Randall Waller – Midnight Fire – 1980

Everything that was wrong about the Christian Music industry in the early 80’s rears its ugly head on the classic gem that is a legitimate AYSO. Take an impressive rock vocalist (who would later form the band Avion) have him record killer rock and progressive rock songs but hide the guts in the mix, put the guy a late 70’s leisure suit and put seat him on a throw rug in front of a glowing fire. Ugh! What should have been the North American introduction of a great rocker in the vein of The Eagles “Long Run” ended up being a forgotten and overlooked cut out bin regular. Find this album and get it! There are no mediocre songs and, in fact, some amazing tunes throughout. One of the songs that Avion would later cover is a more commercial version of “I Need You,” a song that should have been a Christian Rock hit. The nearly 6 minute “Lady of the Night” is a rare progressive rock delight in CCM. Even the ballads on this release are worthy of consideration, especially the mid-tempo “Cry From an Absent Friend.” Waller would later appear as a guest vocalist on a David Zaffiro (Bloodgood) solo project.

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

1 – I Need You – 4:25
2 – Cry From An Absent Friend – 4:30
3 – Midnight Fire – 2:50
4 – Lady Of The Night – 5:48
5 – Mum ‘N’ The Kids – 4:06
6 – Always Waiting – 3:56
7 – Made For Me – 2:58
8 – Morning Star – 6:05

Co-producer, Guitar, Lead Vocals – Randall Waller
Engineer – Joe Bellamy
Engineer [Assistant] – Mark Heard, Tom Trafethan
Engineer [Assitant] – Gary Bonar, Hal Sacks
Mixed By – Joe Bellamy (tracks: 2-8), Tom Trafethan (tracks: 1)
Producer – Jon Linn

Companies, etc.
Published By – Gumnut Music

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Stewart & Kyle – Temporary Residence – 1980

Here is another artist that I can find very little information on. Stewart & Kyle were Alistair Stewart and Chris Kyle and this was actually their 3rd album. They actually had 5 albums so I am surprised I can’t find any info on them. It appears the album was also only released in the U.K., though I’m not positive of that. The album was released in 1980 and there appears to have been a CD release in 1989 but again I can’t prove that. I really hate it when I can’t tell you anything about an album but someone asked if we could post it so we are doing it. The album is Easy Listening / AOR and is really good. This isn’t my preferred style of music but I have to admit I listened to this album a couple times as it is really well done. I’m looking forward to finding more of their albums as I quite liked this one.

1 – Keep On – 4:10
2 – What Will Life Bring For Me – 3:05
3 – Hopelessly Confused – 3:58
4 – I Wish I Had All My Tomorrows – 2:36
5 – I Want To Go Home – 4:07
6 – Star – 3:02
7 – In A World – 3:19
8 – Left, Right – 3:20
9 – One Way Or Another – 4:03
10 – Robin’s Song – 4:06
11 – So Many Talk Of Love – 2:28
12 – Many Miles – 3:30

Written-By – Stewart & Kyle

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Parchment Music Ltd
Copyright (c) – Marshall Morgan & Scott
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pilgrim Records
Copyright (c) – Pilgrim Records

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Jan Groth – Good To Know… Where You’re From – 1980

Jan Groth was an artist out of Norway. In the early 70’s he was in a very successful secular band called Aunt Mary. In 1980 he released this his first Christian album. I do not believe this album was released outside of Norway so you may not have heard this one. It has a great late 70’s early 80’s rock feel to it. Don’t worry, no hint of disco and it also does not sound like the usual 70’s Jesus music. Unfortunately Jan passed away in 2014 but we have lots more of his music to hear. He released 4 more albums in the 80’s and many more over the later years.

1 – Peace Like A River – 4:04
2 – Count On Me – 4:18
3 – Mighty Good Friend – 3:38
4 – Let Me Feel Your Lovely Presence – 4:15
5 – Good To Know – 3:09
6 – Hear It Once Again – 4:05
7 – Friend Of Friends – 4:26
8 – Turn Around – 3:10
9 – In The Shelter Of Your Love – 4:22
10 – Thanks To Your Love – 3:04

Arranged By, Conductor, Bass, Backing Vocals – Svein Gundersen
Backing Vocals – Aleksandra N. Sandøy
Drums, Percussion – Bruce Rasmussen
Electric Guitar – Bjørn Christiansen
Engineer – Alf Emil Eik, Andy Kidd
Keyboards – Geir Langslet
Music By, Lyrics By, Arranged By, Backing Vocals – Jan Groth

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The Last Adam – The Last Adam – 1980

The Last Adam were a 70’s Rock band out of Clearwater, FL. This is one of those odd albums that was released on The Salvation Army’s own label. I couldn’t find out much about the band but at the time other than they did play in the church. Must have been some rocking going on there at the end of the 70’s. As for the album it has a very late 70’s rock feel and was probably on the edge of being outdated in 1980. Be careful not confuse the band with the 90’s band “Last Adam”. This album would have been right at home on the Tunesmith label but the church got to them first.

1 – Receive It – 5:12
2 – Resist The Devil – 3:48
3 – Any Old Music – 4:00
4 – Psalm 113 – 5:13
5 – Washed In The Blood – 3:40
6 – Dance Cloud – 5:52
7 – Letter To The Devil – 3:02
8 – More Much More – 3:54
9 – Trips – 3:51
10 – Remember That Name – 4:53

Rick Tarquine – Guitar
Buddy Fetz – Drums
Patt Wadenpfuhl – Lead Vocals
Ken Wadenpfuhl – Brass
Fred Smith Jr. – Guitar
Debbie Steitz – Keyboards

Companies, etc.
Produced For – The Salvation Army

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Joe English – Lights In The World – 1980

Imagine our surprise in 1980 when an album from Joe English showed up in the racks of our Christian book store. I recognized Joe’s name from Wings (though I did not really listened to them) but I had not heard anything of him doing Christian music. I remember we couldn’t buy it quick enough and rushed back to the stereo room to listen to it. The album really wasn’t quite as Rock & Roll as we thought it would be but we liked it and one or two tracks definitely made it onto mixed tapes for the car. To me the album has a bit of a jazz feel to it and coincidentally in 1980 Joe was also playing with a jazz fusion band called Sea Level. Joe went on to give us many more albums using the moniker The Joe English Band. Point of trivia is that both Russ Taff and Bonnie Bramlett provided backing vocals for the album.

1 – To Love Is To Live – 3:49
2 – Shine On – 3:48
3 – Dyin’ – 3:44
4 – Is There Not One Good Man – 3:49
5 – Midnight Angel Choir – 3:38
6 – Get Ready – 3:10
7 – Is The King Your Friend – 3:30
8 – The Lord Never Leaves – 3:48
9 – Praise Him – 3:17
10 – Keep In Touch – 1:57

Lead Vocals – Joe English
Backing Vocals – Russell Taff, Bonnie Bramlett
Bass – Larry Paxton
Drums – Joe English
Guitar – George Cocchini
Keyboards – John Rosasco
Percussion – Terry McMillan
Synthesizer [Micro-Moog] – Alan Steinberger
Synthesizer [Prophet 5] – Shane Keister
Arranged By – John Rosasco,Shelly Kurland ,Greg Nelson
Art Direction – Bob McConnell
Design [Cover Design] – Stan Evenson
Engineer – Scott Hendricks
Executive-Producer – Ray Nenow
Producer – Greg Nelson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Refuge Records
Copyright (c) – Refuge Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – Glaser Sound Studios, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
Produced For – Primacy Productions

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Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt – 1980

This was Keith’s 3rd studio album and the first on his own label however Sparrow Records still handed international distribution. Keith was determined to get his music to the people at an affordable price or even free at his concerts. Yes he gave away free copies of this album for people who couldn’t afford the retail price. I was unable to find the retail price but it would be interesting to see as Keith heavily subsidized the album himself. A rather lengthy booklet was included with the record with song explanations, scripture discussion, and just general testimony from Keith. As for the album it is decidedly easy listening and Keith’s real skill was his song writing in my opinion. Notable people joining him on this album was Matthew Ward and Bob Dylan. It is reported that Keith was good friends with Dylan.

1 – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt – 4:36
2 – Pledge My Head To Heaven – 3:53
3 – If You Love The Lord – 4:05
4 – Romans VII – 3:24
5 – Lies – 3:42
6 – I Want To Be More Like Jesus – 4:20
7 – Unless The Lord Builds The House – 3:56
8 – Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful – 4:17
9 – You Love The World – 2:36
10 – Grace By Which I Stand – 4:49

Art Direction, Design – Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Backing Vocals – Keith Green, Kelly Willard, Matthew Ward
Bass – Hadley Hockensmith
Drums – Bill Maxwell
Engineer – Bob Cotton, Gordon Shryock
Engineer [Second] – Billy Taylor, Peter Haden, Wally Duguid
Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith
Harmonica – Bob Dylan
Lead Vocals – Keith Green
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Organ – Harlan Rogers
Percussion, Congas – Alex Acuña
Piano – Keith Green
Producer – Bill Maxwell, Keith Green
Written-By – Keith Green, Kelly Willard (tracks: B1), Melody Green (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B2)

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The Archers – Celebrate Live – 1980

It was 1980 at the Melodyland Theatre in Anaheim CA when The Archers recorded this live album. The title track was a new song from them and was very well received. Often a easy listening band will turn it up a notch for their concerts but I have to honestly say that The Archers you hear on their studio albums was The Archers you heard at this concert. Humorously they introduce “I’m Gonna Rise” by saying “How many of you like Rock & Roll? Does anybody like Rock & Roll?” and then proceed to do something I sure wouldn’t classify as Rock & Roll even for 1980. A guitar solo does not make a song Rock & Roll guys. That said the horns did a great job on that track. Point of trivia is that the band was introduced by John Styll who was the man that started CCM magazine.

Arranged By – Bobby Cicso, Clark Gassman, Dan Cutrona, Phil Kristianson, The Archers (3)
Backing Vocals – Stephanie Reach
Bass Guitar – Tim Jaquette
Design, Illustration – Kernie Erickson
Drums – Michael Fickling
Electric Guitar – Tony Sena
Engineer – Biff Dawes
Engineer [Second] – Billy Youdelman
Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Organ [Hammond B-3], Clavinet, Keyboards [Fender Rhodes, Arp], Synthesizer – Phil Kristianson
Other [Concert Introduction] – John Styll
Percussion – Phil Bahn, Steve Archer
Photography By – Gary Null
Piano, Synthesizer, Vibraphone, Marimba – Dan Cutrona
Producer – Bill Cole (2), Steve Archer, Tim Archer
Recorded By – Filmways/Heider Recording
Saxophone, Flute – Gary Herbig
Trombone, Euphonium – Bill Reichenbach (2)
Trumpet – Charles Davis, Larry Hall
Vocals – Janice Archer Cruse, Steve Archer, Tim Archer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
Recorded At – Melodyland Theatre, Anaheim

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Amy Grant – Never Alone – 1980

This was the third album from Amy and while it didn’t sell as well as “Never Alone” personally I believe it was a better album. The album only had one charting single. “Look What Has Happened To Me” made it to #3 on the CCM adult charts and was on the charts for 32 weeks which is very impressive. At this point in here career she was having an on again off again relationship with Gary Chapman who wrote several tracks on this album. This album also gave us the song “Too Late” which is the only song from her that I dared play in my car as it was the closest song she would ever do that was close to Rock & Roll. To tell the truth I always quite liked “Too Late” which given my musical interest is really saying something.

1 – Look What Has Happened To Me – 3:16
2 – So Glad – 4:44
3 – Walking Away With You – 4:26
4 – Family – 2:44
5 – Don’t Give Up On Me – 3:59
6 – That’s The Day – 3:44
7 – If I Have To Die – 3:48
8 – All I Ever Have To Be – 2:38
9 – It’s A Miracle – 2:46
10 – Too Late – 3:14
11 – First Love – 2:51
12 – Say Once More – 2:26

Brown Bannister – Composer, Mixing, Producer, Vocals (Background)
Michael Blanton – Executive Producer
Pete Bordinella – Guitar (Classical), Guitar (Electric)
Mike Borum – Photography
Steve Brantley – Vocals (Background)
Thomas Cain – Piano, Vocals (Background)
Clay Caire – Drums
Jimmy Capps – Guitar (Acoustic)
Brian Carr – Composer
Gary Chapman – Composer, Vocals (Background)
Chris Christian – Composer
Johnny Christopher – Guitar (Acoustic)
Roger Clark – Drums
Roger “Little” Clark – Drums
John Darnall – String Arrangements
Bruce Dees – Guitar (Electric), Vocals (Background)
Diana DeWitt – Vocals (Background)
Greg Gordon – Vocals (Background)
Amy Grant – Composer, Primary Artist, Vocals
Michael A. Harris – Design
Don Hart – Horn Arrangements
Bruce Hibbard – Composer
Hadley Hockensmith – Composer
Ronn Huff – String Arrangements
David Hungate – Bass
Clayton Ivey – Fender Rhodes
Shane Keister – Piano, String Arrangements, Synthesizer
Patti Leatherwood – Vocals (Background)
Paul Leim – Drums
Timothy May – Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
Glenn Meadows – Mastering
Gwen Moore – Composer
Farrell Morris – Marimba, Percussion
Mark Morris – Percussion
Larry Muhoberac – Piano
Fred Petry – Percussion
Gary Pigg – Vocals (Background)
Jack Joseph Puig – Engineer
Cindy Reynolds – Harp
Jerry Roberts – Accordion
Dawn Rodger – Composer
Joe Schmee – Bass
Denis Solee – Flute, Lyricon, Saxophone
Billy Joe Walker – Guitar (Acoustic)
Billy Joe Walker, Jr. – Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Belinda West – Vocals (Background)
Kelly Willard – Composer
Jack Williams – Bass
Bob Wray – Bass, Bass (Acoustic)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Amy Grant Productions
Copyright (c) – Amy Grant Productions
Licensed To – Sparrow Records
Distributed By – EMI CMG Distribution
Produced For – Chris Christian Productions
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Martinsound
Remastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Cinram, Richmond, IN

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Rev Counta & The Speedoze – Life Begins At Thirty – 1980

This is yet another project from Ishmael (Ishmael United). It follows in the footsteps of Ishmael’s usual style which was fun/punk/reggae/rockabilly. Yea good luck in categorizing this album. Personally I categorize it as fun. Ishmael actually re-released this album along with Ishmael United as a single CD set. This album was a real treat for me when I found it as Ishmael United is one of my favourite albums and I had no idea there was more. In fact there are a few more albums, Ishmael never really used the same band name twice. For those who don’t know Ishmael has gone on to release over 20 very popular Christian children’s albums.

1 – All Mixed Up
2 – Love So Great
3 – Motex
4 – Hell Ain’t For Heroes
5 – For What We’re About To Receive
6 – Dr Heckle & Mr Snide
7 – Marksman
8 – No Coincidence
9 – 2 Years On A Camel (Full Of Eastern Promise)
10 – Every Circus Needs A Strongman
11 – Marmite Sandwiches
12 – Ferguson’s Mule
13 – Miss Us
14 – Wot A Life

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Ed Raetzloff – It Took A Long Time To Get To You – 1980

Before coming to CCM music Ed recorded 2 albums with a band called Blue Jug. They were very successful and toured with most the big names in Southern Rock at the time including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, and Charlie Daniels Band. In 1980 out of nowhere came this solo Christian album that sounded like nothing else out there. This Southern Rock sound struck me at just the right moment in my life and I have many fond memories of cruising up and down the main street of the town I grew up in listening to this album. I could go on and on about how much I love this album but I’ll spare you my longwinded stories. Suffice to say this album is in my top 10 all time personal favourites. Now someone asked me what the connection between Ed and Molly Hatchet is. Now the connection is slim but follow along. While in Blue Jug, Ed wrote a song called “No Room On The Crew”. Blue Jug never recorded the song but somehow in 1989 Molly Hatchet recorded it and the writing credits went to Ed. If you ever listen to it it you can hear Ed’s influence very clearly. Now I know there is more to this story but chances are we will never know the connection of how the song ended up in Molly Hatchet’s hands.


1 – Found Someone To Love Me – 2:19
2 – Every Man – 4:31
3 – I Know The King – 2:15
4 – I Want You To Meet A Friend – 1:58
5 – It Took A Long Time To Get To You – 4:04
6 – Praise Him – 3:57
7 – Where He Goes – 3:08
8 – I’ve Been Down That Road, Too – 2:45
9 – It’s So Easy To Be Free – 2:45
10 – Jesus Loves You – 2:22

Bass – Bill Hoak, Dave Gardner
Design – Bill Brunt
Drums – Fred Satterfield, Larry DeMerritt, Taylor Rhodes
Engineer – Brent King, Mike Psanos, Warren Peterson
Engineer [Remix] – Joe Wilson
Guitar – Dave Perkins, Mark Riley
Keyboards – Atikus Finch, Mitch Humphreys
Producer – Steve Aune
Producer [Assistant], Guitar – Joe Wilson
Songwriter, Lead Vocals [Uncredited] – Ed Raetzloff
Vocals – Delores Deal, Diane Leroy, Gary Pigg, Joy Gardner, Judy Carudi, Steve Morrow

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Sound Stage Studios
Remixed At – Glaser Sound Studios, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee

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