Tom Howard – Danger In Loving You – 1981

Tom Howard was another one of the Solid Rock posse that circled around Larry Norman throughout the 1970s. This 1981 release was on NewPax records, produced by Terry Taylor of DA, after his debut on Solid Rock with Larry. Danger In Loving You has some strong rock songs and also a lot of the softer side that Tom became known for in his career. “Power Play” is radio single material, while “This Quiet Place” is a song that lives up to its name. “The Serious Occupation of Fish” is a quirky tune that uses humour to get at a profound point. Randy Stonehill also makes an appearance on this album. He’s uncredited, but you can hear his voice come out of the background vocals in places.

1 – Horizon – 2:35
2 – Shine Your Light – 3:35
3 – House Of The Father – 3:32
4 – Passing In The Night – 4:24
5 – Run The Race – 4:30
6 – This Quiet Place – 3:24
7 – Strong Love – 4:15
8 – The Serious Occupation Of Fish – 3:15
9 – Power Play – 2:54
10 – Danger In Loving You – 4:40

Art Direction – Ronald Thomas
Backing Vocals – Bill Batstone, Dori Lynn Howard, Elsa Harris, Gerry Limpic, Jerry Chamberlain, Jessy Dixon, Linda McCreary, Randy Stonehill, Sam Allen, Terry Taylor, Tom Howard
Bass [Alembic Five-string Base] – Flim Johnson
Drums – Bill Berg
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Wayne Johnson
Engineer – Thom Roy
Lacquer Cut By – Wally
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Percussion [Percussive Embellishments] – Bruce Brown
Photography By [Black and White] – D.C. Riggott, Kim Halliday
Photography By [Color] – Marlene Nelson Millican
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synthesizer [Oberheim Polyphonic; Moog], Lead Vocals – Tom Howard
Producer – Terry Taylor, Tom Howard
Saxophone, Oboe – Jon Clarke
Typography, Design – Kim Halliday
Written-By, Arranged By – Tom Howard

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Rebel Base Productions
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
Pressed By – PRC Recording Company, Richmond, IN
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Copyright (c) – NewPax Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – NewPax Records
Copyright (c) – Tongsongs Music
Copyright (c) – Lifesong Music Press
Copyright (c) – Joyful Road Music
Published By – Tongsongs Music
Published By – Lifesong Music Press
Published By – Joyful Road Music
Published By – The New Benson Music Company, Inc.

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back
Insert Front
Insert Back
Side 1
Side 2

Leviticus – Stå Och Titta På – 1982

Leviticus formed in 1981 when brothers Kjell and Håkan Andersson came together with Björn Stigsson. In 1982 they released this 4 song EP as their first offering. It was recorded entirely in Swedish and was only released in Sweden. It is comprised of strong keyboard oriented heavy metal. Björn’s guitar is very strong and aside from the production quality the band was album ready at this point and in fact recorded their first album very quickly after this release. Luckily the EP was re-released as part of the 2000 “The Strongest Power” CD release. This is where it started for Leviticus and you can hear that they were a strong band right from their start.

1 – Stå Och Titta På – 5:13
2 – Följ Mig – 4:05
3 – Leva Som Han Lär – 4:24
4 – Min Mästare – 7:31

Drums, Percussion – Kjell Andersson
Engineer – Thomas Gertz
Guitar, Vocals, Lyrics By, Music By, Guitar Synthesizer – Björn Stigsson
Illustration, Design – Inge Vidare
Photography By – Lars Lindgren
Producer – Leviticus
Synthesizer [Moog Taurus], Vocals, Bass – Håkan Andersson

Companies, etc.
Printed By – SIB-Tryck, Tumba
Recorded At – Studio Bastun
Distributed By – Gummessons

Freeway – Freeway – 1981

I was unable to find any information on this band. This album was released on the obscure Canadian Label, “New Born Records”, which was a sister label to Tunesmith Records. Though this album was only released in Canada I actually suspect the band was from California as it was recorded and mixed at Studio Masters Recording Studios in West Hollywood California. It was actually Engineered by Tim Jaquette who worked with several well known CCM artists. But that’s all I can find and none of the members appear to have worked on any other projects. Anyway let’s talk about the album. It’s a strong Funk/Jazz album with a style that wasn’t very common in the industry. It’s actually well done and this style did have a market so it’s too bad we didn’t get any more from them. So if you like your CCM with some funk this one is for you.

1 – Freeway – 4:52
2 – Help Me Make It Through – 2:20
3 – It’s So Dark – 3:40
4 – Living Crazy – 2:55
5 – Change Your Ways – 4:40
6 – Child Of The King – 4:45
7 – You Can Be So Happy – 3:05
8 – I Need Your Love – 3:38
9 – Are You Gonna Worry? – 3:30
10 – I Need To Know – 3:22

Arranged By [Strings] – Larry Rench
Engineer, Mixed By – Tim Jacquette*
Musician – Brian Houston (2), Don Dial, Mary Maybee, Paul Maybee, Ricky Washington*, Sam Mazzola
Producer, Written-By, Arranged By [Horns] – Artie Dison

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Soundhouse Studios
Mixed At – Soundhouse Studios
Published By – Noteworthy Pub. Co.

Isaac Air Freight – Snooze Ya Looze – 1981

This is the 4th sketch comedy album from Isaac Air Freight also known as Dan Rupple, Dave Toole, and Larry Watt. These albums were a lot of fun to listen to, and hearing the jokes again, and the great comedic performances is a great trip down memory lane. Still fun to listen to now.

1 – People Say The Darndest Things – 6:20
2 – Leave It To The Squirrellie – 11:43
3 – Time Wasters Looks At TV – 5:37
4 – Pilgrim Race – 4:15
5 – Spec’s O’Keefe In The Case Of The Missing First Love – 18:21

Cover – David Schiedt, Tom Obbema
Engineer – David Schober
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Mixed By – David Schober
Photography By – Tom Obbema
Producer – Dan Rupple, Dave Toole
Technician [Sound Technician] – Tom Obbema
Written by – Dan Rupple, Dave Toole, Larry Watt

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Maranatha! Music
Copyright (c) – Maranatha! Music
Published By – Maranatha! Music
Mastered At – A&M Mastering Studios

Dion – Only Jesus – 1981

This was Dion’s 3rd Christian album. It followed pretty closely in the path of the first two but did concentrate more on the teachings of Christ rather than the misgivings of his own personal life. There really isn’t much more to say about the album. I do not mean this to be disrespectful but let’s face it, most Dion albums sound similar and are rinse and repeat. Now I’m not saying it’s a dull album, in fact it’s a good album as were all of Dion’s albums in my opinion.

1 – Hearts Made Of Stone – 3:58
2 – The Best – 3:29
3 – Sweet Love Of Jesus – 4:18
4 – It’s Gonna Rain – 3:35
5 – Only Jesus – 4:30
6 – Train For Glory – 3:32
7 – Thank You Lord – 3:07
8 – Sailing Ahead Of The Wind – 4:51
9 – Puttin’ On My Crown – 3:29
10 – Greater Is He – 4:12

Alto Saxophone – Jeff Kirk
Arranged By – Dion DiMucci (tracks: A4)
Artwork By – Rick Garcia
Backing Vocals – John Sambataro, Kitty Woodson
Bass – Jeff Caswell
Co-producer, Keyboards, Harp – Paul Harris
Co-producer, Recorded By, Engineer – Eric Schilling
Congas – Santos
Design – Jim Osborn
Drums, Percussion – Joe Galdo
Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals – Tony Battaglia
Engineer – George Gomez
Lead Guitar – George Gomez (tracks: A1)
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Alan Messer
Producer, Arranged By, Acoustic Guitar – Dion DiMucci
Synthesizer – Reed Arvin, Ron Taylor
Tenor Saxophone – Charles Chalmers
Written-By – Bill Tuohy (tracks: A1), Dan Beck (tracks: B5), Dion DiMucci (tracks: A1, B2, B3, B5), John Fowler (tracks: A2), John Hanley (tracks: A5), Bob Smith (tracks: A3, B1, B4)

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bayshore Recording Studios
Mixed At – Bayshore Recording Studios

Randy Matthews – Plugged In – 1981

This 1981 offering from Randy showcases his ability to stay relevant in the 80’s. Randy was an artist throughout the 70’s releasing 8 albums. This is his second album in the 80’s and his style was evolving without doing anything that would qualify him as a sellout. I compared his previous album as having a Joe Cocker sound and Scott commented that it also had a Bob Seger feel. This album has a strong Seger sound with a lot less of a Cocker sound. All in all an excellent album and if you can only listen to one song on the album I suggest the title track Plugged In. Point of trivia, Steve Scruggs engineered this album and his brother Randy played guitar on the album. They were the sons of the legendary Earl Scruggs.

Track Listing:
1 – Plugged In – 3:42
2 – Ball & Chain – 3:50
3 – Can’t They See – 3:51
4 – Sooner Or Later – 3:21
5 – Hold Fast, Hold Tight – 4:04
6 – Over & Over – 2:43
7 – Prodigal Son – 3:13
8 – Loud Shroud – 3:44
9 – White Boat – 4:10
10 – Praise These Days – 3:41

Acoustic Guitar – Randy Matthews
Backing Vocals – Bonnie D. Hatcher, Francine Belcher, Gary Scruggs, Kimberly D. Fleming
Bass, Backing Vocals – David McCaskell
Drums, Backing Vocals – Louie Weaver
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Randy Scruggs
Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals – Allen Holmes
Engineer – Steve Scruggs
Engineer, Mixed By – Tom Semmes
Executive Producer – Kent Washburn
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Gene Sisk
Producer – John Thompson

Amy Grant – In Concert Volume Two – 1981

This was the second of 2 albums featuring Amy Grant in concert released in 1981. It was recorded at Mabee Hall in Tulsa Oklahoma and Lloyd Noble Center in Norman Oklahoma. It featured four “new” songs: “I’m Gonna Fly”, “You Gave Me Love” which was a cover of a BJ Thomas song, “Fill Me With Your Love”, and “Nobody Loves Me Like You” which was a song by DeGarmo & Key and featured DeGarmo & Key. Wikipedia states “Although the two should have been issued as a double album, budget problems forced the two to be released separately.” This is absurd, there was no shortage of money at Myrrh and A&M for their gold mine performer so I’d love to hear the real reason.

1 – I’m Gonna Fly – 4:11
2 – Too Late – 4:41
3 – So Glad – 4:23
4 – You Gave Me Love – 3:17
5 – Fill Me With Your Love – 2:44
6 – What A Difference You’ve Made – 2:33
7 – If I Have To Die – 3:31
8 – That’s The Day – 3:29
9 – Look What Has Happened To Me – 3:12
10 – Keep It On Going – 1:03
11 – Nobody Loves Me Like You Do – 3:26

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Billy Sprague
Backing Vocals – Dave Durham, Gary Pigg, Jan Harris, Teresa Ellis
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Gregg Morrow
Electric Guitar, Vocals – Dana Key
Engineer [Recording and Mix Engineer] – Jack Joseph Puig
Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Mike Blanton
Keyboards – Eddie DeGarmo
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Glen Wexler
Producer – Brown Bannister
Recorded By [Mobile Recording] – Malcolm Harper
Remastered By – Steve Hall
Synthesizer [Oberheim] – Gerry Peters

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Amy Grant Productions
Copyright (c) – Amy Grant Productions
Licensed To – Sparrow Records
Distributed By – EMI CMG Distribution
Recorded At – Mabee Center
Recorded At – Lloyd Noble Center, Norman
Remixed At – Mama Jo’s
Remastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Cinram, Richmond, IN

Tommy Coomes – Love Is The Key – 1981

No matter what happened after 1975 or so Tommy Coomes place in Christian music would be forever cemented as a result of his inclusion as a founding member of Love Song, possibly the most important band in Jesus Music. Tommy spent some time in the Army during the late 1960’s and upon returning began hanging around with an old friend named Fred Field and a few other young “hippies” looking for a positive future named Jay Truax and Chuck Girard. But even after Love Song’s relatively short tenure ended Tommy did not leave ministry or music behind him. He worked as an executive with Maranatha Music and recorded occasionally. One such solo recording is the subject of this post. Love is the Key is smart and smooth pop/jazz influenced record focusing on Tommy’s sweet and unique voice. A renowned band of who’s who is Southern California musicians (many members that would later form the jazz band Koinonia) including Hadley Hockensmith, Harlan Rogers, Darrell Cook and others. Other friends like former Love Song bandmates Church Girard, John Mehler and Jay Truax also joined the likes of Bob Bennett, Alex MacDougall, Michelle Pillar and Kelly Willard in support of the project. The top notch musicianship shows.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Love Is The Key – 4:04
2 – I Owe Everything To You – 3:37
3 – The Pleasure’s Mine – 4:08
4 – Hidden Treasure – 3:13
5 – Singing Our Praises To Jesus – 3:04
6 – Thinkin’ Of You – 4:07
7 – A Faithful Witness – 2:55
8 – He’s A Liar – 5:58
9 – Don’t Be Afraid (Just Walk With Him) – 4:57

Acoustic Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith (tracks: A4, B4), Tommy (tracks: A1, A5)
Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Gordon Goodwin (tracks: B2, B3)
Arranged By – Harlan Rogers (tracks: A4, B2-B4)
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Stan Endicott
Backing Vocals – Bili Thedford (tracks: A1, A3, B1-B3), Bob Bennett (3) (tracks: A2, B4), Chuck Girard (tracks: A5), Dona Thedford (tracks: A1), Harlan Rogers (tracks: A4, B4), Jay Truax (tracks: A5), Kelly Willard (tracks: A2, A4, B3, B4), Michele Pillar (tracks: A2, A4, B3, B4), Mortonette Jenkins (tracks: A3, B1-B3), Phyllis St. James (tracks: A3, B1-B3), Tommy (tracks: A2, A5), Vanetta Fields* (tracks: A1)
Baritone Saxophone – Gordon Goodwin (tracks: B2)
Bass – Darrell Cook (tracks: A1, A4, A5, B4), Jimmy Perez (tracks: A2, A3, B1-B3)
Design [Back Cover] – Milton Sue
Design [Front Cover] – Dennis Hill (6)
Drums – John Mehler (tracks: B1), Keith Edwards (tracks: A2, A3, B2, B3), Ron Tutt (tracks: A1, A4, A5, B4)
Electric Guitar – Tony Dean (tracks: A2, A3, B1-B3), Hadley Hockensmith (tracks: A1-A3, B1-B4)
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Harlan Rogers (tracks: A1-A3, B1, B3)
Electric Piano [Wurlitzer] – Harlan Rogers (tracks: B2)
Engineer – Chris Taylor (11), Jonathan Brown
Lead Vocals – Tommy
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Organ [“Soultown” B-3 Organ] – Harlan Rogers (tracks: B2)
Percussion – Alex MacDougall (tracks: A2, A3, B1-B3)
Photography By – Paul Ekon
Piano – Harlan Rogers (tracks: A4, B4)
Producer – Tommy Coomes
Producer, Arranged By [Horns] – Harlan Rogers
Saxophone – John Phillips (tracks: A3)
Synthesizer [Prophet 5 Synthesizer] – Harlan Rogers (tracks: B4), Rob Watson (tracks: A2, A3, B3)
Tenor Saxophone – John Phillips
Trombone – Val Johnson (tracks: B2, B3)
Trumpet – Darrell Gardner (tracks: B2, B3)
Written-By – Chuck Girard (tracks: A5), Tom Coomes

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Maranatha! Music
Copyright (c) – Maranatha! Music
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Mastered At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios

Amy Grant – In Concert – 1981

This was the first of 2 albums featuring Amy Grant in concert. It was recorded at Mabee Hall in Tulsa Oklahoma and Lloyd Noble Center in Norman Oklahoma. It featured two new songs from Grant, “Mimi’s House” and “Singing a Love Song”. Wikipedia states “Although the two should have been issued as a double album, budget problems forced the two to be released separately.” This is absurd, there was no shortage of money at Myrrh and A&M for their gold mine performer so I’d love to hear the real reason. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary. Point of trivia is that DeGarmo & Key are credited as being on the album.

1 – Medley – Beautiful Music , Giggle, Old Man’s Rubble, Never Give You Up – 9:31
2 – Mimi’s House – 3:26
3 – Father’s Eyes – 5:50
4 – Faith Walkin’ People – 3:56
5 – Walking Away With You – 4:38
6 – Mountain Top – 3:40
7 – All I Ever Have To Be – 3:16
8 – Singing A Love Song – 5:52
9 – Don’t Give Up On Me – 4:04

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Billy Sprague
Art Direction, Design – Michael Harris Design
Backing Vocals – Dave Durham, Gary Pigg, Jan Harris, Teresa Ellis
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Gregg Morrow
Electric Guitar, Vocals – Dana Key
Engineer [“Live Recording” Engineer] – Jack Puig
Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Mike Blanton
Keyboards – Ed DeGarmo
Mastered By – Glenn Meadows
Mixed By [Mix-Down Engineer] – Brown Bannister
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Wyatt Brown
Producer – Brown Bannister
Recorded By [Mobile Recording] – Malcolm Harper
Synthesizer [Oberheim] – Gerry Peters

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Mixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Mabee Center
Recorded At – Lloyd Noble Center, Norman
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Published By – Song Tailors Music
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Published By – Home Sweet Home Music
Published By – Meadowgreen Music, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

Benny Hester – Nobody Knows Me Like You – 1981

Benny Hester’s classic “Nobody Knows me Like You” is the very best Adult Contemporary pop album in the history of Christian Music! Hyperbole much? Nay! There will be other album that are classified as AC or pop higher on this list, but most of the albums were not really “current,” commercial vehicles. They appealed to a pop market, but were not actually purely pop music for the day. But NKMLY was in a class all by itself. All the while the CCM market was discovering they had a treasure in Benny Hester the artist, who, over the years, has not only delivered memorable songs, but actual classics that changed and shaped the CCM landscape. Most artists would be honoured to have one song that could be listed among the greatest in the history of the genre, while Hester has a handful! Long before he made a mockery of radio chart records with “When God Ran,” has had made a very potent career of not just brilliant hits, but overwhelming good albums within his genre. Borrowing liberally from the hit music makes of the late 70’s and early 80’s (Hall & Oates, Christopher Cross, Bee Gee’s, Elton John), Hester mastered his songwriting craft early and never slowed down. He was driven to be a recognized artist, all the while he was driven to express his faith in original and honest ways. Unlike the vast majority of his peers, Hester did not release an album every year like clockwork. Often there were a few years between releases and this gave him the opportunity to create great collections of well-written pop music. But no album would surpass his third (second CCM) album. With the album (and many albums like it) it is often the backstory that makes the album so intriguing and lasting. In the late 70’s Hester had record a series of songs and was getting nowhere with record labels. His debut (mainstream) release owns a tragic story and has become a collectors item of sorts. The label he was signed to folded and the warehouse holding the LP’s burned to the ground, destroying most known copies. Only a handful ever found there way into the hands of listeners. I am one those lucky few. Hester took those few songs and drove from Las Vegas to Canoga Park, CA and the then offices of Sparrow Records. Hester sat in the reception office until Bill Hearn (Sr.) finally agreed to meet with him. Hester played the songs for Hearn who signed him on the spot. Those songs and a few others were released as Hester’s “debut,” the self-titled Spirit Label release that was later knows as “Be a Receiver.” Soon after the release of the album, Hester found himself driving across the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. By the time he had crossed the bridge he had written the chorus to the song “Nobody Knows Me Like” without an instrument. He spent the rest of the day in San Francisco writing the song that he would forever attached to and that would make Hester one of the most popular CCM artists at the time. Hester went into the studio with a who’s who collection of musicians and emerged several months later with his classic. But the album took longer to get going because his new label (Myrrh) wanted Hester to work with producer, Michael Omartian. No one could blame Hester and the label for waiting to work with Omartian. But the time off also allowed Hester to fine tune his craft. It also gave the industry just enough time to forget who he was, and Hester and the label would have to start all over again and making Hester a known commodity.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Come Back – 4:14
2 – No Man’s Land – 4:13
3 – Rubber Canoe – 4:09
4 – Nobody Knows Me Like You – 4:44
5 – Step By Step – 4:53
6 – One More Time – 4:07
7 – Goodbye Salty – 4:39
8 – Real Change – 4:22
9 – You Loved Me – 4:04
10 – Christ The Solid Rock – 2:22

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Benny Hester
Art Direction – Dennis Hill
Artwork [Special Logo Design] – Tim Barela
Backing Vocals – Jeff Lams, Michael Omartian, Tommy Funderburk
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Congas – Bobby LaKind
Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Yvonne Garcia
Drums – Ron Tutt
Electric Guitar – Martin K. Walsh
Engineer [Second] – Ross Pallone, Steve Crimmel
Engineer, Remix – John Guess
Keyboards – Jeff Lams, Michael Omartian
Mastered By – Ken Perry
Photography By – Harry Langdon
Producer – Michael Omartian
Saxophone – Kim Hutchcroft

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Rhema Productions
Recorded At – Hollywood Sound Recorders
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.