Jim Cole – Complete in Him – 1976

This was an independent release from Jim Cole. It has a nice folk/Jesus Music feel to it and the quality is very high and it surprises me that a record label didn’t pick it up. That said Jim may not have been interested in a record deal we just don’t know. There was two different releases of this album, one with 10 tracks and one with 12. Jim reappeared in the music scene in the 90’s with several on label albums that essentially continued where this album left off. As I said this is a folk/Jesus music offering with the usual sound of the time. As was common with albums of the period there is a Rock tune, a country tune, and a blues tune, which is very good. Surprisingly there is no bluegrass tune. The guitar work is excellent and the vocals are strong so if folk is our thing this album is for you.

Tracklist
1 – Simple Song – 2:08
2 – Time Is Surely Running – 3:30
3 – Humble Yourself – 1:59
4 – Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams – 2:46
5 – The Messiah – 4:24
6 – Give Your Life To Jesus – 3:12
7 – Complete In Him – 2:58
8 – Name His Name – 2:59
9 – Goodbye Grey Days – 2:35
10 – It’s Jesus – 3:54
11 – New Man Tune – 3:47
12 – Your Invitation – 3:27

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Michael Omartian – Adam Again – 1976

Adam Again is a solid example of 1970s pop with an overall easy listening approach reminiscent of 1970s radio. There are some sounds reminiscent of James Taylor and Billy Joel. This album has a smooth sound that foreshadows the polish he brought to artists like Christopher Cross.

Michael may be more famous for his work producing albums for stars like Christopher Cross, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, Billy Joel, Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, Steely Dan, Shania Twain, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Quincy Jones, Tim McGraw, and a lot of others..

Michael Omartian had a few solo albums through the 70s and 80s as well as some with his wife billed as “Michael & Stormie Omartian.”

From Michael’s website bio:
Michael Omartian has contributed his talents to over 350,000,000 albums and CD’s sold worldwide as a producer, composer, arranger, artist or musician. He is the first record producer to chart #1 hits in three consecutive decades. With seventeen Grammy nominations including Producer of the Year, Album of the Year and Gospel Album of the Year, Omartian is a multiple Grammy Award winner. Additionally, Michael has been recognized by The Recording Academy (NARAS) as Keyboard Musician of the Year and is a Yamaha sponsored artist.

Topical for the 1970s, “Whatchersign” warns against the cultural obsession with the zodiac. “Annie The Poet” is a strong storytelling piece that would have fit very well on a Billy Joel album. “Alive and Well” is a high energy song reminding us that Satan is alive and well and offering us everything we think we want.

Tracklist
1 – Ain’t You Glad – 2:52
2 – No Matter What Shape You’re In – 3:16
3 – See This House – 3:53
4 – Whachersign – 3:30
5 – Annie The Poet – 3:58
6 – Telos Suite (Prelude) – 1:31
7 – Telos Suite (Alive And Well) – 4:44
8 – Telos Suite (Adam Again) – 4:59
9 – Telos Suite (Here He Comes) – 6:00

Credits
Alto Saxophone [Solo] – Ernie Watts (tracks: A3)
Backing Vocals – Ann White, Carolyn Willis
Bass – David Hungate (tracks: B2, B3), Lee Sklar (tracks: A5), Scott Edwards (2) (tracks: A2, A4), Wilton Felder (tracks: A1, B4)
Concertmaster – Sid Sharp & The “L.A. Super Strings”
Drums – David Kemper (tracks: A1, A5, B2 to B4), Ed Greene (2) (tracks: A2, A4), Michael Omartian (tracks: A3)
Engineer – Tommy Vicari
Guitar – Dean Parks (tracks: A1, A2, B4), Larry Carlton (tracks: B3), Lee Rittenaur (tracks: A2, A4, B2, B4), Richard Bennett (tracks: B2, B3)
Guitar [Solo] – Larry Carlton (tracks: B4)
Horns – David Duke, Don Menza, Ernie Watts, Paul Hubenon, Vince DeRosa
Lyrics By, Backing Vocals – Stormie Omartian
Percussion – Victor Feldman (tracks: B2, B3)
Photography By – Harry Langdon
Producer, Arranged By, Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion, Music By – Michael Omartian
Synthesizer – Michael Omartian (tracks: A3, B1)
Trumpet [Solo] – Paul Hubenon (tracks: B2)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sound Labs, Hollywood
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Published By – American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
Published By – Holicanthus Music
Published By – Landers-Roberts Music
Published By – April Music Inc.

Notes: released also under the title “Onward”

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Tim Sheppard – Diary – 1976

Tim Sheppard was “discovered” by Dallas Holm in 1975. This album was the result of that moment. Though it’s a mid 80’s album I didn’t really get a Jesus Music feel. Instead it’s more easy listening 70’s pop. Tim released several other albums including a couple with Dallas Holm.

Tracklist
1 – Joy In The Morning – 4:57
2 – Would You Believe In Me? – 3:39
3 – Sweet Lovin’ Grace – 3:34
4 – Just Because He Loves You – 3:40
5 – “Till I Met The Christ” – 3:36
6 – Psalm 9 – 2:37
7 – Rain Fallin’ Down – 3:42
8 – Soliloquy – 5:00
9 – He’s Coming Back – 3:43
10 – Are You Ready? – 3:24

Credits
Art Direction – Bob McConnell
Bass – Jack Williams
Drums – Kenny Malone
Engineer [Recording And Remixing] – Bob Clark
Guitar – Bobby Thompson, Joe Huffman, Steve Gibson
Keyboards – Shane Keister
Photography By – Dill Beaty
Piano, Written-By – Tim Sheppard
Producer – Phil Johnson
Steel Guitar – Weldon Myrick

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Daniel Amos – (self-titled) – 1976

The first album from Daniel Amos might surprise you if you’re an 80’s fan of the band as they actually started as a Country band in the 70’s. While Jesus music was still in full swing at the time of this release this album it doesn’t really have that it feel. It actually sounds and feels like a Country album of the time period. Interesting note is that the band actually auditioned for this album as “Jubal’s Last Band”. The name was very close to Darrell Mansfield’s band “Jubal”. Both bands agreed to a name change with Darrell’s band becoming Gentle Faith and Jubal’s Last Band becoming the Daniel Amos we all know now.

Track Listing:
1 – Jesus Is Jehovah To Me – 3:18
2 – The Bible – 4:20
3 – Abidin’ – 3:24
4 – William – 2:52
5 – Prelude: Servant’s Prayer – 0:47
6 – Don’t Light Your Own Fire – 4:28
7 – Losers & Winners – 3:52
8 – Walking On The Water – 4:38
9 – Ridin’ Along – 2:10
10 – Dusty Road – 3:25
11 – Love In A Yielded Heart – 2:34
12 – Skeptics’ Song – 2:22

Credits:
Acoustic Guitar [6 & 12 String], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Terry Taylor
Acoustic Guitar [6 String], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Steve Baxter
Bass Guitar – Marty Dieckmeyer
Design, Illustration – Dale G. Waters
Engineer, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Lead Guitar [Electric], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Producer, Mixed By – Al Perkins
Remix [Engineer] – Billy Taylor

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Chuck Girard – Glow In The Dark – 1976

Though this Chuck’s second album I think most of us were introduced to him with this album.

Though a mid 70’s release this album doesn’t really have a “Jesus Music” feel. I would argue it is one of the best mid 70’s Christian albums. The opening a capella track “Anthem” is probably the best Christian a capella song ever released. Admittedly I only know of two though.

“Somethin’ Supernatural” has great blues rock feel and the album closing ballad “Old Dan Cotton” is probably the best cut on the album.

Track Listing:
1 – Anthem – 1:00
2 – Callin’ You – 3:05
3 – I Remember – 4:24
4 – Return – 3:22
5 – I Know A Lady – 3:12
6 – No, No You’re Not Afraid – 2:55
7 – Somethin’ Supernatural – 3:52
8 – When I Was Ready – 5:34
9 – So Thankful (Song For Easter Morning) – 3:02
10 – Old Dan Cotton – 5:34

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Good News Records – 1976
Copyright (c) – Good News Records – 1976
Published By – Dunamis Music
Distributed By – Myrrh Records
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

Credits:
Arranged By [Strings & Horns] – Barry Fasman
Design – David Larkham, Hoggie McMurtrie*
Photography By – Ed Caraeff
Producer, Lyrics By, Music By, Vocals – Chuck Girard
Recorded By, Mixed By – Tom Trefethen

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The Richie Furay Band – I’ve Got A Reason – 1976

Richie Furay Was one of the founding members of Buffalo Springfield and Poco. He struck out on a solo career (as The Richie Furay Band) as a Christian performer with this album. This album has a rather usual 70’s sound, though considerably more easy listening than his secular works. All in all it’s a good album if you like the 70’s sound. Point of trivia about the album is that it was produced by Michael Omartian.

Track List:
1 – Look At The Sun – 5:07
2 – We’ll See – 3:02
3 – Starlight – 3:39
4 – Gettin’ Through – 2:59
5 – I’ve Got A Reason – 4:07
6 – Mighty Maker – 3:54
7 – You’re The One I Love – 3:40
8 – Still Rolling Stones – 3:54
9 – Over And Over Again – 7:09

Credits:
Bass, Backing Vocals – Jay Truax
Drums – John Mehler
Guitar, Vocals [Lead] – Richie Furay
Keyboards – Tom Stipe
Producer – Bill Schnee, Michael Omartian

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Randy Stonehill – Welcome To Paradise – 1976

This album was Randy’s third and at this point Randy was a very accomplished musician.

His song writing had always been very strong but now his guitar work was catching up. For many this album was their first exposure to Randy Stonehill and it had strong sales numbers.

Larry Norman both produced and played guitar on the album.

Point of trivia is that T-Bone Burnett joined the album as a bass player.

Track Listing
1 – King Of Hearts – 4:53
2 – Keep Me Runnin’ – 5:57
3 – The Winner (High Card) – 3:43
4 – Lung Cancer – 3:31
5 – Puppet Strings – 4:25
6 – First Prayer – 3:08
7 – I’ve Got News For You – 3:49
8 – Song For Sarah – 3:28
9 – Christmas Song For All Year ‘Round – 3:56
10 – Good News – 2:54

Credits:
Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Randy Stonehill
Bass – The Mighty T-Bone
Conductor [Charts And Baton] – Anthony Harris
Drums – Mark Walker
Electric Guitar, Piano, Harmony Vocals – Larry Norman
Engineer – Andy Johns
Engineer [Co-Engineer] – Tom Trefethen
Lead Guitar – Jon “Wonderfingers” Linn
Management – Street Level Artists Agency
Producer, Arranged By, Photography By, Design [Album Design] – Larry Norman
Typography [Lettering] – Joe Taylor
Written-By, Performer [Performed By] – Randy Stonehill

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Gentle Faith – (self titled) – 1976

Gentle Faith was Darrell Mansfield’s first band and they released their only album in 1976.

This album varies greatly in style as there are some light rock 70’s style tunes, a few bluegrass songs, and one good solid rock song. Most of the other band members from Gentle Faith worked with Darrell in future projects.

While this album is all over the place it should be listened to for the sake of hearing where Darrell came from.

Tracklist
1 – Simple Song
2 – Living In The Sonshine
3 – The Whole Lump Of Dough
4 – It’s So Good To Know
5 – Jerusalem
6 – Noah
7 – My Love For You
8 – Goin’ Back Home
9 – Turnaround
10 – Home

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Vocals – Don Gerber
Art Direction – Neal Buchanan
Artwork [Embroidery] – Nona Cutrona
Backing Vocals – Virgil Beckham
Bass, Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Henry Cutrona
Co-producer [Production Assistance] – Al Perkins
Drums, Percussion – Paul Angers
Electric Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Vocals – Steve Kara
Engineer, Mixed By – Jonathan Brown*
Fiddle – Fred Field
Keyboards, Saxophone – Dave Garland*
Lead Vocals, Harmonica – Darrell Mansfield
Photography By – George Fortner, Scott Lockwood
Producer – Virgil Beckham
Resonator Guitar [Dobro] – Leroy McNee*
Strings – Dave Garland* (tracks: B5), Jim Stipech (tracks: A1)

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Larry Norman – In Another Land – 1976

This album was the one that changed everything for us. I don’t remember what year it was when we got it. Maybe 1980. Maybe 1978 even. After this we started seeking out music that was actually for us.

This is part 3 of Larry’s Trilogy, but the first part we heard. Only Visiting This Planet and So Long Ago The Garden came later for us but when put all together, these 3 albums make the most famous parts of Larry’s body of work. There were many other albums released, but nearly all of them contained at least one song from the trilogy.

 

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