I truly believe that this album is one of the most important albums in the CCM genre. This was the introductory album from Servant and also the introductory for the Tunesmith record label. I vividly remember my first listen to this album and while there were some CCM Rock & Roll albums out already I would argue they weren’t quite what this album was with perhaps the exception of Gentle Faith. Servant formed out of a commune on Vancouver Island Canada called “Highway Missionary Society”. Several members came together to start a group called “Higher Ground” but quickly changed the name to Servant. it took a few years but the band struck a deal with startup record label Praise Industries. Somehow they got now famous producer Bob Rock to produce the album and you can strongly hear his influence. Unfortunately the deal for them would only be 2 albums as there was some dispute between the band and the label. I’m aware of several bands that had issues with Praise Industries so I think I know where the fault fell. This album is in my personal top 10 but this might just be because of the point in my life I heard it. Is t in your top 10?
Tracklist 1 – Shallow Water – 5:05 2 – Rich Man – 3:45 3 – Here Comes David – 3:34 4 – Rejoice – 4:22 5 – Jesus Star – 3:32 6 – Water Grave – 4:52 7 – Cup Of Water – 4:52 8 – Holy Roller Blues – 3:32 9 – Fly Away – 3:52
Credits Owen Brock – Songwriter, Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals Sandie Brock – Songwriter, Piano, Synthesizer, Congas, Lead Vocals Bob Brooks – Producer Brady Carbol – Songwriter Steve Chapman – Songwriter David Eden – Songwriter Pat Glover – Assistant Engineer Joe Grier – Songwriter Sammy Hagar – Songwriter Bob Hardy – Percussion, Lead Vocals David Holmes – Drums, Background Vocals Rob Martens – Bass, Background Vocals Bob Rock – Engineer Bruce Wright – Songwriter, Lead Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Background Vocals
Companies, etc. Manufactured By – Praise Records Distributed By – Praise Records
This was the final album from Richie on Asylum Records. He had promised them that the album wouldn’t be overt Christian but instead would have Christian overtones. I think Richie held to hs agreement with Asylum but the albums just didn’t sell well so that was it for this record deal. Richie of course would continue on with Myrhh. The title track did actually get some airplay but overall the album didn’t do well. I am a little surprised at this as I think the album is pretty good and certainly as good as most secular work ut at the time. It bridges that late 70’s sound into the 80’s and does it pretty good actually. Oh well we all know Christian artists at the time struggled with secular releases.
Tracklist 01 – Oooh Child – 3:25 02 – Lonely Too Long – 3:28 03 – Island Love – 3:33 04 – Come On – 3:07 05 – I Was A Fool – 4:12 06 – I Still Have Dreams – 3:25 07 – Satisfied – 3:55 08 – Headin’ South – 3:46 09 – Oh Mary – 2:57 10 – What’s The Matter, Please? – 3:32
Credits Acoustic Guitar – Richie Furay Art Direction, Design – Ron Coro Bass – Leland Sklar Drums, Percussion – Russell Kunkel Electric Guitar – Dan Dugmore, Waddy Wachtel Keyboards – Craig Doerge Mastered By – Doug Sax Photography By – Jim Shea Producer, Recorded By – Val Garay Recorded By [Assistant] – George Ybarra, Niko Bolas
This was the first of 2 albums from Australian band Cascade. It’s a solid seventies effort and one of very few examples of Australian Jesus music. I can’t really find much on the band but guitarist Mark Punch did go one to be Musician of The Year at the CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia) Awards in 2011. The album is a little heavy on the flute for my liking and they even actually credit 2 flute players. That said the album is pretty good and I look forward to hearing their second album.
Tracklist 1 – Danielle – 2:30 2 – Emmanuel – 4:23 3 – Born A Man – 3:12 4 – Sometimes I Feel I Could Say – 4:24 5 – The Bay – 4:34 6 – Rainbows – 3:34 7 – Taken By Surprise – 4:28 8 – The Room – 3:23 9 – Living In A Fallen World – 4:43 10 – A Taste Of Heaven (For Keith Gowan) – 3:15
Credits Bass Guitar – Al Freeman Drums – Nick Lister Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Mark Punch Electric Piano, Synthesizer – Steve Wyatt Engineer – Paul Rich Flute – Doug Foskett Flute, Blues Harp – Peter (Sid) Sinclair Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Malcolm Barnett Percussion – Doug Gallagher Producer, Arranged By, Mixed By – Steve Wyatt Songwriter – Malcolm Barnett Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – John Uebel
Companies, etc. Pressed By – EMI Custom Records – YPRX 1619 Recorded At – Unison Studios, Rozelle Mixed At – Unison Studios, Rozelle
This album is actually the sound track to a film/movie about Christ hosted by Dallas. I know absolutely nothing about the film and never saw it or even heard of it until I was researching this album. Obviously it wasn’t much of a success as I would have heard or seen this in 1979. Anyway the album is billed as a Dallas Holm album as opposed to Dallas Holm & Praise though Tim Johnson did join him on the album. The album is pretty standard fare for Dallas with nothing that really stood out to me. Not saying it’s a bad album. In fact for this style it’s excellent.
Tracklist 1 – What Will You Do? – 3:06 2 – Hosanna – 3:54 3 – Do You Believe In Me – 3:28 4 – Father – 5:49 5 – Betrayal Scene (Spoken) – 2:00 6 – Calvary – 3:26 7 – Mary’s Song – 3:40 8 – What Kind Of Man Is This? – 3:52 9 – Rise Again / Hosanna (Reprise) – 6:15 10 – What Will You Do? (Reprise) – 2:15
Credits Terry Blackwood – Vocals Bob Clark – Engineer Jackie Cusic – Vocals Jon Goin – Guitars Dallas Holm – Songwriter, Vocals Ladonna Johnson – Vocals Phil Johnson – Producer Tim Johnson – Vocals Shane Keister – Keyboards Larrie Londin – Drums Norman Neeley – Engineer Steve Schaeffer – Bass Jack Williams – Orchestra and Choral Arranger
One of the veterans of The soul Christian music scene is back with his second solo credited album. Let’s be clear however this is actually his 15th album. As I’ve commented before I was completely unaware of the whole soul gospel music scene in the 80’s. Since starting this project I have heard so many great soul albums that I suspect I would have liked in the 80’s and this would have been one of those albums. I would classify it as soul light actually and it has a far more mainstream sound. At times I would classify it as late 70’s pop. I truly believe that anyone who was a fan of the Imperials at this point in history would have also loved this album.
Tracklist 1 – Christ Has Made The Difference – 4:28 2 – He Never Let Me Down Before – 3:53 3 – I Can’t Thank Him Enough – 4:14 4 – Your Love – 4:04 5 – Love Lifted Me – 4:00 6 – You Bring The Sun Out – 4:05 7 – Nobody But You – 4:41 8 – He’s Precious To Me – 3:47 9 – More Than Anything – 4:48 10 – We Praise You – 5:03
Credits Arranged By [Vocal] – Andraé Crouch, Bili Thedford Artwork, Design – Thel Arthur Engineer [@ P. S.] – Danny Leake, Paul Sorrono Engineer [@ Pumpkin] – Gary Lorizzo* Engineer [@ Western] – Gordon Shryock Executive-Producer – Bill Cole Mixed By – Bill Maxwell, Bob Cotton Vocals, Producer, Mixed By, Arranged By [Vocal] – Jessy Dixon
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Lexicon Music, Inc. – 1979 Recorded At – P.S. Recording Studios Recorded At – Pumpkin Studios Recorded At – Western Recorders Mixed At – Paramount Recording Studios Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
This is Brush Arbor’s 5th album and their first on a Christian album. This album doesn’t have as much of a country sound as their others and in fact this one has a 70’s rock sound to me. What this album is best known for is having the original version of David Edwards “Not Going To Fall Away” though it was titled “My Lord”. David Lowman theorizes that as Buddy King produced both this and David’s first album he had a hand in this and I think he’s probably dead on on that one. Anyway their version is pretty good and I guess because this version came out first technically David Edwards covered his own song.
Tracklist 1 – Hide Away – 2:46 2 – Listen To Your Heart – 2:52 3 – Oh, I Love You – 3:37 4 – My Lord – 2:26 5 – Here I Am – 3:26 6 – Hello God – 4:06 7 – How Long – 2:22 8 – If I Didn’t Have Love – 3:28 9 – You And Me All The Way – 2:37 10 – Please Make Yourself Known – 3:28
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Bill Keene, John Hunt Arranged By [Basic Tracks], Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar – Tom Keene Arranged By [Strings] – David Diggs Arranged By [Vocals] – Jules Alexander Art Direction – Dennis Hill Bass Guitar, Tuba – Dave Coy Concept By [Cover], Photography By – Scott Lockwood Drums, Percussion – Fred Petry Electric Guitar – David Storrs Engineer – Bino Espinoza, Richard Donaldson Engineer, Remix – Bill Bottrell Executive-Producer – Gary Whitlock Guitar – Tim Fuller Keyboards – Dave Garland Management – Dan McKinnon Mastered By – Bernie Grundman Performer – Dave Rose, Jim Rice, Joe Rice Producer, Engineer, Remix – Buddy King Saxophone – Ernie Watts Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar – Al Perkins Synthesizer – Yabo Obien Violin – Fred Field
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
Larry apparently released this album almost grudgingly because he did not have many decent live recordings from this era of his touring and there were bootlegs making the rounds that he didn’t like. Larry stopped distributing Roll Away The Stone (although he continued to encourage people to buy it if they could find it), and he considered Live At The Mac a better version of that. The combination of bad recordings and bad timing haunted Larry’s late 70s work. He was touring but never did get good recordings done with a full band. Later works like the Live At Flevo recordings made up for it in a way, but they are not the same as Larry in this era. To hear it as it was, all we have are some bootlegs and some primitive recordings. This concert was August 18, 1979 in Eugene, Oregon. This CD was released in 1998 through Solid Rock Records and apparently only 200 were made, although some later versions were evidently sold by Solid Rock that were done up as CD-R with the same packaging.
Tracklist 1 – Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus – 4:58 2 – I’ve Searched All Around The World – 5:33 3 – Soul On Fire – 6:48 4 – Watch What You’re Doing – 8:36 5 – Let The Tape Keep Rolling – 5:00 6 – UFO – 10:16 7 – The Outlaw / If God Is My Father – 8:26 8 – Song For A Small Circle Of Friends – 3:37 9 – Shot Down – 2:41 10 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – 2:44 11 – The Rock That Doesn’t Roll / Exit – 3:25 12 – Lonely By Myself – 6:15
As the world of “Jesus Music” was progressing into what is now known as CCM, there were several very good albums and some brilliant artists making music that was clearly in both genres and served as bridges and building blocks to this new industry. But there were not many “game changers” that forced the music world to consider the genre valid and worthy of consideration. Most great albums lacked quality production, originality or authenticity. The Misfit was a game changer. Completely original and just as good as anything in the pop music world at the time. Most “concept” albums suffer from content over quality and are often filled with songs that are forced to push the story forward and do not stand on their own as original compositions. The Misfit was a concept album that just happened to be filled 13 brilliant individual songs that have stood the test of time. This is not a concept album in the same way as something from The Who where it is a rock opera with a singular storyline weaving throughout each song. Rather, The Misfit is a concept album where a common thread of concept of being an “outside” or outcast weaves its way throughout each and every song. The different topics range from faith, love, loss, doubt and more, but all with a singular focus as coming from the outside looking in. Erick Nelson at this point had a very good and lengthy Jesus Music career going as both a solo artists and as members of popular bands like Good News. Michele Pillar was an up and coming and much talked about new female vocalist on the precipice of a wonderful career in the 1980’s. Her sweet and smooth Karen Carpenter (ballads) or Kiki Dee (pop) like voice matched Nelson’s more soulful and, at times, rocky voice perfectly and the blend just worked. It shocked many at the time that this would be their only album together. Nelson has said of himself that one his greatest strengths is his ability to surround himself with amazing musicians and performers. Though no slouch on the piano himself, he most certainly surrounded himself with the very best on this project. Guest musicians include Hadley Hockensmith, Dean parks, John Wickham, Jonathan David Brown, Alex MacDougall, Keith Edwards, Kelly Willard, Stan Endicott, Denny Correll and a host of others!
Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – The Misfit – 3:35 2 – Carry Me Along – 3:30 3 – Stand – 3:58 4 – Sail On – 2:35 5 – Can’t Find My Way Home – 3:22 6 – The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – 1:56 7 – He’s Asleep – 3:20 8 – Hurting People – 3:42 9 – Take Me To The Light – 4:00 10 – First Prayer – 3:08 11 – Love Hurts – 2:47 12 – He Gave Me Love – 2:54 13 – Martyr Song – 3:40
Credits Jonathan David Brown – Synthesizer Alf Clausen – Orchestration Darrel Cook – Bass Denny Correll – Background Vocals Tim Correll – Background Vocals Keith Edwards – Drums, Percussion Stan Endicott – Orchestration Hadley Hockensmith – Bass, Guitars Phil Kristianson – B3 Organ Alex MacDougall – Percussion George Marinelli, Jr. – Electric Guitar Erick Nelson – Piano, Wurlitzer, Vocals Dean Parks – Electric Guitar Michele Pillar – Vocals David Storrs – Electric Guitar John Wickham – Electric Guitar Kelly Willard – Rhodes
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Maranatha! Music Copyright (c) – Maranatha! Music
In early 1981 I got my first job at a Christian bookstore in Orange, CA. Before the days of computerized listening centers or even tape decks with headsets you had to listen to something on the stores overhead system. Suffice it to say, considering the age and demographic of the average Christian bookstore shopper, there were few chances to hear anything like the Bill Mason Band album. In fact, the demo album had never been opened and the store owner let me buy it for a buck! That one dollar bought an album that has been played more often over the years than any LP I own except maybe Zionic Bonds. Though it has been released on CD I have yet to get a copy. I sometimes wonder if the pops and clicks that are son ingrained in my mind will disrupt the listening of a pristine CD version. As for the album itself, it is clearly an AYSO! Punk rock that is still so very cool to listen to. Touches of ska are here and there, but for the most part it is a Clash like rock version of punk with Elvis Costello’s pop sensibilities. Completely British, raw and irresistible. Produced, surprisingly, by John Pantry, the album had a cup of coffee in the US through a limited release on Star Song. The band stands out on the faster cuts like Billy and the Rotas, Stand Up and Be Counted and radio. The latter is a personal favorite and some 30 years later there still “ain’t no God on that radio.” Another favorite is “Get Inside,” a longer song at nearly 5 minutes that builds and builds into a raucous finish. I always wanted to hear Mike Roe cover the song. The album is actually pretty well produced, especially for the time and sounds great today. It is the definitive punk classic for Christian music from the 70’s. The reader must remember this preceded Undercover, Lifesavors and the Altar Boys by a few years. There was literally nothing else like it.
Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Billy & The Rota’s – 3:27 2 – Detectives – 3:45 3 – Out On The Streets – 2:00 4 – I Don’t Want You – 3:24 5 – Stand Up And Be Counted – 2:57 6 – Radio – 2:19 7 – I Got The Answers – 2:21 8 – Mr. G – 3:41 9 – Get Inside – 4:41 10 – Lost Years – 6:36
Credits Backing Vocals – Paula Holmes Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals – Iain Beeston Congas, Noises [Whale Noises] – Steve Gilbert Drums, Percussion – Dave Rawding Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synth [Korg Synth], Piano [Acoustic Piano], Vocals – Phil Holmes Engineer – Steve Foely Guitar, Backing Vocals, Written-By – Si Hawthorne Lead Vocals, Percussion, Written-By – Bill Mason Producer – John Pantry
Companies, etc. Recorded At – Smile Studios Published By – ThankYou Music