The Wall Brothers – In Your Light – 1980

This is the 4th and final album from The Wall Brothers. As I have said in other reviews of this band I really can’t find much info on them. This album continues on similar to their previous albums. It has an easy listening seventies sound and stays away from anything close to Rock & Roll. That said it’s a great album for this style and I quite like it. Unfortunately I don’t think any tracks will make it into my regular rotation but I did quite like the track “I Am Free” which I think is really well written and performed though it’s not really my usual style.

1 – Open Up – 3:21
2 – What’s Your Hope In – 3:37
3 – Right In Your Light – 3:10
4 – I Am Free – 3:51
5 – He Loves You So Much – 4:12
6 – Finally Found My Heart – 4:21
7 – Where Do We Go From Here – 4:22
8 – Just Another Day – 3:50
9 – He Must’ve Planned It That Way – 4:46

Mastered By – Hank Williams
Producer – Phil Johnson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Greentree Records
Copyright © – Greentree Records
Mastered At – Woodland Studios

Debby Boone – With My Song – 1980

This was Debby’s first foray into Christian music. As with most things she did it was very successful. She had also recorded and released a secular album the same year. For most artists this would be a lot of work but keep in mind these songs are all put together then Debby just comes in and cuts the vocal track. While not the most effort it is a recipe for success for many female artists. Speaking of success this album received a Dove Awards for Best Album by a Secular Artist and a Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance. The album was pretty dull for me but lets be clear this isn’t my style. The closing track is a bit of a surprise as it’s a Dylan cover that also came out in 1980. It’s a pretty good cover, not my style but well done.

1 – Sweet Adoration – 2:52
2 – If Ever – 4:32
3 – With Every Breath – 2:20
4 – With My Song – 4:38
5 – I Am Stone – 4:32
6 – Lord, I Believe – 3:17
7 – Morningstar – 4:43
8 – A New Song – 3:33
9 – A Twenty-Third Psalm – 2:48
10 – Holy Father – 3:59
11 – Sixty Second Sonata – 1:22
12 – What Can I Do For You – 2:58

Acoustic Guitar – Billy Capps, Billy Walker, Don Roth, Johnny Christopher, Pete Bordaneli, Steve Kara
Bass – Abraham Laboriel, Leland Sklar
Drums – Paul Leim
Electric Guitar – Billy Walker, Tim May
Harp – Cindy Reynolds
Horns – Bill Puett, Denis Solee, Dennis Good, Don Sheffield, Eberhard Roman, George Tidwell, Ricky Ricks
Oboe – Bob Taylor
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Piano – John Hobbs, Larry Muhoberac
Producer – Brown Bannister
Strings – Shelley Kurland
Synthesizer – Shane Keister

Companies, etc.
Pressed By – PRC Recording Company, Richmond, IN
Mastered At – Masterfonics

Erick Nelson – Picking Up The Pieces – 1980

Erick released this greatest hits package in 1980. It features his work as a solo artist as well as his work with band Good News and Michele Pillar. There is one fresh track on the album “Jesus Is Calling”. Of note on the album is his and Michelle’s cover of “LOve Hurts” that we usually identify as a Nazareth song though actually it was first releasd by the Everly Brothers. The following is the original source of the tracks;
1, 5 – Good News – Good News
2 – Various – Maranatha! 2
3, 6 – Erick Nelson – Flow River Flow
4 – The Maranatha Singers – The Praise Album
8, 9, 10 – Erick Nelson And Michele Pillar – The Misfit
11 – Various – Hosanna
Track 7 recorded for this compilation.

1 – Good News – Picking Up The Pieces
2 – Erick Nelson – He Lives
3 – Erick Nelson – Soldiers Of The Cross
4 – The Maranatha Singers – Set My Spirit Free
5 – Erick Nelson and Michele Pillar – Jimmy
6 – Erick Nelson – Flow River Flow
7 – Erick Nelson – Jesus Is Calling
8 – Erick Nelson and Michele Pillar – Martyr Song
9 – Erick Nelson and Michele Pillar – Love Hurts/He Gave Me Love
10 – Erick Nelson and Michele Pillar – The Misfit
11 – Erick Nelson – Fairest Lord Jesus

Artwork, Design – Neal Buchanan
Bass – Abraham Laboriel, Bill Batstone, Darrell Cook, Erick Nelson, Henry Davis, John Belles
Cover, Photography By – Gary Null
Drums – Bill Maxwell, David Diggs, John Mehler, John Raines, Keith Edwards, Mike Fickling
Electric Piano – Erick Nelson
Engineer – Bill Taylor, Buddy King, Chris Taylor, Dan Willard, Jonathan Brown, Marc Piscitelli
Guitar – Craig Stevens, Hadley Hockensmith, John Wickham, Randy Mitchell
Piano – Erick Nelson, Harlan Rogers
Producer – Erick Nelson, Good News, Harlan Rogers, Jonathan Brown, Lenny Roberts, Peter Jacobs, Tom Stipe, Tom Coomes
Vocals – Erick Nelson

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Buddy King Studios, Huntington Beach, CA
Recorded At – Larrabee Sound Studios
Recorded At – Maranatha! Studio
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Remixed At – Maranatha! Studio
Copyright © – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Erick Nelson
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Maranatha! Music
Published By – Maranatha Music
Published By – House Of Bryant Publishing

Seawind – Seawind – 1980

This is the 4th studio album from Seawind and strangely enough their second self titled album. I’m a little unsure as to why they have 2 self titled albums. This occasionally happens when the first one was on a small label with limited distribution but their first album was on CTI records which was a pretty good sized label. Anyway that aside Bob and Pauline Wilson give us an excellent Funk album here. The Seawind Horns are featured of course though you may remember them better as the horn section for the Sweet Comfort Band albums of this era. I’ll be honest I’m not really the biggest fan of Bob and Pauline so I wasn’t expecting too much f this album. Boy was I wrong. This is a fantastic Funk album and while that’s not usually my style this one is so good I liked it anyway. So even if Funk isn’t your thing you should give this one a listen. A well done album in any style is always refreshing to hear.

1 – What Cha Doin’ – 4:35
2 – The Two Of Us – 3:49
3 – Love Him, Love Her – 3:26
4 – Everything Needs Love – 5:46
5 – Shout – 4:26
6 – Still In Love – 3:53
7 – Pra Vosé – 4:16
8 – I Need Your Love – 3:54
9 – Long, Long Time – 3:58

Arranged By [Horn Arrangements] – Seawind
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Bill Reichenbach, Jerry Hey
Art Direction – Chuck Beeson
Bass – Ken Wild
Concertmaster – Sid Sharp
Drums, Percussion – Bob Wilson
Engineer – Tommy Vicari
Engineer [Assistant] – Erik Zobler
Guitar – Bud Nuanez
Illustration – Chris Hopkins, Willardson And White
Keyboards – Larry Williams
Management [Seawind Personal Management And Direction] – Barry Menes, Blue Johnson
Mastered By – Brian Gardner
Mixed By – Tommy Vicari
Mixed By [Assistant] – Wally Buck
Musician [Guest], Backing Vocals – Carl Carlwell, George Duke, Greg Walker, Josie James, Lynn Davis
Musician [Guest], Guitar – Roland Bautista
Musician [Guest], Keyboards – George Duke
Musician [Guest], Percussion – Airto, Paulinho DaCosta
Musician [Guest], Trombone – Bill Reichenbach
Musician [Guest], Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Jerry Hey
Musician [Guest], Woodwind – Gary Herbig
Other [Pauline’s Wardrobe By] – Shelley Kaleinanionalani Salzer
Producer – George Duke
Vocals, Backing Vocals – Pauline Wilson
Woodwind – Kim Hutchcroft

Companies, etc.
Produced For – George Duke Enterprises
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright © – A&M Records, Inc.
Recorded At – Westlake Studios
Recorded At – Le Gonks West
Recorded At – Sound Labs, Hollywood
Recorded At – Sunset Sound
Recorded At – United Western Studios
Mixed At – Fantasy Studios
Mastered At – Allen Zentz Mastering
Published By – Seawind Music Inc.
Published By – Black Bandana
Published By – Brass Heart Music
Mastered At – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Santa Maria
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Terre Haute

Pam Mark Hall – Never Fades Away – 1980

This was Pam’s third album and was a bit of a departure from her to previous style to the style we would more closely connect with her. It is a solid early 80’s pop offering though I will say I don’t think she was comfortable with the style as the album is just missing a little something. Of course later Pam would be a master of the pop style and have several successful albums. The album was produced by Fletch Wiley who was producing more worship oriented albums at the time so it was a bit of a new style for him too. Of note on the album Marty McCall helps with duet vocals on “Little Miss Much Afraid”. All in all a pretty good pop album but just missing a bit of edge but don’t be discouraged from listening to it.

1 – Gonna Love You – 2:47
2 – Strength To Be Weak – 4:16
3 – Your Book – 4:15
4 – Little Miss Much Afraid – 3:42
5 – Never Fades Away – 2:52
6 – Who Taught You The Game? – 3:30
7 – Two Worlds – 3:45
8 – Lord Of The Starfields – 4:20
9 – Burning In My Heart – 2:15
10 – If Ever – 3:59

Backing Vocals – Craig Smith
Bass – Roscoe Beck
Drums, Percussion – Keith Edwards
Engineer – Brian Tankersley
Guitar – Jerry McPherson
Keyboards – Larry Williams
Lead Vocals, Songwriter, Guitar – Pam Mark Hall
Percussion – Fig Newton
Producer, Arranged By – Fletch Wiley
Synthesizer, Engineer – Paul Mills
Tenor Saxophone – Bill Tillman
Vocals, Backing Vocals – Marty McCall

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow/Star Song Distribution
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Star Song Records
Copyright © – Star Song Records

Dion – Inside Job – 1980

This is Dion’s first Christian album. He was a huge artist through the 60’s and 70’s perhaps best known as Dion & The Belmonts and Dion & The Wanderers. I have to make a confession that my friends and I didn’t listen to Dion. I remember that we were aware of him but for some reason he just never made it onto our playlists (cassettes in the day). This is further confusing because I think all of us grew up with Dion in our homes in the 60’s and early 70’s. It is odd that I know his secular work better than his Christian work. I am going to further confess that I had not listened to this album before writing this review. Now the reason I am going on about this is that this album is great, I would have loved it in 1980. I do love Dion’s 60’s work but this album sounds more like his 70’s work and I think it’s darn good too. So my apologies to Dion for not listening to him at the time but I’m making up for it now.

1 – I Believe (Sweet Lord Jesus) – 3:34
2 – He’s The One – 5:02
3 – Center Of My Life – 4:28
4 – The Truth Will Set You Free – 6:10
5 – Gonna Be Ready – 3:39
6 – Old Souvenirs – 3:51
7 – New Jersey Wife – 3:54
8 – Man In The Glass – 4:21
9 – Sweet Surrender – 4:33

Art Direction [Cover Art Direction] – Dennis Hill
Bass – George “Chocolate” Perry
Co-producer [Co-Produced By] – Eric Schilling, Paul Harris
Drums, Percussion – Jose Galdo*
Engineer – Eric Schilling
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Jim Peterson
Guitar – Dion DiMucci, Tony Battaglia
Keyboards – Paul Harris
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Other [Cross Presented By] – August DiMucci
Photography By [Cover Photographs] – John Miller
Photography By [Cross Photograph] – Dion DiMucci
Producer [Produced By] – Dion

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Salt Productions
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd.
Recorded At – Bayshore Recording Studios

Semaja – Hear My Cry – 1980

This was Semaja’s first album. I does not appear to have been released in North America but instead looks like it was limited to Germany, their home country. I am really surprised that an American label didn’t grab this album. This may be one of the best 70’s sound albums I have heard and I’m not talking about 70’s Jesus music, I mean straight up 70’s rock. I can’t find out much about the band but I know their second album was released in America and was pretty well received. Anyway if you love seventies rock (not Jesus music) this just might be the album for you.

1 – Sometimes – 4:35
2 – Hear My Cry – 4:30
3 – Jeden Tag (Jesaja 55) – 6:45
4 – This Life – 4:12
5 – Jesaja 53 – 7:35
6 – The Wind – 7:35
7 – Big Noise – 5:52

Artwork – Dirk Pape
Bass, Vocals – Wilfried Herrmann
Design – Peter Klüger
Drums – Harald Nagel
Engineer – Achim Bosch
Guitar, Vocals – Ulrich Plinke
Keyboards – Claus Feldmann
Lead Vocals – Markus Egger
Lyrics By, Music By – Semaja
Percussion – Klaus Hermann
Producer – Manfred Wieczorke

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Wind Music
Manufactured By – Sonopress
Printed By – Sonopress
Recorded At – Spygel Studio
Remixed At – UTV Studio

Paradise – Paradise – 1980

This is the introductory album from funk band Paradise. As far as I can tell it was only released in the U.K. I find this incredible odd as it is a fantastic album and the largest funk market is the United States. I’m often confused by the CCM record companies and this album is an example of what they got wrong. As near as I can tell the album was released on their own label so obviously they would have signed a deal for U.S. distribution. Oh well I’m ranting again. Anyway this album is probably one of the best Christian funk albums and it came out in 1980. An added plus is that I didn’t get any disco feel from any of the tracks which was typical in funk albums released at this time. Give this one a listen even if your not the biggest fan of funk, you just might think different after listening to this one.

1 – Keep The Fire – 3:15
2 – Love Is Not A Mystery – 4:22
3 – It’s Up To You – 4:44
4 – I’ll Meet You There – 4:35
5 – We All Need – 4:20
6 – Light Of The World – 5:10
7 – Give Thanks – 4:05
8 – With You – 4:11
9 – Spread The Word – 3:50

Backing Vocals – Desr’ee Hoyte, Elaine Bent, Jasmine Cohen, Lorrane Greenaway, Monica Knight, Novlette Davis, Yvonne White
Bass – Junior Edwards
Design, Artwork – Mick Payne
Drums – Bobby Clarke
Engineer – Colin Owen, Paul Robbins
Guitar, Keyboards, Horns – Raymond Dennis
Horns – Charles Pinder, Neil Pinder
Illustration – John Coster
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Phillip Edwards
Lead Vocals, Horns – Doug Williams
Percussion – Devon Burke, Karl Edwards
Photography By – Tony Martin
Producer – Paradise
Producer, Art Direction – Mick Martin
Saxophone, Flute – Hugh Thomas

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Marshall Morgan & Scott
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Ebony Records
Copyright © – Ebony Records
Published By – Coronation Music
Recorded At – The Old Smithy Recording Studio

Dave Kelly – Crowning Of A Simple Man – 1980

Dave Kelly was a member of a great band called “Ark” that released one incredible album that will be featured later on this list. Ark was a wonderful band that escaped the attention of most fans but critics loved for very good reason. Dave Kelly was an integral part of Ark and his songwriting prowess shows on this solo debut. Fans of British pop will love it immediately with a Beatlesque quality and an overall sound comparable to Alwyn Wall and Cliff Richard. Very catchy hooks and memorable melodies from start to finish and a message that was upfront but without a “preachy” quality to it. The albums closer is worth a mention here. A Scottish inspired acoustic number with violin and bagpipes accentuate a story of kings and dragons and knights in a castle. Lyrically sounding like something Kemper Crabb may have written, but musically closer to Van Morrison. All the imagery points to the redemptive work of Christ. Anyone even remotely interested in the early days of CCM in England and the influence of the birth of a more legitimate musical expression in the states should try and obtain a copy of this great album.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – King of Love 02:39
2 – God Knows 03:46
3 – Tonight 02:25
4 – Turn Your Back 02:49
5 – Dead Or Alive 02:13
6 – Trouble 02:49
7 – Love Night and Day 01:56
8 – Supernatural Man 02:21
9 – Sandy 02:19
10 – Ballad of J.C. 02:32

Background Vocals – Mary Russell, Mona Lisa Young
Bagpipes – Alex McGilvery
Bass – Dennis Belfield
Drums – Jim Keltner
Harmony Vocals – Jim Seatter
Lead Guitar – Billy Joe Walker
Lead Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitar – Dave Kelly
Organ, Piano, Background Vocals – Terry Young
Penny Whistle, Fiddle – Stewart Hamilton
Prophet Synthesizer – Dale Ocherman

John Fowler & Harpoon – Live – 1980

This is one of the real rule breakers. A glorified EP and live album to boot. But given that it is the only distributed output from the band, and it is so exceptional, there was no way to leave it off the list. It is also one those very rare 10 inch vinyl releases. Fowler practiced one day with the band (as he was going to just perform solo) and then recorded live at a Calvary Chapel concert night. Fowler, though, has had a very good career as a songwriter with songs having been recorded by Martina McBride, Bob Bennett, Cindy Cruse, Dion and others. This is blues! Straight ahead honking freakin’ blues! Fowler and his band possess, hands down, the best blues guitar work I have ever heard on a Christian album, albeit six songs may not be a large enough sample size. He also plays a mean harmonica. Fans of Larry Howard, Glenn Kaiser and definitely Ed Raetzloff will have much here to enjoy. I remember seeing them once at a Calvary Chapel concert and, who knows, that could be where this was recorded. I really very limited information on the group and google searches only bring up a few short reviews with limited information. The placement is based solely on the amazing musicianship, great songwriting, smoking hot vocals and sheer rocking passion. Fowler has commented on the original countdown blog. As a traditional rock and blues project the point here is not the lyrical content as most of the songs are simple blues fair with repetitive lines and big hooks in the choruses. It’s about the blues. Does it feel real? Fans of Bad Company, Eric Clapton and the previously mentioned Ed Raetzloff will love this.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – B.C. Blues – 3:42
2 – You Only Go Round Once – 3:26
3 – 51st Street Blues – 5:06
4 – Lookin’ Back – 3:03
5 – Faithful – 6:43
6 – Liar! – 3:37

Producer – Michael Aguilar, Thom Roy

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Lightworks Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Lightworks Records
Copyright © – Lightworks Records