entirely covers of better known CCM tracks. Yes Cliff did change the arrangements but even that’s questioned as some history says that Terry Britten actually did the arrangements. To be clear I’m not picking on Cliff because I really like this album. The Larry covers are excellent I’m just telling the story. Actually my favourite cover on the album is I Love originally from Malcolm & Alwyn. Anyway if you missed this one back in the day it’s a must listen to if YouTube will allow you to.
Tracklist 1 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – 4:05 (Written-By – Larry Norman) 2 – I Love – 3:15 (Written-By – Alwyn Wall, Malcolm Wild) 3 – Why Me – 2:40 (Written-By – Kris Kristofferson) 4 – I’ve Got News For You – 4:14 (Written-By – Randy Stonehill) 5 – Hey Watcha’ Say – 3:56 (Written-By – 2nd Chapter of Acts) 6 – I Wish We’d All Been Ready – 4:38 (Written-By – Larry Norman) 7 – Joseph – 3:22 (Written-By – Terry Britten) 8 – Good On The Sally Army – 3:04 (Written-By – Alan Shiers) 9 – Goin’ Home – 2:51 (Written-By – Annie Herring) 10 – Up In Canada – 2:44 (Written-By – Larry Norman) 11 – Yes He Lives – 3:28 (Written-By – Terry Britten) 12 – When I Survey The Wondrous Cross – 2:11 (Traditional)
Credits Arranged By – Nick Ingman Bass Guitar – Alan Tarney Chorus [Vocal Group] – Cliff Richard, John Perry, Stewart Calver, Tony Rivers Drums, Percussion – Brian Bennett Engineer – Tony Clark Engineer [Assistant] – Allan Rouse, Hayden Bendall*, John Barrett, Mike Jarrett Guitar – Terry Britten Keyboards – Graham Todd Mastered By – Chris Blair, Nick Webb Photography By – Gered Mankowitz Producer – Cliff Richard
OK so I did a bunch of looking and I can’t find anything about this band. Their proper name was First Love Band and the main members were John P. Volz & Joan C. Volz. I have no idea whether they were brother and sister or husband and wife. I also have no idea if they are related to Greg Volz. This is the second of three albums by them. Generally when a band has 3 albums I can find out a little more about them but this time I’m stumped. Anyway as for the album it has a seventies easy listening sound and is actually really well engineered and produced. Best track is probably “Child Of The King” which features some pretty good guitar work. If you like obscure 70’s CCM bands then I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one.
Tracklist 1 – Closer To The Light – 4:06 2 – Fishes And Loaves – 4:01 3 – Paradox – 4:46 4 – Crockpot Christian – 5:09 5 – Nothing Can Keep Me Away – 3:11 6 – Hands Off The Altar – 3:36 7 – Give It All Up – 4:14 8 – Child Of The King – 2:26 9 – Raise A Praise – 5:32
Credits Piano, Lead Vocals – Joan C. Volz Lead Vocals, Latin Percussion – John P. Volz Organ – John Drymon Lead Guitar – Jim Scott Classical Guitar – Steve Stoutenberg Strings – Loretta Shotwell, Mary Burke Sax – Richard Malfitano Congos, Drums – John Allen Bass, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Henry Triplett Horns – Gary Laustsen Woodwinds – Bill Davis Trombone – Henry Pearlberg Background Vocals – Joan C. Volz, John P. Volz, Joe Saint, Henry Triplett Synth – Tom Cook Engineer – Joe Saint Producer – Joe Saint, First Love
Well I’m definitely going to piss some people off with this review. This is Steven’s third album and it was wildly successful. It had four number one hits, “More To This Life”, “I Will Be Here”, “Love You With My Life”, “Treasure Island”, as well as a number 6 track, “Waiting For Lightning”. This is all according to CCM magazine. I think it was about this time in history that CCM magazine completely lost the plot. I was never particularly happy with their chart decisions but really this album was ridiculous. If you listen to all of the singles on this album they sound like they were written by AI. This is the same drivel that is coming out of the Christian music scene today. In fact you could release this album today and it would sound like everything else on Christian radio. I can imagine that Sparrow records is still rolling in the royalties from thousands of worship services that use these songs. I’m sorry Steven, you are a fantastic artist but this kind of music is what ruined CCM music for everyone. Now I know plenty of you love this album and there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean Steven is a great artist and in fact a couple tracks on this album that didn’t single are pretty good but they don’t follow the worship style that the industry was turning to. I quite liked his previous albums but this one just sounded too industry oriented for me.
Tracklist 1 – More To This Life – 5:11 2 – Love You With My Life – 3:23 3 – Waiting For Lightning – 3:40 4 – Living For The Moment – 4:47 5 – I Will Be Here – 4:24 6 – Who Makes The Rules – 3:33 7 – Treasure Island – 4:46 8 – Way Beyond The Blue – 5:43 9 – In This Little Room – 3:36 10 – More Than Words – 4:28 11 – Out In The Highways – 4:54
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Jon Goin Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Arranged By [Rhythm] – Steven Curtis Chapman Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Don Wyrtzen Art Direction – Barbara Hearn Backing Vocals – Chris Harris, Chris Rodriguez, Herb Chapman, Mark Heimermann Bass – Jackie Street Design – Brenda Whitehill Drums – Mark Hammond Engineer [Additional] – Ronnie Brookshire Engineer [Assistant] – Barry Ray Dixon, Carry Summers, Howard Levy, Steve Bishir Mandolin – Mark O’Connor Mastered By – Denny Purcell Photography By – Mark Tucker Producer, Keyboards, Arranged By [Rhythm] – Phil Naish Production Manager – Cindy Wilt Recorded By, Mixed By – Jeff Balding Slide Guitar [Acoustic] – Don Potter Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, The Nashville String Machine Violin – Mark O’Connor
This is the third release from Nutshell though it was a shell of the previous band. See what I did there? Anyway after the Flyaway album Pam Thiele and Heather Barlowe left the group. They were replaced by Annie McCaig and Mo McCafferty and this lead to the name of the album. The album was of course punctuated by Paul Field’s excellent songwriting. This album continues with that seventies folky sound they had before and if you didn’t know about the change in lineup you would swear it’s the same band. This is not a genre I like very much but if you do like this sound this is a must listen album.
Tracklist 1 – Love With No Limit – 3:32 2 – Don’t Let Me Fall – 3:39 3 – Caroline – 4:38 4 – In The Father’s Hand – 3:31 5 – Starry Eyed & Laughing – 3:16 6 – First Snow – 2:41 7 – Take Me Down – 2:50 8 – Stay Close – 3:42 9 – The Dancer – 5:19 10 – Heaven In Your Heart – 3:14
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Piano – Paul Field Arranged By [Rhythm Charts And String Arrangements] – Rod Edwards, Roger Hand Bass – John G. Perry Design, Photography By – Tony Neeves Drums – Barry de Souza Electric Guitar – Norman Barratt Engineer – Roger Wake Percussion – Tony Carr Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer [Roland Synthesizers] – Rod Edwards Producer – Jon Miller (4), Rod Edwards, Roger Hand Vocals – Annie McCaig, Mo McCafferty, Paul Field
Following up on the phenomenal success of his Children Of The Western World album Steve took his ministry on the road. At a 1991 concert in Mansfield Queensland Steve recorded this live release. It features some of the tracks from his previous album and a lot of new/other tracks. I know this might cause some controversy but personally I truly believe he is the Bruce Springsteen of Christian music. Again the album was only initially released in Australia so us in North America were robbed of getting to hear this great album. It did get a re-release in Europe but I don’t know when. Anyway I’m not going to bore you any further as your time should be spent listening to this fantastic album.
Tracklist 1 – Land Of The Rock – 5:31 2 – One Night In A Million – 3:55 3 – Stand Your Ground – 4:13 4 – Unknown Hero – 3:52 5 – Men Of God – 4:59 6 – Travelling Man – 3:12 7 – Kids On The Street – 5:05 8 – Lonely Feeling – 5:17 9 – World Turn Around – 3:34 10 – Reach Out – 3:04 11 – That’s Alright – 3:21 12 – I Live To Know You – 5:44
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Blues Harp – Steve Grace Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Blues Harp – Peter Shurley Backing Vocals – Chris Butson, David Vine Bass – Jason Chandler Drums – Steve Francis Electric Guitar – Phil Yates Electric Guitar, 12-String Acoustic Guitar – Phil Butson Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – David Richard, Greg Dore Engineer [Live Engineer] – Steve Hartley, Wyn Wynard Executive-Producer – Colin Dyer, Mike Jeffs Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals – Karl Laurens Producer, Engineer – Phil Butson
Companies, etc. Recorded At – Christian Outreach Center, Brisbane Mixed At – Sing Sing Studios Distributed By – Word Australia Glass Mastered At – Disctronics USA – 114451
If you know of Jeff you know of his claim to have sung with Black Sabbath. There is a lot of disagreement over this claim but quite frankly I’m not going to repeat the back and forth between Jeff and Joe Siegler (Black Sabbath Historian). After reading both sides of the story this is my take away. Yes Jeff did some studio work with Tony Iommi (BS guitarist). This is a fact as the tracks are out there floating around the internet. The Jeff version of these tracks were not released on any album. What really happened is lost in Rock & Roll history. I think both versions are somewhat correct and the absolute truth lays somewhere in the middle. Did Jeff embellish his role with Black Sabbath? Probably. Is Jeff one hell of a vocalist? Absolutely. I heard of Jeff’s ministry through the grapevine but quite frankly I never had any interest in it. I have listened to a few of his albums and I’m still not much interested except for this album. This is a very good album. Jeff’s vocals are spot on and the choice of tracks is excellent. I am a bit mystified as to why called a studio album “Live:” however. Anyway this album was released through his ministry and several pressings were done. Not all these pressings are the same. At some point the track order was changed and the track “I Exalt Thee” was added or removed. That track is a cover of Phil Driscoll so there may have been licensing issues. All in all I think this is a great album and regardless of your opinions of Jeff you can not deny that he is a fantastic vocalist.
Tracklist 1 – Living Sacrifice – 3:33 2 – He Will Carry You – 4:22 3 – Make Us One – 3:24 4 – Oh, Happy Day – 4:23 5 – The Anointing – 6:29 6 – Standing In the Shadow of The Almighty – 3:40 7 – I Need To Be Still – 2:41 8 – Hosanna – 4:35 9 – I Exalt Thee – 6:06
Well we have covered all the albums from Writz, Famous name, Techno Twins etc.. BUT this is where all that started. This is Steve Fairnie and Steve Rowles’s first published band. Yes this is where it all started in 1975. And what a start it was. This is a fantastic 70’s sound album. I’m a little surprised that Myrrh actually released this album. Yes it is Jesus music but not every track shoves Jesus in your face. There are a few tracks here that actually could have singled on the secular charts. The track “Soup & Whisky” is without a doubt one of my favourite 70’s era songs Jesus music or otherwise.
Tracklist 1 – Jimmy Bootlace Seller – 3:35 2 – A Line Must Divide – 3:50 3 – Beautiful Secret – 4:00 4 – Matthew – 3:52 5 – Good Night Brothers – 2:55 6 – Soup & Whisky – 3:32 7 – 60’s Children – 3:57 8 – Share The Same – 3:56 9 – Broken Dream – 3:00 10 – Precious Lord – 4:17
Credits Acoustic Guitar – Steve Fairnie, Steve Rowles Engineer – Jeremy Stenham, Martin Levan, Mike Bobak, Mike Silverstone* Mastered By – George Peckham Photography By [Uncredited] – Bev Sage Producer – John Pac Vocals – Steve Fairnie, Steve Rowles
Companies, etc. Recorded At – Morgan Studios Mastered At – Master Room