There is not a lot to say about Phil Keaggy that hasn’t already been said. In fact, I can be pretty sure than nothing I say will be in any way enlightening to the reader. I can do no more than to simply repeat the previous accolades and find a way to recommend even more so the need to own as much Phil Keaggy as humanly possible, especially his 70’s and 80’s material which is just staggeringly impressive. Town to Town is separated from nearly all other Keaggy releases by the fact that it may be his most accessible and commercial. It contains more radio friendly and pop based structured than any other Keaggy recording outside of the “band” Sunday’s Child. The opening track is a great live favorite that tells the story of a one night reunion with his classic rock band, Glass Harp. This song, like many of Keaggy’s, suffer from the guitar solos being limited. The same is not the case for the following track, Full Circle. Here is a great example of how to create a pop rock song without shorting the guitar aficionado fans desire for Keaggy guitar solos. “What a Wonder You Are” featured vocal support from the queen of Christian duets, Michele Pillar, and ended up being the biggest hit from the album. The song broke molds in that was one of the first radio hits that was simply a love song without having to be a “wedding song.” Previously the only romantic songs were those specifically created for weddings. The album closes with one of Keaggy most popular and enduring songs, Let Everything Else Go. The beautiful song proves that stunning guitar work does not always have to be blistering guitar solos, but also soothing, atmospheric sounds created at the hands of a master. Here we find beautiful and haunting sounds that so create the musical canvas Keaggy’s Paul McCartney-like vocals can paint upon.
Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Wished You Were There – 3:01 2 – Full Circle – 4:15 3 – Life Love And You – 4:20 4 – Town To Town – 6:45 5 – What A Wonder You Are – 4:00 6 – In Between – 3:01 7 – Our Lives – 5:23 8 – Rise Up O Men Of God – 4:10 9 – Let Everything Else Go – 4:50
Credits Alex Acuña – Percussion Curt Bartlett – Guitar Bob Cotton – Engineer, Producer Jim DeLong – Drums, Percussion Eugene Friesen – Composer Leon Gaer – Bass, Bass (Electric), Guitar (Bass) Dean Hagen – Drums Paul Halley – Composer Bruce Hibbard – Vocals (Background) Lee Jones – Fretless Bass Bernadette Keaggy – Vocals Phil Keaggy – Bass, Composer, Guitar, Guitar (Bass), Primary Artist, Vocals Tom Keene – Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer Dan Murdock – Keyboards, Piano Michele Pillar – Vocals (Background) John Pooley – Engineer Denny Siegrist – Engineer Richard Souther – Synthesizer The Winans – Vocals (Background) Pete York – Vocals (Background)
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sparrow Records, Inc. Printed By – Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd.
This was Evie’s album for 1981. She generally put out an album every year which unfortunately, in my opinion, diluted the quality of her albums. This album was pretty well received and some even called it innovative though honestly I don’t hear anything different than her earlier albums. The album had one single on the CCM charts. “How I Love You Lord” made it to #9 with a very strong 27 weeks on the chart. A quick skim through the studio musicians doesn’t reveal any interesting names except for Al Perkins who I think was on every studio musician album in the 80’s.
Tracklist 1 – How I Love You Lord – 3:45 2 – Bind Us Together – 3:20 3 – The Cross Where Jesus Gave His Life – 3:40 4 – Be Still – 4:10 5 – I Love My Jesus – 3:30 6 – Unfailing Love – 5:50 7 – A Picture Of You – 3:50 8 – All The Glory – 3:30 9 – You Gave A Song – 3:10 10 – The Lord’s Prayer – 3:40
Credits Arranged By [String Arrangements], Conductor – Stan Endicott Backing Vocals – Evie Bass – Darrel Cook Design [Cover Design] – Finn Tornquist Drums – Keith Edwards Engineer – Chris Taylor Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith Keyboards – Harlan Rogers (tracks: A1, A2, A3, A5, B2 To B5) Keyboards [Extras], Guitar [Extras], Mandolin [Extras], Synthesizer [Extras], Producer, Arranged By, Backing Vocals – Pelle Karlsson Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Kelly Willard (tracks: A4) Photography By – Allwil, Dannsted Steel Guitar – Al Perkins
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc. Copyright (c) – Word, Inc. Produced For – White Field Music Recorded At – Whitefield Studios Mixed At – Whitefield Studios Manufactured By – Prim
Vancouver Canada’s Salmond & Mulder are joined by Faye Mulder and Gayle Chambers for their third album. Full disclaimer they themselves describe this album as follows. “It is basically a worship album, focusing on wholeness in Christ and the struggle to hold that truth preeminent in our lives”. They achieve this outshout even vaguely venturing into even a hint of Rock & Roll. In all fairness that description is on the back of the album so hopefully you caught it before buying this album and expecting like their last album. I’m not saying this is a bad album in fact it’s pretty good but it is a worship album and not consistent with their previous work.
1 – Growing Richer – 3:07
2 – Looking At The Sun – 2:50
3 – Never Doubt – 1:32
4 – Father I Know – 4:18
5 – Hoping And Coping – 4:42
6 – Imnunurnmi – 2:52
7 – Give Me The Courage – 3:35
8 – Moving On – 4:55
9 – You Are My Wholeness – 2:55
10 – May The God And Father – 1:15
11 – You Are The Lord – 1:48
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Image VII Records Inc.
Copyright (c) – Image VII Records Inc.
Published By – Image VII Music
Servant turned it up a notch for their second album, Rockin Revival. Bob Rock returned to engineer the second album and gave it a much more refined sound. The album bounced around with a few different styles, but they all came together and were placed in a logical order on the album. The album finished off with what I believe would have been the single, “I’m Gonna Live”. That said my favourite track is “Suburban Josephine, a fun 50’s feeling track. Point of trivia is that the song, Jealousies, was a cover of an Eddie Money song and he is credited. This is such a good album it easily slides into a high position in my top 50 albums.
Bass – Rob Martens
Engineer – Bob Rock
Engineer [Assistant] – Mike Fraser
Lead Guitar – Bruce Wright
Lead Vocals – Bob Hardy, Sandie Brock
Organ [Hammond] – Matt Spransy
Percussion – Bob Hardy, Sandie Brock
Piano – Matt Spransy
Producer – Bob Brooks
Rhythm Guitar – Owen Brock
Synthesizer [Polymoog, Prophet 5, Oberheim Synthesisers] – Matt Spransy
Vocals – Owen Brock, Rob Martens
Record Company – Praise Industries Corp.
In 1981 Liberation Suite moved back to the United States. They carried with them a freshly recorded album from the UK Even though they were actually an American band they had been labelled as a European band. As a result they actually had a difficult time finding a label for this album. This is strange as Chapel Lane had released it in the UK. Finally they got Star Song to bite thankfully or we would have missed out on this album. This album has a bit of a Sweet Comfort Band sound to me but it is their own sound and I think perhaps the similarity was simply the changing sound of the period.
1 – Lay Your Sadness Down – 4:41
2 – Stride For Stride – 5:00
3 – Listen – 2:10
4 – How Do I Get To You – 3:59
5 – Heal The Broken Hearted – 4:19
6 – Somehow I´m Changing – 2:35
7 – All I Wanna Do – 4:25
8 – You Are Worthy – 6:03
9 – Where My Home Is – 4:37
10 – Song Of Heaven – 2:30
Art Direction, Design – Phil Thomson
Bass Guitar – Fred Perez
Drums – Randy Hill
Engineer – Paul Cobbold
Guitar – Barry Bynum, Jim Hazel
Keyboards – Barry Bynum, Jim Hazel
Lead Vocals – Barry Bynum, Howard Lyon
Photography By – Norbert Neetz, Phil Thomson
Producer – Roger Hand
Trombone – Howard Lyon
Vocals – Fred Perez, Jim Hazel, Randy Hill
Manufactured By – Star Song Records
Produced For – Chapel Lane Productions
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song Records
Copyright (c) – Star Song Records
Copyright (c) – StraightWay Music
Published By – StraightWay Music
Recorded At – Chapel Lane Studios
Hearts of Fire is the 4th studio releases from Sweet Comfort Band and the start of a new direction. While their previous release “Hold on Tight” had been met by many reviewers with a yawn Hearts of Fire was very well received. Vocals were pretty well taken over by Bryan Duncan who had a much better Rock & Roll voice than Randy Thomas. The album was more upbeat and had a more “80’s” feel and it was also a bit more cutting edge due to plenty of lyrics to a broader group of issues, something relatively rare for albums of this period. This album was a personal; favourite of mine in 1981 and I remember many hours cruising in cars listening to “Isabel”.
1 – Isabel – 4:08
2 – You Can Make It – 2:44
3 – They Just Go On – 3:34
4 – The Road – 3:49
5 – Feel Like Singin’ – 3:32
6 – Now Or Never – 3:33
7 – Can You Help Me? – 3:50
8 – Contender – 3:10
9 – Just Like Me – 2:47
10 – You Need A Reason – 3:16
Acoustic Guitar – Bob Bennett
Bass [Alembic] – Kevin Thomson
Concertmaster, Violin [Solo] – Doug Cameron
Design, Illustration – Kernie Erickson
Drums, Vocals – Rick Thomson
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Randy Thomas
Engineer [Assistant] – Bobby Gerber, Chip Orlando, Mike Wambsgangs
Mastered By – Mike Reese
Photography By [Inner Sleeve] – Alan Bergman
Piano, Keyboards [Prophet 5], Vocals – Bryan Duncan
Producer, Piano [Acoustic], Electric Piano [Rhodes], Keyboards [Prophet 5], Organ [Hammond], Percussion, Handclaps, Arranged By [String & Horn] – David Diggs
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Saxophone, Flute – David Boruff
Saxophone, Flute, Tenor Saxophone [Solos] – Jim Coile
Trombone – Alan Kaplan
Trumpet – Larry Hall, Ollie Mitchell
Copyright (c) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Studio 55, Los Angeles
Recorded At – Sound Labs, Hollywood
Recorded At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.
Before there was CCM New Wave there was David Edwards. His short pop songs with strong lyrics became a recipe for many other CCM bands though I don’t think many were able to recreate the lyrical quality of Edwards work. One of the things that struck me about this album is that most if not all the musicians on the album are completely unknown studio musicians. That makes the quality of the music even more surprising. David’s image on the album cover was a fashion statement for the time and might have heralded the impending leather tie revolution. This album is probably my favourite CCM album of all time and one that has stayed in my regular rotation for years now. Trivia point, “Kicks” is a cover of a song by “Paul Revere and the Raiders” done much better here.
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
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Pure Joy Productions
Recorded At – Soundcastle
Mixed At – Soundcastle
Mike gets on stage to bring some Christian humour. Though dated I still find this album quite humorous.
It should be noted that Warnke was revealed as a liar and fraudster in 1991 by Cornerstone magazine. This recording is offered as a historic record of what was being listened to in the Christian community in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Edited By – Brown Bannister
Liner Notes – Rose Warnke
Photography By – John Miller
Producer – Wes Yoder
Remix – Brown Bannister
This Stockport based UK band turned it up a bit (OK a lot) as far as CCM music went. This album features AC/DC style rifts with a dash of rockabilly and a pinch of punk. This was their first studio album though there is a demo out there somewhere. I’m fairly sure this album was not released in North America, though some may have bought imports. This is a band that would have done very well in North America and if you like basic Rock and Roll this is the album for you. Unfortunately Word brought in Norman Barratt, who had never produced an album, in to produce this one. His work was garbage in my opinion. I think he was trying to maintain the raw sound of the band but in the end it just sounds dirty to me. Great musicians, which he was, do not always make great producers. My favourite track is actually called Rock ‘n’ Roll though the Bon Scott cut is pretty darn good too.
1 – Back Seat Driver – 6:31
2 – Mid Morning Blues – 3:50
3 – Tight Rope – 4:17
4 – Rock ‘N’ Roll – 3:47
5 – Freedom – 5:05
6 – It’s No Good Trusting In Money – 4:17
7 – The Loner (Bon Scott) – 5:27
8 – To Be Someone – 4:20
Bass – Steve Harrison
Design – Phil Thomson
Drums, Vocals – Phil Wright
Engineer – Derek Murray
Guitar, Vocals – Charlie Wilson, Steve Wright
Management – John Taylor
Photography By [Cover] – Paul Whur
Producer – Norman Barratt
Recorded At – Smile Studios
Printed By – Garrod & Lofthouse
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word (UK) Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Word (UK) Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Word Music UK
Giantkiller were another excellent band out of the UK. This album did very well in the UK but was a rarity in US record collections. The album was released in the UK with the title “Whose Side You On?” and in the US it was titled “Valley Of Decision”. The sound of this album might be best described as Choir meets Malcolm and the Mirrors. Actually I can hear a lot of different bands on this album but really they had their own sound that deserves respect for what it is, unique. I had not heard this album in the 80’s but wish I had I would have really liked it.
1 – Living For Today – 3:45
2 – Hot Nor Cold – 2:57
3 – Power To Power – 3:16
4 – Into The Eighties – 6:28
5 – We Have Got To Get Together – 2:38
6 – No More Sin – 3:54
7 – Wounded Soldiers – 2:14
8 – Holocaust – 3:53
9 – Whos Side You On ? – 4:19
Bass, Backing Vocals – Alan Hiscox
Drums – Steve Purton
Engineer – Jimmy Hotz
Keyboards – Paul Herbst
Lead Guitar – Pete Gilgan
Mixed By – Jimmy Hotz, Kemper Crabb
Producer – Jimmy Hotz
Saxophone – Rob Blessing
Vocals – Raphael Doyle
Recorded At – Rivendell Sound Recorders
Mastered At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios