Undercover – Undercover – 1982

This is the debut album from Undercover, one of the early and influential pop punk bands to come out of California in the early 80s. Incubating alongside Altar Boys and Lifesavors.

I consider Undercover to be the forerunner to MXPX, although not their sole influence. MXPX managed to merge Green Day, Ramones, Undercover and other ideas into a cohesive, long standing package.

The style of this album is now referred to as pop-punk, or even California-punk. In 1982 though, it seemed like the division of punk styles wasn’t so defined and it just was what it was.

This was a great alternative, or at least an addition to the musical diet for anyone addicted to The Ramones at the time.

Note the names. Joey Taylor on subsequent albums becomes Ojo Taylor, and Jim Nicholson becomes Gym Nicholson.

From the 1988 CD release “Volume 1” we receive this explanation in the liner notes:

Once upon a time, a long time ago in the 1970’s, there were two bands aimlessly wandering around a small town in Southern California called Yorba Linda. The name of one of those groups was J.C. Rose and the name of the other, Boaz. Jim Nicholson and myself, best friends since high school, were members of J. C. Rose along with Dave Hackbarth, who has been a priceless catalyst to a great many records and Artists since. The members of Boaz were Chris Winber, Danny Pavlis, Ray Hersom and Rick Alba among a few others. After a year or two of fruitless effots, the two groups disbanded, to form two new groups. Jim and I sayted together and added Danny Pavlis on Drums and Rick Alba on bass and started Undercover. Chris Winber and Ray Hersom went on to form Lifesavors. Undercover started rehearsing in a greenhouse owned by Danny’s parents and after a couple of months, had our first concert along with The Lifesavors (also their first concert) and another group, The Chosen Ones, consisting of Chris Pavlis (Danny’s brother) and Brian Doidge (who would later join The Lifesavors).

(the story is continued in the liner notes…)

The 1988 CD release “Volume 1” includes the two first albums from Undercover, plus an additional bonus track written by Taylor, and attributed to the debut album, “Dying In Love.”

Track Listing:
A1 Excuse Us Written-By – Walden, Alba 2:45
A2 Heal Me Written-By – Taylor 2:15
A3 I’ll Be A Fool Written-By – Taylor 1:15
A4 Francine Written-By – Alba 2:45
A5 It’s Official Written-By – Taylor 2:20
A6 Turn Your Head Written-By – Nicholson 2:45
A7 Look It Up Written-By – Taylor 2:40
B1 Read It In A Letter Written-By – Nicholson 2:05
B2 Daddy-O Written-By – Walden, Taylor 1:15
B3 Tonight Written-By – Nicholson 1:47
B4 Stop Written-By – Nicholson, Taylor 2:50
B5 He’s In Love With You Written-By – Alba 2:45
B6 I.C.U. Written-By – Taylor 2:40
B7 He Gives We Have Written-By – Taylor 2:25
Arranged By – Undercover
Artwork [Cover And Sleeve] – Milton R. Sue
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Rick Alba
Drums, Performer [Kindling], Vocals – Danny Pavlis
Engineer – Dan Willard, Thom Roy (tracks: A7), Tim Pinch (tracks: A1 to A6, B1 to B7)
Guitar [All Guitars], Vocals – Jim “Nuclear” Nicholson
Lead Vocals, Alto Saxophone – Bill Walden
Musician [Additional] – Giggles – Benjamin Taylor, Chris Pavlis, Dave Hackbarth Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals – Joey Taylor
Photography By [Cover] – George Zaferes
Producer – Dan Willard, Joey Taylor
Rhythm Guitar [After Tracks] – Ray Hersom

1 – Excuse Us – 2:45
2 – Heal Me – 2:15
3 – I’ll Be A Fool – 1:15
4 – Francine – 2:45
5 – It’s Official – 2:20
6 – Turn Your Head – 2:45
7 – Look It Up – 2:40
8 – Read It In A Letter – 2:05
9 – Daddy-O – 1:15
10 – Tonight – 1:47
11 – Stop – 2:50
12 – He’s In Love With You – 2:45
13 – I.C.U. – 2:40
14 – He Gives We Have – 2:25
Bonus Track
15 – Dying In Love – 4:29

Arranged By – Undercover
Artwork [Cover And Sleeve] – Milton R. Sue
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Rick Alba
Drums, Performer [Kindling], Vocals – Danny Pavlis
Engineer – Dan Willard, Thom Roy (tracks: A7), Tim Pinch (tracks: A1 to A6, B1 to B7)
Guitar [All Guitars], Vocals – Jim “Nuclear” Nicholson
Lead Vocals, Alto Saxophone – Bill Walden
Mastered By – KPG
Musician [Additional] – Giggles – Benjamin Taylor, Chris Pavlis, Dave Hackbarth
Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals – Joey Taylor
Photography By [Cover] – George Zaferes
Producer – Dan Willard, Joey Taylor
Rhythm Guitar [After Tracks] – Ray Hersom

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Ministry Resource Center
Copyright (c) – Ministry Resource Center
Copyright (c) – B-1 Music
Mastered At – The Cutting System, Inc.
Recorded at Rapture Repertory Theatre’s Warehouse and C.C.C.M. on Tim Pinch’s Mobile Recording Studio except for A7, recorded at Whitefield Studio

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Richie Furay – Seasons of Change – 1982

This was Richie’s only release in the 80’s, though he re-released I’ve Got A Reason in 1981. It’s my opinion that this album was his best yet. It’s the only album he did produced by David Diggs and you can tell it sounds a little different. At the time of recording this album Richie had just become or was just about to become the Pastor at Calvary Chapel of Boulder CO. Strange that he would do such a Rock & Roll oriented album at this stage of his life. If you were put off by his easy listening sound in the 70’s give this one a listen. It’s not a heavy duty Rock & Roll album but it definitely leans more that way than his previous releases.

1 – Hallelujah – 3:32
2 – Endless Flight – 3:36
3 – Yellow Moon Rising – 6:15
4 – Seasons Of Change – 3:43
5 – My Lord And My God – 4:34
6 – Rise Up – 2:35
7 – Promise Of Love – 4:14
8 – Home To My Lord – 4:20
9 – For The Prize – 3:05
10 – Through It All – 5:38

Arranged By, Conductor [Conducted By] – David Diggs
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Edie Lehmann, Marti McCall, Mary Ella Meek, Myrna Matthews, Richie Furay, Virgil Beckham
Bass – Dennis Belfield
Concertmaster [String Concertmaster] – Doug Cameron
Cover [Cover Design] – Chris Whorf
Drums – Ed Greene, Jim Keltner
Engineer [Second Engineer] – Gene Meros
Engineer, Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Guitar – Dan Ferguson, Hadley Hockensmith, Paul Jackson Jr., Richie Furay
Keyboards, Synthesizer [Synthesizers] – David Diggs
Lead Vocals [All Lead Vocals] – Richie Furay
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Musical Assistance [Music Preparation] – Doug Dana
Pedal Steel Guitar – Al Perkins
Percussion – David Diggs, Steve Forman
Photography By – Dan Fong
Producer [Produced By] – David Diggs, Richie Furay
Producer [Production Assistance] – Jack Joseph Puig
Sleeve Notes – Rich Furay
Tenor Saxophone – Jim Coile

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Engineered At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios

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Talking Drums – Courage – 1982

I have a strange relationship with this EP. In the mid 80’s I was working as a secular DJ and some how I discovered this album. It was an import to Canada so it must have been a friend that found it. Anyway I played it fairly heavy and had no idea they were a Christian band. They were one of a few bands that early on were on the “Sticky Music” label out of Scotland. The label was started by a couple of Christian guys who didn’t really intend for it to be a Christian label. I guess it really wasn’t as it featured secular bands but apparently all of them were Christians. This EP was a great dance track album and I have fond memories of playing the lead track quite regularity. Funny it took me over 30 years to learn they were a Christian band.

1 – Courage
2 – Parasuicide
3 – Descartes Lives
4 – Lost In The 20th Century

Bass – Stewart McEwan
Congas – Malcolm ‘Hyper’ Duffin
Design [Graphics By] – Carol, Mairi
Drums [Talking Drums] – Derek Clark
Engineer – Ian McCreadie
Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Maracas [A Mean Maracca] – Dot Irvine
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Charlie Irvine
Lead Vocals, Typography [Letraset], Percussion – Carol Moore
Producer – Steve Butler
Songwriter [Songs By] – Charlie, Dot

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Pete Carlson – Dreamer’s Dream – 1982

Pete had a few albums in the 70’s but this was really the album that made him known. It is a decidedly easy listening album sometimes referred to as AOR. Again this is not really my style of music but I appreciate music when it’s well done regardless of the style and this album is well done. Dayspring/Word must have sunk some real money into this project as the Credits list is huge. Interesting person on the credit list is guitarist Dann Huff from White Heart.

1 – Let Him Hold Your Heart – 3:35
2 – Run Inside – 3:29
3 – Dreamer’s Dream – 3:44
4 – The Love Of God – 3:28
5 – Warm Fire In A Cold World – 4:15
6 – Take Me Away – 3:37
7 – Lead Me In Your Love – 3:07
8 – What A Friend – 3:48
9 – Lord Of The Universe – 2:21
10 – Thanksong – 3:21

Pete Carlson – vocals, guitars
Keith Thomas – backing vocals, keyboards, producer
Dann Huff – guitars
Brent Rowan – guitars
Jon Goin – guitars
Bob Wray – bass
Mark Hammond – drums, percussion
Farrell Morris – percussion
Terry McMillan – percussion
Dennis Solee – sax
John Darnall – string arrangement
Terry Townsend – flugelhorn
John Catchings – cellos
Martha Wiggins – cellos
Dan Furth – violas
Kristi Wilkinson – violas
Conni McCollister – violins
Pauli Ewing – violins
Paul Tobias – violins
Lee Joiner – violins
Phylis Hiltz – violins
Larry Lasson – violins
Mark Feldman – violins
Karla Worley – backing vocals
Dennis Worley – backing vocals
Melodie Tunney – backing vocals
John Lee – backing vocals
Jan Lee – backing vocals
Don Hart – vocal arrangement

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John Fischer – Dark Horse – 1982

Some say that John Fischer’s 1969 album “The Cold Cathedral ” was the first contemporary Christian album coming out a few months before Larry Norman’s “Upon This Rock”. I understand that not all agree but I think we can all agree that Fischer had a long a storied career in Christian music. Dark Horse was his 8th album and a good example to him adapting to the 80’s. The album is an easy listening/praise album and as Fischer really knew what he was doing at this point in his career it is very well done. Joining Fischer on background vocals were Bob Carlisle (Allies) , and Bryan Duncan (The Sweet Comfort Band).

1 – Dark Horse – 3:55
2 – Beggar – 2:49
3 – Only A Few – 4:63
4 – Fallin’ In Love – 3:21
5 – Christopher’s Toes – 2:51
6 – Nobody Wants To Die – 3:34
7 – Losin’ Is Winnin’ – 2:54
8 – Roses On Wednesday – 3:10
9 – Lookin’ Straight On – 2:49
10 – Leavin’ It All To You – 3:01

Arranged By [Strings] – David Diggs
Art Direction – Paradise Graphics, Paul Gross
Backing Vocals – Bob Carlyle, Brian Duncan
Bass – Leland Sklar
Composed By, Written-By – John Fischer
Concept By [Front Cover] – Craig McNair Wilson
Drums – Rich Schlosser
Engineer [Second] – David Schober, Steve Ford
Guitar – Billy Walker
Illustration – Kurt Triffet
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Organ – John Hobbs
Layout [Sleeve] – Ronald E. Garman
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Photography By [Liner] – Sam Emerson
Producer, Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Martinsound
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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Servant – Remix – 1982

This album has a bit of a history behind it. As the story goes, after “Rockin’ Revival” Servant decided to leave Tunesmith records and open their own record company “Rooftop Records”. This idea lasted for only 2 albums when they went over to Myrrh. Anyway upon announcing that they were leaving, Tunesmith for some reason decided to issue a remix album. They picked the most popular 10 songs from the first 2 albums and remixed them and produced an album. The band were not impressed at this but were not in a legal position to do anything about it. This is nothing unusual in the record industry but was relatively rare in the Christian music industry at the time. Anyway that’s the story and this is the album that came out of. The remixes aren’t extreme just slight changes.

1 – Shallow Water
2 – Babylon
3 – Suburban Josephine
4 – Isolated
5 – Fly Away
6 – I’m Gonna Live
7 – Ad Man
8 – Jesus Star
9 – Rockin’ Revival
10 – Cup Of Water

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Joe English – Held Accountable – 1982

This was the second album from Joe and he turned it up a bit for this one. There’s a couple good tunes with likeable guitar riffs courtesy of George Cocchini. One of the things that stands out to me is that Joe credited 13 songwriters including himself. That’s an awful lot of writers for a 10 album song but I have read that Joe loved to work with lots of people so maybe that’s the reason. Outside of a couple tracks this album falls right in with West Coast AOR style of the time. The single First Love reached #9 on the charts hanging around for 21 weeks.

1 – Best Things – 3:09
2 – We Live When We Die – 3:15
3 – My Strength Is In The Lord – 4:55
4 – First Love – 3:53
5 – Voice Of Triumph – 3:48
6 – Wake Up – 3:53
7 – Learn To Celebrate – 2:40
8 – Where You Gonna Run – 3:29
9 – Thief In The Night – 4:28
10 – The Best Is Yet To Come – 3:42

Songwriter, Guitar – Paul Brannon
Songwriter – Jay C. Coble, Jr.
Guitar – George Cocchini
Songwriter – Tom Douglas
Songwriter – James Isaac Elliott
Producer, Songwriter, Drums, Vocals – Joe English
Songwriter – Linda Lang
Keyboards – John Lawry
Songwriter – Fred Lewis
Songwriter – Will McFarlane
Executive Producer, Songwriter – Ray Nenow
Songwriter – Don Rogers
Songwriter – Scott Roley
Songwriter – Roddy Smith
Producer, Songwriter – John Rosasco
Songwriter, Bass – Tim Smith

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Lyrix – Songs From The Heart – 1982

The band here known as Lyrix were actually the British band, Mark Williamson Band. Larry Norman signed them for a one record deal and essentially just re-released their British album, Get The Drift. Larry apparently remixed some of the songs and it is generally thought that the original British version was much better. Back to the album, this is a great Rock and Roll album that still has a flavour of the 70’s on it. It’s definitely one of my favourite 70’s to 80’s transition album.

1 – Don’t Turn Your Back On Jesus – 3:37
2 – Midnight Diamond – 4:00
3 – All Very Well – 4:52
4 – Susanne – 5:23
5 – Dance – 3:15
6 – Rising – 4:04
7 – Somebody Told Me – 4:45
8 – I Would Have Listened – 5:31

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Sweet Comfort Band – Cutting Edge – 1982

In 1982, Sweet Comfort Band put out Cutting Edge, their fifth of six albums released by 1984, and before their reunion in 2013.

Sweet Comfort featured Bryan Duncan on vocals and as a driving creative force. During the band’s hiatus, Bryan released over a dozen solo albums that are staples of the CCM genre.

Cutting Edge has a lot of current sound to it for 1982. It’s more Styx than Supertramp, and a lot less jazz funk than their early work. Songs like “Armed and Ready” are solid radio-ready rock tunes.

One of the better SCB albums, IMO.

Track Listing:

1 – Runnin’ To Win – 4:06
2 – What Have You Got? – 3:10
3 – Falling In Love With You – 3:34
4 – Haven’t Seen You – 4:47
5 – Breakdown Love – 3:12
6 – Valerie – 3:23
7 – Changed Hearts – 3:40
8 – Live It – 4:03
9 – What Did It Mean? – 3:31
10 – Armed And Ready – 4:47

Bass – Kevin Thomson
Drums, Vocals – Rick Thompson
Guitar, Vocals – Randy Thomas
Keyboards, Vocals – Brian Duncan
Producer – Jack Joseph Puig
Written-By – B. Duncan (tracks: 1 to 5, 7), R. Thomas (tracks: 2 to 4, 6, 8 to 10)

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Electrosound Group Midwest, Inc.

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David Meece – Front Row – 1982

You would swear this was going to be David’s pivot into a comedy career. David is a great entertainer, and as talented as he is musically he obviously loves to tell stories.

This is his 6th of 12 albums and it is an enduring one just for the fun it comes with. The epic story of “Mother, Muffler, Mozart & The Beatles” was one I heard at more than 1 or 2 youth group nights.

Even with all the story telling and entertaining, he manages to fit in 8 of his biggest songs up to that point. The live energy he brings to this performance brings all of them to an even higher level than the original studio recordings.

Track Listing:
Heaven Knows 2:35
Jesus 4:31
Rattle Me, Shake Me 4:30
Mother, Muffler, Mozart & The Beatles (6:28)
(Mozart Sonata A Minor 1st Movement)
(Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
All The Time 4:14
Never Gonna Serve Anyone Else But You 2:40
Gospel Train 3:05
Comin’ Back 3:12
Crucifixion (15:56)
(There Once Lived A Man)
(Ten Thousand Angels)
(The Bystander)
(Were You There)
(We Are The Reason)

Backing Vocals – Donna McElroy, Glenda Smith White, Kim Flemming
Bass – Craig Nelson
Design [Album Design] – Barnes & Company
Drums – Keith Edwards
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Engineer [Remix Engineer] – Bob Clark
Executive-Producer – Mike Blanton
Guitar – Brent Rowan, Jon Goin
Horns – Billy Puett, Buddy Skipper, Dennis Solee, George Tidwell, The Nashville Hornworks, Roger Bissell
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Shane Keisten
Percussion – Farrell Morris, Mark Morris
Photography By – Larry Dixon
Piano – David Meece
Producer – Brown Bannister
Recorded By – Malcolm Harper

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Published By – Duchess Music Corp.
Published By – Word Music (2)
Published By – Maclen Music, Inc.
Published By – Lillenas Publishing Company, Inc.
Recorded At – Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO
Remixed At – Great Circle Sound
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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