Leslie Phillips – Dancing With Danger – 1984

Leslie Phillips drew a lot of comparisons when her sophomore album, Dancing With Danger came out. This one was a lot more bold than her debut, and she stood out well.

Primarily she was tagged as the Cyndi Lauper of Christian music. Being a female redhead new wave artist with a poppy sound might have been enough.

Leslie’s songs were highly entertaining, but also addressed a few topics that her male counterparts were not going to go near. She clearly had a talent for creating memorable and enjoyable music, but also a desire to deepen the message. Leslie addressed the conversation around what we would come to know as ‘purity culture’ long before we were talking about in that way.

The song “Give ’em All You Got (Tonight)” is certainly what she did with every song.

Tracklist
1 – Dancing With Danger – 3:53
2 – I Won’t Let It Come Between Us – 4:36
3 – Strength Of My Life – 5:33
4 – Give ‘Em All You Got (Tonight) – 4:25
5 – By My Spirit – 4:42
6 – Hiding In The Shadows – 3:52
7 – Powder Room Politics – 2:38
8 – Light Of Love – 4:13
9 – Song In The Night – 3:51
10 – Here He Comes With My Heart – 2:46

Credits:
Arranged By – Dann Huff (tracks: A1, A2, A4), Jeff Lams (tracks: A3, A5, B1, B2, B4, B5), John Schreiner (tracks: B3)
Backing Vocals – Buddy Owens, Greg Volz, James Hollihan, Matthew Ward, Russ Taff
Bass – Nathan East
Concept By [Photo] – Bradley Grose
Design – Vigon/Seireeni
Drums – Carlos Vega
Engineer – Jeremy Smith
Engineer [Additional] – Bill Deaton, Bud Wyatt, David Schober, John Early
Engineer [Vocals] – Mike McClain
Executive-Producer – Brad Burkhart
Guitar – Dann Huff
Keyboards – Jeff Lams, John Schreiner
Mastered By – Mike Reese
Percussion – Victor Feldman
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport
Producer – Dan Posthuma
Vocals, Written-By – Leslie Phillips

Companies, etc.:
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Published By – Word Music (2)
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Studio Southwest
Recorded At – Goldmine Studio, Brentwood, TN
Mixed At – Eagle Audio Recording
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △26562

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Various – Front Row – 1984

This is a 1984 Refuge Records sampler

Included on this sampler;

Rick Cua – “Changed” from his album No Mystery
Edin-Adahl – “Wake Up” from their album Alibi
Bonnie Bramlett – “White Dove” from her album Step By Step
Per-Erik Hallin – “You Put Another Song In My Heart” from his album Better Late Than Never
Will McFarlane – “That’s How I Know You Called Me” from his album A Colony Of Heaven
Tom Douglas – “Jesus Never Sleeps” which was not released on an album
Forerunner – “Faith Walk” from their album (a.k.a)
Jerusalem – “Time” which was released as a bonus track on the CD release of Can’t Stop Us Now
Lifesavors – “Break In My Head” from their album Dream Life
Bryn Haworth – “Never Give Up On Love” from his album Pass It On
Joe English – “Anthem” from his album The Best Is Yet To Come

Tracklist
1 – Rick Cua – Changed – 3:50
2 – Edin-Adahl – Wake Up – 4:14
3 – Bonnie Bramlett – White Dove – 3:31
4 – Per-Erik Hallin – You Put Another Song In My Heart – 4:13
5 – Will McFarlane – That’s How I Know You Called Me – 3:21
6 – Tom Douglas – Jesus Never Sleeps – 4:10
7 – Forerunner – Faith Walk – 4:04
8 – Jerusalem – Time – 5:50
9 – Lifesavors – Break In My Head – 2:33
10 – Bryn Haworth – Never Give Up On Love – 3:35
11 – Joe English – Anthem – 3:20

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The Alarm – Declaration – 1984

This is the first offering from The Alarm and what an offering it was. They had actually released 5 EPs before this album so by the time the album came out many people were familiar with them. Many, if not most of the songs on the album were on those EP’s. The Alarm were still touring as warm up for U2 when this album finally came out and they actually finished the tour with U2. This gave people attending these concerts with what amounted to having two headline acts. The opening track “Declaration” sets the tone for the album letting new listeners they were in for a treat. While “68 Guns” was the huge hit personally I loved “Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke?” This is one of the best albums released in the 80’s and is in my top 20 overall.

Tracklist
1 – Declaration – 0:45
2 – Marching On – 3:35
3 – Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke? – 2:56
4 – Third Light – 3:25
5 – Sixty Eight Guns – 5:49
6 – We Are The Light – 3:16
7 – Shout To The Devil – 4:10
8 – Blaze Of Glory – 6:04
9 – Tell Me – 3:14
10 – The Deceiver – 5:05
11 – The Stand (Prophecy) – 1:15
12 – Howling Wind – 6:44

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals – Dave Sharp
Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Guitar [Bowed], Vocals – Eddie Macdonald
Design, Art Direction – Michael Ross, Simon Adamcewski
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Twist
Engineer – Chris Porter
Illustration – Robert Mason
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica – Mike Peters
Photography By – Stephen Oliver
Producer, Keyboards – Alan Shacklock

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Messiah Prophet Band – Rock The Flock – 1984

Metal done just right. The album starts out with a perfect 1984 hard rock anthem, “Rock The Flock.”

Along with some melodic metal tunes like “Labor of Love” this album keeps the pace up all the way through. The band’s strong vocals, bold drumming and continuous guitar flourishes make a nice blend.

This was the first of only two albums the band put out in the 80s. Although there was room for more, we got all there was of MPB.

Tracklist
1 – Rock the Flock – 3:36
2 – Labor of Love – 3:46
3 – Try to Understand – 4:44
4 – Travel the Rough Road – 4:08
5 – Why Must You Run – 5:34
6 – To the Rock – 3:55
7 – Answer Our Call – 5:21
8 – Riding Out the Storm – 4:50
9 – Sing – 7:09

Credits
Charlie Clark – Vocals
Dean Pellman – Bass
Dave Daubert – Drums
Andy Strauss – Guitars
Rob Clark – Guitars

 

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Mark Williamson Band – Missing In Action – 1984

You might know Mark Williamson Band as Lyrix as they released an album using that name in the U.S. This is the follow up album to that album. At this point they used their original name. As near as I can tell the whole “Lyrix” thing was a Larry Norman bad idea. All that aside lets talk about this album. I love this album and it’s in my top 100. It’s a Rock album for the main part but has Pop overtones on a few tracks. The first 3 tracks are my favourite and get the album off to a great start. As you listen through the album it does get a bit weak by the end but this albums weak songs are stronger than a lot of albums strong tracks.

Tracklist
1 – Come On Over (To My Heart) – 4:26
2 – Missing In Action – 4:27
3 – Really Takes Care – 3:06
4 – The Voice – 4:30
5 – Deception – 4:10
6 – Better Way – 3:25
7 – Seven 8 – 4:12
8 – Give It Up – 3:10
9 – Lifetime Guarantee – 3:29
10 – Where Do We Go From Here – 3:49

Credits
Bass, Vocals – Mark Williamson
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Mark N. Millin
Guitar, Violin, Vocals – Rob Marshall
Keyboards, Vocals – Chris Eaton
Producer – Francis Usmar

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Robert Case Band – Recklessly Abandoned – 1984

This is the only album I have heard from The Robet Case Band.

That said Robert Case’s bio states “he traveled throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia with the Robert Case Band singing and preaching the gospel of grace.

During that time they produced praise/worship albums in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Russian.” I am unable to find any of these foreign language albums but I’m sure they are of the same style and quality of this album.

This album was released on the MRC label but it is not their usual type of talent. To be clear this is a worship style album.

The quality of songwriting and production is excellent and I’m actually quite surprised it wasn’t more popular than it was. Robert Case has gone on to be the Head Pastor at the Eastside Calvary Temple in Bellevue WA.

Track Listing:
01 – Bless the Lord – 2:45
02 – I Wanna Be Like Jesus – 3:51
03 – I Love You Lord – 3:52
04 – Psalm 62 – 2:05
05 – Falling – 2:02
06 – Come To Me – 3:46
07 – It Won’t Be Long – 4:13
08 – What is Man – 3:40
09 – Fool For Christ – 3:21
10 – When You’re Hot – 4:10
11 – Make a Noise – 3:20

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Petra – Beat The System – 1984

Petra’s Beat The System was released in 1984 into a musical age that was dealing with the first generation of electronic sounds, video games, and mainstream home computers.

Petra continues to build on their sing-along arena rock style with even more synthesizer and electronic drum sounds. Their updated version of “God Gave Rock’n’Roll To You” brings that forward but without the acoustical drama of the original. Its inclusion on this album helped maintain the song as a CCM anthem for yet another generation.

This is the last of Greg X. Volz’s albums with the band before Jon Schlitt took over as lead vocalist. Greg joined Petra for their third album, Washes Whiter Than in 1979, then billed as the “New Improved Petra.”

Beat The System had several tracks that stayed with the band as classics, including “Clean” and “Adonai.”

Track Listing:
1 – Beat The System – 4:22
2 – Computer Brains – 4:01
3 – Clean – 3:01
4 – It Is Finished – 3:52
5 – Voice In The Wind – 4:30
6 – God Gave Rock And Roll To You – 3:54
7 – Witch Hunt – 4:34
8 – Hollow Eyes – 4:03
9 – Speak To The Sky – 4:16
10 – Adonai – 4:42

Credits:
Bass Guitar, Synthesizer [Synthesizer Bass], Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Mark Kelly
Drums, Percussion – Louie Weaver
Keyboards, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – John Lawry
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Bob Hartman
Lead Vocals – Greg X. Volz
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown

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White Heart – Vital Signs – 1984

White Heart’s second album, Vital Signs was a masterpiece of finely produced songs. The band self-produced, with executive help from Chris Christian. The album was released on Chris Christian’s Home Sweet Home Records.

The opening song, “Sing Unto The Lamb” is a big sounding song that would qualify for a modern major Broadway number. The vocals stay true to this big performance sound all the way through the album, which is one of the things that made White Heart so popular. Standout tracks include the high energy “Carried Away” and power ballad “Let Your First Thought Be Love.”

The album was recorded in Nashville and attracted a who’s who of contributing artists. The closing song, “We Are His Hands” includes a choir with (among others) Bob Farrell (of Farrell and Farrell), Scott Wesley Brown, David Meece, Amy Grant, Steve Green, Russ Taff, Chris Christian and Kathy Troccoli. We Are His Hands was their first number one radio single.

Former lead singer, Scott Douglas went to prison in 1986. White Heart continued on with a new lead singer after this album, Rick Florian who was allegedly promoted from roadie to lead singer all at once. Florian remained in the lead post throughout the rest of White Heart’s existence.

Track Listing:
1 – Sing Unto The Lamb – 3:15
2 – Draw The Line – 4:38
3 – Walking In The Light – 3:56
4 – Carried Away (Safe On The Wings Of The Lord) – 4:19
5 – Quiet Love – 3:52
6 – Following The King – 4:05
7 – Let Your First Thought Be Love – 3:51
8 – Undercover – 3:54
9 – Vital Signs – 3:50
10 – We Are His Hands – 4:13

Credits:
Arranged By – Billy Smiley, Dann Huff, Mark Gersmehl
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Ronn Huff
Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt
Bass Guitar – Gary Lunn
Design Concept [Cover Concept] – Bill Brunt, Mark Tucker
Design Concept [Vital Signs Concept] – Kent Hunter
Drums, Percussion – David Huff*
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Bill Deaton, Brent King, Mike Psanos
Engineer [Assistant] – Doug Sarrett
Executive-Producer – Chris Christian
Graphics [Vital Signs Logo] – Ken Wolgemuth, Ken Wolgemuth
Graphics [White Heart Logo] – Ellen Hodnett, Ellen Hodnett
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Billy Smiley
Producer – White Heart
Recorded By – Jeff Balding
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Dann Huff
Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, Craig Nelson, Dennis Molchan, Gary Vanosdale, David Boyle*, Pam Vanosdale*, Phyllis Hiltz*, Roy Christensen, The Nashville String Machine, Walt Schwede*
Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals – Mark Gersmehl
Vocals – Scott Douglas

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Various – Rock Around The World – 1984

This 1984 Refuge Records sampler dished up some singles/bands we were well aware of such as Daniel Amos and Jerusalem.

Two lesser known artists were Marloe Scott Wilson and Peter Beveridge and there were three artists that don’t appear to have ever been released elsewhere, Communique, Christian Gonzales, and Dave Eastman.

All in all a good sampler of hits from the era.

Tracklist
1 – Jerusalem – Let’s Go – 3:42
2 – Daniel Amos – Home Permanent – 3:05
3 – Semaja – Hey Friend – 4:14
4 – Jan Groth – Lie Is Not Truth – 4:05
5 – Marloe Scott Wilson – Love Explosion – 3:91
6 – Peter Beveridge – No Doubt In This Love – 3:86
7 – Communique – A New Song – 3:86
8 – Christian Gonzales – What Ever’s Happ’nin’ – 3:33
9 – Daniel Band – Here I Am – 3:03
10 – Dave Eastman – The Power Of Love – 3:76

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Amy Grant – Straight Ahead – 1984

For a church-goin’ teenager in the 80s, Amy Grant’s albums were almost required listening. Along with musicians like Michael W Smith and David Meece, she helped fill out the actual ‘pop’ corner of CCM.

Amy’s music had a broad appeal. Parents liked the positive lyrics sung by a friendly, wholesome girl-next-door; youth choir directors liked both the lyrics and the quality of the music. And teens, I think, appreciated that her music sounded different than any easy listening Christian music they’d heard before. Here was a Christian pop singer with just enough of an edge to make a sheltered teen feel a tiny bit rebellious. (Okay. Maybe that was just me.)

On to the album itself. For the most part, the songs of Straight Ahead have aged well. There are some recognizably 80s synth settings and electric guitar stylings, and the fade-to-black endings stuck out a little, but nothing sounded as dated as I thought it might. And whatever you think of the style, the production values are fantastic. This is a well-engineered recording of a tight band. Amy’s vocals are always good, with clarity of enunciation and sound, and lyric-appropriate colour and shading.

Track Listing:
1 – Where Do You Hide Your Heart 3:56
2 – Jehovah 5:56
3 – Angels Watching Over Me 4:10
4 – Straight Ahead 3:47
5 – Thy Word 3:21
6 – It’s Not A Song 3:27
7 – Open Arms 3:23
8 – Doubly Good To You 3:13
9 – Tomorrow 3:23
10 – The Now And The Not Yet 3:37

Credits:
Arranged By [Strings] – Alan Moore (3)
Art Direction – Dennis Hill (6)
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Engineer [Additional] – Daniel Garcia*, Gene Eichelberger, Jim Baird*, Jerry Mahler, Kevin Burns, Steve Ford
Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Gary Chapman, Michael Blanton
Photography By [Amy’s photos] – Aaron Rapoport
Photography By [Traffic light] – Michael Borum*
Producer – Brown Bannister

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