Various – Sparrow Spotlight Volume 2 – 1984

This was one of the more boring Sparrow samplers. But in all honesty I was not the target market for this one. It was obviously more pointed at the worship crowd. Below I’ve listed the tracks and the album they came from;

1 – Steve Green – Lift Up A Song – Steve Green
2 – Debby Boone – Can You Reach My Friend – Surrender
3 – Wendell Burton – Spreading All Over The World – Closer
4 – Sheila Walsh – Surrendering – Triumph In The Air
5 – Terry Talbot – I Am He – Terry Talbot Sings Stories Of Jesus
6 – Phil Driscoll – I Exalt Thee – I Exalt Thee
7 – John Michael Talbot – Glory To Thee (O God Of Life) – The God Of Life
8 – Michele Pillar – Reign On Me – Reign On Me
9 – Dennis Agajanian – If You Say – Where Are The Heroes
10 – Steve Camp – Living In Laodicea – Fire And Ice

1 – Steve Green – Lift Up A Song – 2:29
2 – Debby Boone – Can You Reach My Friend – 4:07
3 – Wendell Burton – Spreading All Over The World – 3:06
4 – Sheila Walsh – Surrendering – 4:30
5 – Terry Talbot – I Am He – 5:01
6 – Phil Driscoll – I Exalt Thee – 4:05
7 – John Michael Talbot – Glory To Thee (O God Of Life) – 7:23
8 – Michele Pillar – Reign On Me – 3:05
9 – Dennis Agajanian – If You Say – 3:18
10 – Steve Camp – Living In Laodicea – 2:38

Michael Card – Known By The Scars – 1984

This is the 3rd album from Michael and this album pretty well cemented his worship style music. As I have said before Michael was very faithful about getting an album out every year. I think if most artists tried to put out an album every year the quality would tire after awhile but I have to admit that I don’t think that is the case with Michael. The quality of every album is high and while this is not my style of music it is good. In fact as far as worship style music goes I find Michael to be a top 10 artist.

1 – He Was Heard – 3:52
2 – Ride On To Die – 4:16
3 – Come To The Table – 3:46
4 – In The Garden – 3:54
5 – Traitor’s Look – 3:30
6 – Why – 2:55
7 – Cross Of Glory – 3:48
8 – Crown Him – 3:58
9 – Known By The Scars – 3:52
10 – Crown Him (Reprise) – 1:18

Stan Armor – Choir Member
Jackie Binkley – Choir Member
Andy Blake – Choir Member
Niles Borop – Songwriter
Michael Card – Vocals, Classical Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Percussion, Songwriter, Quartet Arrangement
Susan Card – Choir Member
Caroline Card-Howell – Choir Member
John Catchings – Cello, Choir Member
Sue Catchings – Choir Member
Jane Cates – Choir Member
Ron Coker – Choir Member
Martyn Ford – Conductor
Pat Fuller – Choir Member
Jon Goin – Electric and Classical Guitars
Lynn Hodges – Choir Director
Jim Horn – Recorders, Flute
Shane Keister – Synthesizer, Piano
Larry London – Drums
Glenn Meadows – Mastered
Alan Moore – String and Woodwind Arrangement
Farrell Morris – Percussion, Vibes
Chris Nelson – Acoustic Bass
Nancy Nelson – Choir Member
Norbert Putnam – Producer, Mastered, Fender Bass, String and Woodwind Arrangement
Cindy Reynolds – Harp
Michele Roberts – Choir Member
Scott Roley – Choir Member
Bill Schnee – Mixed
Randy Scruggs – Rhythm Guitar
Gene Sisk – Synthesizer, Piano
Andy Widders-Ellis – Stick
Bob Wray – Bass, Fender Bass
Betsy Yarborough – Choir Member
John Yarborough – Choir Member
Wes Yoder – Executive Producer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Michael J. Card
Published By – Whole Armor Publishing Co.
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Recorded At – Abbey Road Studios
Published By – Full Armor Publishing Co
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Pressed By – KM Records Inc.

Cliff Richard – Walking In The Light – 1984

In over 3 years we failed to upload a single Cliff Richard album so we decided to start out with a compilation album. This album features tracks from 1976 to 1984 from 6 different albums. Strangly the US version of this release only had 10 tracks but everywhere else it had 12 tracks with the addition of “Under The Influence” amd Cliff’s excellent cover of Larry’s “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music”. Of interest on the album is that there are 3 B Sides from various singles. If you hadn’t been buying 45’s you wouldn’t have had these 3 tracks which would have made this album a must own for Cliff Richard fans. Here is the list of what songs came off what albums;

Better Than I Know Myself – Wired For Sound
Such Is The Mystery – I’m Nearly Famous
Every Face Tells A Story – Every Face Tells A Story
Love And A Helping Hand – B Side Little Town
You Got Me Wondering – Every Face Tells A Story
Walking In The Light – B Side Hot Shot
Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – Small Corners
Under The Influence – The Only Way Out
Lost In A Lonely World – Wired For Sound
You Me And Jesus – B Side Little Town
Summer Rain – Wired For Sound
Thief In The Night – Now You See Me… …Now You Don’t

1 – Better Than I Know Myself – 3:43
2 – Such Is The Mystery – 5:10
3 – Every Face Tells A Story – 3:20
4 – Love And A Helping Hand – 3:06
5 – You Got Me Wondering – 3:35
6 – Walking In The Light – 3:15
7 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – 4:35
8 – Under The Influence – 2:49
9 – Lost In A Lonely World – 4:03
10 – You Me And Jesus – 2:17
11 – Summer Rain – 4:18
12 – Thief In The Night – 3:56

David And The Giants – Inhabitants Of The Rock – 1984

David & The Giants returned with their 8th Christian album. This album wasn’t all that well received but they did achieve their first CCM chart single. “I Can Depend On You” made it to #30 which isn’t too bad I guess but it’s not really the best track on the album. Considering what David Huff is capable of the album is just a little boring. If I didn’t know Huff was on the album I probably would have liked it more as I wouldn’t have held it to as high a standard. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Huff was help back by the band. Considering what he achieved away from The Giants I just don’t think this was working. That said there are some solid Rock & Roll tunes here but most have a 70’s flavour and it was 1984. To be clear I don’t hate the album I just don’t love it. It’s well worth listening to and I’ll be honest, “I’ve Been Drinking” has made it into my regular rotation.

1 – Are You Ready? – 3:43
2 – Higher – 3:59
3 – I Can Depend On You – 3:16
4 – Moving On Up – 4:03
5 – To Know Him Is To Love Him – 4:29
6 – Fire – 4:10
7 – I Am Persuaded – 3:31
8 – Holy Rain – 4:23
9 – I’ve Been Drinking – 2:52
10 – You’re Gonna Be Somebody – 4:02

Arranged By [Horns] – Donnie Sanders, Wardell Quercerque
Art Direction, Design – Kent Hunter
Backing Vocals – Cindy Richardson, Lenny LeBlanc, Mylon LeFevre, Susan Slade
Baritone Saxophone – Quitman Dennis
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals, Engineer – Clayborn Huff
Drums, Congas, Percussion – Keith Thibodeaux
Engineer – Dennis Richey, Jerry Masters
Guitar, Clavinet, Backing Vocals, Engineer – David Huff
Mastered By – George Marino
Percussion – Kellye Huff, Lance Huff
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano, Electric Piano [Rhodes], Synthesizer [Oberheim, ARP Quadra, Synclavier, Mini Moog], Backing Vocals, Engineer – Rayborn Huff
Producer, Arranged By – David & The Giants
Synthesizer [Synclavier] – Paul Davis
Tenor Saxophone, Saxello, Soloist – Donnie “Sax” Sanders
Trombone – Wayne Butler
Trumpet, Arranged By [Horns] – Wayne Jackson

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Published By – Preference Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Huff Recording Studios
Recorded At – Monarch Studios, Alpharetta, GA
Recorded At – Sea-Saint Studio
Recorded At – Master’s Touch
Remixed At – Huff Recording Studios
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △26486

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 –

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

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