Forerunner – (a.k.a) – 1984

This album is kind of an odd one. This is actually The Joe English Band minus Joe English, well kind of. Considering Joe played drums on 4 of the 9 tracks I think this is best described as The Joe English Band without Joe on vocals. Vocal duties were taken over by John Lawry. The album distinctly sounds like other Joe English work and there’s no mistaking who’s playing here. I’ll be honest the album just strikes me as a little off. I can’t decide if I don’t like John’s vocals or if it just sounds wrong to hear this music without Joe singing. I have argued it both ways with myself and I am leaning that John’s vocals are just a little weak. That said there is nothing wrong with this album and if you like Joe you are probably going to like this album.

Tracklist
1 – Jesus Is Saviour – 3:39
2 – Faith Walk – 4:04
3 – Hard Times – 3:47
4 – Victory – 3:57
5 – Nowhere To Run – 2:55
6 – River Of Life – 4:41
7 – Hold On – 3:15
8 – Words Of The Wise – 4:00
9 – Albola (A Little Bit Of L.A.) – 3:42

Credits
Lisa Bevill – Choir and Background Vocals
Brenda Brannon – Choir Vocals
Paul Brannon – Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Jay C. Coble, Jr. – Trumpet
George Cocchini – Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Tom Douglas – Songwriter
James Isaac Elliott – Songwriter
Phil Elliott – Songwriter, Background Vocals
Joe English – Drums
Mike Feller – Drums
Tom Flora – Background Vocals
Mark Helstein – Choir Vocals
Angie Innis – Choir Vocals
John Lawry – Producer, Songwriter, Keyboards, Vocals
Sam Levine – Saxophone
Fred Lewis – Songwriter
Chris McCollum – Engineer
Doug Moffet – Saxophone
Ray Nenow – Executive Producer
Gary Pigg – Background Vocals
Roddy Smith – Songwriter
Tim Smith – Producer, Songwriter, Bass
Dave Spear – Choir Vocals
Lisa Tucker – Choir Vocals
Hank Williams – Mastered
Ned Wimmer – Choir Vocals

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Refuge Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Refuge Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Published By – Raybren Music
Published By – Quietlane Music
Published By – Prairie Moon Music
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Mastered At – Mastermix

Isaac Air Freight – The Freight’s Designer Album – 1984

Presented without any theological commentary, as usual. These albums were a lot of fun to listen to, and hearing the jokes again, and the great comedic performances is a great trip down memory lane. Still fun to listen to now.

Tracklist
1 – Comedy Odyssey – 1:49
2 – Are You A Fool? – 6:50
3 – Generic Phone Company – 1:32
4 – Montague – 6:54
5 – KBAM – 1:56
6 – Spouse’s Super Bout – 6:40
7 – Ed Herman’s Talk Radio – 3:50
8 – Fadscene – 1:28
9 – What’s Gospel To You? – 2:54
10 – Leave It To Squirrellie (Stuck With Eddie) – 6:45

Credits
Arranged By [Music], Music By [Additional], Musician – Peter Jacobs
Engineer – Chris Taylor
Executive-Producer, Producer, Performer – Dan Rupple
Musician – Bud Nuanez, Ed McTaggart, Pokin’ Fun Polka Band
Musician, Music By [Additional], Vocals – Bob Bennett
Performer – Dan Ferraro, Jim Coye, Louise Duart, Mike Obbema, Patrick Egan, Peggy Rupple, Randy Anderson (3), Robin Severn, Sharon Riley, Vikki James, Vince Brocato
Photography – Scott Ely
Producer, Performer, Vocals – Dave Toole

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Maranatha! Music
Copyright (c) – Maranatha! Music
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited

Geoff Moore – Where Are The Other Nine – 1984

Geoff had success in the early 80’s writing songs for CCM artist Steven Curtis Chapman. He started writing after meeting Michael W. Smith in the clothing store where Moore worked. At least that’s what Wikipedia says. In 1984 he signed a record deal with Power Discs and this album is the result. I have to admit I was a bit surprised at how mellow this album is. It’s not really the Geoff Moore I was more familiar with. I was wondering if this was because of the producer Billy Smiley (White Heart) and perhaps it was as at this point as Bill had mainly produced “The New Gaither Vocal Band” albums. It was also likely a product of the times as even in 1984 record companies were still terrified of Rock & Roll to spite it’s success. This is a pretty good album though at times I feel like I’m listening to an Imperials album with different vocals. The album was successful and even garnered a chart single, the title track made it to #11.

Tracklist
1 – Build The House – 3:33
2 – Royal Priesthood – 2:53
3 – Where Are The Other Nine? – 3:36
4 – When You Get There – 3:56
5 – One Heart – 4:10
6 – Open Your Eyes – 2:28
7 – Bread Of Life – 3:50
8 – He Shall Be Praised – 3:21
9 – Lonely Hearts Need Love – 3:09
10 – The Fight Song – 2:49

Altar Boys – Altar Boys – 1984

Altar Boys’ self titled debut album came out in 1984. This California style punk was typical of what punk was at the time, although now we seem to have a lot of splinters of types of punk – melodic, thrash, pop, hardcore, metalcore, screamo, and more. A lot of punk was poppy at the time, modelled after The Ramones, and sounding like a precursor to MXPX or Green Day. Starting to play together around 1978, musicians that would later form the bands Undercover, Lifesavors, and Altar Boys (in that order) all came out of the same scene. Mike Stand and Ric Alba ended up in Altar Boys along with Jeff Crandall and Steve Pannier, while Mike’s brother was in Undercover, and Ric had previously done some playing with Lifesavors. Ric also played with Undercover before Altar Boys. In the spirit of punk rock, these songs are all high energy and a lot of fun, a hallmark of Altar Boys from start to end.

Track Listing:
1 – Alright! – 2:24
2 – I’m Into God – 2:52
3 – Have A Clue – 2:36
4 – Where’s It Gonna Lead You – 2:24
5 – You Found Me – 3:46
6 – Take In The Son – 2:44
7 – Well O.K. – 2:36
8 – Good Life – 3:31
9 – Oh, Oh Nancy – 1:33
10 – We Love Jesus – 2:40
11 – It’s Up To You – 3:07

Credits
Art Direction – Alex McDougal
Backing Vocals – Ojo
Backing Vocals, Drums, Vocals – Jeff Crandall
Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Guitar – Mike Stand
Bass, Keyboards – Rick Alba
Cover, Design – Debby Edwards
Engineer – Derald Daugherty
Engineer, Producer – Joey Taylor
Executive Producer – Bradley S. Hamilton
Guitar – Steve Pannier
Photography By – Oh Oh Nancy
Saxophone [Sax] – Bill Walden
Written-By – Annis

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Ministry Resource Center
Copyright (c) – Ministry Resource Center
Recorded At – Sound Affair
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Mixed At – Sound Affair
Mixed At – Whitefield Studios
Published By – Oh Oh Nancy Music
Published By – Maranatha! Music

Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – 1984

This was Michele’s 3rd solo album and probably her most successful. This album was also picked up and distributed by Capitol records for/with Sparrow Records. I do not believe it was pressed under the Capitol label so I suspect this was a distribution arrangement. The album had 3 charting singles with “Look Who Loves You Now” making it to #1. She also received 2 Grammy nominations, Best Gospel Performance, Female, and Best Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group. Unfortunately she did not win either losing out in the female category to Amy Grant who won way too many Grammy’s in my opinion. But that’s a whole other rant. Larry Carlton produced and played most of the instruments on the album. Larry was not active in the CCM community and as near as I can tell had nothing to do with Christian music as a whole so I believe his involvement was a business decision. This album would also see her step away from her solo career until 1991 as well as her record deal with Sparrow. She had some family drama in 1988 so her disappearance from then on is understood but not much is written about her disappearance from this album until then. She did not disappear entirely she did a fair amount of work with Steve Camp and appeared on his albums. Anyway historically this is one of the great all time female vocalist albums so it should really be on your playlist. Oh and she should have won the Grammy.

Tracklist
1 – Each Day He Gives Me – 3:30
2 – Look Who Loves You Now – 3:19
3 – He’ll Shine His Light On You – 3:06
4 – Just Take A Step – 3:33
5 – Emotions Wound Us So – 3:15
6 – Wandering The Night – 4:13
7 – To Worship You – 3:29
8 – Here We Go – 3:50
9 – One Day Like Him – 3:20
10 – I Want To Make A Difference – 3:27

Credits
Backing Vocals – Joe Chemay (tracks: A1, B1), Joey Scarbury (tracks: A1, B1), Larry Carlton (tracks: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B2, B3, B4, B5), Michele Pillar (tracks: A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, B4)
Bass – Larry Carlton (tracks: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B2, B3, B4, B5)
Design [Album Jacket] – Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Design [Lyric Sheet] – Steve Cox
Drum Programming [DMX] – John Ferraro (tracks: A3), Larry Carlton (tracks: A2, A3, B2, B3)
Drums – John Ferraro (tracks: A3), Larry Carlton (tracks: A2, A3, A5, B2, B3)
Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – John Ferraro (tracks: A1, B1, B4)
Guitar – Larry Carlton (tracks: All)
Horns – Don Markese (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B4), Mic Gillette (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B4)
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Hal Sacks, Michael Verdick
Percussion – Michael Fisher (tracks: All)
Photography By – Lisa Powers
Piano [Acoustic] – Brian Mann (tracks: B1), Larry Carlton (tracks: A2)
Producer, Arranged By – Larry Carlton
Recorded By – Hal Sacks, Larry Carlton
Synthesizer – Brian Mann (tracks: A1, B1), Larry Carlton (tracks: All)

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Room 335, Hollywood
Mixed At – Channel Recording
Mastered At – Future Disc

Mark Heard – Ashes and Light – 1984

This was Mark’s seventh album but it was actually released out of order. It was recorded after “Mosaics” but for some reason Home Sweet Home Records wanted it released first. My personal opinion is that it is a better album so of course they wanted it out first but that’s just my opinion of the reason. Bruce Brown at CCM Magazine described the album as an “acoustic effort”. I don’t really understand what album he was listening to as while there may be an emphasis on acoustic instruments on some tracks this album is not and “acoustic effort” in my opinion. It has a Dylanesque light rock/folk feel to me and in my opinion is one of Mark’s best albums. That said Bruce’s further review of the album is pretty spot on so I’m not entirely bashing the guy. There are often comparisons of this album to T-Bone Burnett and while T-Bone was not involved with the album (that we know of) David Mansfield had a strong presence on the album and of course David and T-Bone worked together for years. Mark notes on the liner notes that the album is dedicated to the memory of Francis A. Schaeffer.

Tracklist
1 – The Winds Of Time – 3:56
2 – True Confessions – 3:30
3 – I Know What It’s Like To Be Loved – 3:34
4 – Washed To The Sea – 3:18
5 – We Believe So Well – 3:26
6 – Straw Men – 3:57
7 – Age Of The Broken Heart – 4:13
8 – Can’t See Light – 4:56
9 – Threw It Away – 4:00
10 – In Spite Of Himself – 3:05

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Pat Terry (tracks: B4)
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Harmonica, Accordion [Accordian], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Twelve-String Guitar – Mark Heard
Arranged By – Mark Heard
Art Direction [Art Director] – Tim Alderson
Backing Vocals – Dave De Coup Crank, Dori Howard
Bass – Bill Batstone, Mark Heard (tracks: A4, B4)
Cover [Concept] – Mark Heard, Stewart Ivester
Drums – Dave McSparran
Electric Guitar – Pat Terry (tracks: A4)
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Dan Reed
Engineer, Mixed By – Mark Heard
Fiddle, Dobro – David Mansfield
Lead Guitar – David Mansfield (tracks: B4)
Organ [Hammond] – Carl Pickhardt
Percussion – Harry Stinson
Photography By [Cover], Artwork – Stewart Ivester
Producer – Mark Heard
Synthesizer – Mark Heard (tracks: A2), Pat Terry (tracks: A5, B1, B5), Tom Howard (tracks: A3, A5, B3)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records
Copyright (c) – Bug & Bear Music
Copyright (c) – Word Music
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Published By – Word Music
Engineered At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders

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”

Tracklist
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

Credits
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

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.

Tracklist
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

Credits
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

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 – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
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

Credits
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

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.

Tracklist
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

Credits
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