Tim Koller – Last Days – 1980

This was the one and only album from Tim Koller and it’s almost impossible to find any info on him. His album appears to be the first full album released on Ministry Resource Center which in itself is rather historic. Taking a look at the credits we can see that Kelly Willard sang some background vocals and her husband Dan engineered and produced the album. We also see Michelle Pillar supplying some background vocals so there was no shortage of talent on the album. The track “May You Get All The Glory” appears to have been the single and was also released on the 1981 sampler “Back To The Rock!”. The album itself has a late 70’s rock feel and is actually really good and I’m surprised it wasn’t more widely heard but that’s how this industry went at the time. If you missed this one in the 80’s (and I’m guessing you did) give it a listen now.

Tracklist
1 – Last Days – 5:16
2 – New World Comin’ – 4:40
3 – Rock-n-Roll for Jesus – 4:05
4 – Take Another Drink – 4:58
5 – Spiritual Counterfeits – 4:51
6 – May You Get All The Glory – 5:53
7 – The Just Shall Live By Faith – 3:29
8 – The Puzzle – 5:14

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals – Tim Koller
Drummer – Keith Edwards
Keyboards – Jeff Lams
Bass – Darrel Cook
Electric Guitar – Tony Dean
Piano, Background Voclas – Kelly Willard
Background Vocals – Michelle Pillar
Producer, Engineer – Dan Willard
Master – Kevin Grey, Thom Roy
Photography – Bill Valenzuaia
Art Director – Bill Converse

T-Bone Burnett – Truth Decay – 1980

The first release from T-Bone Burnett after the demise of the incredible Alpha Band proved the songwriting genius of T-Bone Burnett suffered no loss at the bands demise. Fresh, current, original and utterly and completely T-Bone Burnett. The Alpha Band is not completely gone here as Steven soles, David Miner and David Mansfield all appear on the album with T-Bone. I have worked in the Christian music arena since the late 1970’s and have never been starstruck when meeting artists. Even backstage at Anaheim Stadium meeting Bono and the Edge was exciting, but no stuttering or stammering conversations took place. But when Leslie Phillips released the Turning the store I was managing did an in-store appearance with her. She brought T-Bone Burnett with her in tow. I completely lost it. I mean, seriously. the dude is T-Bone freakin Burnett! I met him again a few years later at Anaheim Stadium at the same U2 concert where my wife and I were seated between then Sam Phillips with T-Bone on one side and Nick Cage and his date on the other side. I’m sure people around me had to wonder why I was more enthralled with the fact I was next to this tall lanky, Texan with an unfamiliar face. It was with Truth Decay that i was first introduced to T-Bone Burnett. I went back to get the Alpha Band after discovering him through this great album. If I was to create a “Best Of” project it would include nearly every song from this album and a few songs from his others. Every song here rang true with great country and blues driven guitar and Burnett’s nasally and caustic vocals. It was my introduction to “roots rock” and I was sold! The album possesses a wonderful combination of bluesy rockers and stark, introspective ballads. The lyrics are as caustic, raw and emotive as the music. Relationships, selfishness, materialism and faith all are explored here with precision and honesty. One song to note is “Power of Love,” which would later be covered impressively by Mark Heard. Quicksand, Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk, and Boomerang are all major standouts on a record filled with. the latter is simply brilliant! I could never prove it but I have always been convinced that Gene Eugene was influenced by the melody and vocals found here on Madison Avenue. This is an obvious AYSO like the rest of T-Bone’s catalog. Very few artists have even scratched the surface of the brilliance of Burnett. His accolades run a mile long and his production credits have earned him Grammy and even Oscar’s, but it is with his wonderful, simply solo projects that the genius truly is exposed.

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

Tracklist
1 – Quicksand – 3:54
2 – Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk – 3:40
3 – Boomerang – 4:15
4 – Love At First Sight – 4:11
5 – Madison Avenue – 2:35
6 – Driving Wheel – 3:10
7 – Come Home – 4:22
8 – Power Of Love – 2:54
9 – House Of Mirrors – 3:30
10 – Tears Tears Tears – 2:30
11 – Pretty Girls – 4:00
12 – I’m Coming Home – 4:00

Credits
Art Direction – John Van Hamersveld
Bass – David Miner
Drums – David Kemper
Engineer [Recordist] – Geoff Gillette
Lacquer Cut By – JG
Mixed By – Larry Hirsch
Performer – Billy Swan, Gary Montgomery, Jerry McGee, Jude Johnstone, K.O. Thomas, Stephen Bruton, Steven Soles
Performer [Uncredited] – T-Bone Burnett
Photography By – Nick Rozsa
Producer – Reggie Fisher

Companies, etc.
Lacquer Cut At – Kendun Recorders
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Terre Haute
Distributed By – Chrysalis Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Takoma Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Takoma Records

Peter Beveridge – Loving Again – 1980

There’s not a lot of information on where Peter Beveridge came from (not physically as I know he’s from Australia). This was his introductory album and I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it is. The opening track is one that I would never have imagined would have been released in 1980 CCM. It appears it was only released in Australia and Canada and I am not surprised no U.S. label wanted to touch it. The lead track “To Hell and Back” probably sealed it’s U.S. opportunities. That said it is a fantastic rock tune with a great message. Unfortunately the album settles down after this track and has an easy listening Jazz and funk sound. For a first CCM album Peter deserves credit. This is a great album that most of us probably missed in the 80’s so thank goodness we can listen to it now.

Tracklist
1 – To Hell And Back – 3:48
2 – Trusting – 4:11
3 – Loving Again – 3:53
4 – Crown Of Thorns – 3:58
5 – A Prayer Trilogy – 4:11
6 – Heaven Or Hell – 4:34
7 – See A Tear – 3:43
8 – For Me To Know – 4:28
9 – Help The Man – 2:34
10 – How Can You Love Me? – 3:10

Credits
Arranged By – Gilbert Beveridge, Peter Beveridge
Artwork By, Layout – Graham Chaseling
Backing Vocals – John McConnel, Mike Haughton, Naomi Warne
Lyrics By – Debra Walker, Peter Beveridge
Lyrics By, Music By – Gilbert Beveridge
Mixed By, Recorded By – Ross McGregor
Music By – Peter Beveridge
Percussion – Bruce McCormac
Photography By – Roger Hanlon
Synthesizer, Producer, Piano [Acoustic Piano], Electric Guitar, Concept By [Cover], Backing Vocals – Peter Beveridge

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Nightlight Music Pty Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Rhema Music
Recorded At – Axent Studios
Mixed At – Axent Studios
Produced For – Nightlight Music

Jimmy Hotz – Beyond The Crystal Sea – 1980

The definitive and original Christian progressive rock album, Beyond the Crystal Sea is the masterpiece of an artist that may be one of the most important people in the history of all of rock music that very few may even be aware of.Musicians around the world have been indebted to Hotz’s work and may not even realize it. He is the inventor of the Hotz Box, Midi Vest, Atari Hotz Box, MIDI Translator and host of other commonly used and creatively important electronic advances. In fact, Hotz is also responsible for integrating 3D Graphics and manipulating their movement through computer technology. Hidden amongst his technological achievements is also a brilliant composer, arranger, instrumentalist and songwriter. his musical vision met his technological genius ion 1980’s brilliant Gospel themed “Beyond the crystal Sea.” Like much or progressive rock Hotz borrows from fantasy literature and themes and infuses them into clear Biblical messages. This album is “Art Rock” at its finest. Fans of early Genesis and experimental rock fans of Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd will love what Hotz creates here. Songs are complex, with intricate changes and musical instrumental breaks interspersed with more commercial rock vocal influences. But one great joy is Hotz ability to remain accessible with this album and not alienate those outside of the limited “art rock” fan base. There are layers of vocals, keyboards and guitars creating a much larger than life wall of sound. There is no doubt that modern Progressive Rock legends like Dream Theatre and Neal Morse were heavily influenced and inspired by Hotz’s work. It should also be noted that Hotz also had a hand in producing the classic Ark Angel album to be discussed later.

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

Tracklist
1 – Observations Of A Larger Reality – 8:32
2 – Night Passage – 2:12
3 – Vision Ship – 5:35
4 – Teton – 3:18
5 – Beyond The Blues – 4:53
6 – Alpine Magic – 1:42
7 – From Love Life Did Begin – 4:37
8 – Long, Long Ago – 5:47
9 – The Gates Of Time – 3:45

Credits
Artwork By [Front Cover Art By] – Bruce Eagle
Backing Vocals [Vocals (Backup)] – Bob Farrell, Carol Chambers
Bass – Brian Tankersley, Wayne Six
Concept By [Cover Concept By] – Jimmy Hotz
Drums – Gary Ingram, Rocky Mountain, Russell Dunlap
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Brian Tankersley
Keyboards – Paul Mills, Phil Huston
Layout – Lex Zachary
Producer, Engineer – Jimmy Hotz
Recorder – Kemper Crabb
Remastered By – J. Powell
Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards – Jimmy Hotz

Companies, etc.
Remastered At – Steinhaus
Recorded At – Rivendell Sound Recorders
Mixed At – Rivendell Sound Recorders

The Hope – Which Side Are You On – 1980

I read that “The Hope” were a new and improved version of “Hope Of Glory” who had recorded throughout the 70’s. The problem is that none of the band members are the same and it’s even on a new label. It is reasonable to assume a new label might have wanted a new more hip name but I’m a bit confused by a completely new lineup. Because of this I feel this might be an entirely different band but feel free to correct me. The band is/was made up of some great studio musicians who had many appearances throughout the 70’s & 80’s. The quality of their work makes this an excellent album. The sound is heavily 70’s and as such may have been a little late to the market. It’s not a heavy rock album but does have a few 70’s rock tracks. I am guessing many people missed this one in 1980 so give it a listen now if you like your music with a 70’s vibe.

Tracklist
1 – Tender Love – 4:38
2 – Standing On The Rock – 3:27
3 – Sunshine In My Life – 2:45
4 – Stand On What You Believe – 3:09
5 – Hills Of Morning – 4:33
6 – Which Side? – 4:28
7 – What Have You Got To Lose? – 4:12
8 – Anticipation – 3:18
9 – You Got Love – 3:43
10 – Walk In The Light – 3:11

Credits
Backing Vocals – Bubba Chambers
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Rick Thigpen
Drums – Gary Ingram
Electric Guitar – Rick Crawford
Electric Guitar – Melvin Mar
Keyboards – Paul Mills
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Mike Barnes
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Brian Tankersley
Saxophone – Kenny Dimick

Larry Norman & People! – The Israel Tapes – 1980

This album is generally known as Larry Norman – The Israel Tapes, but it is really Larry Norman and People!, and the record calls itself “The Israel Tapes 1974 AD.” Not much difference really, but the labelling and the timing are both important. The release came out from Phydeaux Records in 1980, after Larry had established his own distribution company, which was primarily a mail order business run out of San Jose. Larry added some of the People! recordings to his catalog and so this is the first time some of these recordings were made public. The musicianship of this group is excellent, and has distinctly different characteristics than the group of studio musicians he worked with in the 1970s and 80s. This concert was done at UCLA for the benefit of The Israeli Fund. The Recording quality is not great, but for a 1974 live record it’s passable. What’s noteworthy here is that this 1974 live performance included a lot of songs that eventually became part of Larry’s core material. The album consists of songs from Upon This Rock as well as the Trilogy, along with a couple of others. This seems to be a reunion concert of sorts. Larry left People! several years prior, and here they are performing with him on subsequent songs. There are 2 different versions of “I Love You,” neither of which is quite the one that appeared on the In Another Land album in 1974, although you can hear the progression that got it there. “I Am The Six O’Clock News” was an anchor song on 1972’s Only Visiting This Planet, and here we get a slower, grittier version of it. “Sweet Song of Salvation” and “Forget Your Hexagram” get some updated arrangements from their original Upon This Rock versions, with great contributions from this band. All in all, a good spin on some classic Larry songs.

Tracklist
1 – Fly, Fly, Fly – 4:47
2 – I Love You (1967) – 4:36
3 – I Love You (1974) – 3:43
3 – I Am The Six O’Clock News – 5:59
4 – Lonely By Myself – 4:08
6 – Baroquen Spirits – 5:32
7 – You Knew What You Were Doing – 4:57
8 – Forget Your Hexagram – 3:49
9 – I’ve Searched All Around The World – 3:05
10 – Sweet Song Of Salvation – 5:21

Randy Matthews – Randy Matthews – 1980

Strangely whenever I read an article about Matthews no one ever discusses this album. Strange because I believe it to be his best album and “Out On A Limb” is one of my top 100 songs. It appears however that others don’t really view this as a good album. Randy really lets his inner Joe Cocker flow on this album but seeing as both of them were recording at the same time I don’t really think he was trying to imitate Cocker. For all we know Cocker was imitating Randy, no disrespect to Cocker as I love his work also. I was researching Randy a bit for this review and I was really surprised that he only ever had one CCM charting single and that wasn’t until 1991. Maybe I’m biased but Randy was a far greater performer than history has categorized him. If you ever read this Randy, thanks fort all the great music, you were an important part of my youth.

Tracklist
1 – Which Side Are You On? – 4:07
2 – Jesus Revive Me – 5:09
3 – Out On A Limb – 3:28
4 – Small Circle Of Friends – 3:27
5 – Miracle Man – 4:15
6 – I Had A Dream – 3:28
7 – I Think He’s Proud – 4:02
8 – Sweet Relief – 4:03
9 – Thin Line – 3:23
10 – Lonely Stranger – 4:45

Credits
Booking – 4-R Ranch
Design Concept [Album Cover Concept], Design – Stan Evenson Design, Inc.
Engineer – Joe Wilson
Executive-Producer – Ray Nenow
Mastered By [Mastering Engr.] – Jim Loyd
Musician, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – David McCaskel, Donna McElroy, Janna Hershberger, Jonathan McCaskel, Monty Matthews, Vicki Hampton, Yvonne Hodges
Musician, Bass – Paul Brannon
Musician, Drums – Louie Weaver
Musician, Guitar – Allen Holmes, David McCaskel, Joe Wilson, Paul Brannon
Musician, Guitar [Guitar Solos] – Joe Wilson
Musician, Keyboards – Bobby Edmonds, Dean Pastin, Shane Keister
Musician, Percussion – Terry McMillan
Musician, Saxophone – Donnie “Sax” Sanders
Musician, Synthesizer – Shane Keister
Photography By – Dominic Marsden, Sharon Inahara
Producer – Joe Wilson

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Spirit Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Spirit Records
Manufactured By – Hartsong Corporation
Distributed By – Hartsong Corporation
Produced For – Primacy Productions
Published By – Arloco Music
Published By – Angelstream Music
Published By – Group Seven
Published By – Windy Music
Recorded At – Glaser Sound Studios, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
Mastered At – Masterfonics

ArkAngel – Warrior – 1980

Featuring Kemper Crabb, Arkangel’s “Warrior” has become one of the most sought after and expensive collector’s item’s in CCM history. From the stunning album artwork to the brilliant art rock performed perfectly, there is really no doubt as to why this is such a sought after project. The artwork and the music conjure up images of Tolkein and “middle Earth,” crusades and knights in shining armor. Primarily a moody and melodic (and dare I say worshipful), there are moments of hard and progressive rock rock. Labeled often a progressive rock masterpiece, art rock is a better label. More thoughtful and contemplative than its contemporaries, Crabb revels in the classical, meditative and majestic musical styles employed. Crabb also demonstrates a diversity of musical taste and instrumentation, with nearly 40 instruments represented on the project with Crabb responsible for playing roughly 30 of them. On a side note, I believe fans of Daniel Amos’ “Shotgun Angel” will find quite a bit to like here. Not as country rock or Beatlesque, but there is a similarity in musical and artistic expression found here. Despite the clear artistic endeavor the album is lyrically very “Christian” and Gospel centered. The title track would later be covered by Caedmon’s Call on their first worship album and works as an introduction to the feel and sound of the entire project. Paradox is just a great acoustic rock song, perfectly suited for its day to be a mainstream radio hit, if not the blatant Jesus content. It should be noted here just how well produced the album is. Given that it was released on the burgeoning Star Song label with a distinctly limited budget, the album sounds fantastic. Vocals are clear, strings are ample and the instrumentation is more than just solid, but at times exquisite. Bekah Crabb adds vocals on a few songs as well. The heaviest number is the nearly six minute “Morning Anthem.” Taking the worshipful lyrical cue from “Warrior,” Morning Anthem is a stunning rocker that calls the worshippers to dance before the Lord. heavy, harmonic and powerful. For the time it would rank amongst the “heavier” songs in CCM and one of the truly rare instances of progressive rock in the genre. There was never a follow up to this amazing project and that is a real shame. Another journey to Middle Earth spiritually and metaphorically would have been a great delight. But alas, like most of the most progressive and artistic endeavors in CCM, it never found an audience. Though some 30 years later that limited audience is willing to part with large sums of money to discover (or rediscover) this amazing project.

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

Tracklist
1 – Pange Lingua Certaminis – 0:43
2 – Warrior / March Of The Ents – 4:22
3 – Dwelling Place – 4:32
4 – Paradox (Disciple’s Song) – 3:19
5 – Realization – 2:56
6 – Praises In The Old Tongue – 1:21
7 – Greater Love – 3:16
8 – Ex Nihilo – 2:00
9 – Morning’s Anthem – 5:46
10 – Elohim Considers Antedeluvia – 1:44
11 – The Nephilim Disembodied – 0:39
12 – Ark – 4:29
13 – Beastia Ex Machina – 0:39
14 – To A Sleeping Infidel – 3:22
15 – Morning’s Anthem Reprise – 0:22

Credits
Richard Conine – Keyboards, Alto Saxophone, Flute, Background Vocals
Bekah Crabb – Autoharp, Vocals
Kemper Crabb – Producer, Songwriter, Guitar, Lute, Recorder, Drums, Percussion, Kalimba, Dulcimer, Bass, Vocals
Philip Dorflinger – Ent Voices
Jimmy Hotz – Producer, Engineer
David Marshall – Producer, Arrangements, Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Michael Miller – Ent Voices
Paul Mills – Engineer
Randy M. Sanchez – Drums
Brian Tankersley – Bass, Background Vocals
Andy White – Bagpipes
Steve Young – Violin, Keyboards

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Joyeuse Garde Recordings
Recorded At – Rivendell Sound Recorders
Mixed At – Rivendell Sound Recorders

Mark Heard – Fingerprint – 1980/1995

The story goes that in 1980 Mark was having difficulties with Larry Norman and Solid Rock Records. As he was on contract in the USA he went to Europe to record and release this album. However there is a secondary story that is much simpler and in my opinion more possible. It is that Mark was essentially living in Europe and as such chose to release his next album there. The album was originally released on his own label in Switzerland which is a relatively odd business decision. All that aside this album was missed by most Mark Heard fans as it wasn’t released in the US until 1995. By now he was free and clear of Larry and Solid Rock Records so he released it on VIA Records. The album is about three quarters Mark’s signature acoustic guitar work but there are a few 70’s style rocking tunes. Mark rerecorded a few of these tracks between 1980 and 1995 to put on his North American releases so some of these versions may surprise you.

Tracklist
1 – I’m In Chains – 3:30
2 – Nowadays – 3:25
3 – One More Time – 3:03
4 – Epistle – 2:57
5 – Just The Same – 3:16
6 – Well-Worn Pages – 2:48
7 – Gimme Mine – 3:51
8 – All The Sleepless Dreamers – 3:33
9 – Negative Charge – 3:58
10 – Brown-Eyed Sue – 3:20
11 – Es Tut Mir Leid – 2:04
12 – Remarks To Mr. McLuhan – 2:02
13 – Threefold Amen – 0:20

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Mandolin, Synthesizer [Moog], Percussion, Vocals, Backing Vocals – Mark Heard
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals, Slide Guitar – Jon Linn
Backing Vocals, Photography By – Janet Sue Heard
Drums – Peter Johnson
Piano, Synthesizer – Tom Howard
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Written By, Photography By – Mark Heard

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – King’s Records
Recorded At – Peace In The Valley Recording
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Palmfrond Communications
Copyright (c) – Palmfrond Communications
Manufactured By – King’s Records
Pressed By – Turicaphon AG

1980 Jacket Front
1980 Jacket Back
1995 Cover

Kainos – Tolvte Time – 1980

I have no idea how I found this band. They were a Christian band out of Norway that released 3 albums. I couldn’t really find much info on them but my Norwegian is a little rusty so If I actually spoke it there’s probably lots of info out there on them. The album has a progressive sound especially for 1980. In my opinion they were ahead of their time and there are tracks on here that could have been released in the mid 80’s. A few tracks have nice rock riffs while others lean more techno keyboard. There is one track in English which I easily would have listened to in 1980. It probably would have been on my regular rotation back then. I also love the voice of the female vocalist and feel she could have been quite successful in the English market. So if you don’t mind listening to Norwegian give this one a listen and if you don’t like music in other languages at least listen to track #8.

Tracklist
1 – Alpha – 3:21
2 – Fundament – 2:30
3 – Mannen I Gata – 4:06
4 – Det Du Har Gjort – 1:58
5 – Selvransakelse – 4:26
6 – Tømmermann – 3:55
7 – Reell Frelse – 3:36
8 – Now That I’ve Found (Your Love) – 3:31
9 – Du Er – 3:19
10 – Veibok – 3:22
11 – Gråt Maria – 4:45
12 – Omega – 2:40

Credits
Arranged By, Producer, Engineer – Andy Kidd
Composed By, Arranged By – Kainos
Drums, Percussion, Other [Laserkanoner] – Jari Sempill
Electric Bass, Vocals – Karl Brunvoll
Flute, Saxophone, Vocals, Artwork [Cover Reprodusert Etter Malerier Av] – Arne Nøst
Guitar – Øystein Eikeland
Keyboards, Vocals – Petter Mortensen
Lyrics By – Andy Kidd, Hilde Bergfjord, Jo Nesbø, Karl Brunvoll, Odd Kjetil Rangnes
Vocals – Ingunn Kanestrøm, Marit Nøst

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Cross Studio
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Records A/S
Copyright (c) – CBS Records A/S

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Side 1
Side 2