Randall Waller – Oasis – 1978

Oasis is Randall Waller’s solo debut. It’s the first of two solo albums, released before the formation of Lionheart in 1981, the precursor band to Avion. Being an Australia-only release, the first Randall Waller album most people are familiar with is the outstanding ‘Midnight Fire’ album which was recorded in the US, and produced by the late Jon Linn (guitarist on albums by Larry Norman, Chuck Girard, Randy Stonehill, and Mark Heard). There’s a world of difference between the two. Oasis is mainly aimed for those who are already believers. It contains a numbers of Randall’s original worship songs – You Are The One, Just Can’t Explain, and Praise Song, to name a few. Oasis is a more laid-back, predominantly acoustic/soft rock project. The opening track, Friends In High Places, Storm In The Sky, and I Want You really appeal to the rocker in me, but they are the exception to the overall rule. Randall’s excellent guitaring in Friends In High Places reminds me of guitar greats, the late Gary Moore and Carlos Santana. Other album highlights are Randall’s good remakes of John Michael Talbot’s Would You Crucify Him and Phil Keaggy’s Things I Will Do. Well worth giving this a listen.

Tracklist
1 – Friends In High Places – 7:19
2 – You Are The One – 3:25
3 – Things I Will Do – 3:26
4 – Just Can’t Explain It – 2:15
5 – Would You Crucify Him – 4:48
6 – Foot Of The Mountain/Lord You’re Blowin’ My Mind – 6:01
7 – Storm In The Sky – 5:23
8 – What Must I Do – 2:33
9 – I Want You – 4:41
10 – Praise Song – 1:46

Credits
Alto Saxophone – Michael Houghton
Arranged By – Randall Waller
Bass – Roger Hanlon
Design – Ngaire Waller
Directed By – Steve Wyatt
Drums – Rob McMurry
Engineer – Chris Neal
Flute – Michael Houghton
Guitar – Randall Waller
Lead Vocals – Randall Waller
Piano – Steve Wyatt
Producer – Bob Goodfellow
Synthesizer – Chris Neal

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Airborne Studios

John Pantry – Empty Handed – 1978

So I’ll straight up admit I never hears of John before this album made its way across my desktop. He’s actually fairly well known and has a great history with music. In the 60’s he was in a fantastic obscure secular 60’s band called Peter & The Wolves (Not the recent Canadian version). I went back and listened to his work back them and it’s great. Later in the 80’s he was with a band called Fresh Air that had one album that I am feverishly looking for. Anyway this appears to have been his first Christian album and it is great. It has an early 70’s feel and a late 60’s feel on a few tracks. So if you missed this one back in the day give it a listen, it’s pretty darn good.

Tracklist
1 – Strong Love – 3:31
2 – Empty Handed – 3:17
3 – He Will Take Great Care – 3:12
4 – Will I Ever Get Over This – 3:18
5 – Reigning In My Heart – 3:53
6 – Behold I Stand At The Door And Knock – 2:35
7 – Slip Off Your Shoes – 3:22
8 – God Is Moving On – 3:25
9 – Sweat Healer – 3:57
10 – Priceless – 3:24

Credits
Backing Vocals – Elizabeth Kaufmann, Gwen Murray
Bass – Paul Cobbold
Design [sleeve] – Chris Bourne
Drums – Mike Wade
Engineer – Andy Kidd, Dave Aston
Guitar – Mo Witham
Saxophone, Flute – Robert McKay
Vocals, Keyboards, Producer, Written-By – John Pantry

Companies, etc.
Published By – Thank You Music
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Maranatha! Music
Recorded At – ICC Studios

Paul Smith – Child Of The Father – 1978

Paul Smith of course is best known for being in the Imperials. He did go on to a solo career after the Imperials but this little known album came before he joined the Imperials. When I say little known it’s because this album does not appear to have been on a label. It appears Paul self released this album so I am assuming no one ever heard of it. Strangely it appears to be highly collectable with copies fetching $300. I have listened to the album and there is nothing here that is deserving of that price tag but it is a good album if you like that 70’s easy listening style.

Tracklist
1 – Yes, I Know – 4:37
2 – Singin’ Through The Rain – 3:17
3 – Before I Knew – 4:27
4 – Child Of The Father – 3:32
5 – One More Day – 5:44
6 – Now I See The Man – 3:09
7 – Lonely People Serenade – 6:07
8 – Let There Still Be Love – 3:48
9 – Always – 4:23

Credits
Arranged By – Robert Sterling
Backing Vocals – Suite Lady
Backing Vocals [Suite Lady] – Cindy Vaughn, Denise Griffith, Gail Quillan, Jean Seal, Jean Secliffe
Bass – Andy Rae
Design – Nancy Perry
Drums, Percussion – Robert Sterling
Engineer – Bob Sullivan
Guitar – Bob Thomas
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Shane Keister
Liner Notes – Charles F. Brown
Mixed By [Assistant] – Charles F. Brown
Photography By – Tim Henry
Producer – Robert Sterling
Saxophone – Greg Bashara
Trombone – Anne Broaddus, David Carter
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Mark Nally

Companies, etc.
Published By – Glorysound Publishing
Published By – Home Sweet Home Publishing
Published By – John T. Benson Publishing
Published By – PostScript Music
Recorded At – Rivendell Sound Recorders
Recorded At – Sunset-Burnet Studios

The Young Bros. – High Energy Rock – 1978

I only found this album because it was requested. I have no idea who the Young Brothers were or even if they were officially a Christian band. That said the album is full of Christian lyrics so were gonna call it Christian. This was the only album from the brothers and I can’t find that they ever did any other projects. What we have here is a solid southern rock album with overtones of ZZ Top on some tracks and early DA on others. As I said I know nothing about this band so we will just have to enjoy this great 70’s Rock album.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPcTOx34g9XSKQc3SlfmzUGVMkG1etcIX

Tracklist
1 – Come Alive – 3:19
2 – Touched – 2:43
3 – Excited – 2:47
4 – The Answer – 3:03
5 – Suffering Man – 3:02
6 – If It Isn’t One Thing It’s Another – 2:38
7 – Bus Stop – 3:43
8 – Hinder – 3:02
9 – Say You Know Love – 2:34
10 – Just Setting My Soul Free – 4:20
11 – Space Child – 2:55

Credits
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Ronnie Young
Drums – Kenny Mooney
Engineer, Recorded By – Mike Grimm
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Allan Young
Mastered By, Engineer – Kevin Vogts
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Terry Young

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – The Young Bros. Residence
Published By – Grimm Diversified Music
Mastered At – Diskwerks

Caedmon – Caedmon – 1978

Not to be in any confused with CCM stalwarts, Caedmon’s Call, this is Caedmon, a progressive, medieval folk, blues, Celtic, jazz quintet from Edinburgh University that unleashed a completely original and creative project embraced a both sides of the pond and both sides of the music realm, garnering great reviews in Christian and mainstream publications. The group started off as a trio of veterinary students that primarily performed traditional British folk tunes and Church hymns and spirituals. The group expanded, as did their repertoire. They played with Water Into Wine, After the Fire, Larry Norman among other Jesus Music artists of the 70’s in Britain. But like many contemporaries…they disappeared quickly. Though the desire for the music has prompted a few re-releases over the years. Whether it’s the Celtic like folky number, “Ten Maidens fair” that kicks off the album or the moody, folky jazz tune, “Man Maker” that follows, the production is top notch, the quality of musicianship, originality and harmonies are simply compelling. Male and female lead vocals trade off with each song and often within each song. But one of the more compelling aspects is the vocal arrangements. There is really a lot going on here. “Sea Song” starts off like an old British shanty, then moves into a progressive rock like instrumental section with a killer guitar solo. The beautifully returns to its roots. Other true stand out tracks include “Living in the Sunshine” and “Columbas’ Song.” This a truly a brilliant gem that most likely would appear much higher on this list of I didn’t come to it so much later in life. I assume if I had owned this throughout its life cycle it would appear much higher on this list. I expect complaints from many claiming it deserves a higher ranking and an equal amount revealing they have never heard of it. The latter would do well to track it down as a phenomenal re-release with vastly improved sonics took place in the past year or so.

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

Tracklist
1 – Ten Maidens Fair – 4:17
2 – Maker Man – 3:25
3 – Death Of A Fox – 4:18
4 – Sea Song – 5:35
5 – Aslan – 4:15
6 – Living In The Sunshine – 3:27
7 – Storm – 6:06
8 – Columba’s Song – 2:21
9 – Smile On Your Face – 4:35
10 – Caedmon’s Hymn – 4:15
11 – Give Me Jesus – 6:45
12 – Beyond The Second Mile – 4:15

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Jim Bisset
Acoustic Guitar, Spoons [Spoon And Teacup] – Ken Patterson
Vocals – Angela Naylor
Vocals, Bass Guitar – Sam Wilson
Vocals, Electric Guitar – Jim Bisset
Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Other [etc] – Simon Jaquet
Vocals, Piano, Cello – Ken Patterson

Companies, etc.
Manufactured For – Nimbus

Daniel Amos – Live at Calvary Chapel (1​-​28​-​78)

In 2021 Daniel Amos released a recording of themselves live at Calvary Chapel in 1978. It features songs from their first two albums as well as Horrendous Disc which was already recorded but unreleased by Larry. It has 2 tracks, Happily Married Man, and Ain’t Gonna Fight It, that were not released until 1990 on a CD re-issue of their self titled album as bonus tracks. The sound quality is excellent and it’s an excellent opportunity for us to travel back in time to hear a band that would become one of the premiere CCM bands of all time.

Tracklist
1 – Hound Of Heaven – 4:52
2 – Abidin’ – 03:14
3 – Meal – 3:51
4 – Horrendous Disc – 3:29
5 – On The Line – 5:51
6 – Happily Married Man – 4:13
7 – Days & Nights – 2:25
8 – Ain’t Gonna Fight It – 4:54
9 – Posse In The Sky – 4:52
10 – Skeptic’s Song – 3:00
11 – Walking On The Water 7:03

Credits
Terry Scott Taylor- Lead Vocals- guitar
Jerry Chamberlain- Guitar, vocals
Ed McTaggart- Drums
Mark Cook- Keys, vocals
Marty Dieckmeyer- Bass
Mastered by Bruce Neher

Limpic & Rayburn – Caught In The Crossfire – 1978

Released just as the rage of male duo pop acts was waning, Limpic and Rayburn’s sophomore and final release as a duo hit the CCM marketplace. Bridging the gap of Jesus Music and CCM, Gerry Limpic and Mark Rayburn, created a record that both pointed back to the simplistic sounds and messages of acoustic Jesus Music while also pointed forward toward Gerry Limpic’s future solo work. Immediately recognizable as a late 70’s folk/pop duo replete with wide collars and leisure suits, the duo would fit in quite nicely with Loggins & Messina and England Dan & John Ford Coley. The music contained in this now classic is immediately likable and recognizable. Christian radio was very favorable to “Good News,” “Crossfire” and the popular wedding song, “Time for Joy.” The latter would become a very good seller in the fledgling accompaniment track industry and a top seller for sheet music. Limpic was the primary songwriter and would soon leave to pursue a solo career. Gerry got his start in music as a member of the band, The Random Sample, along with his brother Ted. The Random Sample recorded on Tempo Records, the contemporary arm of Impact Records in the early to mid 70’s. Side two is a bit more progressive musically with “Coming Soon” and the album’s closer, “How Long.” The standout, though, is the passion play song, “Mary’s Song (He is Alive).” A slow building story song, the first chorus is a powerful admission that many of us would be equally guilty of joining the crowd calling for Christ’s crucifixion. The final chorus is equally powerful, but the words are changed to declare the resurrection. A great song that should have been an Easter classic, but I honestly never recall anyone performing it. For fans of 70’s acoustic rock with the California country vibe (Poco, Eagles) mixed with radio friendly ballads, this one has the markings of a regular listen.

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

Tracklist
1 – Crossfire – 3:40
2 – Mr. Good News – 3:21
3 – Domino – 4:19
4 – Time For Joy – 2:50
5 – Guide My Steps – 2:44
6 – Mary’s Song (He Is Alive) – 5:17
7 – Coming Soon – 3:48
8 – Love Songs (To the Father) – 3:41
9 – How Long – 5:35

Credits
Bass – Dave Pollard
Design, Illustration – Craig McNair Wilson
Drums – Semaja
Photography By – John Jordan
Piano – Jim Crow
Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals – Gerry Limpic, Mark Rayburn
Producer, Orchestrated By, Engineer, Mixed By, Mastered By – Ron Compton

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Home Free Productions
Recorded At – Fanfare Studios, El Cajon, California

Sweet Comfort Band – Breakin’ The Ice – 1978

If there was one group that bridged the gap between the Jesus Music of the 1970’s and the introduction of what is known as CCM, it is the Sweet Comfort Band. Four immensely talented musicians, songwriters and a future superstar in the making in lead vocalists Bryan Duncan. Borrowing directly from the funk/soul sounds of the late 70’s without falling into the trap of disco, Sweet Comfort created an album for the ages with sharp production, killer grooves, monster vocals and some of the most stirring ballads for the day. The style was much more Chicago and Steely Dan than just about anything else. Kicking it off with a long time live favorite, Got to Believe, Duncan shares the lead vocal duties with guitarist Randy Thomas who really shines on guitar later in the song. And the horn section just takes the song to a level comparable to the aforementioned Chicago. At the time CCM was really lagging behind in the production quality world (this based more on minuscule budgets than musicianship) and the band really created a new standard here. The title track also shines with Thomas also taking on vocal duties and the horn section again driving the song. Other rockers that shine include: Melody, Harmony, Searchin’ For Love and possibly the best song song on the whole project, Good Feelin’. Good Feelin’ really shows Duncan’s range and Thomas’ guitar prowess. But I would be remiss to discount the strength of the ballads on this album. I Need You Love Again is a beautiful call to the Lord for His graciousness toward a fallen soul. But it’s the albums closer, I Love You With My Life, that remains a true classic and a song many believe (myself included) is the finest song the band ever performed. This beautiful reminder of Jesus’ final words to the disciples is comforting and inspiring. It also contains the trademark Duncan powerful ballad vocals. Breakin’ the Ice will not be the last of the Sweet Comfort albums listed as the band was incredibly important in the burgeoning CCM scene and made several exceptional albums. Breakin’ is simply one of them.

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

Tracklist
1 – Got To Believe – 3:56
2 – Breakin’ The Ice – 3:40
3 – Young Girl – 3:15
4 – Melody, Harmony – 3:20
5 – I Need Your Love Again – 4:30
6 – Good Feelin’ – 4:00
7 – Searchin’ For Love – 4:06
8 – The Lord Is Calling – 3:56
9 – I Love You With My Life – 4:01

Credits
Arranged By [Horns] – Kim Hutchcroft
Bass – Kevin Thomson
Design [Cover Design], Artwork – Kernie Erickson
Drums, Vocals – Rick Thomson
Engineer [Maranatha Studios] – Dan Willard
Engineer [Martinsound Studio] – Jack Joseph Puig
Engineer [Mastering] – Ken Perry
Engineer [Mix Down] – Mike Stone
Guitar, Vocals – Randy Thomas
Horns – The Seawind Horns
Horns [The “Seawind Horns”], Alto Saxophone, Organ [Flute Organ], Synthesizer [Oberheim Mini Moog], Synthesizer [Prophet 5 Synthesizers] – Larry Williams
Horns [The “Seawind Horns”], Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Kim Hutchcroft
Horns [The “Seawind Horns”], Trombone – Bill Reichenbach
Horns [The “Seawind Horns”], Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Jerry Hey
Keyboards, Vocals – Bryan Duncan
Percussion – Steve Foreman*
Photography By – Linda Dillon, Mark Worthington
Producer, Arranged By [Horns] – Bob Wilson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Martinsound
Recorded At – Maranatha! Studio
Mastered At – Capitol Studios
Published By – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Published By – Sojourn Music

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John Fischer – Johnny’s Cafe – 1978

This was John’s last album with Light though Light did release a Greatest hits album in the mid 80’s. Light threw a lot of money at this album including hiring an entire horn section. Though recorded in 1978 it wasn’t released until Mar of 1979. I suspect this was partly due to ongoing production as at times it’s over produced. To be clear let me say right away that I enjoyed this album but I have some criticism. First of all the horn section adds nothing to the album and really should have been left off and money saved. My other complaint is the varying styles. At time it’s disco, at time 70’s Jesus Music, and at times classic rock. Not a good flow. That said all the tracks are well done and I like each of them individually but I just don’t feel they should be stuffed onto the same album. I do love the title track and it will be going in my regular rotation.

Tracklist
1 – Johnny’s Cafe – 4:10
2 – One Lane Road – 4:02
3 – Nothin’ In This World – 3:32
4 – Circle Of Blessing – 3:50
5 – Talking Faces – 4:15
6 – Pawn In The Game – 3:36
7 – Right On Time – 3:05
8 – Hard Line – 3:55
9 – Blessed – 3:12
10 – Midnight On Main Street – 3:30

Credits
John Fischer – Songwriter, Vocals
Dan Collins – Producer, Background Vocals
Dan Ferguson – Guitars
Steve Forman – Percussion
Leon Gaer – Bass
Clark Gassman – Arrangements, Keyboards
David Kemper – Drums
Paul Leim – Drums
Tim May – Guitars
Don Menza – Saxophone
Jack Joseph Puig – Engineer
Tom Rotella – Guitars
Rick Vito – Guitars

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Bryn Haworth – Grand Arrival – 1978

This was Bryn’s 3rd album but his first to be released in North America. It’s a rather typical 70’s Jesus music album but Bryn’s vocals do help it stand out. It’s no secret that Bryn is one of my favorite artists so I’m biased in saying this is a fantastic 70’s album. Quick point of trivia is that the Imperials provided some background harmonies which I find odd as this album was actually on A&M records and the Imperials were on Dayspring (Word). Generally speaking Christian labels and secular labels didn’t mix so well but it worked here.

Tracklist
1 – Come See What Love – 4:28
2 – Nothing Without You – 3:41
3 – Woman Friend – 3:00
4 – Moments – 3:00
5 – We’re All One – 4:13
6 – The Grand Arrival – 4:42
7 – Sing To The Lord – 3:42
8 – Full Day – 3:28
9 – Summer Wine – 4:28
10 – Beans On Toast – 4:43

Credits
Backing Vocals – Don Everly
Banjo – Courtney Johnson
Bass – Jessie Boyce, Joe Osborn, John Cowan, Nick Rather, Tommy Cogbill
Claves – Jerry Carrigan
Drums – Buddy Harmon, Jerry Carrigan, Karl Himmel
Engineer – Ronnie Light
Guitar – Bill Sandford, Curtis Burch
Guitar [High String, Gut String] – Harold Bradley
Guitar [High String] – Ronny Light
Guitar, Mandolin, Strings [Harpolek], Vocals – Bryn Haworth
Keyboards – Bobby Woods, Ron Oates
Mandolin – Sam Bush
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Piano – Bobby Woods, Hargus “Pig” Robbins
Producer – Audie Ashworth
Remix – Chris Kimsey
Saxophone – Andrew Love, Billy Puett
Steel Guitar – Buddy Emmons
Strings – Shelley Curland Strings
Trombone – Dennis Goode
Trumpet – George Tidwell, Wayne Jackson
Vocals – Halladay Sisters
Vocals [Harmony] – The Imperials
Written-By – Bryn Haworth

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – A&M Records Ltd.
Produced For – Audigram Inc.
Published By – Signalgrade
Published By – Island Music Ltd.
Recorded At – Crazy Mama’s Studios
Remixed At – Olympic Studios
Remixed At – Basing Street Studios

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