Lisa Welchel – All Because Of You – 1984

I believe I am safe to say that Lisa was the only Mouseketeer to have a CCM album. It’s gonna be embarrassing if I’m wrong on that one. Lisa was a Mouseketeer in 1977 – 1978 and by all accounts one of the popular ones. Was there an unpopular Mouseketeer? Anyway she went to start in the TV show “The Facts of Life” which I think is where most people know her from. Interestingly she refused a story line of losing her virginity on the show so the story was shifted to a different character and Lisa did not even appear on the episode, the only one she missed. In 1984 she decided to try her hand at music and released this album. I remember this album but unfortunately I remember it for who she was and not the album itself. I’m not saying it’s a bad album just not really memorable. Now lets be clear, albums like this were a dime a dozen in secular music but rarer in Christian music. The album isn’t bad and it even had a single, “How High, How Deep, How Wide” which struggled it’s way to #42 on the charts. The standout track on the album is “Good Girl” which was written by Steve Taylor and it’s immediately recognizable as being in some way connected to him. So if you haven’t listened to this one since the 80’s try listening to it again. If you just can’t do it at least listen to “Good Girl”

1 – Love Believer – 3:42
2 – Just Obey – 4:06
3 – How High, How Deep, How Wide – 4:11
4 – Real Possibility – 4:05
5 – Good Girl – 3:55
6 – Shelter – 3:43
7 – Set Me Free – 4:12
8 – Cover Me Lord – 3:52
9 – All Because Of You – 3:32
10 – He Sings Me To Sleep – 4:52

Backing Vocals – Charity McCrary, Howard McCrary, Linda McCrary, Melissa Mackay, Sandie Hall Brooks, Susan McBride
Bass – John Patitucci, Leon Gaer
Design [Cover] – Stan Evenson
Design [Lyric Sheet], Coordinator [Cover] – Craig Ross
Directed By [Lisa’s Vocal Direction and Coaching] – Roger Love
Drums – Bob Wilson (3), John Ferraro
Engineer – Mike Ross, Tim Roberstad, Wally Grant
Executive-Producer – Robert Cotton
Guitar – Marty Walsh
Keyboards – John Rosasco, Smitty Price
Management – Robert Cotton Management
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Robert Cotton*, Wally Grant
Photography By – Greg Gorman
Producer, Arranged By – John Rosasco
Synthesizer [Programming] – Rhett Lawrence
Vocals – Lisa Whelchel
Woodwind – Brandon Fields
Written-By – John Rosasco (tracks: A1-A4, B1, B4)

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow Distribution
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Geodesic Music
Published By – Triune Music
Published By – C.A. Music
Published By – Emmaus Road Music
Published By – Willing Heart Music
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Recorded At – Paramount Recording Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Nissi Records

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Vision – Mountain In The Sky – 1984

In 1984 Vision came into the scene with this album which was actually self titled. Strangely their second album was also self titled. However at the time hardly anyone even knew about this album never mind bought it so this wasn’t an problem. But when it was re-released in 2010 the conflict became a problem so the album was given the title of “Mountain In The Sky”. This album is actually quite rare and a vinyl copy of it is quite valuable. Continuing the strange story of this album many of these tracks we also on their next album but with quite different arrangements. Anyway let’s talk about the album. This has a definite late 70’s rock sound which isn’t surprising as it had 2 members from Lynyrd Skynyrd. The album was also recorded and mixed at Pat Travers’ studio in keeping with it’s 70’s vibe. Anyway this is a great Rock & Roll album and I’m thankful it was re-released or I probably would never have heard it.

1 – Mountain In The Sky – 7:02
2 – Coming Soon – 4:40
3 – Old Man – 3:23
4 – Dynamos – 4:10
5 – Standing In The Light – 5:25
6 – Dedicated – 3:23
7 – Fight The Good Fight – 3:54
8 – Soldiers Song – 3:31
9 – Lord Is My Joy – 4:42

Bass – Leon Wilkeson
Concept By [Album Cover Concept] – Stan Coates, Vision
Concept By [Album Cover Concept], Artwork [Cover Artwork], Photography By – Tony Ricardo
Drums, Percussion – Mike Maple
Executive-Producer [Reissue Executive-Producer] – Matthew Hunt
Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Rocco Marshall
Mixed By – Bill Ande (tracks: 1-3, 5), Ray Lynn (tracks: 4, 6-11)
Photography By – Wayne Davis
Piano – Billy Powell
Remastered By – J Powell
Synthesizer, Organ, Vocals – David Jinright
Violin, Flute, Guitar Synthesizer, Vocals – Leonard Jones

Companies, etc.
Remastered At – Steinhaus
Distributed By – Brutal Planet Distribution
Recorded At – Pat Travers’ Rehearsal Studios
Recorded At – Stark Lake Studios
Recorded At – LEI Studios
Overdubbed At – Stark Lake Studios
Mixed At – LEI Studios

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Farrell And Farrell – Choices – 1984

Bob and Jane Farrell, the married couple that make up Farrell & Farrell were responsible for some of the most memorable and successful pop music in CCM history. For two decades they toured the world and consistently released top selling albums, moving in many different musical direction while never leaving the safety net of worshipful tunes set to very accessible pop arrangements. Choices was the first of several very technologically driven pop albums where synthesizer and techno dance beat reigned supreme. Earlier works were more traditional 70’s and 80’s acoustic pop music with an occasional rock edge. After a live album the duo returned in 1984 with a new look and decidedly new sound. Influenced by the technology of the day and desire to reach a wider and younger audience, the couple embraced the new technology with abandon. The album starts off with what is probably the couple’s most recognizable song and biggest hit, Hosanna Gloria. An upbeat worship tune with electronic drums and keyboard string arrangement, the song became a long time favorite on Christian radio. “He Reigns” duplicates the success of the former. The song the best seems to use the technology is the hit, Get Right or Get Left. The popular jingoist bumber sticker chorus about the popular rapture view uses an electronic recorded vocals as well as instrumentation. The duo has re-released this album along with all of their earlier works on CD, which none of the early releases had seen before. Bob has proven to be a great songwriter over the years and for ten years or so they were amongst the best selling and most popular groups in CCM.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Hosanna Gloria – 3:07
2 – He Will Always Make A Way – 3:55
3 – Get Right Or Get Left – 3:45
4 – Through Your Eyes – 3:46
5 – Ransome – 3:16
6 – He Reigns – 3:23
7 – The Greatest Of These – 3:08
8 – Choose To Love – 3:24
9 – Give Me The Words – 3:55
10 – He Is There – 3:24

Arranged By [Track Arrangements] – Carl Marsh (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B5)
Art Direction, Design – Joan Tankersley
Choir [Rock Choir] – Bob Farrell, Dana Key, David Mayo, Debbie Cathey, Jack Holder, Jayne Farrell, Jimi Jamison
Coordinator [Tour Coordination] – Pamela Muse
Drums [Acoustic And Simmons] – Chad Cromwell, John Hampton
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock
Keyboards – Carl Marsh, Ed DeGarmo, Keith Thomas
Layout – Lori Cooper
Lead Guitar [Electric], Rhythm Guitar [Electric] – Dana Key
Lead Vocals – Bob Farrell, Jayne Farrell
Management [Management / Direction] – Dan Brock Associates
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Ed DeGarmo (tracks: A1 to B2, B4, B5), Jonathan David Brown
Orchestrated By [Orchestration Conceived, Arranged And Performed By On The Fairlight CMI] – Carl Marsh
Photography By – Craig Stewart
Producer [Produced By] – Bob Farrell, Ed DeGarmo
Recorded By [Overdubs] – Brian Tankersley, Ed DeGarmo
Recorded By [Tracks] – John Hampton

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Star Song Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song Records
Produced For – Mint Productions
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Recorded At – Rivendell Recorders
Mixed At – Rivendell Recorders
Mixed At – Weddington Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Published By – StraightWay Music
Published By – Warner Bros. Music
Published By – Bob Montgomery Music Inc.
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Published By – Yellow House Music
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △26434

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Cruse – Cruse 2 – 1984

This was the second album after the Cruse Family renamed themselves “Cruse” to sound more hip and young. There really isn’t much info out there on the family and really the only member to go on to success was Cindy Cruse. The album is definitely Easy Listening synth driven music with the exception of “Roads” which has a good Rock sound. Unfortunately they didn’t let any of that sound sneak into any of the other tracks. The album is good in an Imperials kind of way but there is no way I would have owned it in the 80’s. I am kind of surprised that it didn’t have a single on the charts as it’s everything CCM magazine was looking for at the time.

1 – Angel Song – 3:14
2 – Sign Of The Times – 3:34
3 – Dancin’ In The Light – 3:35
4 – Unfailing Love – 3:51
5 – Love Of The Lord – 3:02
6 – Rise And Fly – 3:59
7 – Roads – 4:09
8 – Under Wings Of Love – 4:18
9 – Magnify The Lord – 4:03

Karen Cruse Adams – Vocals
Dennis Belfield – Bass
Claire Cloninger – Songwriter
Robert Cotton – Engineer, Mixed
Becky Cruse – Songwriter
Joe Cruse III – Vocals
Paulinho da Costa – Percussion
Wally Grant – Engineer, Mixed
Ed Greene – Drums
Steve Hall – Mastered
David Huff – Songwriter
Abraham Laboriel – Bass
Rhett Lawrence – Synthesizer Programmer
Larry Mohoberac – Arrangements, Keyboards
Smitty Mohoberac – Arrangements
Smitty Price – Keyboards
Cindy Cruse Ratcliff – Songwriter
Don Rogers – Songwriter
John Rosasco – Producer, Songwriter, Arrangements, Keyboards
Mike Ross – Assistant Engineer
Janice Cruse Stone – Vocals
Carlos Vega – Drums
Marty Walsh – Guitar

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Nissi Records
Copyright (c) – Nissi Records
Distributed By – Sparrow Distribution

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Ground Crew – New Old World – 1984

Here is yet another oddball release on Morada Records. You’ll find some rather odd combinations of styles on this album. All on one album you can hear synth, prog rock, Fusion rock, Funk, and maybe a bit of jazz. Kind of a pity this was their only album as I think a second one with a better producer this band might have really gone some where. All that said this one is definitely one you should take the time to listen to and you might join the cult following this band has.

1 – Creepin’ In – 2:44
2 – Lookin’ Out – 3:01
3 – Who Are We Looking To? – 3:29
4 – When He Comes – 2:55
5 – You Got A Hold On Me – 5:48
6 – New Old World – 3:26
7 – Latter Rain – 4:39
8 – By My Spirit – 2:48
9 – Before The Throne – 5:42

Ken Burger – Songwriter, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Mark Copenhaver – Producer, Engineer
Ground Crew – Producer
Mark Huhnke – Songwriter, Keyboards, Synthesizers, Vocals
R. Jones – Songwriter
D. Koss – Songwriter
Eric Lucas – Songwriter, Guitar, Sax, Bass, Vocals
Tom Winters – Drums

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Billy Sprague – What A Way To Go – 1984

Billy Sprague got his start in the Christian music scene by being a member of Amy Grant’s band in the early 80’s. This work included a duet with Amy, “Singing A Love Song,” off Amy’s In Concert album. This relationship developed into his own record deal in 1984 with Reunion Records. Reunion brought in Michael W. Smith in to produce the album and the result of that is this album. It was a very successful release garnering 3 singles on the CCM charts. “Heavenly Father” climbed to #8, “What A Way To Go” to #22, and “Jude Doxology” to #30. I’m kind of surprised they released Jude Doxology as a single as personally I think it’s the weakest track on the album, but I never really got along with the CCM charts anyway. Obviously the album was very successful and I’m sure Reunion Records couldn’t get a second album out fast enough though it would have to wait until he was done his tour.

1 – What A Way To Go – 4:07
2 – Don’t Give Up – 3:55
3 – Heavenly Father – 3:31
4 – Never Be The Same – 4:59
5 – I Believe – 4:42
6 – Secret Heart – 4:29
7 – How Could You Say No – 3:28
8 – Take My Heart – 4:54
9 – Jude Doxology – 2:03

Art Direction, Design – Kent Hunter
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Mark Hammond
Engineer – Jeff Balding
Engineer [Additional] – Jim “J.B.” Baird
Engineer [Assistant] – Allen Henry, Chris Hammond, Sam Baily
Engineer, Mixed By – Brent King
Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Michael Blanton
Guitar, Electric Guitar – Jon Goin
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Mixed By [Assistant] – Phil Dihel
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer, Keyboards – Michael W. Smith

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Designed At – Thomas Ryan Design
Recorded At – Goldmine Studio, Brentwood, TN
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – Center Stage Studio
Mixed At – Mastermix
Mastered At – Mastermix
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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Weber and the Buzztones – Weber and the Buzztones – 1984

Weber And The Buzztones were a little known band out of southern California. Originally called “Larry Weber Millennium” a 45 was released in 1982 with “Lambchops” and “God Blessed America”. Unfortunately “God Blessed America” didn’t make it to this EP and I’ve never heard it. Very little is actually known about them other than they regularly warmed up for Steve Taylor. The quality of this EP is very high so I have a suspicion that Steve Taylor may have been involved with this project, but I have no proof of this so it is merely a guess on my part. You have to love the “instructions” on the label, “Directions for playing: Set at 331/3 RPM Apply Phono Needle To First Cut Set Volume at Loud and Enjoy” There really should have been more from this band as I believe there is a high level of talent and I always loved “fun” bands who didn’t take themselves too seriously. The track “Runaway” was included on the 1986 Shadow Records sampler “Rock Across America”

1 – Lamb Chops – 2:50
2 – Ok – 3:50
3 – Runaway – 4:30
4 – Walk Away – 4:24

Cover – Paul Carstensen
Design – Paul Carstensen
Drum Programming [Linndrum] – Pat Craig
Drum Programming [Simmons] – Mike Tuuri
Engineer – David Denny, Jammie Bridges
Executive Producer – Brian Martin
Guitar – Larry Weber
Mastered By – George Horn
Percussion – Mike Tuuri
Producer – Larry Weber
Synthesizer – Glen Repoza, Larry Weber, Nelson DiMarco, Tim Watt
Vocals – Larry Weber
Written-By – Larry Weber

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Starlight Sound
Mastered At – Fantasy Studios

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Kenny Marks – Right Where You Are – 1984

In the world of Christian pop music more than a handful of artists bounded on the scene without the songwriting credentials, artistic acumen and lyrical insight…and they sold a ton of records. Other like Kenny Marks made a name for themselves and sold a decent amount, but never attained the popularity their quality work deserved. Often favorably compared to Bryan Adam and Richard Marx, Kenny Marks was a singer-songwriter that plied his trade in the CCM world and should have done much better. His songs combined the popular and common themes of mainstream CCM with a twist or difference that set him apart. he would also deal with subjects either taboo or poorly communicated in other settings. He may be most noted for his trilogy of songs that surrounded the relationship between a Johnny and a Jeannie. Two High School sweethearts that date, marry, have a child and divorce. Though a later album would bring Johnny back as a character, it is the three songs on three records in a row that are of most note. That trilogy started here with “Growing Up Too Fast.” The albums biggest hit was the title track, a stirring ballad about God’s undying love and forgiveness. “One Small Voice” reminds the listener of God’s attempt to speak to us in the small things in a busy and loud world. “Single-Minded Love” addresses the loneliness and difficulty of being a single adult within the walls of the Church. Marks had a decent little career, but it should have been stronger and lasted longer. There were three of four fantastic albums released throughout the mid-80’s that still deserve repeated listening.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Right Where You Are – 4:11
2 – One Small Voice – 3:17
3 – Prisoner – 4:57
4 – It’s Incredible – 3:21
5 – Gift From God – 4:10
6 – Growing Up Too Fast – 4:00
7 – Single-Minded Love – 3:45
8 – Still Be Believing – 3:20
9 – You’re The Best – 3:40
10 – Sing For Joy – 3:11

Art Direction – Bill Brunt
Backing Vocals – Denny Henson, Kenny Marks, Pamela Marks, Patti Leatherwood, Randy Guidry
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Dennis Holt
Engineer – Kyle Lehning
Engineer [Assistant] – Doug Sarrett
Engineer, Mixed By – Jeff Balding
Executive-Producer – Neal Joseph
Guitar – Jon Goin
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Percussion – Terry McMillan
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Keyboards [Mini Moog Bass], Backing Vocals – Keith Thomas
Saxophone – Mark Douthit

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Mixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Mastered At – Mastermix
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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Lewis McVay – Coming Attraction – 1984

Nearly a decade after releasing one of the most classic, definitive Jesus Music albums, Sail on Sailor, with his band Mustard Seed Faith and some six year since releasing his first solo album “Spirit of St. Lewis” Lewis McVay released an amazing record that was only hampered by being part of a label that was about to fold. From the creative cover to the phenomenal musicianship on the album, every song works and works well. Combining many different genres all within the framework of pop/rock with touches of new wave and soulful jazz, there is also a hint of the sounds also explored by labelmates Prodigal. Christian radio was very responsive to the mid-tempo ballad “Someday” which sounds nothing like the rest of the album and is uncanny how much it sounds like a David and the Giants ballad. It is also the only over the top syrupy CCM song on the entire album and seems like it was written just for the radio. That is really the ONLY song not up to par with the rest of the album. The rest of the album is really that good. There is not a weak song to be found anywhere. Highlights include the title track, Moon Eyes and You Can’t Fool Me. This is a serious AYSO and one can only hope to find one to own. You don’t want to know what I paid for mine 20 years later!

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Moon Eyes – 4:03
2 – Coming Attraction – 2:25
3 – Can’t Fool Me – 3:43
4 – It’s Real – 3:52
5 – Someday – 3:39
6 – I Need You – 3:34
7 – Running – 3:00
8 – Is Everything Possible? – 3:46
9 – Can’t Live Without Your Love – 3:56
10 – Working Man – 3:06

Backing Vocals – Bill Batstone, Darrell Cook, Jon Phelps, Kay Roebuck, Keith Edwards, Lewis McVay, Ronda Taff, Ted French
Bass – Darrell Cook, Greg McNelly
Co-producer – Lewis McVay
Drums – Keith Edwards, Larrie Londin
Electric Guitar – Bill Batstone, Jon Goin
Engineer – Greg McNeily, Jonathan David Brown
Engineer, Mixed By – Gary Platt
Keyboards – Jeff Lamms, John Shriner
Lead Guitar – James Cloke, Jon Goin, Wayne Braust
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Lewis McVay
Mastered By – Mike Fuller
Mixed By – Greg McNeily
Photography – Dianne McVay
Producer – Jon Phelps, Ted French (tracks: B4)
Saxophone – Ronnie Eades
Synthesizer – Loyd Boldman, Rob Watson, Shane Keister

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – McVay Publishing
Copyright (c) – Between The Lines Music

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Messiah – Final Warning – 1984

This 1984 album is another example of early Christian metal. At the time the genre was still being downplayed by record companies and distributors. Because of this the vinyl version of this album is highly sought after due to it’s very short run. It is rumoured that the vinyl run was limited to 1000 copies so they can command up to $1000 now. Luckily Retroactive Records re-released the album on CD in 2010 so you can get a copy more easily. This was Messiah’s first official studio release though there had been demo’s. This is a true metal album and in my opinion was ahead of its time. While not my style this is a great band that knew what they were doing. The production on the album was a little weak but in a way that makes it sound even better.

1 – Who’s To Blame – 3:02
2 – Outta Control – 4:25
3 – Where Are You – 4:03
4 – The Choice – 3:37
5 – Heavenly Metal – 5:42
6 – Mistaken Identity – 4:50
7 – Keep Searching – 4:17
8 – Lucifer – 6:04
9 – Final Warning – 5:46

Bass – Pete Smoltz
Cover, Artwork, Layout, Illustration – Mike Demske
Engineer – George Hellow
Engineer [Assistant] – Chuck Reynolds
Keyboards – Dan Knowles
Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Scott Wood
Lead Vocals – Chuck Gugel
Management – Nutcracker Productions Co. Inc.
Percussion – Keith Behnke
Producer – Chuck Gugel, Scott Wood
Written-By – Chuck Gugel, Mike Lopez (tracks: B3, B4), Pete Smoltz (tracks: A2, A5), Scott Wood (tracks: A1 to B2)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Viniculum Music Publishing Inc.
Copyright (c) – Viniculum Music Publishing Inc.
Distributed By – Nutcracker Productions Co. Inc.
Produced For – IHM Records
Recorded At – Polaris Recording Studios

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