This was a great album that came out in 2014. It is a studio recording of work form the band back in 1983 before they were known to most of us. I’m a little unclear of what this recording session was. It has a few covers so it would have been difficult to release as a demo or as an album legally. That said I’m sure glad years later someone released it. The album is very raw as it was recorded by engineer David Vaught with direct to two-track tape and no overdubs. Because of this it has a great raw feeling and if you listen closely you can even hear some conversation in the background on a track or two. It’s too bad it took until 2014 but at least it did get released.
Tracklist 1 – Nothing Can Stop My Loving You – 1:58 2 – Jackson – 3:02 3 – Soap, Soup And Salvation – 4:11 4 – The Grapes Of Wrath – 2:33 5 – Dustbowl Depression Time – 2:46 6 – Rattlesnake Mama – 1:45 7 – Vigilante – 1:51 8 – Working Man’s Blues – 2:33 9 – Cactus Rose – 3:47 10 – When Love Comes Home To Stay – 3:07 11 – Cottonbelt – 3:10 12 – This World Is Not My Home – 2:30
Credits Art Direction, Design – Greg Allen Bass, Vocals – Marvin Etzioni Drums – Don Heffington Lead Guitar, Vocals – Ryan Hedgecock Mastered By – Bernie Grundman Producer – Lone Justice Producer [Associate] – Josh Mills Producer [This Release Produced By] – Cheryl Pawelski, Greg Allen Recorded By – David Vaught Rhythm Guitar, Vocal Percussion – Maria McKee
This was D&K’s second last album and it really seems to have just been ignored. I really couldn’t find many reviews for it. As a result of this I sat down and listened to the album over again and I decided I love it. But that’s probably where the problem lies. I loved D&K thorough the 80’s but this album was in 1993. I now realize that D&K really hadn’t changed their sound much over the years. While this isn’t a problem for me it probably caused an issue getting new listeners in 1993. That said “Talk To Me” still made it to #6 on the charts and there were 2 tracks to make it into the 30’s on the charts. These would be the final charting singles for D&K. So my suggestion is if you enjoyed that D&K 80’s sound you will like this album but of you are more a fan of late 80’s early 90’s rock this album may not be for you. That said give it a listen anyway, it may surprise you.
Tracklist 1 – Voices – 0:40 2 – God Good/Devil Bad – 4:31 3 – Selective Amnesia – 3:12 4 – Never Look Back – 4:06 5 – Heat.It.Up. – 3:17 6 – It’s My Business – 4:28 7 – Dare 2B Different – 4:54 8 – Talk To Me – 4:29 9 – Armed And Dangerous – 4:27 10 – I Use The J Word – 3:56 11 – Soldiers Of The Cross – 4:24 12 – Divine Embrace – 3:34 13 – Fight Back – 5:37
Credits Art Direction – Connie Harrington Backing Vocals – Jim Jamison Bass, Backing Vocals – Tommy Cathey Design – The Riordon Design Group Inc. Drums, Percussion – Greg Morrow Engineer [2nd] – Jeff Powell, Jeffrey Reed, Skid Mills Executive-Producer – Ken Pennell Mastered By – Ken Love Photography By – Mark Tucker Producer, Engineer – John Hampton Producer, Lead Vocals, Guitar – Dana Key Producer, Organ [B3], Piano [Wurlitzer], Synthesizer, Vocals – Eddie DeGarmo
Lenny LeBlanc is a very interesting story. He was actually quite a successful secular artist in the 70’s and was under contract by Capitol Records. He had recorded and released the first of that 2 record contract in 1981. However also 1981 he became saved after having a talk with his newly saved friend who was, and I quote here “… a big-time drug smuggler”. Lenny subsequently wanted to do Christian music which Capitol Records wasn’t much interested in. They did however agree to release him from his contract of he could find someone to buy it out. The Christian music labels were certainly not interested in this so he was stuck being unable to do music and actually made a living doing stained glass which was another one of his skills. In 1983 it became obvious to Capitol that no one was going to buy out his contract so they agreed to release him. He immediately signed with Heartland Records and recorded this album. The album is a relatively easy listening 80’s pop album but there are a few pretty good upbeat tracks of which the best is probably “Give Your Heart To The Lord”. The single for the album was “Say A Prayer” which reached #9 on the CCM charts.
Tracklist 1 – Say A Prayer – 3:51 2 – Have Mercy – 3:59 3 – Preacher Man – 3:53 4 – Give Your Heart To The Lord – 3:12 5 – New Tomorrow – 3:45 6 – Angel Of The Lord – 3:33 7 – Asleep In The Boat – 4:02 8 – I Don’t Understand – 3:41 9 – Soul Searching – 3:37 10 – I Believe In You – 3:58
Credits Backing Vocals – Ava Aldridge, Cindy Richardson, Mac McAnally, Michele Pillar, Robert Byrne, Sherrie LeBlanc Bass – David Hood, David Hungate, Mike Brignardello Blues Harp – Bill Darnell Drums – Larrie Londin, Roger Hawkins Engineer – Gary Platt, Greg McNeily Engineer [Mixdown] – Gary Platt Guitar – Jon Goin, Wayne Perkins, Will McFarlane Keyboards – Clayton Ivey, Shane Keister, Steve Nathan Lacquer Cut By [JG in runouts] – Joe Gastwirt Management – Rip Pelley Percussion – Farrell Morris Producer, Backing Vocals – Jon Phelps Producer, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar – Lenny LeBlanc Saxophone – Ronnie Eades
Well here’s the 1983 offering from the Talbot brothers. It’s pretty standard fare for them but there is a highlight on this album. The title track actually has an Eagles feel and it sounds like something from back in their Mason Proffit days. It’s actually good enough for me to add it to my regular rotation. The music may be Eagles but the lyrics are typical of what you would expect form them. That said this may actually be one of their best tracks since the Mason Proffit days.
Tracklist 1 – No Longer Strangers – 4:08 2 – He Is Risen – 2:42 3 – We Will Rise – 4:07 4 – Silence – 3:34 5 – Nature And Grace – 3:30 6 – Holy Father – 3:37 7 – Isaiah 58 – 5:06 8 – Lady Poverty – 4:10 9 – Hear Us Oh Lord – 4:10 10 – Few Be The Lovers – 4:22
Credits Arranged By [Orchestra] – Lee Holdridge Bass – Abraham Laboriel Cover – Stan Evenson Design Cover [Coordination] – B. Charlyne Hinesley Drums – Bill Maxwell Engineer – Darrel Powell, Mike Ross-Trevor Executive-Producer – Billy Ray Hearn Guitar, Vocals, Co-producer, Arranged By [Vocals] – John Michael Talbot, Terry Talbot Mastered By – Ken Pennell, Steve Hall Orchestra – National Philharmonic Orchestra Of London Performer – National Philharmonic Orchestra Of London Photography By – Mark Hanauer Written-By – John Michael Talbot, Terry Talbot
There are only two artists in the history of CCM that I wish would come out from hiding and release a new album. The first is Steve Taylor and i understand the whole “trying to make a movie” clap trap, but enough already! The second is David Edwards and I would prefer the latter to the former if I had to choose just one to release an album. Two rock efforts, a lullaby album and a collection of Christmas carols is simply not enough; especially when the artists is simply this amazing. The debut album will be discussed later. Here we will look at the sophomore release that suffered from no sophomore jinx. A little darker, more musically refined and chock full of pop music goodness, this album will go down as the greatest crime in CCM history. He should have been a rock star and this album should have made him a household name. Hell, there’s even a great wedding song and that always meant success in the early 80’s in CCM! Musically that album is a bit the Knack and a bit Billy Joel. More rock than new wave and more smart than quirky. Perhaps it was all those songs about “love” on the album that caused it’s doom; just like one sweet little lady told me when she wanted to return the album to the store I was working at by asking “what does love have to do with Jesus anyway?” Edwards walks the listener through the many feelings, struggles and circumstances that come about when love is either absent or twisted. “Anything But Love” describes how lust clouds the heart from seeing reality, while “Someone to Trust” pictured the opposite reality. It’s a great wedding and I should know, it was in mine! “The Feeling Part” addresses the mistake Christians make by not addressing the reality of romance and feelings in relationships, both with God and with one another. “How Could You Throw It All away?” should have made Edwards a star. sadly it just kicks off side 2 with a great reminder that love is worth holding on to. “Break the Big One” deals with the scar of abortion when sexual love is removed from its Biblical context of marriage. The album closes with two songs that, though not connected on the recording, are completely inseparable. “Girls Like You” expresses the anger of a broken heart and the vindictive feelings associated with being the “dumped.” Kind of like the losers version of Ben Fold’s “Song for the Dumped.” “Girls” is followed by possibly Edwards’ finest composition, “A Fools Condition.” The song recounts the story of a young (naive?) and sexually tempted boy who falls for and is captured by a dead and decaying woman who only possesses a beautiful outer appearance. Borrowing from the writings of George MacDonald (this wouldn’t be the last time), Edwards’ protagonist is consumed by the appearance and loses his soul as a result. Brilliantly conceived, wonderfully presented and utterly unforgettable. I went nearly two decades unable to listen to it until Edwards released the album himself on CD, and was singing along by the first line. This album is the definition of an AYSO!
Contributor – David Lowman https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Anything But Love – 3:43 2 – Someone To Trust – 3:09 3 – The Feeling Part – 4:55 4 – Watch Over Your Heart – 3:19 5 – How Could You Throw It All Away – 4:37 6 – Break The Big One – 3:38 7 – Put Me Down – 3:06 8 – All I Want – 3:10 9 – True Confession – 2:50 10 – Girls Like You – 2:18 11 – A Fool’s Condition – 5:17
Credits Acoustic Guitar – David Edwards Alto Saxophone – Irv Cox Arranged By, Programmed By [Synthesizer], Backing Vocals, Written By, Composed By – David Edwards Art Direction – Barbara LeVan Backing Vocals – Randy Stonehill, Suzan Curly Bass, Backing Vocals – John Trujillo Cello – John Walz Drums, Percussion – Rick Geragi Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Dan Jacob Marimba – Guy Shiffman Mastered By – Bernie Grundman Piano – David Edwards Producer, Keyboards, Arranged By, Programmed By [Synthesizer] – Barry M. Kaye Recorded By, Mixed By – Britt Bacon Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Jay Leslie
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright – Word, Inc. Copyright – Word, Inc. Published By – Mountain Park Music Published By – Dayspring Music Recorded At – Skyline Recording Mixed At – Skyline Recording Mastered At – A&M Mastering Studios Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. 25877
This was the introductory album from Phil & John. It is probably one of the oddest choices for an premier album in CCM. The entire side 2 of the album is a live recording. Now this may sound like a very strange thing to do but in this case I think it was brilliant. Phil & John really did shine in their live work as they were essentially a comedy team that played music and it really set them apart frm the rest of the industry at the time. I personally love their style which on this album can be best described as 70’s Beatles. Unfortunately I did not give them the the amount of listening time they deserved in the 80’s. If you’ve never heard Phil & John live you should at least listen to side 2 of this album as it’s live where they really shine.
Tracklist 1 – Wasted Years – 2:57 2 – Teenage Millionaire – 3:13 3 – Saturday Night And Sunday Morning – 3:35 4 – You Wouldn’t Let Me Go – 3:25 5 – I Remember – 2:49 6 – Holding On – 4:16 7 – What Do You Do? – 3:10 8 – The Gnome Song – 7:06 9 – Factory Blues – 4:43 10 – Times I Find – 3:45 11 – Watch And Pray – 3:16
This is the one that started it all for Koinonia. The band formed in 1980 and were probably one of the first Christian bands to play their particular fusion jazz style. While the band were somewhat popular in North America they were huge Scandinavia where their style of music was really well received. Personally I don’t care that much for the style but they do it well and I always appreciate well done music even if it’s not my style.
Tracklist 1 – More Than A Feelin’ – 5:29 2 – Rescue – 4:24 3 – Graceful – 4:32 4 – Cuando – 3:59 5 – Divina – 4:09 6 – Give Your Love – 5:29 7 – Valentine – 5:35 8 – Funky Bumpkins – 4:43 9 – On My Way Home – 5:31
Credits Bass – Abraham Laboriel Drums, Percussion – Alex Acuña, Bill Maxwell Engineer – Bill Schnee Guitar – Dean Parks, Hadley Hockensmith Keyboards – Harlan Rogers Photography By – David Randle Producer – Bill Schnee Synthesizer – Michael Omartian Vocals – Abraham Laboriel, Bill Maxwell, Harlan Rogers, Russ Taff Woodwind – John Phillips (6), Justo Almario
This is Wendell’s 4th album. This is another album that doesn’t fall in the style I usually listen to BUT I do listen to this one. This is a great Easy Listening album and Wendell was a great song writer. Now this album came out in 1983 and I should have heard of it but somehow I don’t remember anything about it. I’m pretty sure the album cover turned me off if I did see it. This is another example of a horrible album cover that I have complained about before from several labels. Strangely a track from this album ended up on a Sparrow records sampler but the album was on Lamb & Lion Records and Word Canada. I’m just guessing that Sparrow was doing the U.S. distribution but like I said that’s just a guess. Anyway there is one stand out track to me on the album. “America” just begs to have been covered by Springsteen. But I don’t want to say the original isn’t good, it’s very good and is gong into my regular rotation.
Tracklist 1 – Spreading All Over the World – 3:52 2 – Just Like You – 3:04 3 – Who He Is – 3:24 4 – The Battle Is Already Won – 3:50 5 – Come To Me – 3:27 6 – America – 5:17 7 – Today’s The Day – 3:34 8 – Only Be Strong – 4:11 9 – Greatly Rejoice – 4:04 10 – To Be Like Jesus – 2:46
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Wendell Burton Arranged By [Strings] – Allen Moore, Kristen Wilkinson Backing Vocals – Christie Houser, Donna McElroy, Lynn Kellogg, Patti Burton*, Randy Thompson, Vicki Wilson Bass – Larry Paxton, Tim Smith Drums – Buster Phillips, Joe English Keyboards – Bobby Wood Keyboards, Synthesizer – John Lawry, Roger Morris, Shane Keister Mixed By – Joe Wilson Mixed By [Assistant] – Bill Cobb Mixed By, Backing Vocals – Dan Collins Percussion [Synthesized] – Dan Collins Producer, Recorded By, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Joe Wilson Saxophone – Donnie Sanders Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Tom Howard
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Lamb & Lion Records Recorded At – Master’s Touch Mixed At – Poiema Studios Mixed At – Martinsound Mixed At – Glaser Sound Studios, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
This was Debby’s seventh album and considering we’re talking about Debby Boone here it didn’t do all that well. I’ve listened to it a few times and to be honest it’s just kind of boring. I know I’m not her target audience but the album just didn’t have any punch to it. It was produced by Brown Bannister so I don’t know why it has this feel. I’ve kind of decided it was due to song selection. I think they just got unlucky and didn’t have a great track that stuck. Now lets be clear the album was popular and did sell well. I’m just saying it didn’t sell well for a Debby Boone album.
Tracklist 1 – O Come All Ye Faithful – 4:05 2 – Keep The Flame Burning – 4:42 3 – Can You Reach My Friend – 4:09 4 – Lift Him Up – 4:23 5 – Wounded Soldier – 4:59 6 – Surrender – 3:35 7 – Keep Rollin’ On – 4:05 8 – Find A Hurt And Heal It – 2:38 9 – O Holy One – 4:12 10 – Blessing – 3:05
Credits Debby Boone – Vocals Jim Baird – Engineer Brown Bannister – Producer, Handclaps Debbie Bannister – Handclaps David Baroni – Songwriter Laury Boone Browning – Background Vocals Niles Borop – Songwriter Harry Browning – Songwriter Robbie Buchanan – Keyboards, Synthesizers, Background Vocals Lenny Castro – Percussion Bill Champlin – Background Vocals Tamara Champlin – Background Vocals Gary Chapman – Background Vocals Claire Cloninger – Songwriter Diana DeWitt Hanna – Background Vocals Phil Driscoll – Duet Vocal Nathan East – Bass Gene Eichelberger – Engineer Victor Feldman – Percussion Marty Goetz – Songwriter, Piano Richard Green – Handclaps Debbie Hall – Background Vocals Sandy Hall – Background Vocals Russ Hollingsworth – Songwriter John Houghton – Handclaps Dann Huff – Guitars Shane Keister – Keyboards, Synthesizers Jim Keltner – Drums Brent King – Engineer Greg Laughery – Songwriter Pam Mark Hall – Songwriter Martyn Ford – Orchestra Strings Dony McGuire – Songwriter, Keyboards, Background Vocals Alan Moore – String Arranger Farrell Morris – Percussion Rich Mullins – Songwriter Connie Nelson – Songwriter Dean Parks – Guitars Jack Joseph Puig – Engineer Bill Purse – Songwriter Reba Rambo – Songwriter, Background Vocals John Rosasco – Songwriter Rick Shlosser – Drums Leland Sklar – Bass Billy Sprague – Songwriter Fred Tackett – Guitars Carmen Twillie – Background Vocals Jim Weber – Songwriter
Companies, etc. Distributed By – Sparrow Records Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
I’m pretty sure we will agree that this was Phil’s most successful album. The album got a Grammy nomination for Best Male Gospel Performance and also received the 1984 GMA Dove Award for Instrumentalist of the Year. It was also nominated for the GMA Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year. That’s pretty impressive. Now one of the stranger things about this album is that Phil went back into the studio are rerecorded the entire album so he could release it on his own label. He also added a track. I can’t say for sure but I’m pretty sure this was a big screw you to Sparrow records. Anyway if you only have time to listen to one track make it his version of “Amazing Grace”. It’s actually my favorite version of this classic hymn, Phil’s voice just makes it sound so great.
Tracklist 1 – I Exalt Thee – 7:23 2 – Wings As Eagles – 5:30 3 – Let The Whole World Know – 4:05 4 – Our God Reigns – 4:36 5 – Amazing Grace – 4:10 6 – Hosanna – 4:33 7 – El Shaddai – 3:55 8 – Everlasting Life – 4:18 9 – The Lord’s Prayer – 4:49
Credits Backing Vocals – Beverly Baxter, Donna McElroy, Lari Goss, Melodie Tunney*, Roni Goss, Sharon Scott (3), Terry Blackwood Bass – Ricky Keller Congas, Timbales, Percussion – Alex Acuña, Laran Philpott Drums – Buster Phillips, Jim Keltner Guitar – Dann Huff, Mike Deasy Keyboards – Jerry Cleveland, Lari Goss Producer – Lari Goss, Phil Driscoll
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Sparrow Records