Brush Arbor – Hero – 1981

A quick confession right off the bat. I had no idea Bruch Arbor existed in the 80’s. I don’t know how this is even possible as they were relatively huge. Sure their sound was not what we really liked but we had lots of albums from artists that weren’t really our style. So how did they slip past us? I have no idea. I guess it was just a product of growing up in a small town with one Christian music store so we got what we got. Anyway this is their album for 1981. It’s mainly easy listening with hints of country. All in all a pretty good album.

1 – Only For The Love Of The Lord – 2:42
2 – Come Back Home – 3:56
3 – Witness – 2:36
4 – All I Want To Be – 3:08
5 – Hero – 2:10
6 – Hey There Stranger – 3:42
7 – Running – 3:07
8 – Trust In The Lord – 1:58
9 – God Is Good – 2:58
10 – St. Peter – 2:19
11 – Rescue Me – 3:10

Acoustic Bass – David Rose
Arranged By – Brush Arbor, John D’Andrea
Art Direction – Paul Gross
Banjo – Jim Rice
Bass Guitar – David Rose
Design Concept – Bill Lightner
Drums – Kevin Watkins
Engineer – Carmine Rubino
Engineer [Assistant] – Jim Crosby
Guitar – Jim Rice, Joe Rice
Lead Guitar – Dale Cooper
Lead Vocals – Jim Rice, Joe Rice
Mandolin – Joe Rice
Mastered By – Bill Lightner
Percussion – Kevin Watkins
Photography By – Lisa Diamond, Phil Fewsmith
Producer – Michael Lloyd
Sleeve – Dennis Hill
Vocals – Dale Cooper, David Rose, Kevin Watkins

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Myrrh Records
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △25044
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Dayspring Music
Published By – John T. Benson Pub. Co.
Published By – House Of Hits
Published By – Happiedayle Music
Published By – Warner-Tamerlane

Heirborn – Undercover Christian – 1981

This is the second album from a band hat I never heard of. Yes there are lots of bands I never heard of but these guys albums were released on Canadian label “New Born Records” sister label to Tunesmith. I thought my group of friends and I had every release by them but we sure didn’t have either of these guys albums. Anyway all that aside I can’t find any info on this band other than they were out of the Spokane WA area. That’s it, that’s all I got. The album is a pretty good 70’s sound and is well worth a listen if that’s your preferred genre. Sorry but that’s all I have for this one.

1 – One Way Road – 3:00
2 – Born To Fly – 4:20
3 – You Shall Be Saved – 3:00
4 – Falling – 3:15
5 – The King and the Lion – 4:58
6 – Undercover Christian – 4:15
7 – Love Won’t Stop – 5:40
8 – Down On Your Knees – 4:44
9 – Psalm 151 (Instrumental) – 2:56
10 – Through My Tears – 2:28

Passage – Passage – 1981

This album was an interesting story. Louis Johnson was a member of Brothers Johnson and he decided to do a solo album, kind of. I say kind of because he actually did vocals for 4 tracks, his wife Valerie did vocals for 3 tracks, and Richard Heath did lead vocals for 2 tracks. Louis was under contract with A&M records so this is one of those rare moments when A&M released a gospel album. Strangely Impact records also had a release of this album. I’d love to hear the story on how that came about. The album single “Open Up Your Heart” made it to #13 which is pretty good for a soul track in 1981. This is a top notch soul album by a genre king that you should listen to if you like your music with a little soul.

1 – Have You Heard The Word – 4:34
2 – You Can’t Be Livin’ – 4:55
3 – Faith Walking People – 3:39
4 – I See The Light – 4:36
5 – The Great Flood – 3:42
6 – Open Up Your Heart – 3:55
7 – Power – 4:11
8 – Love Eyes – 3:37
9 – The Son Will Come Again – 4:03

Acoustic Guitar – Louis Johnson
Arranged By [Horns] – David Diggs, Louis Johnson
Arranged By [Strings] – David Diggs, Gerald Lee, Louis Johnson
Backing Vocals – Louis Johnson, Richard Heath, Valerie Johnson
Bass – Louis Johnson
Drums – John Robinson, Ricky Lawson
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Louis Johnson
Engineer, Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Flute – Michael Perkins
Guitar – Curtis Nolen, David Williams, Greg Moore, Louis Johnson
Keyboards – David Wolinski, Louis Johnson, Raymond Crossley, Rene Moore
Lead Vocals – Louis Johnson, Richard Heath, Valerie Johnson
Percussion – Richard Heath
Piano [Acoustic] – David Wolinski, Raymond Crossley
Producer – Louis Johnson
Saxophone [Solo] – Michael Perkins
Steel Guitar – Al Perkins
Synthesizer [Bass] – Louis Johnson
Vocals – Louis Johnson, Richard Heath, Valerie Johnson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright © – A&M Records, Inc.
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

NewSong – More Than Music – 1981

If you’re a fan of the current or recent offerings from NewSong you might be surprised by this album. This was their first album but it wasn’t on a label. Instead they actually self released it. It is almost all covers so there is no way a record company would have even touched it. The band was founded at Morningside Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia and I am guessing they never knew what they would become. Like I said this album is almost entirely covers and it is rather obvious they were going for that Imperials sound and feel. This album is a bit of a contrast from their later stuff but it’s nice to hear where it all started for them.

1 – I Will Glory In The Cross – 3:46
2 – Oh Buddah – 3:05
3 – Something Right – 2:18
4 – God’s Way – 3:41
5 – Swing Low/Swing Down Chariot – 2:41
6 – Rise Again – 3:28
7 – Questions – 3:26
8 – You Are My Everything – 3:18
9 – No Shortage – 3:10
10 – Your First Day In Heaven – 1:24

David Baroni – From The Heart – 1981

This is the first album form David Baroni. I didn’t hear of him in the 80’s so this is my first exposure to him. He actually had 11 albums so I’m kind of surprised I hadn’t at least heard of him. His style is not my preferred genre so I’m not surprised I hadn’t listened to him but I should have at least heard of him. His albums were on relatively small labels so I guess that could be the reason. As for this album it appears it was initially released on Gary Paxton’s own label but then appears to have been picked up by LifeStream Records which was a division of Calvary Records. Anyway that’s the history of the album ad as for the album it is a very Easy Listening effort but is pretty well done. The one upbeat track “Mr. Money” actually isn’t too bad and quite frankly I would have loved to hear Stonehill cover it. The album did have a charting single, “We Need To Meet Them There” made it to #24.

1 – From The Heart – 3:42
2 – Are You Reachin’ Out – 3:23
3 – It Won’t Be Long (‘Til We’re Home) – 4:40
4 – Soldier Of The Light – 3:59
5 – The Man You Thought You Already Knew – 4:39
6 – Port In The Ragin’ Storm – 3:25
7 – We Need To Meet Them There – 4:27
8 – At Your Door Knockin’ – 4:25
9 – Mr. Money – 3:14
10 – The Light That’s Always Burning – 5:08

Arranged By – David Baroni, Gary Paxton
Art Direction, Layout – Smokehouse Studio
Engineer – Bob Whyley, Gary Paxton, Gene Rice, John Erickson, Mike Poston
Photography By – Dill Beaty
Producer – Gary Sanford Paxton
Written-By – David P. Baroni

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Parkerson Productions
Copyright © – Parkerson Productions
Published By – Gary S. Paxton Publications, Inc.
Recorded At – Waxworks Recording Studio
Lacquer Cut At – Masterfonics

Daybreak – And Comes A Time – 1981

Here’s another 70’s band I can’t really find much info on. They were out of Hollywood PA and actually recorded 5 albums including this one. This was their last album and was not on a label. They are a very high quality 70’s band and I am again mystified by the lack of info about some bands from this era. It looks like they had a good run through the 70’s and even had a CCM single in 1979. But I think the title of this album summed up what they were feeling as they slipped out of the industry. As far as a favourite track goes it’s hands down “Lead On” which is a great 70’s rock tune that I wish I had heard back in 1981.

1 – Lead On – 3:57
2 – Jonathan – 4:15
3 – Pavilion – 5:45
4 – Feelings – 4:10
5 – Fear Not – 3:20
6 – Wrapped Up Tight – 3:45
7 – Because It’s True – 5:40
8 – And Comes A Time – 5:10

Bass, Vocals – Don Swartzentruber
Drums – Fred Miller
Engineer – Don Horst
Guitar, Vocals – Steve Walker
Horns – Mike Crotty
Keyboards, Vibraphone [Vibes], Vocals – Mark Adamy
Producer – Daybreak

Companies, etc.
Published By – Daybreak Inc.
Published By – Between The Lines Music
Recorded At – Atlantic Sound Productions
Mixed At – Atlantic Sound Productions

David Edwards – David Edwards – 1981

From the outset it should be duly noted that this is my all time favorite album…ever! And now that the disclaimer has been provided let’s get on with the review. Before DA sounded the Alarma. Before Taylor built a Clone. Before the Choir, Lifesavers, Altar Boys or Undercover. There always has to be a first. And most often, the first is either soon forgotten or remains unknown for decades. This happens more often in Christian music because an artist is not only breaking down musical barriers, but spiritual and self-righteous one as well. If there was a Top 50 “Albums You Should Own, But Probably Don’t” this one would top the list. David Edwards’ self-title debut topped Campus Life Magazine as one of the best releases of the year at a time when Christian music was dominated by Amy Grant, Evie and the Sweet Comfort Band. Then along comes this little album on Myrrh Records with a pink rising sun backdrop and a guy wearing a loosened thin tie, looking either quite tired or possibly stoned. I was a Freshman in High school when the album came out and it was life changing. I wasn’t familiar with David Edwards’ history in Christian music at the time as I later discovered he played bass for J.C. Power Outlet and was friends with Keith Green, Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill. All i knew was that he looked pretty cool on the cover and Campus Life Magazine compared him to Elvis Costello. I bought the album as soon as I found a Christian Bookstore that was willing to carry it. I ended working at that same store a couple of years later. After listening to the first song I lifted the needle of the record and put in a tape to record it as I knew right away I would want to listen to this album everywhere I went. Three years later after the release of his follow-up album, “Get the Picture” I wrote a letter to him and told what an impact his first album had on me and that his lyrics had encouraged me to start publishing my poems and I sent a few of them along in the letter. Not only did he respond but began an occasional correspondence that continued for some time. Later that same year he performed at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa during one of their famous Saturday Night Concerts. I went up afterward and introduced myself and he in turned introduced me to the rest of his band who he had mentioned my letters to. I was overwhelmed. My wife and I even went to visit him in upper state New York several years ago on his farm and introduced me to a great recipe for scrambled eggs that remains a favorite in our household.

Contributor – David Lowman

1 – Best Friend – 2:13
2 – Rather Be Wrong – 2:26
3 – Commercial Suicide – 4:26
4 – Nagging Optimism – 2:39
5 – Hollywood High – 2:54
6 – The Getaway – 3:36
7 – Kicks – 2:44
8 – Disposable Love – 2:25
9 – The Tongue Is A Fire – 3:25
10 – Don’t Ever Say – 3:18
11 – Not Going To Fall Away – 3:11
12 – Song Of Wholeness – 3:24

Art Direction – Art Hotel, Leo McIntire
Drums – Craig Krampf
Electric Bass – Eric Nelson
Electric Guitar – Dan Jacob
Electric Guitar, Sitar [Electric] – Ira Ingber
Layout [Inner Sleeve], Design – Dennis Hill
Organ [Hammond & Vox] – Dave Garland
Piano, Synthesizer, Arranged By – Barry Kaye
Producer – Buddy King
Recorded By, Mixed By – Bill Bottrell, David Marquette, Mitch Gibson
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Arranged By – David Edwards

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Pure Joy Productions
Recorded At – Soundcastle
Mixed At – Soundcastle

Fletch Wiley – Nightwatch – 1981

I knew Fletch better as a producer than a performer. In fact I had no idea he had even released any albums until I stumbled on this one. While I absolutely love his work as a producer I’m not so excited with his performer role. It’s not that this album is bad it’s just that it’s not that good. I have seen this quite a few times when a producer tries to release their own album. That said the album is a little more easy listening than the cover would imply though the trumpet should have gave it away. The album has covers of both “Are You Ready?” by Pacific Gas & Electric and People Get Ready by The Impressions/Curtis Mayfield. Both covers are okay but nothing special. Of course after Darrell Mansfield covered People Get Ready all other covers pale in comparison.

1 – Fiesta – 6:30
2 – Are You Ready – 3:53
3 – Started Right – 4:01
4 – I Am That I Am – 3:51
5 – Nightwatch – 6:14
6 – People Get Ready – 4:30
7 – Joy Dance – 4:31
8 – On My Way Home – 5:53

Backing Vocals – Andrae Crouch, Charity McCrary, Howard McCrary, Linda McCrary, The McCrary’s
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Drums – Bill Maxwell
Engineer – Brian Tankersley
Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Flute, Clavinet – Fletch Wiley
Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith, Jerry McPherson
Keyboards – Harlan Rogers, Larry Muhoberac
Mastered By – Greg Calbi
Mixed By – Brian Tankersley, Fletch Wiley
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Producer, Arranged By – Fletch Wiley
Synthesizer – Paul Mills

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Star Song Records
Record Company – Jubilee Communications, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records

Steve Camp – For Every Man – 1981

This is Steve’s 3rd album. It is a little more uptempo than his previous release but for the main part follows right along with his previous work. It contains one of Steve’s best known songs, “Run to the Battle”. Keith Thomas wrote or co wrote several tracks and you can hear his heavy influence on the album. I going to have to classify this album as “also came out in 1981” but really it deserves more recognition than that as it is a pretty good album.

1 – Jesus On Our Side – 3:25
2 – Gimme What It Takes – 3:29
3 – Farther And Higher – 3:16
4 – Jesus Drawing Me – 4:12
5 – The Net Of Peter – 4:10
6 – Thank You – 3:25
7 – The Only Story (Written In My Life) – 2:36
8 – You Just Talk To Me – 3:40
9 – Run To The Battle – 3:46
10 – Back In The Furnace – 4:48
11 – For Every Man – 1:20

Richard Achor – Engineer
Joane Anderson – Background Vocals
John Bolt – Engineer
Steve Camp – Songwriter, Acoustic Guitar, Acoustic Piano, Lead and Background Vocals
Danny Carden – Handclaps
Doana Cooper – Background Vocals
Diana DeWitt Hanna – Background Vocals
Steve Dokken – Bass
Jerry Evans – Handclaps
Carol Frazier – Songwriter
Rob Frazier – Songwriter
Sonny Garrish – Steel Guitar
Jon Goin – Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Randy Hammel – Synthesizer
Mark Hammond – Drums
Ben Harris – Engineer
Don Hart – String Arranger
Randy Holland – Engineer
Russ Hollingsworth – Songwriter
Neal Joseph – Executive Producer
Paul Libman – Horn Arranger
Kenny Malone – Drums
Howard McCrary – Songwriter, Wurlitzer, Acoustic Piano, Fender Rhodes, Synthesizer, Organ, Background Vocals
Terry McMillan – Percussion
Hank Neuberger – Co-Producer, Engineer, Songwriter
Larry Paxton – Bass
Gary Pigg – Background Vocals
Denis Solee – Flutes, Saxophone
Russ Taff – Duet and Background Vocals
Diane Thiel – Background Vocals
Kevin Thiel – Background Vocals
Denise Thomas – Songwriter, Handclaps
Keith Thomas – Producer, Songwriter, Fender Rhodes, Acoustic Piano, Handclaps, Background Vocals
D. Bergen White – String Arranger
Hank Williams – Mastered
Bob Wray – Bass

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – GroundStar Laboratories
Remixed At – Chicago Recording Company
Recorded At – Lower Level Studio
Recorded At – The Gold Mine, Brentwood, TN
Recorded At – Pinebrook Recording Studio
Mastered At – Woodland Mastering
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

Gabriel – Rescued – 1981

Gabriel is Robin Lyle and Jeff Walter. I actually can’t find much info on them which I find odd as they actually had 4 albums. This particular album was self released which I also find odd as it is easily good enough to have been picked up by a label. Tim Sheppard produced the album and did a really good job. The album cover isn’t exactly indicative of the album but I will give them a break as it was self released. It had a nice late 70’s pop feel and I quite enjoyed it though it does lean to easy listening on several tracks. Anyway, if you missed this one in 1981, and I’m guessing you did, give it a listen, it’s actually a pretty good album.

1 – You Rescued Me – 3:45
2 – Alive For A Purpose – 3:40
3 – A Heart That’s True – 3:50
4 – All Like Sheep – 5:00
5 – Now I Can Fly – 3:20
6 – I Found A Friend – 3:40
7 – Alone Tonight – 5:00
8 – Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful – 3:55
9 – How Much Longer – 4:15

Rohn Bailey – Background Vocals
Bud Guin – Guitar
Robin Lyle – Songwriter, Vocals
Ruby Lyle – Songwriter
Jerry McPherson – Guitar
Bob Peeples – Engineer
Jake Pittman – Associate Producer, Engineer, Bass, Background Vocals
Smitty Price – Piano, Synthesizer
Tim Sheppard – Producer, Engineer, Piano, Organ, Background Vocals
Brad Smith – Drums, Percussion
Bill Tillman – Soprano Sax, Flute
Jeff Walter – Songwriter, Vocals
Hank Williams – Mastered