This was the fourth and final album from Wendy and Mary who were Mary Rice Hopkins and Wendy Hofheimer. Well actually at the time of this album Wendy was going by Wendy Talbot as she was married to their producer and well known CCM artist Terry Talbot. That said sometime in 1985 Wendy divorced Terry and actually married Don Francisco. You just know there’s a great gossip story there. Anyway I’m just speculating but as they broke up as a duo right around this time I can’t help but to think it was a factor. That said they did get back together in 1995 to record together again. As for Mary she went on to write several children’s songs and books. Both apparently attempted solo careers but neither were very successful with the only album produced by Wendy in 2001. I will admit I had never heard of these ladies in the 80’s but I am now fascinated by the whole drama of their undoing. I bet it’s a great story.
Tracklist 1 – Battle Of The Heart – 3:31 2 – Around The Walls – 3:19 3 – No Other Name – 2:36 4 – I Am My Beloved’s – 2:58 5 – In Your Footsteps – 2:58 6 – Lullaby For Grown-Ups – 2:40 7 – If I Could Love You Better – 3:36 8 – You Are My Righteousness – 2:52 9 – Sword And Shield – 3:43 10 – He Who Dwells – 3:43 11 – Sing Alleluia – 2:15
Credits Arranged By, Synthesizer, Programmed By [Synthesizers] – Denny Bouchard Bass – Abraham Laboriel Design [Album Jacket] – Stan Evenson Design Inc. Drums – Billy Maxwell Mastered By – Herb Melton, Steve Hall Photography By – Edward Alfano Producer, Arranged By [Additional], Engineer [Additional] – Terry Talbot Programmed By [Fairlight] – Rhett Lawrence Recorded By, Remix – Ron Capone Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Arranged By [Additional] – Mary Hopkins (2), Wendy Talbot
This album marked Rich’s start to a more country sound. It opens with a beautiful A cappella where he is joined by Ashley Cleveland and Pam Tillis and is the highlight of the album to me. That said the CCM charts disagreed with me. The album had 3 top 10 CCM singles, “While The Nations Rage”, “Alrightokuhhuhamen”, and “My One Thing” with “While The Nations Rage” made it to number 1. It also had 2 other single that lingered around the middle of the charts, “First Family” and “Somewhere”. 5 singles on one album is pretty darn good but that said I’m neither here nor there on the album. It’s not bad, it’s not great. To me it just feels like it’s there. This is probably no fault of the album but instead just my personal taste. This album is where Christian music was headed at the time and if anything Rich was actually ahead of the trend.
Tracklist 1 – I Will Sing – 1:28 2 – Hope To Carry On – 2:35 3 – While The Nations Rage – 4:55 4 – First Family – 3:09 5 – Alrightokuhhuhamen – 4:15 6 – Higher Education And The Book Of Love – 4:53 7 – Bound To Come Some Trouble – 3:40 8 – The Love Of God – 2:52 9 – My One Thing – 3:49 10 – Somewhere – 4:36 11 – The Love Of God (Reprise) – 0:47
Credits Rich Mullins – lead vocals, acoustic piano, hammered dulcimer Reed Arvin – keyboards, Synclavier, string arrangements Jerry McPherson – guitars, mandolin Mark O’Connor – mandolin, fiddle Tom Hemby – guitar solo Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass Danny O’Lannerghty – bass Paul Leim – drums Bill Sinclair – harmonica Ed Calle – saxophone Kris Wilkinson – string contractor Ashley Cleveland – featured vocals Pam Tillis – featured vocals Richard Gibson – backing vocals Donny Monk – backing vocals Guy Penrod – backing vocals Jon Sherberg – backing vocals Gary Smith – backing vocals Chris Rodriguez – backing vocals Bonnie Keen – backing vocals Marabeth Jordan – backing vocals Marty McCall – backing vocals Margaret Becker – backing vocals
As I tried to read up on Larry online I was a bit surprised how little I could find about his Christian years. His bio’s are focused on his time with Grinderswitch but he had a very successful CCM career also. Oh well anyway this is Larry’s second solo album and it’s even better than his first album that was great in itself. Larry turns up the big band sound for this blues oriented album. The band he put together for the album are mostly little known artists with the exception of keyboard player Kenny Smith who had a relatively successful solo career. Anyway if you love the blues you will love this album as it’s one of the best CCM blues albums ever.
Tracklist 1 – Nobody But You – 2:45 2 – Carry Your Brother – 3:54 3 – It’s Only You – 4:43 4 – Shout! – 3:19 5 – Connecting Roads – 3:18 6 – Prisoner Of The Lord – 3:08 7 – Fire – 4:15 8 – (Tell It) Goodbye – 3:55 9 – Don’t Turn Away – 3:25 10 – A Road Leading Home – 5:44
Credits Arranged By [Background Vocal Arrangements] – Donnie Harper Arranged By [Horn Arrangements] – Larry Brubaker Backing Vocals – Carlet Williams, Elnora Williams, Karen Williams Bass Guitar – Slim Powell Design [Album Graphics] – Michael Pierce Drums – Clarence V. Roddie Engineer [Assistant] – Daniel Rudin Mastered By – Benny Quinn Percussion – Emedin Riveria Photography By – Ashlin Brelin Piano, Organ, Synthesizer – Kenny Smith Producer – Gary F. Montgomery Producer, Vocals, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Larry Howard Recorded By, Mixed By, Producer – Tad Bush Tenor Saxophone – Sonny Brown Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Bill Harris Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Rob Debellis
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
This is Connie’s second solo album and it picks up where the last one left off. While very popular in Canada (she is Canadian) she was only moderately popular in the U.S. That said this album did have 2 CCM charting singles with Lord Of Glory making it to #9 and Jesus In Your Heart to #32. Some interesting trivia is that Connie’s father Gerry was at the time the President of Canadian label Image VII and is listed as the current owner and president of Word Records Canada. I’m assuming that Connie met her husband during this album as he was the producer but that’s only speculation. Anyway this is a pretty good Pop album and while it was the worship oriented tracks that singled there are some solid Pop tunes on the album.
Tracklist 1 – Spirit Mover – 3:21 2 – He’s The Rock – 3:30 3 – Lord Of Glory – 3:31 4 – The Video – 3:10 5 – Jesus In Your Heart – 3:16 6 – D.O.A. – 4:22 7 – For So Long – 4:17 8 – Come On Leah – 4:09 9 – Is There An Orphan In Your Heart – 6:45
Credits Executive Producers – Gerry Scott & Grant Saip Producer – Greg Nelson Engineer – Ed Seay Engineer Assistance – Tom Harding Keyboards & Synthesizers – Shane Keister Electric Guitar – Jon Goin Bass – Mike Brignardello Drums – Mark Hammond Percussion – Farrell Morris Acoustic Guitar on “Jesus In Your Heart” – Mark Baldwin Saxophone on “For So Long” – Jim Horn Strings – Carl Gorodetzky & The Nashville String Machine String Arrangements – Alan Moore Strings Conducted – Greg Nelson Synclavier Programming – Steve Shaffer Manuscript Preparation – Dan Cleary & Eberhard Ramm Background vocals – Marty McCall, Melodie Runney, Bonnie Keen & Connie Scott
Companies, etc. Digitally Recorded & Mixed at Treasure Isle Recorders, Nashville, TN Additional Recording at Castle Recording Studio Inc., Franklin, TN Digitally Mastered at Future Disc, Hollywood, CA by Steve Hall & Herb Melton
Sometimes these Sparrow samplers bewildered me and this one is one of them. How you can have Rez Band, Steve Taylor, and John Michael Talbot on the same sampler? I well remember us buying these samplers for 1 or 2 tracks and I bet a lot of people bought this one with the same intent. Anyway below I have listed all the tracks and their associated albums;
1 – Steve Camp – Help Is On The Way – Shake Me To Wake Me 2 – Connie Scott – Spirit Mover – Spirit Mover 3 – Silverwind – I’m Gonna Follow You – I’m Gonna Follow You 4 – Rick Cua – You’ve Only Got One Life – You’re My Road 5 – Steve Taylor – I Just Wanna Know – On The Fritz 6 – Michael Card – Come To The Table – Known By The Scars 7 – Terry Talbot – Mighty Rushing Wind – Face To Face 8 – AD – The Only Way To Have A Friend – Art Of The State 9 – Debby Boone – Teach Me How To Love – Choose Life 10 – Phil Driscoll – Jesus I Love You – Power Of Praise 11 – Wendy & Mary – Around The Walls – Battle Of The Heart 12 – Sheila Walsh – Light Across The World – Don’t Hide Your Heart 13 – Rez Band – Souls For Hire – Hostage 14 – Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – Look Who Loves You Now 15 – Steve Green – Praise To The King – He Holds The Keys 16 – John Michael Talbot – Lord Every Nation On Earth Shall Adore You
Tracklist 1 – Steve Camp – Help Is On The Way – 4:03 2 – Connie Scott – Spirit Mover – 3:20 3 – Silverwind – I’m Gonna Follow You – 2:59 4 – Rick Cua – You’ve Only Got One Life – 3:37 5 – Steve Taylor – I Just Wanna Know – 4:37 6 – Michael Card – Come To The Table – 3:48 7 – Terry Talbot – Mighty Rushing Wind – 4:11 8 – AD – The Only Way To Have A Friend – 4:15 9 – Debby Boone – Teach Me How To Love – 4:15 10 – Phil Driscoll – Jesus I Love You – 4:36 11 – Wendy & Mary – Around The Walls – 3:17 12 – Sheila Walsh – Light Across The World – 3:23 13 – Rez Band – Souls For Hire – 3:30 14 – Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – 3:18 15 – Steve Green – Praise To The King – 2:31 16 – John Michael Talbot – Lord Every Nation On Earth Shall Adore You (Psalm 72) – 4:14
Deliverance returns with their 6th album and it continues their more commercial thrash sound. Actually there are several tracks that aren’t thrash at all and are better described as Grunge. Though Deliverance had been developing this sound for a couple of albums they perfected it on this one. This is probably due in part to the all-star team helping behind the mixing board. Gene Eugene mixed the album and also produced it along with Ojo Taylor and Terry Taylor . There was certainly no shortage of talent both in front of and behind the mixer. It was reissued in 2007 by Retroactive Records with 4 bonus tracks (included in our playlist) and a different cover. Track 10 “I Thought” was a previously unreleased track. Track 11 “On The Fritz” is their cover of a Steve Taylor song that was released on the Steve Taylor tribute album “I Predict A Clone”. Track 12 is a rather odd remix of “Belltown” which I’m betting people either love or hate, I doubt there’s much wiggle room on an opinion. Finally they added a track of founding member Jimmy P. Brown talking about the album. Interestingly the album name comes from a C.S. Lewis quote “how the believer is able to find peace within the river disturbance”. Deliverance was bringing something new to CCM music and though it’s not my preferred style it is well done and worth listening to.
Tracklist 1 – Belltown – 4:39 2 – After I Fell – 4:22 3 – River Disturbance – 6:36 4 – Now & Then – 4:33 5 – Speed Of Light – 4:54 6 – A Little Sleep – 3:44 7 – Map – 4:52 8 – You Still Smile – 7:06 9 – Breathing Still – 8:01 Bonus Tracks 10 – I Thought – 3:33 11 – On The Fritz – 3:35 12 – Belltown (Hyper Remix) – 5:04 13 – A Word From Jimmy P. Brown (Spoken) – 12:08
Credits Arranged By [All Songs] – Jimmy P. Brown II, Terry Taylor Bass [5-String & Fretless] – Manny Morales Design, Layout – Court Patton, Tom Patton Drums, Percussion – Jeff Mason, Jon Knox Edited By – Dave Hackbarth Engineer [2nd] – Mark Rodriguez Executive-Producer – Gene Eugene, Ojo Taylor Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Guitar [Treatments], Guitar [Noise Guitar] – Jonathan Maddux Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar [Where Noted], Keyboards, Twelve-String Guitar – Jimmy P. Brown II Mastered By – Chris Bellman Mixed By – Gene Eugene Photography By – Lia Lavaggi Piano – Gene Eugene Producer [Produced By] – Jimmy P. Brown II, Terry Taylor Recorded By – Gene Eugene, Terry Taylor
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
This was Jan’s second album and his first released outside of Norway. He was picked up in North America by tiny label Pilgrim America and in the U.K. by Marshalls. It was recorded in Nashville and they used the Joe English band, including Joe English, for the backing band. Someone important must have helped put this together as Jan was a relatively unknown at this point. Sometimes I would just love to hear how projects like this came together. The album has an early 80’s Pop feel and is a little heavy on Easy Listening tracks. Considering what Jan would do in the future it’s a pretty mellow album. But at this point in his career I suspect the record labels were pretty well dictating what he would do. Anyway it’s a good album and deserves a listen.
Tracklist 1 – So Glad – 2:57 2 – The King Has Come – 3:16 3 – Circle Of Love – 3:37 4 – Wait For Me – 3:19 5 – Take Me – 3:36 6 – Peace Like A River – 4:25 7 – Count On Me – 3:34 8 – Shine Your Light – 4:35 9 – I’m All Alone – 3:39 10 – He Really Loves You – 3:11
Credits Backing Vocals – Carolyn Brandt, Donna Gillie, Mo James, Pam Wolfe, Scott Roley, Suzy Mac, Tom Douglas Bass – Tim Smith Drums, Backing Vocals – Joe English Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Paul Brannon Executive Producer – Ray Nenow Guitar, Slide Guitar – George Cocchini Horns – Harvey Thompson, Jay Coble, Mike Haynes, Ronnie Eades Keyboards – John Lawry Percussion – Mike Feller Producer – Joe English, Ray Nenow Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jan Groth
I’m guessing you didn’t know that 3 members of Darrell Mansfield’s early 80’s band came together with Jim West to put out an album. Producer Freddie Piro cut the album and started shopping it around. Atlantic records jumped at the album and here it is. The album has Christian songs on it so I find it a little odd that Atlantic grabbed it. Anyway it was released with no fanfare and did appropriately well and this was the last we heard from Fortress. I doubt it was helped by the Christian overtones and the outright Christian track “Back On The Path”. I really wish a Christian label had grabbed this album. I’m guessing that almost none of you ever heard this album which is a real pity because the album is actually really good. Eric’s guitar work reflects his style of that era though you won’t feel any Darrell Mansfield influences. This is a straight up commercial sounding album that I stumbled on and boy am I glad I did. You have to at least give the first track a listen which was also the single.
Tracklist 1 – Hands In The Till – 3:20 2 – How Do I Exist – 3:42 3 – Comin’ After You – 3:46 4 – Requiem – 4:25 5 – Kisses – 3:51 6 – Let’s Do It Again – 3:24 7 – Breakin’ Free – 4:31 8 – Carry Me Back – 4:05 9 – Back On The Path – 5:16 10 – Mystery – 3:51
Credits Acoustic Guitar – Snuffy Walden Bass, Backing Vocals – Charlie Souza Coordinator [Production] – Teri Piro Drums, Percussion – Donny Vosburgh Guitar, Backing Vocals – Eric Turner Illustration – Tina Nichols Illustration [Concept], Producer – Freddie Piro Keyboards – Gabriel Katona Keyboards [Additional] – Duane Hitchings, Rich Gibbs Layout [Back Cover], Design [Logo] – Dan Lienart Mixed By, Recorded By, Percussion [Additional] – Larry Brown Mixed By, Recorded By, Producer [Additional] – Win Kutz Percussion [Additional], Producer – Larry Brown Photography By – David Alexander Vocals [Additional] – Gary Falcone, Ronn Price Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jim West