Xalt – Dark War – 1988

Here’s another great Metal band out of Michigan. This was Xalt’s first album which I guess is technically a demo but is probably best described as self released. It was only released on cassette which is a pity because the quality was, well, questionable. The album was finally re-released in 2017 by Retroactive Records with 6 bonus tracks. I have heard however that the quality is still questionable. Doesn’t matter what format you want to distribute music on, it’s only going to sound at best as it’s source. Anyway we do have a pretty good Metal album here that leans commercial but not overly. If you only have time for one track try out “God In A Box”.

Tracklist
1 – The Cross – 3:13
2 – God In A Box – 2:49
3 – Where Victory Storms – 2:59
4 – Angry Fire – 3:59
5 – Ready For The Fight – 2:29
6 – A Warrior’s Honour – 2:43
7 – Looking Down A Loaded Gun – 4:13
8 – Palace Daydream – 2:06
9 – Soldiers In The Mist – 3:02
10 – Dark War – 5:11

Credits
Bass Guitar – Steve Davis
Drums – Todd Gleason
Engineer – John Frazier
Guitar – James Erdman
Lead Vocals – Scott Doerfler
Mixed By – Hank Horton, John Frazier, Xalt
Producer – Hank Horton

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Harvest Studios

Tom Howard & Bill Batstone – One By One – 1985

Some of the old gang from Solid Rock got together for this one minus Larry of course. Bill Batstone had helped out as a studio musician on several early Solid Rock projects and someone had the vision of him and Tom Howard doing an album. Excellent vision. This album works just perfect. Tom and Bill take turns on lead vocals and it works. The album has an excellent flow and their vocals compliment each other. The album was mixed by Mark Heard at his studio and the mix is perfect, but we came to expect that of Mark. The album is a mix of easy listening and light rock but their is something here for everyone. It’s a great rounded album and it definitely deserves a listen.

Tracklist
1 – When The Curtain Falls – 3:42
2 – Storm Moving On – 3:23
3 – Night And Day – 4:04
4 – Think On These Things – 3:53
5 – Heart of a Fool (Psalm 4) – 3:40
6 – Your Constant Love – 3:27
7 – He Took The Form Of Man – 3:23
8 – The Best Thing – 3:33
9 – Show Me The Shepherd – 4:43
10 – And He Heard Them Sing – 4:47

Credits
Arranged By – Bill Batstone, Tom Howard
Art Direction – Tim Alderson
Drums [Drum Overdubs] – David Raven
Engineer – Mark Heard
Guitar, Bass, Drum Programming [DMX] – Bill Batstone
Keyboards – Tom Howard
Mixed By – Mark Heard
Percussion – Harry Stinson
Photography By – Stewart Ivester
Producer – Bill Batstone, Tom Howard
Vocals – Bill Batstone, Tom Howard

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – A&S Records
Copyright © – A&S Records
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.
Recorded At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders

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Barnabas – Find Your Heart A Home – 1982

Here’s the second album from Barnabas. It follows in the path of their first release but the production is much better. There was also considerable changes in the band lineup so that may have contributed to the improved sound. The album was initially released by Tunesmith Records in 1982 but Light Records worked out some kind of deal to re-release it in 1984. Barnabas had signed with Light in 1983 and released “Approaching Light Speed” so for some Barnabas fans they were getting the albums out of order. The album has been re-released twice since then. In 2000 it was packaged with “Hear The Light” and the 2 album on one CD was released by Millenium Eight Records. It was again re-released by Retroactive Records in 2017. It is a testament of this bands popularity that their albums keep getting re-released.

Tracklist
1 – Find Your Heart A Home – 4:44
2 – The Conflict Of Desire – 4:49
3 – Way To Destruction – 4:38
4 – Boogie Tyme – 4:26
5 – Swordsman – 3:47
6 – Southern Woman – 5:28
7 – Star – 7:50

Credits
Bass – Gary Mann
Cover Layout – Tim Varro
Drums – Kris Klingensmith
Engineer – Rick Hope
Lead Guitar – Kris Brauminger, Mick Donner
Organ – Kris Brauminger
Piano – Kris Brauminger
Producer – Barnabas
Rhythm Guitar – Kris Brauminger, Mick Donner
Synthesizer – Nancy Jo Mann
Vocals – Nancy Jo Mann

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Cruse – Cruse – 1982

This was the first album after the Cruse Family renamed themselves “Cruse” to sound more hip and young. There really isn’t much info out there on the family and really the only member to go on to success was Cindy Cruse. The album has a pop feel on several tracks but others are very easy listening oriented. The interesting track is the lead track “First Love” which was written by producer John Rosasco. It’s interesting in that it is also done by Joe English on his Held Accountable album. John played keyboards on that album and also played keyboards on this album. Both versions came out in the same year but I’ll be honest I think I prefer this version. Anyway we have a pretty good album here and it’s definitely worth a listen.

Tracklist
1 – First Love – 4:26
2 – How Did God Know? – 4:10
3 – Everyday Life – 3:50
4 – I Am, The Mighty One – 3:35
5 – Sing – 4:07
6 – You Are That Man – 4:51
7 – Understanding Heart – 3:30
8 – Bless Your Name – 2:57
9 – One Day Closer Home – 3:02
10 – Me And My House – 3:11

Credits
Arranged By [Track], Arranged By [String], Keyboards – Larry Muhoberac
Arranged By [Track], Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith
Arranged By [Track], Keyboards – Smitty Price
Art Direction – Bob McConnell
Baritone Saxophone – Dennis Solee
Bass – Abe Laboriel
Drum Programming [Linn Drum Machine] – Robbie Buchanan
Drums – Ed Greene, Ron Krasinski, Steve Turner
Engineer – Bob Cotton
Engineer [Assistant] – Jim Baird, Wally Grant
Guitar – Jon Goin
Illustration – Mike Drake
Keyboards – Allen Steinberger
Percussion – Paulinho daCosta
Photography By – Larry Dixon
Producer, Arranged By [Track], Arranged By [Vocal], Keyboards – John Rosasco
Saxophone – Dennis Solee
Strings – Sid Sharp Strings

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – CBS Inc.
Published By – Priority Music
Published By – John T. Benson Publishing
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – United Western Studios
Mixed At – Weddington Studios
Mastered At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc

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Love Life – Goodbye Lady Jane – 1991

You might know this band by the name “Fear Not” or “Reaction” as apparently they had difficulty with names. I will admit again that I don’t look forward to Metal albums and it was the same for this one. However for some reason I really enjoyed this one. Most likely this is due to it’s very heavy commercial feel and sound. This is an album that would have done well in the secular market and quite frankly I could hear “Girl Gone Bad” on any 80’s station to this day. Signed by tiny label Blonde Vinyl Records I doubt they got much promotion which is a pity because I believe they found a real diamond here. Even if you don’t care for metal albums I would urge you to give this one a listen, I suspect you might like it. At the very least give their cover of The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night”, it’s a pretty good cover.

Tracklist
1 – Real Love – 2:52
2 – Do You Love Me – 3:37
3 – Hearts On Fire – 4:05
4 – When Loneliness Comes Knockin’ – 4:27
5 – Girl Gone Bad – 3:32
6 – Fill ‘er Up – 0:13
7 – Goodbye Lady Jane – 3:48
8 – In Blue Again – 5:01
9 – 1000 Reasons – 4:56
10 – A Hard Day’s Night (Beatles Cover) – 2:33
11 – Do You Believe In Love – 3:22

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Brian Ray
Bass, Backing Vocals – Rod Romero
Drums, Backing Vocals – Gary Hanson
Engineer – Doug Beiden
Engineer, Mixed By, Backing Vocals [Additional] – Brian Davis
Executive-Producer – Michael G. Knott
Guitar – Darin Eby
Mastered By – Doug Doyle
Photography By [Cover] – Nigel Skeet
Producer, Mixed By – Christopher Colbert, Larry Worley
Vocals, Guitar, Backing Vocals [Additional] – Larry Worley

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Blonde Vinyl Records
Copyright © – Blonde Vinyl Records
Recorded At – Pakaderm West Studios
Mastered At – Digital Brothers
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia

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Priscilla Engle – Ageless Love – 1989

This is Priscilla’s second album. Her first album was on Frontline Records but this one was on tiny label Diadem Music. It appears she didn’t get a second album deal with Frontline. Now I have not listened to her first album yet but after listening to this one I am kind of surprised she couldn’t get a larger record deal. This album is very good. The jacket cover had me worried I was about to listen to a worship album but not so. This is a fun 80’s Pop album. I can’t find much out there on this album but I’m not overly surprised due to the label it was on. Diadem was owned by Benson (a much larger label) but I don’t know if they did much promotion of their Diadem label. Anyway this is a great fun pop album and is definitely a fun listen.

Tracklist
1 – Ageless Love – 3:04
2 – Nothing But Jesus – 3:34
3 – He Is Still A Father – 5:02
4 – Just Believe – 3:56
5 – No Need (Bow Down) – 4:27
6 – He’s Leading The Way – 3:55
7 – There You Are – 3:25
8 – River To The Throne – 5:00
9 – Follow You – 3:39
10 – Fire Of The Holy Spirit – 3:47
11 – To Live Is Christ – 3:28
12 – Don’t Dance – 3:11
13 – Kingdom Love – 5:00

Credits
Backing Vocals – Beverly Darnall, Guy Penrod, Jimmie Lee Sloas, Kip Raines, Mark Ivey, Paul Marino, Ray Boltz, Steve Millikan
Bass – Gary Lunn, Randy Melson
Drums – Dane Clark, Mark Hammond
Guitar – George Cocchini, Sandy Williams
Keyboards – Joe Hogue, Steve Millikan
Producer – Steve Millikan
Saxophone – Mark Douthit

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Mad At The World – Seasons Of Love – 1990

This was probably one of the most surprising albums of 1990. MATW did a complete change of direction going from a new wave pop sound to a more hard rock sound. I can honestly say that this new “The Cult” sound was quite a surprise to me and honestly I was not a fan. I didn’t mind the sound, I had The Cult in my collection at the time but when a band does a switcharoo like this it is just too startling to me. Now that aside the album is very well done and these guys nailed a sound that was not well represented in CCM music at the time. The album sold very well as I think the new style was a welcome change to a lot of fans. I think it can be said that this album was a rather historic CCM music moment so if for no other reason than that you should give it a listen.

Tracklist
1 – The Narrow Road – 3:39
2 – Seasons Of Love – 4:51
3 – City Of Anger – 5:34
4 – When The Wind Blows – 5:38
5 – Marshmallow Land – 2:58
6 – Summer’s Gone – 3:06
7 – Promised Land (The Deception Of Drugs) – 5:24
8 – So Insane – 3:22
9 – It’s Not A Joke – 3:27
10 – The Love That Never Fades – 4:05
11 – Seasons Of Love (Reprise) – 5:04

Credits
Arranged By, Engineer [Engineered By] – Roger Rose
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Band [Mad At The World Is] – Brent Gordon, Mike Pendleton, Randy Rose, Roger Rose
Illustration [MATW Logo Illustration Re-worked By] – David Jackson
Layout – Joe Potter
Mastered By – John Matousek
Photography By – David Dobson
Producer [Produced By] – Roger Rose
Songwriter [Songs Written By] – Randy Rose, Roger Rose

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Alarma Records
Copyright (c) – Alarma Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Recorded At – MATW Studios
Mastered At – Soundworks West
Published By – Broken Songs
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

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Glen Allen Green – A Living Fire – 1985

This was the first of 2 albums from Glen Allen Green. I can’t really find much information on Glen but I do know that this album was pretty popular. The album was released on Chris Christian’s Home Sweet Home Records and Chris took the title of executive producer though the album was produced by Keith Thomas. The album is your typical 80’s pop album but it is well done and I’m sure it was one of those albums that could bridge the gap between teens and middle aged music lovers. Give it a listen, it deserves it.

Tracklist
1 – A Living Fire – 4:17
2 – The Dance – 4:00
3 – Mirror Of My Heart – 4:24
4 – Forevermore – 4:19
5 – Beyond The Door – 4:48
6 – Run – 3:59
7 – Blessed Be The Lord – 4:32
8 – Jezebel – 3:58
9 – The Beauty Of His Love – 4:07
10 – Jesus Shall Reign – 3:20

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Kent Hunter
Backing Vocals – Denny Henson, Glen Allen Green, Keith Thomas
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Bass [Moog Bass] – Keith Thomas
Choir – Bonnie Keen, Brett Perry, Celeste Hammond, David Martin, David Pierce, David Ramsey, Dawn Rogers, Jim Foster, Keith Thomas, Lee Ann Ramsey, Lori Lee Loving, McLauren Pearman, Mel Tunney, Pam Mark Hall, Pete Calson, Richard Headen, Rick Cua, Teri Headen
Directed By – Bruce Koblish
Drums – Dennis Holt
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Glen Allen Green
Engineer [Assistant] – Brett Perry
Executive-Producer – Chris Christian
Guitar – Gregg Jennings
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Percussion – Lisa Crates
Photography By – Ron Keith, Scott Bonner
Piano – Keith Thomas
Producer, Arranged By, Programmed By [Synthesizer] – Keith Thomas
Programmed By [DMX Programming] – Keith Thomas
Recorded By, Mixed By – Jeff Balding
Synthesizer – Glen Allen Green, Keith Thomas
Synthesizer [Synclavier] – Keith Thomas

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Recorded At – Goldmine East, Brentwood, TN
Recorded At – Master’s Touch
Mixed At – Goldmine East, Brentwood, TN
Mastered At – Mastermix

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Various – East Coast Metal – 1988

This 1988 Regency Records sampler featured some of the best East Coast Metal bands of the time and some very exclusive tunes. There are a few unreleased tracks and other than that I have listed below where you can find the albums with the songs.

Tracklist
1 – Apostle – The Sword – On the 1988 Demo “Hymns”
2 – Rage Of Angels – Reason To Rock – On the 1989 Album “Rage Of Angels”
3 – Arsenal – Message Of Love – Unreleased
4 – The Lead – Tunnel Vision – On the 1987 Album “The Past Behind”
5 – Taker – Yesterday, Today & Forever – On the 1987 Demo “Mat. 11:12”
6 – Second Chance – The Blazing Wasteland – On the 1988 Demo “The Blazing Wasteland”
7 – Arsenal – Stand Strong – Unreleased
8 – Believer – The Chosen – Unreleased until “Extraction From Mortality” in 2001
9 – Taker – Living By Faith – On the 1987 Demo “Mat. 11:12”

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David Zaffiro – The Other Side – 1989

Guitarist David Zaffiro left Bloodgood to do his own thing here. The album definitely has it’s own feel and it shouldn’t be mistaken for Bloodgood. The guitar riffs sound similar in places but it looks like David had his own sound that he wanted to get out to the public. Michael Bloodgood does help out on a couple tracks so it’s nice to see that David leaving Bloodgood wasn’t in bad blood. My only fault on the album is that there should have been a few more rockin tracks and a few less ballads but that said they are very well done and I would have been hard pressed to pick ones to delete. So to sum up this is a good rockin album and I look forward to listening to David’s next album.

Tracklist
1 – Stay – 4:00
2 – I See Red – 3:22
3 – Where Are You Now – 3:36
4 – Why Me – 3:58
5 – The Other Side – 6:18
6 – Diversity – 4:42
7 – You – 3:11
8 – To The End – 4:27
9 – Only Eyes – 3:39
10 – Spirit Of The Lord – 4:50

Credits
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Assemblage – Jason Brown
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Charlene Nemieyer, David Schueler, Marlene Cochran, Paula Prince, Richard Bartholomew
Bass Guitar – Bill Hale (4), Mark Mosholder (tracks: 2)
Co-producer [On Lead Vocals] – Michael Bloodgood (tracks: 2, 10)
Drums – Davin McLaird
Engineer – Charles Meserole
Keyboards – David Hubbard (tracks: 10), Kelly Carpenter
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Producer, Engineer, Written-By – David Zaffiro
Photography By – Mark Wilkins
Rhythm Guitar – Maverick Gibson (tracks: 1)
Written-By, Co-producer [On Lead Vocals] – Maverick Gibson (tracks: 1,8)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Alarma Records
Copyright (c) – Alarma Records
Mastered At – Hitsville
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Published By – Broken Songs
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

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