David Edwards – Get The Picture – 1983

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/

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

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

Phil & John – Count Me Out – 1983

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.

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

Koinonia – More Than A Feelin’ – 1983

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.

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

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

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Key Of The Moment Music
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Breaker Records
Distributed By – MCA Distributing Corporation

Wendell Burton – Closer – 1983

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.

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

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

Debby Boone – Surrender – 1983

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.

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

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

Phil Driscoll – I Exalt Thee – 1983

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.

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

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

Paul Field – Restless Heart – 1983

Many readers may be more familiar with Paul Field as a member of Nutshell for four albums, with two different incarnations. A very popular British folk trio, Nutshell was referred to by some as the British Second Chapter of Acts. But Field is quite the prolific songwriter, including writing a number one CCM single for pop group Avalon called “Testify to Love.” Winona Judd would actually cover song as it was used on the popular “Touched By An Angel” television series and made it a Top Ten Billboard Hit! But here we are discussing his first solo album, and the one that most may be familiar. He would later record a few other solo projects and spend much of his time writing musicals. Field is a prolific songwriter and has produced scores of albums though many reached widespread distribution in the US. Immediately “Restless Heart” sounds like it could just have easily been released by Cliff Richard. It also reminds me of the “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” album by Richard, and not only because Richard would cover a song from this album (“Has to Be You, Has to Be Me”). Like the previously discussed Mark Williamson composition, Richard’s version is a bit more upbeat. The album kicks of with what would be the one single KYMS in Southern California really jumped on. “Rock with the Best of Them” is a fun song to start the album with a great horn section a la Chicago. If the world of CCM radio at the time had any justice, this would have been a monster hit! “Radio” follows with a much more mid-tempo feel very reminiscent of the sound for that day. Darker, more somber, I always saw the metaphor of the radio as being related to the Holy Spirit. The song always reminds me more of what the late 70’s Steve Winwood music was like. The album’s 12 songs (quite a few for the day) bounces back and forth between uptempo pop/rock and ballads. One stand out in the Loggins & Messina vein is “The Storm Is Over.” Something that perhaps Scott Wesley Brown would have done at the same time, it may be the most obviously evangelical song on the album. At the same time, it should have been a hit. The whole album is filled with great songs, but the last song I would like to highlight is the most upbeat song on the album, “Fair Fight.” This could just as easily fit on an album from Mark Williamson/Lyrix or even Morgan Cryar or David Edwards, both musically and lyrically. Never released on CD that I know of (at least in the US) and missing from virtually every streaming service (like much of early 80’s Myrrh releases), the album is worth tracking down. I have seen it for a reasonable price on Amazon and Ebay.

Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – Rock With The Best Of Them – 3:23
2 – Radio – 3:56
3 – Has To Be You, Has To Be Me – 4:42
4 – Solo – 3:48
5 – Positive – 2:57
6 – The Storm Is Over – 3:51
7 – Fairfight – 2:46
8 – Stranger In Your Eyes – 3:45
9 – Just Around The Corner – 3:04
10 – You’re The One – 5:12
11 – Nearly Midnight – 3:48
12 – Restless Heart – 3:46

Paul Field – Vocals, Guitar and Piano
Graham Jarvis – Drums
Mark Griffiths – Bass
Martin Jenner – Guitar
Dave Cooke – Piano, Keyboards, Guitar and Backing vocals
Luís Jardim – Bass
Linda Jardim – Backing vocals
Marilyn David – Backing vocals
Tom Blades – Guitar
Colin Larne – Drums
Bill Thorpe – Violin
Martin David – Percussion
Barry de Souza – Drums
Ray Russell – Guitar
Henry Lowther – Horn
Nick Pentelow – Saxophone
Nick Firkle – Trumpet
Steve Jones – Violin
Penny Thompson – Viola
Jan Sharpe – Cello

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Friday Productions
Recorded At – Riverside Recordings
Mixed At – Riverside Recordings
Mastered At – Liberty Recording Studios
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △26054

Jerusalem – Cant Stop Us Now – 1983

Jerusalem’s 4th album “Can’t Stop Us Now” was a departure from their previous style. Up until this album they had been a 70’s style rock band. Surviving in the 80’s required an updated sound and they easily achieved it. The new pop rock sound was poorly received by their regular listeners but gained new users like myself. The album sold much better than their previous offerings proving their direction change to be a good idea. The album was released in both Swedish and English with the Swedish version retaining 3 English tracks. There does appear to be some minor mix changes between the two versions but for the main part it sounds like they used the same instrument tracks. The English version was reissued in 2018 with 2 bonus tracks. A new song “Time” which is more their traditional style and a remix of “Heartbeat”. We have included those tracks in oar playlist.

1 – Can’t Stop Us Now 4:02
2 – Loves You More 3:58
3 – The Wind Is Blowing 4:24
4 – Tomorrow’s World 5:34
5 – The Waiting – 4:33
6 – Let’s Go (Dancing) – 3:41
7 – Mourner’s Parade – 4:35
8 – Read Between The Lines – 4:08
9 – The Missing Piece – 3:43
10 – Heartbeat – 3:15
Bonus Tracks
11 – Time – 5:50
12 – Heartbeat (Light Remix) – 3:15

Bass – Peter Carlsohn
Drums – Mikael Ulvsgärd
Keyboards – Dan Tibell
Vocals, Guitar – Ulf Christiansson
Composed By – Ulf Christiansson
Layout, Design – Scott Waters
Producer [Produced By] – Andy Kidd
Remastered By – Rob Colwell

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Refuge Records
Copyright © – Refuge Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Copyright © – Uffe Music
Published By – Uffe Music
Published By – Snellsong

Jerusalem – Vi Kan Inte Stoppas – 1983

This is the Swedish version of Jerusalem’s 4th album “Can’t Stop Us Now” instead titled “Vi Kan Inte Stoppas”. It was a departure from their previous style as up until this album they had been a 70’s style rock band. Surviving in the 80’s required an updated sound and they easily achieved it. The new pop rock sound was poorly received by their regular listeners but gained new users like myself. The album sold much better than their previous offerings proving their direction change to be a good idea. The album was released in both Swedish and English with the Swedish version retaining 3 English tracks. There does appear to be some minor mix changes between the two versions but for the main part it sounds like they used the same instrument tracks.

1 – Vi Kan Inte Stoppas – 3:58
2 – Loves You More – 3:58
3 – Vinden Blåser… – 4:27
4 – I Skuggan Av Det Förflutna – 5:37
5 – Kärlekseld – 4:35
6 – Let’s Go (Dancin’) – 3:42
7 – Sorgsnas Parad – 4:37
8 – Regn – 4:09
9 – Pusselbiten – 3:36
10 – Heartbeat – 3:15

Bass – Peter Carlsohn
Drums – Mikael Ulvsgärd
Keyboards – Dan Tibell
Vocals, Guitar – Ulf Christiansson
Composed By – Ulf Christiansson
Layout, Design – Scott Waters
Producer [Produced By] – Andy Kidd
Remastered By – Rob Colwell

Companies, etc.
Printed By – SIB-Tryck AB
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Royal Music
Copyright © – Uffe Music
Published By – Uffe Music
Published By – Snellsong

Matrix – PG13 – 1983

This is where it all started for Bride. If you don’t know Bride were originally called Matrix and this is their first Demo. There are several versions of this demo and some apparently have different tracks so don’t hold us to this particular lineup. Apparently this demo was cut fairly early in the bands development which is rather amazing if you listen to it. Apparently none of these tracks ever made it onto an album which is a real pity as there are some really really good songs here. To be honest I’m quite surprised how good this demo really is. These guys had it together and they had it together quick. Some of the tracks lean a little more Rock & Roll than the work they would be best known for and I sure would have liked to hear more from them in this style. To me the standout track is “Spell House” which has a bit of a Rush feeling to it. Maybe not the best track on the Demo but it’s the one that stood out to me. Best track? For me it is probably “What’s The Point?”.

1 – We Got The Rhythm – 3:19
2 – Who Killed The Rock Hero – 3:24
3 – Get Away – 3:10
4 – What’s The Point – 4:36
5 – Good Rock ‘N’ Roll – 3:19
6 – Stand Up And Shout – 3:01
7 – West Of The Moon – 2:13
8 – Spell House – 3:13
9 – To Make You Think It’s Real – 3:00
10 – Missing Children – 4:35

Drums – Steve Childers
Guitar, Bass – Troy Thompson
Vocals, Bass – Dale Thompson
Photography By – Scott Hall
Songwriter [All Songs Written By] – Dale Thompson, Troy Thompson