Larry Norman – (almost) So Long Ago The Garden (but not quite) and the MGM Singles – 1980

So Long Ago The garden was part 2 of Larry’s famous trilogy, set between Only Visiting This Planet and In Another Land.

In 1980, Phydeaux released something called “(almost) So Long Ago The Garden and the MGM singles”

This pressing has most of the same tracks as the original 1973 album, but there are a few differences:
1. “Up In Canada” is included, which was a radio single, but not part of the original album
2. “Christmastime” incldues a short intro by some sort of circus entertainer from the sound of it
3. The order of various tracks is changed. “Christmastime” leads of the album instead of “Fly Fly Fly”
3. “Peacepollutionrevolution” is included, which was not on the original album
4. “It’s The Same Old Story” is called “The Same Old Story” on this version
5. “The Same Old Story” is on both records, but with different lyrics
6. “Meet Me At The Airport (Fly Fly Fly)” is just called “Fly Fly Fly” on this version

 

Tracklist
1 – Christmastime
2 – Fly Fly Fly
3 – She’s A Dancer
4 – The Same Old Story
5 – Baroquen Spirits
6 – Up In Canada
7 – Be Careful What You Sign
8 – Lonely By Myself
9 – Peacepollutionrevolution
10 – Nightmare

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Larry Norman – So Long Ago The Garden – 1973

This is the 20th anniversary edition of the CD, released in 1993. Being one of Larry’s seminal works, there were many versions of this album released, including at least two other CD releases with different bonus tracks. There were several vinyl versions released as well, including “Almost So Long Ago The Garden” which had only the highlights from this album, plus some other tracks added.

So Long Ago The Garden is part 2 of Larry’s trilogy, between Only Visiting This Planet and In Another Land. These three albums contain a big part of his life’s work, and we find that compilations and live albums tend to draw on these three heavily.

It opens with “Fly Fly Fly” which is a song about the jet-set lifestyle of a rock star, in which he talks about having to leave his wife while away on trips. “Fly Fly Fly / My baby gets me high / I spend too much time in taxicabs / Please don’t ask me why”

Truthfully, Larry didn’t like to be asked “why” on certain things, so this song is probably more honest than it seems in a few places.

It opens with “I took a plane to Minnesota / To see my lady love” but in a live recording, it was captured as “To see my Pamela,” which is a reference to his wife at the time. Perhaps this song was meant to be a reassurance to her.

Same Old Story has a few different versions floating around. There are different studio recordings of it with different lyrics, all released in the 1970s. The differences are from things like “You hope she doesn’t break your heart” changed to “You know she’s gonna break your heart.”

Lonely By Myself became a classic for a lot of fans. As the title suggests, it’s one that is easier to listen to alone.

Notably, Soul Survivor was one track that isn’t included on all versions of the vinyl pressing, but it is on the original and on the CD re-releases.

The cover of this album went through some revisions. It’s a cut-out of Larry, essentially a silhouette, but filled in with a lion lying down, and the colour of the lion scene was close enough to a skin tone that people decided this might be a nude picture. It’s not really a picture at all, it’s an outline, and anyway it’s only from the waist up. The cover was changed for the benefit of sales in Bible bookstores, and then eventually the re-issues used the original cover again.

This one is Larry in his prime, and should not be missed.

Tracklist
1 – Fly Fly Fly
2 – It’s The Same Old Story
3 – Lonely By Myself
4 – Be Careful What You Sign
5 – Baroquen Spirits
6 – Christmastime
7 – She’s A Dancer
8 – Soul Survivor
9 – Nightmare #71
CD Bonus Tracks
10 – If God Is My Father (Rough Mix)
11 – Up In Canada (1973 Single)
12 – Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn (Demo)

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Randy*
Acoustic Guitar [12 String Epiphone], Classical Guitar [Segovia], Piano [Steinway Piano], Electric Piano – Larry Norman
Backing Vocals – The Hollywood Street Choir
Bass – Dave*
Drums – Mike*
Guitar [Lead Guitar] – Mick*
Harmonica – Graham*
Percussion – Roger, Tony
Piano – Bob*
Piano [Steinway Piano], Organ [C3 Hammond Organ], Electric Piano [Wurlitzer Electric Piano], Clavinet [Hohner Clavinet], Synthesizer [Mini-moog Synthesizer] – Rod*
Producer – Jon Miller (4), Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Saxophone – Malcolm, Roger
Violin – Graham*
Written-By – Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill (tracks: B1)

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Rez Band (Resurrection Band) – Silence Screams – 1988

Resurrection Band billed themselves as “Rez” during this phase of their highly influential career in Christian Rock. They were one of the first out of the gate to define the hard rock genre within CCM.

1988’s Silence Screams introduces a new band member, Roy Montroy on bass, replacing original member Jim Denton. Roy gets writing credits for the music on six of the ten tracks on the album, paired with Glenn’s lyrics. He obviously fit right in, easily making this band his home.

One of the things that always set Rez Band apart was the lyrical depth. Eight of the ten songs on this album were written by an Glenn Kaiser, an ordained minister with a heart for social issues. Lyrics and messages were never an afterthought for this band, and they never skimped on the content there.

This record started a new tradition that carried on for the next three studio albums. Namely, they started doing mainstream cover songs. Eric Clapton’s “Presence of the Lord” gets the Rez treatment here, which is their typical hard edged Chicago blues rock. This is probably my favourite version of this song.

 

Tracklist
1 – Silence Screams – 4:11
2 – You Got Me Rockin’ – 3:13
3 – Someone Sleeps – 5:18
4 – Waitin’ On Sundown – 4:04
5 – Presence Of The Lord – 4:33
6 – Light / Light – 3:43
7 – Rain Dance – 5:03
8 – Every Waking Hour – 4:05
9 – Three Seconds – 4:36
10 – You Get What You Choose – 4:30

Credits
Artwork [Cover Art By] – Dick Randall
Band [REZ Is], Bass, Keyboards – Roy Montroy
Band [REZ Is], Drums – John Herrin
Band [REZ Is], Guitar, Vocals – Glenn Kaiser
Band [REZ Is], Lead Guitar, Keyboards – Stu Heiss
Band [REZ Is], Vocals – Wendi Kaiser
Design [Cover Design], Photography By – Cornerstone Graphics
Engineer [Engineered By] – Ed Bialach, Roger Heiss, Roy Montroy
Guest, Keyboards – Percy Bady (tracks: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Producer [Produced By] – REZ*, Tom Cameron

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Grrr Records
Copyright (c) – Grrr Records
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Engineered At – Tone Zone Recording
Mastered At – Future Disc
Published By – Rez Band Music
Published By – Unichappell Music, Inc.

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Silverwind – Silverwind- 1980

Silverwind’s self-titled debut album in 1980 was sometimes billed as “the Christian Abba” due to the sound they put out on the lead track “Taking The Narrow Street” and several of the others. The distinctive sound of two female lead singers in harmony is what makes it for Silverwind. John Rosasco helped ensure success for this album by producing the band’s debut. John also made records with City Limits, Rick Cua, Joe English, Stormie Omartian, Steve Camp and others.

 

Tracklist
1 – Taking The Narrow Street – 2:35
2 – When I Looked Into Your Eyes – 3:42
3 – Your Love – 2:43
4 – Give Him Your Heart, Child – 3:11
5 – I Don’t Worry – 2:20
6 – I Am In Love – 2:42
7 – Ode To A Lost Innocence – 4:02
8 – Never Had A Reason – 3:08
9 – Walking This Road – 2:58
10 – I Will Bless The Lord – 4:24

Credits
Bass – Leon Gaer
Drums – Paul Leim
Guitar – Bill Walker, Hadley Hockensmith
Keyboards, Synthesizer – John Rosasco, Larry Muhoberac
Percussion, Steel Drums – Vince Charles
Piano – Larry Muhoberac
Producer – John Rosasco, Tony Salerno

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Connie Scott – Hold On – 1987

This is Connie Scott’s third solo album. For this one she moved to Vancouver based Image 7 Records after leaving Sparrow. The president of Image 7 (aka Image VII) Gerry Scott.

Connie shows up for this one with a Modest-Madonna look and a Dionne Warwick sound. Roy Salmond produces on this album, making it a high quality all-Canadian affair.

 

Tracklist
1 – You’ll Never Know – 4:42
2 – You Never Leave Me Longing – 3:20
3 – Run To The Light – 4:10
4 – Don’t Curse The Darkness – 4:10
5 – Lost Affections – 3:15
6 – Hold On – 5:40
7 – Heartsound – 4:30
8 – Love Is All That Matters – 3:17
9 – Heaven Is My Home – 4:30
10 – More Love – 2:03

Credits
Arranged By – Roy Salmond
Design, Layout – Stan Buchanan
Photography By – Francis Cheng
Producer – Roy Salmond

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Image 7 Records Inc
Manufactured By – Word Records Limited
Recorded At – Inside Trak Studios
Mixed At – Inside Trak Studios
Recorded At – Profile Sound Studios

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Rez Band (Resurrection Band) – Bootleg – 1984

1984’s offering from Rez Band is a collection from their songs on Sparrow Records, recorded live in Chicago, the band’s hometown. There are three previously unreleased tracks on this album. Gameroom and Playground were new offerings intended to engage with 1980s teen culture.

Quite Enough is a solid blues piece like we had rarely heard from Rez up to this point, but it is clear that the band knows how to put this together and that Glenn Kaiser knows the blues inside and out. The song was on the band’s original demo tape, which was never formally released, and also showed up in a 3 CD compilation released in 1998.

The record is some 42 minutes long, with 6 1/2 minutes of message. Wendi does a ‘rap’ on side one and Glenn closes out side two with his ‘rap’. This seems like a gutsy move for a band that always had closed out their albums with memorable rock songs. Glenn, an ordained minister at JPUSA always made sure to include the gospel in every show, so this should come as no surprise.

There is a blistering live version of White Noise, from D.M.Z. which came out just prior to this release. The live version of Lovin’ You adds extra energy that wasn’t in the studio version, replacing some of the synth sound with a steady bass line.

This is the only official live release other than XX Years Live, which came out in 1992.

Tracklist
1 – Military Man – 4:50
2 – Gameroom – 4:19
3 – Wendi’s Rap – 2:00
4 – Playground – 4:00
5 – Medley – (6:20)
5a Waves
5b Awaiting Your Reply
5c Broken Promises
5d Autograph
5e City Streets
6 – White Noise – 3:57
7 – Quite Enough – 5:03
8 – Area 312 – 3:56
9 – Can’t Stop Lovin’ You – 3:34
10 – Glenn’s Rap – 4:24

Credits
Artwork [Back And Inside Artwork] – Cornerstone Graphics, Dick Randall
Artwork [Front Cover Concept And Art] – Janet Cameron
Bass – Jim Denton
Drums – John Herrin
Engineer – Phil Bonanno, Roger Heiss
Guitar, Keyboards – Stu Heiss
Mastered By – Steve Hail
Photography By – Dick Randall, Pat Peterson, Tom Wray
Producer – Resurrection Band
Synthesizer, Guitar – Jim Denton (tracks: A4)
Vocals – Wendi Kaiser
Vocals, Guitar [Solo] – Glenn Kaiser

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Published By – Luminar Music
Published By – Rez Band Music
Mixed At – Hedden West Studios
Mixed At – Solid Sound Studios, Hoffman Estates, IL
Mastered At – Future Disc
Recorded LIVE at the Odeum, Chicago, Octorber 21 and 22, 1983

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Lifesavers Underground – Shaded Pain – 1987

Shaded Pain is Lifesavers’ fourth album, and it has its own unique sound, darker and more musically mature than their original works.

The band started out with a sound reminiscent of 1970s punk and with this 1987 release, they sound completely like the late 80s punk scene.

The record starts out with a somewhat chilling version of “Michael Row The Boat Ashore” in the opening track “Jordan River.” Lyrically, this album strives to tie contradictions together and it does so quite well in songs such as “Tether To Tassel” and “Our Time Has Come.”

The sound on this album is a rich, full guitar sound throughout with drums that pop, and a vocal that carries it all in a soothing/creepy fasion, depending on how the beat strikes you every moment.

Tracklist
1 – Jordan River – 3:55
2 – Bye Bye Colour – 4:02
3 – Die Baby Die – 2:25
4 – Lonely Boy – 3:49
5 – Our Time Has Come – 3:37
6 – Tether To Tassle – 3:36
7 – I’m Torn – 3:52
8 – Plague Of Flies – 1:27
9 – More To Life – 3:39
10 – Shaded Pain – 4:10

Credits
Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Artwork – Mike Knott
Drums, Cymbal – Kevin Lee
Electric Guitar [Les Paul Gold Top], Twelve-String Guitar [Ibanez Acoustic], Acoustic Guitar [Yamaha], Bass [Black] – Brian Doidge
Engineer – Chris Brigandi (tracks: B5), Joey Taylor
Photography By – Colleen Hammond
Producer – Chris Brigandi
Vocals – Bridgett Knott (tracks: A1, A4)
Vocals, Keyboards – Mike Knott
Written-By – Brian Doidge (tracks: A4, B3, B4), Kevin Lee (4) (tracks: B3), Mike Knott

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

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DeGarmo & Key – This Time Through – 1978

This 1978 debut album from DeGarmo & Key is one of their best. It has a range of styles, but for 1978, it was all right in the zone of 70s rock that was still more influenced by country music at the time, and the “Southern rock” that everyone wanted more of.

These guys came from the South and they brought just the right mix to launch a career in CCM, and help spark the genre.

On their later live album, he says “We tried country music, we really did. But nobody could recognize what country it was from.” Funny, but those country tones fit perfectly here even though the band really became known as a modern pure rock band later on.

The songs on this album had great longevity for the band and 3 of them made it onto the live album in 1982.

Tracklist
1 – Emmanuel – 3:03
2 – Addey – 4:11
3 – Only The Meek Survive – 3:03
4 – (Gone, Gone, Gone) Too Far, Too Long – 4:29
5 – Alleyways Of Strife – 3:10
6 – Sleeper – 2:45
7 – Wayfaring Stranger – 3:38
8 – In The Days Of Thy Youth – 1:26
9 – Chase The Wind – 5:21
10 – This Time Thru – 4:52

Credits
Art Direction, Management – Steve Lawhead
Backing Vocals – Joe Hardy, Phyliss Duncan, William C. Brown III
Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Grand Piano, Organ [Hammond] – Edward DeGarmo
Bass, Percussion – Ken Porter
Design [Album] – Stan Evenson
Drums – David Spain, Max Richardson
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion – Dana Key
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Producer, Engineer – Ron Capone
Programmed By [Arp], Backing Vocals – Carl Marsh

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Lamb & Lion Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lamb & Lion Records
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Remixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Ardent Mastering

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Randy Stonehill – Celebrate This Heartbeat – 1984

Celebrate This Heartbeat starts out with an overture, which really does have a strong orchestral sound that only stops a little bit short of sounding like an outtake from The Nutcracker.

“Who Will Save The Children” is an important song on this record. The liner notes included a sign-up form to sponsor a child. Sally Struthers was working hard to get children sponsored at the time, and Randy had his hat fully in the ring starting around this time.

As usual, Randy gives us a fun song to both entertain us and challenge us on this album
Stop the World / I wanna get off / This place is too weird for me

This album is another polished studio approach from Randy, and a little farther from his rock’n’roll roots than what we were used to hearing. Fortunately we wouldn’t have to wait long for him to come back to the rock style we got to know him for.

Tracklist
1 – Overture: Celebrate This Heartbeat – 3:25
2 – Still, Small Voice – 4:04
3 – Celebrate This Heartbeat – 4:08
4 – Modern Myth – 3:51
5 – Who Will Save The Children – 5:27
6 – When I Look To The Mountains – 3:41
7 – Allison – 3:18
8 – Whatcha Gonna Do About That – 3:19
9 – Stop The World – 4:34
10 – I’ll Remember You – 4:26

Credits
Acoustic Guitar [All Acoustic Guitars] – Randy Stonehill
Arranged By [Rhythm Section And Vocal Arrangements] – Barry, Randy
Art Direction – Tim Alderson
Congas, Bongos, Percussion – Rick Geragi
Electric Guitar [Electric Guitars] – Danny Jacob
Electric Guitar [Electric Twelve String Guitar] – Mark Heard
Engineer [Engineered By] – Mark Heard
Engineer [Second] – Dan Reed
Flute, English Horn – John Clarke
French Horn – Darrel Gardner
Harp – Michael Amorosi
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Oboe – Barbara Northcutt
Orchestrated By, Arranged By, Conductor [Conducted By] – Tom Howard
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport
Piano, Electric Piano [Electric Grand Piano], Synthesizer, Timpani – Tom Howard
Producer [Produced By] – Barry M. Kaye
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute – Jay “Shotgun” Leslie*
Vocals [All Vocals] – Randy Stonehill

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – Δ26410
Engineered At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders
Edited At – Wilder Bros. Studios, Los Angeles
Mastered At – Future Disc
Published By – Stonehillian Music
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Tom Howard Music

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Whitecross – Hammer & Nail – 1988

More metal, more hair in this 1988 release from Whitecross.

Hammer & Nail is their third album, still with “Pure Metal Records” (and other distributions in Europe). The name says it all.

The sound on this one is almost Queensryche, which is a little different than their earlier work.

The guitar work still shines on this album, with solid rhythm work and plenty of good lead guitar licks to keep the songs moving. It never gets boring, even though they really drive out the anthem choruses on songs like “When The Walls Tumble Down” and “Because of Jesus.”

The title track “The Hammer And The Nail” starts out with a good long guitar solo intro and plenty more of those flourishes that make the song fun to listen to.

The song “Walk With Me” is another ballad offering like we’ve been used to getting from the WC boys. That soft vocal sound is a little surprising to find among all the hard rock on this album, but the song sustains energy and still fits on the album.

Intersting note, the album title is not on the cover, just a picture of a hammer and a nail. The edge of the jacket and all the official release info though confirms the name is official.

Track Listing:
1 – Living On The Edge – 5:11
2 – When The Walls Tumble Down – 3:32
3 – The Hammer And The Nail – 1:35
4 – Take It To The Limit – 4:09
5 – Walk With Me – 4:44
6 – Because Of Jesus – 3:40
7 – When The Clock Strikes – 4:34
8 – Resist Him – 4:20
9 – Living In A Lost World – 3:51
10 – Top Of The World – 3:33

Credits
Band [Whitecross Is], Bass – Jon Sproule
Band [Whitecross Is], Drums – Mark Hedl
Band [Whitecross Is], Guitar [Guitars] – Rex Carroll
Band [Whitecross Is], Lead Vocals – Scott Wenzel
Cover, Art Direction, Design – Jeff Spencer
Engineer – Doug Oberkircher
Engineer [Assisted By] – Dan Rudin, Vince Micko
Executive-Producer – Gavin Morkel
Photography By [Band Photography] – Bill Bilsley
Photography By [Cover Photography] – Kevin Bubbenmoyer
Producer [Produced By] – Joey Powers, Rex Carroll

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Star Song
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song
Record Company – Star Song Communications
Recorded At – Grand Slam Studios
Recorded At – Opus Recording Studio
Manufactured By – EMI Jax
Published By – Girder Music

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