Philadelphia – Search And Destroy – 1985/2000

Philadelphia were one of the early Christian metal acts starting out in 1982 though they had been together previously as a secular band called Survivor. This is their second album and was about as poorly as their first which wasn’t good. That reception was not due to the quality of the music, it was due to the early fear of heavy metal music in the Christian genre. Personally I think the album was perfect for the era and I’m surprised it wasn’t better accepted. The original vinyl and cassette are very rare but no numbers were published. Lucky for Philadelphia fans the album was re-released for the first time in 2000 by Millenium Eight Records. This release was limited to only 1500 copies and included 5 new tracks. “Please My Love” and “Kids in America” were recorded during a reunion in 1999, while the 3 live songs, “Warlord”, “Razor’s Edge”, and “One Way Out” were recorded at the Cornerstone Christian music festival in 1986. This playlist includes those tracks. The album was again re-released in 2019 on Roxx Records. This release had reworked album art which is a huge improvement over the original poor art.

Tracklist
1 – Search And Destroy – 6:02
2 – Bobby’s Song – 3:51
3 – Oh My Boy – 5:10
4 – Judgement Day – 3:51
5 – Mirror Man – 3:08
6 – Fastrack – 4:32
7 – Showdown – 4:27
8 – Decision Time – 5:56

2000 CD Release Bonus Tracks
9 – Please My Love – 5:22
10 – Kids In America – 3:55
11 – Warlord – 7:26
12 – Razor’s Edge – 5:57
13 – One Way Out – 5:06

Credits
Bass, Vocals – Brian Clark
Drums – Brian Martini
Executive Producer – Bill Bafford
Guitar – Paul Scholling, Ronn Flowers
Layout, Design – Scott Waters
Mastered By – Rob Colwell

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Crumbächer – Incandescent – 1985

Though often assumed to be a German band Crumbacher was actually a U.S. band whose lead singer’s name was Stephen Crumbächer. Incandescent was recorded as a short demo but when Broken Records heard it they requested the band cut a few more songs to make it a full length album. Crumbacher were probably the first synthpop band in the CCM genre. There’s really not much to say about this album, it had a German synthpop sound and was actually quite good for this style of music. Point of trivia is that the album was produced by Ojo Taylor from the band

Tracklist
1 – Understudy – 3:25
2 – Infrared/X-Ray Eyes – 4:16
3 – Glowing In The Dark – 5:12
4 – So Strange – 5:41
5 – It Don’t Matter – 4:45
6 – Jamie – 4:46
7 – Sweet By And By – 3:29
8 – Track You Down – 5:16

Credits
Backing Vocals – Dawn Wisner-Johnson, Jimmy Wisner, Stephen Crumbächer
Design [Cover], Layout – Ed McTaggart
Drums – Jimmy Wisner
Effects [Sepecial Effects Compositing] – Ken Baley
Guitar – Dan Hohulin
Keyboards – Dawn Wisner-Johnson, Stephen Crumbächer
Lead Vocals – Stephen Crumbächer
Mixed By – Chris Taylor
Photography By [Back Cover] – Rich La Salle
Photography By [Front Cover] – Bill Valenzuela
Producer – O-Joe Taylor

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Broken Records – 1985
Copyright (c) – Broken Records – 1985
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sound Affair
Mixed At – Whitefield Studios

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Kyle Henderson – More Than The Look Of Love – 1985

After making a name for himself as the leader of the cool, underground, new wave band The Producers, Kyle Henderson became a Christian, left the band and recorded one album for the Christian Music industry. He released the one album on Kerry Livgren’s short-lived label Kerygma. Henderson then disappeared from CCM altogether. But that one album was filed with ten great songs, if not a bit too sparsely produced. Christian radio was generally receptive to this debut and several singles charted. The album was released with a sticker that noted his experience in The Producers. Fans of the Producers were probably somewhat disappointed as the album did not really reflect the music of the classic new wave band, but rather had more in common with Bryan Adams and Benny Hester while his vocals have a Steve Perry (Journey) quality to it. The lyrics were rather common, especially among new Christian in the industry as their earlier releases of “cross over” albums tend to be more direct and testimonial in nature. The same is true here. highlights include the title track, Gift of Grace, Renaissance and the radio hit, Beautiful People. One song of note “He’s Coming Back.” I bring this song up because the production and instrumentation is for some reason superior to the rest of the album and no where near as thin sounding as the rest. As mentioned already the style was more middle American rock and roll like Richard Marx and Bryan Adams with heavy saxophone presence and unfortunately thin production. I have always wondered what would have happened if the album was more successful or how his career may have gone if he continued within the CCM industry.

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

Tracklist
1 – Gift Of Grace – 3:09
2 – Open The Lines – 3:53
3 – More Than The Look Of Love – 3:22
4 – Beautiful People – 4:24
5 – Renaissance – 5:02
6 – He’s Coming Back – 3:44
7 – Sold Out – 3:40
8 – It’s You – 3:30
9 – Fallen Angel – 4:46
10 – All Of My Life – 2:57

Credits
Backing Vocals – Dennis Marcellino
Bass – Kyle Henderson
Drums – Greg Eckler
Engineer – Brad Aaron
Executive Producer – Ken Marcellino
Guitar – Bob Marshalek, Kyle Henderson, Mark Moulin (tracks: B3)
Keyboards – Roger Delaney
Lead Vocals – Kyle Henderson
Mastered By – Mike Reese
Producer – Kyle Henderson
Saxophone – Dennis Marcellino
Written-By – Dennis Marcellino (tracks: B2), Kyle Henderson

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow Records

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Glad – Champion Of Love – 1985

This was the 6th album from Glad. I can’t compare it to any of their earlier album because as of now I haven’t listened to any of them. It is most definitely an easy listening album with strong horns and strong production. The album had 3 singles, Still On The Side Of Love made it to #18, Where Your Heart Is made it to #38, and The More I Know Of You to #25. I’m actually quite surprised that these songs didn’t climb a little higher as this album was perfect for the CCM charts in 1985.

Tracklist
1 – Still On The Side Of Love – 3:30
2 – Stand Or Fall – 3:39
3 – Where Your Heart Is – 4:07
4 – True To You – 3:35
5 – Champion Of Love – 4:23
6 – God Is My Rock – 1:09
7 – Giant Killer – 3:36
8 – We Know – 4:03
9 – The More I Know Of You – 3:58
10 – For So Long – 4:03

Credits
Gary Adams – Trumpet
Mark Baldwin – Songwriter
Tom Beard – Songwriter, Keyboards, Vocals
Billy Brady – Engineer, Mixed
Bill Brumberg – Trumpet
Harvey Coonin – Trombone
Chris Davis – Guitars, Vocals
Larry Day – Horn Arrangements
Glad – Producer
Jimmy Hayward – Tenor Sax
John Jensen – Trombone
Monroe Jones – Songwriter
Bob Kauflin – Producer, Arrangements, Songwriter, Keyboards, Vocals
George King – Executive Producer, Songwriter
The Loudoun Transfer – Background Vocals
Sue McCauley – Background Vocals
Chris McCollum – Songwriter
Don Nalle – Bass, Vocals
Ed Nalle – Producer, Arrangements, Mixed, Songwriter, Percussion, Vocals
Art Noble – Drums
Paul Smith – Songwriter
Dick Tunney – Songwriter

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Larry Bryant – The Artist – 1985

This is the first of 2 albums from Larry Bryant who started his music career by writing songs in the early 80’s. He actually attained a fair amount of success writing songs with his wife Lesa later in the 80’s but I’ll document those in the review for his second album. There actually isn’t much info out there on Larry other then his writing career. This album leans towards AOR but there are a couple of pop songs on it. It did spawn a single with “Thankful On My Knees” making it to #24 on the CCM charts. I think it should have climbed higher but it was probably held back by Larry’s relatively little known work at this point in time. He has done something I strongly respect and that is that he offers his 2 albums free for download. You can get this album at http://www.larrybryant.com/downloads/the_artist_downloads.html

Tracklist
1 – That’s When the Angels Rejoice – 3:12
2 – The Artist – 4:03
3 – Shopping List – 3:21
4 – Shadows – 2:48
5 – Crown Of Thorns – 3:42
6 – Father of Lights – 4:26
7 – Note In A Bottle – 3:58
8 – Take A Chance – 3:30
9 – Never Say Never – 2:59
10 – Thankful On My Knees – 3:52

Credits
Keyboards – Michael W. Smith, Shane Keister, Larry Bryant
Guitars – Jon Goin, Greg Jennings
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drums – Mark Hammond
Vocals – Bonnie Keen, Rich Mullins, Jackie Cusick, Wayne Gurley, Nan Gurley, Larry Bryant
Engineer – Mike Psanos
The cast:
keyboards – Michael W. Smith, Shane Keister, Larry Bryant
guitars – Jon Goin, Greg Jennings
bass – Mike Brignardello
drums – Mark Hammond
vocals – Bonnie Keen, Rich Mullins, Jackie Cusick, Wayne Gurley,
Nan Gurley, Larry Bryant
engineer – Mike Psanos
Producer – Joe Huffman

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Randy Stonehill – Love Beyond Reason – 1985

This album is often thought of as Randy’s “safe” album. It sounded much more mainstream than his usual work and by mainstream I mean boring in this case. That said the album was actually pretty good just not representative of Randy’s other work. Of course the big single was a duet with Amy Grant, “I Could Never Say Goodbye” that climbed it’s way to #9 on the CCM charts. Though the album is a bit dull it was a star studded affair with Randy being joined by Bryan Duncan, Keith Green, Bryan Duncan, Mark Heard, Tom Howard, and Tonio K. Most only provided background vocals but Mark Heard Engineered the album as well as providing some guitar tracks. Randy also released a VHS tape in conjunction with the album. It included videos of “Love Beyond Reason,” “Until Your Love Broke Through,” “Hymn,” “You’re Loved Tonight,” “Still Small Voice,” (from Celebrate this Heartbeat) and “The Gods of Men.” Though the album wasn’t overly well received the video was very well received as in this time period any videos of artists were rare.

Tracklist
1 – I Could Never Say Goodbye – 3:44
2 – Love Beyond Reason – 3:36
3 – The Gods Of Men – 4:13
4 – Bells – 4:15
5 – You’re Loved Tonight – 5:50
6 – Until Your Love Broke Through – 4:03
7 – Hymn – 2:47
8 – Angry Young Men – 3:35
9 – Judgement Day – 4:55
10 – Cross That Line – 3:30

Credits
Tim Aller – Simmons Drum Programming
Milo Carter – Guitar
Bryan Duncan – Background Vocals
Todd Fishkind – Songwriter
Richie Furay – Background Vocals
Rick Geragi – Congas, Bongos, Tambourine, Cabasa, Claves, Percussion
Amy Grant – Duet Vocals
Keith Green – Songwriter
Don Griffin – Guitar
Steve Hall – Mastered
Mark Heard – Engineer, Mixed, Guitar
Tom Howard – Songwriter
Danny Jacob – Guitars
Tonio K. – Background Vocals
Barry Kaye – Producer, Arranger, Fairlight C.M.I.
Jay Leslie – Soprano Sax
Barry Liss – Harmonica
David Raven – Drums
Dan Reed – Engineer
Caryn Robin – Background Vocals
Andrea Saparoff – Fairlight C.M.I. Programming and Arranging
Denver Smith – Synthesizers, M.I.D.I. Technician
Randy Stonehill – Songwriter, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Tata Vega – Background Vocals
Ray Ware – Executive Producer
Steve Wilkinson – Bass
Tom Willett – Executive Producer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sound Vault Studios
Engineered At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mastered At – Future Disc
Duplicated By – Electrosound Los Angeles

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Various – Serenity Music To Soothe The Soul – 1985

This is a sampler from Light Records. The album features the following artists and song as well as what album they originally appeared on;

1 – David Edwards – Diamond’s Lullaby – Dreams, Tales & Lullabies
2 – Karen Voegtlin – Into Your Hands – He’s My Leader
3 – Dan Burgess – Fill My Life – Fill My Life
4 – Larry Bryant – The Artist – The Artist
5 – Dino – Holy, Holy, Holy – Just Piano… Praise II
6 – The Winans – Tomorrow – Tomorrow
7 – Ralph Carmichael – A Quiet Place – I Looked For Love
8 – Dan Burgess – When We See Him – Dan Burgess With Songs You’ll Want To Sing
9 – Andraé Crouch – My Tribute – Andrae Crouch
10 – Rob Frazier – He Is All You Need – Cut It Away

Tracklist
1 – David Edwards – Diamond’s Lullaby – 5:01
2 – Karen Voegtlin – Into Your Hands – 4:26
3 – Dan Burgess – Fill My Life – 3:23
4 – Larry Bryant – The Artist – 4:03
5 – Dino – Holy, Holy, Holy – 3:29
6 – The Winans – Tomorrow – 4:12
7 – Ralph Carmichael – A Quiet Place – 2:50
8 – Dan Burgess – When We See Him – 3:45
9 – Andraé Crouch – My Tribute – 6:00
10 – Rob Frazier – He Is All You Need – 4:12

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Lexicon Music, Inc.

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Prodigal – Just Like Real Life – 1985

Throughout this exploration of the greatest music in Christian Music history, much has been said about the shame that it is one of CCM’s great realities: great bands don’t sell and disappear much too quickly. The greatest (worst?) example of this axiom if the band Prodigal. The great crime of CCM is that this amazing band only made three unbelievably impressive albums and then… …nothing! Their swan song was the impressive “Just Like real Life,” an album filled with so much great music and original concepts that any description will really not do it any justice. Ranging from hard “new wave” to American rock and roll there are ten fantastic tracks here. Production quality is through the roof fantastic for what was, I am sure, a minuscule budget. The vocals are as diverse as the music as three different lead vocalist shared the duties. the most notable is Loyd Boldman and his HUGE voice. Boldman always seemed to tackle the big rock numbers and so is often recognized as the lead vocalist though that is really not the case. It should be noted that quite often his songs are the most memorable. This is the case here. Future Now starts with a musical introduction that always reminds me of the soundtrack to movie St. Elmo’s Fire, especially the primary song, “Man in Motion.” “Safety in Numbers” starts off with a great guitar lick the harkens to Daniel Amos’ “I Love You #19.” Throughout the entire record great riffs and monster walls of sound permeate every song. What is truly impressive about the band, though, is their lyrical content. Not content to recite the normal CCM diatribes, Prodigal placed themselves directly into the songs and transparently admit their failings along with those around them. A constant theme is the alienation of the modern world and need for honest and actual relationships. Both with God and with one another.

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

Tracklist
1 – Future Now – 3:55
2 – Push And Shove – 3:00
3 – Safety In Numbers – 2:52
4 – Answering Machine – 3:57
5 – Under The Gun – 3:47
6 – Jump Cut (Just Like Real Life) – 3:14
7 – Incommunicado – 2:50
8 – Next Big Thing – 2:44
9 – Burn It Up – 3:16
10 – The Big Sleep – 3:16
11 – Just Make Up Your Mind – 3:13

Credits
Loyd Boldman – keyboards and vocals
Rick Fields – guitars and vocals
Mike Wilson – bass
Dave Workman – drums and vocals
Executive Producer – Jon Phelps
Produced and Engineered by Gary Platt
Arranged by Prodigal and Gary Platt
Synthesizer Programming – Wes Boatman
Synth Solo on “Push And Shove” – Wes Boatman
Recorded at – Fifth Floor Studios, Cincinnati, OH, Boatman’s Ranch, New Richmond, OH, Starke Lake Studios, Ocoee, FL
Assistant Engineer – Carol Burkart
Assistant Engineer / Concert Sound – Steve Moller

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Heartland Records Company
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Heartland Records Company
Mastered At – Criteria Recording Studios
Pressed By – Hub-Servall Record Mfg. Corp.

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David Martin – Stronger Than The Weight – 1985

David Martin was am aspiring lyricist it the early 80’s and was having some success. In 1985 it was decided it was time for him to release his first album. Growing up in Atlanta he grew up listening to Southern Rock, Soul, and Gospel. That said this album is decidedly AOR and it will come as no surprise that Chris Christian produced the album. The musicians were mainly session musicians but were some of the best Nashville had to offer at the time. The album had 3 singles, Stronger Than The Weight made it to #5, Take Him To Heart made it to #13, and Adonai made it to #34. Not too shabby for a first album. There is a follow up album to this one which is a little more upbeat but we’ll get to it in due time.

Tracklist
1 – Take Him To Heart – 3:22
2 – Stronger Than The Weight – 3:54
3 – Adonai – 3:12
4 – Lookin’ For The Light – 4:16
5 – Miracle Man – 3:46
6 – Let The Wind Blow – 4:05
7 – How Can I Repay? – 3:20
8 – The Carpenter – 3:44
9 – Heart Of The Shepherd – 3:33
10 – He Holds Tomorrow – 3:32

Credits
Arranged By [Rhythm Track] – Jeff Balding, Phil Naish
Art Direction [Direction], Design – Kent Hunter
Backing Vocals – Denny Henson (tracks: 4, 8), Greg Guidry (tracks: 4, 8)
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Drum Programming [Overdubs] – Dennis Holt
Engineer [Recording], Mixed By – Jeff Balding
Engineer [Second] – David Pierce
Executive Producer – Chris Christian
Guitar – Jon Goin
Keyboards – Phil Naish
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Photography By – Scott Bonner
Producer, Written-By – Phil Naish (tracks: 6, 8)
Programmed By [Linn, Dmx And Simmons] – David Martin*, Phil Naish
Saxophone – Sam Levine (tracks: 2, 3)
Vocals, Written-By – David Martin

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – LCS Music Group, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio East

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Messiah – Going Insane – 1985

Some say that Messiah were the first Christian metal band. I can’t decide this argument as I just don’t have the knowledge of the genre to be sure but they have to be one of the first as they put out their first Demo in 1979. Their first release “Final Waning” in 1984 was a very short run release and this 1985 EP was also a very limited run release. Lucky for us Retroactive Records stepped up in 2010 and re-released this EP so that we could all enjoy it. They also included 3 tracks from the infamous 1979 demo. I have included them here. Too bad these guys are relatively unknown as there is some real quality metal here.

Tracklist
1 – Going Insane – 6:30
2 – We Will Rock – 3:57
3 – Heavenly Metal – 5:27
4 – Where Are You – 4:09
5 – Evil Lies – 5:00
6 – Lucifer (Demo) – 6:34
7 – Final Warning (Demo) – 7:07
8 – You’d Better Say A Prayer (Demo) – 6:03

Credits
Bass Guitar – Dave Johnson
Cover, Artwork – P. Schmoltz
Drums – Keith Behnke
Guitar – J. S. Wood
Keyboards, Harmony Vocals – Dan Knowles
Lead Vocals – Chuck Gugel

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – IHM Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – IHM Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Viniculum Music Publishing Inc.
Record Company – Shepard Productions
Recorded At – The Disc Ltd.

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