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 https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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.
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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.
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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.
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
Phillip Sandifer wrote and recorded this album while a student at University Of Texas at Austin. It was recorded on a very tight budget and Phil retained the rights to the album. Retaining the rights to his music is something Phil was well known for and was due in part to his relationship with his godfather, Dallas lawyer Shannon Jones who helped bring the Buddy Holly bill. This effort to retain rights doesn’t appear to have hurt his career as he was very successful. This album was self released but some sort of deal was cut with Urgent records for it to be released on their label. This is a great easy listening album and was very popular for very good reason.
Tracklist 1 – Detour – 3:06 2 – Always Have The Time – 2:56 3 – You Are The Cause – 2:54 4 – Lessons – 3:54 5 – Given Back To You – 1:28 6 – Open Up – 2:59 7 – Another Day – 2:38 8 – Simply I Love You – 3:47 9 – Never Steal The Show – 2:49 10 – Purity – 4:18
Credits Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Backing Vocals, Conductor, Producer – Gary Powell Art Direction – Steve Freeman Backing Vocals – Chris Crawford, Mike Sandifer, Tom Cantrell Bass – Spencer Starnes Cello – Mary Ann Dresser Drums – John Treanor Guitar – Mark Lang Guitar, Backing Vocals, Engineer, Producer – Larry Seyer Guitar, Backing Vocals, Written-By, Composed By – Phillip Sandifer Keyboards – Bill Ginn, Neil Pederson, Tony Taliaferro Mastered By – Stan Ricker Percussion – James Fenner Photography By – Sandy Wilson Viola – Doug Tabony, Ed Lawrence, Shirley Blair Violin – Dorothy Goodenough Woodwind – John Mills
This is the fourth album for Petra. It marked a pretty substantial shake up in the band. First we had the departure of Rob Frazier then Mark Kelly and John Slick joined the band. This album also marked Greg X. Volz’s taking on full time vocal duties. I assume all these changes were as a result of the poor showing of the previous album “Washes Whiter Than”. Personally I think this was the best lineup the band had. The album was more Rock oriented than their previous work and most pf the 70’s sound is gone. “The Coloring Song” was a huge success reaching #1 and is commonly heard in worship services to this day. That said it is not representative of what is actually a Rock album. I read that the band toured in support of Servant for this album but I distinctly remember them being the main act when I saw them in 1981 but I can’t remember who the opening act was. Point of trivia, the album cover was the first with Petra’s signature flying guitar.
Tracklist 1 – The Coloring Song – 2:52 2 – Chameleon – 5:47 3 – Angel Of Light – 4:21 4 – Killing My Old Man – 3:46 5 – Without Him We Can Do Nothing – 3:26 6 – Never Say Die – 3:42 7 – I Can Be Friends With You – 4:12 8 – For Annie – 4:24 9 – Father Of Lights – 3:02 10 – Praise Ye The Lord – 3:18
Credits Arranged By [Track Arrangements] – Jonathan David Brown, Petra Bass, Backing Vocals – Mark Kelly Drums, Percussion – Keith Edwards Guitar – Bob Hartman Illustration – Randy Rogers Keyboards, Backing Vocals – John Slick Layout – Mary Ann Smith Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Greg X. Volz Mastered By – Steve Hall Percussion – Alex MacDougall Photography By [Sleeve] – Diane McLaughlin Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown Trombone – Joe Miller Trumpet – Bob Welborn
Companies, etc. Recorded At – Rivendell Sound Recorders Overdubbed At – Martinsound, Whitefield Studios Mixed At – Whitefield Studios Mastered At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios Manufactured By – Word Records Limited
I’m guessing you didn’t know that 3 members of Darrell Mansfield’s early 80’s band came together with Jim West to put out an album. Producer Freddie Piro cut the album and started shopping it around. Atlantic records jumped at the album and here it is. The album has Christian songs on it so I find it a little odd that Atlantic grabbed it. Anyway it was released with no fanfare and did appropriately well and this was the last we heard from Fortress. I doubt it was helped by the Christian overtones and the outright Christian track “Back On The Path”. I really wish a Christian label had grabbed this album. I’m guessing that almost none of you ever heard this album which is a real pity because the album is actually really good. Eric’s guitar work reflects his style of that era though you won’t feel any Darrell Mansfield influences. This is a straight up commercial sounding album that I stumbled on and boy am I glad I did. You have to at least give the first track a listen which was also the single.
Tracklist 1 – Hands In The Till – 3:20 2 – How Do I Exist – 3:42 3 – Comin’ After You – 3:46 4 – Requiem – 4:25 5 – Kisses – 3:51 6 – Let’s Do It Again – 3:24 7 – Breakin’ Free – 4:31 8 – Carry Me Back – 4:05 9 – Back On The Path – 5:16 10 – Mystery – 3:51
Credits Acoustic Guitar – Snuffy Walden Bass, Backing Vocals – Charlie Souza Coordinator [Production] – Teri Piro Drums, Percussion – Donny Vosburgh Guitar, Backing Vocals – Eric Turner Illustration – Tina Nichols Illustration [Concept], Producer – Freddie Piro Keyboards – Gabriel Katona Keyboards [Additional] – Duane Hitchings, Rich Gibbs Layout [Back Cover], Design [Logo] – Dan Lienart Mixed By, Recorded By, Percussion [Additional] – Larry Brown Mixed By, Recorded By, Producer [Additional] – Win Kutz Percussion [Additional], Producer – Larry Brown Photography By – David Alexander Vocals [Additional] – Gary Falcone, Ronn Price Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jim West
I remember when I was first hired at the Pink Lady Christian bookstore I kept seeing this album in the demo LP section and never bothered to listen to it because the cover looked liked a late 70’s adult contemporary cover. That was my loss. September was a band comprised of three siblings, Russ, Dale and Doug Kirkland. Their music output lasted three decades with seven releases that maneuvered in and out of the current musical landscape of the time. This was their finest work. Fans of Servant, Anthem, Prodigal and the more progressive edge of CCM at the time will find much here to appreciate. The album starts off with “Prelude/Jester” a more than 6 minute song that if I only gave it the first two minutes (Prelude) it may have not made it into my consistent musical rotation. Prelude sounds like the album cover looks, but it is when “Jester” kicks in that every about the album (and the band) changed for me. Where “Prelude” sounded similar to Annie Herring, “Jester” was much more Prodigal and Barnabas. Great transition and killer guitar work! “Why Did I Wait” has touches of Farrell and Farrell and Seawind, but with a heavy rock tinge as the guitar solo kicks in. Fans of Jesus Music band, Parable,” will be very please with what they hear here. Again, like “Jester,” the guitar work here is fantastic. The more I listen the more I hear Parable’s “The City.” “Can’t Be Right” is way more Ambrosia and even Steely Dan than the rest of the album. Fans of the Prodigal debut along with the Doobie Brothers will really appreciate this song. There are a few straight ahead CCM radio songs that will remind listeners of The Archers and Second Chapter of Acts. Unfortunately, Christian radio just didn’t jump on what was an independent release, though it did receive moderate distribution. The album has become a pretty sought after vinyl collectors item, for a good reason.
Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Prelude / Jester – 6:07 2 – Relate It To Me – 3:23 3 – Why Did I Wait – 5:17 4 – Can’t Be Right – 4:17 5 – I Owe You Everything – 3:23 6 – Sorry – 4:36 7 – Empty Love – 3:52 8 – Island Song – 3:29 9 – Hallelujah – 3:17
Credits Carl Albrecht – Drums, Percussion Wayne Boosahda – Producer Jim Bullard – Bass Doug Flagg – Drums John Hayes – Guitars James Hollihan – Guitars Billie Kessler – Recording Engineer Kent Kesterson – Engineer Doug Kirkland – Vocals Russ Kirkland – Songwriter, Piano, Minimoog, Rhodes, Prophet 5, Organ, Vocals Michael James Murphy – Songwriter Jan Parker – English Horn, Oboe Scott Payne – Guitars Dan Peek – Production Assistance, Guitars, Percussion Steve Peistrup – Assistant Engineer Bobby Price – Songwriter Darwin Seidel – Bass Curt Taipale – Engineer, Mixed Dale Kirland Tiemann – Piano, Organ, Vocals Bobby Wilson – Songwriter
Lamb was formed in the early 70’s by Joel Chernoff and Rick Coghill. They are generally credited with being responsible for the origin of popularized Messianic Jewish music. I have to admit that I had no idea the sub genre of the CCM genre even existed in the 80’s. This album was on Sparrow Records so really we should have had some exposure to it. But then again we grew up in a town with one Jewish family so I guess we weren’t going to get any exposure to their culture. The album was recorded Live at Messiah College in Grantham, PA on June 29, 1980. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this album. While it’s obviously not evangelical in nature the songs are good and cross over easily to the evangelical community. They are very good performers and I can say that based on this album I would have loved to have caught one their live shows. It has kind of a folky sound, not Don Francisco folky but more of a traditional folk sound. It’s a pretty good album and I’m guessing you never heard it in the 80’s so give it a chance now.
Tracklist 1 – Hallelujah – 3:51 2 – The Sacrifice Lamb – 5:14 3 – Dance And Sing – 4:00 4 – Ramah – 5:24 5 – Build My World – 3:32 6 – Ba-Ruch Ha-Shem – 3:35 7 – The Least I Could Do – 4:55 8 – Shu-Vee – 2:49 9 – Engraved Invitation – 5:32 10 – Jonah – 5:12 11 – Hey, I Love You – 2:53 12 – I’ll Be A Fool – 3:36 13 – Comfort Ye My People – 6:35 14 – Clap Your Hands – 4:54 15 – In The Morning / I Love The Lord – 3:36 16 – Break Forth In Joy – 3:34
Credits Composed By – Dana Langford, Joel Chernoff Cover [Cover Design], Illustration – Julius Ciss Engineer – Rick “Levi” Coghill Engineer [Assistant Engineer], Photography By [Inside Cover Photograph] – Peter Yesner Instruments, Vocals, Producer, Engineer, Composed By – Lamb Mixed By [Mix-Down Engineer] – Skip Plant Photography By [Back Cover Photograph] – Igal Hoffman Photography By [Reference Photography] – Barbara Redman, Steve Meilach Production Manager [Production Coordination] – B. Charlyne Hinesley
This live album was recorded at the Dominion Theatre In London on Dec 26th 1980. According to Larry, Cliff Richard, The Vapors, Vic Coppersmith, and several members of Eric Clapton’s band were in attendance. Alwyn Wall and the Barratt Band opened for Larry and stayed on to back Larry’s set. Larry released the album with side 1 having 5 tracks from the opening set and 4 tracks on Side 2 from Larry. Well actually the first pressing had 4 tracks but subsequent pressings actually had 6 tracks. In typical Larry form he did not redo the jacket to represent these extra tracks but instead put an insert in the album to explain. In his defense though redoing the Jacket would have cost a lot of money so I don’t fault him. I do fault his however for some of his editing choices. Some tracks are chopped off and the sound quality varies greatly from track to track. However this is all part of listening to a Larry production. The electronic release of the album includes 5 bonus tracks recorded at the Bremen Germany stop of the same tour. We have included those tracks for your listening pleasure.
Tracklist 1 – Barratt Band – The Only One – 3:43 2 – Barratt Band – Not The Way – 3:41 3 – Alwyn Wall – I’m Alright Jack (The Greed Song) – 3:55 4 – Alwyn Wall – Hold On – 3:46 5 – Alwyn Wall – Dreams On Sand – 6:05 6 – Larry Norman – I Feel Like Dying – 2:48 7 – Larry Norman – Leaving The Past Behind – 1:39 8 – Larry Norman – Why Can’t You Be Good – 4:31 9 – Larry Norman – A Note From Mr God – 3:46 10 – Larry Norman – Put Your Life Into His Hands – 3:19 11 – Larry Norman – I Wish We’d All Been Ready – 5:48 Bonus Tracks 12 – Larry Norman & Friends – Swing Low Sweet Chariot – 5:01 13 – Larry Norman – Watch What You’re Doing – 7:02 14 – Larry Norman – Feeling So Bad – 4:26 15 – Larry Norman – Sweet Sweet Song Of Salvation – 5:26 16 – Barratt Band – My Father’s House – 10:01