Darrell Mansfield – Higher Power – 1979

Darrell’s first solo album was a good start to his blues and rock career. With songwriting by Denny Correll on “Children Don’t Run” and drums by John Mehler throughout, this is a solid work that stands the test of time well. Darrell’s signature harmonica sound is present on a lot of tracks here, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg that is his legendary harp playing.

Skip Konte (of Three Dog Night) plays keys and adds some percussion.

The song “That’s Alright” makes is debut on this record. It remained a signature track throughout his career and this original version is great to hear again.

Tracklist
1 – Children Don’t Run – 4:10
2 – The Prize – 4:57
3 – That’s All Right – 3:51
4 – He Has Overcome – 5:18
5 – No More Blues – 3:38
6 – Love Conquers All – 2:50
7 – Giver Of Life – 4:22
8 – Every Night Every Day – 4:09
9 – Higher Power – 3:47

Companies, etc.:
Distributed By – Word
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Maranatha! Music
Copyright (c) – Maranatha! Music
Recorded At – I.A.M. Studios, Irvine

Credits:
Acoustic Guitar – Don Gerber
Bass – Marc Levine
Drums – John Mehler
Electric Guitar – Anthony Dean, Steve Kara (tracks: A2)
Harmonica – Darrell Mansfield
Keyboards – Skip Konte
Percussion – Paul Angers (tracks: B2), Skip Konte

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Deliverance – Tightrope – 1979

This was the final album from the Janz family known as Deliverance. Born in Canada of Mennonite descent they actually formed in Germany.

Though this album came out in 1979 it is not Jesus Music. In fact it is a blend of Disco and fusion and actually sounds a lot like the Bee Gee’s to me. Unfortunately this was the last album as there was some sort of a dispute with the record company. Anyway if you only have time for one cut I suggest the title track “Tightrope”.

Tracklist
1 – Foolish Hearts – 5:16
2 – Tightrope – 3:06
3 – Farewell (Bye, Bye, Bye ) – 4:16
4 – Prince Of The Galaxies – 3:01
5 – Leaving L.A. – 2:52
6 – Back Seat Rider – 3:24
7 – Can You Survive – 7:29
8 – Face The Lady – 3:52
9 – Re-Creation – 3:51

Credits
Arranged By – Deliverance
Arranged By [Horns] – Paul Janz
Bass – Guy (Froggy) Roellinger
Cover, Artwork – Dieter Ziegenfeuter
Design [Graphic] – Marietta Frommberger-Zimmermann
Drums – David McSparran
Engineer [Assistant] – Curtis Drake
Engineer [Mixing] – Jochen Scheffter
Engineer [Recording] – Jochen Scheffter, Mal Luker, Zeke Lund
Guitar – Jacques Emanuel Belzung
Keyboards – Paul Janz
Lyrics By – Ken Janz
Music By – Paul Janz
Percussion – Elmer Louis
Producer – Deliverance, Horst Müller
Saxophone, Harmonica – Bobby Stern
Trumpet – Lee Harper, Scott Newton
Vocals – Danny Janz, Ken Janz, Paul Janz

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DeGarmo & Key – Straight On – 1979

The second album from DeGarmo & Key was a bit of a transition album.

Their first album had a good rock, blues feel. This album had that also but started to incorporate more keyboards. I believe this album established the “Degarmo & Key sound.

As I re-listened to this album after not hearing it for several years I was struck that it came out in 1979 but I hear almost no remnants of the Jesus music era that was coming to an end at that time. Actually in my opinion this album was 3 or 4 years ahead of its time.

There are so many songs on this album that lived forever that I consider it one of the best CCM albums of all time.

Track Listing:
1 – Jericho – 4:34
2 – Livin’ On The Edge Of Dyin’ – 4:33
3 – Go Tell Them – 3:52
4 – Bad Livin’ – 4:36
5 – Enchiridion – 1:36
6 – Long Distance Runner – 4:09
7 – Let Him Help You Today – 4:15
8 – I Never Knew You – 4:04
9 – Mary – 3:03

Credits:
Art Direction, Design – Kristen Kasell
Bass – Ken Porter
Drums – Terry Moxley
Engineer – Joseph Hardy
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Dana Key
Keyboards – Edward De Garmo
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Photography By – Gary Heery
Photography By [Inner Sleeve Photo] – Kristen Kasell
Producer – Dana Key, Edward De Garmo, Joseph Hardy
Recorder – Carl Marsh
Saxophone – Lewis Collins

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Eternity Express – (self titled) – 1979

I must admit I knew nothing about Eternity Express before writing this review.

The album here is your typical late Jesus Music offering bridging into 80’s easy listening. It’s well produced and engineered and the band is pretty good at what they do.

But here’s the story on the band. The brother of evangelist Ken Gaub, Mike, joined up with Nathan and Dan Gaub to form a support band for Ken’s ministry. They had some erratic album releases and members came and went over the years.

In 2012 Dan Gaub appears to have committed suicide as he was being investigated by the FBI for securities fraud. It’s been alleged that he robbed investors of approximately 40 million dollars.

The band changed names in the late 80’s to “Illustrator” and released two albums under that name.

Track Listing:
1 – Reservation
2 – Turn Your Life Around
3 – Dream World
4 – Happy New Year
5 – Always There
6 – End Of The Line
7 – Shame
8 – Lost Love
9 – Stop Your Runnin’
10 – Never Alone
11 – Gotcha By My Side

Credits:
Nathan Gaub – Vocal, Bass
Mike Gaub – Vocal, Drums
Dan Gaub – Guitar & Arranging

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The Imperials – Heed The Call – 1979

Heed The Call is perhaps the Imperials most iconic album. You can see them decked out in suits that would make the Oak Ridge Boys envious on the back cover. Some memorable songs here like “Oh Buddha” and “Old Man’s Rubble” make this album the one that really represents their body of work well.

The Imperials started out in 1964 and their lineup changed many times over the years, but this version of them in 1979 was when they were in their stride.

These songs were a slightly modern take on some traditional styles and were very popular as contemporary music in churches in the 80s.

Track Listing:
1 – Overcomer – 3:37
2 – Praise The Lord – 3:35
3 – Oh Buddha – 3:28
4 – Old Man’s Rubble – 3:15
5 – Heed The Call – 3:01
6 – Let Jesus Do It – 3:27
7 – Growing Stronger – 3:29
8 – First Morning In Heaven – 2:41
9 – Whenever I Speak His Name – 4:33
10 – My Mind Forgets A Million Things – 3:48
11 – He Didn’t Lift Us Up To Let Us Down – 3:21

Credits:
Cover, Illustration – Dave Gaadt
Engineer – Brown Bannister
Executive-Producer – Buddy Huey
Mastered By – Glenn Meadows
Photography By [Back Cover] – Goss Photography
Producer – Chris Christian

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Solid Rock – Change of Heart – 1979

Solid Rock were better known for their two 80’s releases (though not that much more) than this 1979 release.

This album definitely has the feel of Jesus Music but was a little rockier than most Jesus Music. The band had 2 female singers at this point but it’s hard to differentiate between them.

Overall it’s a good album with a good 70’s hybrid Jesus Music/Rock style.

Tracklist
1 – He Is My Friend
2 – Make My Life
3 – Jesus Changed My Heart
4 – Watergrave
5 – Heaven Sent
6 – Running
7 – Saved To Serve
8 – You Can Fly
9 – Give Him Your Life

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Sweet Comfort Band – Hold On Tight – 1979

The 3rd album from Sweet Comfort Band gave us more of what we heard in the first two.

They are joined on this album by Richie Furay who fits in perfectly with what is an easy listening album. Really, it’s just more of the same as previous releases and doesn’t really offer the listener much to get excited about.

The highlight of the album is the track Angel. It shows that these guys could have done a Rock & Roll album, but chose instead to take the safe sales route.

Track Listing:
1 – Hold On Tight 3:20
2 – Take It – Save It 3:17
3 – Falling Star 3:04
4 – You’re The One 3:10
5 – Angel 3:10
6 – Chasin’ The Wind 3:29
7 – Don’t Tell Me You Love Me 3:07
8 – Undecided 3:53
9 – Carry Me 4:39
10 – More Than You Need 4:32
11 – Find Your Way 4:09

Credits:
Alto Saxophone, Soloist – David Hlebo (tracks: A4)
Arranged By [Horns] – Bob Wilson
Backing Vocals, Guitar [First Solo] – Richie Furay (tracks: B3)
Bass [Alembic Bass] – Kevin Thomson
Drums, Vocals – Rick Thomson
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Finger Snaps – Jack Joseph Puig (tracks: A4)
Graphics [Sleeve Graphics] – Robin Hedrick
Guitar, Vocals – Randy Thomas
Horns – Seawind Horns
Keyboards, Vocals – Bryan Duncan
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Photography By – Alan Bergman
Producer, Keyboards [Additional], Backing Vocals, Programmed By [Synthesizer] – Tom Stipe
Strings – Sid Sharp and the L.A. Super Strings

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Mark Heard – Appalachian Melody – 1979

This was Mark’s second album and his first on Solid Rock Records.

As is typical on Solid Rock albums the whole gang is on the album. I’ve always wondered why Larry felt the need to sing backup on every album (ok almost all) he produced, but I digress.

The album is a fairly light rock affair but Mark does get closer to the Rock and Roll rank on a few tunes. This is an album that will likely grow on you if a first listening doesn’t really capture you.

Track Listing:
1 – On The Radio – 3:38
2 – Castaway – 3:26
3 – Bless My Soul – 4:04
4 – Here I Am (Once Again) – 3:54
5 – With The Setting Sun – 1:42
6 – Appalachian Melody – 4:17
7 – Happy Cornbread Aniversary – 1:48
8 – Two Trusting Jesus – 4:13
9 – Jonah’s Song – 5:26
10 – Sidewalk Soliloquy – 3:18
11 – The Last Time – 3:16
12 – The Saints – 0:22

And here are the bonus tracks from the 2009 CD release:

Credits:
Mark Heard – acoustic and electric guitars, piano, mandolin, hambone, vocals, harmonies, arranging, co-producer, mixing, photography, album artwork
Larry Norman – background vocals, producer, arranger, photography, album artwork
Randy Stonehill – background vocals
Tom Howard – Fender Rhodes, orchestration
Jon Linn – lead guitar
Flim Johnson – bass guitar
Peter Johnson – drums
Al Perkins – pedal steel guitar, dobro
Chuck Long – electric and acoustic guitars, additional photography
Alex MacDougall – percussion and congas
Janet Sue Heard – harmony, additional photography
Tom Howard String Ensemble conducted by Tom Howard

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Resurrection Band – Rainbow’s End – 1979

Rainbow’s End is the second album by Resurrection Band that was released in 1979.

It continued the hard rock sound from their previous release. It includes “Afrikaans” which was one of the first anti-apartheid song of its time. This album was the end of Resurrection Band’s relationship with Star Song records.

Rumour has it that the record company found the bands hard rock sound too much for their label. Personally I doubt this as the album sold great and Star Song knew exactly who the were contracting with.

Track Listing:
1 – Midnight Son – 3:18
2 – Strongman – 3:14
3 – Afrikaans – 3:32
4 – Skyline – 3:06
5 – Paint A Picture – 4:48
6 – Rainbow’s End – 2:04
7 – Concert For A Queen – 3:02
8 – Sacrifice Of Love – 3:14
9 – The Wolfsong – 3:10
10 – Everytime It Rains – 4:46

Credits:
Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Jim Denton
Drums – John Herrin
Electric Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar – Stu Heiss
Electric Guitar, Vocals – Glenn Kaiser
Engineer – Gary Loizzo, Roger Heiss, Stu Heiss
Harmonica – Tom Cameron
Mixed By – Resurrection Band, Stu Heiss
Percussion – Roger Heiss
Producer – Resurrection Band
Vocals – Wendi Kaiser

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Matthew Ward – Toward Eternity – 1979

Toward Eternity is Matthew Ward’s debut album. It has a decidedly 70’s sound but the guitar work of Phil Keaggy (yes that Phil Keaggy) gave the album some appeal to those of us more interested in an 80’s sound.

This album is a who’s who of CCM music. Appearing on this album were, Phil Keaggy, Michael Omartian, as well as Keith Green.

A rather stange appearance on the album was Ray Parker, Jr. of Ghostbusters fame. Writing credits went to several people in addition to Matthew.

Point of trivia on this album is that 5 of the songs were written by Matthews sister, Anne (Ward) Herring and the album was produced and engineered by Buck Herring, Anne’s husband, Matthews brother in law.

Track Listing:
1 – It’s All Right – 2:34
2 – Soft Spot – 3:42
3 – Noah’s Song – 3:56
4 – Till The Walls Fall Down – 2:29
5 – Gotta Do Better Than This – 3:23
6 – Your Love Came Over Me – 4:07
7 – Hold On – 3:10
8 – Angels Unaware – 2:26
9 – Summer Snow – 3:36
10 – The Vineyard – 2:18

Credits:
Vocals – Matthew Ward
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Drums – David Kemper
Guitar – Phil Keaggy
Percussion – Michael Omartian
Piano – Tom Keene
Design, Illustration – Larry McAdams
Lacquer Cut By – KPG
Photography By – David Pavol
Producer, Engineer – Buck Herring

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