Avion – White Noise – 1986

Apart from his excellent vocal contribution (as well as some guitaring) on David Zaffiro’s Surrender Absolute (1992) album, from Randall Waller’s second solo album, Midnight Fire, onwards his focus changed from the Christian music market to the mainstream music world. This is clearly evident on Avion’s well-produced second and last studio album, White Noise, released on the mainstream EMI label. Forming in 1981, Avion was an Australian band that was beset with hardship and tragedy of one kind and another. Even though they had a few appearances on Australia’s national music show Countdown, Australian rock historian Ian MacFarlane states that they were ‘met with virtual indifference at home’ (Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop). The great singles the band released suffered from a lack of airplay. Apart from a loyal Sydney fan base, the band’s biggest supporters came from North America who appreciated the band’s melodic, American-influenced AOR. Band member and keyboardist, Evan Murray, died in a car accident in late ’87. The band called it a day soon after. The album contained the following 3 singles – We’ve Got Secrets (1985), Celebration (1986), and Berlin Wall (1987). Berlin Wall addresses the detrimental effect of the wall on the city’s residents that divided Berlin into East and West Berlin. The album has two relationship songs – Elle and Ships. Elle is about a couple where one member is pushing the relationship to the next level before the other member is ready for that level of commitment. Ships is about a song of unrequited love, using the saying ‘Ships passing in the night’ to great effect. One of my favourite tracks, Calm Before The Storm, has the strongest Christian connotations about heaven coming down to earth. The only change in personnel for this album was Paul Gannell who replaced Martyn Toole on guitar.

Contributor – Frank Axel Rasenberger

Tracklist
1 – Celebration – 4:05
2 – Berlin Wall – 3:35
3 – Elle – 3:56
4 – In My Mind – 3:33
5 – Ships – 4:45
6 – We’ve Got Secrets – 3:58
7 – Calm Before The Storm – 4:41
8 – The Next Big Thing – 3:24
9 – On & On – 4:50
10 – Never Too Late – 3:55

Credits
Bass, Backing Vocals – Kendall Waller
Drums, Backing Vocals – John Waller
Engineer – Peter Cobbin, Richard Lush
Engineer [Assisted By] – Tony Espie
Engineer [Assisted By], Mixed By [Assisted By] – Greg Henderson
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Paul Gannell
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Randall Waller
Mixed By – Clive Shakespeare, John Bee, Randall Waller, Spencer Lee
Piano, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Evan Murray
Producer – Clive Shakespeare), Peter Dawkins, Randall Waller
Producer, Engineer – Ross Cockle
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Peter Blyton
Producer, Mixed By – Avion

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – EMI Studios 301
Produced At – AAV
Engineered At – AAV
Mixed At – Albert Studios

Randall Waller – Oasis – 1978

Oasis is Randall Waller’s solo debut. It’s the first of two solo albums, released before the formation of Lionheart in 1981, the precursor band to Avion. Being an Australia-only release, the first Randall Waller album most people are familiar with is the outstanding ‘Midnight Fire’ album which was recorded in the US, and produced by the late Jon Linn (guitarist on albums by Larry Norman, Chuck Girard, Randy Stonehill, and Mark Heard). There’s a world of difference between the two. Oasis is mainly aimed for those who are already believers. It contains a numbers of Randall’s original worship songs – You Are The One, Just Can’t Explain, and Praise Song, to name a few. Oasis is a more laid-back, predominantly acoustic/soft rock project. The opening track, Friends In High Places, Storm In The Sky, and I Want You really appeal to the rocker in me, but they are the exception to the overall rule. Randall’s excellent guitaring in Friends In High Places reminds me of guitar greats, the late Gary Moore and Carlos Santana. Other album highlights are Randall’s good remakes of John Michael Talbot’s Would You Crucify Him and Phil Keaggy’s Things I Will Do. Well worth giving this a listen.

Tracklist
1 – Friends In High Places – 7:19
2 – You Are The One – 3:25
3 – Things I Will Do – 3:26
4 – Just Can’t Explain It – 2:15
5 – Would You Crucify Him – 4:48
6 – Foot Of The Mountain/Lord You’re Blowin’ My Mind – 6:01
7 – Storm In The Sky – 5:23
8 – What Must I Do – 2:33
9 – I Want You – 4:41
10 – Praise Song – 1:46

Credits
Alto Saxophone – Michael Houghton
Arranged By – Randall Waller
Bass – Roger Hanlon
Design – Ngaire Waller
Directed By – Steve Wyatt
Drums – Rob McMurry
Engineer – Chris Neal
Flute – Michael Houghton
Guitar – Randall Waller
Lead Vocals – Randall Waller
Piano – Steve Wyatt
Producer – Bob Goodfellow
Synthesizer – Chris Neal

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Airborne Studios

Real World – When God Spoke – 1990

Real World is Chris Butson, Vicki Powers, Nicole Barlow and Julie Thorpe. Contemporary music specialist/promoter Vic Campbell states: ‘Real World initially involved Chris Butson and her husband Phil writing and recording in their home studio at The Basin, on the outskirts of Melbourne (Australia).’ (On Being, October 1990, page 39) He describes the album as ‘1990’s music with intelligent lyrics.’ Chris’ husband Phil is a producer/engineer who has produced albums for Steve Grace, Rosanna’s Raiders and Shane Howard of mainstream band Goanna to name a few. The song lyrics are far from superficial and have a poetic feel to them. “It’s almost like when Jesus told His parables,” says Chris, “alluding to something where people had to think a bit further. We’re trying to say things in a pictorial sort of way.” Campbell states: “Several songs such as the title track and ‘Idolizing Lies’ were inspired by early chapters of Genesis. …Other tracks deal with tension in relationships between people and the Creator.” Chris says: “’Africa-Cruel Wall’ was written after seeing the film ‘Cry Freedom’.” This is the only track to feature real drums. The drummer on this track is none other than Peter Luscombe of mainstream Australian band The Black Sorrows. Campbell says: “The album sounds are so good that I can almost ignore the fact that only one song features real drums.”

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPcTOx34g9XT3UpdSv3uWJdNsMQEgDW_b

Tracklist
1 – When God Spoke – 4:34
2 – Heart Beat – 4:46
3 – See You Everywhere – 3:42
4 – New Day – 3:33
5 – Angels Sing – 4:12
6 – Idolizing Lies – 4:01
7 – Blood In The Garden – 3:12
8 – White Fields – 4:28
9 – Some Girls – 3:37
10 – Africa – Cruel Walls – 4:43

Credits
Backing Vocals – Phil Butson
Design – Sudden Images
Drums – Peter Luscombe (tracks: 10)
Guitar – Phil Butson, Trevor Reading (tracks: 4)
Illustration – Jeff Spencer
Keyboards – Les Price (tracks: 2, 5), Phil Butson, Rohan Anderson (tracks: 4)
Lead Vocals – Chris Butson
Producer – Phil Butson

Companies, etc.
Produced At – The Basin (2) – none
Produced At – Sing Sing Studios – none
Distributed By – Spectra Distribution, Inc. – none
Distributed By – Mainroads Music Group – none
Distributed By – DTS Records