The Overflow Band – Hazardous Driving Ahead – 1984

I really don’t know anything about this band nor can I find any info on them. The album is on Morada Records who were pretty well known for signing some real oddball acts that no-one heard of before. This appears to be one of those cases. Side 1 of the album is a great Rock & Roll album with a great opening track. It has a bit of a 70’s Rock sound but is easily listenable in the 80’s. I did read that side 2 are demo tracks and this is believable as the production quality goes down as you listen through the album. Anyway here it is anyway, a pretty darn good Rock & Roll album and I would have loved to hear more.

Tracklist
1 – Ready For Action
2 – Right Road
3 – Walkin’ In Desolation
4 – Rock Bottom
5 – Hold On
6 – Makes No Sense To Me
7 – Jesus Is The Answer
8 – Angela
9 – Hey Why Don’t You Believe

Credits
Artwork – Rod Fick
Drums – Robbie Robinson
Guitar & Bass – Thai Page
Guitar & Bass, Songwriter – Mario Colagrossi
Lead Vocals – Chris Timburg
Production Director – Teresa Dodson-Baskin

Phillip Sandifer – On My Way – 1984

This is Phillip’s second album and it was on the same label as his first. At this point in history Phillip was the only person on Urgent Records with his two albums being the only 2 on the label. That said Urgent had a distribution deal with Sparrow and it must have been a good relationship because this album did very well. It had 2 charting singles with “On My Way” made it to #18 and “More Than A Moment” snuck onto the charts at #35. The standout track that didn’t single is “Listen To The Children” which features The Texas Boys Choir. While the track isn’t my cup of tea it is a very good song and deserved to be on the charts too. To sum up this is an easy listening album and is one that should be listened to if you’re looking for something new for Sunday worship tracks.

Tracklist
1 – More Than A Moment – 3:23
2 – Let Her Dance – 3:37
3 – Who Will Be There – 3:43
4 – Don’t Shoot The Wounded – 3:06
5 – Listen To The Children – 4:10
6 – On My Way – 2:55
7 – This Side Of Heaven – 2:46
8 – Should It Ever Rain Again – 2:52
9 – I Am Everyman – 2:54
10 – Brian – 3:32

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Mitch Watkins, Phillip Sandifer
Concertmaster – Edward Lawrence
Design [Cover] – Steve Freeman
Drums, Percussion – John Treanor
Electric Bass – Spencer Starnes
Electric Piano [Rhodes], Synthesizer [Overdubs] – Brian Green
Engineer, Mixed By – Larry Seyer
Management – Ronald Lee Deutschendorf
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Photography By – Tomas Pantin
Piano, Synthesizer [Overdubs] – Bill Ginn
Producer, Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – Gary Powell
Written-By – P. Sandifer

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Urgent Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Urgent Records
Distributed By – Sparrow Distribution
Published By – Jesmax Music
Published By – Meadowgreen Music Co.
Published By – River Oaks Music Co.
Produced For – Powell Studio Productions, Austin Texas
Recorded At – Austin Recording Studio
Mixed At – Austin Recording Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc

Geoff Mann – I May Sing Grace – 1984

I only became aware of this artist after it was requested. After listening to the album and reading up on Geoff I am very surprised I haven’t heard of him. This is exactly the style of music I was listening to right when this album came out. As far as I can tell the album was only released in the UK so this might be why but I really think I would have found this one on the import shelf. Geoff was a member of Twelfth Night in the late 70’s and early 80’s and did several albums with them. This is Geoff’s first solo album and wow what an album it is. Strangely it was released on a secular label but is an obviously Christian album. This is not unheard of but was relatively rare at that time. Geoff’s previous work was not Christian so I don’t know when in his career he became a Christian. Of course there will be disagreement of what I mean by “Christian” as it does not appear that Geoff was an Evangelical Christian as he was ordained as a Priest in the Church of England in 1990. Anyway we have a great New Wave album here and when you see Howard Jones in the credits it’s not that Howard Jones but instead a different but equally talented one.

Tracklist
1 – Piccadilly Square – 4:51
2 – I Wouldn’t Lie (To You) – 4:46
3 – Kingdom Come – 3:48
4 – Afterwards – 5:35
5 – For God’s Sake – 4:33
6 – Green Paper Snow – 6:15
7 – For More Than A Day – 6:18
8 – My Soul – 5:47
9 – Slow One – 4:58

Credits
Bass – Keith Gould
Drums, Percussion – Howard Jones
Guitar – Dave Mortimer
Guitar, Mandolin, Keyboards – The Still Owl
Percussion – Andy Mason
Vocals, Guitar, Percussion – Geoff Mann

Keith Hutchinson – Alpha – Omega – 1984

Keith is an artist from South Africa and while this is his only solo album it dies not represent his contribution to the music industry. In 1993 he received a Grammy Nomination for the album “Heat, Dust and Dreams” while he was in the group Johnny Clegg and Savuka. He has also been responsible for a plethora of film scores throughout the 2000’s. As for this album it is a conceptual jazz album with only 4 tracks. I’m not really too sure this is a CCM album as it’s instrumental but it was released on Refuge records and that’s how I found it. The album isn’t my style but it is very well done and if you like Jazz fusion conceptual music this is the one for you.

Tracklist
1 – Alpha I – 3:32
2 – Alpha II – 7:42
3 – Alpha III – 12:06
4 – Omega – 18:48

Credits
Bass – Denny Lalouette
Drums – Kendall Kay
Guitar – Joe Willis
Percussion – Romeo Avelino
Piano, Electric Piano [Rhodes], Synthesizer [Oberheim Obxa], Flute, Composed By, Orchestrated By, Conductor, Producer – Keith Hutchinson
Soprano Saxophone – Chris Vernon
Strings [Lead] – Jurgen Schwietering
Trombone – John Davis, Mark Seldon, Pat Bertram, René Laanen, Steve Hurlin Trumpet – Billy Kerker, Hansel Von Brüggen, Robin Finley

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Universal Studios, Johannesburg

Jan Groth – Roots – 1984

Roots is Jan’s 3rd solo album and was released in the U.S. by Refuge Records. Jan was far better known in Scandinavia than in North America but he deserved to be better known in North America. This album is a straight up Rock & Roll album and Hard Rock albums were what I was listening to at the time. Unfortunately I grew up in Canada where we struggled to hear the complete catalogue of U.S. artists never mind foreign acts. Anyway, I this this is Jan’s best album and I wish so much I had heard it back in the 80’s. At least I have the opportunity to enjoy it now.

Tracklist
1 – I Can’t Fly – 3:11
2 – How Do You Know – 3:21
3 – That’s Why I Long For Tomorrow – 3:49
4 – So Good To Be Me – 3:32
5 – And The Show Goes On – 4:37
6 – Lie Is Not Truth – 4:02
7 – Looking For You – 3:10
8 – For Real – 4:11
9 – Lighthouse – 3:40
10 – I’m Going Home – 3:27

Credits
Bass – Dave Markee , Rick Cua
Drums – David Dix, Henry Spinetti
Executive-Producer – John Pac
Guitar – Freddie Salem, Norman Barratt
Photography By – Jan Pethrus
Producer – Jan Groth, Ray Nenow
Written-By – Jan Groth

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.

Idle Lovéll – Surge Et Illuminare – 1984

The first of several Michael Knott (Lifesavers, LSU, Aunt Betty’s) related projects to find its way onto this list, and like the previously discussed “Weber and the Buzztones,” the placement of this album suffers from EP bias. By that I mean if it was a full length release, rather than just six songs, it most likely would have found its way into the upper half of the countdown. Even with that the album is worthy of consideration. It is also quite possibly the rarest of Michael Knott releases. Though listed as a “Blonde Vinyl” release, the limited nature and no national distribution makes the EP a sought after vinyl. Idle Lovell was a segue between different incarnation of the Lifesavers and LSU. The band, despite a limited run, went through a few incarnations itself with multiple musicians making up the band, though along with Knott, members included Vince Pangrazio on bass and Bradford J. Salamon on drums. Longtime friend and collaborator Brian Doidge, who also performed with Knott in multiple incarnations of the Lifesavers, LSU and the Aunt Betty’s. For me, “One Sided Love Affair” is the most Lifesavers sounding song on the album, and would not have been out of place on Dream Life. This one of many attempts by Knott to reach the mainstream market. It also ended up being the first release on Knott’s Blond Vinyl record label. The ultimate irony was that it was also the only Blond Vinyl release to be released on vinyl. Apparently the band wrote and worked on several more songs, but soon disbanded and those songs would find their way onto other Michael Knott related Lifesavers projects. The first real stand out for me is the opening track, “Touch Me in the Wind.” A very “current” tune for the times that would and maybe should have been a hit on mainstream alternative radio stations like LA’s famous KROQ. All six songs are very, very strong tunes with a darker, more dance-like goth feel. Great for fans of The Cure, The Church, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Psychedelic Furs. Two songs would later show up on Lifesaver and LSU projects. In fact, the feel and sound would play a heavy role in the future LSU incarnation with its darker edge. LSU and Lifesaver guitarist Brian Doidge would be a key band member for the live shows. One song of note is “I Can’t Wait,” which would appear on the following Lifesavers “Kiss of Life” project. I have always found it a bit ironic that the Idle Lovell version is much more pop and upbeat sounding to my ear than the version that appears on the much more pop and upbeat “Kiss of Life” album. Idle Lovell serves as a record keeper for the times and the progression Knott was making as a songwriter and performer. Always ahead and on the edge, Knott consistently made memorable music that was much more palatable than his reputation as some sort of avante garde artist would suggest. Hard to find, but worth the effort.

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

Tracklist
1 – Touch Me In The Wind – 5:02
2 – Shallow – 3:55
3 – I Can’t Wait – 3:55
4 – Only – 4:05
5 – One Sided Love Affair – 3:52
6 – Drone – 5:20

Credits
Artwork [Charcoal Drawings], Layout [Cover & Insert] – Bradford J. Salamon
Backing Vocals – Bridget Knott
Bass – Vince Pangrazio
Drums – Bradford J. Salamon
Keyboards – Jim Richards
Keyboards [Additional] – John Gloudeman
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By [Insert] – Colleen Knott
Producer, Engineer – Thom Roy
Vocals, Guitar – Michael Knott
Written-By – Michael Knott

Scott Wesley Brown – Kingdom of Love – 1984

This is Scott’s 8th studio album and at this point in his career he had making albums down to a fine art. While not my preferred style of music I can’t deny that Scott was good at what he did and produced some of the best albums in this style of CCM. This album has a couple upbeat tunes that are actually quite likeable for those us a little more rock oriented. As usual for Scott he did well on the charts with “Yeshua Ha Mashiach” making it to #1 and Kingdom Of Love making it to #29. Other than that I don’t have much to say about the album but I don’t mean that in a negative way I just find it difficult to talk about Easy Listening albums.

Tracklist
1 – Yeshua Ha Mashiach – 4:25
2 – Kingdom Of Love – 3:24
3 – Stronger – 3:52
4 – Give Your Life Away – 2:48
5 – Jesus I Love You – 3:21
6 – Born To Love You – 3:36
7 – The Wall – 4:04
8 – Peace By Peace – 2:47
9 – All Of Us Together – 3:24
10 – In Jesus’ Name – 3:31

Credits
Arranged By [Rhythm] – Scott Wesley Brown
Arranged By [Rhythm], Conductor – Greg Nelson
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Alan Moore
Arranged By [Strings], Orchestrated By – David T. Clydesdale
Engineer – Bob Clark
Engineer [Additional] – Brent King, Chris McCullom, Doug Sarrett, Gary Laney, Scott Hendricks
Engineer, Remix – Joe Neil
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Mixed By, Recorded By – Lynn Fuston
Producer – Greg Nelson, Phil Naish

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Nineteenth Street Productions
Copyright (c) – The Sparrow Corporation
Distributed By – Nye Toner / Teovision, Finngospel, Sephora Diffusion, GMI Records, Master Music, Grace Music, Leon Music A.B., Kir Music, Word (Uk) Ltd., Pila Music
Produced For – Nineteenth Street Productions
Made By – Shorewood Packaging
Printed By – Shorewood Packaging

Harvest – Voices – 1984

This 1984 release from harvest was their last on the Milk & Honey label before switching to Greentree Records. This album is pretty well much like their others as their worship style music didn’t really change much from album to album. This album had 4 charting singles with The Battle Is The Lord’s climbing the highest at #9. Really the album did not do as well as they usually did in the period. I of course listened to the album and I didn’t find it any better or worse than their other albums of the time. Of course this isn’t really my forte style of music but I thought it was pretty good as worship albums go.

Tracklist
1 – The Battle Is The Lord’s – 2:50
2 – Burn Me With Your Love – 3:30
3 – The Court Of The Gentiles – 6:10
4 – On The Water – 3:20
5 – Creator’s Song – 3:35
6 – Get Me To The River – 3:03
7 – One Thing I Ask – 3:20
8 – The Name Of Jesus – 2:45
9 – Know That I Am God – 4:55
10 – Voices – 4:30

Credits
Bass Guitar – Brian Tankersley, John Scudder
Conductor – Wayne Watson
Drums – Mark Hammond
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Jon Goin
French Horn – Bruce Kenny
Percussion – Russell Dunlap
Performer – Jerry Williams
Performer, Piano – Ed Kerr
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer – John Schreiner
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Kirk Whalum
Synthesizer – Paul Mills
Trumpet – Fletch Wiley

Sandi Patti – Songs From The Heart – 1984

Sandra generally put out an album a year and this was her album for 1984. It was one of her most successful with 4 charting singles including 2 making the top 10. “Sing To The Lord” made it to #1 and “We Will See Him As He Is” made it to #4. She was also nominated for the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Female but lost out to Amy Grant who pretty well owned the category for the decade though Sandra did win it in 1987. She did however win the 1985 Dove award for Inspirational Album. As for the album it is your standard worship album with nothing that really stands out in my opinion. I’m not saying it isn’t a good album I just find so many of these female worship albums to be too alike.

Tracklist
1 – Give Him The Glory – 2:37
2 – Sing To The Lord – 2:58
3 – We Will See Him As He Is – 3:42
4 – Cradle Song – 2:59
5 – Wonderful Lord – 2:34
6 – Via Dolorosa – 4:34
7 – Shine Down – 3:29
8 – Pour On The Power – 3:11
9 – Glorious Morning – 3:29
10 – Purest Praise – 2:01
11 – The Stage Is Bare (I Need Thee Every Hour) – 5:52

Credits
Arranged By [Backing Vocals] – Alan Moore, Sandi Patti
Arranged By [Brass] – Jerry Hey
Arranged By [Rhythm] – Greg Nelson, Sandi Patti, Shane Keister
Arranged By [Strings] – Alan Moore
Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – David T. Clydesdale
Backing Vocals – Bonnie Keen, Cozette Byrd, Craig Patty, Dave Durham, Gary Music, Jackie Cusick, John Mohr, Lori Brooks, Luanne Mohr, Marty McCall, Melodie Tunney, Mike Patty, Rick Gibson, Sandi Patti, Sandie Hall Brooks, Steve Green
Bass – Craig Nelson, David Hungate, Larry Paxton
Brass – William Reichenbach, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, Kim Hutchcroft, Lawrence Williams
Cello – David Christensen, David Vanderkooi, Inez Boyle, Mark Tanner, Martha McCrory, Roy Christensen
Concertmaster – Carl Gorodetzky
Conductor – Greg Nelson
Design – Bill Brunt
Double Bass [Bass] – Craig Nelson, Edgar Meyer, Nathan Kahn
Drums – James Stroud
Engineer – Joe Neil
Executive-Producer – John Helvering
Guitar – John Darnall, Jon Goin
Harp – Mary Alice Hoepfinger
Percussion – Bill Wiggins, Farrell Morris
Photography – Michael G. Borum
Piano – Mitch Humphries
Producer – Greg Nelson, Sandi Patti Helvering
Strings – The Nashville String Machine
Synthesizer – Shane Keister
Viola – Connie Collopy, Gary Vanosdale, John Borg, Kathy Plummer, Kris Wilkinson, Virginia Christensen
Violin – Charlie Everett, Chris Teal, Connie Heard, Dennis Molchan, George Binkley, Janet Hazen, Larry Harvin, Laura Molyneaux, Lee Larrison, Pamela Sixfin, Phyllis Mazza, Rebecca Lynch, Rosemary Harris, Stephanie Woolf, Ted Madsen, Bill Fitzpatrick
Vocals – Sandi Patti

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Impact Records
Copyright (c) – Impact Records

Prodigal – Electric Eye – 1984

In 1982 I was a Junior in High School and had a subscription to Campus Life Magazine. One day I saw an ad for a brand new band called Prodigal that sported a very cool cover, which was a take off on Escher’s famous painting. But what was even better was that there was a pull out single for the band attached to the center of the magazine. These were all the rage during the 1970’s and often found included inside cereal boxes or even attached to the cardboard of those same cereal boxes. You had to take the very flimsy plastic disc, place it on top of a solid LP and then you could play the single. That was the first of three Prodigal releases, and all three made this list. That band was that damned good. probably better than we even realize. Prodigal is easily the most overlooked and unsung band in CCM history…PERIOD! The type of innovation already noted was what fans could expect from the band Prodigal during their short-lived three record existence. Their innovations also included being the first recipient of the Dove Award for “Video of the Year.” They were one of the few bands that continued to invest in the fledgling video marketing promotional support creating several videos per release. And even for the album in question there was what is called a “stop groove” at the end of the side 2 and a “hidden bonus track” of sorts which contained a computer code for the old Commodore 64 computer. Using a cassette drive a person could get bonus information about the album along with photos and lyrics. This may have become common with the invent of compact discs, but this was totally revolutionary in 1984. All three of their album covers were spectacular. But it was the content, both musically and lyrically, that set Prodigal above their peers for the time. Where other artist bemoaned the struggles, pain and realities of life on this spinning globe, Prodigal placed themselves within that reality and expressed those struggles from one who is intimately aware and experienced with those struggles. Where the first album stayed along the musical lines of Steely Dan and the Eagles, it was with “Electric Eye” the band became very current, and dare I say, cutting edge. Guitar driven rock and new wave synth pop merged to create a sound that was uniquely Prodigal while immediately familiar and memorable. Driving keyboard and bass that for some reason reminds me of the music from the “St. Elmo’s Fire” soundtrack. Also another unique feature is the use of three different lead singers with duties distributed according to musical style. The content on “Electric Eye” is beautifully portrayed on the album cover shown above. We have surrounded ourselves with so much to entertain us and consume our time that the difference between reality and artificial are not just blurred but rather the artificial begins to be more “real.” Note how the actual lightning through the window is faded and bland while the same lightning shown on the television set is vibrant and exiting. This is expressed in different ways on the album along with a host of other topics that are both poignant and eternal. Even the recording process was experimental. The album was recorded in an abandoned Catholic Girls school in Cincinnati using a mobile recording system built into a motor home. Band members would move from room to room to create a different acoustic sound to discover the best fit for a particular song. Lead vocalist and band leader Loyd Boldman told me that at the time the band (especially himself) was listening a lot to Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and “The River” as well as Daniel Amos and Michael Omartian. These influences shade and nuance much of what makes this record so amazing. With the knowledge guitar parts, vocal styles and overall production results make sense. The goal was to create a larger, less polished and precise studio album that the debut was. In that area the band succeeded with flying colors.

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

Tracklist
1 – Scene Of The Crime – 4:44
2 – Fast Forward – 4:43
3 – Masks – 4:05
4 – Just What I Need – 3:08
5 – Emerald City – 3:23
6 – Electric Eye – 5:00
7 – Bobby – 3:18
8 – Shout It Out – 3:25
9 – Neon – 5:15
10 – Boxes – 3:35

Credits
Arranged By – Prodigal
Artwork [Additional] – A.I.R. Studio
Bass – Mike Wilson
Design [Cover] – Dave Workman, Loyd Boldman
Design Concept [Cover] – Loyd Boldman
Drums, Vocals – Dave Workman
Effects [Special Sound FX] – Gary (Platinum) Platt
Engineer [Assistants] – Brad Kuenning, Paul Thompson, Rytt Hershberg
Graphics [Additional] – The Malone Group
Guitar, Vocals – Rick Fields
Keyboards, Vocals – Loyd Boldman
Mastered By – Mike Fuller
Mixed By [Additional Overdubs, Final Mixdown] – Gary Platt
Photography By [Back Cover] – Luther Blue
Photography By [Cover] – Gary Kessler
Producer – Jon Phelps
Recorded By – Greg McNeily
Sounds, Engineer [Concert Sound] – Paul Thompson
Written-By – Workman (tracks: A4, B5), Boldman (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B4)

Companies, etc.
Recorded By – The Full Sail Dream Machine
Mixed At – The Full Sail Dream Machine
Engineered At – Moonlight Sound
Mastered At – Criteria Recording Studios
Pressed By – Electrosound Group Midwest, Inc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Published By – Between The Lines Music
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Heartland Records Company
Copyright (c) – Heartland Records Company