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 https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

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

Phillip Sandifer – Never Steal The Show – 1981

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – PSP Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – PSP Records
Produced For – GP Studio Productions
Published By – Jesmax Music
Recorded At – Austin Recording Studio
Mixed At – Austin Recording Studio
Mastered At – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

Petra – Never Say Die – 1981

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.

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

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

Fortress – Hands In The Till – 1981

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Record Company – Warner Communications
Manufactured By – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Atlantic
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Copyright © – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Pressed By – Specialty Records Corporation
Published By – Piro Music
Published By – Base Ball Music
Published By – Piccasso Publishing Company
Published By – Rubicon Music (2)
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Recorded At – The Pasha Music House
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

September – September First – 1981

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/

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

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 – Live – 1981

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Messiah College
Copyright © – Messianic Publishing Co.
Mixed At – Susquehanna Sound

Larry Norman Featuring Alwyn Wall & Barratt Band – Larry Norman And His Friends On Tour – 1981

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.

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