Leslie Phillips – Beyond Saturday Night – 1983

Along with Julie Miller, Leslie (Sam) Phillips is the only female artist to have four albums included on this list. It was very close to five but Powder Room Politics was a deal breaker. Phillips began her career singing backing vocals for other LA based Myrrh artists like Randy Stonehill, David Edwards and Mark Heard. It was while singing backing vocals on Mark Heards classic “Victims of the Age” album that she heard the song “Heart of Hearts” that she would cover on this album and would become her first of several career hits. As much as the label would push her as the Christian Cyndi Lauper, only a few cuts from Dancing With Danger would really qualify. The only comparison was the high pitched, young girl sounding voice (similar to Julie Miller in many ways), for Leslie was more rock than pop and more lyricist than entertainer. BSN is filled with so many amazing and lasting songs that there actually no real forgettable songs. Michael Landua’s impressive guitar work (similar to Dann Huff and Steve Lukather) was unfortunately lost often in Jack Joseph Puig’s mixes. I have often wondered if the record company requested that the album be softened in the mix as it has been a constant frustration just how such impressive guitar work would be so stifled in the production. Songs like Hourglass, Heart in Me, Bring Me Through and He’s Gonna Hear You Crying deliver the rock goods that deserve a remix and remastering at some point. Phillips also proved early that she could bring a ballad with passion and transparency sorely lacking from female artists at the time. I’m Finding became a huge radio hit while the title track and Heart of Hearts show the strength of an artists that is rarely seen on a debut project. Phillips would go one to be one of the important, prominent and perplexing artist in CCM history,

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – Hourglass – 3:28
2 – Gina – 3:24
3 – Put Your Heart In Me – 4:00
4 – I’m Finding – 3:23
5 – Beyond Saturday Night – 4:27
6 – Bring Me Through – 4:43
7 – Heart Of Hearts – 3:14
8 – Will They Love Him – 4:31
9 – He’s Gonna Hear You Cryin’ – 3:10
10 – Let Me Give – 3:42

Backing Vocals – Bob Carlisle, Brian Duncan, Leslie Phillips
Bass – Leland Sklar, Nathan East
Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Susan Pyron
Design [Album Design] – Paradise Graphics, Paul Gross, Steve Elowe
Drums – Carlos Vega
Executive-Producer – Doug Corbin
Guitar – Michael Landau, Randy Thomas
Keyboards – John Schreiner, John Hobbs, Robbie Buchanan
Liner Notes – Davin Seay, Leslie
Mastered By – Doug Sax, Mike Reese
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport
Producer, Recorded By – Jack Joseph Puig
Synthesizer – John Schreiner, John Hobbs

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Myrrh Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – Δ25989
Published By – Word Music (2)
Published By – Cutting Edge Music
Published By – Maranatha! Music
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Goldmine West
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

Gary Davis – Numbered Days – 1983

I simply could not find out anything about Gary Davis. I do have a bit of info on the album though. It was released by Ministry Resource Center who we’re starting to be a real powerhouse label right at the time this album was released. It appears however that it was not distributed and instead was a mail order item. The album was also initially released with the tracks incorrectly ordered on the vinyl label but subsequent releases caught this and stickers were applied to the label to correct the error. That’s all I know about this album. As far as the album goes it is an easy listening album. The lyrics and music are good, nothing outstanding but good and definitely a worthwhile listen.

1 – Lukewarm
2 – Willing Vessel
3 – Unless The Spirit
4 – The Prophet’s Warning
5 – Little By Little
6 – In Christ
7 – Numbered Days
8 – Kingdom Way
9 – Song For Those Who Thirst
10 – Guidance Song

Lead Vocals – Gary Davis
Background Vocals – Gary Davis, Bobbi Vandevort, Carla Piper, Kathy Dittmer
Piano and Rhodes – Andy Narell
Synthesizers – Frank Martin
Guitar – Steve Erquiaya
Bass – Rich Girard
Drums – Paul VanWageningen
Percussion – Kenneth Nash
Sax – Marc Ruso, Larry Schneider
Produced/Arranged – Kenneth Nash

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Ministry Resource Center
Copyright (c) – Ministry Resource Center

Benny Hester – Legacy – 1983

This was Benny’s best forgotten album. When I read the bio’s on Benny it always seems this album is ignored. I’m a little confused by this as it did have 2 charting singles, Legacy made it to #5, and Melody Man made it to #40. Admittedly that’s not a stunning album but a #5 single shouldn’t be ignored. I know at the time it wasn’t ignored but for some reason history has kind of forgotten about it. One thing that was odd about this album is that at the same time Michael Card came out with an album with the same name. Normally I would have considered this a rather large error but in this case Card was on a relatively smaller label and I doubt that either company knew this was going to happen. By the way The Card album was more successful but in my opinion not as good.

1 – Legacy – 4:44
2 – Closer – 4:39
3 – It Took So Long – 4:30
4 – Melody Man – 3:19
5 – Sensitive Heart – 3:28
6 – Caught Away – 5:08
7 – Out Of The Natural – 3:38
8 – Nobody’s Listening – 4:05
9 – Footprints – 3:54
10 – These Things Were Done By You – 1:53

Bass – David Coy
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Design – Dennis Hill
Drums, Percussion – Paul Bahn
Guitar, Vocals – Benny Hester
Keyboards – Michael Omartian (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B3)
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Jeff Lams
Lead Guitar – Tony Sena
Orchestrated By, Conductor – Michael Omartian
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport
Producer – Benny Hester, John Guess
Recorded By – John Guess

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Printed By – Garrod & Lofthouse
Made By – Garrod & Lofthouse

David Meece – Count The Cost – 1983

While I was researching this album I discovered that very few people were discussing this album. It’s almost as if people are saying “This is his 6th album” and that’s it. I’m kind of surprised because personally I think it’s probably his second best album (I think “Are You Ready?” was his best). The album is keyboard/Piano heavy which is to be expected as David Meece is a classically trained concert pianist. That said I don’t think David was comfortable with synth at this time as he had Michael W. Smith and Shane Keister step in to help in that area. The track that stands out to me is the title track. I absolutely love studio musician Jon Goin’s guitar riffs on this track. I think it would have been fun if David and Jon had tried a real Rock & Roll song as it really does sound like Jon could have handled that role. I also think David could have written some real Rock & Roll as he was an excellent songwriter and I get the feeling he enjoyed a good rock song.

1 – Gloria – 3:59
2 – Making My Life Brand New – 4:19
3 – Falling Down – 3:04
4 – Pressing On – 3:46
5 – Some People They Never Believe – 3:22
6 – Count The Cost – 2:51
7 – I Don’t Know What I’d Do Without You – 5:10
8 – Today Is The Day – 2:29
9 – And You Know It’s Right – 4:25
10 – Replace It With Your Love – 4:00

Arranged By – Alan Moore
Backing Vocals – Diana DeWitt, Donna McElroy, Gary Pigg, Jackie Cusic, Kim Fleming
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Paul Leim
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Engineer [Assistant] – Don Cobb
English Horn – Bobby Taylor
Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Michael Blanton
Flugelhorn, Trumpet [Piccolo Trumpet] – John Rommel
Guitar – Jon Goin
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Michael W. Smith, Shane Keister
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Photography By [Album Photo] – Michael Borum
Producer – Brown Bannister

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Myrrh Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – Δ 26087
Published By – Meece Music
Published By – Full Armor Publishing Co
Published By – Whole Armor Publishing Co.
Published By – Handrail Music
Published By – Meadowgreen Music Co.
Recorded At – Caribou Ranch
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – Sound Stage Studios
Remixed At – The Bennett House
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

Chuck Girard – The Name Above All Names – 1983

This album marked Chuck’s departure from Good News Records and instead he created his own label for this album. That said I am guessing the experiment didn’t go well as he joined Asaph Records for his next album. Now I’m going to criticize this album but hear me out as it’s not that bad. Chuck brought in Bob Rose to help produce this album. Bob had only produced one album before this one which was Chucks The Stand album. Chuck and his wife Karen took co-producing credits and executive production credits. Quite frankly the album shows the lack of proper production. A few songs have fade ins which is generally avoided by most producers as it not generally well received. That said an occasional fade in song is good for artistic license but not so many. Further the album just doesn’t have that finished feel. Many of the song names are too long and it just doesn’t feel finished. Now that said, the songs are good and the album probably has some of his best lyrics ever. The mix is good if not polished and I noticed that Derald Dougherty gets an engineering credit on the album. So to sum up it’s a good album and my criticism should probably be initially ignored and you should listen to the album and judge it for yourself.

1 – The Name Above All Names – 4:34
2 – Kingdom Come – 4:44
3 – We Are The Righteousness Of God – 3:36
4 – Blessed Be The Name Of My Rock – 3:30
5 – Soldiers Of The Lion – 4:51
6 – Don’t Shoot The Wounded – 4:07
7 – And The Rain Came Down – 4:00
8 – Wall Of Love – 3:37
9 – Walk As I Walk – 4:05
10 – The Power And The Glory – 3:44

Arranged By, Producer – Bob Rose
Arranged By, Producer [Produced By] – Chuck Girard (tracks: B1)
Art Direction – Liza McDonald
Backing Vocals – Bili Thedford, Chuck Girard, Denny Correll, Terry Clark, Tommy Funderburk
Co-producer, Executive-Producer – Chuck Girard
Engineer – Bill Cobb
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Derald Dougherty, Jonathan Brown
Executive-Producer – Karen Girard
Mastered By – Carol Hibbs
Mixed By [Mixdown Engineer] – Nick Van Maarth
Percussion – Burleigh Drummond
Photography By – Harry Langdon
Synthesizer – Rob Watson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Seven Thunders Records
Copyright (c) – Seven Thunders Records
Distributed By – Word Records (2)
Mastered At – K Disc Mastering
Recorded At – Poiema Studios
Recorded At – Baby’O Recorders
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios

Mike Warnke – Growing Up – 1983

The humour continues as Mike is joined by his wife, at the time, for his 7th album.

It should be noted that Warnke was revealed as a liar and fraudster in 1991 by Cornerstone magazine. This recording is offered as a historic record of what was being listened to in the Christian community in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Art Direction – Jim Osborn
Engineer – Malcolm Harper
Mastered By – Hank Williams (2)
Photography By – Mark Tucker (7)
Producer, Edited By, Remix – Neal Joseph

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Published By – Warnke Publishing Co.
Published By – Prime Time Music (2)
Recorded At – Will Rogers Auditorium
Recorded By – Reelsound
Edited At – Bullet Recording
Remixed At – Bullet Recording
Mastered At – Mastermix

The Call – Modern Romans – 1983

This was the second album from The Call and is probably the one that introduced most people to the band. Their first album was not very well received but I guess was well enough received that Mercury Records went ahead with a second album. The single “The Walls Came Down” was a rather odd single. It only reached #74 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart though did make it to #17 on the mainstream rock chart. What was odd is that it was hugely popular on MTV. The video was very well received which I find odd because it is the just the band playing the song in what looks like a warehouse. Remember that often first singles followed this style on the thought we would learn who the band was. A strategy I always thought was stupid as these videos were notoriously boring. But as boring as it was (and it is) it was on heavy rotation. The song is actually referring to the cold war between the U.S. and Russia but there is the obvious suggestion of the biblical story of Battle of Jericho. Now I will toss in a personal opinion. I actually preferred their initial self titled album, but this album did solidify me as a permanent fan.

1 – The Walls Came Down – 3:35
2 – Turn A Blind Eye – 3:48
3 – Time Of Your Life – 3:27
4 – Modern Romans – 3:24
5 – Back From The Front – 4:02
6 – Destination – 4:32
7 – Violent Times – 4:28
8 – Face To Face – 4:05
9 – All About You – 4:20

Bass – Greg Freeman
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Scott Musick
Engineer – Richard Kaplan
Engineer [Assistant] – Chuck Johnson, David Spritz
Guitar, Vocals – Tom Ferrier
Guitar, Vocals [Lead] – Michael Been
Producer – Michael Been, The Call
Synthesizer, Cornet – Steve Huddleston
Synthesizer, Saxophone – Garth Hudson
Written-By – Michael Been

Companies, etc.
Published By – Neeb Music
Published By – Tarka Music
Phonographic Copyright (p) – PolyGram Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – PolyGram Records, Inc.
Marketed By – PolyGram Records, Inc.
Pressed By – PRC Recording Company, Compton, CA
Recorded At – Indigo Ranch Studios

T-Bone Burnett – Proof Through The Night – 1983

T-Bone Burnett may appear more often than any artist outside of Terry Scott Taylor if one includes solo projects, band projects and musician and production duties. From Bob Dylan and Tonio K to Leslie Phillips and Mark Heard T-Bone Burnett never had his own albums released into the CCM market, yet his presence is undeniable and, for the listener and fan, greatly appreciated. While working at Maranatha Village I was doing an in-store appearance with Leslie Phillips for her CCM swan song, The Turning, and she entered the store with a very tall and lanky gentleman in tow. Now, realize I had met Amy Grant, Bob Dylan, Bono and Michael Been by this time in my life, but I can tell you that I have never been so in awe or so utterly tongue tied as when I met T-Bone Burnett for the first time. Proof Through the Night is a haunting, dark and impressive album. Guests include Pete Townsend and Ry Cooder along with Burnett’s normal group of stellar friends and bandmates like David Mansfield and David Miner. The album sort of lulls you into experiencing what it has to offer. Burnett’s acoustically driven stark production is so compelling it is no surprise he continues to be one of the most sought after producers, and here it shines in its simplicity and authenticity. There are several wonderful songs to highlight on this album. “Stunned” is the most accessible and should have been a single if Burnett could ever really have a “single.” The chorus is memorable and stays with the listener. The same for “Fatally Beautiful.” ”Pressure” is true highlight with a great guitar driven 1-3 beat and incredible hook. Burnett also has a long standing trademark of talking through songs. There are a few examples on this album that make for compelling listening. “The Sixties” is hysterical, especially its comments regarding the use of the word “freak.” “Hefner and Disney” also employs the storytelling motif and creates and troubling mood musically which compliments the content as he reverses the roles of the two famous gentlemen. A great album worth tracking down that a few years ago was finally released on CD.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

1 – The Murder Weapon – 4:29
2 – Fatally Beautiful – 4:21
3 – After All These Years – 3:11
4 – Baby Fall Down – 3:00
5 – The Sixties – 5:30
6 – Stunned – 3:50
7 – Pressure – 3:30
8 – Hula Hoop – 3:13
9 – When The Night Falls – 3:54
10 – Hefner And Disney – 3:47
11 – Shut It Tight – 3:56

Art Direction – Jeri McManus
Composed By – John Fleming (tracks: B3), Roscoe West (tracks: B3), T-Bone Burnett
Engineer [Assistant] – Jules Bowen, Tony Chiappa
Management [Direction] – Al Schlesinger, Nancy Clarke
Mastered By [Originally] – Bernie Grundman
Mixed By – Mark Ettel
Musician – David Mansfield, David Miner, Jerry Marotta, Masakazu Yoshizawa, Mick Ronson, Pete Townshend, Richard Thompson, Ry Cooder, Stan Lynch, T-Bone Burnett
Photography By – Frank Gargani
Producer – Jeff Eyrich
Producer [Associate] – The Chelew Bros. (tracks: B6)
Recorded By – Dennis Kirk
Vocals – T-Bone Burnett, The Williams Brothers

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Warner Communications
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Copyright (c) – Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Pressed By – Allied Record Company – B-18376
Pressed By – Allied Record Company – B-18377
Published By – Arthur Buster Stahr Music
Published By – Black Tent Music
Published By – Bug
Recorded At – Eel Pie Studios
Recorded At – The Sound Factory
Recorded At – Ocean Way Recording
Mixed At – Ocean Way Recording
Mastered At – Sheffield Lab Matrix

Walt Harrah – On The Rock – 1983

This Walt Harrah album is subtitled on the cover with “A Musical Odyssey on Kingdom Living Based on the Sermon on the Mount”. This album was also available as a Chorus book with a cassette or Reel to Reel with the vocals removed. I’m not really too sure what that makes this project but I don’t know anyone who had the album or any of the other items so I don’t know how popular it was. Strangely in all the biographies I read on Walt this album is never even mentioned. The album itself is an easy listening synth oriented album and if you’re in the right mood this is an excellent album. That said it does have a very distinct sound so it may take a bit for it to grow on you. It did grow on me and I quite like it now.

1 – In The Kingdom – 3:22
2 – Kingdom Living – 3:07
3 – Poor In Spirit – 4:37
4 – Love Your Enemies Too – 2:22
5 – The Hypocrite – 3:00
6 – The Lord’s Prayer – 4:04
7 – What? Me Worry? – 2:20
8 – God, The Lilies N’ Me – 2:24
9 – All You’ve Gotta Do – 3:16
10 – On The Rock – 4:02
11 – Your Will Be Done – 5:15
12 – He Will Reign – 3:46

Drums – Dave Spurr
Keyboards, Programmed By – John Schreiner
Lead Vocals – Amick Byram
Synthesizer – Leon Gaer
Trumpet – Darrel Gardner
Vocals – Cozette Byrd
Vocals, Lead Vocals – Sandi Patty, Steve Green
Vocals, Lead Vocals, Producer, Arranged By – Walt Harrah

Solid Rock – Interdesign – 1983

This is the second independent release from Solid Rock. Their first album was well received and even got airplay on Christian Radio. This album was even better received and also received play on Christian Radio. This was no small feat for an independent release. The band were from Weatherford, Oklahoma and attended Trinity Baptist Church. As I said this was the second of three albums and they were all Indy releases. I am a little amazed that a band from Oklahoma with an independent release gained such a large following. I would normal describe this situation as having a cult following but in this case the band was very well known. I really like this album but honestly it’s a little confusing at ties. Sometimes I’m hearing 70’s Pink Floyd and on other tracks 80’s synth. But this really isn’t a criticism as the album flows well and I love their version of Rock & Roll. If you missed this one in the 80’s give it a listen.

1 – Intro – 1:30
2 – Carry On – 4:19
3 – Two-Thirds Of A Man – 3:51
4 – Make A Change – 3:29
5 – Just This Side Of Darkness – 4:17
6 – Sidekick – 3:05
7 – Wisdom Of Men – 4:40
8 – Live Your Life Alone – 3:56
9 – Fly Away – 5:14

Drums, Vocals – Larry Percy
Guitar, Synthesizer – Stan Mathis
Bass, Vocals – Kevin Bartel
Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Album Design – Jerry Johnson
Engineer – Gary Duggan
Producer – Larry Benson
Concert Sound Enginer – Kurt Abercrombie

Studio – Benson Sound
Mastered – Kendun Recorders