Lone Justice – Shelter – 1986

Damn that Maria McKee can really sing. That may be the single greatest understatement in the first 370 post on this list. But really, if anyone can find a better way to express the sheer power, passion and presence of McKee’s vocal virtuosity, have at it. It was said co-Producer Little Steve (E Street Band) remarked that McKees vocal performance on “Inspiration” was the most powerful and passionate vocal he had heard since Bruce Springsteens “Adam Raised a Cain.” Mighty high praise indeed. And well deserved. More commercially appealing than the debut, Shelter infused a little more country rock and significantly less cow punk. It is better produced (in some spots a bit over-produced) and the songwriting is more accessible with superior ballads and a more consistent sound. It should have been the record to make Lone Justice rock stars. Rather, it became their swan song. I Found Love and Shelter were both that singles that just never broke through, though they ended being covered by a few CCM artists including Geoff Moore. But the real strength on this album is on the deeper cuts and ballads. Beacon, Belfry and Dreams Come True all rock with great guitar work and McKe’s emotive presence. And as mentioned earlier, Inspiration is just an emotional vocal tour de force with a once in a lifetime performance. The two side-ending ballads should also be noted. Wheels is a beautiful country song that should be covered by a more modern country female vocalist. The album closer, Dixie Storms, is just haunting and would point to the direction McKee would follow in her solo career.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – I Found Love – 4:15
2 – Shelter – 4:37
3 – Reflected (On My Side) – 4:57
4 – Beacon – 4:18
5 – Wheels – 5:05
6 – Belfry – 5:03
7 – Dreams Come True (Stand Up And Take It) – 4:06
8 – The Gift – 4:16
9 – Inspiration – 3:49
10 – Dixie Storms – 3:37

Credits
Acoustic Guitar [Additional], Rhythm Guitar [Additional] – Little Steven
Bass, Vocals – Gregg Sutton
Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Janet Weber
Cover – Cooper Edens
Design – Kim Champagne
Drums – Rudy Richman
Engineer [Additional] – Bruce Lampcov, Don Smith, Greg Edward, Joe Borja, Nikko Bolas, Scott Litt, Shelly Yakus, Steven Rinkoff
Engineer [Assistant] – Craig Engel, Marc De Sisto, Michael Bowman, Rob Jacobs, Ross Stein
Guitar – Ryan Hedgecock, Shane Fontayne
Keyboards – Bruce Brody
Keyboards [Additional] – Benmont Tench, Charles Judge, Tommy Mandel
Lacquer Cut By – J. Webster
Management – Ice Cream Management
Management [Associate] – Tony Ferguson
Mastered By – Stephen Marcussen
Mixed By – Greg Edward (tracks: A4, A5, B1, B3, B4), Humberto Gatica (tracks: B2), Joe Chiccarelli (tracks: A2), Mike Shipley (tracks: A1, A3), Shelly Yakus (tracks: B5)
Photography By – Melanie Nissen
Producer – Jimmy Iovine, Little Steven, Lone Justice
Production Manager – Chuck Reed
Recorded By – Joe Chiccarelli, Robert de la Garza
Vocals, Guitar, Piano – Maria McKee

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – WEA Music Of Canada, Ltd.
Pressed By – Cinram
Recorded At – A&M Studios
Recorded At – Atlantic Studios
Recorded At – The Village Recorder
Mastered At – Precision Lacquer
Lacquer Cut at – McClear Place
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The David Geffen Company
Copyright © – The David Geffen Company
Printed By – Ever Reddy
Published By – Little Diva Music
Published By – Little Steven Music
Published By – Looking-Glass Feet Music
Published By – Black Platinum Music
Published By – Agreeable Music

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Tonio K. – Notes From The Lost Civilization – 1988

Tonio K released two albums for the Christian market in the mid 80’s on What? Records. Both of them reach the Top 100 on this list. Both a must own album and truly brilliant works. Both are completely different musically and differ greatly in topic and theme. More will be said about Tonio K in a future post, but it should be noted here that for nearly three decades he released some of the most important releases that no one knows about. Before embracing the Christian faith Tonio K released several critically lauded and publicly ignored masterpieces. The same rang true in Christian music circles. I believe “Notes” was the last release for What? Records, a brilliant label whose imprint was the kiss of death in the CCM world. I cannot confirm this right now, but I believe every What? Records release appears on this countdown. The label was a joint effort between Word Records and A&M with the intent to bring Christian music to the masses with artists that had the chops and integrity to pull off the crossover. Where Tonio’s CCM debut (Romeo Unchained) was driven by technology and “new wave” rhythms and production, “Notes” was organic, blues and country influenced Americana rock and roll set in the heart of city life and suburban nightmares. There are two versions of the album with the Word released version not containing a song that will be discussed later. No one should own the Word version and I refused to carry that version in my store at the time.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Without Love – 3:33
2 – Children’s Crusade – 4:56
3 – Stay – 4:14
4 – City Life – 4:07
5 – You Were There – 4:46
6 – The Executioner’s Song – 6:27
7 – I Can’t Stand It – 4:08
8 – What Women Want – 4:27
9 – I Can’t Stop – 3:19
10 – Where Is That Place? – 3:59

Credits
A&R [Productive A&R] – Aaron Jacoves, Tom Willett
Arranged By – David Miner, T Bone Burnett, Tonio K.
Art Direction, Photography By, Design – Linda Myers-Krikorian
Bass – James Jamerson, Jr. (tracks: 7 to 10)
Bass, Double Bass [String Bass], Harmonium, Marimba – David Miner
Drum Programming – Ralph Forbes
Drums – Raymond Pounds (tracks: 7 to 10)
Drums, Synthesizer [Dynacord] – Jim Keltner
Electric Guitar – Jack Sherman
Electric Guitar [12-string, Gut String, National], Acoustic Guitar – T Bone Burnett
Engineer [Assistant Engineering] – Barry Conley, Bob Loftus, Brian Soucy, Dave “The Blade” Knight, Duncan Aldrich, Ira Rubnitz, Tom Banghart
Executive-Producer – T Bone Burnett
Graphic Design, Layout – Karl Shields, Susan Shields
Mastered By – Tony Dawsey
Mixed By – Tchad Blake
Organ [Farfisa] – Rick Neigher
Organ [Hammond] – Booker T. Jones
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Piano – John Keller
Producer [Produced By] – David Miner, Tonio K.
Recorded By – Larry Hirsch
Recorded By [Additional Recording By] – Larold Rebhun (tracks: 8)
Rhythm Guitar [Occasional], Vocals – Tonio K.

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – What? Records
Copyright (c) – What? Records
Manufactured By – A&M Records, Inc.
Distributed By – A&M Records, Inc.
Recorded At – The Sound Factory
Recorded At – American Recorders
Recorded At – Ocean Way Recording
Recorded At – Mad Hatter Studios
Recorded At – A&M Studios
Mixed At – The Sound Factory
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Published By – Bibo Music Publishers
Published By – N.Y.M.
Published By – Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Published By – Safespace Music
Published By – Unicity Music
Published By – Tea Time Tunes
Published By – Yellow Brick Road Music
Published By – VALEVISTA Music

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Disc

Kim Hill – Talk About Life – 1989

Kim was that “girl next door” artist CCM was looking for. That is, if you lived next door to a really attractive girl who appeared to live on a farm and possessed nothing but jeans and an acoustic guitar who drove a 1950’s era puck up truck. Yeah…that next door. After a decent debut that showed glimmers of hope for originality and artistic merit, Kim Hill’s sophomore release, Talk About Life, revealed those possibilities. Less Nashville pop and more female singer-songwriter. Less AC pop and more rock, country and folk. Hill was Christian music answer to the Melissa Etheridge/Meredith Brooks. jean wearing female rocker/songwriter. Hill’s husky alto voice (think Chistine McVie, KT Tunstall)) was great fit to the earthy, acoustic rock on the album. What also worked is a strong lyrical content that went beyond the normal CCM categories, even if the themes remained similar. There is a passion in the content as well as in the performance. “Snakes in the Grass” is one of the great songs in the history of CCM female artists. Her vocal flexibility and range mixed with a stark and edgy production makes this a stand out on so many levels. It’s a song Maria McKee would do, but with no guarantee of better results. The acoustic guitar accentuated by an incredible “rock” string arrangement is pure studio magic. Brown Bannister, more noted for his AC pop, outdid himself on this album. The title track and Closer to a Broken Heart continue the great rock sound in the vein of The Pretenders and Tom Petty. In fact, there are really no weak moments on the albums and has remained her strongest effort, though her follow up also contained similar quality work. Hill would later move in a more worship direction and an involvement with Women of faith type ministries. She has yet to return to this type of music and that is true loss for Christian Music. But even some 20 years later this album sound fantastic and not dated in any way.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Inside Of You – 4:22
2 – Stop, Watch And Listen – 5:14
3 – Secret Place – 4:45
4 – Snake In The Grass – 4:08
5 – Let’s Talk About Life – 2:01
6 – Closer To A Broken Heart – 3:37
7 – Turning – 3:50
8 – Testimony – 3:33
9 – Charm Is Deceitful – 2:21

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Jackson Design
Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Richard Headen
Cover [Cover Coordinator] – D.L. Rhodes
Executive-Producer – Michael Blanton, Terry Hemmings
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jeff Balding
Photography By – Russ Harrington
Producer [Associate Producer] – Wayne Kirkpatrick
Producer [Produced By] – Brown Bannister
Recorded By [Additional Recording] – Splash Headen, Smash Kirkpatrick
Recorded By [Assisted By] – Carry Summers, Steve Bishir
Recorded By [Overdubs Recorded By] – Slash Bannister
Recorded By [Tracks Recorded By] – Jeff Balding

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word Records Limited
Copyright (c) – Word Records Limited
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Overdubbed At – Home Groan Studio
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Published By – Pupfish Music
Published By – Knightsville Music
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Songs Of PolyGram International, Inc.
Published By – Yellow Jacket Music, Inc.
Published By – Emily Boothe, Inc.
Published By – Word Music (2)
Published By – Riverstone Music, Inc.
Pressed By – DADC – DIDX-006789

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Disc

Rich Mullins – Winds Of Heaven, Stuff Of Earth – 1988

Here is another example of the different presuppositions between this list and the previous blogs list for determining placement. Though significantly more important to the overall progression of the CCM market, the album does not fair as well when compared to multiple releases per artist and exclusive artistic achievement guidelines. That is not so say this is not a great record, God Forbid. This is ana amazing record and no serious collector should have it missing. “Winds of Heaven” is a lighter, sweeter, sometimes melancholy project that is punctuated with worship and promise. But ultimately it came down to impact and lasting impressions and nothing on “A Liturgy” (or too many other albums for that matter) can match what “Awesome God” has meant to a generation of believers despite being an overall stronger project. If the reader is only familiar with the classic worship tune then they are missing a truly great project. On this album Mullins would change how many people approach the Lord every Sunday morning all across the globe. What started out as a quickly penned worship song for a Youth gathering in Michigan became the single most often sung modern worship song in history. It was also listed as the Number One Christian song in history in CCM Magazine’s countdown of the greatest songs. Oddly enough the verse structure and content is nothing like any other worship song and, in fact, does not lend itself to corporate worship. But when the chorus kicks in there is nothing to compare it to. Memorable, large, boisterous, powerful and lasting. Generations later I am firmly convinced this chorus will still be a staple for God’s people in worship. “If I Stand” follows and may be the strongest song on the project. This song ultimately is about the recognition of man’s frailty and God’s loving compassion toward man. It is a story of reliance on the creator by that which is created. Mullins points to the ultimate relationship a man must have…greater than anything he can find on Earth. One other radio hit from the project is “Such a Thing as Glory.” A musical backdrop bordering on world music sets the stage for a lyrical expression devoted to recognizing the great work of Jesus. Other highlights from this album include “…and I Love You,” and “Home.” For those who may dismiss this album as a “one hit wonder” they have truly missed the heart of an artist that was just beginning to hit his stride. After two poorly received projects (though decent releases on their own), this project moved him into a whole new level of acceptance and the Church and music industry is the better for it. The only thing I have noticed in Mullins music is the lack of humor that he so often displayed in concert. In fact, I remember the first time I saw him was when he opened up for Steve Taylor and Amy Grant (seriously, they toured together). He sat down to polite applause and said; “Now, I know most of you don’t know who in the world I am…but, then again, I don’t know who you are either!” That broke the ice with the crowd and he then proceeded to perform a medley of songs he had written for other artist including Amy Grant’s “Sing Your Praise to the Lord.” That, for some reason, is etched in my memory as much as his memorable songs. He is missed.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – The Other Side Of The World – 2:43
2 – With The Wonder – 4:25
3 – Awesome God – 3:03
4 – If I Stand – 3:39
5 – Home – 4:01
6 – Such A Thing As Glory – 2:41
7 – . . . And I Love You – 3:46
8 – Ready For The Storm – 3:37
9 – One True Love – 4:03
10 – How Can I Keep Myself From Singing – 3:51

Credits
Alan Arnett – Background Vocals
Reed Arvin – Producer, String Arrangements, Keyboards, Synclavier
Jeff Balding – Additional Mix
Janis Broughton – Background Vocals
Heidi Brown – Background Vocals
Fred Carpenter – Fiddle
Susan Coker – Background Vocals
Scott Coupland – Background Vocals
Steve Cudworth – Songwriter
Lyn Curley – Background Vocals
Keith Edwards – Drums
Jennifer Farrar – Background Vocals
Jon Goin – Guitar
Allison Gordley – Background Vocals
Chris Harris – Background Vocals
Paul Harris – Background Vocals
Mark Heimermann – Background Vocals
Terry Hemmings – Executive Producer
Kim Hill – Background Vocals
Bonnie Keen – Background Vocals
Brent King – Mixed
Wayne Kirkpatrick – Background Vocals
Bryan Lenox – Background Vocals
Lori Loving – Background Vocals
Gary Lunn – Bass
Pam Mark Hall – Background Vocals
Dougie McClain – Songwriter
David McCracken – Background Vocals
Jerry McPherson – Guitar
Marita Meinerts – Background Vocals
Carmen Minard – Background Vocals
Jeff Moseley – Executive Producer
Rich Mullins – Songwriter, Vocals
Craig Nelson – Acoustic Bass
Pam Ourada – Background Vocals
Rafael Padilla – Percussion
Cynthia Ratliff – Background Vocals
Mark Ratliff – Background Vocals
Chris Rodriguez – Background Vocals
Melinda Scruggs – Background Vocals
Billy Simon – Background Vocals
Michael W. Smith – Piano
Billy Sprague – Background Vocals
Melodie Tunney – Background Vocals
Hank Williams – Mastered

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – Uni Distribution Corp.
Distributed By – Uni Distribution Corp.
Recorded At – Goldmine Recording Studios
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Recorded At – Spence Manor
Mixed At – Mastermix
Mastered At – Mastermix
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.
Published By – Limetree Publishing, Inc.
Manufactured By – DADC
Glass Mastered At – DADC – DIDX-010100

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Disc

Mad At The World – Mad At The World – 1987

The story goes that while Roger Rose, the taller and older Rose brother that makes up the band, Mad At The World, was working as a mailman he dropped of a demo tape int he mailbox of Jimmy Kempner, owner of Frontline Records. The tape was passed along and the Rose brothers were eventaully signed by Frontline and in 1987 they released their first of several very successful projects, the self-titled Mad at the World. Completely programmed and synthesized techno music with aggressive 80’s dance beats and a very European vocal styling, the very well produced debut became an instant hit in many Christian circles. Mainstream music was filled with bands like Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears but Christian music’s edgier sounds were usually punk bands of long hair glam rockers like Stryper and Shout. MATW filled a huge void as Christian “dance clubs” were also starting to spring up and techno music was very limited. The lyrics were very “Christian” thematically but dealt with the darker side of life and some people initially struggled with the more dark sounding content. Kids, though, flocked to the album and their reputation spread quickly, especially in Southern California. They were invited to play a New Year’s Eve event at Knott’s Berry Farm, a popular theme park in Orange County. The set consisted primarily of older brother Roger on guitar and keyboards and 15 year old Randy on a bizarre looking electronic percussive contraption. The cool factor was high and their outside show drew huge crowds. Styles would change to darker and heavier rock and eventually to a more Beatlesque pop sound, but it is the first two albums that the band is most remembered for.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Track Listing:
1 – Living Dead – 3:28
2 – All The Lonely Sheep – 5:50
3 – I Want To See Heaven – 4:25
4 – No Room Left – 4:05
5 – Easy Way Out – 3:50
6 – Bad Motives – 4:20
7 – No More Innocence – 5:00
8 – It Can’t Rain Forever – 5:00
9 – Here We Go Again – 3:28
10 – Dry Your Tears – 4:10
11 – Mad At The World – 3:55
12 – Change Of Luck – 3:42

Credits
Arranged By – Roger Rose
Art Direction – Brian Kay, Ed McTaggart
Artwork [Photographics] – Ken Baley
Backing Vocals, Electronic Drums, Percussion – Randy Rose
Engineer – Roger Rose (tracks: B1)
Engineer [Basic Tracks] – Dave Hackbarth (tracks: A1 to A5, B2 to B5)
Engineer [Vocal Tracks] – Dave Jahnsen (tracks: A1 to A5, B2 to B5)
Guitar, Keyboards – Mike Pendleton
Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Synthesizer, Electronic Drums, Percussion – Roger Rose
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By – Linda Dillon Baley
Producer – Roger Rose

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Recorded At – Asylomar Studios
Recorded At – MATW Studios
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Pressed By – Record Technology Incorporated – 23329
Pressed By – Record Technology Incorporated – 23330

James Vincent – Waiting For The Rain – 1978

Hot off the world renowned success of 1976’s “Space Traveler” James Vincert embrace Christianity and set a distinctly different course than the one he had previously been on. Considered one of the best jazz guitarists of his generation James Vincent would record two very directly Christian album, the first being the one in question. Because of the immense success of the previous album “Waiting for the Rain” received a very strong distribution (normally lacking for CCM artists) through his mainstream record company. Filled with some amazing jazz and rock tunes with the emphasis on jazz and Vincent’s brilliant guitar work and the Seawind horn section. Musically in the vein of George Benson or the mellower side of Earth, Wind and Fire with a soulful and rich voice and stellar guitar work. There are two strong radio songs in “What Does It Profit a Man” and “People of the World.” I remember working at KYMS radio some five to 10 years later and still playing these two songs. But really it is the more obscure and less commercial songs that make the album so amazing. Resistance is a progressive jazz piece with limited vocal and several changes throughout while the guitar in Daniel, Daniel will remind many of Keaggy’s guitar styling. How Can I Thank You is a pure delight as Vincent scats over the top of his guitar solo. Though the follow up release, Enter In, may have contained some better and more mature lyrics there is a simplicity and joy to this release that makes it such a treasure.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – What Does It Profit A Man? – 4:50
2 – Resistance – 4:52
3 – Etude #20 – 1:16
4 – Daniel, Daniel – 3:10
5 – People Of The World – 4:39
6 – How Can I Thank You Enough – 4:55
7 – Soon Comes The Son – 3:48
8 – Waiting For The Rain – 3:12
9 – The Seventh Day – 6:11
10 – Babylon Is Fallen – 3:09

Credits
Arranged By [Horns] – Seawind Horns
Backing Vocals – Carla Vincent (tracks: A5)
Bass – Steve Evans
Congas – Pat Murphy
Drums [Hand & Trap] – Tom Donlinger
Guitar – James Vincent
Keyboards – Ron Stockert
Marimba – Tom Donlinger
Percussion – Pat Murphy
Percussion, Congas – Carla Vincent (tracks: B5)
Producer – James Vincent
Saxophone – Kim Hutchcroft, Larry Williams
Synthesizer [Roland Guitar, Roland 5h-5] – James Vincent
Trombone – Bill Reichenbach
Trumpet – Jerry Hey
Vocals – James Vincent
Whistling – Vincent Dondelinger (tracks: B3)

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – CBS Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Published By – Big Elk Music
Published By – Caleb Music
Published By – Swinghouse Music

Lone Justice – Lone Justice – 1985

Is their a more powerful or intense female vocalist in the world than Lone Justice’s Maria McKee. If there is I have never heard her. Once the opening question, “Should I go North?” is belted out at full velocity this amazing record never loses ferocity and passion. All this is wrapped up in cowpunk like country rock the defies comparison. The first single “Ways to Be Wicked” penned by Tom Petty was sorely misunderstood by many in Christian market that ventured out and bought the project based on reviews in many Christian Music publications. But one cut from the album, the finale, “You Are the Light” found its way onto many Christian Rock radio shows as well as Orange County’s famous KYMS. The beautiful country tinged ballad is a stunning and memorable tune reminiscent of Patsy Cline. Stark, stunning and instantly emotional and authentic. They would follow this with the more commercial and “Christian” sounding album, “Shelter,” that will be discussed later.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – East Of Eden – 2:36
2 – After The Flood – 3:38
3 – Ways To Be Wicked – 3:26
4 – Don’t Toss Us Away – 4:19
5 – Working Late – 2:44
6 – Sweet, Sweet Baby (I’m Falling) – 4:10
7 – Pass It On – 3:38
8 – Wait ‘Til We Get Home – 3:17
9 – Soap, Soup And Salvation – 4:01
10 – You Are The Light – 3:59

Credits
Art Direction – Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff, Paula Greif
Bass – Marvin Etzioni
Design – Jeri McManus
Drums – Don Heffington
Engineer – Shelly Yakus
Guitar – Ryan Hedgecock
Management – Carlyne Majer
Mastered By – Stephen Marcussen
Mixed By – David Thoener (tracks: B4), Don Smith (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, B2, B3), Greg Edward (tracks: A4, B1, B5), Shelly Yakus (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, B2, B3)
Photography By – Deborah Turbeville
Piano, Organ – Benmont Tench
Producer – Jimmy Iovine
Production Manager [Coordinator] – Janet Weber
Recorded By – Greg Edward (tracks: A4, B1, B2), Joe Chiccarelli (tracks: A3, B3), Shelly Yakus (tracks: A1, A2, A5, B5), Thom Panunzio (tracks: B4)
Vocals – Maria McKee

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – WEA Music Of Canada, Ltd.
Manufactured By – WEA Music Of Canada, Ltd.
Recorded At – Power Station
Recorded At – Sunset Sound
Recorded At – Amigo Studios
Recorded At – Rumbo Recorders
Overdubbed At – Sunset Sound
Overdubbed At – The Village Recorder
Overdubbed At – Amigo Studios
Overdubbed At – Rumbo Recorders
Overdubbed At – Studio 55, Los Angeles
Mastered At – Precision Lacquer
Mixed At – The Village Recorder
Mixed At – Rumbo Recorders
Mixed At – Sound City Studios

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Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back
Side 1
Side 2

Darrell Mansfield – Get Ready – 1980/1992

Several months ago someone asked me if there were and “jam albums” in CCM. Off the top of my head I struggled to come up with any according to my friends definition. What was being sought after was a rock and roll album that wasn’t afraid to have the musicians take over a song for a while and letting each instrument have it’s share of the spotlight. Get Ready is such an album! The average song lasts longer then 5 minutes with a very simple blues verse chorus structure which leaves ample time for long instrumental jams featuring guitar and harmonica (Mansfield’s instrument of choice). Solos are loud and long and a heavy blues influence. The album was actually released on Polydor and had very limited Christian distribution when originally released. There was hope of Mansfield breaking into mainstream AOR radio but it never really happened despite relatively positive reviews. It may have had to do with the very evangelistic lyrics, something artists has never compromised on. The title track sounds like something from Dylan’s “Saved” album with a gospel choir accompanying the great guitar work. There are no ballads on the original 8 song release and only one song that could be categorized as “pop.” This would be the last album before Eric Turner would be added to the band n guitar. Turner’s heavier rock influence would be felt on future releases, but here it is original guitarists, Dennis Carothers, who handles the slide and electric lead perfectly. Fans of blues and southern rock like Molly Hatchet, 30 Special, Lynard Skynard and the Allman Brothers will find something here to like, In fact, this is the album I originally hoped Rick Cua would have made with the Outlaws influence. Mansfield’s importance to Jesus Music and later CCM should not be understated, even though he primarily remained a Southern California regional star. Along with Glen Kaiser Mansfield single-handedly kept the influence of blues music alive in CCM.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Get Ready – 4:45
2 – Mr. Rock ‘N’ Roll – 4:08
3 – Above The Water – 5:17
4 – Billy Joe – 3:45
5 – Heaven Southwestern – 6:45
6 – Never Be The Same – 3:37
7 – Power Of Love – 4:18
8 – Life Saver – 4:57
CD Bonus Tracks
9 – Not Far Away – 4:18
10 – When The Curtain Falls – 3:47
11 – Flow Like A River – 4:56

Credits
Backing Vocals – Biff Vincent (tracks: 1 to 8), Bryan Duncan (tracks: 1 to 8), Christina Dent (tracks: 1 to 8), Kathy Hazzard (tracks: 1 to 8), Katy Mahoney (tracks: 1 to 8), Lisa Whitcomb (tracks: 1 to 8), Robin Glick (tracks: 1to 8), Rosemary Butler, Scott Galbraith (2) (tracks: 1 to 8), Susan Curley (tracks: 1 to 8), Virgil Beckham (tracks: 1 to 8), Virgil Beckham (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Bass – Abraham Laboriel (tracks: 9, 10, 11), Charlie Sousa (tracks: 1 to 8)
Bass, Vocals – Jimmy Perez (tracks: 1 to 8)
Drums – Bill Maxwell (tracks: 9, 10, 11), Donny Vosburgh (tracks: 1 to 8), Paul Angers (tracks: 1 to 8)
Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Keyboards – Harlan Rogers (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Anthony Dean (2) (tracks: 1 to 8)
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Vocals – Dennis Corothers (tracks: 1 to 8)
Percussion – Alex Acuña (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Producer – Skip Konte (tracks: 1 to 8), Virgil Beckham (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Slide Guitar – Jerry Swallow (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Vocals, Harmonica – Darrell Mansfield (tracks: 1 to 8), Darrell Mansfield (tracks: 9, 10, 11)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Polydor Incorporated
Manufactured By – Polydor Incorporated
Marketed By – Polydor Incorporated
Recorded At – International Automated Media
Mixed At – International Automated Media
Mastered At – International Automated Media
Pressed By – Bestway Products Inc.

Daniel Amos – Fearful Symmetry – 1986

It is amazing to consider that within a year the conclusion of the Alarma Chronicles will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. 25 years ago one of the most impressive, ambitious and amazing four album series came to an end with a work of sheer art. Each album was unique musically with Fearful Symmetry being the darkest, brooding and mysterious of the four. Following the significantly more new wave “pop” of Vox Humana, FS was shocking, intriguing and…well…fearful. The majority of the album deals with darker subjects like death, pain and loss and the musical soundscape of ethereal vocals and sweeping and weeping keyboards envelope the listener in the dark cloud of the content. That is not to say that the album is replete of hope or grace, but actually just the opposite. It is through the valley of this projects the light that does shine through appears that much brighter. Terry Scott Taylor’s admiration of and inspiration by William Blake is the strongest on this project. From the album title to the most haunting song, Sleep Silent Child, the album is filled with images and direct quotations from Blake. The album does close with the stunningly simple and beautiful lullaby or sorts, Beautiful One. This one hearkens back to Taylor’s solo projects with the sing-songy simplicity and lush keyboard strings and Taylor’s lilting higher register. It is the perfect ending to the “chronicles” as it’s message about the eternal hope of all Christians to find themselves in the arms of the Beautiful One upon their death. I remember when the album was released the number of complaints we received were almost exclusively related to the naked man (from the waist up) on the album cover. Those that complained obviously never listened to nor understood the content of the project or the complaints may have been drastically different. More keyboard driven and music less guitar oriented. the album reflected much of the European alternative music of the day like Depeche Mode, Alphaville, etc but also shows reflections of art rock music of Genesis and Pink Floyd. Not immediately accessible or as warmly received as the first four projects, the album eventually became regarded as one of the best of the Daniel Amos catalog.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – A Sigh For You – 3:58
2 – The Pool – 3:47
3 – Sleep Silent Child – 4:38
4 – Neverland Ballroom – 3:17
5 – Strong Points, Weak Points – 3:55
6 – Instruction Thru Film – 3:20
7 – When Moonlight Sleeps (On The Frosted Hill) – 3:55
8 – Sudden Heaven – 3:23
9 – Shadow Catcher – 4:32
10 – Beautiful One – 3:33

Credits
Arranged By [All Arrangements By] – DA
Art Direction, Layout – Mr. Ed (McTaggart)
Backing Vocals – Crystal Lewis (tracks: B2, B5), Jerry Chamberlain (tracks: A5, B5)
Design Concept [Cover Concept] – DA
Drums, Percussion, Synthesizer [Synthesizers] – Ed McTaggart
Electric Bass, Double Bass [Upright Bass], Bass [Electric Twelve-String Bass], Guitar [Guitars] – Tim Chandler
Keyboards, Snare [Snares] – Rob Watson (tracks: A3)
Lead Guitar [Lead Guitars], E-Bow [E-Bo], Synthesizer [Synthesizers], Organ [Pump Organ], Dulcimer, Mandolin – Greg Flesch
Mastered By – John Matousek
Narrator – Jerry Chamberlain (tracks: B1)
Percussion – Alex MacDougall (tracks: B2, B5)
Photography By [Band Photos By] – Linda Dillon Baley
Photography By [Photographics By] – Ken Baley
Photography By, Photography By [Photographics By] – Derrill Bazzy
Producer – DA, Terry Taylor
Recorded By, Mixed By – Dave Hackbarth, Doug Doyle, Terry Taylor
Synth [Synth Treatments] – Dave Hackbarth (tracks: A1, B3), Doug Doyle (tracks: A1, B3)
Text By [¡Alarma! Chronicles Text Volume 4 By] – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Vocals, Guitar [Guitars], Harmonica, Synthesizer [Synthesizers] – Terry Taylor

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Distributed By – The Master’s Collection
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records (3)
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records (3)
Published By – Broken Songs
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mastered At – Hitsville

David Meece – Are You Ready? – 1980

The term “classic” gets thrown around a lot, both here and elsewhere, when trying to discuss the world of music. Often it’s a term meant to designate a song that’s just really good, but it should be used to describe something with true lasting value. A song the remains viable and important decades later. When one uses the latter, more significant definition, the number of truly “classic” songs becomes much more limited. Very few artists have ever truly written a “classic” song. But in 1980 one young singer-songwriter did just that. David Meece was a popular late comer to the Jesus Music movement and is more closely associated with the burgeoning CCM world. His high pitched voice (think a Gibb brother) and stylized pop (think ABBA) made him a safe and family friendly CCM music star. Sometime after 1980’s “Are You Ready” the term would be superstar. After 9 very strong pop (disco even) songs and great and memorable ballads came the albums finale, “We Are The Reason.” The song would become on of the most popular songs in CCM history and would easily rank in the Top 5 of all time classic songs. There has yet to be a Christmas or Easter when the song is not reprised somewhere and some way. It really is a beautiful and well written song. Feeling a little like a Barry Manilow ballad with the key change and all, the song is dynamic and emotional. Starting slow and building into a great crescendo, it has struck a musical and emotional core for over three decades now. Great song and closes a great album, the best in Meece’s career.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Follow You – 2:55
2 – Peace In My Heart – 2:50
3 – Comin’ Back – 3:02
4 – Gospel Train – 2:48
5 – Love One Another – 5:18
6 – Are You Ready? – 3:59
7 – Just A Little More Time – 4:07
8 – Have A Little Talk – 3:39
9 – Satan, Just Leave Me Alone – 2:48
10 – We Are The Reason – 4:43

Credits
Brown Bannister – Producer
Kathleen E. Berk – Bagpipe
Michael Blanton – Executive Producer
Mike Brignardello – Bass
Clay Caire – Drum Overdubs
Eddie DeGarmo – Piano, Rhodes, Synthesizers
Diana DeWitt Hanna – Background Vocals
Becky Foster – Background Vocals
Leon Gaer – Bass
Bob Gelotte – Drums
Jon Goin – Electric Guitar
John Hampton – Drums
Ron Huff – String Arranger
Greg Huffman – Drum Corp
Shane Keister – Piano, Organ, Rhodes, Special Effects
Dana Key – Guitars
Patti Leatherwood – Background Vocals
Paul Leim – Drums
Terry McMillan – Percussion
David Meece – Songwriter, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Gary Pigg – Background Vocals
Harlan Rogers – Piano, Synthesizers
Buddy Skipper – Horn Arranger
Denis Solee – Saxophone, Lyricon, Flute
Keith Thomas – Background Vocals
Billy Walker – Electric Guitar
Jack Williams – Bass

Companies, etc.
Published By – Word Music (2)
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.