Steve Camp – It’s A Dying World – 1984

This was Steve’s final album with Myrrh records. Strangely Myrrh chose to release it after he had already released a new album with his new label. There has to be a story there somewhere. Also strangely the track “Light Your Candle” is both on this album and the “Fire and Ice” album. The versions are slightly different but this is the first version he recorded. Also very strange about this album is that it did not have a single on the CCM charts. I really feel that behind the scenes there’s a real story behind this album. The album actually has a bit of a dark feeling to me. Several of the songs have a negative feel about Steve’s opinion of the world at this time of his life. Now that said this album is also said to have some of his best songwriting which I guess makes sense as he was actually writing about serious issues. Norman Barratt supplied lead guitar work on the album and his work stands out as usual. All in all a pretty good album from Steve but not one of my personal favourites.

Tracklist
1 – Holding On To You – 3:43
2 – Don’t Wanna Be Friends – 3:18
3 – It’s A Dying World – 3:49
4 – You Comfort Me – 3:20
5 – You Know What’s Right – 3:19
6 – Light Your Candle – 3:19
7 – I Don’t Live By Chance – 3:25
8 – Tongue Is A Fire – 5:04
9 – Can You Sleep Tonight – 3:53
10 – Man Does Not Live – 3:27

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Steve Camp
Arranged By – Barratt Band, Steve Camp
Art Direction [Production] – Dlorah L. Abdi
Artwork [Special Airbrush Effects] – Roy Harwood
Backing Vocals – Diane Thiel, Joan Anderson, Steve Camp
Bass – Larry Tomaso
Design, Design Concept [Cover And Sleeve Design And Concept] – Camille Brown
Drums – Russell Caldwell
Electric Guitar – Norman Barratt
Executive-Producer – Steven C. Wyer
Keyboards, Piano – Dave Morris
Mixed By – Hank Neuberger, Steve Camp
Mixed By [Mix-down Engineer] – Hank Neuberger
Photography By [Cover Background And Sleeve Photos] – Steve G.S. Morgan
Photography By [Cover People Photos] – Phillip Radcliffe
Producer – Steve Camp

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.
Recorded At – Chapel Lane Studios
Mixed At – Chicago Recording Company

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Tim Miner – Tim Miner – 1984

Tim Miner grew up in a music family touring with his Mom and Sisters across the U.S. Unfortunately his father passed away when Tim was only 2 years old. At 16 years old Tim signed a deal two album deal with Sparrow records. This is the first of those two albums. It should be noted that Tim actually has two self titled albums. Apparently he hit the reset button in 1992 when he signed and recorded an album for Motown records. When I picked up this album from a kind lender I have to admit I wasn’t too optimistic. The cover screamed easy listening to me. But I was pleasantly surprised that this was more of an upbeat pop album. It’s not Rock & Roll by any stretch of the imagination but it is a good pop album. Tim was rewarded for his good work by getting a #5 single “Always” on the CCM charts. By the way that’s probably the most boring track on the album but hey what can I say, I never did understand the process of picking a single. The bright spot of the track is that it is a duet with Cindy Crus and it’s actually a good song but just not even vaguely my style of music. Most of the tracks on the album were written by Don Rogers but Tim retained co-writing credits on all but 2 tracks.

Tracklist
1 – Love All The Hurt Away – 3:53
2 – Young One – 3:24
3 – Always – 4:22
4 – 21st Century – 4:49
5 – Don’t Try To Give Me That – 2:09
6 – Fight On – 4:28
7 – How Long Lord – 3:47
8 – Now I’m Alive – 3:41
9 – Endangered Species – 4:49
10 – Lone Survivor – 4:35

Credits
Arranged By [Track Arrangements] – John Rosasco, Smitty Price
Arranged By [Vocal Arrangements] – John Rosasco
Backing Vocals – Tom Kelly, Tommy Funderburk
Bass – Hadley Hockensmith, Leon Gaer
Drum Programming [Simmons Programming] – Art Woods
Drums – John Ferraro
Electronic Drums [Lynn Drums] – Jack Kelly
Engineer – Robert Cotton, Michael Ross, Peter Haden, Wally Grant
Engineer [Assistant] – Michael Ross, Tim Robertstad
Executive-Producer – Robert Cotton
Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith, Marty Walsh
Keyboards – John Rosasco, Smitty Price
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Robert Cotton
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Producer, Arranged By – John Rosasco
Saxophone – Brandon Fields
Synthesizer [Programming] – Rhett Lawrence

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Nissi Records
Copyright (c) – Nissi Records
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Recorded At – Paramount Recording Studios
Mixed At – Weddington Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc

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Mad Max – Rollin’ Thunder – 1984

Mad Max was a great Metal band from Germany and this was their first album on a label. They did have an off label release in 1982 that did have some limited distribution with Roof Music in Germany. The lineup here was different than the demo and most reviewers consider this the best makeup of the band. The album had a much more U.S. commercial metal sound than their previous effort. The band has continued putting out albums up until 2018. The lineup has changed fairly steadily but you have to respect the effort to stay rockin.

Tracklist
1 – Fly, Fly Away – 4:18
2 – Evil Message – 3:46
3 – Losing You – 4:08
4 – Stranger – 4:41
5 – Yours Sincerely – 2:22
6 – Shout And Cry – 5:12
7 – Rollin’ Thunder – 4:20
8 – Riding Through The Night – 4:13
9 – Thoughts Of A Dying Man – 6:07

Credits
Bass – Jürgen Sander
Drums – Uwe Starck
Engineer [Assisted] – Otto Rasche
Engineer, Mixed By – Karl Trapp
Guitar – Jürgen Breforth, Wilfried Schneider
Producer – Karl Trapp, Mad Max
Vocals, Guitar – Michael Voss

Companies, etc.
Published By – Roadster Music
Copyright (c) – Roadrunner Productions B.V.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Roadrunner Productions B.V.
Distributed By – CNR
Distributed By – Indisc
Distributed By – SPV GmbH
Distributed By – Disctrade
Distributed By – Madrigal
Distributed By – Music For Nations
Recorded At – Karo Musikstudio, Münster
Mixed At – Karo Musikstudio, Münster

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First Strike – Rock of Offence – 1984

This is another album that leaves me stranded on the intersection confused whether to pick the Hard Rock road or the Metal road. To me it’s in the style of Def Leopard and other very commercial Heavy Metal. However you want to catalog it they did it well and this is an album that would easily be in my top 200. Rock Of Offense was the first and only full-length release from First Strike who were a band out of Sacramento, California and formed in 1979. I personally can’t stand the album cover and I’ve read that the band was of this opinion also. Point of trivia about this album is that it was produced by Michael Roe who is a member of the 77’s.

Track Listing:
1 – Out of Control – 3:03
2 – Hurt by Love – 3:00
3 – I Want You – 3:52
4 – Loneliness Kills – 3:41
5 – Hard Times – 3:21
6 – Slow Poison – 5:31
7 – Your Love – 4:06
8 – Dirty Loving – 3:25
9 – Prisoner – 3:24
10 – Money – 3:35

Credits:
Pat Boylan – Songwriter, Guitars, Background Vocals
Johnnie Delaney – Songwriter, Drums
John Golden – Mastered
Steve Griffith – Assistant Producer, Engineer, Background Vocals
Tony Gunn – Vocals
Tim Larkin – Songwriter, Guitars, Background Vocals
Mary Neely – Executive Producer
Michael Roe – Producer, Background Vocals
Chris Salmon – Songwriter, Bass
Eric Volz – Executive Coordinator, Background Vocals
Daryl Zachman – Engineer

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4•4•1 – 4•4•1 – 1984

This was the first album from 4•4•1 though they did have a demo I haven’t found yet. They formed in 1983 in Arcadia, California and did their first demo in 1984. They sent it to Randy Ziegler from the now famous (in CCM circles) at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa among others. Randy liked what he heard and brought the band in to play warm up for Undercover and a others. This single “Break Out” reportedly debuted at #1 in California CCM radio station KYMS. I’m not real confident on this however as that is a pretty rare feat. Outside of California the album wasn’t initially well known but as news of it leaked across the country more copies had to be printed. Anyway what we have here is a great New Wave / Pop album. It should appeal to fans of either style.

Tracklist
1 – Judgement Game – 3:41
2 – Love’s Irony – 3:14
3 – Fish On The Car – 4:28
4 – Mom And Dad – 3:26
5 – Show Me – 5:47
6 – Break Out – 3:00
7 – In His Presence – 4:34
8 – Looking At You – 3:27

Credits
Backing Vocals – Bruce Swift, Kenny Samuels
Bass – Glenn Holland
Cymbal – Steve Giali
Drums – Steve Giali
Engineer – Doug Doyle
Guitar – John Giali, John McNamara
Guitar [Addtional] – Doug Doyle (tracks: B1)
Harmonica – Darrell Mansfield
Keyboards – Glenn Holland
Keyboards [Additional] – Rob Watson (tracks: B1)
Performer [4•4•1 Is] – Glenn Holland, John Giali, John McNamara, Steve Giali
Producer – Doug Doyle
Saxophone – Alan Palmer
Timbales – Terl Bryant
Vocals – John McNamara

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Renaissance – Never Have To Run – 1984

When I was handed this album it came with a warning. So with great trepidation I started to listen to it. It has one of those annoying 30 second instrumental opening tracks (I’ve always hated that). First real track, ok, good keyboards, nice guitar riffs, decent vocals then there was the lyrics. Let’s just say this album is lyrically challenged. Now I want to be clear, the music is good, the vocals are good and the ideas for the songs are actually good. I think they just needed to have some help on the lyrics as they are a little simplistic. That said I really like some of the ideas they had with the songs and I’ll admit after listening to the album 3 or 4 times it actually grew on me. The production quality is actually pretty good for what appears to be a self produced album. The cover is a little confusing as it shows a cute girl but there is no girl in the band. Cute girl on the cover are you out there? The band themselves were from Ohio and I can’t find any info on them. So I suggest listening to the album but don’t expect anything spectacular. It’s just a simple fun album.

Tracklist
1 – Scenes – 0:42
2 – Preacher Man – 3:33
3 – Our Own Way – 4:10
4 – Life – 4:38
5 – Lonely People – 3:03
6 – Games – 2:54
7 – Just Passin’ Thru – 2:36
8 – Blues – 3:29
9 – Allright By Me – 4:18
10 – Live For Him – 5:37

Credits
Chris Liechty – Drums
Ken Richer – Lead & Backup Vocals, Keyboards
Gareth Miller – Guitar
Lane Roth – Bass, Backup Vocals
Walt Guy – Producer
Renaissance – Producer

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Servant – Light Maneuvers – 1984

This was the 5th studio album from Servant and their first with Myrrh records. As Myrrh was a much larger label than Servant’s two previous labels this was a highly anticipated album. The album did not disappoint. In my opinion it was much better produced and while it definitely took a turn to the pop side of the industry I think that style suited them and this may be my favourite album by them. It spawned two CCM singles with “We Are The Light” making it to #16 and “Surrender” making it to #30.

Tracklist
1 – Poolside Logic – 3:25
2 – Surrender – 4:42
3 – We Are The Light – 4:30
4 – One At Heart – 4:30
5 – Neighborhood – 3:55
6 – Born In The Fire – 3:48
7 – Battlecry – 3:53
8 – Courage To Burn – 4:27
9 – Zero Minus One – 4:15
10 – War Dance – 3:56

Credits
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Artwork [Retouching] – Beverly Gilbert
Bass – Rob Martens
Drums – David Holmes
Engineer – Mike Fraser
Engineer [Assistant] – Allon Brooks
Executive-Producer – Lynn Nichols
Keyboards – Matthew Spransy
Layout – Lori Cooper
Lead Guitar – Bruce Wright
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mixed By – Bob Rock, Mike Fraser
Percussion – Chris Taylor
Photography By – Craig Stewart
Photography By [Back Cover] – Rob Jaffe
Photography By [Back Cover] – Chris Briscoe
Producer – Bob Rock
Vocals – Bob Hardy, Sandie Brock

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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The Rob Cassels Band – Off The Wall – 1984

First of all full disclosure. I count Rob as a personal friend but remember my opinions of his works preceded my friendship with him. Off the Wall was recorded in 1984 and debuted at Cornerstone in 1985. This was Rob’s 3rd album and most days I think it was his best. Other day’s I prefer Straight Shot. This album does contain my favourite song however. Off The Wall is a straight forward Rock & Roll tune that gets your attention especially when turned up to about 11. Rob tells me “Off the Wall was written from my influence of years of prison ministry and reading graffiti off the walls of the prison”. That’s one heck of an inspiration. Rob wrote all the songs on the album and continues writing and recording great music to this day.

Tracklist
1 – Escape – 3:06
2 – Off The Wall – 3:15
3 – Resurrection Power – 3:20
4 – Only Your Love – 2:48
5 – Broken Man – 4:03
6 – Countdown – 2:54
7 – I Will Never Leave You – 3:21
8 – Turning – 3:14
9 – They Don’t Understand – 3:25
10 – The Reverend Silk – 2:23

Credits
Arranged By [Special Help On Arrangements] – Steve Morse
Bass Guitar – Kent Redd
Drums, Percussion – Buster Phillips
Engineer – David Floyd
Guitar – David Hosler (2)
Photography By, Concept By – Dill Beaty
Piano, Keyboards – David Floyd, Rob Cassels
Producer – Rick Sandidge
Vocals – David Hosler, Kent Redd, Rob Cassels

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Larry Norman And The Young Lions – Quiet Night – 1984

This is the only known release of “Larry Norman and The Young Lions.” The Young Lions didn’t become anything else, but I believe that this was one of the records where he used his brother Charly as one of the creative musicians. Charly toured with him on the Stop This Flight Tour, and around this time was working on a career, although we never did seem much of him on his own.

The lead-out groove on side one says (in addition to the serial number ARF-864), “Larry & Charly” and the lead-out groove on side two says The Young Lions “Quiet Night.” For all I know this might mean they were the only two musicians on the album. It wouldn’t surprise me.

Most of the songs on this record are written by Tom Howard. Larry added 2 of his own tracks on each side. (Sigrid Jane, I Don’t Wanna Lose You, and two “L’etude”).

This is one of two records where Larry focused on recording Tom’s songs. The other one is “Letter of the Law” which appears in the bARCHAEOLOGY set. Larry was producing Tom and trying to promote him, unsuccessfully. He recorded some of his songs in attempt to generate some interest and popularity for Tom’s records. Tom did have a couple of moderately successful albums but then switched to doing recordings more focused on just playing piano.

Quiet Night is often referenced as “Jamaican Import” but it was available in the US direct from Phydeaux. Perhaps it was popular in Jamaica.

Tracklist
1 – Iron And Steel
2 – Shine Your Light
3 – I Found Love
4 – Let The Master Make It Right
5 – Piano L’etude
6 – Sigrid Jane
7 – Stronger Love
8 – Farther On
9 – Come On In
10 – Drum L’etude
11 – I Don’t Wanna Lose You
12 – Jesus Is The Song Inside Of Me

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Joe English Band – Live – 1984

In my opinion this was Joe’s best album as these are the most upbeat version of these songs in his catalog. This album was recorded through the UK from at least 6 different concerts. I actually saw this tour in Canada and I remember it being much more Rock & Roll than this. I suspect that Myrrh records actually hunted out the most mellow version of these song as they could. This brings me to my criticism of this album. I don’t know about everyone else but I like Live albums so I can hear the banter between songs. This album does not include any of that. It was produced like a regular album but with live recordings. This is not what a live album is supposed to be like in my opinion. You in no way feel the concert experience from this album. So let’s be clear, this is not really a Live album by my definition.

Tracklist
1 – To Love Is To Live – 5:08
2 – Midnight Angel Choir – 4:41
3 – Dyin’ – 3:41
4 – Rio Samba – 9:24
5 – Power Of Prayer – 4:24
6 – Let Me Praise You Again – 4:38
7 – Learn To Celebrate – 4:14
8 – Get Ready – 7:05

Credits
Bass Guitar – Tim Smith
Executive Producer – Ray Nenow
Guitar, Backing Vocals – George Cocchini, Paul Brannon
Keyboards – John Lawry
Vocals, Drums, Producer – Joe English

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – A&M Records Of Canada Limited

Notes
Mobile unit by Manor, London, England and Tape 1, London, England
Recorded at Colson Hall, Bristol, England; Ulster Hall, Belfast, Ireland; Wembley Arena, Wembley, England
Mixed at Great Circle Sound, Nashville, TN and Sound Emporium, Nashville, TN

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