Barnabas – Hear The Light – 1980

I either forgot huge parts of this album or I blocked them out. It’s weird.

Track 1: Drop the needle, and the first thing you hear is the beginning of “Greensleeves”. Where’d that come from? The first verse of “Saviour” might fit in as a Christmas song, but only on the Lump of Coal CD.

So many lyrics I’ve forgotten, like “I want an angel for a next door neighbor / Hey, Gabriel just might drop in for tea!” Maybe I forgot because you can’t make them all out unless you read the liner notes.

“Little Faith” has an almost Israeli-style feel, but like everything else on the album, the operative word seems to be “almost”.

One lyric you can’t forget (I didn’t) is from what is truly the signature song on the album: “Marshalls and drums! Cymbals and bass! / Get out and blow ’em away – playin for Me! / You’ll be playin’ for Me.” The next time around, it’s “We’ll make all the noise we can, so you’ll believe in Him / Marshalls and Drums! Cymbals and bass! Get out and blow ’em away – playin’ for Him!”

“No More Blues” starts laying down a nice bluesy bass line, but don’t get too into it, because before you know it, they’ve added a punk rock vocal and some hard rock guitar riffs, especially in the solos. I don’t know what it is at that point, but despite the underlying bass line, there really are no more blues in there.

The next track is “Father of Lies”, which lays down a nice little beat that you can start grooving on until… once again, the vocal comes in.

The lyric sheet is truly worth reading if you want to know what the lyrics are. Some of them are really over the top. The sheet includes a short statement of faith and thanks JPUSA and the Vineyard of West Los Angeles. Maybe they even met Larry Norman out there somewhere, but neither seems to be advertising it.

Track Listing:
1 – Saviour – 3:02
2 – There’s A New World Coming – 2:35
3 – Directory Assistance – 3:55
4 – Little Faith – 2:54
5 – He Loves You – 3:20
6 – B.C. – 2:22
7 – Playin’ For Him – 3:33
8 – No More Blues – 7:28
9 – Father Of Lies (A Song About The Other Guy) – 2:30
10 – It’s Up To You – 3:00

Credits:
Art Direction – Dan Lienart
Photography By – David Randle
Producer – David Storrs
Written-By – Barnabas
Bass – Gary Mann
Drums – Kris Klingensmith
Guitar – Monte Colley
Lead Vocals – Nancy Jo Mann

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David Edwards – Get The Picture – 1983

The second offering from David Edwards is slightly more melodic than his first.

Several of the songs deal with real life issues as opposed to specific religious issues. As such, it was not overly well received in the Christian music scene which really was a pity as the lyrics are memorable and meaningful.

Track Listing:
1 – Anything But Love – 3:43
2 – Someone To Trust – 3:09
3 – The Feeling Part – 4:55
4 – Watch Over Your Heart – 3:19
5 – How Could You Throw It All Away – 4:37
6 – Break The Big One – 3:38
7 – Put Me Down – 3:06
8 – All I Want – 3:10
9 – True Confession – 2:50
10 – Girls Like You – 2:18
11 – A Fool’s Condition – 5:17

Credits:
Acoustic Guitar – David Edwards (9) (tracks: A4, B2, B4)
Alto Saxophone – Irv Cox (tracks: A3, A5)
Arranged By, Programmed By [Synthesizer], Backing Vocals, Written By, Composed By – David Edwards (9)
Art Direction – Barbara LeVan
Backing Vocals – Randy Stonehill, Suzan Curly
Bass, Backing Vocals – John Trujillo (4)
Cello – John Walz
Drums, Percussion – Rick Geragi
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Dan Jacob*
Marimba – Guy Shiffman
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Piano – David Edwards (9) (tracks: A2, B5)
Producer, Keyboards, Arranged By, Programmed By [Synthesizer] – Barry M. Kaye*
Recorded By, Mixed By – Britt Bacon
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Jay Leslie

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Altar Boys – (self titled) – 1984

Altar Boys’ self titled debut albut came out in 1984.

This California style punk was typical of what punk was at the time, although now we seem to have a lot of splinters of types of punk – melodic, thrash, pop, hardcore, metalcore, screamo, and more.

A lot of punk was poppy at the time, modeled after The Ramones, and sounding like a precursor to MXPX or Green Day.

Starting to play together around 1978, musicians that would later form the bands Undercover, Lifesavors, and Altar Boys (in that order) all came out of the same scene. Mike Stand and Ric Alba ended up in Altar Boys along with Jeff Crandall and Steve Pannier, while Mike’s brother was in Undercover, and Ric had previously done some playing with Lifesavors.

Ric also played with Undercover before Altar Boys. In the spirit of punk rock, these songs are all high energy and a lot of fun, a hallmark of Altar Boys from start to end.

Track Listing:
1 – Alright! – 2:24
2 – I’m Into God – 2:52
3 – Have A Clue – 2:36
4 – Where’s It Gonna Lead You – 2:24
5 – You Found Me – 3:46
6 – Take In The Son – 2:44
7 – Well O.K. – 2:36
8 – Good Life – 3:31
9 – Oh, Oh Nancy – 1:33
10 – We Love Jesus – 2:40
11 – It’s Up To You – 3:07

Credits:
Art Direction – Alex MacDougall
Backing Vocals – Jeff Crandall, Mike Stand (2), O-Joe*
Design [Cover Design] – Debby Edwards
Engineer – Uncle Dave Hackbarth* (tracks: 12 to 15), Derald Daugherty*, Joey Taylor*
Executive-Producer – Bradley S. Hamilton
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Bass, Keyboards – Rick Alba*
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Drums, Vocals – Jeff Crandall
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Guitar – Steve Pannier
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Guitar, Lead Vocals – Mike Stand (2)
Photography By – Oh Oh Nancy
Producer – Joey Taylor*
Recorded By – Dan Willard (tracks: 4)
Saxophone – Bill Walden

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First Strike – Rock of Offence – 1984

Rock Of Offense was the first and only full-length release from First Strike.

First Strike were a hard rock christian band from Sacramento, California and formed in 1979. As I said the band was hard rock, not like Stryper but more in line with Def Leppard but with less of an anthem sound.

In my opinion they did what they did extremely well. I personally can’t stand the album cover and I’ve read that the band was of this opinion also. Point of trivia about this album is that it was produced by Michael Roe who is a member of the 77’s.

Track Listing:
1 – Out of Control – 3:03
2 – Hurt by Love – 3:00
3 – I Want You – 3:52
4 – Loneliness Kills – 3:41
5 – Hard Times – 3:21
6 – Slow Poison – 5:31
7 – Your Love – 4:06
8 – Dirty Loving – 3:25
9 – Prisoner – 3:24
10 – Money – 3:35

Credits:
Pat Boylan – Songwriter, Guitars, Background Vocals
Johnnie Delaney – Songwriter, Drums
John Golden – Mastered
Steve Griffith – Assistant Producer, Engineer, Background Vocals
Tony Gunn – Vocals
Tim Larkin – Songwriter, Guitars, Background Vocals
Mary Neely – Executive Producer
Michael Roe – Producer, Background Vocals
Chris Salmon – Songwriter, Bass
Eric Volz – Executive Coordinator, Background Vocals
Daryl Zachman – Engineer

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