Bruce Cockburn – Dancing In The Dragon’s Jaws – 1979

Bruce Cockburn is the greatest songwriter of all time! OK…that may be an exaggeration…but not by much. Along with being intensely prolific, Cockburn is also incredibly intelligent, diverse, creative, original, stark, honest, transparent, intriguing… When I was first hired as a 16 year old at a local Christian Bookstore I was already a “music expert” of sorts. I had begun collecting Christian music much earlier, first as “hand me down” albums from my parents and older brother and sister, and then using my allowance or money from odd jobs to buy my own. Then as I could save money I would ask my parents to drive me to Maranatha Village or other Christian bookstores in town to pick up the most recent releases from Sweet Comfort, Daniel Amos and Darrell Mansfield. My Youth Pastor subscribed to CCM Magazine and I subscribed to Camus Life, both of which had a heavy impact on my growing love and appreciation for the genre. My first few days at my new job was primarily an education in how the store worked, my responsibilities and dealing with customers. But the owner’s daughter was a music fan, especially of more cutting edge and controversial artists. On one of those first few days she took an LP of “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws” and placed on the in-store play system. As a fan of Bob Dylan I was immediately drawn to Cockburn’s nasally, borderline off-key vocals and compelling lyrical content. This birthed my fascination with Bruce Cockburn, an artist I have had the privilege of seeing in concert over 10 times and one of the few artists that I own every album he has released. My favorites remain those released between the mid-70′s and the mid-80′s. Cockburn had become a Christian at just about the time his solo career began despite being born and raised in an agnostic family setting. Cockburn’s Christianity would impact and influence his content from the earliest days. His brand of Christianity also informed his view of environmental and human rights issues. These two subjects, especially the latter, would be an integral part of his work. Like the previously discussed songwriter, Bill Mallonee, Cockburn has drawn criticism from evangelical circles for his subject matter and for his use of provocative language. But also like Mallonee there never appears to be an illicit purpose for the use of language, but rather an understandable inclusion of such language to express or prove a point. The subject matter, though, is quite often more provocative than certain linguistic choices. Leaning toward the political left, Cockburn has rubbed American evangelicalism the wrong way on more than one occasion. It should also be noted that Cockburn is quite the impressive musician. He is easily one of the finest acoustic guitar players around. His early work especially proved this point. One concert I attended was a solo concert in which 20 separate instruments were place behind him on the stage. That night he performed 20 songs using a different instrument for each song. I was later told be a friend that the following evening that the order of the songs remained the same but the placement and instrument choices on stage changed!

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Creation Dream – 4:00
2 – Hills Of Morning – 4:25
3 – Badlands Flashback – 6:12
4 – Northern Lights – 4:06
5 – After The Rain – 3:59
6 – Wondering Where The Lions Are – 3:42
7 – Incandescent Blue – 4:35
8 – No Footprints – 5:38

Art Direction – Bart Schoales
Bass – Robert Boucher
Drums – Bob DiSalle
Engineer – Gary Gray
Engineer [Assisted By] – Frank Kitson
Guitar, Voice, Chimes, Synthesizer, Dulcimer – Bruce Cockburn
Lacquer Cut By – Cub
Management [Direction] – The Finkelstein Fiedler Co.
Painting [Cover] – Norval Morrisseau
Photography By [Inside Photograph] – Christopher Dew
Piano, Marimba – Pat Godfrey
Producer – Eugene Martynec
Translated By [Traduction Par] – Marcel Mousette
Words By, Music By – Bruce Cockburn

Companies, etc.
Produced For – True North Productions
Manufactured By – CBS Records Canada Ltd.
Distributed By – CBS Records Canada Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – High Romance Music Ltd.
Copyright © – High Romance Music Ltd.
Copyright © – Golden Mountain Music Corp.
Published By – Golden Mountain Music Corp.
Recorded At – Manta Sound
Lacquer Cut At – J.A.M.F.
Mastered At – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Don Mills, ON
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Don Mills, ON

Evie – Never The Same – 1979

Evie generally put out 2 or 3 albums a year 1979 was a year with 2 albums and of course this is one of them. I was very surprised to discover that this album contained Evie’s first ever CCM charting single. How did CCM magazine not recognize this artist earlier as her music was exactly what they loved. Anyway yes “Shine” made it to #17 on the CCM charts and it deserved to do better as it’s a pretty good song. Yes I said it was good because even though this isn’t my genre I know a good song when I hear one. Actually I’ve listened to a few Evie albums at this point and quite frankly this is the best one so far.

1 – Live For Jesus – 3:22
2 – Hold On – 3:45
3 – Special Delivery – 4:22
4 – Never The Same Again – 2:58
5 – This Life – 4:31
6 – Shine – 4:13
7 – At The River Of Jordan – 3:25
8 – Don’t Run From Reality – 3:57
9 – Home – 3:15
10 – You Have Everything In Your Hands / Jesus I Love You – 3:24

Art Direction [Visual Consultant] – Anders Bühlund
Backing Vocals – Christer Palm, Evie-Torngquist Karlsson, Inger Heinerborg, Pelle Karlsson
Bass – Sam Bengtsson
Cover – Dennis Hill
Drums – Roger Palm
Engineer – BBo-Göran Lundberg
Flute – Björn J:Son Lindh
Guitar – Hasse Rosén, Janne Schaffer, Lasse Westman, Pelle Karlsson
Harmonica – Luciano Mosetti
Keyboards – Kjell Ohman, Pelle Karlsson, Peter Ljung
Lacquer Cut By – Ped
Mandolin – Pelle Karlsson
Oboe – Jan Holmgren
Photography By – Labe Allwin
Producer, Arranged By – Pelle Karlsson
Steel Guitar – Janne Lindgren
Strings [Members Of] – The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Supreme Studio
Mixed At – Supreme Studio
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Printed By – General Printing AB
Published By – Word Music, Inc.
Published By – Lexicon Music
Published By – White Field Music
Published By – Ingemar Olsson Music
Published By – Lillenas Publishing Company

Writz – Writz – 1979

This was the one and only album from Writz but they have a long history of many albums from many different names. Writz was Bev Sage and Steve Fairnie, (Later to be the Techno Twins), Steve Rowles who was a member of Fish Co. with Steve Fairnie, along with Arry Axell, Jules Hardwick, and Nick Battle who did some work with After The Fire and Iva Twydell. Let’s further complicate things because Writz was actually called Famous Names for the purposes of their U.S. and Israeli audiences. Yes it’s a complicated story. Anyway they had a great B52’s, Devo sound and as near as I can tell were the only band doing this sound in this Genre. As I said they only had this album but even that’s a little complicated as they recorded an album using the name Famous Names but it never got released. I have that album and plan on releasing it later. It should be noted that they were supposed to play Greenbelt 79 but apparently for ego related issues they did not. Lucky for the fans because After The Fire played instead and had one of the best sets in the history of Greenbelt. Writz did however play Greenbelt 1980 using then name Famous Names.

1 – Night Nurse – 3:00
2 – Luxury – 3:20
3 – Swinging With The Reptiles – 3:50
4 – Drive Away – 3:30
5 – Super Heroes – 3:59
6 – Movies – 3:04
7 – Robberoni – 3:47
8 – Private Lives – 3:50
9 – TV Times – 5:07
10 – Muscle Culture – 6:06

Arranged By – Writz
Artwork, Design – Dobney Johnson Studios
Bass – Nick Battle
Drums – Arry Axell
Guitar Synthesizer, Guitar – Jules Hardwick
Photography – Paddy Eckersley
Producer – David Rees
Vocals – Bev Sage, Steve Fairnie
Vocals, Guitar – Steve Rowles
Written-By – Steve Fairnie, Steve Rowles

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Trident Studios
Mixed At – Trident Studios
Mixed At – DJM Studios
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Noeland Productions Ltd.

After The Fire – Radio Sessions 1979 – 1981 – 2009

Apparently After The Fire played 3 years in a row at the BBC Paris Theatre, London, England. Luckily these appearances were recorded but they stayed on a shelf somewhere until Angel Air Records released them in 2009. You can buy the CD on their website below. ATF were an excellent live band and this is a great release. Thank you Angel Air Records.

1 – Joy – 3:17
2 – A Little Sun, A Little Rain – 3:11
3 – Laser Love – 3:05
4 – Time To Think – 3:31
5 – One Rule For You – 3:15
6 – Suspended Animation – 4:52
7 – Check It Out – 3:06
8 – Like The Power Of A Jet – 2:50
1980 In Concert
9 – Laser Love – 3:26
10 – Life In The City – 4:04
11 – Can You Face It? – 3:50
12 – Who’s Gonna Love You? – 4:14
13 – Billy Billy – 6:07
1981 In Concert
14 – Frozen Rivers – 4:06
15 – Dancing In The Shadows – 2:53
16 – Sailing Ship – 3:39
17 – Bright Lights – 4:09
18 – Take Me Higher – 7:06
19 – Starlight – 5:03

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