The Eli Band – Sunday Drivers – 1979

This is another one of those oddball Canadian bands on the Praise Label (Tunesmith, New Born etc…). It has an excellent seventies sound and would probably done pretty good but unfortunately it was stuck in the Praise records group who, well, I’ll just say weren’t always such a great friend of the bands they signed. Most tracks were written by Ron Badger who is still active in the music industry from his home in Regina Saskatchewan. Only have time for one track? “Victory Road” is the track for you. If you like the 70’s sound this is definitely one you need to listen to as I am willing to bet very few people have heard this one.

1 – Intro – 0:46
2 – It’s Real – 4:30
3 – Victory Road – 2:59
4 – I Gave To You – 4:29
5 – He’s Coming Back – 4:32
6 – Lord Of Lords – 4:07
7 – You’re Always Around – 5:33
8 – Whatr’e You Gonna Do? – 3:20
9 – God Bless You God – 3:35
10 – Joyful Blues – 3:35
11 – Outro – 0:35

Jim Reid – Lead Vocalist
Lori Anderson – Back-up Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Ron Badger – Guitars, Back-up Vocals
Don McAreavy – Keyboards
Brian Clark – Electric Bass
Blaine Bonner – Drums

Companies, etc.
Label – New Born Records

Servant – Shallow Water – 1979

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?

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

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

Richie Furay – I Still Have Dreams – 1979

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Elektra/Asylum Records
Copyright © – Elektra/Asylum Records
Manufactured By – Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch Records
Recorded At – The Sound Factory
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Allied Record Company – B-14353
Pressed By – Allied Record Company – B-14354

Cascade – Taken by Surprise – 1979

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.

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

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

Dallas Holm – His Last Days – 1979

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Greentree Records
Copyright © – Greentree Records
Copyright © – Dimension Music
Published By – John T. Benson Pub. Co.
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Remixed At – Great Circle Sound

Jessy Dixon – You Bring The Sun Out – 1979

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.

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

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

Brush Arbor – Hide Away – 1979

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Soundcastle
Remixed At – Soundcastle
Mastered At – A&M Studios
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering

Seawind – Light The Light – 1979

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 –

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

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

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Horizon Records & Tapes
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright © – A&M Records, Inc.
Published By – Seawind Music Inc.
Published By – Sojourn Music
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

Larry Norman – Live at the Mac – 1998

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.

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

Erick Nelson and Michele Pillar – The Misfit – 1979

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 –

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

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