Randy Matthews – Eyes To The Sky – 1975

After the fiasco at The Jesus Festival in 1974 during which he was unplugged and thrown out for playing Rock & Roll he went into the studio to cut this album. He even wrote a song about the incident “Pennsylvania Song” on which he sang “you pulled the plug and drained my soul, but I know I left a ring around the tub of tradition, I saw some dance and sing” Many of us who stumbled on Randy in the 80’s problem didn’t even know he was a Rock & Roll pioneer. A quick listen to this album will reinforce this new knowledge as this is a great 70’s rock album. Seriously if you missed this one back in the day it’s a must listen to.

1 – It Took A Carpenter – 3:09
2 – Oh My – 3:20
3 – Paid In Full – 2:38
4 – There’s A Shadow Passing Over The Land – 3:03
5 – Wounded Warrior – 3:57
6 – Captain – 4:04
7 – Guardian Angel – 3:10
8 – Pennsylvania Song – 3:47
9 – In The Morning – 4:32
10 – Four Horsemen – 4:11

Arpa – Kim Rose
Arranged By – Kim Rose
Backing Vocals – Austin Roberts, Bergen White, Buzz Cason, Kim Rose, Randy Matthews
Bass – Joe Osborn
Cover [Painting] – J. T. Morrow
Design – Small Wonder Studio
Drums – Jerry Carrigan
Engineer – Brent Maher
Executive Producer – Billy Ray Hearn
Flute – Billy Puett
Guitar – Billy Sanford, Kim Rose, Reggie Young, Steve Gibson
Keyboards – Kim Rose, Ron Oates
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Producer – Austin Roberts
Recorder – Billy Puett

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Creative Workshop

Seth – Psalms – 1975

While you may not have heard of Seth you have probably heard of a few of their members. Kelly Willard, who was Kelly Bagley at the time went on to have a long career with Maranatha! Music. Jonathan David Brown would go on to be a top notch producer and song writer. Keith Edwards eventually became a drummer for Amy Grant and Rhenda Edwards Tull, later sang on Parable’s first album. So while you may not remember Seth you have certainly heard their members. The album is a very good 70’s album and I’m rather surprised I had never heard it before today but as it was on Shalom records I”m not that surprised as this was a relativity unknown label.

1 – A Man Called Jesus – 3:15
2 – Many Years – 4:46
3 – A Psalm of Love – 3:19
4 – This Christ – 4:25
5 – My Friend – 2:55
6 – Ready – 5:00
7 – I Will Praise Him – 4:44
8 – Keep Holdin’ On – 4:30

Band – David Wayne Hines, Debbie Newell Scott, Jonathan David Brown, Keith Alan Edwards, Rhenda Edwards Tull

Good News – Good News – 1975

Good News was a band, an album and a song. They were also one of the most talented bands of the Jesus Music era with a line-up that included David Diggs, Bill Batstone, Erick Nelson and a 16 year Bob Carlisle. Though released through Maranatha Music the album was actually recorded independently and there seems to be a sense of freedom in the recording that shows.They would do a follow up “studio band” album in that they never intended to tour to support the second album and recorded just for the purpose of releasing new material. the second album featured Keith Green on piano. The title track was written by Beau MacDougall is a great 70’s pop number with more guitars than the church was accustomed to at the time. But being a band led by Erick Nelson, piano was to be a prominent instrument and the whole album is very piano based and reminds many of Keith Green musically. Lead vocals are shared between Nelson and Yvonne Lewis. Her pretty alto voice is reminiscent of Karen Carpenter and Michelle Pillar which is significant given Nelson’s later project with Pillar that is a true classic in the industry called The Misfit. Most of the songs are common Jesus Music themes of unity, social responsibility of the Church, evangelism and the rapture. The latter seemed to be an official prerequisite for any official Jesus Music release. “Tear Down the Walls” is a great, blues influenced straight ahead rock song common for the time and fit in with what was happening in pop music for the time. “Never Knew” follows the same footsteps as the title track while the album closer, “Why,” is the perfect “altar call” finisher in the vein of Keith Green. The album follows a back and forth rotation of upbeat songs followed by a ballad. Most of the rockier songs’ vocals are handled by Nelson while the ballads are divided up between Lewis and Nelson. Nelson would go on to be an important figure in the birthing of CCM with the aforementioned “The Misfit” album. Batstone would remain a prominent figure in CCM until today as a leading voice in the world of worship music. Diggs has been a major producer, songwriter and jazz musician with a longlist of credits. Carlisle went on the record the biggest song in CCM history with Butterfly Kisses as well as being the lead singer Christian “supergroup” Allies.

Contributor – David Lowman https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – Good News – 4:20
2 – Carry Me Along – 3:25
3 – Going Home – 3:20
4 – Tear Down The Walls – 4:18
5 – Picking Up The Pieces – 3:55
6 – Never Knew – 4:00
7 – Follow You – 3:25
8 – Rock Of Ages – 3:52
9 – Why Must You Go – 3:10
10 – Jimmy – 3:20

Arranged By, Conductor [Conducted By] – David Diggs
Artwork [Art] – Neal Buchanan
Composed By – Erick Nelson, Joy Strange
Electric Guitar – Anthony Dean
Engineer [Engineered By] – Billy Taylor
Handclaps – Eddie Espinosa
Performer – Bill Batstone, David Diggs, Erick Nelson, Yvonne Lewis
Photography By – Scot Lockwood
Photography By [Photo Tinting] – John Carreon
Vocals – Bob Carlisle, Chuck Girard, Eddie Espinosa

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Erick Martin Nelson
Copyright © – Joy Strange
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s

The 2nd Chapter Of Acts – In The Volume Of The Book – 1975

This is the second studio album from The 2nd Chapter of acts who after this would simplify their name to just 2nd Chapter of Acts. Myrrh records was happy to have them back as their first album sold well. Phil Keaggy joins the best lineup of the band on guitar again and you can start to hear his skill level. Point of trivia about this album is that Michael Been (The Call) played Bass on some tracks. As for the album it’s a pretty easy listening album with strong 70’s vibes but if you want to hear Keaggy attack a Rock track listen to “Yahweh” which is not easy listening.

1 – Start Every Day With A Smile – 0:54
2 – Yahweh – 3:07
3 – Something Tells Me – 3:29
4 – The Grey Song – 1:56
5 – Now That I Belong To You – 4:04
6 – Ps. 63 – 1:51
7 – Prince Song – 2:51
8 – Morning Comes When You Call – 3:10
9 – Borrowed Time – 2:30
10 – Last Day Of My Life – 3:08
11 – Hey, Whatcha’ Say – 3:20
12 – Keep On Shinin’ – 3:13
13 – I Can’t Get Near You – 2:18

Michael Been – Bass
Jesse Cosio – Songwriter
Emery Gordy – Bass
Jay Graydon – Guitars
Nelly Greisen – Songwriter, Vocals
Annie Herring – Songwriter, Piano, Percussion, Vocals
Buck Herring – Producer, Engineer
David Hungate – Bass
Phil Keaggy – Guitars and Guitar Solos
David Kemper – Drums
Michael Omartian – Arranger, Piano, Organ, Aarpvark, Percussion
Larry Rolando – Guitars
Richard Souther – Songwriter
Danny Timms – Organ
Matthew Ward – Songwriter, Vocals

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Sunwest Recording Studios
Mastered At – Artisan Sound Recorders
Copyright © – Latter Rain Music
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Published By – Latter Rain Music

The Archers – Things We Deeply Feel – 1975

This is the fourth album from the Archer brothers and their first on Light Records. Things We Deeply Feel is the last album to feature female vocalist Nancye Short who sings lead on “It Wouldn’t Be Enough”. This song put The Archers on the map as it became a #1 on the Adult contemporary charts. The album also spawned a few other singles but “It Wouldn’t Be Enough” was the money track. Light records spent a lot of money on the studio band and also an embossed album cover that must have cost a fortune at the time. The album also contains the most countrified song they ever did, “You Are My Inspiration”. While this was a very successful album and Nancye was an excellent vocalist I prefer their albums once sister Janice joined the band.

1 – Music (He Brings A New Song) – 3:35
2 – Giver Of Life – 3:27
3 – Sit Yourself Down – 2:54
4 – Lord, You’ve Been Good To Me – 2:47
5 – It Wouldn’t Be Enough – 3:59
6 – I’m With Jesus – 3:15
7 – Brand New Day – 3:31
8 – You Are My Inspiration – 2:58
9 – If You Can’t Believe In Love (You Don’t Believe In Anything At All) – 3:17
10 – It’s Love To Me – 3:01
11 – Praise Him – 2:52

Arranged By [Rhythm Charts] – Bobby Sisco
Arranged By [Strings/Brass] – Clark Gassman
Bass – Leland Sklar
Drums – Ed Green, Hal Blaine
Engineer – Jerry Barnes
Fiddle [Electric] – Harold Hensley
Guitar – Ben Benay, Dan Ferguson, Jay Graydon, Lee Ritenour
Keyboards – David Paich
Liner Notes – Ralph Carmichael
Percussion – Allan Estes
Performer [Uncredited] – Billy Masters
Producer – Bill Cole
Steel Guitar – Red Rhodes
Synthesizer [Moog] – Clark Gassman
Vocals [Uncredited] – Nancye Short, Steve Archer, Tim Archer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Western Recorders

Ishmael – The Charge Of The Light Brigade – 1975

I know you’ve always said I wish Ishmael United did an album with After The Fire. OK no one ever actually said that but here it is anyway. This is a fantastic album. It has that quirky Ishmael sound a lot of us would grow to love. You probably never heard of this album but there’s a reason. As explained by Ken Scott (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition)…

“Probably one of the most controversial Ishmael albums and banned from a large chain of Christian bookshops due to the song content. The lyrics graphically announced of the dangers of occult, the stupidity of preaching to seagulls and the problems of Church unity. Oh yes, and the first and last album that is likely to contain a song called ‘I am just a Charismatic’. The Ishmael ‘dry humour’ which was added to help lighten some of the subject matter proved to be very unfunny to the less jovial Christians of the day.”

Well that explains that. Low and behold it has a Rock & Roll song., “Sixth Virgin” which id a style we never heard from Ishmael or ATF for that matter. Personally my favourite track is the ballad “Spiritual Stagnation” which was years ahead in it’s styling, remember it was 1975.

1 – Charge Of The Light Brigade – 3:40
2 – Spiritual Stagnation – 4:21
3 – Mission To Seagulls – 3:21
4 – Simon And The Gypsy – 3:12
5 – I Am Just A Charismatic – 2:50
6 – Laodecean Church – 3:18
7 – Christian Straitjacket – 3:18
8 – Sixth Virgin – 3:32
9 – King Of Glory – 5:10
10 – Amen And Praise De Lord – 5:20

Design – Dave Gillard (2), Geoff Gillard
Songwriter – Ian (alias Ishmael)
Band – After The Fire

Companies, etc.
Published By – Thankyou Music – 1975
Published By – Word (Uk) Ltd. – 1975
Pressed By – Tranco Limited
Designed At – Gillard Bros Graphics

Bryn Haworth – Sunny Side of the Street – 1975

This is the second solo album from Bryn. He and his wife became Christians in 1974 and his subsequent albums reflected that in some way. This album was on a secular labels so it is not all in Christian content but there are Christian songs on the album. I had never heard any of Bryn’s work before “The Gap” so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the sound I had heard that I liked so much was present here on his earlier work. This is a great album and I think if you like “The Gap” you’ll love this earlier work of his.

1 – Good Job – 5:00
2 – Pick Me Up – 3:22
3 – Darlin’ Cory – 3:22
4 – Dance – 3:02
5 – Peace Of Mind – 2:55
6 – Give All You’ve Got To Give – 5:10
7 – Heaven Knows – 5:28
8 – The Sunny Side Of The Street – 2:30
9 – Used – 5:17
10 – Thank The Lord – 4:45

Bryn Haworth – Guitars, Vocals
Bruce Rowland – Drums
Alan Spenner – Bass
Chris Stainton – Piano, Organ
Dave Pegg – Bass
Dave Mattacks – Drums
Pete Wingfield – Piano
Pat Donaldson – Bass
Terry Stannard – Drums
Dave Swarbrick – Fiddle
Alan Munde – Banjo
Jimmy Mullen – Guitar
Tony O’malley – Piano

Stonewood Cross – Magic Man/Brand New Love 7″ Single – 1975

This single is all we got from Stonewood Cross which is a pity because these two songs rock. While there’s tons of Jesus Music there isn’t as much of the Southern Rock from the 70’s. This is a straight out Southern Rock effort and it is very very good. This single was self released but I am very surprised a label didn’t pick it up. I guess that’s the mystery of Jesus Music. Sometimes labels jumped other times they passed and with no discernible reasoning. At least we have these two tracks to enjoy.

A – Magic Man – 5:58
B – Brand New Love – 6:00

Larry Walters – guitar & lead vocal
Kurt Schrotenboer – guitar & vocals
Bruce Bos – bass guitar & vocals
Jack Meyer – drums & vocals

Imperials – No Shortage – 1975

This 1975 Imperials release provided their fans with more of what they loved. This album was more socially aware of the times. The title and lead track referred to the “shortage culture” of the mid 70’s. Other tracks spoke of negative issues and how God figured into them. Some pundits actually consider “No Shortage” as their best song ever. The album won both Grammy and Dove awards. No Shortage was probably one of the most popular Christian albums of all time but keep in mind the broad target audience of the album before you rush to correct me.

1 – No Shortage – 2:50
2 – Give Them All To Jesus – 3:32
3 – Would You Believe In Me – 4:07
4 – Holy Spirit, Speak To Me – 3:35
5 – My Child, Welcome Home 2:57
6 – Someday (It May Be Tomorrow) – 2:22
7 – I Just Came To Praise The Lord – 3:07
8 – Let Us Love One Another – 4:50
9 – Light At The End Of The Darkness – 3:42
10 – There Must Be A Better Way – 3:46

Liberation Suite – Liberation Suite – 1975

This album was the worlds introduction to Liberation Suite. Originally from Texas they actually moved to the United Kingdom after signing with Myrrh Records. This album, was released in 1975 and their careers took off. In support of this album they toured with Malcolm and Alwyn, Barry McGuire, and Jamie Owens. I remember first hearing this album in the early 80s and was surprised by the Rock and Roll sound on some tracks. Though the band was known as a Jesus Music band they actually leaned to Rock & Roll on several tracks on this album. The thing that stands out on this album to me is the use of a horns section. At times you would swear your listening to the “Tower of Power” but nope it’s just the guys in the band. This album may be my favourite use of a horn section in CCM music.

1 – Led To Roam – 2:48
2 – Run, Run, Lucifer – 4:43
3 – My Lord Is A Remedy – 3:06
4 – Oh Lord, You Know (That I Feel So Fine) – 4:07
5 – Reachin’ For The Sky – 4:18
6 – More Than A Matter – 3:58
7 – Presence Of The Lord – 4:21
8 – Hearken – 5:52
9 – I Wanna Be With You – 3:59

Bass Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals – David Bynum
Coordinator [Album Co-ordination] – Miles McKee
Design [Cover Design] – David Casey (3)
Drums, Congas, Vocals, Cover [Cover Concept] – Randy Hill
Engineer [Engineered By] – Gerry Kitchingham
Guitar [Guitars], Keyboards, Synthesizer [Moog And String Synthesizers], Vocals – Barry Bynum
Instrumentation By, Arranged By – Liberation Suite
Photography By – John Leigh (2)
Producer [Produced By] – John Pantry
Trombone, Harmonica, Vocals – Howard Lyon
Trumpet, Flute, French Horn, Vocals – Paul Lyon

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word Music (UK)
Copyright (c) – Word Music (UK)
Recorded At – R.G. Jones Studios
Printed By – Garrod & Lofthouse International Ltd.
Made By – Garrod & Lofthouse International Ltd.