Wayne Watson – Giants In The Land – 1985

I once coined a phrase called “WayneWatsonitis.” I used it in retail to describe artists that everyone loved their songs, but no one knew there name. It happened when I took my sister to see Wayne Watson at Melodyland in Southern California (across the street from Disneyland). She mentioned before the concert that she was unfamiliar with Watson, but midway through the concert leaned over and said, “I know every one of these songs!” Watson is a prolific artists with mountains if hits, popular church songs and some actual classics and yet is often forgotten when discussing the best of late 70’s and 80’s music. Many may remember his truly classic, “Touch of the Master’s Hand” or even the popular wedding song, “Somewhere in the World” that appears here, but his legacy is much broader and more impactful. This album brought Watson into the mainstream of CCM, moving from a smaller label to Dayspring Records and receiving distribution from mega company Word. But the album is filled with radio favorites and many songs that lasted for decades. “Narrow Way” starts of the album with a safe, CCM pop radio hit. But it was “Lookin’ Out for Number One” that KYMS jumped on and made it into a monster hit. Upbeat and approachable it became the song that brought Watson into the forefront in Southern California. It also allowed the follow up single to become the classic it is now regarded as. “Somewhere in the World” could have easily been just another song about parenting until listeners discovered it was a song about praying for the future spouse of their own child. The emotional chord it struck would only be duplicated a few years later by a song like “Butterfly Kisses.” It became a wedding classic and sold truck loads of accompaniment tracks. Even typing to this as I listen I am struck by the emotional tug that hopefully someone out there is praying for my own young daughter to be the Godly woman fit for their Godly son. The sentiment is emotional, but authentic, and I believe why it struck such a powerful chord with listeners. The album bounces between mid-tempo pop rock and stirring, inspirational ballads. But Watson’s vocals are so pure and naturally emotive that even the most formulaic CCM numbers never come across as trite. It’s fair to say that Watson possessed a voice that ranks among the best in CCM. Most of the album fits quite nicely within the framework of the CCM world at the time and served as a wonderful set up for his classic album that would follow (to be discussed much later).

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

Tracklist
1 – The Narrow Way – 4:05
2 – Lookin’ Out For Number One – 3:08
3 – Heart Of Hearts – 3:57
4 – Peace That Passes Understanding – 4:02
5 – Somewhere In The World – 3:29
6 – Giants In The Land – 4:18
7 – Born In Zion – 4:23
8 – Look Me In The Heart – 3:16
9 – Changed In A Moment – 3:07
10 – Holiness – 3:52

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Greg Jennings
Arranged By – Phil Naish
Arranged By [Strings] – Alan Moore
Arranged By, Keyboards [Electronic] – Shane Keister
Art Direction – Buddy Jackson, Jackson Design
Bass Guitar – Mike Brignardello
Drums, Electronic Drums, Programmed By [Percussion] – Dennis Holt
Engineer [Assistant] – Alan Henry, Bill Whittington, Chris Hammond, Danny Mundhenk, J.T. Cantwell, Keith Penney
Executive-Producer – Neal Joseph
Keyboards [Electronic & Moog Bass Lines] – Phil Naish
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Percussion – Terry McMillan
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer, Arranged By – Wayne Watson
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Scott Hendricks
Saxophone [Solo] – Sam Levine
Strings – The Nashville String Machine

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Mixed At – Bullet Recording
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

Seawind – Light The Light – 1979

Seawind’s “Light the Light” broke through the Christian and mainstream world with original rhythms, world class horn section, Pauline Wilson’s piercing, soulful voice and a collection of musicians that are comparable to no one. Added to that, a very strong selection of songs and killer production. Many of the band members would later be the driving force behind the epic CCM band, The Front. The horn section would play with everyone Michael Jackson to George Benson. Formed in Hawaii, the island theme would show itself throughout along with soul, funk, jazz, disco (they would later score a charting disco hit) and world music. The album starts off with a monster hit, “Hold On to Love.” More progressive Christian radio stations (like KYMS) added them to their playlist, helping them garner the following in the Christian music circles at the time. “Free” pre-dated Gloria Estefan by nearly a decade, but the sound created here would later be a forefront of the Miami music sound of the 80’s. Cool, smooth and yet rhythmically funky. Bass lines driving Larry Williams great keyboard work and Wilson’s powerful voice. It’s also one of the most Biblical Worldview enhanced songs on the album. The sound throughout is consistent and unforgettable. Bob and Pauline Wilson would later do a solo project that will be discussed later.

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

Tracklist
1 – Hold On To Love – 4:23
2 – Free – 4:21
3 – Sound Rainbow – 3:47
4 – Follow Your Road – 5:43
5 – Light The Light – 3:33
6 – Morning Star – 5:23
7 – Imagine – 4:10
8 – Enchanted Dance – 5:06

Credits
Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute [Alto], Electronic Wind Instrument [Computone Wind Synthesizer] – Kim Hutchcroft
Bass – Ken Wild
Drums [Pearl] – Bob Wilson
Guitar – Bud Nuanez
Keyboards [Oberheim Polyphonic, Prophet 5, Mini-moog], Saxophone [Tenor], Flute, Piccolo Flute – Larry Williams
Mixed By – Al Schmitt
Producer – Tommy LiPuma
Recorded By – Al Schmitt, Armin Steiner
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn – Jerry Hey
Vocals – Pauline Wilson
Written-By – Bob Wilson

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Horizon Records & Tapes
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright © – A&M Records, Inc.
Published By – Seawind Music Inc.
Published By – Sojourn Music
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

September – September First – 1981

I remember when I was first hired at the Pink Lady Christian bookstore I kept seeing this album in the demo LP section and never bothered to listen to it because the cover looked liked a late 70’s adult contemporary cover. That was my loss. September was a band comprised of three siblings, Russ, Dale and Doug Kirkland. Their music output lasted three decades with seven releases that maneuvered in and out of the current musical landscape of the time. This was their finest work. Fans of Servant, Anthem, Prodigal and the more progressive edge of CCM at the time will find much here to appreciate. The album starts off with “Prelude/Jester” a more than 6 minute song that if I only gave it the first two minutes (Prelude) it may have not made it into my consistent musical rotation. Prelude sounds like the album cover looks, but it is when “Jester” kicks in that every about the album (and the band) changed for me. Where “Prelude” sounded similar to Annie Herring, “Jester” was much more Prodigal and Barnabas. Great transition and killer guitar work! “Why Did I Wait” has touches of Farrell and Farrell and Seawind, but with a heavy rock tinge as the guitar solo kicks in. Fans of Jesus Music band, Parable,” will be very please with what they hear here. Again, like “Jester,” the guitar work here is fantastic. The more I listen the more I hear Parable’s “The City.” “Can’t Be Right” is way more Ambrosia and even Steely Dan than the rest of the album. Fans of the Prodigal debut along with the Doobie Brothers will really appreciate this song. There are a few straight ahead CCM radio songs that will remind listeners of The Archers and Second Chapter of Acts. Unfortunately, Christian radio just didn’t jump on what was an independent release, though it did receive moderate distribution. The album has become a pretty sought after vinyl collectors item, for a good reason.

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

Tracklist
1 – Prelude / Jester – 6:07
2 – Relate It To Me – 3:23
3 – Why Did I Wait – 5:17
4 – Can’t Be Right – 4:17
5 – I Owe You Everything – 3:23
6 – Sorry – 4:36
7 – Empty Love – 3:52
8 – Island Song – 3:29
9 – Hallelujah – 3:17

Credits
Carl Albrecht – Drums, Percussion
Wayne Boosahda – Producer
Jim Bullard – Bass
Doug Flagg – Drums
John Hayes – Guitars
James Hollihan – Guitars
Billie Kessler – Recording Engineer
Kent Kesterson – Engineer
Doug Kirkland – Vocals
Russ Kirkland – Songwriter, Piano, Minimoog, Rhodes, Prophet 5, Organ, Vocals
Michael James Murphy – Songwriter
Jan Parker – English Horn, Oboe
Scott Payne – Guitars
Dan Peek – Production Assistance, Guitars, Percussion
Steve Peistrup – Assistant Engineer
Bobby Price – Songwriter
Darwin Seidel – Bass
Curt Taipale – Engineer, Mixed
Dale Kirland Tiemann – Piano, Organ, Vocals
Bobby Wilson – Songwriter

Dave Kelly – Crowning Of A Simple Man – 1980

Dave Kelly was a member of a great band called “Ark” that released one incredible album that will be featured later on this list. Ark was a wonderful band that escaped the attention of most fans but critics loved for very good reason. Dave Kelly was an integral part of Ark and his songwriting prowess shows on this solo debut. Fans of British pop will love it immediately with a Beatlesque quality and an overall sound comparable to Alwyn Wall and Cliff Richard. Very catchy hooks and memorable melodies from start to finish and a message that was upfront but without a “preachy” quality to it. The albums closer is worth a mention here. A Scottish inspired acoustic number with violin and bagpipes accentuate a story of kings and dragons and knights in a castle. Lyrically sounding like something Kemper Crabb may have written, but musically closer to Van Morrison. All the imagery points to the redemptive work of Christ. Anyone even remotely interested in the early days of CCM in England and the influence of the birth of a more legitimate musical expression in the states should try and obtain a copy of this great album.

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

Tracklist
1 – King of Love 02:39
2 – God Knows 03:46
3 – Tonight 02:25
4 – Turn Your Back 02:49
5 – Dead Or Alive 02:13
6 – Trouble 02:49
7 – Love Night and Day 01:56
8 – Supernatural Man 02:21
9 – Sandy 02:19
10 – Ballad of J.C. 02:32

Credits
Background Vocals – Mary Russell, Mona Lisa Young
Bagpipes – Alex McGilvery
Bass – Dennis Belfield
Drums – Jim Keltner
Harmony Vocals – Jim Seatter
Lead Guitar – Billy Joe Walker
Lead Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitar – Dave Kelly
Organ, Piano, Background Vocals – Terry Young
Penny Whistle, Fiddle – Stewart Hamilton
Prophet Synthesizer – Dale Ocherman

Sandi Patti – Morning Like This – 1986

As regular readers of this and the previous blog can attest, Adult Contemporary and Inspirational titles do not find themselves here very often. The album itself has to be more than just a collection of praise and worship, hymns and traditional gospel favorites. Something has to set the album apart more than just possibly the greatest voice on the planet. Sandi definitely has the latter. But fortunately, the album also has some great songs that make it stand out against most of the other albums in the genre. The opening track sound like it could have easily fit on a Twila Paris from the same timeframe, with “Let There Be Praise” sounding more like a pop worship/hymn than Patti’s more traditional big songs. “Hosanna” follows suit with the same sort of sound. Like most of the album, there is limited, over-dramatic anthems, but rather more pop infused inspirational music. This song also benefits from a guest appearance from Matthew Ward (who may be able to sing higher). “Love in Any Language” may be Patti’s finest song. Though not as big and dramatic as “Via Dolorosa” and “We Shall Behold Him,” this song of unity has more of a “We Are the World” feel throughout. “King of Glory” sounds more like Farrell and Farrell while “Face to Faith” starts off sounding like Amy Grant’s “Fat Baby,” but ends up sounding more like something from First Call. “Morning Like This” serves to be the most contemporary pop album, which makes it the obvious choice for inclusion on this list.

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

Tracklist
1 – Let There Be Praise – 3:03
2 – Hosanna – 3:37
3 – Unshakeable Kingdom – 5:48
4 – Shepherd Of My Heart – 4:01
5 – Love In Any Language – 4:51
6 – King Of Glory – 2:35
7 – Face To Faith – 4:21
8 – Was It A Morning Like This – 3:22
9 – In The Name Of The Lord – 5:00
10 – There Is A Savior – 4:42

Credits
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Alan Moore
Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – David T. Clydesdale
Bass – Craig Nelson (tracks: A3, B4, B5), Mike Brignardello
Brass – Barbara Hutchins (tracks: A3, B4), Eberhard Ramm, Michael Buckwalter, Richard Ricker, Robert Heuer, Tom McAnich
Drums – Mark Hammond, Paul Leim
Executive Producer – John Helvering
Guitar – John Darnall, Jon Goin
Keyboards – Phil Naish, Shane Keister
Leader, Strings – Carl Gorodetzky
Percussion – Farrel Morris
Piano – David Huntsinger
Producer – Greg Nelson, Sandi Patti Helvering
Strings – Carol Walker, Cathy Umstead, Charles Everett, Chris Teal, Connie Heard, Craig Nelson, David Boyle, David Vanderkooi, Dennis Molchan, Edgar Meyer, Gary Vanosdale, George Binkley, Grace Bahng, Inez Boyle, Jack Jezioro, Janet Hazen, Joann Cruthirds, John Borg, Katherine Plummer, Lee Larrison, Linda Alosco, Mark Tanner, Mary Katherine Parker, Nathan Kahn, Pam Sixfin, Pauli Ewing, Phyllis Mazza, Rosemary Harris, Roy Christensen, Sara Fogel, Stephanie Woolf, Teresa Fream, Nashville String Machine, Virginia Christensen
Vocals – Beverly Darnall, Bonnie Keen, Craig Patty, David Maddux, Jane Sherberg, Jon Mohr, Jon Sherberg, Leah Taylo, Lynn Hodges, Marty McCall, Melodie Tunney, Mike Patty, Rick Gibson, Sandi Patti Helverin, Steve Taylor, Tammy Boyer, Tammy Taylor, Keith Moore

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited

Paul Field – Restless Heart – 1983

Many readers may be more familiar with Paul Field as a member of Nutshell for four albums, with two different incarnations. A very popular British folk trio, Nutshell was referred to by some as the British Second Chapter of Acts. But Field is quite the prolific songwriter, including writing a number one CCM single for pop group Avalon called “Testify to Love.” Winona Judd would actually cover song as it was used on the popular “Touched By An Angel” television series and made it a Top Ten Billboard Hit! But here we are discussing his first solo album, and the one that most may be familiar. He would later record a few other solo projects and spend much of his time writing musicals. Field is a prolific songwriter and has produced scores of albums though many reached widespread distribution in the US. Immediately “Restless Heart” sounds like it could just have easily been released by Cliff Richard. It also reminds me of the “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” album by Richard, and not only because Richard would cover a song from this album (“Has to Be You, Has to Be Me”). Like the previously discussed Mark Williamson composition, Richard’s version is a bit more upbeat. The album kicks of with what would be the one single KYMS in Southern California really jumped on. “Rock with the Best of Them” is a fun song to start the album with a great horn section a la Chicago. If the world of CCM radio at the time had any justice, this would have been a monster hit! “Radio” follows with a much more mid-tempo feel very reminiscent of the sound for that day. Darker, more somber, I always saw the metaphor of the radio as being related to the Holy Spirit. The song always reminds me more of what the late 70’s Steve Winwood music was like. The album’s 12 songs (quite a few for the day) bounces back and forth between uptempo pop/rock and ballads. One stand out in the Loggins & Messina vein is “The Storm Is Over.” Something that perhaps Scott Wesley Brown would have done at the same time, it may be the most obviously evangelical song on the album. At the same time, it should have been a hit. The whole album is filled with great songs, but the last song I would like to highlight is the most upbeat song on the album, “Fair Fight.” This could just as easily fit on an album from Mark Williamson/Lyrix or even Morgan Cryar or David Edwards, both musically and lyrically. Never released on CD that I know of (at least in the US) and missing from virtually every streaming service (like much of early 80’s Myrrh releases), the album is worth tracking down. I have seen it for a reasonable price on Amazon and Ebay.

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

Tracklist
1 – Rock With The Best Of Them – 3:23
2 – Radio – 3:56
3 – Has To Be You, Has To Be Me – 4:42
4 – Solo – 3:48
5 – Positive – 2:57
6 – The Storm Is Over – 3:51
7 – Fairfight – 2:46
8 – Stranger In Your Eyes – 3:45
9 – Just Around The Corner – 3:04
10 – You’re The One – 5:12
11 – Nearly Midnight – 3:48
12 – Restless Heart – 3:46

Credits
Paul Field – Vocals, Guitar and Piano
Graham Jarvis – Drums
Mark Griffiths – Bass
Martin Jenner – Guitar
Dave Cooke – Piano, Keyboards, Guitar and Backing vocals
Luís Jardim – Bass
Linda Jardim – Backing vocals
Marilyn David – Backing vocals
Tom Blades – Guitar
Colin Larne – Drums
Bill Thorpe – Violin
Martin David – Percussion
Barry de Souza – Drums
Ray Russell – Guitar
Henry Lowther – Horn
Nick Pentelow – Saxophone
Nick Firkle – Trumpet
Steve Jones – Violin
Penny Thompson – Viola
Jan Sharpe – Cello

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Friday Productions
Recorded At – Riverside Recordings
Mixed At – Riverside Recordings
Mastered At – Liberty Recording Studios
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △26054

The Crimson Bridge – The Crimson Bridge – 1972

When the concept of important groundbreakers in Jesus Music and CCM is discussed, the names most often considered are Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy and maybe even Bill Gaither and Ralph Carmichael. But one name that should be mentioned in the same breath is the legendary Thurlow Spurr. Spurr served as Music Director for Youth for Christ International, and in that capacity created several travelling “youth music pioneers.” Most notably the Spurrlows, the group that bore his name. But also birthed from his outreach work was a group called Re’Generation. And born out of members of both groups came the psychedelic, folk, pop, jazz, Latin, funk band Crimson Bridge. Horns, guitars, driving bass and pounding drums and cymbals, the church in 1972 was not ready for Crimson Bridge. Not only was the music way ahead of the average church music, the lyrics were also at times a little edgy for the day, incorporating terms like “baby,” “blow your mind,” and “havin’ a good time.” There are also plenty of grunts, screams and “all rights” thrown into the mix, especially in the lead off track, “Better Times.”. Think touches of Blood, Sweat and Tears and incorporating a Mamas and the Papas harmony. The latter comparison is most notable on the ballad, “Easy Ways.” The next few songs maintain a mellower, folk like sound. But then the funk returns with “Birthright,” a funky, soulful tune with plenty of bass and trumpet driving the track. But it’s side two that eventually would garner Crimson Bridge their greatest accolades. Three lengthy psychedelic, progressive “suites” or movements, that walk through the conversion experience using both lyrics and musical composition to provide the mood and passion. Not only are the three movements vastly different, there are multiple changes within each movement that make it sound more like a rock opera the pop album. Lasting about 20 minutes combined, this truly set the group apart, especially so early in the Jesus Music experiment. Myrrh must have been a bit uneasy releasing such a progressive and creative album. Fortunately for us, they did.

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

Tracklist
1 – Better Times – 3:15
2 – Easy Ways – 2:34
3 – Comin’ – 4:07
4 – He’s Alive – 4:10
5 – Birthright – 3:45
6 – First Suite – 1st Movement (Searching In Reality) – 6:16
7 – First Suite – 2nd Movement (Experience) – 5:26
8 – First Suite – 3rd Movement (The Beginning Of Joy) – 8:26

Credits
Norm Bakker – Trumpet
Dave Dyer – Bass
Russ Gregory – Songwriter, Guitar, Vocals
Carol Healy – Flute, Vocals
Billy Ray Hearn – Producer
Roger Heuser – Trombone
Gary Rand – Songwriter
Trish Rattan – Vocals
Carolyn Shafer – Keyboards, Vocals
Gary Shafer – Drums
Terry Winch – Songwriter, Trumpet

Companies, etc.
Printed By – West Brothers Printers Limited
Published By – Word (Uk) Ltd.

77’s – Sticks And Stones – 1990

How great of a band is The 77’s? Well, how many bands could release a collection of rejects, B-sides, cast-offs, demos and throw-aways and still have it be one of the best album released for that year and one of the best albums of all time? Pretty much only The 77’s. After the dissolving of Exit Records and the greatest shame in the history of CCM rock music (the Island 77’s not becoming the biggest album at the time), Mike Roe and mates moved to Broken Records, headed by Ojo Taylor of Undercover, released a bunch of demos and rejects and made one of the most enjoyable and listenable albums in their storied career. It is actually one of the most commercially pleasing and accessible albums Roe has been involved with. Great alternative pop with killer hooks and a ton of memorable songs. In fact, the lead track (MT) made its way onto popular teen television show, Beverly Hills, 90210. But that was not the only hit song from the album. Christian rock radio jumped all over Nowhere Else and the reworked “This Is the Way Love Is.” But it is the more self-indulgent songs that became long standing concert favorites and true 77’s classics. Perfect Blues had been a long standing live favorite that finally saw the light of day on this album and shows Roe’s mastery of guitar in all styles. “Don’t, This Way” is one of the most haunting and beautiful songs of Roe’s career and is also one of the best live songs the band performs. Here, it’s Roe’s subtlety as a musician that shines. Just stunning and mesmerizing. God Sends Quails is anything but subtle and shows Roe’s appreciation for the 60’s and 70’s psychedelic blues, jam bands and would even appeal to fans of Glass Harp and Blind Faith.

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

Tracklist
1 – MT – 3:57
2 – Nowhere Else – 4:13
3 – This Is The Way Love Is – 5:11
4 – Perfect Blues – 6:10
5 – Don’t. This Way – 7:31
6 – You Walked In The Room – 4:23
7 – The Days To Come – 4:25
8 – The Loop – 3:54
9 – God Sends Quails – 6:34
10 – Love Without Dreams – 4:52
11 – Do It For Love – 3:14
12 – The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes & The Pride Of Life – 3:23
13 – Pearls Before Swine – 8:18
14 – Bottom Line – 5:48

Credits
Bass – Jan Eric
Drums [Still More Pounding & Thrashing] – Aaron Smith
Guitar – Mark Toole, Michael Roe
Keyboards – Mark Toole
Mastered By – David Houston
Mixed By – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Producer – Michael Roe, Steve Griffith
Recorded By – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Voice – Jan Eric, Michael Roe

Companies, etc.
Mastered At – Moon Studios, Sacramento
Distributed By – Word Australia
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – TT’s Ltd
Copyright © – TT’s Ltd
Recorded At – The Late Great Exit Studio
Mixed At – The Late Great Exit Studio
Recorded At – The Music Annex
Mixed At – The Music Annex

Common Bond – Anger Into Passion – 1987

One of the many amazing bands to come out of the Orange County Christian Music scene and the spearheading label, Frontline Records, Common Bond was unfortunately much overlooked. They released two nationally recognized releases and the much sought after “White Album,” and independent project I still own. In fact, the white album will rank much higher as it remains quite possible the finest independent releases of that time period. A trio that consisted of three amazing musicians; Kenny Samuels (bass, vocals), Steve Durham (guitars) and Chuck Cummings (drums). Cummings was later replaced by the amazing Terl Bryant. And an unheralded part of this project is producer Doug Doyle. His studio cranked out many great Frontline albums and the industry is indebted to his vision and greatness in the studio. The first project “Heaven is Calling” hinted at what was to follow in “Anger Into Passion,” an amazing record that would unfortunately be the last. The style is difficult to pin down with Samuel’s higher pitched voice that is reminiscent of Ian Cussick, Geddy Lee (without all the annoying whining) and former Love Song drummer John Mehler. Musically it falls into the world of later Police and the more progressive and smart alternative music of the late 80’s. The title track kicks off the album with a sound reminiscent of something from Vector’s “Mannequin Virtue.” Great groove and atmospheric like vocals that draw you into a more passionate chorus. My favorite cut is the following track, “In My Youth.” Another track comparable to the Vector sound is “Smile and a Tear.” The song builds and builds and ultimately driven by the drumming of Chuck Cummings. In fact, the drumming is so strong throughout. Lyrically very smart and creative. Musically astute. There is a rare combination. One special note of interest, the album contains a very cool cover Daniel Amos’ “Wall of Doubt.”

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

Tracklist
1 – Anger Into Passion – 4:12
2 – In My Youth – 3:28
3 – The Great Divide – 3:18
4 – Smile And A Tear – 3:26
5 – See The World – 4:25
6 – Tarry – 3:41
7 – Free From Me – 3:33
8 – Face To Face – 3:42
9 – Walls Of Doubt – 2:24
10 – The Promise – 4:06

Credits
Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Bobbi White, Maxayne Moriguchi, Walter S. Harrah
Backing Vocals, Written-By – Terry Taylor
Bass, Lead Vocals – Ken Samuels
Design Concept [Cover Concept], Music By – Common Bond
Drums, Percussion – Chuck Cummings
Graphics [Photographics] – Ken Baley
Guitar – Steve Durham
Illustration [Cover Stamp Illustration] – John Fraze
Lyrics By – Ken Samuels
Mastered By – John Matousek
Photography By – Linda Dillon Baley
Producer, Engineer, Keyboards [Supplemental Keyboards] – Doug Doyle

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Published By – Broken Songs
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mixed At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mastered At – Hitsville
Licensed To – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Distributed By – Nye Toner / Teovision, kingsway Publications Ltd.,Finngospel,Sephora Diffusion,La Sorgente Music,GMI Records,Jata,Master Music,Master-Vision-S.A.,Viva Music,Kir Music,Kingsway Music,Premier Music

Anthem The Rock Band – Cuttin’ Thru’ – 1982

Actually recorded by “Anthem the ROCK Band,” but most commonly referred to as simply Anthem, “Cuttin’ Thru” was quite a groundbreaking release for its time, as many of the Tunesmith releases were. A female led rock band at a time when only Servant and Resurrection Band (partially) were female led bands. For the history behind the band, please check out the interview with guitarist Michael Manthei on the Legacy podcast. The album breaks ground immediately by kicking the album off with an instrumental rock track, “Spiritual Warfare.” This was actually a bit controversial for the time given that most albums in Christian bookstores were purchased by parents and were “previewed” at listening centers. At a time when rock music was still taboo in many circles and the popularity of anti-rock critics and “backwards masking” investigators, leading off with screaming guitars and no “Jesus message” was virtually unheard of, especially for a debut project. But the song does kick off the album quite nicely. But when the title track kicks we get to hear the powerful and soulful voice of female lead vocalist, Mary Pinkley. Big, strong and aggressive, Pinkley’s voice reminds me of a edgier Pauline Wilson (Seawind) more than a Janice Joplin or Grace Slick. It doesn’t have the growl of the aforementioned, but rather rests on the power it possesses. The vocal description fits best in the following track, “Word.” More soulful and bluesly, this song easily would fit on an early Petra album or Servant’s “Shallow Water.” Here the guitar takes center stage with a great blues riff throughout. “Cheap Thrill” shifts to a more Southern Rock flair with a warning message regarding playing with sin. It may be the one song on the album that Pinkley shows a more raspy, gutsy vocal style. Possibly “Doctor” would fall into this descriptor, with a more bluesy direction. One of the things that really separates this album from many of its contemporaries is that it doesn’t bounce between rockers and ballads and give some sort of 50/50 representation. The first 9 songs are straight ahead rockers, with even the slower songs being full throated blues rockers. The only ballad is the worshipful closer, “Morning Star.” Original vinyl copies can be difficult top find as the label was beginning its financial struggles and would close up shop before this band could release a sophomore album. Production ended up being relatively limited, so it is seen as somewhat of a rarity.

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

Tracklist
1 – Spiritual Warfare – 3:19
2 – Cuttin’ Thru – 2:09
3 – Word – 3:13
4 – Cheap Thrill – 2:32
5 – Free You – 3:47
6 – Winners – 3:51
7 – On Your Knees – 3:19
8 – Doctor – 3:11
9 – Don’t Be Deceived – 4:01
10 – Morning Star – 2:56

Credits
Drum – Gene M. Grammatico
Electric Bass – Kent Vander Weide
Engineer – Alan Schuman, Tom Russell
Guitar – Doug Cordell, Michael Manthei
Lead Vocals – Mary Pinkley
Producer – Eddie Everitt